Building Your Own Website With WP or WiX

Website creation in the beginning ( back in the days - early2000 ) had one purpose - the display of information for a particular organisation or enterprise public or private. These static pages by and large, where glorified printed brochures recreated digitally to be rendered in a browser.

Fast forward 2019 and you still have Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress and WiX proffering easy website design solutions with Drag and Drop being the main salient feature - no coding knowledge required.

Very attractive and tempting for anyone thinking a web presence is that holy grail they have been looking for.

If you feel comfortable enough to develop it yourself, then these sites and a host of others are there to cater for your every needs it seems. Even dummies can do it they say. Lets look at these claims a little more deeper.

Building a web page is just the start, and if that’s all you want then great, go buy web development for dummies and create your own. Very often however, it’s not just a "Web Page" that folks want. Usually it’s a "Web Application", and that’s when the fun begins. Does your app need to connect to a database? what type of database, what does the data in the database represent, how do you want the data presented to the user, should it be editable by the user?

Are you going to sell things on the site? Will these be tangible stuff or knowledge base services? Do you need to take payments? What type of payments will you take, papal, credit card, world-pay, sage etc. etc. Do you need to have an admin section, where admin manage customer log in accounts, or are customers self serve, does the app need to connect to any 3rd party services? And to all intents and purposes that’s just the beginning.

What you see in the browser is only a fraction of what goes on behind the scenes to make a Web Application work, and as you can see there is a very big difference between a Glorified Brochure Online and a Web Application.

The framework of these Content Management Systems like WordPress and WiX are very limited in what they can do. Just to elucidate, WordPress is just a glorified open source content management framework, its original design was for blogs and static web pages, many of the plug-ins and things you get today are built by hobbyists who want to earn a few quid and are not rigorously tested for security problems amongst other things.

WiX on the other hand, was designed for one purpose and one purpose only, to get CEO’s and other non tech types into handing over easy money to what was originally a domain registration company, in the belief that web site design and development is all about drag and drop.

If you embark on this journey of building your own website, you will soon realise the limitations of these CMS'. Very often that not you will find your self starting again from scratch. Then, you get really frustrated and start looking for a developer because your are truly stuck.

Don't get me wrong. If all you need is a simple site, and you are happy designing some of it yourself and being restricted by what you can and can not do, then by all means, go ahead, do it yourself, you will learn a thing or two.

If you envision a future where your site will expand beyond just simple content, then save yourself the money now and do it correctly upfront, rather than having to shell out twice as much later on down the road.

Addendum - RWD

With the ever-increasing use of mobile devices, it has become necessary to design on-line content that appears on multiple screen sizes and a myriad of devices with varying form factors. The challenge involves designing sites that adapt to fit a variety of different resolutions and use the available screen real estate effectively. Previously, these goals have proven to be time-consuming. Hand-coded media queries and complex mathematical calculations were often required to deliver on-line presentations with fluid layouts to reach the widest audiences.

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is essentially based on a fluid grid layout. All containers on the page have their widths defined in percentages - meaning that they are completely based on the viewport rather than the initial containing block. A liquid layout will move in and out when you resize your browser window. Thus, all siblings or nested entities within the container are adjusted correspondingly. We do this with all sites we designed and managed