Did you just start an occupational therapy private practice? Having a website for your business is essential to building your brand image, establishing a “virtual storefront”, and increasing traffic for your business. You may have seen an ad or heard about websites like Wix – which makes it easy for beginners to create and design a website. Does this mean you should use it for your business? Here are 6 reasons why you should NOT use Wix for your occupational therapy business if you are serious about its success, security, and future scalability.

Wix was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Israel. As of 2019, it had a revenue of 1 billion. In 2016, Wix got into controversy for its unethical use of WordPress code. WordPress’ code is open source, but it is published under the GNU Public License (GPL). And the way that Wix used the code was is in violation of the GPL. So now that you know about that. Let’s get into the specifics.

Cost

Wix is expensive. Their prices are almost triple that of other competitors. Instead of paying about $5/mo for web hosting – the cheapest “personal” plan they have available currently costs $14/mo. This may not seem like a lot, but it’s for their most basic tier. When your website traffic and needs increase, you’ll have to upgrade to their business plans which start at $23/mo. And when you look at what you get for what you pay for – it’s not really much. These costs can add up and eat away from your bottom line.

One area that is excluded from their basic plans is something called “Site Booster App” – “Get found on search engines like Google & listed in top-tier directories”. This is ridiculous. First of all, I don’t even know what this means. All web hosting plans allow you be found by Google. The thought of charging a premium to even be found by Google is ridiculous. Is this basic tier hiding your website from Google? Or is their search engine optimization that bad? This seems very sketchy to me.

Proprietary

Wix is closed source. There is nothing wrong with closed source, but you do not necessarily want that in your website host. This means you are limited in your options when it comes to features and depending on what your business needs – it could mean that the features you need are not available. Proprietary is also a con because if Wix was to go out of business or get acquired – your website’s design and data are locked into the Wix ecosystem. Migration could be a nightmare. Security could also be an issue as the code is closed source. Who knows what the code looks like and if it is even secure. Websites like these are major targets for hackers every day. In contrast, WordPress is open-source, has been around much longer, and most of the Internet runs on it.

Currently, it is not possible to back up your site externally.

Back-up

How do you back up a Wix site and transfer it to another host? You cannot. If you wanted to transfer your website you would have to literally copy and paste the text to the new website. And you would have to create your design from scratch or re-customize it. It’s not like you can copy the HTML into your new website because there are many moving pieces of code that are based on Wix. This means you are either stuck with Wix or will have to spend a lot of time and effort when you need to transfer your website to another web host – while your business is running and clients are expecting to visit your website. It could be a very stressful situation.

Features

Bottom line – you are limited to the features with Wix (because it is proprietary). What happens if you want something specific like say a scheduling system, a customer feedback system, a client billing system, or whatever? You are out of luck. You may be able to get it to work using a workaround, but it can easily break and give you problems down the line. WordPress enables you to install Plugins, which make the possibilities endless. You may have to pay for these plugins with WordPress, but you have unlimited choices. Oftentimes, you pay for these plugins once, while others may be subscription based – but you have many options. Wix could add or take away features at their discretion.

Scalability

Your business may need to scale up – so naturally your website will need to as well. Things like additional storage space, speed, e-mail storage are some examples. Features are another one we mentioned.

Wix has higher tiers which allow you to scale up for things such as storage space to accommodate for higher traffic, but it is limited in scalability based on what Wix offers. Other web hosts and platforms such as WordPress allow you to scale up infinitely based more on cost than one company. If one web host is not working well or you do not like their customer support, you can literally back up the entire website and move it to another host without any hiccups. Not so with Wix.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Even with Wix charging more for their “website searchability”, they are known to have poor SEO. In basic terms, SEO is how your website shows up on google. If SEO is poor, you are less likely to be found on Google due to ranking lower and other websites (such as non-Wix websites) ranking higher – leading users to more likely click on other websites instead.

“In my experience it’s also been harder to rank with Wix. Thing is, you don’t own the server, you are subscribing to a service really, so any optimization (besides content) has to come from Wix itself. If you go for WordPress or any CMS really, you get your own server platform, at least then you then get to control all the variables.”

“As a former [Wix] employee, and as stated before, it’s a good platform if you just want to get a site up and running pretty quickly and you can make it pretty aesthetically pleasing. SEO is a pain point for a lot of users.”

You likely create a website so that people visit it. What good is easily designing a website (which may look good) if it does not show up in search engines or it ranks so low that people do not even notice it? This is like creating a really good ad for outdoor advertising and choosing a location that is really terrible for viewership, like under a freeway or between two buildings. Most websites are found not by typing in the URL but by Google search. This should be the dealbreaker for you if you are deciding whether or not to go with Wix.

Who It May Be For

If you want to easily get a website up and running and look decent, then Wix may be for you. But this is where the benefits end. You’ll end up paying more, have limited features, poor scalability, and most importantly – limited control of how your website will show up on Google. If you are going to put in all of the effort to start an occupational therapy private practice, you should put just as much of it into your website.

Case Study

Some therapy, for example, is moving to telehealth. Is Wix ready for this technology to be deployed in a live environment? Good luck. With WordPress, you just need to find a solution, purchase it, install it – and you’re off.

On this website, for example, we were able to find a scheduling plugin on our services page that automatically generates a Zoom meeting link and e-mails it to clients. That is the power of WordPress that runs on a web host of your choice.

Alternatives

The platform of choice for many businesses is WordPress (free). This is the code that runs your website. To get a website up and running you will need 2 things – a  web host (which serves your website to visitors) and a web domain (like a .com). We use Siteground for web hosting and Google Domains for our .com. It would cost you $7/mo for web hosting with Siteground and $1/mo for a .com with Google – the price of a sandwich.