When we talk about building websites, WordPress is an undisputed leader in the industry. It powers over 75 million websites. Whether you want to start a blog or business site or e-commerce site WordPress is the first name that crosses your mind. But, things are changing lately. There are new players entering the field and trying to compete with WordPress. Wix is one of them. Wix’s meteoric rise in the last couple of years put them on the top-players lists.
Even though WordPress is still running strong and growing, they got some serious competition. So, this is a battle of the titans. Wix vs WordPress, which one is better, or at least better for you and your new website?
But, before the comparison let’s take a glance and check out some basic facts about these platforms.
Wix is a website builder and it’s an all-in-one platform. It means that Wix provides all you need to build a website. It will provide the hosting, content management system, and support. Wix has a very easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder. They will also provide design solutions, functionality, and security. Many add-ons and extensions are available to get more advanced functionality. So, basically, with Wix, you get all that you need to build and run your website right out of the box. For a price. And you don’t need any coding skills.
The bottom line is that Wix offers an easy and fast way to build a website from scratch without a sweat. However, there’s a downside to it. You are limited to using Wix’s solution and you can move your website from Wix to a new host. Depending on your needs, this doesn’t have to be a problem, but it’s worth mentioning.
It is a little bit more difficult to explain WordPress. WordPress is a content management system (CMS), but it can be used in two different ways. First, there is a WordPress.com. It is a hosted platform service that operates in a similar way to Wix. Their basic plan is free, but in reality, you will need to pay for some upgrades to build a decent website.
Then, there’s WordPress.org. Or self-hosted WordPress. It is open-source software that anyone can install for free. So, what’s the catch? Why would anyone pay for building a website if you can get it for free? Actually, there’s no catch, it’s just a completely different concept. Unlike hosted platforms, with WordPress.org you need to pay for hosting and then go from there. Self-hosted WordPress allows you full freedom. You can literally do whatever you want. You can build and customize your website any way you want it. So, you get almost unlimited flexibility and customization.
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On the downside, there’s a steep learning curve. Also, you have to take care of everything by yourself. There’s no support other than community support.
Comparing Wix vs WordPress usually refers to Wix vs self-hosted, open-source WordPress. I will do the same here. I won’t compare Wix and WordPress.com because they offer a similar range of services. They have more or less the same approach and even though there are some differences in features and pricing plans, it all comes down to specific and exact features that you’re looking for.
On the other hand, Wix and self-hosted WordPress have completely different concepts. Basically, Wix focuses on simplicity and accessibility for all users. They sacrifice a little bit of flexibility to allow everyone to create a functional website. WordPress focuses on freedom and flexibility. As a result, it is not as user-friendly as Wix or other hosted platforms.
This is a major difference, but it’s just a top layer of the cake. So, let’s break things down to see what these great platforms have to offer and how they fare against each other.
In a perfect world, we would search for the best solutions regardless of price ( or there wouldn’t be a price at all!). However, we always have budgets and limitations. The cost is an important part of assessing any product. So, this is how it goes.
Wix offers a basic plan for free, but the truth is that I don’t think that anyone uses it for too long. It lacks some important features. It also comes with Wix advertisements at the top and bottom of your website. So, if you choose Wix, you will probably purchase some of the paid plans. They start from $4.5 a month, while the most popular plan costs $12.5 a month. Each plan allows a single site. So, you will have to pay more to add more websites.
WordPress is open-source software so it’s free to install. However, you will need a domain name and hosting and this will cost you. And that’s only the beginning. Your costs can increase if you opt to use premium plugins and themes. But this is where WordPress’ versatility and flexibility come in. Apart from hosting options, there are myriads of free WordPress plugins, themes, and addons you can use. You can get hundreds or even thousands of options to customize your website. So, basically you have to pay for hosting and everything else is optional.
In my opinion, WordPress is a clear winner here. While you can really keep your costs very low with both platforms, WordPress offers many more features, designs, and most importantly multiple websites.
Ease of Use
Wix is super easy to use for building a website. The drag-and-drop editor allows you to move, rearrange, add or remove items. The whole process is quick, intuitive, and efficient. You get to choose the type of website you want to create. Then you choose your template out of more than 500 offered templates before you use the editor to organize everything the way you like it. Click ‘Publish’ and it’s over, you’ve done it.
WordPress is a little bit more complicated. It comes with a visual editor, and you don’t have to be tech-savvy to get it done. It takes some time to figure it all out though. Once again, WordPress allows you to choose out of thousands of themes to make these first steps easier. Also, installing a powerful WordPress page builder plugin can make it easy and provide lots of additional features.
There’s no contest here, Wix easily wins. Even though WordPress offers more options, with Wix website creation will be smooth, easy and fast. So, WordPress is okay, Wix is fantastic to start with.
Design and Appearance
Wix offers more than 500 templates to choose from. Most of them look good and you can use built-in tools to customize them further. It’s simple, easy and neat. However, there are some limitations. Once you choose a template for your website you can never switch to another template. Also, Wix is not developer-friendly. Developers can make code tweaks, but they need to be familiar with specific Wix designs regardless of their HTML/CSS skills.
WordPress offers thousands of free or paid themes. There are no limitations. You can use plugins for further customization or you can hire a developer to add custom codes without limitations. You can also switch themes whenever you want.
Wix probably offers enough to get a great design and appearance, but it’s limited. With WordPress, you get limitless possibilities to create any kind of appearance.
Features, Plugins, and Addons
At some point, chances are you will need to improve your website by adding some new features. With Wix, you get access to more than 200 apps to add some functionality. Be it a contact form or gallery, or social media button, Wix offers fully integrated apps to upgrade your website in no time. Most of these apps are free or have a lite version.
WordPress is unrivaled when it comes to plugins. There are more than 55,000 plugins free plugins in their plugin directory alone! You do have to install, fine-tune and update them, though. Whatever feature you can think of, WordPress probably has a plugin to make it work.
There’s no real contest here on Wix vs WordPress as WordPress offers way more than you can even think of. Having said that, Wix offers more than enough conventional options, and it’s extremely user-friendly as usual. So, both platforms are great if you need common upgrades. For special and unusual plugins, WordPress is an inexhaustible source.
Wix has some basic, built-in SEO tools but for best results, you’ll need some plugins. It’s not a problem because Wix offers several dedicated SEO apps. Site Booster is the most popular one and it comes with a lot of great SEO tools.
As for WordPress, you need to install an SEO plugin. Yoast is the most popular one and it has both free and premium plans. Yoast free version is pretty limited, though.
This is the first time I’m indecisive. Here’s why. Wix’s SEO is a great fit for small businesses and small websites. It’s extremely easy to use and covers all the basics. Yoast premium version is better for advanced SEO, but it also costs more. So, it’s up to you to get the verdict on this Wix vs WordPress point.
Wix offers several paid plans that include an online store. Once again, it’s easy to manage it. However, you have pretty limited customizing possibilities. It’s fine for simple products or if you sell only a couple of different items. For a better online store, you’ll need some upgrades that will cost you. So, I would say that Wix offers only basic e-commerce options with limited possibilities.
WordPress with WooCommerce plugin beats the competition by far. Woocommerce plugin is free and it gives you more possibilities than you’ll ever need. You have complete control and freedom to customize it. It’s also very easy to use.
No dilemma here. WordPress with WooCommerce plugin is a clear winner.
Creating a blog page with Wix is easy and intuitive. You will get decent basic options and necessary features to start a blog. Even though it’s very easy to create and customize, it is somewhat limited.
WordPress and blogging, do I really need to say something about it? Probably not, but I’ll do it anyway. WordPress started out as a platform for blogging. It evolved into an almighty platform for all kinds of websites, blogs included. So, with WordPress, you will get all the features you can think of and then some.
Support and Maintenance
With Wix, you will get a phone, chat, and email support. You also get access to a large database with countless articles and tutorials. They have a support team that will help you deal with any issue. As for maintenance, there isn’t much to tell. Wix will take care of everything and you don’t have to lift a finger. Security, updates, backups, Wix will manage it all automatically, and you probably won’t even notice it.
WordPress is an open-source platform so you don’t get any direct support. There’s a large WordPress community so you can get dozens of answers to any question in a minute. Nevertheless, support and maintenance depend strictly on you. You have options to install security plugins and hire maintenance services. As usual, with WordPress, there’s plenty of options to optimize everything, but you need to do it by yourself or have someone do it for you.
In this Wix vs WordPress section – Wix is a clear winner here.
Final Thoughts About Wix vs WordPress
I won’t say that one platform is better than the other because it really depends on your needs. Wix is a great platform to create a basic but great-looking website easily and quickly. And it provides support so you don’t have to worry about security and maintenance. So, it’s really convenient for beginners. However, it has many limitations and lacks flexibility.
WordPress is way more versatile, but it’s also more demanding. It offers full control of your data and your website. WordPress also allows almost infinite possibilities to scale over the years.
If I had to put Wix vs WordPress in one sentence I would say that Wix is all about convenience and ease of use, while WordPress is about power, and limitless flexibility.