Wix vs WordPress
Wix and WordPress are reputable and effective tools for creating amazing websites, yet with different approaches. They both have their benefits and trade-offs. WordPress is a CMS, while Wix is a website builder. The core difference lies in this fact.
A more generalized concept is that website builders like Wix are much easier to use, yet they offer less room for customization. Besides, they include hosting, which doesn’t allow you to move your website to another platform and a new web host.
In this in-depth review, I will highlight the major benefits of both platforms and pinpoint their downsides. You will get a precise image of why WordPress is the better and what you can expect by choosing either.
WordPress is the most popular service for website building, yet it is not the only option. For instance, Wix is one of the earliest and most effective follow-ups to WP. It praises itself for its impressive ease of use and drop interface. Despite this, it provides enough room to the user for customization.
On the other hand, WordPress has been the most powerful CMS and blogging platform since it was introduced 17 years ago. It has a serious approach to website building and is committed to setting up a professional brand. Although the in-built tools are few, the available features and options are virtually unlimited.
While Wix boasts its drag-and-drop visual editor, WP is abstracted away from the page, i.e., you don’t see the full page within the editor. This makes the former a far more beginner-friendly option.
On the other hand, being an open-source platform, WordPress provides its users access to thousands of themes and plugins (most of them are expensive and difficult to implement). This gives a site owner more features and functionalities than a Wix site owner can have.
As for the website maintenance, with Wix, you can sit back while the service handles everything. With WordPress, you become responsible for your site maintenance and security, and the themes are more inclined to being hacked.
So, Wix is preferable for a user who prioritizes easy maintenance paired with a professional website look. The service is user-friendly, intuitive, and quick to use. The eCommerce features, available on higher tiers, are suitable for small land-based stores that need to move their business online. Overall, Wix is a good call for anyone whose website-building intentions are not big and who wants to make out without dealing with programming.
Meanwhile, WordPress is ideal for anyone with coding knowledge or who can hire a professional. With its massive library of plugins and the high customizability degree, WP guarantees to bring to life any dream website!
Actually, it is difficult for me to draw a pricing comparison between Wix and WordPress – these two services have completely different pricing policies. Wix offers everything in one package, including themes, hosting, apps, customer support, domain name, eCommerce, etc.
The company divides its plans into Standard Plans and Business/eCommerce Plans. The introductory plan is the Combo, priced at $16 per month, while the cheapest eCommerce plan is the Business Basic, which comes at $27 per month.
Wix also introduces a free lifetime plan. Yet, it has significant limitations regarding storage, bandwidth, custom domain, etc. Plus, your website will show a huge ad.
For more detailed specifications of Wix plans, have a look at the information provided below.
Standard Wix Plans
Thus, the Standard Package includes three plans, namely:
- Combo ($22/mo) – free hosting and domain, 2GB bandwidth, 3GB storage space, removal of ad banners, a Google Ads bonus, 30 minutes of video hours etc.;
- Unlimited ($27/mo) – unlimited bandwidth, 50 GB disk storage video, apps for boosting productivity and enhancing visitors’ analysis, 2-hour bonuses for advertising in Google Ads etc.;
- VIP ($45/mo) – unlimited subscription options, extra 100 GB on disk, logo maker, unlimited video and bandwidth, priority support etc.
Plans included into the Business/eCommerce package are as follows:
- Business Basic ($27/mo) – online payments acception, unlimited bandwidth, 5 hours of video, free domain on annual plans, 50 GB of disk storage space, analytics tools and productivity boost etc.;
- Business Unlimited ($32/mo) – business development tools, 100 GB of disk storage space, 10 hours of video, special apps for entrepreneurs, integrated eCommerce platform, logo maker etc.;
- Business VIP ($59/mo) – complete Wix Suite, priority support, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited video storage space etc.;
- Enterprise ($500/mo) – advanced business solution that grants the maximum amount of tools and integrated functionality.
By the way, if you decide to cancel the selected subscription for some reason, you can get a refund. Wix grants 14 days to complete the task. Saving the budget is also possible here asd the website builder offers quite an extensive system of discounts and special offers.
As for WordPress, the core difference in WP pricing is that it’s entirely free. However, to create and put to work a professional and well-functioning website, you have to pay for hosting, plugins, and themes.
For instance, HostGator, the best hosting provider for WordPress websites, introduces its services starting at $5.95 per month with the Starter plan specially schemed for WP sites. However, there’s even a cheaper plan, titled Hatchling. It comes only at $2.75 per month.
Then the eCommerce WP plugins. Although there are numerous free offers, the best options are paid ones. For instance, the yearly price for a quality form builder, such as WPForms, is $40. Overall, the price for running a WordPress site depends on your requirements – the more powerful a website you want, the higher your expenses will be.
Creating a Website
For a complete beginner, creating a website with WordPress can be understandably intimidating. First, you need to think about a domain name. Choose one that will be simple and short, best represent your site, and be unique. Second, since WordPress doesn’t offer to host, you must also get web hosting from a third-party service, such as HostGator. It will provide you with an Auto-Install option.
Once you have installed WP on your hosting account, you can access the dashboard and create your website. WP gives plenty of room for customization, aside from elegant themes with a pre-designed look for the site and its pages. Consider third-party themes if you can’t find an appropriate theme to meet your business niche among ten thousand free themes. The site customization is conducted mostly with external plugins.
WordPress uses Gutenberg block-based editor, which has its downsides – it won’t show the whole page within the editor. You have to switch between the editor and your published site every time you are making amendments.
So, spend time studying what’s available first. Overall, creating a website with WordPress may appear more time-consuming and problematic, particularly for those without experience in site building.
In contrast, a few hours is enough to get a decent website up and running with Wix, thanks to its highly intuitive drag-and-drop editor.
Start by creating an account on the platform. In this phase, you can either apply to the brand’s Artificial Design Intelligence tool, which implies having your website created by the company’s experts based on the information about the business you have provided, or do it yourself.
If you choose to do it yourself, start by choosing one of over 900 free and well-schemed templates sorted into categories. All of them are fully customizable – you can change anything from fonts to the whole structure.
Apply the changes with the drag-and-drop editor – click on the item to alter its settings, reposition, resize, rewrite, or even replace it. Whatever changes are applied, they will show in real-time.
Another web design solution is using the Wix Velo platform. This is a high end tool, which mainly targets proficient web developers, offering an advanced set of features available in stock. A user gets access to the pack of JS scripts in order to customize the design of certain selected web page elements. This, however, requires at least baseline web design/coding skills.
If you are working for the web design agency, Wix has something to offer as well. They have recently introduced its Wix Studio platform specifically meant for agencies. It grants access to myriads of features, including code-free animations, opportunity to create signature experiences with custom CSS, automatically-scaled design focus etc.
There is also the opportunity to use the Blocks workspace to build new interactive components and widgets. If needed, you can further monetize them in the App Market of the system, the audience of which exceeds 245 million potential customers.
Wix Studio also has a range of native business solutions that fit every project and niche – from eCommerce to bookings, events etc. Whatever functionality you need, you can extend the available suite with hundreds of integrations and APIs.
All in all, creating a website with Wix is mere pleasure and fun, irrespective of the solution you pick!
WordPress CMS features a more cluttered interface than that of Wix. However, this is quite natural since the more sophisticated the service is, the more abstract and utilitarian its interface is. While Wix aspires to friendlier pages, WordPress has the highest customization in mind.
Wix prided itself on the utmost comprehensible WYSIWYG interface. It offers three options – Wix ADI, Wix Editor, and Velo, although the process of adding and editing content is almost identical across the whole board. I would describe the complexity of using Wix with that of Microsoft Word.
However, the basic difference between Wix and WordPress interfaces is that you work on a front-end interface when dealing with Wix. It means whatever changes you make in the CMS are seen on the screen.
In WordPress, you have the back end where you edit the content and only then decide to preview or publish to see how the site looks with the latest changes. In fact, this block editor is very powerful, but if you want to bypass Gutenberg and directly edit the front end of your site, you will need to apply a visual editor plugin and template kits.
When creating a website, you should make certain it looks good and has an intuitive interface. Wix features more than 900 free templates sorted into such categories as Music, Photography, Creative Arts, Design, Online Store, Landing Pages, etc. Most of them come with example content to give you a better idea of what your website built with Wix will look like.
With Wix, you get the flexibility to alter any of the templates the way you wish through the in-built features. And you won’t find any theme that will require messing with code.
Mind, however, that Wix does not allow changing between the themes, if you decide to switch to another template for some reason. In this case, you will have to start the website design over with a new theme. Previously uploaded content will be lost and you will need to resubmit it.
As mentioned above, Wix has a classic Wix editor as well as the ADI tool, Velo platform and Studio solution. You can use any of them to get started with your new project. Keep in mind that you will be able to switch between certain options depending on the strategy chosen for website creation.
Let’s say, you have started working on your project in the classic editor. In this case, you won’t be able to switch to the ADI mode. Likewise, you won’t have a chance to transfer to the layout in the classic editor, having developed the one with Wix ADI. The only way to proceed with the task on your own is to move the layout to the classic editor and to activate the Velo platform afterwards.
If needed, you can extend the original features of the editors with external applications available in the Wix catalog. There is an opportunity to activate a high end image editor, add separate blocks to connect a web store, a forum, a blog etc. and even to get specific social network widgets.
The same functionality can be achieved with WordPress themes, yet not without the use of plugins. Being open source, the platform strikes the eye for the vast majority of free themes (or templates).
Overall, there are above ten thousand themes. And yet, they look rather plain and have basic features. The more professional-looking options are available through dedicated theme stores. If you still wish to create your site with what WordPress offers for free, it will require you to debug with code.
What you should know is that there are over 8800 templates currently available in the official WordPress directory. Taking into account the availability of themes offered by third-party platforms like ThemeForest or TemplateMonster, this number increases to tens of thousands designs.
Premium templates look more professional yet their cost ranges between $30 and $200 per theme.
Unlike Wix that does not allow for a template switch, WordPress makes it possible to change the design in one click directly from the admin panel. Mind, however, that each theme comes with extra features and sometimes even new content types needed for website publication.
As a result, template change may affect both website design and functionality. Eventually, certain scripts, widgets, analytic tools and other elements may be disabled and you will have to fix the bugs independently.
WordPress is known as one of the most customizable CMS in the industry. It is an excellent choice for a company that wants to have a unique and premium-class website. The customization of a theme in WordPress is fulfilled through Customizer. This tool enables you to reveal the style options of an element by simply clicking it, browsing around the website, applying appropriate customizations, etc.
In WordPress, the need for coding knowledge is felt, particularly when customizing your site. The in-built editor is limited and doesn’t have all the options to align with what you want stylistically. To make the available themes uniquely yours, you have to apply to code. Once you are comfortable with coding or have hired a website developer, you can do whatever you imagine with your theme! The sky’s the limit!
With all this said, Wix is by no means limiting. It has a different approach when it comes to site customization. You can grab and move the site elements anywhere on the page since there are no pre-designated areas for specific elements like you’d meet in other website builders. You can choose any element and apply customization on the fly, knowing that whatever changes you apply in an already running site will go live at the moment.
It included all the necessary forms and options in every theme, depending on its category. For instance, every template within the section Restaurant & Food comes with all the usual forms, such as booking and order, so you don’t need to create them yourself. Furthermore, Wix allows applying global changes in the chosen template, just like WordPress does, including fonts, colors, etc.
With this in mind, WordPress has many more website design and customization options. And yet, it’s Wix that makes customizing a site easier.
Search Engine Optimization is all about making accurate changes to the content and backend of the website, thus enhancing the chances of having the site ranked on the search result pages.
Thanks to the best coding practices and standard HTML usage, as well as the impressive range of SEO plugins, WordPress is SEO friendly right out of the box. Such tools become available as on-site search engine analytics, advanced XML sitemaps, graphic meta tags, etc. If configured correctly, WordPress can certainly outperform Wix in terms of SEO. And it definitely performs better on the mobile SEO front since it allows the creation of fully-responsive and search-engine-algorithm-preferred WP sites.
With WordPress, you can use Accelerated Mobile Pages more extensively than with Wix. Among the wide array of available SEO apps, Yoast is the best one. It assesses the quality of on-page SEO efforts to set up easy-to-follow suggestions for further improvement.
On the other hand, Wix allows users to easily perform all the key SEO tasks, including adding alt text and meta descriptions, header code meta tags, editing page URLs, inputting structured data markup, setting up 301 redirects, and so forth. I can clarify that one of the company’s perks is the SEO Wiz tool. The latter will walk a new user through the basic and most important steps of website optimization for search engines. As a result, you can easily update your page titles, alt text, meta descriptions, and so forth.
Besides this, Wix has collected a huge bunch of educational SEO materials in the “SEO Learning Hub” to deliver the key concepts of search engine optimization to its users. Another advantage of Wix is its in-built integration with Semrush – a popular keyword research tool. It performs up to ten pieces of research of keywords a day for free for Wix users.
To enhance the available tools, even more, the platform suggests using Wix-specific SEO apps, such as DeepCrawl. The latter will highlight broken pages, content unsuitable to Google’s guidelines, and links to dead-ends.
Nevertheless, what I would like Wix to improve in terms of SEO is the absence of creating responsive sites.
Publishing a Website
It’s worth considering how you will publish your website before starting the building process. With WordPress, you should first think about which hosting provider you will rely on. I recommend choosing HostGator, as it offers all the necessary tools at competitive rates. You can download WP right from its interface. Once you have installed WP and have created your site with an appropriate theme and page builder, filled it with appropriate content, have enhanced the site with plugins, and now wish to publish it, go to the settings from the dashboard and choose Public to make your site available to everyone.
With Wix, publishing a website and creating it is a lot easier. If you wish to speed up things, go for Wix AI – an artificial intelligence-powered engine that helps to match the site design, logo, and content with your website’s purpose.
Once done, head to the top toolbar of the Editor and choose to Publish the site. By clicking View Site, you will be taken to your already live site. And once you click Done, you will be redirected to the Editor. Even after it, you can apply changes at any time and publish again to ensure the changes go live.
If eCommerce is your purpose, be aware that Wix and WordPress are fundamentally different in this matter. While Wix is a website-building platform that supports eCommerce, WordPress doesn’t suggest any integrated tool. You will need to integrate whatever functionality you need via a third-party app.
For instance, I would recommend WooCommerce since WordPress itself made it. It not only ensures lots of basic functionality but also allows editing other plugins to enhance such eCommerce capabilities as booking, selling subscriptions, bundlers, memberships, customizable products, etc.
To create an online store with WordPress, you can use WooCommerce-specific themes. Those are available both in free and paid options. Overall, the WooCommerce interface is rather flush with WP; hence, your existing WP website will work seamlessly with the integrated eCommerce platform.
Other than this, choose AliDropship to import products from AliExpress to your WooCommerce virtual shop, making a single click, or integrate FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc., to display shipping rates.
As for the eCommerce side of Wix, the company has dedicated plans for online stores. It realizes its eCommerce potential via Wix Stores widget integration. The platform is highly easy to use for all sorts of eCommerce purposes, including adding products, setting up payment methods, selling unlimited numbers of physical or digital products, enabling users to filter and sort products, adding tracking information for physical products, providing customers with real-time shipping calculations, etc. To access online selling capabilities, you must have an appropriate subscription.
Wix eCommerce also prides itself on its amazing shipping functionality. You can create shipping rules based on a flat rate, product price, or weight. And all this functionality, everything you need to start an eCommerce business, comes out of the box: SSL certificate, templates, payment processors, scalable and secure server, and so forth.
Wix offers a wide range of customizable templates specifically designed for online stores. You can use its integrated drag-and-drop editor to create a unique and visually appealing storefront. It’s up to you to customize colors, fonts, layouts, and more to match your brand’s identity.
Product management options are versatile here as well. Users can easily create and update product collections, adjust product parameters (description, price, images, variations, inventory tracking tools etc.).
Seamless shopping cart experience allows customers to easily add products and proceed to the checkout process without extra help. Secure and intuitive checkout, by the way, is possible with multiple payment options, including credit/debit cards, PayPal and more. Opportunity to accept payments through alternative methods like checks, Venmo etc. is available here as well.
To boost customer loyalty, web store owners can introduce discounts and special offers that results in the increase of sales and profit generation. By the way, you can enable customer reviews and comments along with the opportunity to rate your products, thus building trust and social proof.
Known for its multi-language support, Wix allows creating a global presence, thus targeting a wider audience.
So, let’s drive parallels between Wix and WordPress eCommerce functionality to see which of them most complies with your business requirements.
- Wix eCommerce has convenient features for small online stores right out of the box, while WooCommerce (WordPress) can provide everything needed to set up scalable big online stores.
- Wix is user-friendly, hence easy to make out, while WooCommerce is overwhelming and less beginner-oriented.
- Setting up an online store with Wix is pretty easy, and everyone can do it. Meanwhile, to create an eCommerce site with WooCommerce, you must either be a coder or hire a developer.
- Wix eCommerce is a closed system; hence, whatever you add to your Wix site or store is first tested by the service, ensuring a high level of security. On the other hand, the security of a WooCommerce site basically depends on the user’s site maintenance and choices of plugins, themes, SSL certificates, servers, etc.
So, WordPress and Wix are the proper services when creating a website for eCommerce. However, Wix is appropriate for only small online stores since, despite the already incorporated features, many limitations make Wix a poor choice for big stores. And vice versa, although WooCommerce is hard to use, it’s great for large stores.
Wix is a wonderful website builder for creating a blog as long as you are a beginner or a hobbyist. For more serious, professional blogging purposes, you won’t go wrong choosing WordPress. The latter features more features, better functionality, and a huge like-minded community. Anyway, let me introduce either service individually.
Wix features beautiful templates blog oriented, a user-friendly blog editor, as well as all the conventional features for running a blog. It allows formatting the blog the way you’d wish by adding different media elements, tables, text blocks, tags, and categories to every post individually. Furthermore, you can add products from your Wix store if you wish to promote them through your blog, put a post behind a paywall, etc.
This is all about Wix Blogging capabilities. Now about WordPress CMS, which was primarily established as a blogging tool. Aside from all the fundamental features available at Wix, WP offers much more, actually whatever a professional blogger can imagine becomes available when setting up the blog on WordPress.
Although the entire range of blogging tools becomes available through plugins (for example, you can use AAWP to set comparison tables, input geotargeting and automatic links for Amazon affiliates, etc.) and creating a premium quality blog requires much effort and time, the end result is worth it.
Wix boasts an extensive App Market, where users may choose quality native applications and third-party extensions to fit their project requirements. These apps are designed to boost the functionality and features of your project, letting you customize and expand its capabilities.
The Wix App Market grants access to a diverse selection of applications related to various categories, such as eCommerce, marketing, communication, design, social media, analytics, and more.
Some of the most well-known and trusted apps include Wix Forum, Comments, Wix Bookings,Wix Hotels, Wix Restaurants, Events Calendar, 123 Form Builder, Music, Photography, Video etc.
You can seamlessly integrate these and other apps into your Wix website without the need to write a line of code. Most apps are installed with just a few clicks, while their features become accessible directly within your Wix dashboard.
Apps from the Wix App Market can add new features and tools to your website that may not be available in the standard Wix editor. For example, you can add contact forms, live chat widgets, social media feeds, booking systems, and more.
Mind that Wix App Market offers both free and premium apps. Some apps offer baseline functionality for free, while more advanced features might be available through premium versions.
If you wish to add unique and non-standard features in your website, you can use the Wix API platform. This, however, may take more effort, time and skills. As to the plugin pricing, many must-have tools are included into the business subscription. At the same time, you may need to pay for extra features like Ascend platform – a standalone Wix CRM, for example.
WordPress excels at plugin integration options and this is one of its major highlights. Plugins vary from image optimization tools and SEO features and up to anti-spam solutions, stats tracking tools, content tables, marketing/promotion campaigns etc.
The CMS has an official Plugin Directory that houses thousands of free and premium extensions. You can browse and search for plugins based on categories, functionalities, ratings, and reviews.
Installing plugins on a WordPress website is not quite simple for a beginner and may require coding awareness. They, however, are needed to add a wide range of features to your website, including contact forms, social media sharing, eCommerce capabilities, SEO optimization, security enhancements, and more.
Plugins make it possible to tailor your project design, functionality and features to align with your business goals. Mind that plugin developers frequently release updates to improve performance, security and compatibility. It’s important to keep your plugins up to date to ensure your project remains stable and secure.
While most plugins are designed to work well with WordPress, it always makes sense to check whether the plugin is compatible with your current WP version/theme or not. Paid plugins are generally more secure than free ones. The latter may pose a threat to your website functionality when they come with malware.
Wix and WordPress have different approaches to the plugin integration issue. Due to its built-in App Market, Wix allows choosing and connecting the apps much faster and simpler as compared to WordPress. The CMS has multiple free and premium plugins out there, but their installation and further updates may be quite complicated for a beginner.
Quite often, especially if you are a beginner, you need extra assistance to bring your business’s new site to life. In such cases, it becomes apparent how well the communities and various forums of the CMS you have chosen function.
WordPress features a standout community of users and a broad array of resources to help new users make the most of the CMS. Besides, when buying a designer theme or a plugin, you often get support right from them. Perhaps, these are the only ways to get assistance since the platform offers no customer support individually.
In the meantime, Wix features a committed support team, while the community or forums don’t stand out with activity.
As already mentioned, WordPress doesn’t offer customer support to its users since it’s an open-source platform. When you pay for an extension or a theme, creators will mostly involve support in the cost, yet it’s always limited to the scope of their product.
Another option is to hire a WP developer or an agency with a support contract. Surely, this will be expensive, but it will provide you with one-on-one support and a high level of guidance through the site construction process, which you won’t encounter with Wix.
As for Wix, the company offers a huge support staff of responsible and knowledgeable specialists across all their packages. The support is available via phone, live chat, and email. Furthermore, in more expensive plans, VIP Support becomes available. It allows you to skip the line and get solutions to your problems or questions upon their rise.
Wix also features a comprehensive Help Center – a large library of video tutorials and articles presented in 16 languages.
Both Wix and WordPress are giants of the website-building industry for a solid reason. And yet, self-hosted WP is undeniably a more flexible, more powerful, and the better-established option of the two. It comes with thousands of themes and plugins – everything you may need for creating a powerful and professional website regardless of your business niche and size.
However, this doesn’t mean WordPress is the right choice for any project or user. For instance, if you don’t have any technical skills or can’t afford to hire a developer, the hosted solution Wix will be a better choice.