Both WordPress and Wix offer excellent and easy-to-manage solutions for building a website. WordPress powers 75 million websites and Wix hosts an astounding 160 million websites.
We’ll break down the benefits of Wix vs. WordPress to outline the main differences and what you can expect with each.
As you evaluate website builders, you should consider a few major areas of concern for building a website:
- Design options and customizations available
- Plugins and applications to power advanced functions
- Required maintenance and upkeep
- Whether you’re planning to host a blog
- Customer support options
- eCommerce capabilities, if needed
- Search engine optimization
Don’t just pick a website builder based on what you know from friends or other business owners. Take time to evaluate your needs and then each builder’s capabilities to make an informed decision. Take a look at how each platform measures up in these important capabilities.
Wix dates back to 2006 when it launched as a simple website builder. Within 3 years, it grew to 1 million users and became a publicly-traded company in 2013.
The platform features a simple drag-and-drop editor, which makes it simple to create small websites. With hundreds of free templates, you can also customize your website with ease. If you don’t want the hassle of choosing a hosting site and a website builder, Wix can do it all for you with custom domain purchasing and hosting.
WordPress dates back to 2003 as an open-source community, meaning that developers could add themes, plugins and more to the platform to expand its usefulness. Originally, WordPress was more for bloggers than for professional websites for small businesses.
As website demand grew and WordPress capabilities expanded, the platform grew in popularity for websites of all sizes. In 2008, WordPress expanded its capabilities through WooCommerce to add eCommerce capabilities. Just like Wix, you can purchase a domain and hosting directly through WordPress so that you have fewer logins to manage.
Which One is Easier to Use?
Wix and WordPress make it simple for beginners to create a website without developer assistance.
Wix uses a drag-and-drop interface so you can select elements to add to your site such as a menu, image or form.
Some aspects of getting the look and feel you want means researching and downloading plugins and learning how to use those plugins.
WordPress offers a breadth of capability, but for beginners, Wix offers an easier-to-use platform that will allow you to get started quickly with a basic website.
Designs, Themes and Customization
The look of your website remains an important factor in choosing the best website for your needs. Both WordPress and Wix feature a library of premade templates to choose from.
Wix gives you more than 500 options. All Wix templates look great on devices of all sizes. They’re also all written in HTML5, which means they run on modern design and technology. Browse templates based on your industry or business type to find the one that works best for you.
Switching between Wix templates can prove challenging. Once you’ve selected a template, input your design elements and content, you can’t just refit this content to a different template. To change templates, you have to start back at the beginning with your website.
WordPress also has an extensive library of free and paid themes. Free themes offer limited support and most get designed and added to the community by other developers. Customize your templates in WordPress and further update the style of the template with Plugin options.
In this category, WordPress tends to win out with thousands of templates to choose from. Switching between themes is simple in WordPress so you can test and retest what design resonates best with your target audience.
Plugins and Apps: Who Offers More Options?
Plugins from WordPress and apps from Wix provide additional functionality to your website. These are often from 3rd parties that offer seamless integration to outside software through your website, such as extensions for Salesforce, Mailchimp or Google Analytics.
With Wix, you have about 200 apps to add to your website’s functionality. Some apps offer free versions with light capabilities that you can upgrade for a fee. The apps are limited to those that Wix develops based on customer input and requests.
In contrast, WordPress has more than 58,000 plugins to enhance your website. Nearly every capability you can imagine has a plugin or a few plugins to make it a reality.
Website builders constantly add to their list of extensions to improve your website functionality. However, because WordPress is open source and has tons of developers adding to it regularly, it’s more inclusive than Wix’s apps.
How Much Maintenance is Required?
To keep your website operating at its best, you’ll need to be prepared to run regular updates. In this category, Wix really shines.
Wix uses a team of in-house technical experts to keep your website updated. You won’t have to worry about downloading or deploying software changes or security patches to your site. For individuals who aren’t especially knowledgeable about technology, this will be an immense benefit.
On the other hand, WordPress leaves you to complete these updates on your own. When new versions of WordPress come out, you’ll need to make sure your plugins are compatible before updating.
When you update your plugins, you’ll need to review your website’s functionality to make sure it’s still functioning as you would expect. Failing to do these updates could leave you vulnerable to security issues. Some WordPress hosting platforms provide this service to you as part of their hosting package to help you stay up to date.
Which is Best for Blogging?
Blogging is a popular reason people create websites. If you blog as part of your website, you should know which website builder is best for this use. Both Wix and WordPress provide blogging capabilities.
Wix includes all basic blogging elements — archives, tags, categories, photos and videos but doesn’t have a native commenting system.
You won’t be able to backdate posts, use featured images or create private articles. When writing your articles, you’ll be using a plain text editor instead of the drag-and-drop editor you use for all other web pages.
Because WordPress was founded as a blogging platform it offers extensive capabilities. It comes with a native commenting system — the Gutenberg editor and all the possible functions you could ever hope for. Plus, plugins can give you even more value for your blog to expand its capabilities.
Which Offers the Best Support?
Both Wix and WordPress provide in-depth online communities to answer most questions you have. But if you need to talk to someone about your issue, you’ll find a large difference between the website builders.
The open-source community of WordPress gives it extensive customization options. However, because so much of the technology on WordPress comes from outside developers, the support leaves something to be desired. On the other hand, Wix maintains control of all its assets, meaning that it’s easier for it to support the many templates and plugins.
For Wix, you can reach English callback support 24/7. So fill out a form with your question or issue and a technician will call you back. Support in other languages offers different hours for support.
WordPress relies on its communities to answer questions and provide tech support for themes and Plugins. You won’t be able to reach a person on a phone unless you have WordPress support built into a hosting plan.
How is eCommerce Handled?
Wix and WordPress have free and paid tools for handling eCommerce.
You’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan called WixStores to add eCommerce capabilities. Additionally, you’ll be limited to accepting payment only through PayPal or Authorize.net when operating an eCommerce site through Wix. Though some apps open up additional payment options through other gateways, these apps have monthly fees associated with them.
WooCommerce is the WordPress eCommerce platform. You can get Plugins to power the sale of both physical and digital goods. You can sell digital items like eBooks, subscriptions, events and more.
WordPress wins out with its eCommerce functionality due to its flexibility and extensive Plugin options to customize the experience.
Does One Offer You an Edge with SEO?
When it comes to SEO, there’s not really a competitive edge to Wix vs. WordPress. Both have reliable extensions that enable you to customize your page titles, meta descriptions and more to optimize your website.
Site Booster on Wix offers the most robust and useful app to power SEO. However, you have options when it comes to apps to power your SEO based on your needs and SEO know-how.
WordPress users tend to favor Yoast because it’s extremely user-friendly. It allows you to manage metadata, redirects and internal linking with ease.
But when it comes down to it, the end result is equal whether you go with Wix or WordPress as long as you understand SEO tactics and strategies.
Is One More Secure than the Other?
With paid plans, both Wix and WordPress offer good security. However, because WordPress is open source, you have to watch out for themes and plugins with poorly written code or outdated code.
If you don’t know what you’re doing or fail to keep your WordPress website updated, you could end up susceptible to hackers or malicious website visitors. Those with little technology skills who choose to build a website with WordPress should choose a hosting plan with support services or work with a developer who understands WordPress security.
Wix controls the overall experience and updates your website with security patches regularly.
Which One is More Cost-Effective?
The total cost of ownership for your website is important. While both Wix and WordPress offer free options, make sure you know what you’re paying for.
The free Wix version has advertisements at the top and bottom of your website and you cannot use a custom domain name. You won’t be able to use add-ons either, which means you can’t engage in important activities like tracking website visits through Google Analytics or setting up eCommerce capabilities.
As you evaluate Wix paid plans, make sure to look at storage capabilities and bandwidth. This will affect your site’s performance. Prices range from $14 to $39 a month for a standard website based on your needs. eCommerce capabilities cost more.
You can create an entirely customized website in WordPress for free. But don’t forget, you’ll still need to purchase a domain name and hosting for your site. Plus, you might consider purchasing a paid theme and plugins to make your website look and function the way you want it to. Pricing for WordPress is extremely flexible and for those with technology skills, it’s an inexpensive way to set up a completely custom website.
Choosing the Best Website Builder
Ultimately, it comes down to your website-building skills and know-how when determining whether Wix vs. WordPress is better for you.
Those with no website experience should likely go with Wix thanks to its simple editor and customer support capabilities. Just know you’ll need to be prepared to pay for a monthly plan.
Individuals with broader website skills or in-house technology teams can benefit from the extensive customization options in WordPress. You’ll also enjoy the advantage of a completely free WordPress experience.