Planning to build your first website?
Whether it’s for a personal blog or a small eCommerce venture, your first step is to pick a platform. There is a wide variety of options but two of the most popular are Wix and WordPress.
They seem similar at first glance but if you dig in deeper you’ll discover an ocean of differences. Your choice can affect your success, from how much traffic you get to daily engagements and sales.
Can’t decide between Wix vs WordPress? Check out our guide below to learn all their similarities and differences. Understanding what each platform offers should help you make a better choice:
Let’s get down to the basics of Wix vs WordPress. What are they and how are they different from each other?
Wix is a unified site builder. You simply have to log in, choose a plan, and then use the drag-and-drop builder to make a site. Everything you need is within the dashboard, from themes to special apps.
WordPress is the exact opposite. It’s an open-source tool meaning you have to build your site from scratch, either through coding or a mix of coding and third-party plugins and themes.
You can think of Wix as a coloring book. The outlines are already there and you simply have to fill in the colors. WordPress is a blank sheet of paper but you get all kinds of pens, crayons, paint, and other tools at your disposal.
Looking at them this way, Wix might seem like a great option for individuals simply looking for a “beginner’s blog” environment. WordPress can seem daunting but if you get used to its complexity you’ll discover there’s a lot more you can do.
At first glance, it might seem like Wix is the more affordable option. They have different plans which you can opt to pay either monthly or yearly. Their most recommended plan costs roughly $12 a month and this offers you a domain, 10 GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, and no Wix ads displayed on your site.
WordPress, on the other hand, is free to start. How much you spend is entirely in your hands.
It’s up to you to find cheaper domain options and hosting plans. You could find discount vouchers for HostGator, GoDaddy, and other providers.
Wix offers an in-house site builder but for WordPress, you have to either use free themes or buy professional themes and then augment them with paid plugins and some in-house coding.
2. Ease of Use
There’s no doubt that Wix is an easier and more approachable platform. You can build a Wix site with absolutely no coding experience. The only issue is that your site won’t be as complex as you’d like or fully customized.
WordPress does require you to invest time and effort. There’s a learning curve but it isn’t impossible. Fortunately, there is a plethora of tutorial videos and guides, like this course here, to help you master WordPress.
You can even turn WordPress into an intuitive site builder with the right plugin. One of the most popular ones is Divi. This plugin lets you build a WordPress site with no coding knowledge required.
3. Plugin Support
Wix is not an open-source platform. All of the additional apps on the Wix market come from the in-house team. This means they’re all quality-tested but that won’t help much given how few the choices are.
WordPress thrives on third-party support. You can find dozens, if not hundreds, of different themes and plugins. You can customize your site in any shape or form as you please.
Do you want to A/B split test a new layout? You better hope Wix has an app for that. For WordPress, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll find several third-party plugins to achieve that goal.
WordPress again takes the crown in terms of design and layout options. This is because you can build a site from scratch using the platform. You can also settle for any of the thousands of third-party themes and the free themes provided by WordPress.
Want a mix of using drag-and-drop site builders and behind-the-scenes coding? There are plugins for that, like Elementor and Divi.
Heading over to Wix, they do provide more than 500 templates. You can use their site builder to customize whichever theme you pick but that’s as far as customization options go.
You’re also locked into the theme you pick. You can’t change it once you’ve assigned one to your site. In WordPress, it’s quite easy to export your site to a whole new theme or design.
5. eCommerce Options
If you want to sell on your site, the WordPress vs Wix debate leans heavily on WordPress’ favor.
You can run an online store on Wix but you’re limited to the in-house eCommerce plan, which is only available to paid members. They offer a few apps to customize your shop but these come with separate payment plans. You’re also limited to accepting payments solely through Authorize.net and PayPal.
With WordPress, the sky is the limit. Using plugins like WooCommerce and Shopify, you can run an online exactly the way you want.
For example, you can show items in your inventory on Facebook and Pinterest, linking them to your WordPress site and database. You can then use Shopify’s features so that people can purchase your items on Pinterest instead of routing them to your site. This makes it easier and faster for your audience.
6. Search Engine Optimization
Whether you want to run a simple blog or if you intend to power a small business, SEO is going to be a priority. You do want visitors and visibility, right? SEO is all about driving traffic into your site to increase conversions and profits.
In regards to this, how well does Wix stand up?
Surprisingly, Wix can hold up against WordPress when it comes to SEO but only to a certain degree. Wix has an app called Site Booster and this functions similarly to the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. They’re both paid tools but they offer a lot in terms of optimizing your pages and content.
However, WordPress goes a few steps beyond. You can find tools and plugins for more complex analytics, keyword spying on your competitors, and more.
Wix vs WordPress: Verdict
When choosing between Wix vs WordPress, it all boils down to your budget and purpose. If you’re on a tight budget and you only plan to build a basic, personal blog or beginner’s store, then Wix can offer a lot.
If you want a robust website that you can customize to the brim and run all sorts of tools and plugins, then WordPress is the better option. It can cost more and you need to learn how to use it, but WordPress offers a more fulfilling experience in the long run.