Wix vs WordPress: Which One Should You Choose
So you want to build a website or start a blog and you can’t decide between using Wix vs WordPress for your website builder? Well you should be happy you have so many great choices today. Not too long ago if you wanted to build your own website you either had to learn how to write code or else you had to pay a web developer a lot of money to create one for you. Not only that, but you were completely dependent on that web developer to maintain the website and make even minor changes to it for you. This in turn, caused you to incur even more long term costs of maintaining your website.
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With the advent of today’s highly intuitive and easy to use drag and drop website builders, those days are over. More frequently small business owners and bloggers are now able to easily create and maintain their own websites, blogs and even online shops using tools like Wix, WordPress, Weebly, Shopify, etc. But, no matter whether you are looking to start a blog or build a website for your business or any other reason, the choices of which website builder to choose can be overwhelming.
At Wage Booster we decided to try to take some of the guesswork out of it for you with a series of blog posts comparing each of these tools. Today we will compare two of the most popular Blog/Website building platforms available, Wix vs WordPress. If by chance you already know which platform you want to use, you can skip right to one of our step by step guides to start building your website or blog right away:
But if you still need some help deciding which platform to use for your project, then please read on. First, we will get started with some of the most basic topics of comparing Wix vs WordPress.
What Is Wix
Wix is an extremely beginner friendly, easy to use, drag and drop website builder. They have themes and templates for just about every type of business you can think of to help you get started building your website or blog in no time at all.
You can actually have a relatively simple website up and running in about 60 minutes of time with no prior web development experience. You don’t need any coding or technical skills at all to build a beautiful and professional looking website using Wix.
They have a free version of Wix that you can use to get started and try out their website builder. The free version is fine if you are just building your website for personal non-commercial but it will have Wix ads on your website and you don’t get to choose what your domain name is. If you are building a website or blog for a business then you can upgrade to a premium version for a very small monthly fee so that you can remove the Wix ads from your site and get all of the additional features available to premium users.
What Is WordPress
WordPress.org is an open source website building tool that is free for everyone to use. It is one of the most powerful content management systems ever built. It has an almost endless supply of themes and plugins for just about anything you can think of that you would want to incorporate into your website or blog. It is important to note when we refer to WordPress we are talking about WordPress.org and not WordPress.com.
What Is The Difference Between WordPress.org And WordPress.com
WordPress.com is a commercially available implementation of WordPress that allows you to build your website using WordPress. While they do have a free version available, it is highly limited and upgrades can be quite costly. Also, because they host your website, they have control and can place restrictions on what you can do with your website such as no selling ads on your website, no plugins or Google Analytics. You usually need to purchase one of their higher priced plans in order to remove these restrictions.
For these reasons, we would never recommend using WordPress.com. WordPress.org is the free open source website building platform. When we refer to WordPress here at Wage Booster, we are always talking about the free WordPress.org.
Now that you know at least a little bit about both Wix and WordPress we will cover some of the Pros and Cons of using each of them.
Pros of Using Wix to Build Your Website
- When it comes to Wix vs WordPress in terms of ease of use, Wix wins that battle. Wix is by far the easiest website building tool I have ever used. They have both an Artificial Design Interface (ADI) which can build your website for you in a matter of minutes just by asking you a few simple questions about your business or blog. But in addition to the ADI, they also have a full-blown website editor where you can choose a template and build your website from scratch using their easy to use drag and drop editor. You can even start with the ADI to get your initial website built quickly and then switch from the ADI to the full blown editor to finish any more advanced customizations you might want to do to your website later on. We cover all of this our Step By Step guide to building a website using Wix.
- Wix is free to get started. You can get full access to check out their ADI and Full Wix Editor and start building your website before you spend a penny. If you like your website or blog and are planning to use it for a business then you will want to upgrade to a premium plan so you can get your own domain name and remove the Wix ads. They have low cost premium plans starting at around $10/month. You can pay month to month or they will even throw in the domain as well as a few other premium apps for free if you sign up for a yearly plan.
- Wix premium plans include your web hosting. While it is true that WordPress.org is completely free for anyone to download and use, you will still need to have someplace to host your website. So, if you use WordPress you will need to obtain Web Hosting which will incur a separate fee. If you use Wix, the web hosting, access to their ADI and Website builder as well as available support for both is included in one low monthly fee. So when it comes to Wix vs WordPress in terms of cost, if you truly compare apples to apples then I would call it a draw.
- Wix will automatically create a mobile friendly version of your site for you. This is for people browsing on a smart phone or tablet. With over 50% of web traffic now on mobile devices it is critical to have a mobile friendly website. This is important both because it provides a good user experience for your website visitors, as well as because Google penalizes websites with poor mobile versions in their rankings. In WordPress, you don’t have to do much additional work to make your site mobile friendly, but you do need to research and make sure that you choose a theme that is inherently mobile friendly or your website won’t look good on a mobile device.
- Premium Support. If you build your website using Wix Premium, you get support for both your website and your Web Hosting all in one place. They are experts on the Wix platform and can provide support on any issue you have. If you use WordPress, you can get awesome support from a really good web host like Bluehost but they will only be supporting you for hosting issues, not issues with building your website. Also, each WordPress theme and plugin you use are developed by different sets of developers and provide different levels of support. So it can take longer to get an issue resolved or even figure out who you should contact for support.
Cons of Using Wix To Build Your Website
- At Wage Booster we always want to be totally transparent and honest with our readers so we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the cons of using Wix. The ease of use of the website builder also comes with the downside of having slightly less customization options than you will find with WordPress. Because it is drag and drop builder you can’t go straight to the HTML and edit the files the way you can with other website building tools. You can add custom HTML using a Wix app, but you don’t have complete control over the underlying code that your website is built on. To be honest that is probably not a feature you even want if you are just starting out but as you become more comfortable with maintaining your website it is possible you could run into some restrictions on what you can do with a Wix site. When it comes to Wix vs WordPress in terms of flexibility and scalability, WordPress wins easily.
- Your website also won’t be as easily portable to another web host. If for any reason you become unhappy with your Wix website hosting, it is more difficult to move to another web host since it is built on proprietary software. You still own the content of your website but you would have to either manually copy your content to a new website platform or else pay someone to do it for you. There are services out there, like CMS2CMS, who will do it for you at a fairly cheap price so there is no way it would ever be worth your time doing it all manually. But since WordPress is universal no matter which web host you use, you can move your content between web hosts more easily and at no additional cost if you ever become unhappy with your host at any time.
Pros of Using WordPress To Build Your Website
1. WordPress is completely customizable. Much of your website’s look and feel is easily managed through a series of themes and plugins that can easily be installed and removed as needed. Just about anything you can think of that you want to do with your website, there are probably already themes and plugins created to help you do it with ease. Many of these themes and plugins are available for free but some have features that are only available with paid/premium versions. While WordPress will likely take you a little longer to learn than Wix, you will rarely run into any limitations on what you can do to your website.
2. If at any time you are unhappy with your web host, you can move your website to a new web host or even to a dedicated server with relative ease and at a minimal cost.
3. Because it is so widely used there are tons of free themes and plug ins available for WordPress. Wix uses the concept of apps like plug ins and while they have a pretty large selection of apps available it is nothing compared to the number of plug ins you will find available for WordPress.
Cons of Using WordPress To Build Your Website
1. There is a bit steeper of a learning curve to building a WordPress website. WordPress is not terribly difficult to learn and there are hundreds of great tutorials available for free on the web. Just about anything you will want to do someone has probably already made a how to guide or video showing you exactly how to do it. But if you are a beginner to building websites, WordPress cannot match Wix when it comes to ease of use.
2. WordPress has some hidden costs. I always hear everyone say that WordPress is 100% free. And it is absolutely true that it is 100% free to download, install and use WordPress to build your website. However, you still need someplace to store your website files. You will incur web hosting costs plus the cost of any premium themes or premium plug ins you choose to add to your website. You can build a great website without any of these premium features but at a minimum you will need to pay for and manage your web hosting. So, you need to factor that in when comparing the cost of using WordPress vs the cost of a Wix premium plan.
So Who Really Wins the Wix vs WordPress Debate
Well, two years ago, if someone had asked me which website builder they should choose between Wix vs WordPress it would have been no contest. I would have recommended WordPress every time without even hearing the details of their project. Mostly because Wix used to not be as search engine friendly as WordPress. But Wix has since addressed their SEO issues. Wix even created an easy to use SEO wizard that you can run your website through to make sure that you have addressed any search engine optimization issues that might exist.
In the last few years, Wix has come such a long way and improved in just about every possible measurable feature we could compare to WordPress. They have improved so much that they have made it an extremely tough decision and I do believe that the correct answer now is that different tools are better for different types of websites.
So here is what I usually recommend when someone asks me which website builder they should use between Wix vs WordPress:
1. If you are new to website building or if you just need to build and maintain a fairly simple website for an established business or start a new blog and you want the absolute simplest and easiest to use drag and drop tool as well as have your web hosting all in one place, then you should choose Wix. Anyone that can turn on a computer can use Wix to build a Website or blog. If that is your choice you can use one of our easy to follow step by step guides:
2. If you are looking to build a slightly more complex website or blog, or if you have some reservations about some of the restrictions you might run into using Wix and you are willing to devote a little extra time up front to familiarizing yourself with how to use WordPress, then you should choose WordPress. If you have the extra time to spare then WordPress is almost always going to be the better solution for you. If you are concerned about the learning curve we have several tutorials devoted to using WordPress to build a website or start a blog. Here is one that can get you started today!
3. If you are looking to open an online store, you can certainly build an extremely robust ecommerce site with WordPress however Shopify has made it so easy that even being a WordPress guy I have to recommend Shopify for eCommerce solutions. You can follow this link to get started with Shopify today.
Well, that is it for our Wix vs WordPress review. We hope you found it informative and that it helped you decide which website builder to choose. If you enjoyed reading it, please like us on Facebook and please consider sharing this blog post on your favorite social media site using the buttons below. Please also consider joining our newsletter subscriber list so we can keep you updated on future additions to our website.