Ever since the launch of Wix there have been many debates on whether the site builder is better than WordPress. There are camps on both sides of the fence, each trying to prove that their choice is the best. Here at SWB, we believe that there are no clear winners and losers, because without specifying the user market and intended purposes, recommending anything is simply pointless.
In our Wix versus WordPress review we’re going to cover the benefits and downsides of each platform in simple terms, so that you can see that both Wix and WordPress are favorable options, but for different purposes. We’ll try to keep technicalities to a minimum and focus on unique features of each platform.
Important note: we’re going to discuss WordPress.org (not .com), which is a self-hosted CMS.
So let’s see which one is right for you, Wix or WordPress:
#1 Ease of Use
Wix. Wix has a visual, intuitive and user-friendly interface where you’ll be doing a lot of dragging, dropping and clicking. Wix makes it quick and painless to design and publish your site, even if you have no idea about how websites are being made.
Futhermore, in Summer 2016 Wix announced new revolutionary solution – Wix ADI (Wix Artificial Design intelligence), which is now available for the most part of website templates. Among them are Business, Blog, Portfolio&CV. From now you can choose between classic Wix Editor or ADI.
The forte of Wix is that it keeps things extremely easy regardless of the website creation stage you are in: whether you’re creating an account, adding a new blog post, changing the background on the homepage or connecting a custom domain – everything can be done with just a few clicks, thanks to the visual interface of Wix.
WordPress. Despite being the easiest open source CMS available, WordPress isn’t the easiest web publishing solution. It’s much more difficult to use than Wix, mainly because it doesn’t provide that streamlined workflow: with Wix you get everything (templates, hosting, widgets and more) with a single online account, and with WordPress you only get a CMS, so there’s definitely a steep learning curve for a beginner.
WordPress doesn’t take the visual approach, so coding may be required if any customization has to be made.
Wix vs WordPress. If you know how to use a mouse, you can certainly build a site with Wix: it’s easy, intuitive, fun and requires no training. With WordPress, at least a basic knowledge of HTML/CSS is required.
While Wix is updated automatically and comes with included hosting, WordPress users must find a web host themselves and update their software manually.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
There are also many extensions that you can integrate into your website – Wix has a collection of various free and paid add-ons called App Market. Here are some examples: Holiday badges (free), Comments (free/premium), Events Calendar (free/premium), Live Chat Room (free/premium), Customer reviews (free/premium) and more.
These applications are as easy to install and manage as the builder itself. Some are developed by Wix, others are provided by third-party developers. Let’s take a closer look at Wix’s in-house features:
eCommerce: multiple payment options, the ability to generate coupon codes, tax management, product options etc. Wix’s Commerce engine is designed for smaller shops.
Blogging: scheduled posts, featured posts, Facebook comments, blog archive and tag clouds.
Wix ShoutOut and Smart Actions. Your Wix website lets you easily gather information from your visitors as they interact with your site. All their info is automatically saved to the Contacts section in the dashboard.
You can use this info later to create Smart Actions by choosing triggers and assigning actions. For instance, you can set Smart Actions to invite new shoppers to redeem a coupon when a new user signs up to your newsletter.
Wix doesn’t open up the codes. They do have a ‘custom HTML’ widget, but they don’t provide full access to the site’s source code.
WordPress. WordPress started as a blogging platform, but quickly developed from this single purpose and became a versatile program for creating various websites, from portfolios to webstores. This is possible thanks to numerous plug-ins which can add any kind of functionality to your site. There are social plugins, commenting systems, SEO packs, safety plugins and much more.
WordPress vs Wix. Balancing ease of use with complexity is difficult, so usually, the easier the tool, the less flexible it is. But this rule doesn’t apply to Wix. Today Wix gives you near-perfect combination of flexibility and ease-of-use that is harder to reach with using WordPress CMS.
Wix. You can choose from hundreds of beautiful, fully-customizable templates in over 70 industry categories. There are also one-page templates (landing pages) and blank templates that define your future site’s structure but have no content in them.
Wix’s templates are undoubtedly beautiful, but there’s a significant drawback – users can’t switch templates midway through the editing process. All Wix templates are mobile-ready, and you can alter the mobile look of your site using Wix’s Mobile Editor.
WordPress. There are two places to find WordPress themes: the WordPress.org theme directory, which is the biggest and most official place to get a theme, and independent marketplaces and theme shops. There are free and paid themes.
Unlike Wix, WordPress doesn’t support WYSIWYG editing, so before attempting to edit a WordPress theme, you’ll have to learn to read code. You can switch WordPress themes anytime.
Wix vs WordPress. You can customize Wix’s themes in a WYSIWYG editing environment, but with WordPress, what you see is often not what you get – without having at least a basic knowledge of HTML/CSS, it will be almost impossible to get the desired look.
#4 Customer Support
Wix. Wix has a massive support center. There are over 262,000 topics posted in the official support forum, hundreds of video tutorials and walkthroughs, email support and also an entire education program – WixEd.
There are many prompts in the editor itself – nearly every editable element in the control panel comes with a help icon – just click it for more information.
WordPress. You’ll have no trouble finding WordPress experts – there’s a huge community of webmasters specializing in WordPress. But there’s no official support staff.
WordPress vs Wix. WordPress is widely used; you’ll find hundreds of blogs, communities and YouTube channels dedicated to this CMS, but there’s no direct email to call for help. Wix provides direct help and runs an extensive knowledgebase.
#5 Pricing Policy
Wix. Wix is a freemium site builder. You can create and publish an ad-supported website with a free account and it will remain so until you decide to upgrade your site. There are five paid versions: Connect domain ($4.50/mo), Combo ($8.50), Unlimited ($12.50), eCommerce ($16.50) and VIP ($24.50). These are discounted if you choose to pay annually.
WordPress. The CMS itself is free. But in order to get published you’ll need to purchase a hosting plan. Let’s do some math to help you estimate the cost of your WordPress site: hosting ($7-$12/mo) + theme (free/$20-$100, one time payment) + plugins (free/$20-$200, one time payment).
Wix vs WordPress. Wix plans cover hosting, themes and free extensions. But the price can go up if you need to install a paid application from the Wix app market. WordPress is free, and the cost will depend on how many plugins you need, your hosting provider, whether you need a premium theme and more.
You may also need to hire a developer if deep customization has to be made. So the total cost of your WordPress website may reach hundreds of dollars.
Wix vs WordPress: Conclusion
While WordPress seems to be more powerful than Wix, you’re still need to learn a lot of HTML/CSS to succeed with this CMS. If you’re willing to spend your time and make an effort, then WordPress is a smart decision. Note that WordPress requires constant maintenance, and things can get very technical, very quickly.
Wix, on the contrary, does all the heavy lifting for you, and all that’s required from your side is uploading your content and slight customizations. It’s easy, fun and effective.
Even if you need not a simple five-page blog or a landing page, but a powerful website or e-store, Wix will certainly handle it.