Wix vs WordPress – A Step by Step Comparison

WordPress and Wix are both very popular platforms for creating websites. As per the stats, WordPress powers almost 30% of websites on the internet, while on the other hand, Wix claims to serve over 3 million customers. Clearly, both platforms are very popular. But which one is the right choice for you? Which platform is best for beginners? In this post, I will compare both platforms on various parameters. I will compare both platforms on:

  1. Pricing and Cost
  2. Customer Support
  3. Hosting Security and On going maintenance
  4. Blogging Capabilities
  5. Visual Editing and Ease of Use
  6. SEO Capabilities

I hope this post will help you in choosing the correct platform for your business. One important thing to note is that I am comparing both platforms from a newbies point of view.

1. Pricing and ongoing costs.

Pricing is a major factor when choosing a platform for building websites. Earlier the price for building a good looking websites used to be prohibitive for small business. But with platforms like WIX and WordPress, the website building is now within the reach of every small business.

WIX:

WIX has a free plan but it is not useful for business websites. The free plan does not allow you to connect you domain to the website so your website will have address like abcd.wixsite.com. The free plan also inserts WIX ads on the website.  So WIX free plan is practically of no use if you want to build a professional website. You will have to go with one of the premium plans.

In my opinion , you will need to go with the Unlimited plan for best results. The combo plan limits you to bandwidth of 2 GB per month. If you have an image rich website, then 2 GB will be consumed in no time. So it is best to go with unlimited plan. It costs 14 USD / month. So yearly cost will be 168 USD / Year.  The unlimited plan also offers you Google Adwords Ad vouchers worth 300 USD. All premium plans offer free domain for upto 1 year. However I believe this should NOT be a deciding factor. I would suggest you to book your domain from a third party registrar so that you maintain the control of your domain.

The premium plan does not include any third party app costs which you decide to install later on. You will need to pay additional fee for the apps. Some apps are free while some have paid plans.

So the cost for Wix website is 168 USD per year plus 12 USD per year for the domain.

WordPress:

WordPress core is free but if you want to build and publish your website , then you will need to invest in a good hosting provider. The WordPress Ecosystem is quite mature and you can find good shared hosting providers for quite low prices. For example there are shared hosting providers like SiteGround which offer yearly hosting for as low as 50 USD per year.  If your budget permits you can go for managed hosting providers like Flywheel, WpEngine etc. However if you are just starting out, then managed hosting provider can be prohibitively expensive. So if you are a beginner or just starting out, I would recommend that you go with a shared hosting provider like SiteGround.

Now that you have paid for hosting, you will need to invest in a premium theme. In general Premium themes cost between 30 USD to 100 USD. You might also need to invest in some premium plugins and services. For example Backup plugins , Security Plugins, cache plugins, form builder plugins etc.  It is not mandatory to purchase premium plugins to run your websites but oftentimes it can be a good idea to invest in premium plugins just for support and regular updates. If you are on a budget, you can use free plugins for handling backups , basic security and contact forms.  So costing for WordPress includes

Hosting –  50 USD per Year (plus 12 USD per year for domain)

Premium Themes – 50-100 USD one time

Premium Plugins (Optional) – 50-200 USD

Verdict:

There is NO free lunch if you want to build a professional looking online presence. Building website of WIX will cost around 180 usd per year.  Building website on wordpress will cost a similar amount if you plan to go with free plugins.

Even though you cannot have a website for free, the good news is that platforms like Wix and WordPress have made beautiful online presence within reach of every small business. Costing wise both platforms are somewhat equal. The cost difference wont be more than 20-30 percent.

Both WIX and WordPress are quite affordable.

2. Customer Support

If you are building a website, then sooner or later you will need to look for support. Good customer support can make the website building process enjoyable, similarly bad customer support can result in frustration , wastage of time and even abandonment.

WordPress:

WordPress has a very detailed knowledge base and their user guides are in depth and easy to follow. They make it very easy to get started with. In case your question is not covered by user guide or you need human help then you can post in their forums.  The official support forum is moderated by volunteers and you will get support from the community. Since it is managed by community, the support experience can be hit or miss. You might get instant help , or your question might be ignored completely.  There is a very high chance that the question you have had been answered in the forum already. In that case you need to know how to properly search forums to get answers. Another place to get support for your wordpress issues is your hosting company. If you choose a hosting company which has a knowledgeable WordPress staff, then you can direct your questions to them and they can help you out.

There is a thriving community around wordpress. Since WordPress is open source, you will finds dozens of blogs which teach and write about WordPress issues.  There are also wordpress websites which are focused on providing learning resources for wordpress. However, the amount of choice available can be a double edged sword. If you are a beginner the amount of information available can be confusing. You will need to invest time in learning how to search for right tutorials and how to separate correct solutions from the wrong one.  Another factor to take into account is that each wordpress install is different. So if a solution worked for someone else, then it is not necessary that it will work for you also. Your hosting environment, wordpress version etc might be different.  One way to counter information overload is to hire a wordpress developer. However you must learn how to properly find, interview and evaluate the developer.

WIX:

With WIX, there is only one official support channel. They have a rich knowledge base and their user guides are detailed and easy to follow. If you require human help then you can search for solution on forums, In case you dont find your answer on the forums, you can raise a ticket and get in touch with WIX support team.  The customer support is handled by WIX team, which means you get streamlined support. On the other hand it means that community around wix is not as robust as wordpress.

For example there are popular blogs, there are course creators. However with WIX majority of education is done via the company itself. The community around wix is not as robust as wordpress. Now that is certainly great if you are looking for a choice. However choice can be a double edged sword.  Too many options can be empowering or confusing depending upon where you stand  and what are your objectives. If you are a business owner who wants to quickly build an online presence, then the streamlined support offered by WIX can be godsend.

Verdict:

WordPress has a robust user community. The community is knowledgeable and helpful. It is great if you are looking for a choice.  However choice can be a double edged sword.  Too many options can be empowering or confusing depending upon where you stand  and what are your objectives.

With WIX, the support is handled by the company which means it is streamlined and quick. If you are a business owner who wants to quickly build an online presence, then the streamlined support offered by WIX can be godsend.

Both WordPress and WIX are well supported platforms.

If you are business owner looking to quickly build a website, then go with WIX as the support will be more streamlined. However if you are a developer or want to get into web development, then choose wordpress.

3. Hosting, Security and On-Going Maintenance.

WordPress:

WordPress is always under active development. The core development team regularly releases updates to WordPress which introduces new features and resolves bugs.  However, the onus is on the website maintainer to ensure that you regularly update wordpress core and update the installed themes and plugins.  Updates can be applied automatically and the process is generally smooth. However, sometimes updates can break your site, which means you will have to rollback to the previous stable version.  So you will either need to learn how to maintain WordPress or you will need to hire someone to take care of it for you.

WordPress core is highly secure and is regularly updated. If any security hole is discovered, it is patched immediately.  The major threat to WordPress security comes from 2 factors

  • Running an outdated version of the WordPress Core
  • Running an outdated version of themes /  plugins. Using poorly coded plugins.

The wordpress repo hosts around 2000 plugins.  Which there are a lot of high-quality plugins out there, it is inevitable that there will be plugins which are poorly maintained and have bad security practices.  So even if you have an up to date wordpress core and an out of date plugin, the website can still be hacked.

There are online services like Sucuri which can help you in securing your WordPress website. They scan your website at regular interval and help you in malware cleanups. However, it is a paid service and the cheapest plan starts at 199 USD per year.

There are also a lot of services which help with website backups. You may go with plugins like Updraftplus or with services like blog-vault.

Another option is to use a managed wordpress hosting provider like Wpengine, Flywheel or Kinsta. Managed hosting provider take care Basic Security, Backups and caching, which ought to be more than enough for a business website. Managed WordPress hosts are expensive as compared to shared hosts.  However they also handle a lot of things which earlier had to be handled manually.

WIX:

WIX, on the other hand, is hosted platform. In simple words, it means that the hosting of the wix website builder is managed by the engineering team of the WIX company.  The updates and security patches  to platforms are automatically applied in the background. With wordpress you are responsible for updating it, while WIX the whole update process is automatic and invisible.  This can be a huge factor if you are not technically savvy or dont have time to learn basic maintenance task. Automatic updates and backups simply means you have one less thing to worry about and more time to focus on running your business.

however, the wordpress ecosystem has a lot of plugins which have poor security practices. There are third party solutions which can help in keeping your wordpress website secure, however if requires you to have knowledge

Verdict –

Even though WordPress has a mature ecosystem of hosting providers, security providers and backup service providers, the cost and time commitment required to manage all this can be huge.  With wordpress, the website maintainer is in charge of updating the wordpress and installed plugin and themes. So you have to be constantly monitoring the health of your website or it runs the risk of getting hacked. You may also outsource the website maintenance part, but that would result in additional ongoing costs.

WIX , on the other hand is a cloud hosted platform. All the hosting, security and updates are automatically handled for you. This can be HUGE advantage if you are a small business owner l and plan to maintain the website yourself.

WIX is much easier to maintain. So if you are a non techie business owners and dont have time to learn website maintenance , then you must go with WIX.

4. Blogging:

WordPress:

WordPress started as a blogging platform and then morphed into a full CMS which can be used to build websites and basic web applications. It is natural that the blogging capabilities of wordpress are more robust and mature. It has various capabilities like categories, rich media capabilities, tags, archives etc.  The plugin ecosystem is rich and you can find plugins for various use cases. For example you can find SEO plugins, broken links checker plugins, commenting plugins, user gravatar plugins, subscribe to comment plugins etc. A lot of business even use wordpress for building user communities.

If you are building a website and you are sure that blogging / content marketing will play a critical part in your business then you must go with wordpress. If you plan to invest heavily in content marketing then chances are you will need to hire developers to tweak the platform. This is where the flexibility and control offered by wordpress can be a deciding factor. In fact I myself use WordPress for running Simple Website Guide.

WIX:

WIX started its life as a basic website builder and then added blogging capabilities later on. So content management capabilities are are add-on and not a core.

In order to add a blog to your site, you need to install the blog app first. This blog app is official app built by wix. Once you add the app, you can start creating blog posts. It has all basic but essential features like categories, url editor , image , gallery embed, archive pages etc. However if you want advanced blogging features, then wordpress wins hands down.  If you plan to use use basic blogging features, then WIX can be sufficient for you.

Verdict:

This is an area where WordPress wins hands down.  If you are planning to use blogging / content marketing for generating business , and you are sure that blogging will be a foundational aspect for your business then you must go with wordpress. In fact I use wordpress for Simple Website Guide.

If you want basic blogging capabilities then go with WIX.  Infact 95% of small business will never have blogging as a core aspect of their business. For example if you are running a bakery or a restaurant, then chances are you won’t be invest heavily in a content marketing/ blogging plan. In such cases, basic blogging capabilities of Wix are sufficient and you can easily go with WIX.

If you plan to use content marketing for generating business then go with WordPress. If you want a website with a basic blog, then you can go with WIX.   It has basic blogging capabilities which should be sufficient for majority of small business owners.

5. Visual Editing & Ease of Use

If you are a beginner, then the ability to visually create and edit web pages can be the make or break factor.

WordPress

Earlier wordpress had no way to visually edit the web pages. It came with a post editor , menu creator and widgets. However there was no easy way to visually alter the layout of a web page. Recently things have started changing and they are changing very fast.

There are various page builder plugin and page builder themes which allow for a simple web page editing experience. The most popular page builder plugins are Elementor, Beaver Builder, Site Origin , Wpbakery. Most important page builder them are Divi, Astra, OceanWp.   Creating websites with wordpress has now become a visual process and page editing is now visual; and very intuitive. Even though page builders make editing a breeze, there is a slight learning curve. If you use a builder plugin like Elementor, then you need to find a compatible theme. If you plan to go with a page builder theme then you need to learn how to use the theme itself. Having said that page builders are very rich, powerful and intuitive. They do not require a steep learning curve.

WIX:

Wix on the other hand  started its life as a visual website builder, so it is natural that it has a rich and easy visual web page editor. Every element on the page can be altered and customized directly from the page itself. For example, you can add hover effects, alt text, add images , change font , font size , line spacing etc directly from the web page. Various elements are directly accessible from the visual editor.  The Visual Editor is rich in functionality and intuitive. Even though WIX supports visual editing out of the box , it has a slight learning curve. But it will not require more than a few days to master.

Verdict: 

WordPress now has powerful page building capability. Earlier you had to modify the code alter the page layout but not anymore. Every thing can be done through page builders. Even though wordpress page builder are as powerful and flexible, they do require a learning curve, you need to be comfortable with install plugins, choosing a compatible themes and have a basic familiarity with wordpress in general.

With WIX, you get visual editing from the start. WIX is a Visual Website builder at its heart and its page editing capabilities are robust and intuitive. It wont be wrong to say the website builders like WIX have inspired a lot of WordPress developers to create page builder solutions for WordPress.

If you are a beginner and visual page editing is important to you, then Wix is a better choice. 

6. SEO

Before we analyze the SEO capabilities of both the platforms, it is essential that we understand the difference between onsite SEO and offsite SEO.

On-Site SEO covers things like search engine friendly urls, sitemap generation capability, ability to edit title tags and meta tags , ability to add alt text to images, compressing image size, etc. Off-site SEO is something which requires you to invest in building backlinks, utilize PR, invest in Social Media promotion etc.

Choice of a website builder affects On-Site SEO only. Off-site SEO is independent of the website builder platform.  So in this section I will discuss about the Onsite SEO capabilities of WIX and WordPress

WordPress:

WordPress started its life as a blogging platform. SEO is a crucial factor for blogging success, so it is natural that SEO is something which has always been a focus of WordPress CMS.  WordPress is now a mature platform with extensive onsite seo capabilities.  It has friendly url structures, ability to edit title tags and meta tags, support for alt text in images, category based archives etc.  It covers all the basics.

For advanced SEO, there is a huge ecosystem of plugin providers and service providers. Plugins like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, Seo Optimized IMages, Broken Link Checker etc come into the picture.  For example, it is possible to create a custom sitemap and control which content type is added to it. It is also possible to create video sitemaps, image sitemaps etc. Clearly WordPress is super flexible when it comes to optimizing it for search results.

WordPress has most of the SEO capabilities out of box. However there is always room for improvement. This is where third party plugins like Yoast SEO , All IN one SEO, SEO Optimized Image text, Broken Link Chekers etc come into picture.  You also get to control the output of your sitemaps. For example you can have sitemaps for media, you can have sitemaps for news etc.

WIX:

WIX, on the other hand, has a bad reputation in the search engine community. It is due to the fact that the earlier version of wix created flash based websites. The url structure was terrible and it lacked basic features like image alt text, .title tag eidting and meta description editing. There is was no way to create search engine friendly sitemaps.  In short, it was a disaster.

However fast forward to today and WIX supports almost all important features required for on-site optimizations.  They have done away with the flash platform. The urls are now human readable and search engine friendly. It is possible to edit title tags and meta description. You can now generate a sitemap and even exclude pages to be included in the sitemaps. WIX now even has support for the category in the page urls. It is now also possible to generate category based archive pages for the blog.

Even though WIX SEO is not as advanced and flexible as WordPress. WIX SEO is no longer a roadblock. Wix does have some deficiencies but it has workable SEO capabilities. A majority of small business will find Wix SEo sufficient for their use case.

Verdict:

WordPress has always been a search-friendly platform. The core platform covers all the bascis and you can always find a plugin to handle advanced use cases. WordPress is truly an SEO professional’s dream.

WIX SEO was a disaster but not anymore. Wix has caught up fast and it now supports alsmost all the basic on-site seo features.  So if you are a small business owner, WIX SEO is NOT a roadblock anymore.

WordPress is better for SEO. Wix is not as advanced as wordpress but it’s seo features are satisfactory.  A lot of small business are not reliant on seo for business. So if you want to rank for less competitive words, then you can go ahead with WIX. However if you plan to compete in competitive industries, then you must go with WordPress. 

Conclusion and Recommendation

Both WIX and WordPress are popular, well supported and affordable platforms. The decision to use a platform really boils down to your specific use case.

If you are a beginner and you want to create a website quickly, then I would suggest you to go with WIX.  With WIX, you don’t need to think about hosting, maintenance and security. The support you get from the company is quick and to the point. The features available with WIX are sufficient for the majority of the small business websites. It is easy to learn, easy to get started with and is affordable. In fact you can get a website up and running in matters of hours.

If you are technically savvy and prefer flexibility and control then you should go with WordPress. If you love to learn then go with wordpress. Even if you are not technically savvy, but have access to technical talent then also you can go with wordpress.

It has a huge community a great collection of themes and plugins to choose from. Since you have access to the source code, you can customize it the way you want. If you are not happy with your hosting provider, you can switch to a different one. The website data is always under your control.  The blogging capabilities are unparalleled. If you plan to heavily make use of content marketing then you must choose wordpress over wix.  You can even build powerful solutions like classified websites, coupon websites etc with wordpress.

For example, I am utilizing WordPress to build Website Booklet. I plan to write a lot of blog posts covering website building and website builders. I also have years of experience in developing wordpress plugins and themes. In all those years I have developed an understanding of how to use and optimize WordPress.  I am also making use of a managed wordpress hosting provider so that I dont need to spend time on security and backups. I also have access to a technical team which helps me in customizing the website.  Even though I use wordpress myself, I will not recommend it to someone who is just starting out.

So If I have to summarize, I will say if you are a beginner and looking for a quick way to build a business website, just go with WIX. But if you want control of your data, flexibility to add functionality, plan to invest in content marketing and don’t mind paying for technical help, then go with WordPress.

What do you think? Do you have any questions? Ask in the comments section and I will get back to you.

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