Wix vs WordPress: Who wins the website wars?

Not sure if you should build your website with Wix or Wordpress? We compare both platforms across a variety of categories to help you choose wisely.
Nov 3, 2020 • 12 minute read
Ruchi Bhargava @RuchiBhargava1
Technical Co-pilot
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Should you build a website with Wix or Wordpress?

Once upon a time, building a website meant learning how to code. It wasn't just one language either, you needed to learn HTML, CSS, Javascript amongst others before you could publicize your business on the internet. 

Cut to 2020, and the situation has changed drastically. Now you can build just about any website without knowing a single line of code.

When it comes to website builders, the one name that crops up in every discussion is WordPress. WordPress pioneered the website building game and it's still considered the leader. But it's by no means the only option.

Enter Wix.

Wix is a WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) website builder that allows you to create websites using a drag-and-drop interface. An entirely codeless experience, Wix empowered any anyone to create stunning websites within minutes.

So which one should you choose? Is Wix going to fulfill all your needs when it comes to website building? Or is WordPress a the better option? In this post, we'll compare the two platforms across a range of categories.

What's the primary difference between Wordpress and Wix?

Before going into the specifics, let's cover a general overview of the major difference between the two platforms. 

Wix is a website builder that uses a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows users to create websites. This makes it perfect for people who have little to no experience in coding.

Also, another advantage of using Wix is that it's fast. Your website gets built as you see it, and this is what's behind the WYSIWYG principle. There's no need to know what's behind the scenes: you can simply drag and drop the components and assemble the website as you see fit.

WordPress, on the other hand, is a much more experienced player when it comes to website building. Launched way back in 2003, the platform was initially targeted towards the blogging crowd.

However, it soon bloomed into a full-blown, open-source content management system (CMS) that allowed users to build and host websites that were incredibly powerful and looked stunning. 

Well, now that we have the basics cleared, let's compare the two on the basis of a few essential parameters. If you don't have the time to read this entire article, here is a quick summary of the pros and cons of each platform:

WordPress pros:

  • Ease of use.

  • Greater customizability.

  • Larger number of plugins

Wordpress cons:

  • External hosting required.

  • Lack of inherent security features.

Wix pros

  • Ease of use.

  • Secure.

  • Clear pricing and internal hosting.

Wix cons:

  • Lower number of apps.

  • Less flexible.

Wix vs Wordpress: Pricing

WIx pricing 

Wix splits its pricing into two primary tiers, generic website and business and commerce website. The difference between the two is the ability to accept payments. Only the business and commerce plans facilitate online payments for both ecommerce stores and business services. 

If you're strapped for cash the good news is that Wix offers a free plan. It does come with some heavy limitations though, here is an overview of Wix's free plan features.

Wix free plan features

Branded subdomain

Your choice of domain name comes appended to a Wix subdomain like so:

username.wixsite.com/siteaddress

While this isn't too bad of an arrangement, if your site address is long, your entire URL will seem too overwhelming to customers. But if you are just funneling traffic to your website via paid marketing campaigns the length of your URL isn't an issue because visitors are not required to remember it. 

Wix ads

All of your visitors will know you created a website with Wix because your website will display ads that try to convert them into Wix customers. 

Limited storage and bandwidth

You are only limited to 500MB of storage and 500MB of bandwidth. This should be enough for a simple display website, but if you want to use high definition images, videos or offer file downloads, you will quickly max out your limit.

Cannot process online payments

You cannot process online payments with Wix's free plan. If you theoretically process payments over the phone by calling your leads, but who is likely to trust such a process?

Google analytics is not included

This is a shame because without Google analytics, you'll never know whether your marketing efforts are beneficial or going to waste. 

Now let's step up to the premium platform and investigate the features of Wix's paid plans

If the primary purpose of your website is to display information and not process payments, Wix offers 4 different payment plans.

Combo plan - $10 /month

This is the minimal plan that removes Wix ads. You can also start using a custom domain with at least this subscription so no more messy subdomain URL,

The combo plan offers 2GB of bandwidth and 3GB of storage which is a nice jump from 500MB but still very limited. The combo plan is, therefore, best suited for simple personal websites that are not too media heavy. This is a great plan for blogging websites that rely on the power of words rather than photos and videos for impact. 

If you do want to upload a high definition video you are limited to only 30min, which is more than enough for a single explainer video on your home page. 

Unlimited plan - $14 /month

The most prominent feature of this plan is unlimited bandwidth. Bandwidth is the measure of the amount of data that servers can transmit to users during peak periods. If your hosting plan has a limited bandwidth, your website will load slowly during peak periods. So if you want to ensure your conversions are not impeded by traffic limitations, choose the unlimited plan.

The offered storage jumps to 10GB on the unlimited plan with a 1 hour of high definition video upload limit. 

Because of the unlimited bandwidth, this plan is a good choice if you plan to implement a sales funnel into your website. 

Pro plan - $19 /month

Wix claims that this is the best value plan for display websites. It comes with everything offered in the unlimited plan which includes unlimited bandwidth, custom domain name and all Wix ads removed. The additions include 20 GB of storage, 2 hours of HD videos uploads and an events calendar.

The events calendar feature allows you to integrate out calendars so that all of your scheduled events are automatically published onto your website. A great feature  if you host webinars or speaking engagements. 

You also get to $50 credit to spend on a professional logo. The caveat is that you need to design the logo yourself through Wix's logo designer. The $50 credit will allow you to download the logo in a high definition format and give you full commercial rights to use it.

If you're not the creative type, you can simply hire a freelance graphic designer to do it for you.

VIP plan - $27 /month

The VIP plan essentially comes with everything offered in the Pro plan with addition of priority response and VIP support. So basically you're paying an extra $17 a month to get your support queries resolved faster. If tech makes you a bit nervous its good to have such a tight support network, but if you're pretty confident with web builders, it's an unnecessary premium.

Now let's move onto the ecommerce and business service plans. There are three different ones.

Business basic plan - $18 /month

This is the minimal plan for processing online payments. Here are some of the other key features:

  • Unlimited bandwidth

  • 20GB storage

  • Custom domain 

  • 5 hours of HD video uploads

  • Google analytics

You also get access to a visitors analytics dashboard which gives you an in depth overview of the locations and behaviors of your visitors. This information will help you identify the pages that perform the best, and the ones that require a bit more fluffing up to get traction. 

Business unlimited plan - $28 /month

The business unlimited plan comes with everything in the business basic plan with the following differences:

  • 35GB of storage 

  • 10 hours of HD video uploads

  • Professional logo download credit 

Business VIP plan - $38 /month

Again, with the VIP business plan all you;re really paying extra for is property support

Wordpress pricing 

The pricing for wordpress isn't exactly straight forward because you need to organize hosting and a domain name yourself which all cost money. So while wordpress platform itself is free setting up a Wordpress website isn't and the final price depends on the hosting provider and domain name provider you choose.

That being said, let's try to break down the confusion with some tangible options.

Godaddy offers one of the best solutions with dedicated Wordpress packages that come with everything you need under the one price tag. This includes domain name registration, hosting, an SSL certificate and even malware scans.

Godaddy offers four different plants. We've outlined them below along with their key differentiators.

Basic plan - $6.50 per month 

  • 30GB storage

  • Enough bandwidth for 25K monthly visitors 

  • Free domain

  • Website backup protection

Delux plan - $9.95 per month 

  • 74GB storage

  • Enough bandwidth for 100K monthly visitors 

  • Free domain

  • Website backup protection

Ultimate plan - $13.95 per month 

  • Unlimited storage

  • Unlimited bandwidth 

  • Free domain

  • Free SSL certificate

  • Website backup protection

Ecommerce plan - $24.95 per month 

  • Unlimited storage

  • Unlimited bandwidth 

  • Free domain

  • Free SSL certificate

  • Website backup protection

  • No transaction fees

  • Unlimited products 

  • Bookings and appointment scheduling

  • Real time shipping rates. 

Wix vs Wordpress: Ease of use

You do not need any coding experience to use either Wix or WordPress. That being said, there is a learning curve for both, as we shall soon see.

Let's tackle Wix first. A simple enough interface, wix.com requires you to create a free account and sign-in. Once you're logged onto the platform, you'll have to answer some basic questions about the website you need.

This is where Wix makes things super easier for you. Using an artificially intelligent website builder, the platform can take your entered information and create the website itself. All you have to do is make the necessary tweaks. Alternatively, you can even choose a template and start the design process from there.

The Wix environment is user-friendly, and anyone can build a website using the drag-and-drop components. You can even resize the elements as per your preference.

Wordpress is an open-source platform, the CMS offers you the flexibility to create websites using the WYSIWYG principle.

WordPress comes with the option to include a number of customizable themes and plugins that make the website creation process easier. And although it doesn't come with a built-in page builder, you can easily install one as a plugin (more on that shorlty).

Wix vs Wordpress design flexibility and customization

Now let's take a look at the Customization options. Wix offers you hundreds of pre-defined templates to choose from. These are responsive designs fit for any device and have pretty attractive layouts.

Once your template is selected its a simple matter of editing the elements or dragging and dropping in new elements to build out your website. The Youtube adverts are 100% correct, it really does take a few minutes to create a fully functional and stunning website with Wix. 

If you're not entirely pleased with the aesthetics of your Wix theme, you can edit its appearance by tinkering with the CSS or HTML coding. If you are not a skilled web developer, you can simply hire a freelancer to help you with this. 

Wix also provides a gateway to add custom Javascript into your web pages, so you can integrate custom tracking codes.

Another great design feature that was recently deployed is Wix Code. Wix code allows you to store all of your website assets into different databases. 

Your web pages will then refer to these data tables to learn of the specific assets they should display. This makes designing and updating your Wix website super easy and super fast. 

Wix code also allows you to create dynamic pages that display unique information depending on user activity. 

Here is an overview of building a Wix website with Wix Code:

Because Wordpress is a content management system, it is designed to integrate with multiple third party solutions called plugins, so even though the Wordpress platform is not a drag and drop website builder, you can turn it into one by downloading and installing a special web design plugin. 

There are many drag and drop web design plugins you can install on Wordpress, Elementor is one of the most popular choices. 

Follow this tutorial to learn how to install Elementor and also deisgn a stunning website with it. 

Wix vs Wordpress: Third party add-ons

Third party add-ons are software integrations that add functionality to your website. They provide a means of upgrading your Wix or Wordpress website.

Wix offers over 200 apps that can be accessed from its app market. While some are free, most require payment (one-time or monthly) for integration. Each app is secure, vetted by the Wix system, and provides the required functionality for your site.

WordPress, on the other hand, boasts close to 50,000 plugins. Most of them are free and allow you to add basic functionality to your websites such as SEO and social media. For more sophisticated functions, you'll need to opt for paid plugins.

However, since WordPress is an open-source platform, plugins can be coded and deployed by anyone. Which means there's an inherent security risk to using WordPress plugins that don't come from verified sources.

What sets Wordpress apart is its limitless upgradability. When upgrading a Wix website you are limited to the available apps. Even though Wix does provide a small window of Javascript implementation, its nowhere near enough to create a complete custom functions.

With help of a savvy web developer, you can implement custom functions to create a completely personalised website that looks and functions exactly the way you like it. if you want a website that's completely personalized from head to toe, Wordpress completely blows Wix out of the water. 

Wix vs Wordpress: Ecommerce features

Wix has 100 templates with built in ecommerce functionality.

And while these are customizable and good enough for a smaller range of products, they're certainly not flexible enough to accommodate full-blown ecommerce functionality.

WordPress, on the other hand, excels when it comes to ecommerce. The WooCommerce plugin, which is free, allows users to set up sophisticated e-commerce features. From inventory management to product pages, WordPress gives users the option to run a fully-functional e-commerce business.

Even though Woocommerce is a free plugin, it does require some skills to set up. If you are not particularly technical, you can hire a freelancer to do it for you. This will also give you the peace of mind of knowing every element of your store is set up for success. 

Here is a tutorial for setting up Woocommece on Wordpress:

Wix vs Wordpress: Blogging & SEO functionality

When it comes to blogging and SEO functionality, WordPress wins hands down. Wix offers limited blogging options and basic SEO services in the form of apps such as Rabbit SEO and SiteBooster.

WordPress, as we know, was primarily built as a blogging platform. Which means it has blogging features integrated within it that makes the process smoother. Plus, for SEO, WordPress has plugins such as RankMath, and the famous YoastSeo, which make the optimization process seamless.

Wix vs Wordpress: Security and maintenance features

With Wix, maintenance and security is a breeze. Since Wix hosts your website on their own domain, this means you don't have to worry about any security and maintenance related issues. Wix will automatically update your website and integrate the required security features, such as SSL.

WordPress is also a secure platform, however, with open source themes and plugins, there always remains the risk of security infractions. 

Hence, it's advised that you check all plugins and themes to ensure they have been vetted and updated by the provider. Also, with WordPress, you also have to make sure that your hosting provider takes care of security features.

Wix vs Wordpress: Customer support

If you're setting up a website, then it's important to know that customer support is one of the major factors that you must take into consideration. Both Wix and WordPress provide sufficient help and support, though the process differs significantly.

When it comes to customer support, Wix excels in this respect. The platform has multiple resources that help you to maintain your website, including detailed FAQs. With the paid plans, you can even opt to talk with an expert over the phone.

With WordPress, the support comes more from the community. There are numerous resources available on the web that deal with WordPress websites. 

For specific queries, you can always use social media groups or WordPress community websites to ask peers and get your queries answered. Either way, with WordPress, you're sure to get your problem solved one way or the other.

Final words

If you're not planning on upgrading the functionality of your website later down the road than Wix is a great option for you. Your website will be designed and up and running in a matter of minutes, and if you do decide to slightly power up your website, the upgrade option in Wix's app store will be sufficient for you. 

If, however, you want more control over your entire website design, and you want the option of upgrading your website alongside your growing business requirements, Wordpress is definitely a better choice.

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