In this article, we’ll compare WordPress Vs Wix to help you make an informed decision on which is the best platform for you. Specifically, we’ll evaluate how they compare in terms of getting started, pricing, design and customization, and features.
Here’s what we cover
- What is Wix?
- What is WordPress.org (self-hosted)?
- Differences between Wix Vs WordPress?
- WordPress Vs Wix – Getting started
- WordPress Vs Wix – Pricing
- WordPress Vs Wix – Design and customization
- WordPress Vs Wix – Features
- WordPress Vs Wix – Summary
- How to choose a website or blogging platform
- When is Wix a better option than WordPress?
- When is WordPress a better option than Wix?
What is Wix?
Wix is a commercial Content Management System. It is a service offered by an organization with the goal of making web creation available to everyone. While it might have some negative connotations, specifically in regards to its current commercial application, Wix is solid platform and continues to evolve.
Wix has been around since 2006, and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Wix is built around the idea of its users needing zero coding experience to easily build and launch their own attractive websites or blogs.
All the fringe requirements are taken care of by them, and all you need to do is signup, add your content, and launch your site. There is a free versions (restrictions apply), or you can subscribe to various premium packages that we will discuss later on.
What is WordPress.org (self-hosted)?
WordPress is open-source software, meaning that the technology is not owned by anyone, and is free to use by the general population. You can use, extend, and improve WordPress for both personal and commercial purposes. WordPress has been around since 2003, and was born from the desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing tool.
There are two ways that you can make use of WordPress, a WordPress hosted option (wordpress.com), or a self-hosted option (wordpress.org). The hosted version of WordPress is more limited, and for the purpose of this article we’ll explore the self-hosted option of WordPress.
You can download the WordPress software from WordPress.org, and install it on your domain via your hosting provider. Many quality hosting providers like bluehost provide a one-click WordPress installation feature that takes care of this for you. To learn how to do this, check out one of our free tutorials, or review our what is web hosting article.
What are the main differences between Wix and WordPress?
You might have noticed some differences in the purpose and scope of both platforms. Now we want to get into the inner-workings to show you what it will actually be like to work with each platform.
- To do this we will be looking at the following factors:
- WordPress Vs Wix – Getting started
- WordPress Vs Wix – Pricing
- WordPress Vs Wix – Design and customization
- WordPress Vs Wix – Features
WordPress Vs Wix – Getting started
Getting started with Wix
There is not much to say here. Getting started with Wix is really, really easy. All you need to do is head over to wix.com and create a new account. You can use your Facebook or Google account to speed up the process.
You then choose the kind of website you want from some preset categories like business, Blog, or Portfolio & CV. You can then choose to either manually design and create the website through their easy drag-and-drop user interface, or let their Wix ADI (an Artificial Intelligence website designer) do it for you after asking you some simple questions.
You then simply choose your theme, and start editing! Although you may feel a little overwhelmed by the range of customization options at first, you will soon get used to it, and become grateful for all the control as you get more confident.
Getting started with WordPress
Setting up WordPress is relatively straight forward, however it’s not as easy as with Wix. There are a few extra steps you need to go through, however we have created a number of step by step tutorials to help you through this. These are for beginners, and feature either one of our preferred hosting providers that leverage a one-click WordPress install feature, or managed hosting through WP Engine who take care of installing WordPress for you.
If you’re a little more technically savvy, you can opt to install WordPress manually via your hosting solution or on your local environment. To do this head over to WordPress.org – downloads, and download the latest version of WordPress.
To install WordPress itself is not a difficult process. After downloading the package, you have to extract it first. Look for a readme.html file for extra help and information. Then you can run the “famous 5-minute” installation from the index.html file. Afterward, it’s an easy enough process to download new themes or page builders. If you are brave and skilled you can even start building sites on your own.
This round undoubtedly goes to Wix. WordPress will take some elbow grease to get going, while Wix requires little more than a sign-up process.
WordPress Vs Wix – Pricing
Wix pricing structure
Wix’s pricing structure is pretty straightforward and we have included an image below for your convenience. As you can see, to use Wix for free (your site will be a subdomain like: username.wixsite.com/mysite). To use your domain on the Wix platform, you will need to display Wix branded ads on all your pages. This might not be ideal if you are concerned about the user experience.
From the $8 plan onwards you are completely free from these ads and can register a new top-level domain with Wix. In our opinion (and by popularity), the Unlimited plan is the best value for money at $12.50 p/m. It comes with your own domain, unlimited bandwidth, and the form builder. If you need a store you will need to upgrade to the eCommerce plan for $16.50 p/m.
WordPress pricing structure
With WordPress, it’s not as straightforward as that. You will need to find your own hosting, and domain providers. If you plan on taking credit card payments on your site (not via PayPal, etc), you will also need to purchase an SSL certificate. There are many sites online that provide these services (including your hosting provider), so it shouldn’t be too hard.
Another consideration is if you want to get premium WordPress themes, plugins, and widgets. If you plan on taking your website or blog seriously, and want to create an amazing site, they are worth the investment. Premium themes cost $60-$200 on average. Check out our WordPress theme review articles for inspo.
The average cost should amount to around $12 p/m with some being yearly installments. If you want a full-blown layout of the costs and some reputable service providers read our How much does it cost to make a website with WordPress? article.
Wix only comes out slightly on top. It comes down to what you prefer. WordPress might come with a higher upfront payment to get the best quality themes and plugins, but you can technically pay less per month. On the other hand, Wix has no upfront lump sum, and all your payments are made with one vendor.
WordPress Vs Wix – Design and customization
Wix design and customization
When you create a site with Wix you have to select a template. You should take your time and select one carefully because you cannot change it afterwards. Wix comes with over 500 templates that cover a range of categories, such as Design, Business, eCommerce, Blog, Portfolio & CV, and more.
Designing and customizing a theme through Wix is very easy. They make full use of an intuitive drag and drop interface. You can move elements around, change the typography, swap colors, and pretty much anything else. There is absolutely no web design or development experience necessary. The only thing you need is a good eye and some free time.
WordPress design and customization
The amount of freedom available to you when you want to design or customize your WordPress site is endless. There are over a 1,000 free themes available on the WordPress repository, and even though they are free they are held to strict standards. Furthermore, there are many WordPress theme providers and marketplaces where you can purchase premium WordPress themes, which is what we would recommend.
Premium themes usually range from $50-$200 which may seem pricey. However, when you take all the benefits into account, such as premium level support, enhanced security and SEO, widgets and extra functionality, it seems much more worthwhile.
Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t come with an out of the box drag and drop designer. Although, you can find plugins or themes that give you this capability. Some page builders, like Divi, allow you to build amazing websites with intense features quickly and easily.
It’s a K.O win for WordPress in this round. With such a small pool of choices, you can bet a lot of others have already scooped up the best designs on Wix, which means you won’t have a unique-looking blog or website. WordPress has an unbeatable range of choices, and is just too much to contend with.
WordPress Vs Wix – Features
As a service Wix comes with some pretty good features that can be very handy to you and your site. Most of these features provide even more ways for you to have a high-quality site without any technical know-how.
- Wix Arena – A place where you can find Wix experts to help you improve your site/blog.
- SEO Wiz – A tool that is tailored towards your specific site to improve its search rankings
- Share It – Makes better social media sharing and integration possible.
- Wix FAQ & support – Find the information or help you need on any Wix related obstacle.
- Wix Bookings – Easy and powerful way to manage client information and handle bookings.
- Wix Chat – It’s become a trend for sites to run chat popups for their clients to reach out, now you can have it too.
- Wix drag and drop editor – A powerful, user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface to design and customize your page.
- Art store – Made to showcase your creative endeavours.
- Wix ADI – An AI made to optimally design your page after asking you questions related to your site.
- Lightbox – A popup with enhanced features. It can be used as an image gallery or as a welcome message.
- Wix Video – Their very own video player.
To a large extent WordPress features and functionality depend on the theme and plugins you choose. As WordPress is an open-source development tool, you can literally do anything if you have the development skills. Different themes come with different widgets and design elements that can add an extra dimension to your site or blog. The almost unlimited amount of plugins make sure that you can find and include anything you can think of.
- Out of the box WordPress provides the following:
- Built-in comments
- Easy to publish content
- Publishing tools
- Any multimedia
- User access management
- Media management
- Ownership of your data
- W3C standards compliant
- Freedom of use
- A very large, active community
- Easy to use themes
- Extensible through plugins
- Custom content types
- Latest script libraries
- Application framework
A narrow win for WordPress. Let’s not forget many different people have been working on this open-source software for years. That means a lot of innovation. Yet, if you just want the basic tools at your fingertips, with as little work as possible, then Wix is the way to go.
WordPress Vs Wix – Summary
By now you should’ve noticed how different these two options are. Saying that one is better than the other, would be narrow-minded at best, and reckless at worst. Both have their own merits depending on your needs, finances, and skills.
Overall, we have to say that WordPress is the better solution in the long run. You will need to broaden your knowledge and responsibilities, but the control and options it gives you going forward is unparalleled. This doesn’t mean that Wix isn’t a solid option, and for many it will be the better option. However, if you’re building a business, brand, or a community, and see yourself in it for the long run, then go with WordPress.
How to choose a website or blogging platform – final considerations
We’ve outlined all the nitty gritty details above, let’s look at some of the more subjective considerations. These include things like who’s responsible for updates, keeping the site live, security, mobility, and support.
The abridged version, is to think of Wix as service provider, and WordPress (self-hosted) as open-source software that you can use to create your own website or blog.
Who is responsible for keeping your site running?
Wix provides everything to host and run your blog online. This means that you won’t need to concern yourself with any technical aspects of running a website like hosting, or updates, but you will need to pay for the privilege. You will also have less control over your website or blog, which may actually be a plus for some.
WordPress is very different. WordPress is open-source software, meaning that no single organization owns, or controls it. Once you download the software and install it on your domain via your hosting provider, you can do with it what you want, for as long as you want. Although that means more responsibility on your shoulders, you (or your hosting provider) have full control over whether your site stays online. This may be too much responsibility for some, however managed WordPress hosting solutions like WP Engine, can eliminate this burden.
Can I move my website or blog?
Chances are that as your website or blog goes from strength to strength, you will not only want to expand and exercise more control over it, but also take its upkeep into your own hands. There are ways to move your Wix site to WordPress but it isn’t easy and you will need a little bit of technical know-how.
- There are 3 main ways to do this:
- Manually copy over your content
- Export your content to WordPress via RSS feed
- A paid service or pay-to-use plugin like CMS2CMS
We highly recommend you read this article by Elegant Themes, How to Convert Wix to WordPress: A Complete Guide to All Your Options, for information on what you should do before, during, and after installation.
WordPress makes full and rigorous use of industry standards which makes it extremely easy to host, and almost all hosting providers support WordPress sites. This also makes it very easy to move between content management systems. You even get plugins like All-in-One WP Migration. Read more on their official documentation.
Level of Support
Because Wix is a service you can expect dedicated and premium support. Just look at the Wix support area on the Wix site. You can rest assured that any questions you have will be answered by a Wix representative.
If you go with WordPress there is no such thing and you will have to rely on the community, the WordPress FAQ, and WordPress developers who offer their services. However, there are a number of premium WordPress theme providers and marketplaces who include support with their WordPress themes, so you won’t be on your own.
You remember that we said going with Wix takes a lot of responsibility off your shoulders? Security might just be the biggest one. Your security will completely be in the hands of Wix, which is especially useful when it comes to eCommerce.
WordPress is not responsible at all for the security of your site. You should review the security measures of the theme you choose, implement your own security, and invest in security plugins and add-ons. A report by Sucuri where they inspected 11 000 hacked sites found that 75% of the sites ran on the WordPress platform, mostly because of people not taking these security measures. This shouldn’t scare you away from WordPress, to learn more, check out our article on how to secure your WordPress website or blog.
When is Wix a better option than WordPress?
- You either don’t have any development experience, or don’t want to develop a site by yourself.
- You just want to be responsible for, and work on the design and content of your site and not much else.
- You want great, dedicated support.
When is WordPress a better option than Wix?
- You aren’t frightened by the idea of installing different frameworks and the WordPress platform (or you’re happy to follow a step by step tutorial)
- You have small budget (about $100-150) to use upfront to purchase premium themes and plugins, and setup your hosting.
- You want a comprehensive solution that can be expanded and enhanced over time, at your own pace.