The times could not be better for people who want to create a modern & beautiful website with little to absolutely no knowledge of web development. WordPress and Wix offer excellent solutions, a nearly unlimited number of different designs, millions of features, and a room for customization. Founded respectively in 2003 and 2006, they’re the biggest players in the land of website building. Which one should you choose? In this article, we’ll cover WordPress vs. Wix differences and show you the pros and cons of both tools.
Background Check: WordPress vs. Wix
Before we head into comparing these two platforms, let’s take a step back and see how they were created.
WordPress started as a tool to build and host blogs, but the creators didn’t want to stop evolving it. For years, they’ve been pushing their product forward, working in an open-source model, and allowing thousands of contributors to pitch in. It’s grown to become the most popular solution for building any website, including eCommerce, business websites, portfolios, social networks, and more. In 2020, WordPress powers nearly 40% of all the sites on the Internet, with giants like Microsoft, The Rolling Stones, and the official White House website among its clients.
Meanwhile, Wix was established merely to create websites without experience in coding or design. However, it wasn’t what the founders had in mind at first. In the middle of constructing a website for another start-up idea, Wix’s creators realized how difficult and frustrating this process could be, so they’ve decided to help millions of people by simplifying it. Wix was born out of a genuine need. Today, it has over 180 million users and grows every day to provide the latest technology available.
Self-Hosting WordPress vs. Wix’s Premium Plans
The cost is undoubtedly one of the crucial concerns when choosing the best website building platform. Especially if you’re just starting and working on a small or nonexistent budget. Both WordPress and Wix are great (and cheaper!) alternatives to outsourcing the creation of your website to a professional web development company. Still, like everything in life - they don’t come for free.
Your budget plans for building, hosting, and maintaining your website will differ depending on your decision. So, it’s time for Round One: The Cost! Let’s clash WordPress vs. Wix on the boxing ring.
WordPress Is Free… But Where’s The Catch?
WordPress is open-source software that requires no fee. Installing it on your website is entirely free of charge, but-
You knew there’s a ‘but’ coming, right?
While WordPress itself is indeed free, you need to put it somewhere. It’s kind of like a free cable TV: you’ll need a TV to enjoy it. WordPress assumes you provide your own domain name and web hosting. Finding the right provider can take time, not to mention that it’s an extra task on your list and makes you dependent on some third-party company.
Wondering what the price of a web hosting service is? Basic plans can cost you as little as $3 per month. Premium, managed services can come up to $29. There’s arguably a room for flexibility here, so how much you pay will significantly depend on how much you actually need.
What’s more, if you want to customize your website further or use specific, third-party plugins and themes, your bill will get even higher. Luckily, there are also tons of them available for free, so there’s definitely an option to balance your spendings.
Wix: A Home For Everyone?
Meanwhile, Wix advertises itself as a great, free tool to showcase your business, create logos, and build an online store. However, a lot of functionalities are locked behind a paywall, and the costless option has two major downsides. It won’t give you the ability to use a custom domain name - you’ll have to stick with username.wix.com/sitename - and it’ll show Wix ads on the top and bottom of your website.
To top that, free Wix doesn’t include necessary add-ons such as eCommerce or Google Analytics. To enhance your experience of the website and give your users an ad-free product, you’ll need to upgrade your Wix account and buy a premium plan. There’s plenty to choose from, ranging from $4.50 to $24.50 per month, depending on your requirements.
Wix has one more paid feature - hiring a Wix expert to assist you. The range of service impacts the price, but if you plan smart, chances are you’ll reap the benefits for a long time. Actually, I’ll elaborate on the paid customization in a bit so make sure to read on and find out the details of this service!
Visual Editor of WordPress vs. Wix ADI
WordPress and Wix are good places to start if you want to build a website, but you have no experience with web design & development. They both offer instinctive solutions that make you feel confident with each step and every decision.
WordPress’s Customization Tools
One of WordPress’s best features is a WYSIWYG environment. The acronym meaning ‘What You See Is What You Get’ literally stands for the tool working like Microsoft Word or other text editors - you don’t need to insert any code into your post to edit it. A visual editor lets you customize your text in a comfortable, intuitive way. The same goes for theme customizer.
However, Visual Editor is just a part of WordPress’s tools you need to get familiar with. To get full control of your site’s appearance, you’ll have to learn how to understand navigation menus and operate multiple mechanisms. By default, the platform doesn’t include a built-in drag & drop page builder, but this doesn’t mean you can’t get one from a third-party provider!
The good news is that plenty of themes and plugins actually make customization easier! You may spend some time tracking the best ones for your product but have no fear - the WordPress community is large enough to provide you with all the help you need. Tutorials, beginner guides, and forums are there to help you get the expected result.
Wix’s Lego-like Website Builder
Once you establish your Wix website, customizing it is a piece of cake. Its powerful drag & drop interface lets you add sections to each page, and the range of options available meets plenty of business needs. ECommerce users can include a separate pricing section, booking, trip routes, and multiple types of forms.
Adding and customizing the content is arguably more natural and requires absolutely no knowledge; there’s also zero learning curve for total beginners so that you can establish your website within minutes. But, if you really are in a rush - or don’t like working with white canvas - Wix offers a real treat.
The ADI tool lets you build a website by answering a short questionnaire about your business benchmarks and goals. After you’re done, you’ll get a design based on your inquiries in moments - however, its features will be limited compared to a traditional Editor tool.
Plugins & Themes
Both WordPress and Wix are strong players when it comes to plugins and themes. The platforms act as a canvas for hundreds of extra features that can elevate your website and take it to the next level.
WordPress Has No Boundaries
WordPress has been known to offer a nearly unlimited number of themes and plugins, mostly thanks to its open-source concept. Third-party companies present you with a sky full of opportunities - I think I won’t exaggerate if I say there’s a theme and a plugin for everyone out there. WordPress’s code is flexible and open for customization, so it really is possible to get a product genuinely tailored to your needs.
On the other hand, searching for a perfect solution can take a long time, perhaps even some trial & error. The deeper you dig, the higher the chance of putting your website at risk - WordPress community is full of outdated, faulty plugins that are a gateway for hackers. Not to mention that some products were created with the intention of malware from the very start.
Got Your Mind Set on Wix?
Wix also comes with over 200 apps (both free and paid) that add functionalities to your website. Some of them are created by third-party developers as well. While the choice is limited, it covers the most coveted features. Users also have access to premium content, usually to be paid in a monthly subscription model.
Aside from Wix’s limited plugins and themes library, this platform has one major downside when it comes to themes: once you set on one of them, you can’t go back. The built-in tools allow for customization, but the user has to stay within the selected framework.
Going Beyond WordPress & Wix
WordPress, as well as Wix, is a high starting point, but as I’ve mentioned already, the world of matching content goes way beyond these platforms. It probably won’t be long before you decide to look out for premium, curated, tailored content, and professional help.
Once again - the WordPress community is enormous. On top of contributors building WordPress’s own content, there’s an abundance of third-party companies offering their services either free of charge or for a price. Over the years, the team has produced an entire army of WordPress professionals experienced with developing custom solutions. In 2020, it’s not hard to find experts to assist you or create the whole product from scratch.
Like I said in the cost section, Wix offers a service called Wix Pro help, in which you can ask for a no-commitment quote for improving selected features and hire a freelance, experienced designer that meets your expectations and your budget. They’ll help you create a unique website and save you the time of clicking through the options yourself. You can also hire a third-party expert from other sources.
Stepping Aside Your Mother Platform
There can be a time when you’ll feel like your current service provider - let it be WordPress or Wix - is not enough anymore. Perhaps a new player will show up on the ring soon, tempting you to migrate your website.
That’s where Wix’s biggest drawback lies - if you ever decide to move away from the platform, you’ll have to go through a complicated process that’ll eat up some time and can lead to bugs or even bigger disasters.
WordPress vs. Wix: Which One Should I Choose?
Time for the referee’s final whistle! Unlike a real boxing match, this one doesn’t end with a knockout. Both Wix and WordPress offer great solutions to those interested in showcasing their business without learning how to code or design. However, it seems that they meet different expectations, and each of these platforms suits a particular type of client better than the other.
If we were to sum up all this and quickly compare both services in all categories mentioned, it’s clear that:
- WordPress wins in terms of what you can get for free, but you need to come up with a separate domain name and hosting plan, whereas Wix handles that for you;
- Wix’s Editor is undoubtedly easier and more intuitive than WordPress’s solutions, and it doesn’t require any training. Still, when compared to WordPress’s library of plugins and themes, Wix’s offers are somewhat limited.
- WordPress community is broader and offers more assistance and customization than Wix. What’s more, it’s significantly tougher to migrate a Wix website than a WordPress one.
WordPress vs. Wix - which gives you more bang for your buck?
If you can’t wait to show the world what you’ve been up to and want to establish a website quickly and efficiently, Wix will help you build the product you can start sharing right away. It’s arguably the fastest way to get the job done and is very easy to navigate through.
WordPress, on the other hand, gives you more control over your website and will support any changes, pivots, and evolutions your product goes through. Since the tool is open-sourced, the chances of finding a solution that’s best tailored to your needs are relatively higher. The third-party domain name and hosting service also means that you’re less dependent on WordPress itself, and you’ll find it easier to migrate your website (if you’ll ever decide to step away from using it).
In essence, Wix can be described as a sandbox for those at the beginning of their business journey. It’s easy and fun but has its limits. Meanwhile, WordPress is a real construction site where you can spread your wings and let your imagination run wild with powerful tools and features.