Wix vs WordPress: Which is better?
Wix and WordPress are both popular tools for building a website. Although they bear many similarities, the platforms have very different approaches to website building. If you have heard of Wix, it's probably due to the use of massive movie stars in advertising campaigns. It is a website builder with plenty of design templates, hosting, and technical support. WordPress offers an open-source Content Management System (CMS) that is highly customizable for creating more extensive, more complex websites.
In 2020, WordPress powered 35% of the internet (over 60% if you take the CMS only element), with over 400 million people visiting WordPress sites each month. Wix was the most searched for website builder in 2020 at 6.8 million searches, almost five times that of Squarespace, the nearest competitor in the website builder market.
This article looks at Wix and WordPress, highlighting each platform's pros and cons to work out which is the right choice for your site.
The difference between a website builder (Wix) and CMS (WordPress)
A website builder like Wix provides ready-made templates where you can drag-and-drop elements onto the page and have your site launched in next to no time. A CMS like WordPress will let you customize themes using HTML or CSS, giving a more comprehensive range of templates, plugins, and flexibility.
Wix users can start with a free plan to test the functionality. However, you can't remove ads from your site with the free plan, and must use a custom domain name such as yoursite.wix.com/yoursitename. For anyone looking to generate traffic or promote their site, sticking with the free plan isn't viable in the long run. There are four paid plans that increase in price as you add features.
The Combo plan allows you to remove ads and get your own domain name at only $14 per month (at the time of writing). The other plans give access to tools such as email marketing, databases, and plugins. While simple, Wix's functionalities are perfect for personal users or freelancers on a budget. It also has a Wix App Market offering free and paid plugins to build additional functionality into your website, including chatbots, event bookings, and e-commerce stores).
The open-source WordPress CMS is free to download and use. Unlike website builders, you will need to pay for separate hosting, domain names, themes, and plugins. A typical WordPress site can cost up to $200 upfront and between $10 and $40 per month after that. However, you will get access to a vast amount of functionality that is not available via Wix and not need to spend more on third-party apps.
Wix vs. WordPress usability
The Wix website builder is perfect for beginners. You can select a template that includes a desktop and mobile-optimized layout, edit the text and images, and drag-and-drop elements onto the page.
Everything is achievable with only a few clicks. However, once you start working with a Wix template, you cannot switch the design once it is live. Also, if you start playing around with the layouts, the mobile optimization can quickly become a bit of a mess. While you get an optimized site, customizing it can be challenging.
A WordPress site is very flexible in terms of design, features, and functionality. The difference here is that you need some coding knowledge, such as HTML, to make the experience easier. Unlike Wix, WordPress does not operate with a drag-and-drop approach, and you will need to save each element as you edit it to see what it looks like. For beginners, this can be a daunting task, but for intermediate to advanced website developers, there are lots of exciting features.
Wix and WordPress each have SEO tools to help with marketing your website. Wix SEO is done via a wizard, whereas WordPress will require coding knowledge but allows you to be more intricate with your strategy.
Customization and plugins
There are over 800 templates to choose from with a Wix site that are free with your plan. They will be pre-populated with content that you can simply edit and publish to build a site on the fly. WordPress offers over 200 themes, 5,000 third-party made themes, and the option to work with developers on a custom theme. There is almost no limit to what you could do with a WordPress site.
The Wix App Market offers over 250 apps that can integrate with your website. A lot of these are free, but some niche apps incur an additional cost. Every app can be added with just one click.
As WordPress is open-source, there are over 50,000 plugins available, as any developer has access to create them. The downside is that they don't always work as expected, so you need to be careful of what you install. However, the range of applications makes customization via WordPress just about endless for more advanced developers.
Wix and WordPress are both excellent platforms for building a website. If you don't have a vast amount of technical experience in website building and want a platform that is easy to use, Wix is the right choice for you. Small startups, freelancers, and sole traders that mainly offer services rather than products will find Wix a perfect fit for their needs.
However, WordPress offers better scalability for those who are more comfortable working with code and need more flexibility and power for their site. Larger businesses with e-commerce stores or enterprises that require more customization should opt for WordPress, where Wix functionality is more limited.
If you are unsure which is the right choice for you, cmoCre8 helps businesses transition into a digital marketplace, recommending the right platform for your individual needs. As an experienced digital consultancy, the cmore8 team has the extensive market knowledge to plan and implement the tools you need to succeed.