If you want to build a new website, then there are two exciting options that can be very appealing to first-time designers: Wix and WordPress.
There are several key points of comparison to look at in the Wix vs WordPress debate. Both offer free options. Both give you an easy way to get a website up and running in just minutes. There are also challenges that must be faced on both platforms.
Which option is going to be the best one for you?
Point #1: How Easy Is It to Use?
Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder. You literally put the stuff you want on your site and then position it so it looks great within the editor. When you publish the site, it will look just like it did when you were working with it.
Since 2016, Wix has also offered an artificial design intelligence that works with most of the templates that are offered. You can choose from specific categories, such as blogging or business, to build a look that is better suited for your specific brand. No matter how complicated your content may be, adding it to your site is super easy thanks to the interface that is offered by Wix.
WordPress is a great content management system, but it does take some time to learn it. Your workflow is not as streamlined and you’re forced to work with third-party templates and plugins to create the user experience that you want.
Since the very beginning of WordPress, it has never really offered a complete visual design approach. If you want to customize the look of your content, you may need to learn some basic HTML and CSS to create what you want. There are plenty of help guides that can help you do this, but again – that takes more time.
Point #2: Features and Flexibility
Wix is a platform that is fairly flexible, but it’s primary mission is to support blogging or e-commerce. You have the option to integrate several unique extensions to your site thanks to the App Market. Several add-ons are free, but most require an additional cost that goes beyond the monthly plan fees that you’ll pay.
The add-ons or applications you choose are very easy to install. Just click on the command cues, pay the fee if required, and the product integrates directly into your site. From there, you control how your users begin to interact with it.
You can also gather information from visitors in a variety of ways with Wix. Everything from social integration to a simple forum can be installed to your site, giving you a one-stop management solution for your brand.
WordPress is also quite flexible. It began as a blogging platform before becoming a full content management system. It can still be used to create a blog, but plugins and add-ons can turn it into an e-commerce empire, a membership site, or almost anything else that you can imagine. With tens of thousands of plugins available, virtually any kind of functionality can be added to your site.
The features that you do install for your website can be challenging to manage. WordPress updates its core platform on a regular basis. Since the plugins and add-ons are from third parties, your selected items might not get updated when you update WordPress. That can alter the user experience or even crash your site if the conflict is large enough.
Point #3: Theme Options
Wix offers subscribers access to several hundred themes. More than 70 different categories are available to create a consistent look for your brand. All the themes that are offered are free of charge at the time of this writing. Some are only one-page template themes, while others are blank so you can add a customized structure to your site.
Some categories only have a handful of themes on Wix, however, so some businesses may find themselves creating a website that looks very similar to their competition.
Wix offers a visual editor and their themes are optimized for mobile users. Several pre-built effects are also included in many of their provided options.
WordPress offers tens of thousands of themes through their directory and through third-party providers. There are thousands of free themes available and there are premium paid themes that can range from a few bucks to several thousand dollars. Because WordPress isn’t a drag-and-drop editor, you’ll need to know what the coding of the theme says or use the preview option repeatedly to finalize your design.
WordPress allows you to change your theme whenever you want, which is an option Wix does not provide. WordPress themes are also optimized for mobile users. You can also edit the CSS code, but you do not have access to any pre-built effects.
Point #4: Troubleshooting
Wix operates as its own business entity, so it provides a full customer support department that can help with any issues that might be seen with a new site. Their support forum offers hundreds of thousands of topics that are very specific about the problems that are encountered.
Wix also provides video tutorials, blog posts, and step-by-step instructions to get new customers through the process of designing their first site. Email support is available as well. There is even a useful help matrix that can be accessed through the drag-and-drop builder that can answer basic uploading and design questions. This access is provided for free.
WordPress is an open-source CMS platform, so there isn’t an authentic branded customer support department. If you look online for a WordPress expert, you’ll find plenty of people who are willing to help if you’re willing to pay for their help.
There is a large community of self-supporting WordPress users and many forums are available to answer questions about the platform. Numerous user videos are available through YouTube and other video distribution platforms to help with troubleshooting issues as well.
The main point of comparison in the Wix vs WordPress debate here is that with Wix, they take on the responsibility of helping you. With WordPress, it is entirely on your shoulders to find the help that you need.
Point #5: Cost
Wix uses the freemium pricing model to let people get to know their platform. You can create a website for free and publish it, though it will be supported by Wix advertising that you cannot remove. There are also 5 paid subscription options that are available, ranging from about $5 per month to about $30 per month.
The first paid subscription plan through Wix does not remove Wix-branded advertising from your website.
Whether you take advantage of the free plan or you use one of their paid options, you’ll get to take advantage of unlimited bandwidth. You don’t need to worry about finding a host for your site. Your subscription price covers extensions as well, though some users may need to pay for an additional app from the Wix marketplace.
WordPress is free to download and use. You will need to find a web host that will take a WordPress site unless you plan to self-host your new site. The cost of the web host is similar to the cost of the Wix subscription options for most users.
WordPress offers numerous free themes, but you may find that a premium theme meets your needs in a better way. Plugins come with an added cost in many instances as well. You also have the cost considerations for the time you’ll need to spend updating the CMS, plugins, and themes throughout the year.
A premium subscription through Wix will cost about $300 per year, plus any credit card processing fees that you may need to pay for your online store subscription. With WordPress, you will be paying about $120 per year for hosting, plus have one-time fees of varying amounts for themes and plugins.
Some web hosting providers advertise pricing as low as $3.95 per month (instead of the average of $10 per month), but may limit the size of your WordPress site to take advantage of that lower cost.
Wix vs WordPress: Which Is Better?
Wix offers users some advantages. WordPress offers users some advantages. That means it is up to you to decide which platform is your better option.
Wix tends to be a better option for beginners with its drag-and-drop style. What you see on Wix is what you are going to get. WordPress gives you more design options, but requires you to know some coding basics, in most instances, to take advantage of those additional choices.
With Wix, you don’t need a hosting provider. With WordPress, you do. You may also need to hire a developer or design specialist with WordPress if you need a deeper level of customization that the basic themes and plugins do not provide.
WordPress does offer more choices and a more powerful system, but Wix offers speed and simplicity. If you want to design your site and let it do the work for you, then Wix is a solid choice. If you need a technical site that offers a deep sales funnel, then WordPress is a better option.