Wix or WordPress — which of these two platforms is better for your website design project?
I’m Matt Walsh from Style Factory, the go-to site for ecommerce and web design advice.
And today I’m going to help you answer that Wix vs WordPress question. I’ll walk you through the key pros and cons of both tools in a friendly, jargon free way — and highlight some key alternative platforms too.
So stay tuned to the end of the video, and you’ll get a much clearer idea of which of these website building solutions is right for you.
Before I begin though, I’d like to invite you to subscribe to our channel and click the notifications bell. This helps us out, and gives you easy access to all our latest tips and reviews.
Ok, let’s dive in.
The first thing you need to know in the Wix vs WordPress debate is that there are actually two versions of WordPress to consider — hosted WordPress and self-hosted WordPress.
Hosted WordPress, available at wordpress.com, is similar to Wix.
Like Wix, it’s a pay-as-you-go solution that gives you all the key tools you need to build a website.
This includes hosting, a content management system, ecommerce features and more. And you don’t really need technical skills to use it.
Self-hosted WordPress, which you download from WordPress.org, is an open-source content management system that you install on your own server space.
It’s free to download, but to use it, you’ll need to buy and configure some hosting.
Now, in this comparison, I’m going to compare Wix to the self-hosted version of WordPress. This is so that you can see how a paid-for, all-in-one solution like Wix compares to a free, open-source tool like self-hosted WordPress.
With that out of the way, I’m going to spell out six key advantages of using Wix over WordPress — and six key reasons to use WordPress instead.
Let’s start with the arguments for using Wix.
One — Wix lets you build a website more quickly.
To get going with WordPress, you’ll need to download software, source hosting and install a content management system. And in a lot of cases, you’ll also need to install several plugins on your site to give it the features you need.
But with Wix, you don’t need to worry about any of this. This is because it gives you all the key tools you need to build a site in one place.
This ‘all-in-one’ approach means less setup time for you, and a quicker go-live time for your site.
Two — there’s less of a learning curve with Wix.
To get the most out of WordPress, you ideally need some technical skills.
But Wix has been designed with web design novices more in mind. Its all-in-one nature means that no coding or hosting configuration is needed — and as a result, the learning curve for the platform is usually gentler than that of WordPress.
Three — there’s no maintenance to worry about with Wix.
With WordPress, you have to regularly update its software to ensure that your site continues to display and function correctly.
By contrast, Wix takes care of this on your behalf, which saves you time and reduces the risk of disruption to your website or workflow.
Four — it’s easier to keep a Wix website secure.
With self-hosted WordPress, the responsibility for the security of your website mainly rests with you. Unless you stay on top of software, theme and plugin updates, your site can become vulnerable to being hacked.
And, if you want to sell products with WordPress, you’ll also have to make sure that your chosen ecommerce plugin handles credit card transactions securely and is fully PCI compliant.
But with Wix, other than taking basic precautions around passwords and user access, you don’t have to worry about security much at all. The platform is fully PCI compliant, and all the Wix security updates happen in the background.
Five — with Wix, ecommerce features are built in.
Although WordPress is great for producing web pages and blog posts, it doesn’t come with a built-in ecommerce system. So in order to sell products online with the platform, you’ll need to invest in a separate ecommerce plugin like WooCommerce or Ecwid. This can add to your costs quite a bit, and involves additional setup time.
Wix, by contrast, comes with built-in selling features that make it extremely easy to sell your own items or dropship products right from the start.
Six – you get support with Wix.
When you pay for a Wix plan, you get comprehensive customer support bundled with your subscription — you can contact the company via phone, email or live chat.
If you build your own WordPress website however, there’s no obvious or official source of support. You might find yourself having to source help from a variety of locations — for example, WordPress forums, a developer, a hosting company or a plugin provider.
Ok, so that’s six key reasons you might want to use Wix over WordPress.
Now let’s take a look at six ways in which WordPress can be the better choice.
One — you can build any sort of site with WordPress.
A key thing you have to remember about Wix is that it takes a ‘walled garden’ approach to website design. You can’t edit your code much, exporting your site content is difficult and you can’t even switch templates once you’ve picked one. This limits Wix’s suitability for a lot of web design projects.
By contrast, so long as you or your developer have the technical skills to do so, you can build absolutely anything, export absolutely anything and change absolutely anything with WordPress.
So, if you need a very bespoke piece of functionality for your store, or want a lot of flexibility over your site’s design, you’ll probably find that WordPress is a better option for you.
Two — WordPress lets you build truly responsive sites.
Websites that use responsive design automatically adjust themselves to suit the device they’re being viewed on — mobile, tablet or desktop.
Responsive design makes building websites easier, because you are only dealing with one version of your site. It is also preferred by Google, and sites using this design approach can receive preferential treatment in search results.
Now, although Wix lets you create mobile friendly sites easily enough, they’re not truly responsive.
In Wix, you’re dealing with two different versions of your site — a desktop one and a mobile one. This means that you’ll always have to check that both designs are working properly.
By contrast, WordPress templates are usually fully responsive, meaning that they adhere to Google’s search guidelines more closely.
Their responsive nature also means that your main design will display fine on any device, and unless you really want to, you don’t need to edit the mobile version of a WordPress template at all.
Three — WordPress is free.
To build a professional site using Wix, you’ll always need to pay a monthly fee. Yes, there is technically a free Wix plan available, but it’s very basic, doesn’t let you sell any products and features prominent adverts.
By contrast, a completely functional version of WordPress can be downloaded, updated and used entirely for free. It’s a fully open source platform.
The catch is that to build a WordPress site, you will always have to pay for hosting, but the pricing for this is pretty competitive. If your needs are simple, you’ll find that your monthly outgoings for a WordPress site can be a lot lower than the cost of a Wix subscription.
Four — you can attain a better technical SEO setup with WordPress.
So long as you configure everything correctly, you can end up with a better technical SEO setup on WordPress than on Wix.
If you use super-fast hosting, build a lightweight custom theme and code your site correctly, you can end up with a WordPress site that Google’s algorithms will simply love from a technical SEO point of view.
Although the SEO setup in Wix is reasonably good, you don’t have remotely the same degree of flexibility over proceedings as you do in WordPress.
Five — there are a lot more templates available for WordPress.
With both Wix and WordPress, you use a template as the starting point for your website’s design.
When it comes to WordPress, there are thousands of templates available, both free and paid-for, giving you a huge amount of choice over the aesthetics of your website or online store.
Although Wix’s themes are professional in appearance, there are considerably less of them available.
Six — A vast range of plugins is available for WordPress.
A huge number of plugins is available for WordPress. They let you add sophisticated functionality to your website easily, and many of them are free.
Although Wix also lets you enhance its platform’s functionality via apps and integrations, the range available is not as large as the WordPress equivalent, and many of the add-ons are quite expensive.
So that’s it — the key reasons why you might choose Wix over WordPress, and vice versa! If you’re interested in trying either platform out, you’ll find links to the Wix free plan and the WordPress free download in the description for this video.
There are lots more pros and cons of Wix and WordPress to discover however, so you might also like to check out our detailed blog post comparing the two platforms. You’ll find this link in the video description too.
And if you’re interested in checking out some alternative website builders, there’s a couple of platforms that we think are worthy of particular attention.
For general website building applications, Squarespace is well worth a look. Like Wix, it’s an all-in-one hosted solution that lets you build a website or online store. Unlike Wix however, it produces fully responsive websites automatically.
For building an online store, we’d suggest investigating Shopify — like Wix, you can build an ecommerce website with it, but the selling features are more advanced, particularly where international selling, point of sale and automatic tax calculation features are concerned.
You’ll find links to the Squarespace and Shopify free trials in the video description.
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