In this Wix vs WordPress comparison, I take an in-depth look at two of the world’s most-popular website building solutions. Which is best for your business? Read on to find out.
There are so many website building platforms available these days that choosing the right one can feel really overwhelming.
Two of the big-hitters in this crowd are Wix and WordPress and, particularly if you’re new to the whole area of web design, it can be hard to work out which of these two platforms is best for your project.
So, in this post I’m going to tackle this question in depth, and try to answer some of the key questions you may have, such as:
What are the key ways in which Wix and WordPress differ?
Which works out cheaper?
How do the templates compare?
Which tool has the best feature set?
Which is easier to use?
Can I sell products online with them?
I’ll cover all the above and more in this post, and by the end of this comparison, you’ll have a much clearer idea of which platform is best for you.
What is Wix?
Wix is a cloud-based service that allows you to design and build your own website without needing to know how to code at all.
It aims to give you most of what you need to build and maintain your website ‘out of the box’ — i.e., a domain name, hosting, templates, content mangement system (CMS), event booking tools, e-commerce functionality, and support.
In other words, it’s entirely possible to avoid apps or custom coding with Wix if you so choose (although that said, Wix sites can be enhanced with both).
For most users, there are two main ways to get started with Wix: first, there’s the ‘Wix Editor’, which allows you to pick a template, create a structure for your site, and then populate it with content.
Alternatively, you can use the ‘Wix ADI’ mode (‘Artificial Design Intelligence’) — this automatically creates a customizable website for you complete with images, video, and text.
This is done by asking you a few questions about what you’re trying to achieve, and then populating your site with publicly-available information about you or your business (sourced automatically from the web).
Both the Wix Editor and Wix ADI options are designed to be used by people without web development skills; however, there are also some versions of Wix aimed at developers.
First, there’s a mode called ‘Velo by Wix’ (formerly known as ‘Corvid’) which provides access to the platform’s APIs and permits users to create database collections and dynamic pages.
There’s also a brand new version of Wix aimed at agencies and developers, ‘Editor X.’ This lets users create truly responsive websites, which is not currently permitted by the regular version of Wix (more on that shortly!).
Now: what about WordPress?
What is WordPress?
There are two different versions of WordPress to consider:
Although it started life as a blogging service, it’s now a fully-fledged website builder. You pay a monthly fee to use it and this gives you access to a broad range of features which help you construct a website.
This makes hosted WordPress rather similar to Wix, because
you don’t need to buy any hosting to use it (your site is hosted on WordPress’ servers)
you get a lot of functionality included out of the box.
Hosted WordPress is slightly less of an ‘all-in-one’ solution than Wix however, as despite its SaaS nature, users will often need to rely on third-party themes or plugins to maximise the visual appeal or functionality of a Hosted WordPress website.
Self-hosted WordPress is a piece of website-building and management software that you download from wordpress.org and install on your own web server (this means, of course that you will need to buy some hosting so that your website has somewhere to live).
WordPress is open-source, meaning that the code behind it is freely available and can be easily modified.
In practice, this means that sites built with self-hosted WordPress can be customized to an enormous degree – it’s an extremely flexible tool that, in the hands of the right developer, or through the installation of suitable plugins, can be adapted to meet the requirements of nearly any website design project.
It’s important to note however that despite the flexibility and power of self-hosted WordPress, it’s entirely possible to create and maintain a website using the platform without having to code.
For example, you can avoid HTML and CSS entirely by using third-party visual editors like Divi.
And WordPress’ new drag-and-drop tool for laying out page and post content, Gutenberg, makes content management easier than ever before for novice webmasters.
However, although you can create and modify a self-hosted WordPress site without having any development skills, you will usually need to spend more time ‘joining the dots’ than if you were using Hosted WordPress (or indeed Wix).
Typical tasks involved in a WordPress build include:
finding somewhere to register your domain
choosing a hosting provider
installing the WordPress software
sourcing a theme
adding plugins needed for the functionality you require
mapping your domain to your WordPress site.
All this can equate to a steeper learning curve than that which you’d encounter with Wix.
But which version of WordPress are we comparing to Wix?
This WordPress vs Wix comparison is going to compare the self-hosted version of WordPress to Wix.
My reasoning for focusing on the self-hosted version is that it’s more useful to contrast an ‘all-in-one’ platform (Wix) to something more powerful but which requires more effort and/or resources to set up — in this case, self-hosted WordPress.
Now, let’s take a look at how many people use both products.
How many people use WordPress and Wix?
When deciding which website building platform is right for you, it’s important to look at product history and user numbers.
This is because if a particular platform has a large number of customers / users, this reduces the risk of it failing and taking your website (and perhaps your entire business!) with it.
A large user base also results in greater availability of useful resources relating to the platform (like blogs and articles), products (themes, templates, plugins, and apps) and support options.
So, how do WordPress and Wix stack up on this front?
WordPress’ history and user base
WordPress was founded in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. Fast-forward to 2020 and it is now hugely popular — BuiltWith.com estimates that there are currently 28 million live websites built on the platform.
Because it’s an open-source platform, thousands of independent developers around the world contribute to it.
WordPress’ massive user base and open-source nature means that an active community constantly produces free or reasonably-priced products — like themes, plugins, and extensions — for the platform.
Wix’s history and user base
Wix was founded in 2006, and is one of the larger website building companies.
It boasts over 4,000 employees and at time of writing there are roughly 4.6 million Wix websites in existence (data sources: Wikipedia and BuiltWith.com).
Because WordPress has a much larger user base than Wix, it’s technically a safer bet — you can have a large degree of confidence that the platform is not going to disappear any time soon.
But that said, with 4.6 million websites in existence, it’s hard to see Wix going anywhere either.
The bottom line is that with both WordPress and Wix you are not dealing with a startup or brand new product — so choosing one of these platforms is going to come down to other considerations, like pricing and features.
I’ll delve into features shortly, but first, let’s take a look at pricing.
Pricing: how much do WordPress and Wix cost to use?
Although the WordPress software can be downloaded and installed for free, there are several things you’ll usually need to pay for to get a site built with it off the ground, namely:
hosting (server space on which to install WordPress and store your site)
themes (the design for your website)
an e-commerce integration (addition of tools that will let you sell products online)
plugins (apps that can be added to your site to add more functionality)
Depending on your requirements and/or ability to code, you may also need to pay for a developer to help you with the site build.
The one thing you’ll always have to pay for with WordPress is hosting, without which you will have nowhere to install WordPress.
You have two options on this front — you can avail of general purpose, ‘shared’ hosting from a provider like Hostpapa or ‘managed’ WordPress hosting (faster, more secure — but more expensive too) from a dedicated WordPress hosting company like Kinsta or WP Engine.
For small to medium-sized projects, this means you’d be looking at costs of between $4 for shared hosting (based on Hostpapa fees) and $30 for managed WordPress hosting (based on Kinsta fees) per month.
As you might expect, managed WordPress hosting brings considerably better site performance and security (along with improved SEO) — but shared hosting can work out ok for smaller-scale projects.
For a business project however, I would always aim to use a managed WordPress hosting option like Kinsta.
With regard to the other factors mentioned above, you can technically use a free theme, e-commerce integration, and plugins. But to get higher-quality results, it’s usually worth investing in your site.
Here are some figures which demonstrate the costs you might expect to incur if you were to build your WordPress site yourself whilst investing in higher-quality services / components:
Premium theme: $175
Annual cost for e-commerce integration, using Ecwid as an example: $180 (recurring cost)
4 paid-for plugins: $100
Based on the above, this means that your WordPress site could cost as much as $1,175 to set up, after which you’d face annual running costs of $600.
To be fair, these estimates err on the more expensive side of things — it is certainly possible to make use of free themes and plugins, or choose a cheaper hosting solution. (Comparison services like HostingMonks let you contrast and compare various options on this front).
But the key takeaway from the above figures is that it is not sensible to view WordPress as a completely ‘free’ option.
And finally on the subject of WordPress costs, if you were to hire a developer to help you configure, build, and maintain your site, you’d face significantly higher costs than the above — but would be getting a much better website and support.
Wix costs vary slightly by location — as do the plans available, but in the US there are currently nine plans available with Wix (1 free plan and 8 paid).
These are as follows:
Combo — $14 per month
Unlimited — $18 per month
Pro — $23 per month
VIP — $39 per month
Business Basic — $23 per month
Business Unlimited — $27 per month
Business VIP — $49 per month
Enterprise — custom pricing
The free plan is not suitable for creating professional sites — it’s fine if you want to put something simple together for a one-off event (like a birthday party, charity event or wedding), but you’ll have to live with restrictive functionality and very prominent ads for Wix on it.
However, the free plan at least does give you a good way to try the platform out before committing to it.
The key differences between the remaining Wix plans involve how much bandwidth and storage space you get, and whether you get e-commerce functionality.
You also get more ‘video minutes’ the more you go up the pricing ladder. Wix’s video minutes allow you to sell or rent video content to your site visitors (obviously the more minutes you have, the longer the videos you can sell).
Of the premium plans listed above, only the ones prefixed with ‘Business’ and the ‘Enterprise’ plan allow you to sell products online, meaning that you are looking at a minimum fee of $23 per month to run an e-commerce site using Wix.
I personally would probably avoid the ‘VIP’ plans, unless you plan to be on the phone to Wix support every day, because — other than enhanced support — there isn’t much to distinguish these plans from ‘Pro’ and ‘Business Unlimited’ ones.
With the ‘Enterprise’ plan you get a lot more hand-holding both in terms of design, site management and security (for most users, this will be overkill).
All in all with Wix, depending on which plan you decide to go with, you’re looking at an annual cost of between $60 and $420, which means that despite Wix being the ‘paid-for’ product and WordPress being the open-source one, Wix can technically work out considerably cheaper.
However, pricing shouldn’t be the only thing you take into consideration when deciding between WordPress vs Wix.
Let’s drill down into the features and functionality of the two platforms, starting with templates.
Need help with WordPress?
If you’re thinking about using WordPress to create a website, we can either assist you with your build or put you in touch with a best-in-class specialist.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information on how we can get your WordPress project off the ground in a professional, cost-effective way.
WordPress vs Wix — templates
Quantity and quality
Wix’s designer-made website templates are divided into over 20 categories including Business, Online Store, Photography, Restaurants & Food, Landing Pages, and more.
There are over over 800 free templates to choose from, and they are all of a high quality.
The WordPress Theme Directory, by contrast, contains thousands of free themes for users to pick from.
And a number of dedicated theme stores – like Template Monster or Theme Fuse – have popped up over the years selling premium themes, further increasing the number of templates available to WordPress users.
It’s probably fair to say that Wix templates are a bit easier to customize than WordPress themes, due to Wix’s drag-and-drop website builder.
That said, modifying a WordPress theme shouldn’t involve a steep learning curve – especially in the case of premium themes.
Performance on mobile
Wix claims that your site will “automatically look amazing on any device”— which strictly speaking, isn’t entirely true.
This is because platform uses absolute positioning, meaning that web elements are positioned by pixel rather than relative to the user’s screen; so depending on how much you tweak your template design, or the sort of content you put on your site, your Wix website won’t always adapt automatically to devices with different screen sizes (i.e. it won’t be fully responsive).
This is disappointing and goes against best web design practice; and it goes against Google’s advice for creating a search-friendly mobile site too.
In practice however, all the Wix templates provide you with a version of your site that will display nicely on mobiles without you having to do much; and Google is on record as saying that Wix websites ‘work fine’ in search.
And the company is making continuous efforts to improve the performance of their sites on mobile devices. A new version of Wix — Editor X — has recently been made available in BETA mode, and this does let you create fully responsive websites.
As for WordPress, finding a fully responsive theme isn’t difficult at all — so in the area of mobile-friendliness, WordPress is the clear winner.
The customization options available to you with WordPress depend entirely on the theme you’re using.
Premium WordPress themes tend to have extensive customization options, allowing you to extensively tweak the layout of your website.
With free WordPress themes however, you are usually limited to making fairly minor modifications (e.g. to typefaces, text color, button color).
In terms of typefaces, many WordPress themes come with a lot of web fonts built in. Alternatively, you can install your own fonts using a plugin, or by editing your site’s CSS (the code that determines your website’s visual appearance).
And speaking of CSS, the built-in WordPress customizer makes it very easy to add your own CSS to your site.
As for Wix, the built-in Wix Editor makes it very straightforward to edit and customize templates. You simply click on the web element you’d like to customize and click the Change Design button to see the different design options available to you.
Wix provides around 100 different web fonts to choose from out of the box, and gives you the option to upload your own fonts directly via the Wix Editor too.
Security of themes
One thing to watch out for with WordPress themes is security — some contain badly-written or even deliberately malicious code that can compromise the security of your website.
To avoid encountering problems in this area, make sure you always source your theme from a reputable source. (The WordPress Theme Directory is a good place to look, because all the templates included in it are tested by a theme review team before being included).
Because Wix’s templates are built in-house, you don’t have to worry about security issues at all when you install one.
A key disadvantage of using Wix is that once you build a site on the platform using a particular template, you’re stuck with it — Wix doesn’t allow you to apply a different template to an existing site.
So, in order to apply a new Wix template, you effectively have to build your site all over again.
This is not at all ideal and contrasts very negatively with WordPress, which doesn’t restrict your ability to apply a different template to your site content at all.
Let’s take a look now at how easy it is to use both platforms.
A key alternative to Wix and WordPress — Squarespace
It’s worth focusing a moment on a key rival to both Wix and WordPress — Squarespace.
Like Wix, it is a hosted solution, so it’s easy to set up and comes with a lot of built-in features, like email marketing and e-commerce (and comes with comprehensive support).
Unlike Wix, however, Squarespace allows you to create fully responsive sites, and its learning curve is arguably less steep than that of both Wix and WordPress.
Interface, CMS and ease-of-use
As discussed above, Wix offers three drag-and-drop based options for building websites – Wix Editor, Wix ADI and Velo — but the process of adding or editing content is similar across the board.
Simply put, it’s equivalent in complexity to using Microsoft Word. You just select the copy or content you’d like to edit, and tweak it accordingly.
The main difference between managing content in WordPress vs Wix is that with Wix, you’re working on a front-end interface. What this means is that you can see the edits on your screen as you make them in the content management system (CMS).
In WordPress, you have to edit content in the back end, and then preview or publish it to see your changes.
Traditionally, this has involved using a fairly simple WYSIWYG editor to add content to your website, but recently WordPress launched a new editor, Gutenberg, that allows you to drag and drop elements around your pages.
With Gutenberg, you are still working in the back end of your site, and will still have to preview and publish your pages to see the front-end changes, but it makes laying out content much easier than before.
And if you are very keen to edit the front end of a WordPress site directly, this is possible, as there are quite a lot of visual editor plugins available for WordPress that you can use to view changes to your content in real time (the downside of some of these, however, is that they can impact your site speed negatively — something that’s not great for SEO or user experience).
It’s probably fair to say that although neither platform presents a steep learning curve when it comes to editing a website, novices may hit the ground running slightly quicker on Wix.
But WordPress is getting better all the time on this front and it’s really not hard to edit a WordPress site. The learning curve in WordPress is more to do with constructing and configuring a new site, rather than managing an existing one.
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If the main aim of your site is blogging, then there’s no two ways about it: WordPress is the better option. It allows you to categorise and tag posts in more sophisticated ways, and present your blog content in more flexible ways.
Wix’s built-in blogging tool isn’t bad by comparison to other hosted solutions — it allows some content versioning, for example, which not all similar platforms do; and facilitates both categories and tags.
But given that WordPress started life as a blogging tool, it’s hardly surprising that the blogging functionality on offer from it is much more sophisticated than that which Wix provides.
The WordPress CMS has a fully-fledged media library that you can use to store, access, and edit images and documents. It’s a very professional solution for storing multimedia and it’s easy to use.
With Wix, you have similar functionality in the form of its ‘Media Manager’ — this allows users and site contributors to access site files (images, audio, video, documents and so on).
The media manager also has an ‘Explore’ section that gives you access to a collection of media files that Wix offers customers for free. This feature also allows you to purchase visuals direct from Shutterstock, which may prove useful to anyone in need of stock photography for their website.
The pricing for this is very reasonable too: $2.99 per image, which works out a lot cheaper than buying the pictures direct from Shutterstock.
Importing and exporting content
WordPress makes it easy for users to import and export pages, posts and products directly into the CMS.
Wix only allows you to import and export products, so it’s a definite win for WordPress here, particularly for bloggers.
Caveat: the more advanced version of Wix, Velo, does permit the export of additional content — but technical skills are required to do so. Additionally, if you create ‘dynamic’ content on Wix — pages that populated by an online spreadsheet — you can export data contained within the spreadsheet. (You can read more about Wix and dynamic content here).
With WordPress, you can install the WordPress app on your phone (it’s available for both iOS and Android) and perform key site management tasks on it. These include:
creating and editing posts/pages
uploading media files
viewing site stats
Wix also has its own app – the suitably titled Wix App, available for both iOS and Android – that lets you:
manage your online store (track orders, add new products, and receive notifications when you make a sale)
publish and edit blog posts
view web stats
initiate conversation with your site’s visitors via live chat.
The WordPress app is generally better for editing content; the Wix app is better for managing admin or e-commerce aspects of your business, and communicating with your customers.
Creating multilingual sites in WordPress and Wix
If you need to create multiple versions of your website to accommodate multiple languages, then you’re in luck with both Wix and WordPress.
Unlike some other leading hosted website building solutions — notably Squarespace — Wix facilitates the creation of different versions of your websites in different languages.
You simply switch ‘Wix Mulitlingual’ on, add a language, and then populate the alternate versions of your pages.
However, it’s important to note that Wix doesn’t allow you to translate every site component. Many key apps don’t support translation.
WordPress works in a slightly different way — in that you have to create an individual site for each language (which usually resides in a subdomain or subfolder on your domain, i.e., yoursite.com/en/ for English, yoursite.com/fr/ and so on).
As with a lot of things in WordPress, more configuration is required to set up a multilingual website, so again the Wix option may appeal to novices who need this functionality.
But the flexibility you get with WordPress — and the lack of restrictions in what you can and can’t translate — ultimately makes WordPress a far more suitable option for multilingual sites.
Wix supports a wide range of analytics and tracking tools — analytics products catered for include:
Google Tag Manager
The Google Tag Manager integration is particularly useful, as it allows you to implement additional third-party code, pixels, or custom code to your Wix site to track conversions.
As is the case with most other things in WordPress, you’re able to integrate just about any analytics tool into your site either by using a plugin or by adding custom code to your site.
E-commerce in Wix
When using Wix, you need to be on a ‘Business & E-commerce’ plan to access online selling capability.
Once you’re on one of these plans, you’ll find that the platform is proves very easy for first-time sellers to use — adding products and setting up payment options is very straightforward.
WordPress, by contrast, doesn’t have e-commerce functionality built into the platform. You have to instead use a third-party option. A large number of these exist including Ecwid, Shopify, WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.
(See our Ecwid review or our Shopify review for more information on two of these options; you might also like to read Omnisend’s guide to WooCommerce plugins for more information on how you can introduce sophisticated e-commerce functionality to WordPress).
Core e-commerce functionality in Wix
Out of the box, Wix provides a pretty good range of e-commerce features. With the platform, you can:
sell an unlimited number of digital or physical products
allow users to sort and filter your products
enter tracking information for physical products
use point of sale functionality via Square
provide customers with real time shipping calculations (U.S. and Brazil only)
Wix also provides flexible tax and shipping options. It allows you to set up tax on a per-region basis, which is useful for meeting VAT MOSS (VAT Mini One Stop Shop) rules when selling digital products to customers based in the EU.
(That said, if you plan to sell a lot of digital goods in the EU you should note that competing platform Shopify calculates VAT MOSS automatically for you — this is a huge time saver).
Shipping functionality is also good in Wix, allowing you to create shipping rules based on a flat rate, product weight or product price.
Point-of-sale (POS) functionality and dropshipping is also catered for in Wix. POS is provided via an integration with Square and dropshipping can be set up via integrations with Modalyst, Spocket, Printful or Printify.
Although you do get quite a lot of e-commerce bang for your buck with Wix, there is one key omission to consider however: multi-currency selling.
Although a suitably-named ‘currency convertor’ app can be used to display prices in local currencies, there’s no way to allow your site visitors to check out of your store in their own currency (this missing functionality being something that can boost sales).
A key e-commerce alternative to Wix — Shopify
If your main goal is to create an e-commerce website, and you would prefer to use a hosted solution like Wix rather than building your own WordPress website, then it’s worth investigating Shopify.
Like Wix, Shopify is a browser-based app that doesn’t require any development skills to use — but as a dedicated online store builder, its e-commerce functionality is much more comprehensive than Wix’s.
E-commerce in WordPress
Since WordPress doesn’t offer e-commerce functionality out of the box, the core e-commerce features available to you will depend on the e-commerce plugin you’ve installed to your site.
On the plus side, this means you have the option to choose a e-commerce solution that is 100% right for your site — on the down side (and as with much else in WordPress) you’re looking at a bit of configuration (and an additional spend) before you can get cracking with e-commerce.
Popular options for integrating e-commerce into a WordPress site include:
Wix works with a reasonably large number of payment gateways — pieces of software that facilitate card transactions — that you can add to your online store (the exact number available to you depends on your location).
The platform currently supports over 50 payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, Square, 2Checkout, Yandex and and Braintree (availability of each depending on the country you’re selling from).
Integrations and apps
Wix has an App Market with 250+ free and premium apps — some developed by Wix and some by third-parties.
Most apps available through the App Market involve monthly subscriptions or follow a freemium model (i.e. you have access to limited functionality with the free version of the app).
Overall, the App Market is easy to use and browse, and provides lots of additional useful functionality that you can add to your Wix site, including forums, events, calendars, pop-ups, and live chat.
Wix also lets you add functionality from third-party apps by using an HTML block to add a widget.
However, I’d argue that WordPress is definitely the winner in the integration department.
Since WordPress is an open-source platform, there are tens of thousands of plugins (over 58,000 in the WordPress Plugin Directory) available that you can integrate with your site to gain additional functionality.
You (or a developer) can also manipulate your WordPress site extensively using custom code, allowing you to create some very bespoke integrations with other online apps.
Data capture and email marketing
Data capture forms in Wix
Out of the box, Wix provides some basic data capture forms that you can use to let customers reach out to you with or subscribe to mailing lists. You’re also able to create custom forms for your Wix site by using an app like FormBuilder.
The contact data you capture through these forms is automatically added to your site’s ‘contact list,’ which provides a useful way to keep track of all the interactions you’ve ever had with your site visitors.
Wix also features built-in email marketing functionality which you can use to send 3 e-newsletters per month to up to 5,000 subscribers. This is generous and compares positively with rival Squarespace’s Email Campaigns offering (as well as email marketing apps in general).
Because you won’t find any free email marketing apps out of the box with WordPress, this built in email marketing functionality represents a rather large win for Wix.
You also have the option to connect your Wix site to a third-party email marketing tools (e.g. Getresponse) by adding a suitable Wix app or HTML block to your pages — this can give you significantly more advanced email marketing functionality.
The data captured by Wix forms can be exported to regular CSV, Google CSV, or Outlook CSV files.
Data capture forms in WordPress
Out of the box, WordPress doesn’t offer data capture forms, meaning that you have to resort to a plugin (like the excellent Gravity Forms) to create them.
Once you do however, you’ll find that the data capture options available to you are much more extensive in WordPress than Wix.
For example, with the right plugin, you’re able to implement advanced functionality like conditional logic, file uploads, and hidden fields on your forms.
In terms of where you can send the data captured, most WordPress data capture form plugins have built-in functionality that you can use to export data to CSV.
Alternatively, and more usefully, you can hook your form up to an email marketing tool like Mailchimp or Getresponse.
SEO: Wix vs WordPress
The search engine optimization (SEO) functionality Wix provides out of the box is generally good.
You’re able to perform key SEO tasks – like adding alt text and meta descriptions, editing page URLs, adding header code meta tags, and creating 301 redirects – quite easily.
(The below video gives an overview of some of the SEO features in Wix, and how to use them).
One aspect of Wix which may appeal to SEO novices is the company’s ‘SEO Wiz’ resource. This walks you through the key steps for optimizing your website for search engines, helping you to to update your page titles, meta descriptions, alt text, and so on. It’s a good introduction to the key concepts.
It’s not all good news on the SEO front however.
The main issue — as discussed earlier — is that Wix doesn’t support responsive sites (Google’s preferred option for mobile site design).
Second, because Wix is a hosted solution, you have no control over the server that your site is hosted on. This precludes you from using super-fast hosting services; and because site speed is also treated as a positive ranking signal by search engines, you may be losing out a bit with Wix here (studies from Sistrix and Backlinko show it is not the fastest website builder on the block).
However, because getting a site visible in search results is as much about keyword research, creating great content and earning backlinks to it as having a perfect technical SEO setup, it’s entirely possible to get a Wix site to rank highly in search results (Google is on record as saying Wix sites work fine). It’s just that things could be a bit better on the technical SEO side of things.
As you might expect given the above observations on Wix SEO, WordPress is the clear winner in the search engine optimization department in a WordPress vs Wix showdown.
First of all, WordPress allows you to install Yoast, which is one of the best tools available for SEO. For those unfamiliar with it, this plugin assesses the quality of your on-page SEO efforts and makes easy-to-follow suggestions on how you can further improve it.
WordPress also performs better on the mobile SEO front, because unlike Wix, creating fully-responsive WordPress sites (preferred by search engine algorithms) is no problem.
WordPress also allows you to make more extensive use of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) than Wix; this is a technology which delivers a super-fast mobile version of your website to users (and one which can bring SEO benefits).
And finally, you can choose whatever hosting you like for a WordPress site — meaning that you can avail of the super-fast site speeds that Google and other search engines love.
(As discussed briefly above, in order to avail of these sorts of speeds you will need to pay extra for a managed WordPress hosting service like Kinsta — and you’ll also need to make sure that your site is built in a way that can take advantage of them. Otherwise you can end up with a very slow WordPress site indeed — and one that can be outperformed by Wix.)
Note: I am not a legal professional, so please note that the observations provided below on the topic of GDPR should not be interpreted as legal advice.
As a result of the GDPR laws introduced in May 2018, website owners need to take several steps to ensure that they are properly protecting the privacy of EU visitors.
Even if your business isn’t based in the EU, you still need to make sure you’re in compliance with the new regulations if you are targeting EU users with your website.
Accordingly, as a website owner, you need to make sure you:
provide adequate privacy and cookie consent notices
process and store visitors’ and customers’ data securely
obtain explicit consent from people who subscribe to your mailing list that it’s okay to send them email newsletters occasionally
provide a means to opt in to (and opt out of) non-essential cookie usage on a website and to log that consent before those cookies are run.
Usually speaking, hosted website builders like Wix let you manage the first three requirements pretty well but not the fourth one.
However, unlike many of its competitors, Wix actually handles cookie consent pretty well — a built-in cookie consent banner lets you block cookies for quite a few key products before they are run. These include cookies from Hubspot and apps created by POWr; and tracking cookies from Facebook Ads, Google Analytics and Google Ads.
However, you may struggle to achieve GDPR compliance if your cookie originates from:
social tools added from Wix’s ‘Add’ panel
a third-party app from Wix’s app market
As with Wix, the main challenge of making a WordPress site GDPR-compliant involves managing cookie consent.
Unlike Wix, there’s no built-in functionality to do this in WordPress, but there are several really good plugins available that you can use to capture to manage cookies in a GDPR-compliant way. And, given WordPress’ massive user base, you’ll also find numerous resources providing advice on how to use them.
Bottom line: Wix is better than some hosted solutions when it comes to GDPR compliance, but it’s easier to achieve properly using WordPress.
Get help with WordPress
If you’re thinking about using WordPress to create a website, we can either assist you with your build or put you in touch with a best-in-class specialist.
And, if you have an existing WordPress site that needs help, or a website that needs a security audit and/or ongoing support, we can help with that too.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information on how Style Factory can get your WordPress project off the ground in a professional, cost-effective way.
Wix offers support to customers via phone, email, and live chat. This means that if something goes badly wrong with your website, you’ll have someone to turn to.
This comprehensive level of support is particularly important to keep in mind if you’re building a Wix site for someone else. When you hand over a Wix site to a client, you won’t have to worry about providing ongoing support (you can just point your client in the direction of the Wix support desk).
Wix also has a ‘Help Center’ which contains a large library of articles and video tutorials that you can search through. (There is also contextual help provided with the Wix Editor.)
Phone support for Wix is available 24/7 in English; French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese are also catered for (hours of availability varying by language) . You will have to request a callback from the Wix support team, but Wix states that you can expect to receive it in under 5 minutes.
The process for getting in touch with Wix’s support team could be a bit better however.
To get in touch with the helpdesk, you have to search for a solution to your problem in the Help Center first. You then need to browse suggested answers, and then click ‘No’ in response to a ‘Did this help?’ question to access the support team’s contact details.
To be fair, many other platforms make you jump through similar hoops in order to get in touch with help desks, but the process is a bit clunky.
To get a high level of support for a WordPress website, you’ll need to work with a WordPress developer or agency and take out a support contract with them.
This can be expensive, but on the plus side, you’ll receive one-on-one support and a degree of hand-holding that is not available with Wix.
Because Wix is a hosted solution, the bulk of the responsibility for security lies with the company itself — it’s essentially Wix’s responsibility to ensure that their platform doesn’t get compromised, your site doesn’t get hacked and that backups of your content are made.
It’s entirely possible to build really secure sites with WordPress too. However, if you’re not working with a developer or agency to create the site, then the ultimate responsibility for security belongs to you as the end user. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your version of WordPress is up to date, along with any plugins or themes you might be using — and failure to keep on top of this site maintenance can easily lead to your site getting hacked.
And as discussed above, you’ve also got to be aware that some WordPress themes and plugins can contain malicious code which can compromise the security of your site — so you need to be very careful about which ones you install.
And finally, you’ve got to ensure that you’re regularly backing up your site (various plugins are available to help automate this process for you).
In short, Wix sites are arguably less vulnerable than self-built WordPress ones, simply because there’s less scope for users to neglect security on their site or add dodgy code to it.
And, if something does go wrong, then the Wix support team are there to help you resolve the problem (and will be experienced at doing so).
Finally, a quick note about SSL: a free SSL certificate is provided with all Wix sites, meaning that your visitors are browsing your site on a secure connection. Using this to create a secure website is a simple case of ticking a checkbox in your Wix settings.
You can of course install SSL certificates on WordPress sites too — but again, it’s your responsibility to sort that out.
Wix vs WordPress: the verdict
Overall, WordPress is undeniably a more powerful, more flexible, and better-established platform than Wix. It has a vast number of themes and plugins available; and its user base dwarfs that of Wix. However, that’s not to say that WordPress is the right platform choice for every web design project.
For some users — particularly those without any technical skills or the budget to hire a developer, a hosted solution like Wix may be a better bet, at least initially.
There are four main reasons for this:
It’s easier to set up a Wix site than a WordPress one
You don’t have to worry about sourcing themes or plugins to add visual appeal and necessary functionality to your site
Support is provided as part of your Wix plan, meaning that you’ll get hand-holding both during and after your build.
You don’t need to worry about security or software updates.
In other words, Wix makes it easy for a complete novice to create a website with a lot of useful functionality and get help if needed both during and after the build.
For a reasonable monthly fee, you can get a site containing the key features you might need to get a website off the ground, including e-commerce, a blog, contact forms, mailing lists, galleries, bookings, and much more.
The free version of Wix may even suit some users (albeit ones with very simple requirements).
However, if you’re likely to have advanced e-commerce or blogging requirements, I’d usually recommend going with WordPress over Wix — for the simple reason that you can build just about ANY sort of website, blog or online store with it. It’s a significantly more flexible platform.
There are two other key reasons why you might want consider WordPress over Wix.
First, SEO — although Wix doesn’t make a particularly bad fist of this, the SEO functionality in WordPress is considerably stronger, and if you’re working in an extremely competitive niche, you may find that a well-constructed WordPress site on fast hosting gives you a slight edge in search results.
The second reason is arguably more serious — as things stand, Wix doesn’t let you create truly responsive, mobile-friendly websites. Although with a bit of effort you can create sites on Wix websites that display fine on phones, it’s not ideal and basically means that you have to spend time creating two distinct versions of your site (potentially more if you’re creating a site featuring multiple languages).
By contrast in WordPress it’s easy to create a fully-responsive version of your website that displays nicely across all devices, thanks to thousands of fully-responsive templates being available for the platform.
To sum up,
Wix is a potentially good option for those on a budget or without any previous website-building skills.
WordPress is a better bet if you need a more bespoke or sophisticated website and have the budget or time to build it.
If you do decide to go with WordPress, you may find that it makes sense to work with an experienced developer or agency rather than doing everything yourself (excuse a plug, but contact us if need help on that front!).
That way, you’ll have a more polished, more optimized website and, if you take out a support contract, you won’t have to worry about security or maintenance.
I sum up some of the reasons why you might choose one platform over the other below.
Reasons to use WordPress over Wix
WordPress is a more flexible platform than Wix and you can use it to build any sort of website.
Its content management system is more sophisticated than Wix’s, featuring more advanced blogging functionality.
With WordPress, there is a much wider range of themes and plugins to choose from to add visual appeal and functionality to your site.
Data capture options are more extensive with WordPress than Wix (so long as you’re using the right forms plugin).
WordPress’ SEO capabilities are considerably better than Wix’s.
WordPress is a better option than Wix for creating multilingual websites or multi-site projects.
You can create a fully-responsive site with WordPress; this is not strictly the case with Wix.
There are more resources and plugins available for WordPress to help you achieve full GDPR-compliance.
Reasons to use Wix over WordPress
Wix is considerably easier to set up and get started with than WordPress – and you don’t really need to have any technical skills to use it.
Although it’s very basic in nature, and features advertising on it, there’s a completely free plan available for Wix — WordPress will always involve some costs.
A lot of essential features that you have to source separately in WordPress are available out of the box with Wix (e.g. templates, e-commerce functionality, and data capture forms).
Because Wix is a hosted solution, you don’t really have to worry about security or site maintenance.
Customer support is available for Wix (email, phone, and live chat). By contrast, with WordPress, you have to rely on forums and articles for support, or commission a developer or agency to provide it.
Wix offers email marketing functionality out of the box, allowing you to build a mailing list easily and send e-newsletters to it.
Alternatives to Wix and WordPress
Wix and WordPress are by no means the only options available for building a website or online store: there are a very large number of alternative solutions available.
With regard to hosted website builders, Squarespace is definitely worth a look — it’s more expensive than Wix, and omits some of its features, but is in general arguably a more elegant solution.
Finally, if you’re thinking about building an online store, it may be advisable to skip Wix in favour of a platform that is more geared towards e-commerce than Wix. If this sounds like you, I’d suggest checking out Shopify or Bigcommerce.