Wix vs WordPress — Which is Best?

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Wix vs WordPress

Wix vs WordPress: which is best? In this comparison review, we take an in-depth look at which of these leading website building tools is right for your business or project. Read on to get a list of the key pros and cons of both platforms.

Let’s start things off by asking a key question…


What is Wix?

Wix is a solution that lets you design and build your own website without needing to know how to code. It’s a ‘software as a service’ tool, meaning that you don’t own the software but pay a monthly fee to use it.

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, a content mangement system (CMS), ecommerce features and customer support.

Wix runs ‘in the cloud,’ meaning that there’s nothing to install anywhere, and you don’t need to worry about hosting. So long as you have access to a web browser and the internet, you can build and maintain a Wix website from anywhere.

Wix website
Wix is one of the world’s best known hosted solutions for building websites.

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). This can be a bit of a hit-and-miss affair, but it’s very easy to change the copy after Wix ADI creates the first draft of your website.

Developer options

In addition to the Wix Editor and Wix ADI versions of Wix, there are some ‘developer’ versions available too.

First, there’s a mode called ‘Velo by Wix’, which lets you access a lot of the code behind Wix.

There’s also a 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:

  • Hosted WordPress

  • Self-hosted WordPress

Hosted WordPress

Hosted WordPress, available at wordpress.com, is like Wix, a software as a service (SaaS) tool for building and maintaining websites.

Although it started life as a blogging service, it’s now a fully-fledged website builder. You pay a monthly fee to use it (ranging from $4 to $45) and this gives you access to a broad range of features that help you construct a website.

Hosted WordPress
Hosted WordPress

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.

Self-hosted WordPress

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.

Now, WordPress is open-source, meaning that the code behind it is freely available and can be easily modified.

WordPress
According to Builtwith.com, there are over 28 million live WordPress sites.

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 the right plugins — can be adapted to meet the requirements of just about 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 coding or design skills — it’s relatively easy to find and install a WordPress theme designed by a professional designer, install it, and simply add some content to it.

(You’ll find thousands of these in the official WordPress theme directory).

And WordPress’ recently-introduced drag-and-drop tool for laying out page and post content, Gutenberg, makes content management easier than ever before for novice webmasters.

Wordpress’ drag-and-drop tool, Gutenberg.
Wordpress’ drag-and-drop tool, Gutenberg.

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:

All this can equate to a steeper learning curve than you’d find 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) with something that is more powerful but requires more effort and 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 Wix and WordPress?

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 2021 and it is now hugely popular — internet statistics company BuiltWith.com estimates that there are currently around 36 million live websites built on the platform.

And because WordPress is an open-source platform, thousands of independent developers around the world now contribute to it daily. This active community is constantly creating new features, plugins and themes for the platform — so WordPress is getting more interesting all the time.

Wix’s history and user base

Wix was founded in 2006, and is one of the larger website building companies.

It boasts over 5,000 employees and at time of writing there are roughly 4.6 million Wix websites in existence (source: 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 a customer base that has built 4.6 million websites, it’s hard to see Wix going anywhere soon either.

The bottom line is that with both WordPress and Wix you are not dealing with a startup or a brand new product — so choosing one of these platforms is going to come down to other considerations, like pricing and features.

I’ll dig into features shortly, but first, let’s take a look at pricing.


Pricing: how much do WordPress and Wix cost to use?

WordPress costs

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 ecommerce 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.

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 small-scale projects.

For a business project however, I would always aim to use a ‘managed WordPress’ hosting option like Kinsta or WP Engine.

With regard to the other factors mentioned above, you can technically use a free theme, ecommerce integration, and plugins.

But to get higher-quality results, it’s usually worth investing in your site.

Here are some figures that demonstrate the costs you might expect to incur if you were to build your WordPress site yourself whilst investing in higher-quality services / components:

  • Annual hosting, using managed WordPress hosting from Kinsta or WP Engine as an example: $420 (recurring cost)

  • Premium theme: $175

  • Annual cost for ecommerce 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.

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 more comprehensive support.

Wix pricing

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:

  • Free — $0 per month

  • 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

    (from $500 per month)

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 advertising for Wix on it.

However, the free plan does give you a good way to try the platform out before committing to it.

Wix’s free plan
Wix’s free plan — a good way to try the platform out, if you can live with the prominent advertising

The key differences between the remaining Wix plans involve how much bandwidth and storage space you get, and whether you get ecommerce 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 monthly fee of $23 per month to run an ecommerce site using Wix.

As for the ‘Enterprise’ option, this is geared towards more corporate users. With this plan you get a lot more hand-holding both in terms of design, site management and security (for most users, however, this will be unnecessary).

All in all with Wix, depending on which plan you decide to go with, you’re looking at an annual cost of between $168 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.

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Templates

Quantity and quality

Wix’s designer-made website templates are divided into around 20 categories including Business, Online Store, Photography, Restaurants & Food, Landing Pages, and more.

There are over 800 free templates to choose from, and they are all of a high quality.

Examples of Wix templates
Examples of Wix templates

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 Wix doesn’t use ‘responsive’ web design — where your website automatically adjusts its layout to suit the device its being viewed on (mobile, table, desktop etc.).

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 fairly 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 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, the clear winner is WordPress.

Customization options

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 change 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 etc.).

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 easy 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 start, 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.

Switching templates

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.

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 ecommerce (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.

You can learn more about Squarespace here.

Let’s take a look now at how easy it is to use both platforms.


Interfaces, content management systems and ease-of-use

Interfaces

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).

A key difference in Wix vs Wordpress is interfaces — Wix lets you edit in real time.
The Wix interface. Editing content is a real-time affair.

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 (What You See Is What You Get) 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 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 and template kits available for Wordpress that you can use to view changes to your content in real time (for example, Divi or Elementor).

The downside of some of these editors 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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Blogging

If the main aim of your site is blogging, then 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 comes with an autosave feature and a revision history, for example, which not all competing platforms do; and facilitates both categories and tags. Many users will find that the Wix blog serves their needs perfectly well.

But given that WordPress started life as a blogging tool, it’s hardly surprising that its blogging functionality is stronger than Wix’s.

Managing media

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.

The WordPress media library.
The WordPress media library.

With Wix, you get 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 discounted stock images and videos 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 (and limits apply to the number and type of products you can export) — 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).

Mobile apps

With WordPress, you can install the suitably-named ‘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

  • moderating comments

  • viewing site stats

    .

However, the thing about this app is that technically, it’s designed to work with hosted WordPress (i.e., the version you use via wordpress.com). The good news is that you can get it working with a self-hosted WordPress site — but it will involve a bit of configuration and the addition of the JetPack plugin to your WordPress site.

The WordPress mobile app
The WordPress mobile app

Wix also has its own app, ‘Wix Owner,’ which available for both iOS and Android.

This lets you:

  • manage your online store (track orders, add new products, and receive notifications when you make a sale)

  • manage bookings

  • manage events

  • publish and edit blog posts

  • view web stats

  • initiate conversation with your site’s visitors via live chat.

As you can see from the above feature sets, ‘Wix Owner’ is more of an ‘all-in-one’ mobile app than the WordPress equivalent.

The 'Wix Owner' mobile app
The ‘Wix Owner’ mobile app

In terms of user reviews, both mobile apps have been well received. On the iOS store, the Wix app is rated 4.8 stars out of 5, and the WordPress one 4.6 out of 5. The equivalent Google Play scores for both products are 4.5 and 4.4 respectively.

Overall, it’s fair to say that Wix is the winner in the mobile app department — because unlike the WordPress one, no special setup process is required to get the Wix app working.

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.

Wix Multilingual
Enabling Wix Multilingual

However, it’s important to note that Wix doesn’t allow you to translate every site component. And many key Wix 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).

This can be done by installing the WordPress Multilingual Plugin (which costs $29 — $159, depending on what functionality you need) or using the WordPress Multisite feature.

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 translating 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 more suitable option for creating professional multilingual sites.

Analytics

Wix supports a wide range of analytics and tracking tools — analytics products catered for include:

  • Google Analytics

  • Google Tag Manager

  • Google AdWords

  • Facebook Pixel

  • Yandex Metrica

  • Bing Webmaster

(A built-in analytics tool is also provided by Wix).

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.


Ecommerce functionality

Ecommerce in Wix

When using Wix, you need to be on a ‘Business and Ecommerce’ 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 extremely straightforward.

WordPress, by contrast, doesn’t have ecommerce 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, our Ecwid vs Shopify comparison 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 ecommerce functionality to WordPress).

Core ecommerce functionality in Wix

Out of the box, Wix provides a pretty good range of ecommerce 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).

One of the main differences worth focusing on in a Wix vs Shopify shootout is e-commerce. While it's baked into Wix, it's not available out of the box in WordPress.
Adding products to a Wix store

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 are also catered for in Wix. POS is provided either via integrations with Square and Sumup — which both work in a reasonably wide range of countries — or, if you’re based in the US, you can use Wix’s new built-in option, ‘Wix POS.’

Wix's new built-in POS system
Wix’s new built-in POS system

As for dropshipping in Wix, this can be set up via integrations with Modalyst, Spocket, Printful or Printify.

Although you do get quite a lot of ecommerce 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).

Although Wix lets you display product prices in local currencies, it doesn't let your site visitors check out in that currency.
Although Wix lets you display product prices in local currencies, it doesn’t let your site visitors check out in that currency.

A key ecommerce alternative to Wix — Shopify

If your main goal is to create an ecommerce 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 ecommerce functionality is much more comprehensive than Wix’s.

You can learn more about Shopify here.

Ecommerce in Wordpress

Since WordPress doesn’t offer ecommerce functionality out of the box, the core ecommerce features available to you will depend on the ecommerce plugin you’ve installed to your site.

On the plus side, this means you have the option to choose a ecommerce 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 ecommerce.

Popular plugins / solutions for integrating ecommerce into a Wordpress site include:

To help you decide which WordPress ecommerce plugin is right for you, it’s worth asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is the pricing of this WordPress plugin competitive?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • What payment gateways can I use with it?
  • How many product variants and options does it let me use?
  • What are the SEO features like?
  • Can I dropship with it?
  • Does it facilitate point-of-sale (POS) transactions?
  • Does it facilitate selling in multiple currencies?
  • Does it facilitate AMP on product pages?
  • Is there a mobile app available for it?

Payment gateways

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 70 payment processors including Stripe, PayPal, Square, 2Checkout, Yandex and and Braintree (availability of each depending on the country you’re selling from).

With WordPress, the number of payment gateways available to you depends on which ecommerce plugin or tool you’re using (Ecwid, WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads etc.).

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Integrations and apps

Wix has an app store — the appropriately named “App Market” — containing over 250 free and premium apps. Some of these have been 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).

The Wix app market
The Wix app market

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, forms, product review tools, 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 59,000 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 key rival Squarespace’s Email Campaigns offering — as well as many 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.

Creating email marketing campaigns in Wix
Creating email marketing campaigns in Wix

You also have the option to connect your Wix site to a third-party email marketing tools (e.g. GetResponse, Mailchimp or Aweber) by adding an appropriate 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 (if-then rules), 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 in Wix vs WordPress

Wix SEO

Wix lets you 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.

One aspect of Wix which may particularly 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.

The 'Wix SEO Wiz' SEO guide
The ‘Wix SEO Wiz’ SEO guide

However, there are a couple of areas where Wix could be better from an SEO point of view.

First — and as discussed earlier — Wix doesn’t create 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 or the fundamental coding of the platform. This prevents you from using an ultra-fast hosting setup or tweaking your site extensively to ensure that it meets Google’s new “Core Web Vitals” site speed and stability requirements.

(That said, Wix is aware of some of these technical challenges and seems to be steadily making improvements to the platform when it comes to site speed and Core Web Vitals).

And because making a site visible in search results is as much about keyword research, creating great content and earning quality backlinks to it as having a perfect technical SEO setup, it is possible to get a Wix site to rank highly in search results (in fact, Google is on record as saying Wix sites work fine from an SEO perspective).

Tip: for more information on keyword research tools, do check out our Moz and Semrush comparison, our Ahrefs vs Semrush shootout or our guide to Semrush pricing.

WordPress SEO

If configured correctly, a WordPress site can perform extremely well from a technical SEO point of view, and has the potential to outperform a Wix one.

WordPress definitely performs better on the mobile SEO front than Wix, because unlike Wix, creating fully-responsive WordPress sites (preferred by search engine algorithms) is no problem.

And 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.

Yoast plugin for Wordpress - a great SEO tool
Yoast plugin for WordPress – a great SEO tool

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.

Remember: in order to get a fast-loading site, 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 it. Otherwise you can end up with a very slow WordPress site indeed — and one that can be outperformed by Wix.


GDPR compliance

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.

Wix GDPR

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 meet the first three requirements easily — but not the fourth one.

However, unlike many of its competitors, Wix actually handles cookie consent reasonably 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.

Wix's built-in cookie consent banner
Wix’s built-in cookie consent banner

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

  • custom code.

WordPress GDPR

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.

Contact us now


Customer support

Customer support is an area where Wix usually beats WordPress (and fairly comprehensively too).

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. This is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Korean.

Phone support for Wix is available in English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish (with hours of availability varying by language).

The process for getting in touch with Wix’s support team could be considerably better, however. Clicking on a ‘contact’ link on the Wix website doesn’t take you to the relevant contact information but instead to the the Wix Help Center, where the ‘real’ contact us link is slightly buried amongst a host of other resource links.

To be fair, many other platforms make you jump through similar hoops in order to get in touch with help desks, but the Wix process for doing so seems especially convoluted!

As for WordPress, there is no ‘official’ support helpdesk available. You might find yourself sourcing help from WordPress forums, your hosting company, plugin providers or searching on Google.

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 really available from Wix.


Security in Wix and WordPress

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 or plugins 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.

All in all, if you’re managing your website yourself, security is much less of a headache in Wix.


Wix vs WordPress: conclusion

Ultimately, self-hosted 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 it 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 ecommerce, 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 ecommerce, blogging or SEO 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 (and configure your technical SEO setup exactly the way you want). It’s a significantly more flexible platform.

To sum up:

  • Wix is a 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 you 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.

Advantages of using 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).

  • If your

    WordPress site is configured correctly, its SEO capabilities can be stronger 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.

You can download WordPress for free here, or contact us for help with a WordPress project here.

Advantages of using 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 — self-hosted 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, ecommerce functionality, and data capture forms).

  • Because Wix is a hosted solution, you don’t really have to worry much 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.

  • Wix’s mobile app is easier to set up and use — the using the WordPress one for a self-hosted website involves technical workarounds and configuration time.

You can try Wix for free here.


Alternatives to Wix and WordPress

Wix and WordPress are by no means the only options available for building a website or online store: there is a very large number of alternative solutions available.

On the self-hosted front, the best-known alternatives are probably Joomla and Drupal: very flexible platforms that host millions of websites.

With regard to hosted website builders, Squarespace is definitely worth a look — it’s a little more expensive than Wix, and omits some of its features, but is easier to use and its templates are fully responsive.

(See our Squarespace vs Wix comparison post, our detailed Squarespace review and our Squarespace pricing guide for more information about the platform, or grab a free trial of Squarespace here.)

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 exclusively geared towards ecommerce. If this sounds like you, I’d suggest checking out Shopify or BigCommerce.

Take a look at our BigCommerce review and our BigCommerce vs Shopify comparison for more details on these two platforms, or read our Wix vs Shopify post.

Wix vs WordPress FAQs

Which is better, Wix or WordPress?

WordPress is definitely best from a technical perspective, but to get the most out of the platform you need development skills (or a developer!). So Wix can often be a better fit for those who lack coding or web design skills.

Which is better for SEO, Wix or WordPress?

When it comes to SEO, WordPress is usually a better option than Wix — so long as your website is configured correctly. You can create faster-loading pages and meet Google’s new Core Web Vitals with it more easily. Additionally, you can use sophisticated SEO plugins like Yoast with WordPress — these can help you identify the changes you need to make to your pages in order to ensure maximum visibility in search results.

Is Wix more secure than WordPress?

If you’re building a WordPress site, you’ll need to have the relevant technical skills to construct and maintain it in a way that ensures it is secure. With a Wix site, other than taking the basic precautions around passwords, you generally don’t have to worry about security — it’s basically Wix’s responsibility.

Which is more expensive, Wix or WordPress?

Despite being free, open source-software, WordPress usually ends up being more expensive than Wix. This is because in order to make the most of the platform, you need to buy ‘managed hosting’ that is designed to work best with WordPress, and you’ll usually need to hire a developer too.

Can I use WordPress and Wix for free?

Yes. In the case of WordPress, the software is entirely free and can be downloaded from wordpress.org. However, in order to use it, you will need to pay for hosting. You can also use Wix for free — a free trial is available here — but you should note that the free version is ad-supported.


Related reading

Did you know? This article is now available in French. Check out our ‘Wix ou WordPress‘ post on the new Style Factory France website.

Comments (5)

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The main problem of Wix is the total dependence on one provider. In addition, the higher the number of projects, the higher the cost. With a self-hosted Wordpress platform you can manage dozens of customers and at no additional cost, apart from the constant hosting fees of say 50 € per month for a decent server!

In this respect, this article sounds more like an advertorial;)

Thanks for your comment Andy. Yes, Wix does make you dependent on one entity, whereas with WordPress you have more choice around hosting.

Hosting several sites on WordPress is not always doable for as little as 50 Euros however — especially if they are high traffic websites and you are using quality, managed WordPress hosting (which is advisable if using WordPress).

Re: the advertorial comment, for the record I much prefer WordPress as a platform over Wix 🙂

However, for some non-technical users with basic requirements, ‘all-in-one’ solutions like Wix may be a better fit as using a hosted platform means there is nothing to install, no hosting to buy and no ongoing maintenance or security issues to worry about.

That’s not to say that Wix is the best hosted solution out there however – see https://www.stylefactoryproductions.com/ecommerce-platform-reviews for some alternatives.

Nowadays, Wordpress also offers themes with lots of front-end building tools (Divi by Elegant Themes, Elementor, Visual Builder, YellowPencil to name only a few) and so editing and building a website no longer revolve around being in the back-end, publishing and refreshing your page.

I haven’t seen a lot of informations about custom post-types and content on Wix and Wordpress, or if there are ways to search/filter content within each of those platforms, be it for blog articles or for more specific content such as projects, products, items, etc.

In Wix vs WordPress 2019 new capabilities are being added to WordPress on a daily basis by various developers who use open-source code to make it better every day.

Great article, i think for bloggers it is of interest how easy is to integrate ads on your site which I could not see on your article and as a user of both found with wix that is extremely hard on wix