Alright, so you’re making moves to build your new website. First let me say congrats. I preach that having a digital platform for your brand or business is crucial to your success (more on that here) but there are a lot of decisions to make when you’re building your website that can be confusing. The first question being where do I purchase my domain? And then, what website platform should I use?
Wix and WordPress are two of the most popular website platforms in the game. Chances are you’ve probably seen tv commercials or internet ads for Wix. It looks like an incredible tool for a fraction of the cost of most other website builders on the market but it’s important to be aware of its limitations. WordPress is also extremely popular and most major businesses run their websites on WordPress. Before jumping in, however, it’s also critical to know what you’re getting into.
Below is a breakdown of Wix vs. WordPress in three areas: price, ease of use, and scalability. I’ll offer my personal recommendation but also give you all the facts so you can make an informed decision yourself.
A note: when I talk about WordPress, I’m talking about WordPress.org not WordPress.com. There’s a huge difference! If you’d like to learn more about the difference, you can do so here.
Wix offers a basic website builder for free. However, there are two major downsides to it.
First, it adds Wix branded advertisements on the top and bottom of your website.
Second, you cannot use a custom domain name for your site, so your website address will be: username.wix.com/sitename
Aside from that, the basic plan does not offer necessary add-ons such as Google Analytics, Favicons, eCommerce, etc. To remove ads and get additional features from their apps market, you’ll have to upgrade to one of the premium plans they offer.
Each Wix premium plan has different storage and bandwidth limitations. You can pay monthly or choose a yearly plan.
This cost does not include any apps that you later choose to buy from the Wix app market to use on your website.
WordPress is open-source, meaning it’s free to use. The only costs come with hosting and plugins! Hosting with Bluehost starts at $2.75/month with a free domain and offers more storage space than Wix’s top personal plan.
The plugins you’ll need really depend on your goals! Most plugins on WordPress are totally free and give you more capabilities than you can get on Wix. Wix has plugins too, but they do cost in addition to the monthly fee.
Price: WordPress is far cheaper than Wix. WordPress has options to spend more money, but are not necessary to have a fantastic site.
Who has the upper hand? WordPress
2. Ease of Use
Most beginners choose Wix or WordPress because they don’t want to hire a website designer. Both Wix and WordPress allow you to create websites without learning to code.
Wix is the most popular website platform for beginners because of its super simple drag-and-drop program! You have full control over the design and can the interface is super intuitive. Wix is definitely the easiest option with no additional plugins.
Here’s the catch: the responsive design on Wix is the worst in the game. What is responsive design? A website that is “responsive” is a website that looks and functions flawlessly on desktop, mobile, and tablet views. Although Wix offers a separate design function for mobile, this doesn’t automatically snap into place when you resize your web browser. You actually have to load the page from your phone or from a smaller screen to see this design. When you resize your web browser, a quality website should automatically adjust its design to fit. Wix isn’t great at this.
WordPress comes with a visual editor to write your content and a theme customizer which allows you to edit your theme properties. To get full control over the appearance you can use easy-to-use free themes: WordPress has thousands.
Married to the drag-and-drop (I am)? Use Elementor. It’s totally free and ridiculously easy to use. It works just like Wix, but with far more power. Using tools like “copy and pasting” sections from one page to another, or copying the style of a font and pasting it on a new one- it’s probably the easiest web builder platform I’ve ever used (and I’ve used them all). And responsive design? Elementor offers the ability to customize your website design for not two, but three screens. Desktop, tablet, and mobile. You can even create separate menu bars and footers just for mobile if you’d like. This makes your design seamless.
Conclusion: Wix is super easy to use and totally intuitive without any additional tools. WordPress can be just as easy if you use the right tools! That’s why I include Elementor and a custom library of tutorial video in my templates. Who has the upper hand? Wix (WordPress can be easier, but only with certain tools)
3. Scalability (hint: convert leads, grow an audience, make more money, adjust and evolve as your business does)
Wix comes with 200+ plugins and apps that allow you to scale beyond the small drag-and-drop web platform’s capabilities. For most basic needs, these plugins can do the trick. It’s when your business begins to scale that you can run into some issues.
Google analytics and SEO are a must for a growing, scaling business. Wix offers some basic editing that can help you show up on search engines, but this, of course, is only available with a paid plan. You cannot fully customize your URLS with a free Wix plan.
Blogging can be a great way to drive traffic to your website and increase page views. With Wix you have basic blogging features that work well for a small blog such as categories and tags, photos and videos, archives, etc. It doesn’t, however, have a native commenting section like WordPress, forcing comments via a Facebook plugin and it lacks important features such as featured images, backdating posts, creating private posts, and more. There is not much design freedom when creating blog posts either, as the interface for this is extremely basic.
Ecommerce is also a fantastic way to grow and scale your business as you sell products and create passive income. We’ve already touched on the price implications of e-commerce with Wix, but for a very simple store, Wix works fine. Once you start getting into more advanced products, however, you will definitely want to switch to WordPress or Shopify to host your online shop.
Advanced tools such as running courses, offering exclusive membership-only content, and so much more are all functions you may need as you grow your business. Unfortunately, you are limited in what you can add to a Wix website. Again, for smaller and simple websites Wix can work well, but if you want to really grow and scale, you will need the thousands of plugins and add-ons offered through WordPress.
WordPress also offers plugins and add-ons, as many as 55,000+ and growing by the day. If we’re talking scalability, you can do virtually anything you want tech-wise on WordPress with a plugin. A lot of them are free and there are some really great ones that are paid. As anyone can create plugins for WordPress, you do have to be careful and do your research to make sure you install a quality plugin.
As you know, Google analytics and SEO are a must for a growing, scaling business. Using Yoast SEO and Google analytics with WordPress are extremely easy to do and utilize for marketing and business growth.
For a blogging platform, nothing beats WordPress. There are plugins you can use (I recommend Tasty Pins and Recipes) that allow sharing your blog content to Pinterest extremely easy, allowing more traffic to be sent to your site.
WordPress powers over 42% of all e-commerce websites, so it’s no surprise that their e-commerce system is hard to beat. Utilizing a free tool like Woocommerce, you can set up your shop and start selling for no additional cost, which is cheaper than Wix. There are also tons of e-commerce plugins on WordPress allowing you to do virtually anything you want to reach your business goals with your online shop.
Conclusion: If you’re looking to scale, WordPress is simply the way to go. Although Wix is easy to use and offers lots of tools, at the end of the day it is very limited in its capabilities. If your goal is to grow and scale your business, you need to get on WordPress.
Who has the upper hand? WordPress.
WordPress is a far superior platform to Wix when it comes to the long-term success of your brand or business. Although Wix is simple and easy to use, it comes up short in almost every area.
Here’s the catch: WordPress is powerful, but you need to know how to use it. Using the right tools can make or quite literally break your website. This is why I recommend using well-made WordPress templates created specifically for your industry. You don’t necessarily have to hire a professional designer to make your WordPress site easy-to-use and powerful, just make sure you utilize the right tools. Get access to the templates and tools I use here.