Since you’ve taken the decision to start a new website, maybe you’re wondering whether to choose Wix vs WordPress, as the website building platform. Which one is the best solution for creating a brand-new website?
To put a long story short, you should choose WordPress. In fact, if you want to experiment customizing a website for just a few weeks/months, you can choose Wix. However, if you want to build a website that’s created for long-term results, a website that you can tailor exactly how you want, then WordPress is a much better choice.
Keep reading to see why.
Wix offers 5 premium pricing plans and a free plan. If you want more features, then you have to choose one of the premium plans. These range from 4.50$ to 24.50$/month. For the free plan, you don’t have a domain of your own, and this is the most important thing why you should consider choosing a premium plan.
WordPress, as a platform to work with, is free. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll have to register your own domain name (about 7$ per year) and pay the price for a web hosting (about 7$/month). Going with WordPress will certainly pay dividends.
Webhosting for WordPress from Siteground:
Building the skeleton of the website
When it comes to building the first version of the website, Wix wins narrowly.
This is because Wix doesn’t require you to play around with cPanel, manually install WordPress, setting up logins for both cPanel and WordPress admin, or set up FTP clients and the like.
Once you login to Wix, you’re good to go, and can create your website right away.
WordPress, by contrast, requires you spend some time to tinker with the moving parts, installation, domain registry, etc.
To give you an idea, it took us 10 minutes to go from not having a website:
To this website:
One feature that is pretty unique to Wix, and really helps to cut down on time while building a website, is the site building AI. Basically, you answer a few questions about what kind of site you want, and presto! Wix makes one that best fits your needs.
Site built with Wix ADI:
Wix also comes with a fairly flexible drag-and-drop website builder, that usually gets the job done. But more on that in a bit.
Going into the details of building a website
It’s fair to say that Wix is better and more intuitive for a beginner that just wants to set up a website quickly. But really, those are its only major advantages.
Once you go deep into customizing a website, you’ll come across all of Wix’s major flaws and lack of features, and why it struggles to compete with WordPress when making sites that have even a small amount of complexity to them.
WordPress has themes that are free. These amount to more than 3,000. All themes can be customized according to your preferences. Wix also has themes that are free, but they look quite similar to one another. Wix’s templates (as they name them) amount to more than 500. It’s important to note that, once chosen, a template cannot be replaced by another one, in the Wix platform.
In WordPress, you can create and edit menus and menu locations. You can have multiple menus in different areas of the website. For Wix-based websites, there’s only one menu option. Hence, you cannot rely on Wix settings for building highly-complex websites.
Wix is very popular for its drag-and-drop functionality. By simple drag-and-drop, you can move sections into the web pages, and rearrange them as you want. You should know that WordPress has its own drag-and-drop editors, too. So you can edit sections in any web page using drag-and-drop functionality, as well. It’s not a feature exclusive for Wix.
And when it comes to features, drag-and-drop is not the only feature that’s to be taken into consideration. But in Wix you can’t install new features on your own (as they need pre-approval and inclusion in Wix as a module).
WordPress is much more powerful and flexible. Once you’ve learned how to use WordPress, it’ll offer more opportunities to make the website look identical to what you want it to look. WordPress has tens of thousands of plugins, all for customizing the website exactly the way you want to.
There are plugins for translating content, plugins for SEO optimization, for dynamic text, and many, many more.
Just to give you an idea, WordPress has over 50,000 plugins. Wix has just a few hundred web apps, as they call them. This difference in numbers can have real implications.
Let’s say you want to build a nice pop-up for your website to capture emails and leads. At the moment, the Wix App store has only a handful of such apps, some of which aren’t even maintained any more.
What do you do if none of these pop-ups offer a niche functionality that you desperately need, such as targeting traffic coming from a particular AdWords or Facebook campaign? Not much, because you don’t have control over the website.
With WordPress however, you will have tens or hundreds of pop-up plugins. Statistically speaking, it’s almost guaranteed you can find at least one plugin that does what you want.
Code customization / Custom designs
Wix doesn’t let you change the template, nor does it let you edit CSS code. You might want to switch to another theme completely, or you might want to make CSS code adjustments for specific portions of the website pages. This is important because the initial form of the website doesn’t need to get stuck, but it should adapt to new user experience and changing user behavior. Wix has no such possibilities, so you should go for WordPress instead.
In terms of website hosting, Wix seems to be surpassed by other hosting companies. See, for instance, this graphics from Hostadvice.com:
Also, in terms of support for hosting, Wix comes 3rd in the list of hosting providers. It is rated 7.3 out of 10, whereas some hosts, such as SiteGround (at a much higher score, rated 9.7), offer 24/7 support for web hosting services.
One important thing to note is that WordPress comes with great support. It is created as an open-source system, which means there’s a huge community out there, willing to help you with your WordPress website. There are plenty of websites and forums, and Youtube videos where you get explanations of how to fix WordPress issues. From guides for beginners (e.g. WPBeginner), to some tutorials with advanced tips and tricks, there’s everything you need to know for putting in place your WordPress website.
Take the example of “how to install WordPress”. Anybody having this problem has about 265,000,000 results in Google, from websites explaining the process of WordPress installation.
Who owns the website? Migrating website
Another important aspect is that, with WordPress, it’s you that owns the website. With Wix, you don’t. If they want, they can shut it down instantly. You cannot rely on Wix for a business-related website, or a website you expect to make money with, in the long run.
Here’s the opinion of a front-end engineer about that:
“Most critical is that you don’t own the site. You don’t own the design. You own nothing. Instead, you are simply a subscriber to the platform. Wix can pull down their site, or templates, or remove features anytime they want, and you would have no recourse. No site files available to migrate. No way to package up the data and move it elsewhere. Make sure your boss/client fully understands that.”
Unlike WordPress, Wix is a closed platform. As a result, it does not provide an easy way to migrate the website from Wix to a different platform. However, transferring your website is still possible, but keep in mind that the migration process is laborious. It involves many steps, that are not exhaustively detailed on the Wix website. You should consider even the case of a manual migration, or a semi-automated migration, that does not instantly retrieve all your information from the old site.
To give you an overview of the needed steps for Wix website migration:
- You need to make a list of your Wix URLs
- You have to purchase a hosting service
- Also, you need to set up a temporary domain
- You have to install the new platform (i.e. WordPress)
- Next, you have to perform a manual migration (using copy/paste) or run a semi-automated transfer
- You have to select a theme in WordPress and start customizing it
- Also, you should update your permalinks
- You have to transfer the domain
- Last, you need to check if the new version of the website works properly.
To give you an overview of the needed steps for WordPress website migration:
- You need to make a backup of the website files
- Next, you should export the database
- You have to import the database into the new platform
And that’s all.
From the SEO point of view:
- Wix uses an Ajax crawling scheme
- You won’t be able to implement canonical tags with Wix
- Wix renames image names
- You won’t be able to add extra tags for tracking purposes in Wix
- Wix-based websites won’t load without JS, which is debatable as to indexing in Google
- There’s no support for hreflang in Wix
- You’ll have issues with tags in Wix
- You may have issues with H tags, when using Wix
- Mobile responsiveness is frequently questioned for Wix-based websites.
- As compared to Wix, WordPress has the popular Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack. They have specific features for SEO optimization.
If you build a website with Wix, SEO won’t really be your strength. Especially if you plan to blog a lot. SEO for Wix-based blogs isn’t that powerful, in terms of promotion to web surfers and to search engine bots. Check this detailed review about SEO on Wix, for further analysis.
For e-commerce, WordPress wins again. It has the powerful WooCommerce plugin with all the needed options for online orders and shipping. For Wix, shipping and tax options are limited.
Other aspects to have in mind:
WordPress gives complete control over the website. This results in better, more professional design.
Take, for instance, the example of a French website. As it is built within a platform, certain fields will appear pre-populated with English words (Search, All, etc.). There’s, however, the Loco Translate plugin which does exactly that: it translates the text in pre-populated fields from English, to French (or whatever language you have the website for). In Wix, there’s no such support for translating every bit of text that pre-populates areas in the website.
Added flexibility and control for WordPress
We mentioned business-related websites. So, you’ll want to grow your online business, and get better and better results for it. So if your company website becomes big enough, you’ll want the flexibility and control that WordPress provides. It might be a theme change (which, as we said, is not possible with Wix), or it might be extended functionality (that’s unstable with Wix), or any code modification that’ll make the website look unique. All this is simply a matter of wise choice. And the choice should be WordPress.
Make the website reflect the uniqueness of your business
Uniqueness is a differentiator that can make or break your website. The website/blog needs to stand out from all the other web pages on the internet, to truly impact readers.
For complete customizations that make your website pages unique, you should also think of selecting WordPress. Wix has only those pre-defined sections you can play with, in an already-established design frame…
Website built on WordPress, that shows a high degree of uniqueness:
If you want to simply play with several options in creating a website, you can choose Wix and explore its functionalities.
If you really want to put your professional skills to test and build a website for long-term results and a strong online identity, you should choose WordPress. It has all the means for you to build a professional website/blog, just the way you want, and make a design that aligns with your branding purposes.