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WordPress vs. Wix: Which is better for your small business?

Feb 4, 2021 | Web Design, WordPress

WordPress and Wix are both popular website platforms, but the similarities pretty much end there. As a web designer, I’ve worked with both platforms, but today I work almost exclusively with WordPress. Even though I don’t work with Wix anymore, I believe it has its place. In this post, I’ll break down the pros and cons of each website platform in order to help you decide which is the better solution for your small business.

Important note: Whenever I refer to WordPress in this post, I’m referring to WordPress.org, not WordPress.com. WordPress.org is where you download the free WordPress software. WordPress.com is a hosting platform specifically for WordPress websites.

WordPress vs. Wix: Overview

There are a few fundamental differences between WordPress and Wix that are important to understand. For starters, WordPress is a CMS (content management system) that was originally built for blogging. However, any kind of website, static or dynamic, can be built using WordPress. Wix, on the other hand, is a visual website builder. Wix, like WordPress, is compatible with blogging and ecommerce, but with less robust features.

Wix is an all-in-one platform that includes hosting and domain registration. Although convenient, there are some cons to putting all of your eggs in one basket. In order to host a WordPress site, you have to purchase a separate hosting plan through a service like Siteground. This process can seem like a bit of a hassle, however you have the benefit of establishing full control and ownership over your site, whereas your Wix site is owned by Wix.

Lets take a closer look at some the main differences between WordPress and Wix, based on the following categories: ease of use, customizability, ecommerce, blogging and SEO, pricing, and other general considerations.

Ease of use

Wix has WordPress beat when it comes to ease of use. In fact, the main draw of using Wix to build your website is that it’s intended for DIY non-designers. Wix utilizes a WYSIWYG drag-and-drop editor that makes it easy to customize the look of your site to your heart’s content.

To make the design process even easier, Wix offers over 500 pre-made templates to work with. Creating a website for your small business could be as simple as choosing a nice template and swapping out the text and images. There is one important caveat, however. Once you select a Wix template to work with, you can’t change it, unless you’re willing to rebuild your site from scratch.

WordPress, on the other hand, is not as intuitive when it comes to customization. But as with Wix, there’s no need to create your website from scratch. In fact, there are thousands of pre-made WordPress themes available. There are even drag-and-drop themes, similar to Wix’s visual builder, that allow you to design your website in real time. My favorite visual builder for WordPress is Divi. I love working with Divi because it makes it easy to bring my custom designs to life for my clients, while reaping all the benefits of WordPress.

Conclusion: Wix is by default easier to use than WordPress. However, WordPress comes with more design versatility and can provide a similar drag-and-drop interface through visual builders like Divi.

Related post: Why I use the Divi theme to build websites

Customizability

Wix may be easier to use than WordPress, but WordPress reigns supreme when it comes to customizability. There’s nothing you can’t do, in terms of design or functionality, with WordPress. This is one of the benefits of open-source software. There are over 50,000 WordPress plugins available for every function imaginable. And there’s always the option to customize the website code itself.

That said, a simple small business website might not need all the customizable features that WordPress offers. Wix offers 200+ apps, which are the equivalent of WordPress plugins. Depending on your needs, a simple Wix website could suffice, especially when you’re just starting out.

Conclusion: WordPress is more customizable than Wix, thanks to open-source software and thousands of third-party plugins. However, a basic business website may not need much customization.

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Ecommerce

If your goal is to sell digital or physical products on your website, you’ll need a website platform that can handle ecommerce. Both WordPress and Wix offer ecommerce integration. However, you’ll find that WordPress is better equipped for it overall.

On Wix, you’ll need to add the Store App to your site in order to start selling products. In doing so, you’ll also need to upgrade your account to a pricier ecommerce plan. With the Store App, you can add products to your site and customize basic details, like the description, pricing, and categories. For straightforward products, you could be all set here. But if you have variable products or need to add customization options, you won’t get very far with Wix.

There are a few different ways to add ecommerce to your WordPress site. The most popular by far is a plugin called Woocommerce. This is a free plugin that includes all the features and functionality you need to start selling physical or digital products. Note that Woocommerce comes with a bit of a learning curve. But it’s usually worth it for all the flexibility it comes with. Woocommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the web, and for good reason.

Conclusion: Both Wix and WordPress allow you to sell products on your website. In general, WordPress is a better solution for ecommerce because it’s more customizable.

Blogging and SEO

WordPress is the #1 blogging platform on the web. As mentioned above, it was originally created for blogging specifically. It comes with all the standard features you’d expect, such as categorization, commenting, featured images, excerpts, and more. Furthermore, WordPress’ Gutenberg block editor makes it easy to customize the look and layout of your blog posts.

Wix does offer blogging integration, but the features are limited compared to WordPress. For instance, Wix doesn’t offer native commenting or featured image capabilities.

In terms of SEO, WordPress again has Wix beat. Through free plugins like Yoast, WordPress makes optimizing your website for search engines easy (click here for a Yoast SEO plugin tutorial). That said, it’s important to note that one of the most important factors for SEO is the quality of your content. Any website built on any platform can rank in search engines if it has stellar, optimized content.

Conclusion: If blogging and SEO are important for your small business, go with WordPress over Wix. Not sure if they’re important? Click here to read about the benefits of blogging for your business.

Related post: 7 easy ways to improve SEO on your website

Pricing

Pricing is a major factor to take into consideration for most small businesses. Website hosting in general isn’t very expensive, but the costs can definitely add up over time. Wix and WordPress pricing is pretty comparable overall, but there are a few key differences to note.

With Wix, it’s possible to create a website for free. However, there are two big drawbacks to their free plan. For one, your website will display unsightly Wix ads. And secondly, you can’t connect a custom domain. As a result, your free Wix site will look cheap and unprofessional. If you’re creating a website for a business, it’s important to look legitimate with a custom domain (i.e. yourbusinessname.com) and no ads.

Wix has a few different premium plans to choose from. Their most popular plan that offers the best value is the Unlimited Plan, currently priced at $12.50/month. If you’re creating an ecommerce site, the minimum you’ll spend on Wix is $16.50/month.

WordPress hosting is a bit more complex, simply because there are many different hosting platforms to choose from, all with different pricing and benefits. For most small businesses, I recommend Siteground’s managed WordPress hosting. Siteground is secure, reliable, and comes with 24/7 support. It’s also very reasonable in terms of pricing, starting at $15/month. There are also cheaper options available, such as Bluehost or Godaddy, but beware: you get what you pay for.

Conclusion: WordPress and Wix are fairly comparable in terms of price. The cost of building and maintaining your website will vary widely depending on how you create it (hire out or DIY) and what kind of features you’ll need to integrate.

Other considerations

A few other factors to take into consideration when choosing a website platform are speed, mobile optimization, and customer support. I’ve lumped these into one category because all three will vary widely on WordPress depending on where your site is hosted and which theme you use.

Wix does pretty well in terms of website speed and customer support. Mobile optimization, however, is not its strong suit. Although they do offer the ability to customize the mobile version of your site (which you definitely must do), I’ve found their interface to be finicky to work with.

When creating a WordPress site, it’s important to purchase a high quality theme and hosting service in order to get the best results for your website all around. A solid theme and host (such as Siteground and Divi) will tick all the boxes for website speed, mobile optimization, and customer support.

Conclusion: WordPress’ strengths vary a bit depending on which theme and hosting service you use. Generally, but not always, investing more in your website (i.e. a premium theme and vetted hosting service) will produce better results.

Which is better: WordPress or Wix?

By now, you can probably tell that I prefer WordPress over Wix. I genuinely believe that WordPress is the best platform for most small businesses. It’s superior to Wix in customizability, ecommerce, blogging, and SEO. The only area it’s weaker at is ease of use. Depending on your personal preferences and where you’re at in your business, this may or may not be an important deciding factor for you.

So do I believe all business owners should avoid Wix like the plague? Not necessarily. Wix could be a good solution for you if you: A) can’t afford to work with a web designer and/or are dead-set on designing your own website; B) need a very basic website to help legitimize your business but don’t need or expect much traffic; or C) are starting up a side hustle just for fun.

Need help bringing your WordPress website to life for your small business? You’re in the right place–I specialize in creating custom, strategic brands and websites that convert. Click here to schedule a free discovery call.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission. I only affiliate with products that I personally use and genuinely recommend.

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Steph Corrigan Design Blogger

Meet Steph

BRAND AND WEB DESIGNER + FOUNDER

I’m here to break down everything you’ve been wondering about when it comes to starting and scaling a small business in the most aligned way possible. From branding basics to tried-and-true marketing strategies, you’ll get my unfiltered thoughts and advice on how to make your brand stand out.

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