I get asked this question often, usually by those thinking about getting a website for the first time. So I thought, why not write a blog post about it?
There are numerous long winded comparison articles detailing the pros and cons of both WordPress and Wix out there. You really could go on all day comparing features and price options. What I’m going to attempt is to look at this from the point of view of small and growing businesses or individuals who are looking to launch their first website.
I’ll try to compare the fundamental differences in brief so you can figure out what option is best for you.
Note: I am comparing Wix to WordPress.org (free open source web building software owned by no-one) as opposed to WordPress.com (the online blogging service owned by a company called Automattic). You can see a full difference between the two at this link.
WIX Vs WordPress – What exactly are they?
WordPress is the most widely used open source website builder in the world. It is free and owned by no-one and as such it is very versatile and customisable with some know-how.
In order to set up a WordPress website you need a website domain (.com/.co.uk/.org etc.). You also need a website hosting provider like SiteGround, for example. You then install WordPress onto the hosting account and then you can go ahead and build your website.
Wix is an all-in-one website builder and hosting service provider run by a single business. Everything is organised from the Wix Website. This is quite a similar setup to WordPress.com as mentioned above.
Website Design and Functionality
The Wix website builder has powerful and easier to use tools available. This offers a simple drag and drop editor which you can use alongside its 500+ pre-built templates. Many beginners would we happy with this option as you can get your website going fairly quickly without having to deal with any code.
You can make customisations to your Wix website using the 250+ Wix Apps. This is a simple and powerful way to add features to your website, but if you need a higher functionality level (like creating an online shop for example) you will need to upgrade your premium plan to achieve this.
WordPress does take a little more technical know-how but with WordPress the options are limitless and it is the most flexible coding option. If you want your website to do something, anything really, there is a way to get it done on WordPress (either already built in or through code or by using plugins).
WordPress thousands of WordPress themes all over the web from free to paid premium options. You can also hire a developer to make a custom theme just for you.
Likewise you can make customisation to your website with both free and premium WordPress Plugins. At the time of writing there are 55,024 WordPress plugins with new ones being added every week. These allow you to add functionality to your website without the need to code.
WordPress does not come with a drag and drop editor by default – however installing these (like almost anything in WordPress) is perfectly achievable.
Websites I hand over to my clients, for example, are installed with a simple drag-and-drop editor so they can update their websites in future.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Getting found online these days is vitally important, particularly in business.
There are loads of different opinions on this and some will tell you that Wix isn’t great for search. Even though I build WordPress websites, I won’t tell you this as it probably isn’t true. In my opinion, if this was true, Wix wouldn’t be widely used at all.
Most website builders and sources from Google are satisfied that mainstream website builders like Wix (and of course WordPress) work just fine with search.
Wix has some built in SEO tools. These will help ensure your structure is right to get picked up by Google. It also has a blogging feature.
With WordPress the structure is there and there are a range of widely used SEO plugins which will keep you right to do the necessary things in order to get picked up on Google and improve your ranking.
I tend to tip my hat towards WordPress here because blogging is so vital to SEO. WordPress started life as a blogging platform and it still has the best blogging features today.
In saying that, picking one or the other isn’t going to guarantee a higher ranking on Google. It’s the effort you are willing to put into SEO that matters – understanding it, doing it and doing it well.
What does it cost?
Wix bills itself as a free website builder. It is actually only free if you use a limited version of it will also include ads on your website. Furthermore, your website address will be something like www.username.wix.com/sitename.
Other than that you are looking at a premium monthly fixed costs depending on your level of usage.
WordPress is genuinely free software. However, as mentioned above, you’ll need a website domain and a hosting package to link it to get it going. WordPress costs are very variable depending on your needs. It can almost cost almost nothing to run on a yearly basis. However, With premium themes, plugins and use of developers it could cost you up to any amount.
Here is a basic run down of the costs for each (Note: these are set up and maintenance costs, not including getting someone to build a website for you, for example)…
WIX Premium Pricing Plans
As you can see, the most popular plan with just about all of the trimmings is coming in at $12.50 (around £10) per month or $150 (£120) per year. This includes Wix web hosting and a domain name for 1 year.
If you are looking for an online shop your e-commerce plan starts at $16.50 (£13) per month or around $200 (£160) per year.
Then all you have to do is build your website or pay someone to do just that.
WordPress Setup Costs
As mentioned, WordPress is free but you need a web hosting package and a domain.
Estimated cost of basic website hosting package from a very reasonably priced and reliable host like SiteGround, for example, are as low as $3.95 (£2.95) per month or $47.50 (£35.50) per year.
Obviously plans can go much higher but there is no need for anything other than a basic web hosting plan for an individual or small business.
Domain registration costs can vary depending on the type of domain, how sought after it is etc. Registration estimates for a new website domain can be are anywhere from around $6 (£5) – $20 (£16) per year.
Basically, your running costs for a simple WordPress website could be as low as $60 (or £50) per year.
Otherwise, anything is possible. Premium templates and WordPress plugins will cost you more via a one-off cost or subscription.
You also might want someone to design and do the initial website build for you which could add another one-off or fixed cost.
Which one should you use?
I would suggest that if you have no coding knowledge and want to have a go at building the website yourself then Wix is your best bet. Also, if the website is ever only ever going to have a basic design and fairly limited in terms of functionality (with no plans to scale it up) – again I would say Wix is for you.
Wix as a tool is limited in scope but it’ll get you up and running quickly.
If you are seeking greater functionality in the future or if you are looking to create an online store, I would say WordPress is your best bet.
You can pay for as little or as much as you like initially. You then always have the ability to scale up and add customisations without starting all over again or upgrading to a more expensive payment plan.
Obviously, everyone has different view on this but that’s how I see it.
Whatever you pick, I hope this article has helped you get your website going!
Are you looking for a WordPress website?
If you think a high quality WordPress website is right for you, I can provide website build, design and even safe and secure website hosting. This can be handed over with a simple drag-and-drop web editor installed for future updates.
Get in touch with me today at [email protected] if you would like to discuss this further.