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Wix vs WordPress: Understanding the Key Differences

Wix vs. WordPress, which one is better? Some of you may be wondering why that’s even a question worth asking.

For over 15 years, WordPress was the reigning king of content management systems. If you had to ask someone which website builder was best for running an online business site, blog, or portfolio, the answer would more than likely be WordPress.

Today, however, WordPress is not the only platform for creating websites. The content management system sector now has a large variety of platforms that offer similar services to WordPress – one such example is Wix.

But does this relatively new website builder stand up to the legendary WordPress? Let’s find out.

Wix vs WordPress: A Look at the Pros & Cons

Even though Wix and WordPress each offer a lot of advantages, there are still a few limitations to be aware of too.

Wix Pros

  • Wix is an all-in-one website builder that allows you to build and host websites on its platform. You don’t have to install software and pay another platform for hosting.
  • The platform is very easy to use and you don’t need any special coding knowledge to create your site.
  • Wix offers a good range of in-built features right from the get-go, including eCommerce functionality.
  • Drag-and-drop functionality makes it very easy to create a website.
  • Signing up and getting started is simple.
  • Wix has a dedicated support team to help you with all your queries.

Wix Cons

  • Wix users have less control over their website, which can be seen as a trade-off for ease-of-use. Some users have also complained about their site being taken down for no reason.
  • Even though Wix offers a wide array of templates and designs, they’re not all polished and professional. Additionally, customization options are very limited.
  • Users can’t alter their designs once the site is up and running.
  • Wix templates aren’t always SEO-friendly
  • Users have very little freedom to add new features to their sites. Additionally, every feature needs to be vetted by Wix and be available as an app.
  • Some users have complained that the blogging features have a few bugs.

WordPress Pros

  • WordPress is free, open-source software.
  • Not only does it have a ton of built-in features, but it also gives you access to tens of thousands of free themes, extensions, and plugins.
  • WordPress has a wonderful native blogging feature along with built-in commenting functionality.
  • The platform is frequently updated and has a huge support community.
  • All WordPress features are highly customizable, giving developers and website owners more freedom.

WordPress Cons

  • Launching a WordPress site requires you to purchase a domain and hosting separately. If the hosting platform you choose isn’t very helpful, you may need to work on the technical aspects of the website yourself.
  • WordPress requires a learning curve and you should ideally have some HTML knowledge.
  • The dashboard is not as user-friendly as Wix.
  • Anyone can create a WordPress plugin, which means you may end up installing a plugin that has not been updated or does not offer high performance.

If you want to compare these two website builders with even more options, click here.

Wix vs. WordPress: Choosing the Right Website Builder

Let’s take a look at the features that set Wix and WordPress apart. This will help you determine which platform is the best for your requirements:

Ease of Use

Wix: You do not need to install any additional add-ons (known as apps on Wix). Nor do you have to install the Wix software as it is browser-based.

The platform comes with an intuitive and powerful, yet simple drag-and-drop tool, that functions on a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) basis. Simply put, you can rearrange the elements on your page and add content and media without having to understand code – ideal for beginners.

WordPress: WordPress is equipped with visual editing functionality and a theme customizer, but it does not have a drag-and-drop feature on the front end like Wix does.

In order to create your website, you will need to learn how to navigate the back end, which can differ based on the theme you’ve chosen. But once you figure that out, there are thousands of ways that you can customize your site, regardless of whether you have HTML and CSS knowledge (This does help though).

Thanks to thousands of extensions and plugins, WordPress offers a lot of flexibility.

Verdict: As far as ease-of-use is concerned, Wix wins hands down.

Design

Wix: Wix comes with over 500 designer-made templates that are written in HTML5, most of which are fully responsive. Using its built-in features, you can rearrange the objects on your site, change the layout and customize the design of your site.

Templates are divided into categories but users can also select designs according to popularity.

However, the biggest drawback is that once you have chosen a template, you can’t change it. You can modify it using built-in tools, but you cannot change your mind about the theme.

If you don’t have time to focus on a lot of customization, you can also use Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) that will design a site for you after asking a few questions.

WordPress: If you have some CSS and HTML knowledge, WordPress is the superior choice for designing your website. With WordPress, you have access to thousands of free and paid themes. Free themes tend to have limited support but they do go through a rigorous review process. With paid themes, you can get premium customization and support options. There are a number of theme markets to browse, including Theme Forest and Creative Market.

Even though you can customize your WordPress theme, plugins can be used to add additional elements and functionality.

Design customization, functionality, and flexibility are the primary sources of WordPress’s popularity. However, these advanced capabilities come with more complexity. With that being said, you can still build an exceptional site without having coding experience.

Verdict: If you want highly-customized design capabilities, WordPress is the platform for you.

Add-Ons & Functionality

 

Wix: Upon writing this, the Wix App Market had 227 apps that could be added to your site. These apps fall into a wide range of categories, including design tools, forms, social media, video, events, marketing, and more.

A lot of these apps are free or have a lite version, while others are paid. Even though the number of apps is limited, they cover most of the features that users request.

Aside from the app market, you can also use Wix Code, which allows you to add APIs and JavaScript to your site.

Since Wix is not an open-source platform like WordPress, all the apps are owned by its development team. This means there’s a lower chance of bugs and it ensures they’re updated on a regular basis.

Even with this available functionality, Wix is not for everyone. Many of its features are not very SEO-friendly and do not provide optimum solutions for everything. As things stand, Wix may be a good option for smaller sites.

WordPress: Not only is WordPress an open-source platform, but it also has over 55,000 free plugins available in its directory. This number doesn’t include the premium plugins in other marketplaces. Think of a feature and WordPress will have a plugin for it.

Whether you want to run an eCommerce store, install Google Analytics, or create survey forms, you will find a plugin for all these things and more.

Although the sheer number of plugins gives users a lot of options, it can also be potentially problematic.

A lot of these tools are mediocre or may not be frequently updated by their developers. That is not to say that WordPress does not offer quality plugins, you just need to find the right ones.

Verdict: WordPress remains the reigning champion here too. Even though Wix’s app library is growing, it doesn’t come close to what WordPress offers.

Migration

Wix: Unfortunately, data portability is not Wix’s forte. Every Wix site is hosted on their servers and the platform offers very few options when it comes to migration.

Users can only export the content of their blogs in an XML format. To export the data of other pages, you will have to manually copy and paste the text and media. If your website is large, this can take forever.

You may be able to automate and speed up some parts of the migration process by getting your Wix RSS feed and saving the XML document on your computer

WordPress: WordPress makes it extremely easy to migrate your content thanks to its one-click exporter that can download everything in an XML format. You can then move to another website host with ease.

It’s best to make backups before you export your content and it comes as no surprise that there’s a plugin for that.

If you don’t mind the hard route, you can also download your media files and manually migrate your database.

Verdict: When it comes to migration, WordPress is the better choice.

eCommerce Support

Wix: Wix has its own eCommerce functionality and you can either choose a pre-built online store template or add the store app to an existing template. You can then easily add your products and manage your store using a popup interface.

Unfortunately, Wix lacks eCommerce functionality and doesn’t offer a lot of customization options. Moreover, the shipping and tax options are extremely limited.

Additionally, the Wix eCommerce feature is only available on their Businesses & eCommerce Plans, which cost a fair bit more. Because of these limitations, we would only recommend Wix eCommerce for smaller stores.

WordPress: Even though WordPress does not offer built-in eCommerce functionality, the WooCommerce plugin powers between 23% to 26% of all their eCommerce sites. The best thing about WooCommerce is that it’s free and gives you full control and flexibility.

You will also find dozens of different add-ons and extensions to expand the functionality of your store. Just like a regular WP site, these features allow for a lot of convenience and customization in terms of products, order fulfillment, shipping, and payments.

Verdict: Even though the eCommerce function is not built into the platform, plugin flexibility gives WordPress victory over Wix.

Shopify is another popular Ecommerce platform to consider, here’s how to get set up.

Help & Support

Wix: One thing that gives Wix an edge over WordPress is its dedicated support team that is available via phone and email for troubleshooting. Aside from this, Wix also offers online guidance in the form of how-to articles and videos.

This support team is instrumental in saving you a lot of time and frustration. Since the website builder is hosted by Wix, there is also very little chance that you’ll run into major problems.

WordPress: WordPress does not offer a dedicated support team. However, it does have a gigantic community of users that offer helpful guidance. Moreover, it also has a staggering amount of online tutorials and how-to guides, which are split into topics like “Get Started,” “Customize,” and “Tracking & Opt-Outs.”

If you’re a quick learner, WordPress guides can help walk you through some of the most common issues so that you can troubleshoot them yourself. You can also use the WordPress forum to discuss your issues with experienced developers and WordPress users.

Verdict: As you can see, Wix beats WordPress in this area.

Blogging

Wix: Wix allows you to add a blog to your website and has all the basic blogging features, including tags, categories, archives as well as free media like photos and videos. However, it also lacks other valuable features like creating private posts, backdating posts, and adding a featured image across the top of a post.

Moreover, the writing interface is also lacking and is not as rich as WordPress. Instead, users have to use a plain text editor which has very limited formatting options.

Wix also doesn’t have its own commenting functionality. Instead, users have to resort to using Facebook comments, which don’t look very polished.

WordPress: WordPress, which was originally a blogging platform, has all the features that Wix has, plus a whole lot more. This includes a private posting feature that renders posts invisible to other readers, the capability to backdate a post and apply a featured image.

It also has a native commenting system and a robust Gutenberg block editor that lets bloggers create stunning layouts with ease. Additionally, you can add even more plugins to enhance the features in your blog posts.

Verdict: With so many abundant features, WordPress is the clear winner.

Bottom Line

In the battle between Wix and WordPress, there doesn’t seem to be one clear winner. Both Wix and WordPress are capable of creating quality websites. Which one you should use depends on your specific requirements.

Because of its drag-and-drop functionality and built-in features, Wix is very easy to use. Hence, it is a good choice for beginners and small businesses. WordPress’s functionality and support are superior in many ways — but it also takes time to find the right plugins and troubleshoot issues. Additionally, the learning curve can be tough.

So, in short, if you only need a small website with basic features, Wix is a good choice. However, if you want to create a more complex and feature-rich website that offers you more flexibility, you can’t do much better than WordPress.

If you want to  consider the features of more website builders, here is another article comparing two of my favorites.

Thanks for stopping by the blog.

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