March 4, 2020 by Editor Team Leave a Comment Wix vs WordPress: Crucial Differences and Honest Recommendations for 2021 You’re confused, right? Wix vs WordPress: What should you choose? Should you go for the tried and tested WordPress that’s been powering blogs and websites since 2003? Or should you go for Wix that’s been there since 2006 but has only started becoming popular in recent years? The confusion probably stems from the fact that WordPress powers over 35% of websites. And you’ve most likely seen Wix ads on TV and YouTube over the last few years. You’re now wondering whether you should go for what’s tried and tested or the coolest new kid on the block. You’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll talk about these two mammoth platforms. We’ll objectively compare the two. This will make it easier for you to decide on which way to go. Note that here we’re referring to the WordPress software found at WordPress.org. Not the free WordPress.com blogging platform. Let’s start by briefly introducing both Wix and WordPress. We’ll show you how you can quickly get started. Tip: Are you already familiar with both platforms? Do you already know how to get started? You can skip the introduction and start from our Wix vs WordPress Usability Guide. How to Get Started With Wix? Wix is a popular website creation system. It uses robust, ground-breaking technology that can help you come up with a stunning and professional website. It was established in 2006, but the popularity has soared over the last few years due to its cutting-edge innovation, aggressive advertising, and celebrity endorsement. By 2019, Wix had over 150M users. Here’s a graphic showing Wix growth. It’s now clear that Wix is not just some second-rate service out there, but a technological giant that’s powering millions of websites. Here’s exactly how to get started with Wix. 1. Go to Wix.com and click on “Get Started” 2. Sign up easily using email, Facebook or Google 3. Answer a few getting started questions 4. Create a website or let Wix do it for you automatically (cool) Yes, that’s really cool. Wix can create a website for you using Wix ADI. See artificial intelligence in action right here. Let’s choose the second option and test drive Wix ADI, shall we? 5. Select the kind of blog you want to create 6. Select the features you want 7. Enter the name of your blog. In this guide, we’re creating a test blog called Web Design Hero. 8. Import images and text 9. Review and edit your info 10. Pick a theme 11. Choose a homepage design 12. Let Wix ADI do its thing in seconds 13. And just like that, your site is ready! Check it out and customize it accordingly. 14. Click on “Publish” 15. Choose a domain name then publish again Your site will now be ready. You can now start creating content and customizing it further. To go to your dashboard: Sign in to WixClick on the site you want to edit and right there, you’ll be on your dashboard. Here’s how it looks: How to Get Started With WordPress? WordPress is a legendary and insanely powerful open-source software that you can use to create a magnificent blog, website or app. It’s free to use. It’s so popular that it claims to power 35% of the web. Here’s a screenshot from the WordPress homepage with that claim: WordPress is trusted and proven. It’s the absolute best blogging platform in the world. Think of your favorite blogger. Yes, they’re probably using WordPress. Of course, it has its flaws, which we’ll look at in detail in this guide. So, how do you get started with WordPress? 1. Get a Domain and Hosting for WordPress or Wix Website Yes, WordPress is free. However, you can only install it on your self-hosted site. For that reason, you can either do this on your already existing site or start a new one. You can register your domain name from any of the top registrars, such as Namecheap and GoDaddy. Here are some great web hosts you can join that support WordPress. We’ll list them in accordance with budget. Low budget web hosts include: BluehostHostGatorGoDaddy High budget, premium hosts include: KinstaWPEngine You can also consider SiteGround, which is a good mix of price and quality. 2. Log in to Your Cpanel and Locate the WordPress Installer Most web hosts give you the ability to install WordPress in a few clicks. Just log in to your host’s cPanel and locate the WordPress Installer section. Here’s how it looks like in HostGator: And SiteGround. It’s extremely easy to spot on the cPanel of any web host. 3. Install WordPress Once you click on the installer, follow the easy prompts to install WordPress. 4. Log in to WordPress Site Once you’ve installed it, you’ll be able to log in using your username and password. By default, you’ll be going to yoursite.com/wp-admin to log in to your WordPress dashboard and add content to your site. Here’s how the dashboard looks like after installing WordPress: Your site will have the default WordPress theme and a bit of filler content. You’ll be able to start customizing and using it right away. You now understand a little bit about Wix and WordPress. But which is better? Which one should you choose? Let’s go deeper and compare different aspects of the two. Wix vs WordPress Usability: Easy to Use or Not WordPress and Wix are famous for one thing: They can help beginners create stunning websites with little technical know-how. You can literally start from zero to having a complete site without using any code. Let’s see which website builder is easier to use. Wix It is easy to get started with Wix. If you go for its free option, you don’t need to register a domain name or pay for web hosting. You just sign up, make a few choices, and have the website ready for use at the click of a few buttons. Even if you choose its paid options, the flow is seamless. It uses its proprietary Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), which helps even an absolute novice to have a site in minutes by filling a few forms and making some pre-designed choices. Right now, drag and drop technologies are huge in web design. And Wix gives this to you right off the bat. You can drag almost anything (paragraphs, images, buttons, slideshows, etc.) and drop them where you want on the page. You can also resize images. You do this by default without having to add an extra app. Editing content in Wix is a breeze. You don’t have to go to the back end to edit content then preview or publish to see changes. With Wix, you get a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) web builder. This means that as you edit, you see exactly how it will look when published. WordPress To get started here, you already need to have made a decision to go fully self-hosted. You need to register a domain and pay for a web host. If you already have them, then you’ll skip this and go straight to installing WordPress, which is quick and easy, even for beginners. Once installed, using WordPress is relatively simple. Let’s zoom in on the dashboard of a fresh WordPress installation: WordPress gives you some quick links to get you started. Click on each link, act, and you’ll have your site’s basic structure all set up. You also get the basic theme: Okay, maybe that’s just too basic. Over the years, editing content in WordPress was done using the classic editor. This was fully on the back end. Therefore, you had to either preview or publish content to see what’s on the front end. WordPress added the Gutenberg editor on December 6th, 2018, with the WordPress 5.0 update. With Gutenberg, you also now have a what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) angle to WordPress. Here’s how it looks: Are you looking for drag and drop features? You must add a page builder plugin to do that, meaning you’ll have a bit of learning to do. Some of the best WordPress page builders include Elementor, Thrive Architect, and Divi. Elementor has a free version. You’ll have to pay for the rest. Usability – Verdict Wix wins. Getting started is quick and easy without being forced to pay for a domain and hosting. Wix ADI helps even the most clueless beginner to have a site in minutes. It comes with an intense page builder by default – you don’t have to buy one. So, you have drag-and-drop plus other easy editing features straight off the bat. Design and Customization Features Having a site up is one thing. But having it designed and customized to your liking is another. You can do a lot of customization in both Wix or WordPress without hiring a web designer or learning to code. Which has better features? Let’s check them out. Wix For your site’s overall design, Wix has over 500 dazzling templates to choose from. You can select your favorite template and customize it further. Go to Site Actions > Edit Site to change the design if you want to, like so: The templates are categorized by industry. If you’re in the web design industry, for example, you’ll get a bunch of choices with sample content. The revolutionary Wix ADI can help you make informed choices quickly after answering a few questions. WordPress You can choose one from the thousands of WordPress themes out there to get your site’s design and layout. Log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance > Themes to choose from the droves of free themes available. For premium features, you can buy themes from sites like StudioPress, ElegantThemes, and ThemeForest. It’s possible to customize each of these themes to your preference. Paid themes come with support and extra features. Apart from the themes, you also have advanced page builders like Elementor and Thrive Architect that can help with further page design. Whether you’re creating an e-commerce shop, sales page, landing page, or a simple blog post, WordPress has something for you. You can use WordPress to add almost any feature you can think of. Design and Customization – Verdict WordPress wins. By far. You can design and customize almost anything here. And if you have a budget, you can buy premium themes and plugins to do even more ninja stuff. With some time to learn and creativity, you can build a mind-blowing site on your own. Blogging and Startup Websites When it comes to blogging, you can almost predict the winner. Not too fast, though. We’ve analyzed this for you and will help you make a better decision. Startup websites need simple solutions that don’t take too much learning but still look great. What’s the best solution for you? Wix? WordPress? Let’s check them out. Wix You can add a blog post in Wix by going to the dashboard then selecting Posts > Create a New Post. Here’s exactly what you’ll see when creating content: Let’s click on Post Settings to see what’s under the hood. It’s easy to create and publish a blog post. Wix does not have a native commenting system. To add a comment box on Wix, you may be forced to use Facebook or Disqus. You can also look for more comment apps on the Wix App Market. Startup websites can use a myriad of Wix settings such as adding blog posts, pages (landing pages, sales pages, etc.) and e-commerce features, among others. Wix also offers an inbuilt email marketing functionality that can be useful for businesses. WordPress To many people, WordPress is almost a synonym to blogging. Powering 35% of websites, most of the famous websites and blogs you love are built using WordPress. For that reason, WordPress has most of the blogging features you’d want to have. You can create a blog post in WordPress by clicking on Posts > Add New on your dashboard. Here’s what a blog post looks like in WordPress. WordPress has a native commenting feature that works fine on its own. You can use powerful page builders to make your blog posts beautiful. With droves of themes, plugins, and features to choose from, WordPress is the ultimate leader when it comes to blogging. Here are some things you can add to your WordPress blog posts: Table of contentsAdvanced SEO featuresLinks (you can easily edit those links to be dofollow, nofollow, to open in new tabs, etc.)Social sharing buttonsLead capturing features such as sign up boxes, pop-ups, sliders, scroll boxes, signup bars (like Hello Bar), etc.Analytics features like heatmaps, Facebook pixel, Google Analytics code, and lots more With WordPress, you can easily turn a simple blog or startup website into a breathtaking, search engine optimized machine that generates lots of comments, subscriptions, leads, and sales. Blogging and Startup Websites – Verdict WordPress wins. It may be easy and quick to create a blog post in Wix. However, WordPress has almost any simple or advanced blogging feature you can think of. All these features can be further customized entirely to your liking using cutting edge plugins or advanced coding. E-commerce Store When building an e-commerce store, you have one main goal – to sell like crazy. Therefore, you’re looking for a website builder that makes this easy for you. It should have great features that make it easy for users to make the “buy” decision. Here’s how Wix and WordPress stack up. Wix If you’re on the free version of Wix, there’s no e-commerce for you. You must sign up for the Wix eCommerce plans to do that. That sets you back at least $17 per month for the lowest plan. Depending on your region, you can accept payments using different providers such as Wix Payments, Stripe, PayPal, and Square among others. Here’s a full list of Wix payment providers. You can use other apps to help you sell online. However, that means you’ll have to pay extra monthly fees to those app providers. Check out some of the best Wix e-commerce stores here, and you’ll note something. As striking as they are, they have limited functionality compared to other stores. WordPress To create an e-commerce store on WordPress, you’ll need to add a plugin. Notable e-commerce plugins include WooCommerce, Shopify and BigCommerce. WooCommerce is the most popular one. According to Barn2, 93.7% of all e-commerce WordPress sites use WooCommerce. BuiltWith states that over 3.8 million sites are using WooCommerce right now. Some of the most notable e-commerce features you can use on your WordPress site include: Dynamic content Product sliders Parallax design E-commerce themes Buy buttons Secure shopping cart Payment gateways WordPress enables you to build dynamic, full-fledged e-commerce sites. E-commerce Store – Verdict WordPress wins. Wix can help you create e-commerce stores but may lack some functionality. However, WordPress enables you to create full-fledged e-commerce sites with tons of payment gateways and customization features. Apps and Plugins These are little pieces of code that you can add to your website to give you extra features. The words “apps” and “plugins” here mean the same thing. Just that Wix uses the word “apps” and WordPress calls them “plugins”. Here’s how they compare. Wix Here, you’ll be able to choose from the 250+ apps in the Wix App Market. These are not so many. However, they’ll help you do most of the basic things you’d want to do on your website, such as: Adding forms Ticketing Search engine optimization Creating and managing online stores Email marketing …and much more. As you’d expect, there are both free and paid versions of these apps. Even though Wix apps are few, they’re all built by a team of experts. Therefore, you’re assured of great security and functionality. WordPress WordPress has more than 55,500 plugins on its database alone. You can also purchase plugins from other third-party websites. With such a huge number of plugins, you can do almost anything you can think of in terms of adding functionality to your site. Here’s a list of possible things you can do with WordPress plugins: Secure your site Create contact forms Redirect links Create stunning pages Build tables Share posts on social media Insert affiliate links Analyze your traffic Capture leads Create comment boxes Sell things Build calendars Speed up your website Edit images Optimize posts for search engines Name it! If you’re looking for some functionality, there’s a high chance WordPress has a plugin for it. Apps and Plugins – Verdict WordPress wins. Wix assures you of security and performance since all its apps are professionally built. It’s not an open-source platform. However, WordPress overshadows Wix by far, with many times more plugins. Even if some are not professionally developed, a quick search can show you what works best. And you can always buy professional plugins from third-party sites. Search Engine Optimization You want your site to be visible on search engines. This gives you an extra advantage over other platforms like social media or referral traffic. Why? If your site is properly optimized, you can get droves of organic traffic all day, every day. And if your content is great, you’re assured of traffic that wants to be there (due to their search intent) and not just someone who’s clicking through for the sake of it. Let’s see how these two platforms perform. Wix Wix enables you to add some SEO basics right off the box. Check out this screenshot again: You don’t need to add any app to do this. You just click on Post Settings > SEO. For more SEO settings, Wix has a couple of apps you can use. The most common is Site Booster. Site Booster offers you powerful SEO features, including: Checking if you’ve used keywords properlyListing trackingMeta descriptionsSubmission to premium directories With the right app and high-quality content, you can get awesome results in those search engine result pages. WordPress If you’re looking for information online, you’ll most likely get it from a WordPress site. This results-based approach clearly shows you that WordPress is a giant when it comes to search engine optimization. However, you don’t get out-of-the-box SEO features. You must use a third-party plugin. Yoast SEO is currently the highest-rated and most-used SEO plugin. Yoast has both free and premium features. Here are some things you can do with Yoast SEO: Generate XML sitemaps Check the usage of focus keywords Change permalinks Check readability Build SEO titles and meta descriptions Configure meta robots Edit breadcrumbs And yes, many of those sites ranking on search engines right now were optimized using Yoast SEO. SEO – Verdict WordPress wins. However, this is not an easy win. Wix has done a commendable job with Site Booster, which includes some settings that are not available on Yoast. However, the results speak for themselves. WordPress remains steps ahead of Wix here. Wix or WordPress: Support No matter how good we are, sometimes we need a little help. How easy is it to get professional help from these two? Wix When it comes to support, Wix has gotten it down to a science. You can literally call and email Wix, and someone will get back to you. Interestingly, you can request a callback. What’s more, it has valuable help content that can help you sort out your issue. WordPress There’s no personalized support here. You’ll have to get help from WordPress resources or the community. The good news is there’s a ton of content on the WordPress support page, forums and other blogs out there. However, it lacks that personal touch you’d have gotten from an email or call. If you want to get personalized help, you’ll need to hire a WordPress expert. Some of the best are not cheap. Support – Verdict Wix wins. It has helpful articles and resources. Plus, you get that personalized touch by simply calling or emailing them. Wix is entirely inbuilt. Therefore, there are fewer chances of things crashing because of using poor themes, apps or features. Plans and Pricing Whether you’re a business person or you blog for fun, it’s always important to count monetary costs before you dip into anything. You may be looking for something free, premium, or a good mix of price and quality. Let’s dive into this. Wix You can get started with Wix absolutely free of charge. You may not get the best of things here, but you’ll be able to do all the basics, such as designing your website under the Wix subdomain and publishing content. If you want additional functionality and premium features, you can go for the different Wix plans. Here are the website plans: And here are the business and e-commerce plans: Here, you can clearly see the benefits of each plan, making it easy for you to decide. WordPress Here we’re looking at the WordPress.org software and not the WordPress.com free blogging platform. This software is absolutely free of charge. See how many times it uses “free” on its about page: However, you must pay for your domain and hosting to be able to install it. After installation, you can run your site even for years at no additional cost. There are tons of free themes and plugins that you can use. For that reason, the lowest cost here is just the cost of your domain and hosting, which can be as low as $20 for your first year. If you want premium features, you can pay for additional themes and plugins. For advanced coding, you can get an expert web designer to help with your WordPress site. WordPress vs Wix: Plans and Pricing – Verdict WordPress wins. If you’re on a budget, you can get started absolutely free of charge with Wix. However, your site will have Wix ads, and you’ll have very limited functionality. With WordPress, you can use even $20 for your first year to get your domain and hosting. You’ll then be able to do almost everything and in the future add custom features that fit your budget. Pros and Cons Wix Pros Easy to use You can get started free of charge It’s not open source, so everything here is developed by an expert You can get dedicated support from the Wix team Wix Cons It has less design and customization features Fewer apps Not appropriate for fully-fledged e-commerce stores WordPress Pros The best blogging platform in the worldAffordableUnlimited customizationGreat for SEOBuild powerful e-commerce stores WordPress Cons Open source, so poor developers may create some themes and plugins that are not up to standardNot as easy to use as Wix for beginners Conclusion We’ve done an in-depth Wix or WordPress review. Wix is really trying to catch up fast. You can even applaud its Wix ADI technology and ease of use. However, WordPress is the ultimate winner. When it comes to building a website, you can do almost anything you can think of on WordPress.