WordPress is like the wise grandfather of content management systems. Wix, its grandkid with modern knowledge and trendy new designs. They’re both worthy of your attention if you’re interested in building a new website – but which one should you choose?
The platforms have many similarities, including numerous themes to choose from, customization options, and blogging functionality. However, differences between the platforms are just as plentiful. The best one for you depends on how much website building knowledge you have and what you plan to do with your site.
Comparing Wix vs. WordPress
WordPress is available as WordPress.com, a free online website builder, and WordPress.org, its self-hosted version (meaning that you install it on your domain). For the purpose of this comparison, we’re focusing on WordPress.org.
WordPress may be a founding father in the website building industry, but that certainly doesn’t mean you should count Wix out. Over the past several years, many site owners have passed on the tradition of WordPress in favor of intuitive website builders like Wix. Here are some key differences you need to know about each of them.
Overall Learning Curve
Screenshot via Wix
WordPress has gone through a lot of changes since its beginning, some of them for the better; others, maybe not so much. The platform can feel complicated if you’ve never dealt with a content management system before. It can even be confusing to install if you haven’t worked with a site’s back end.
Wix, on the other hand, walks you through each step to create your site from the moment you sign up. It’ll even help you decide on a theme to use based on your business type. When you feel the need to change anything on your Wix site, from colors to its layout, you can do so without touching any code.
Winner: Wix. When it comes to making your site look just how you want it to without dabbling in code, Wix is the clear winner.
Theme Options and Customization
Screenshot via WordPress.org
With WordPress, you certainly aren’t limited in design choices. Not only does WordPress have several of its own themes available for you to install and customize, but third party designers also create themes for the platform. There are also several website builder plugins and frameworks, like Genesis, to help you create the perfect look.
Wix is incredibly functional, too. You can choose a starter template and customize it using the drag-and-drop editor. However, those who do know some code and want to use their skills to tweak website elements may find Wix a bit restrictive.
Winner: WordPress. Although Wix wins in the ease-of-design department, the virtually endless number of available themes and customization options on WordPress gives it the edge.
Screenshot via WordPress.org
Neither Wix nor WordPress is lacking in the tools department. Where Wix has apps, WordPress has plugins, and both of them add an array of function and purpose to your website.
Users can add plugins to WordPress right through its dashboard. You can also download plugins you find on the web and install their .zip file through your admin panel. Plugins can add features like contact forms, social media sharing buttons, and SEO optimization tips. Unfortunately, many plugins come from third parties and can sometimes interact negatively with each other or your theme.
Wix has apps that you’ll find in the Wix App Market. You’ll find just about anything you need to add to your site, such as forums, video galleries, and digital product sales capability. The good news is that all apps on the market go through rigorous Wix testing to ensure a seamless transition to your site.
Winner: Tie. WordPress has many more plugin options to choose from. However, Wix only offers apps tested by its team, which can make them safer for your site.
Screenshot via Wix
If you’re interested in adding a blog to your site, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything better than WordPress blogging features. That’s likely because it began primarily as a blogging platform. WordPress includes everything you need to start a blog quickly, including categories, tags, commenting, and a new-ish editor, Gutenberg, that lets you blog in organized, visual “blocks.”
To blog on Wix, you’ll need to add the app from the Wix App Market. The app will add necessary blog features, such as comments, author profiles, and SEO settings. However, its blog editor isn’t as intuitive as that in WordPress, especially when it comes to laying out your blog with the vision you had in mind.
Winner: WordPress remains the leader in the blogging world because of its wide range of features and capabilities for bloggers.
WordPress is 100% free for you to install on your site. You’ll only need to pay for extras you want, like premium themes and plugins. Of course, you also need a paid hosting plan to use it, which will cost you money monthly or annually – and hosting packages can get pricey after the usual first-year promotion.
Wix bundles everything you need to pay for in one monthly or annual price that includes hosting your site on Wix, a domain name, Wix Apps, and more. You’ll save money by paying annually instead of monthly with each plan.
Winner: It depends. The one-price pricing of Wix is easy to deal with, but if you know how to shop around for hosting, you could get a better deal for a WordPress site with even more storage space and bandwidth.
But if you’re looking to try something that isn’t Wix or WordPress, then it’s definitely worth doing some research on other Wix alternatives out there.
Whether you decide to use Wix or WordPress, don’t forget to install social media share buttons. They give your visitors a simple, effective way to engage with your content, share with their networks, and drive free traffic to your website!