Wix vs WordPress
What Fits YOU Better and WHY.
Oh, another one of those Wix vs WordPress articles, amirite? Well, this one’s a little different. First, like all the other articles, I sum up the basics about each platform, where they perform well, and where they don’t.
But then I go in-depth on what CMS you should use, depending on your kind of business or project. And to really make this article an all-in-one guidebook, I’ll tell you how to get started with either of the two or, if you don’t want to do it yourself, how to choose the right agency.
Table of Content
The Short Answer
What Is Wix?
Wix is a tool you can use to build your website with drag-and-drop elements.
To use Wix, you create an account with them, choose a template, and start building. Wix also takes care of hosting your website, managing your domain, and keeping everything up to date. It’s all visual, so you don’t need any coding skills. If you want to code, Wix offers its own development platform called Corvid. It has a built-in IDE, and it gives you the freedom to enhance your website with custom code.
The goal of Wix is to be accessible to anyone.
What Is WordPress?
WordPress offers a ready-made service to create and host your page on their server, WordPress.com. But that’s not the WordPress I’m writing about. The self-hosted version, WordPress.org, is the real foe of Wix, and the CMS I’m writing about.
WordPress is a behemoth of website building tools. You can build your website in many ways, be it drag-and-drop, with blocks, or by coding a custom solution. You get started by registering your domain and setting up your web hosting. Then you install WordPress on your server, pick a theme (or code your own (OR have someone code it)), and start building.
WordPress heavily relies on plugins. Little programs you can install into WordPress to give it any functionality you want. If you can’t find a plugin for something, you can hire someone to code it.
The goal of WordPress is to give its users complete control and let them build websites of any size.
Wix vs WordPress – An Overview
Wix is a service, WordPress is just a software. As explained above, you need to install WordPress on your own server and host it yourself, while you can just sign up to Wix and get going.
In this section, I explain the main differences between Wix and WordPress before I tell you which CMS you should use.
Wix has a transparent and straightforward pricing model based on subscriptions. They start at $8.50 per month. There is one below that, but it displays Wix ads on your site, and that’s a no-no, so don’t get that one. If you want to accept online payments, you have to navigate to “Business & eCommerce.” The cheapest plan there is $17 per month. Wix includes hosting, design, and functionalities in its subscriptions. No additional costs wait for you, except for some plugins you may want. You can find the details here.
WordPress is open-source, meaning that its code is freely available. But – yes, there is always a but – many themes and third-party plugins will cost money. Be sure to do some research on what you need before you start with WordPress, instead of later realizing it isn’t actually free. You also have to keep in mind that you have to pay for your domain and hosting separately. Hmm, maybe make a spreadsheet for all the costs?
Ease of Use
With Wix, you can choose between two starting options. The first option is to select one of the 100 designs in the Wix gallery. You can then adapt it with the editor. The second option is to use Wix ADI, Artificial Design Intelligence. The ADI is helpful if you don’t want to spend time customizing the design of your website. After you let the ADI do its thing, it’s like editing a pretty looking Word document with drag-and-drop features. Just click on the element and make your changes.
To use WordPress, you have to set up your hosting. It’s an inconvenience for tech-noobs but not that hard, so don’t let it scare you off. You got this. And after that, the hard part is over! You can now choose your theme and put your content in. And yes, it’s as simple as it sounds. You click a “plus” button and decide what kind of content block you want to insert, and that’s it. If you miss a design feature, you can be sure there is a plugin for it.
There isn’t much to say, so I’ll just sum it up right away.
This is a big one. To understand which CMS is better for SEO, you have to get the basics of SEO. There are three types.
- Technical SEO: Is the site fast, with no broken links, clear structure, etc.
- On-Page SEO: Is your content valuable, is the HTML good, does it connect to the right search term, and so on.
- Off-Page SEO: Also called backlinks. Do other sites link to yours, is your brand on social media, do people write about you online?
Wix is excellent for On-Page SEO. It’s easy to add meta descriptions, alt texts for images, and do other tweaks. If you don’t know what the hell all of that is, don’t worry. Wix has a new tool called SEO Wiz that walks you through the steps of optimizing your site. It’s easy to use and covers all you need for basic SEO. But in technical SEO, Wix lags behind. It doesn’t offer responsive websites, and you have to use their servers instead of your own high-speed ones. Slow loading speed is one of its main issues for bad SEO.
With WordPress, you can do as much or as little as you want. There are great plugins, like RankMath (the newer and superior Yoast), to guide you if you don’t know how it works. It’s also standard to make responsive websites and host them on super-fast servers.
Wix offers over 500 pre-made templates, also called themes. They are sorted by industry and purpose to make it easier to find the right one for you. You can adjust the template with the drag and drop feature, and change colors, fonts, and so on. But it’s not possible to change the core code of the theme, so there are limits to your creativity. If you don’t want to invest much time into designing, Wix ADI will do it for you. It’s an assisted tool that asks a few questions about the site’s purpose and your preferences, then suggests a finished design. You’ll see an example of that later in the section “How to Get Started With Wix.” A major downside is that Wix websites aren’t responsive. That means they don’t automatically adapt to different devices’ screen sizes. Wix creates a mobile version of your website that you have to adapt separately, which is time-consuming and doesn’t work well on tablets.
In WordPress, there is almost no limit to your creativity. Everyone can develop templates and upload them to the internet. And many do. With over 30’000 templates, you will surely find one that fits you but still looks unique. And if you are a capable coder – or hire a capable coder – you can change any part of those themes or build your own. Many of those templates are free, but the majority is paid-for. They vary in complexity and features, but since you can change anything you want, you can get really creative.
Out of the box, Wix is very safe. You don’t have any third-party plugin or custom code that could make your site vulnerable. Because you always host your Wix website on Wix servers, you don’t have to fear an attack – they maintain their servers well. They take care of all the security updates too. Also, because Wix isn’t as widely used as WordPress, many hackers don’t even bother developing hacks for Wix websites.
WordPress is the most widely used CMS there is and a popular target for hacking attacks. Also, the third-party plugins are often unsafe and can make your site easy to hack. Another problem is hosting, which can be unsafe, depending on your hosting company. To eliminate the issue of a bad hosting, follow the guide below to get started with WordPress. There, I recommend a hoster that you can feel safe with. It sounds daunting. However, if you know what you’re doing, you can make your page as hack-proof as the pentagon thanks to a wide selection of security plugins, like Sucuri.
Should you decide that you want to move away from Wix, you will want to take your data with you. The design, pages, and content you created. But that’s impossible. You can host everything you create with Wix exclusively on Wix itself. That can become a real problem. If Wix decides you violated their terms and conditions, they have the right to take your page down, and you can’t access any of your content anymore. So, if you use Wix, at least make regular backups of your content.
Taking your WordPress site to another hoster is very easy. Just download the whole page from your server and upload it to the new one. Done. Also, everything you publish is yours. Nobody can take it away from you. Still, make regular backups, just in case of any technical problems.
Custom Code and Control
In 2019, Wix launched Corvid, its own development platform for Wix websites. It’s a neat feature! You can now add scripts to the backend and to the frontend of your website. You can call any API, and you can even import NPM modules. This gives you the freedom to go beyond using the provided plugins. It’s also user-friendly thanks to its embedded IDE. And because Wix has developed Corvid just for their websites, it’s a perfect fit.
But our lead developer says: “You can do a lot with Corvid, but you still have to do the front end with Wix.”
You can code a WordPress site from the ground up with a fully custom design, advanced functions, and even a modified backend. There’s nothing you can’t do.
For those who don’t know what plugins are: It’s a piece of software you can use to add a specific function to your website. With RankMath for example, you can – among many other things – run a site audit and see if your site is optimized for search engines. The great benefit of plugins is that you don’t have to programm the functionality yourself. It’s there, ready to use.
Wix offers more than 300 plugins, a good range. They are all endorsed by Wix itself and, therefore, bug-free. You can use them to greatly enhance your site, but there isn’t a plugin for every little function or feature you might want.
For WordPress, there is a plugin for everything. And I mean everything. I once wanted to create a typewriter effect for a page and feared that I’d have to code it myself. But lo and behold, there is even a plugin for that. But because everyone can code WordPress plugins and upload them, some may not work the way they should or make your site vulnerable to hackers.
Wix has a dedicated support team and useful tutorials for every issue you may face. If something isn’t working, you can be sure that Wix’s support is there to help you.
With WordPress, you’re pretty much on your own. There is no support team, and no “one size fits all” learning platform. The community is huge, and you’ll probably find someone who posed your question in a forum before. But separating the good from the bad advice is challenging. Having a good hosting provider helps, though! The one I recommend under “How to Get Started With WordPress” offers great support for WordPress users.
What Fits YOU – Pros and Cons
Now we’re getting to the sauce. Let’s find out what CMS you should use. It usually boils down to one of those categories or a mixture of them:
- Blogging: The main focus of your website is your blog. Making posts and updating them should be easy and fast. Blogging relies heavily on SEO, so a solid SEO basis is a must as well.
- Online Store: If you want to sell online, you have to be able to process payments, create and manage product pages, and use marketing tactics like banners and pop-ups.
- Business: Business websites are usually like virtual business cards. They range from simple one-pagers with just text and images to huge multi-language websites with customized functionalities and tools.
- Public Person: Speakers, influencers, and the like usually have an entertaining, visually stunning website with easy contact possibilities.
- Creative Professional: Those who work as creatives need to show off their work in a tasteful way. They need a charming online portfolio that entices their visitors.
If you don’t see yourself falling into any of these five categories, give me a shout. I’ll be happy to adapt the article and give you specific advice.
To keep it simple, I made a pros and cons list and added a verdict for each category.
Wix or WordPress for Blogs
Blogging should be as easy as writing in your notes app. You don’t want to struggle with the design, responsiveness, buttons, and forms every time you write a post. Also, you want your posts to be read! So SEO is an absolute must.
✔ Thanks to the Wix ADI, you don't have to design your page yourself.
➖ Wix websites aren't responsive.
✔ WordPress allows for responsive websites.
➖ You have to invest more time to keep your website running.
Wix Or WordPress for Online Stores
On top of a normal website, you need eCommerce functions. That includes payment processing, adding and organizing products, customer accounts, and a checkout system. eCommerce is the most demanding, and also the most expensive category.
✔ Easy if you just want to sell one or another thing.
➖ Not ideal for big online stores.
✔ There are many plugins to enhance your store's functions further.
➖ It's more difficult to set up and maintain.
Wix Or WordPress for Business Websites
Nowadays, every business needs a website. You want your website to be responsive, easy to host and maintain, and highly customizable to fit your brand.
✔ The maintenance is done for you by Wix.
➖ Not much room for design customization.
✔ Host it wherever you want.
✔ You can hire an agency to create anything you envision.
➖ It takes longer to set your site up for the first time.
Wix or WordPress for a Public Figure
Whether you’re a public speaker, a musician, an influencer, or another public figure, you want people to find you and book you. Having potential customers contact you via email or telephone is your primary goal. For that, your website needs to be simple with a fast way to get in touch with you.
✔ Thanks to Wix ADI, you don't have to spend any thought on your design.
✔ Wix takes care of the maintenance.
➖ You have to maintain your website yourself or hire someone to do it.
Wix Or WordPress for Creative Professionals
Creative people have to show off, well, their creativity. Imagine a company looking for an illustrator, a photographer, or a writer. They find your website, and it doesn’t have a portfolio. Or even worse, the website looks ugly. The creative space is competitive, so you better up your game!
✔ It looks neat out of the box.
➖ You can't take your site away from Wix once you've set it up there.
✔ Unlimited design and function possibilities lay at your feet.
✔ Host your website wherever you want.
Now you should know which CMS you should use for your page. Maybe reading all of that made your fingers twitch a little, and you’re eager to get started. If so, read on. I’ll tell you how to set up either of the CMS in the most simple way.
If you want to get started at a later point, but you don’t want to search for another guide, let me send you this one via email.
How to Get Started With Wix
Head over to Wix. When you start to create your website with Wix, they ask you what kind of website you want to create, and you can choose from a few common types. For this example, I chose business.
When you choose Wix over WordPress, you want to make a simple site that works and looks good. You don’t want to worry about hosting, coding, and extensive designing. Enter, Wix ADI.
In the next step, you can choose if you want to make your website with the editor, or let Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) create it for you. Choose Wix ADI.
Give the ADI as much information as you can and choose what features to include. Based on your input, the ADI lets you pick a design. I take bold.
Now you can choose one of three finished designs. Of course, you can adapt the design and its sections later. I try not to get distracted by the pretty redhead on the other two designs and choose the middle one. I like the flashy yellow and the full-size tiles.
Boom, you’re done, and you can publish your site! It’s filled with content already too!
But, of course, you don’t want that super generic AI website. So now it’s time to customize it to your liking. Click whatever section you want to work on, and the editor pops up at the left side of your screen.
If you are missing something, click the blue plus button and add any section you want. There’s an extensive list of such sections you can add with different designs to choose from. It doesn’t get any easier.
You can also add a whole new page with just three clicks.
Once you’re happy with your site, hit the publish button! Then choose to connect your own domain and let Wix walk you through the steps to connect it.
All done! Grab yourself a celebration drink. Cheers!
If you want to see how the site looks that I created in this article, click here. Neat, right?
How to Get Started With WordPress
To get started with WordPress, you have to get a hosting service first. I recommend SiteGround to host your website, so I’ll tell you how to set that up. Head over to SiteGround here. Now click “Get Started” under the WordPress hosting. Choose the StartUp plan to get started. You can upgrade any time. In the next step, you just type in the domain you want and click proceed. Now you have to enter your information and payment method and you’re ready!
Thanks to SiteGround, you don’t have to install WordPress manually. You still have to know what you’re doing, and I think a video helps more than written instructions and a dozen screenshots.
So here’s a video of a guy showing you how to do the full installation.
Follow that tutorial, and you’re golden.
Don’t do anything on your site yet. Instead, go to the internet and search for “wordpress theme for writers,” replacing writers with whatever it is you do. ThemeForest is a trustworthy website I use often. Get the theme you like most, and don’t be afraid to spend some money on it.
You’ve downloaded the prettiest WordPress theme around? Nice. Now you have it as a .zip file in your downloads.
On your website, navigate to appearance, themes, then add a new one.
You’ll see a ton of free themes ready for you to install. But we ignore those. Everybody who gets started with WordPress has one of them, and we don’t want to look like everybody. That’s why you went out and got the theme that really fits you.
Click “upload theme” in the top left corner and drop your .zip file in the box. Click to install now and then activate it.
Once you’re done with that, head back to the dashboard and follow the “Welcome to WordPress!” instructions.
Grab yourself a cup of coffee and some snacks. It’s time to get creative and bring your website to life. Have fun!
Hire Someone to Make Your Wix or WordPress Site
Let me tell you a short story. There was once a guy who hired an agency to make his website. The agency recommended using Wix because it was simple and quick, and they used it before. He agreed. The agency assigned their new intern to create the website, and he was done after a week. The client liked it, so he paid the $14k, and the agency transferred the ownership of the page to him. Was he happy? Yes, the site was decent. Did he get his money’s worth? Absolutely not.
And that’s why you shouldn’t hire someone to make a simple website with Wix. If you want to use Wix, you will do just as well as a freelancer or an agency. The only reason to hire someone is to code additional functions with Corvid.
But when it comes to WordPress, hiring a good agency brings real value to the table. Essentially, a good agency will find out what exactly you need and give you input on what you don’t. They will help you create your ideal website. And they will set it up so you can adapt, change, add, and delete content easily and without breaking anything.
What to Look for When Hiring a WordPress Agency
Not every agency can hold what they promise. I’ll give you some pointers on what to look out for when you hire an agency to make your website with WordPress:
- They ask thorough questions: The more they ask, the better they understand you and your business. Only when they understand you, they can bring your idea to life.
- They know to strategize: A pretty website is nothing without a strategy behind it. If your goal is to get someone to contact you, a good agency will know how to make it happen.
- They can design: If they don’t have a designer on board, they will just pick a design from the web. You can do that yourself.
- They can code: If they ONLY have designers, but no coders, they will install a plugin for every oh so little function. If you need your website to do something that no plugin can do, they’ll tell you it’s impossible. Find an agency with real coders.
- They offer support packages: An agency that makes your website and then sends you on your way with it doesn’t deserve your business. Find one that takes care of maintenance and helps you when you need it.
- They don’t say yes and amen to everything: Chances are, you’ll make suggestions that aren’t very smart. And that’s okay, that’s why you hire experts. And experts don’t just agree with everything just to be done sooner.
- They go the extra mile: They give you regular updates, valuable inputs, and they go out of their way to give you the best damn product they can. If you find an agency like that, you’re golden.
When you are trying to decide on an agency, make sure they cover all these topics.
Also, get ready for some blatant self-promotion because WE do cover them. Why else would I include those points in the article, right? If you want to hire someone to make your website with WordPress, shoot us a message and we’ll give you a quote!
Now, if you should go with Wix or WordPress boils down to three simple questions:
Are you good with technology?
Yes: Go with WordPress.
No: Do you plan on hiring someone? Yes: Hire a WordPress Agency.
No: Do you need a custom design and advanced functions? Yes: Learn to use WordPress
No: Use Wix.
I hope this guide helps you decide what CMS you should use and then get it set up. Or maybe it helped you choose your ideal agency. I’m happy either way. If it was of no use to you, let me know why, and I hope I can make it better.
If you want to have this article as a neat little PDF, I’ll send it to you by email. Just type in your address here.