It can be difficult to choose the best content management system (CMS) for your website with so many options. Wix and WordPress are two of the most popular CMSs for websites. Wix is a drag-and-drop design system that lets users build a website from scratch with minimal knowledge. WordPress is a self-hosted CMS that gives users more flexibility when designing and managing their websites. Users can also install plugins to further customize their sites. So determining whether Wix or WordPress is better, depends on your situation and future plans for your site.
User Experience / Ease of Use:
Wix currently has the edge when compared with WordPress in terms of ease of use for the designer. Wix makes it easy for anyone to build a website without specialized knowledge. You don’t need to know how to write code. Simply pick a template, change some colors, drag and drop your pictures, write some text, and you’re done. You need to add a store, you can do that pretty easily as well.
WordPress is more involved. The Gutenberg editor is meant to bridge the gap between WordPress and other platforms like Wix. However, Gutenberg’s interface isn’t as intuitive as Wix’s editor. But WordPress allows you to use different editors. Some WordPress themes, such as Avada or Divi, come with their own editors that are quite intuitive, once you get the hang of them. Other themes may come with drag and drop builders such as Elementor, WP Bakery, and Site Origin Builder, which make it easy to create an attractive site.
Bottom line: Wix’s user interface is more intuitive so those with minimal computer skills can create a decent-looking site. WordPress’ out-of-the-box editor is not as intuitive as Wix’s editor. But you can replace the editor in WordPress for a more user-friendly experience.
Wix comes with a number of built-in integrations. You can build a store, collect data for your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), create a blog, and much more. And all of these things are easy to do – no coding knowledge is required. Wix’s app market has given the platform even more tools. So if you want to add social sharing, cool text effects, or embed videos, you can do it. And Wix’s Velo tool allows those with coding experience to extend the Wix platform.
WordPress takes a little more knowledge to add functionality. Setting up a shop requires WooCommerce or another e-commerce plug-in. Then you create and configure a store via a built-in wizard which walks you through the process. While this process isn’t as drag-and-drop as Wix, you can do things like change your payment gateway, customize your product pages, and perform advanced reporting and analytics. And that’s just with e-commerce. WordPress has over 55,000 plug-ins available to download for free. Plus thousands of other plug-ins you can purchase and download directly from the developer.
Businesses with highly complex needs can create their own WordPress plug-ins. WordPress is open-source so every aspect of it is documented. In addition to WordPress.org, there are dozens of sites that provide tutorials, tips, and answers to questions on building plug-ins.
Bottom line: Wix has expanded its app market offering and now has over 300 apps. WordPress has over 55,000 plug-ins plus you can develop your own. While Velo has given Wix some extensibility, WordPress has a much larger development community and has the edge here.
Upkeep & Maintenance:
All software requires updates from time to time. These updates could include bug & security fixes or additional features & functionality. Wix and WordPress handle these very differently. Wix typically handles updates behind the scenes so most users are unaware when their site is updated as no action is needed on their part.
WordPress has three areas that require regular updates: themes, plug-ins, and WordPress itself. All of these updates are done at the click of a button. It’s not difficult to make these updates, but updating one thing can break another. We recommend backing up your site before making updates in case a problem occurs.
Bottom Line: WordPress requires regular updates while Wix handles it behind the scenes.
While there are a number of performance metrics for websites, load time is the primary focus. Load time depends on two major factors: the infrastructure hosting your website and the amount of data (text, media files, and code) needed to display your page. Wix sites historically didn’t perform well, but they’ve improved their infrastructure in recent years.
WordPress is self-hosted with dozens of hosting providers to choose from. Not all hosting providers are the same when it comes to performance, so do your research (or speak with us) before selecting one. On top of that, you can choose from shared plans or dedicated plans. While it takes some research, you can find a WordPress hosting plan that will outperform Wix (such as ours).
WordPress also has more options for performance tuning. There are several plug-ins available that will speed up your WordPress website by reducing the amount of data served and managing cache. Caching is a method of storing data (text, code, images) so that it doesn’t need to be downloaded with each page request.
The amount of data that needs to be downloaded to a visitor’s browser also impacts performance. Your theme, the content of your pages (text, images, & video), and any code required by the platform (including web apps and plug-ins) are all needed to display your site on the visitor’s browser. It’s hard to compare apples to apples as it’s uncommon to find a Wix website and a WordPress website with the exact same data. However, Wix’s ease of use comes with a price – and that price is the extra data you need to download to support the drag and drop components.
Bottom line: There are a number of variables that impact a site’s performance. While Wix has improved their performance in recent years, WordPress is the platform for those concerned about performance when the right hosting plan is used.
WordPress is free, but you need to host it somewhere. Often, you can find WordPress hosting plans that are less than $10 per month for the first year. You may need to pay a web developer to maintain your site if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. And as WordPress is more complex, a web designer will likely charge more money to create a WordPress site than a Wix site.
Wix offers a variety of different plans depending on your site’s needs. As of August 2022, Wix plans start at $16 per month. If you want an online store, it starts at $27 per month. WooCommerce for WordPress is free, so there’s no additional fee to add e-comm to your WordPress site.
Bottom Line: WordPress is the better value if you’re the DIY type. Wix is less expensive if you’re going to outsource everything. However, if you need additional functionality on your site (such as e-comm), WordPress may be a better value in the long run. WordPress has over 50,000 free plug-ins, so it’s likely you’ll find one that has the functionality of a paid web app on Wix.
The best way to illustrate this is to use the analogy of an RV trailer. Let’s say you rent a camping spot by a lake. You leave the RV there year-round. Your website is the RV. The contents of the RV are like the text, images, and videos on your website. The site with hookups for power and water is like your hosting provider. WordPress is like owning the trailer and renting the campsite, where Wix is like renting both.
Let’s face it, we sometimes have issues with vendors. They raise prices, their executives are involved in scandals, they support a cause that we are against, and the list goes on. Going back to our RV analogy, let’s say the owner of the campground doubles the rental fee. If you own your RV, you connect it up to your truck and drive it to the campground on the other side of the lake. If the campground owner owns the RV, you can take your possessions (clothes, food, decorations). But you need another RV to put them in.
Making the Move:
It’s not difficult to move a WordPress site from one hosting company to another. Some hosting companies will even do it for you for a fee. But just like the RV, you want to make sure that nothing broke or fell off the camper during the move. And you want to ensure that all the hook-ups are set up correctly so you can get power and water.
Wix is a different beast because you’re practically starting over. You’ll need to rebuild all of your pages and blog posts. And if you have an online store, you’ll need to recreate all of the products. So whether you’re moving from Wix to WordPress, or another drag-and-drop platform like SquareSpace or Shopify, you’ll have to manually recreate everything. There are some tools out there that will help move some of your data over, but you’ll have to format it to fit the new site.
Bottom line: WordPress is easy to move to another host. Everything from your site’s content, theme, configuration, and plug-ins can all be moved over. Moving from Wix is like starting from scratch.
Wix vs. WordPress: Which is Better Overall?
It depends on your situation. Wix is a good fit for you in the following situations:
- You just need a static website that you only update every few years.
- You want to do all of the work yourself and you’re not technical at all.
- You’re confident that you won’t outgrow the platform.
- You need an inexpensive site.
Conversely, WordPress is the ideal platform for the below situations:
- Your website has complex needs.
- Speed and performance are important to you.
- You want to own your website and have the ability to move it around.
- Your website needs to grow alongside your business.
- You need a highly interactive website.
- You want to automate tasks like sharing new blog posts to social media sites.
- Your business needs to integrate with online databases.
- You need a serious e-commerce solution.
Bottom line: Each platform has its advantages. But it’s important to look beyond your current website needs. Where is your business headed? What functionality will it need next year, in five years, in ten? Set up a complimentary consultation and we’ll help you select the right CMS for your business.