Is Wix Better Than WordPress?
Although both can result in a decent looking site, the big differences in these platforms lie in the features, costs, long term results, and overall usability. Sometimes a website may end up looking pretty but be difficult for you, as a small business owner, to maintain. Other times, you can get trapped in the “get what you paid for” axiom with affordable options. So before you start building, take a look at the benefits that Wix and WordPress have to offer.
Let’s Make This Personal
You want your site to be unique and original, something that can represent your business and all it has to offer. It should also be easy to navigate and have additional features to ensure a user-friendly experience.
Personalizing Your Wix Site From Theme Templates
Wix has a library of over 500 theme templates for you to choose from and begin customization. Further using built-in tools allows you to make more minor tweaks to your site. However, once you choose a theme, you cannot change or replace it. You can continue to make minor changes to the overall site, but with limited options, your site may end up almost identical to thousands of others.
You have access to a variety of additional plugins, or “apps,” to add to your Wix website. These include contact forms, comments sections, photo galleries, and other simple features. Most of the apps are free, but some of the more useful ones require monthly payments or offer a “lite” version with limited usability. An advantage of their limited options is that all extra apps are compatible with any theme you have chosen.
WordPress’s Open Source Platform Gives Room for 3rd Parties
On the other hand, WordPress is home to over 10,000 themes, both from the WordPress directory as well as designs created around the world through third party marketplaces. Your website can be previewed live with different themes installed, and can be changed at any time. With a little more knowledge and skill, you can also create an entirely new theme on WordPress from scratch.
There is a constantly growing number of free plugins that you can use on WordPress. From contact forms to ecommerce sites to randomly appearing unicorns- if you need a feature, you can most likely find a plugin for it. This can extend the functionality of your site as your business grows and evolves as plugins can be installed and deactivated whenever you want. However, it is important to keep in mind that you may run into some incompatibility with certain theme-plugin combinations due to the extreme variety of options.
Overall, WordPress gives you more personalization and options when it comes to building your site. Although it may be easier to choose from themes and plugins with Wix, you have no restraints when it comes to creating the site you want through WordPress.
Spend Money to Make Money
Finding a truly free website builder that is functional is almost as rare as finding a unicorn (outside of the plugin, of course). That being said, you shouldn’t have to empty your wallet for a nice website; the total cost of building and maintaining a website varies based on your needs.
Wix: Free Only If You Promote Wix
Wix offers different tool packages with prices ranging from $0 to $500 per month. You can get a basic, free website builder with two major conditions: you always have a Wix advertisement header that scrolls with your page, and your domain must be, “username.wix.com/sitename. ” You can also choose to purchase one of their VIP plans, which comes with more storage, priority Wix customer support, and business promotion tools. There are no external fees or costs outside of the monthly package fees, so you know exactly what you’re paying for. This is a quick and easy way to create a very basic website, especially if your business doesn’t need to have many added features.
WordPress: Open Source Software For Any Hosting Plan
The core WordPress.org software doesn’t cost any money, making the cost of buying a website dependent on the cost of the domain, hosting plan and web design. As an alternative to a self-hosted website that uses the WordPress.org open source software, there are package plans for WordPress.COM (as opposed to WordPress.ORG). These options range in price similar to Wix options with some of the cheaper plans involving mandatory WordPress advertisements.
For a self-hosted WordPress site, you will need to purchase a hosting plan and a domain name. Once, these are purchased, you essentially have what could be deemed a “real” website. The URL address and the hosting is yours to build as you want. The only other additional costs would consist of premium designs, premium plugins, and outside resources, such as hiring a developer or designer (like us!).
All things considered, if all you need is a bare minimum site, Wix can easily provide that for you with their free plan. However, WordPress has more flexibility when it comes to what your website needs, and what you’re willing to pay.
Overcoming a Learning Curve
When it comes to the actual building and maintaining of your site, Wix and WordPress operate in rather different ways.
Building a site on Wix is a purely visual process. Its “drag-and-drop” editing system allows you to move any element on your site anywhere throughout the page, similar to a system like PowerPoint. This is an extremely easy and user friendly method of building a site that requires almost no prior knowledge.
There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to WordPress. It uses a separate dashboard for design and content input which requires a little bit of practice to navigate around. Although there are many plugins for it, there is no default “drag-and-drop” building method on WordPress’ dashboard. Because of this, you may find yourself switching to and from the dashboard and visual preview of your site. However, once you have learned how to fully utilize WordPress, installing additional plugins can offer even more powerful and flexible building tools for advanced website creation. Our favorite theme customizer, Divi by Elegant Themes, offers you that “drag-n-drop” design editing capabilities that give Wix a run for its money (with more features to come in their new Divi 4.0 Release).
Wix is a much better option if you want something simple, fast, and easy to understand. Although you will end up with a much more basic website, there is no learning curve that you need to overcome in order to begin building, making Wix usable for anyone. Because WordPress is a more sophisticated site builder, it has more tools and functions that require a bit of learning to understand. Once understood, WordPress is a much more efficient and robust site builder.
If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you will end up with a much better site, however if you just need something quick and easy, Wix may better fit your needs.
More Control Over Your Site’s Future
The biggest question you need to ask yourself when making the decision between Wix and WordPress ultimately boils down to, “How much control do I want over my site?”
WordPress gives you full control over your site, allowing you to make it as personal as possible without restrictions. You also have full control over your data because WordPress allows you to export, download, or access all of the data on your site. You also have full control when it comes to eCommerce through plugins, allowing your online store to grow and evolve alongside your website.
Google-Friendly Controls to Get More Customers
Additionally, WordPress sites tend to rank higher on different search engines, such as Google. This is because you have more control over things like site speed, crawling, indexing, HTML, and URL structure, thus optimizing your site for the search engines. Another key factor is that you have more control over SEO within your own site, and additional plugins are also available for a greater SEO advantage over other sites.
What You Can’t Control on Wix
Wix controls a big portion of your site as its host. With Wix, you have no access to your data or code, making it difficult to transfer your content and have control over the backend of your site. Wix also includes an eCommerce store with their paid plans, but you can only accept payments through PayPal or Authorize.net, plus there is no eCommerce option for the free plan.
Wix tends to struggle with helping your brand recognition, as there is very little control over site optimization. Although Wix offers additional SEO apps, there tends to be less overall SEO options, resulting in noticeably less organic search traffic than a WordPress site. The limitations in the control you have over your site make it less likely to succeed in the future.
Why WordPress Has Our Vote
Overall, WordPress is the better platform when it comes to creating sophisticated, advanced, and unique sites. Although it may be a little more difficult to understand at first, it results in a more successful and usable site in the long run. Wix offers less control over your own site, but may actually be the better option if you just need a basic and simple site. Keep in mind, if you’re expecting your business to grow, your Wix site probably won’t be able to grow with it.
At Emerge, we specialize in building professional website designs specific to your business’s wants and needs, all while staying in your budget. We work exclusively with the WordPress platform because it is the only platform that allows us to customize each Google-friendly website to each small business we work with.
Always Here to Help
If website edits are something that may be a little out of your expertise, we’re always here to help. We include a WordPress training session with each website launch to give you the knowledge you need to get the site you want. This will help you conquer the learning curve that is one of the only downsides to a WordPress website.
Give us a call and we would love to chat about the future of your business, and how we can support you in your journey!