Wix vs WordPress – Choosing The Right Website Building Platform for Your Specific Needs

Wix vs WordPress – So, you’ve decided to build a website – Yay!

And just like any good soon-to-be website owner, you did the research and came to the conclusion that building your site could go one of two ways…

With a hosted website builder or a self-hosted content management system (CMS).

It all boiled down to a (seemingly) simple decision: Wix vs WordPress: Which One Should I Go With?

Honestly, it’s entirely up to your specific needs.

One is not necessarily better than the other.

Let’s first take a look at some statistics on Wix and WordPress before we jump into why one platform might be better suited for you.

According to SimilarTech Wix hosts almost 4 million websites on their platform beating out their direct competitors Squarespace, and Weebly by a substantial margin.

Wix market share
This graph shows the market share of Wix in the category of “Website Builder” as you can see they are by far the leader in this vertical.

Both Wix and WordPress are market leaders in their respective fields. And though each offers a distinct set of features, both are synonymous with the intuitive website building tools you’ve been hoping to find.

Both Wix and WordPress command a huge percent of their respective markets.

There are however a few fundamental differences.

Wix is considered a “Website Builder” while WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System).

We’ll get into the details of what distinguishes a Website Builder from a Content Management System later on in this article.

As you can see from the graph below WordPress is now responsible for the technology behind more than 50% of the CMS websites on the internet today.

50% is a massive slice of the pie which equates to about 16,000,000 websites on the entire web. That’s HUGE!

If everyone is using WordPress it must be the best platform to build your website right?

WordPress Usage Statistics
Out of all the major content management systems, WordPress is by far the most prolific.

But how do you know if WordPress is right for you? Just because it’s right for a lot of people doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

How do you compare and contrast a website builder like Wix with a content management system like WordPress?

In this post, we’ll help you answer these pressing questions by drawing out a five-step comparison of Wix vs WordPress.

By the time you’ve reached the end of this piece, you’ll be in a good position to decide which one is right for your specific needs.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • An Introduction to Wix
  • An Introduction to WordPress
  • Establishing an Evaluation Criteria to Compare Wix vs WordPress
  • Comparing Wix vs WordPress in a Five-Step Comparison
  • And finally – How to Choose The Right Platform for Your Specific Needs

Sound good? Let’s get started!

Wix WordPress
Cost Connect Domain – $4.50 per month
Combo – $8.50 per month
Unlimited – $12.50 per month
eCommerce – $16.50 per month
VIP – $24.50 per month
CMS – Free
Domain – Premium
Hosting – Premium
Custom Domain ×
Interface Drag and drop builder Slight learning curve
Themes/Templates Hundreds
(Free)
Thousands
(Free/Premium)
Mobile-Responsive
Plugins/Add-Ons Wix App Market
(Free/Premium)
WordPress Plugin Directory
(Free)
Ownership ×
Advertisements ×
Technical Expertise Required ×

Introducing Wix

Wix
A look at the Wix homepage

Founded in 2006, Wix is a cloud-based website development platform.

Wix features a powerful website builder that makes it easy for users to create functional websites without having to code.

If you want to speed things along, the platform also features Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) that automatically builds a personalized website for you.

What You Should Know About Wix

  • Wix is a hosted platform which means that you don’t have to purchase hosting separately for a Wix-based site.
  • You don’t have to know how to code to use Wix; it features a drag-and-drop true WYSIWYG website builder.
  • You can get started with a bare bones Wix site for free. Additional features (including a custom domain) will cost you a little extra.

Introducing WordPress

WordPress.org
WordPress.org homepage

WordPress has been around since 2003 and has since grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world.

It’s a full-blown, open source content management system that you can use to start a blog or build just about any kind of website.

WordPress comes with a wide range of basic blogging features and CMS capabilities right out of the box though you can always install a plugin to leverage advanced functionality.

WordPress Usage Statistics

What You Should Know About WordPress

  • WordPress is a self-hosted platform which means that you’ll have to find a web host and install it on your web server before you can use it.
  • You don’t necessarily need to know how to code to build a website using WordPress though having some technical knowledge is helpful.
  • The core WordPress software is free for download though you will need to purchase a custom domain and hosting to begin using it.

Key Differences Between Wix and WordPress

Before we get into the in-depth Wix vs WordPress comparison, let’s lay the foundation on which we’ll be evaluating both blogging platforms.

In this piece, we’ll be comparing self-hosted WordPress (i.e. WordPress.org) with the free version of Wix.

The main difference between Wix and WordPress is that WordPress is an open source software script that you need to install on a web server before you can use it.

With WordPress, you’ll have to put in the technical configuration work yourself.

And Wix is a hosted website building service that you need to sign up with before you can build your site. It takes care of all the technical bits of running a website for you.

Establishing an Evaluation Criteria

As you can probably already tell, Wix and WordPress are both excellent options for building websites.

This is exactly why it’s difficult to decide between the two.

In this section, we’ll define a criterion against which we’ll gauge both candidates.

  • Cost. How much does it actually cost to build and launch a website? Are there any hidden costs? What kind of features will you have to pay for?
  • Interface and Ease of Use. How easy is it for a new user to get started with the platform and build their first website? Does the platform feature an intuitive user interface?
  • Design and Responsiveness. Does the platform offer free or premium templates/themes to give you a head start with development? Are the templates/themes mobile-responsive?
  • Features and Functionality. What features are available out of the box? How do you get access to specific/advanced functionality?
  • Ownership. Do you actually own your website?

With that out of the way, let’s move on to the Wix vs WordPress comparison!

Wix vs WordPress: A Five-Step, Head-to-Head Comparison

We’ve already established our evaluation criteria and in this section, we’ll see how both Wix and WordPress measure up to it.

We’ll start each point off by briefly explaining why it’s an important factor to consider, how Wix and WordPress meet the criterion, and which platform outperforms the other.

Cost

The cost associated with using any platform for building websites is often the main deciding factor.

When it comes to website development, a lot of the costs you incur will add up over time. So, it’s a good idea to have a clear understanding of what you’ll be paying for with each platform.

Wix

Since Wix is a hosted solution, your site’s domain name will be something like your-username.wixsite.com/domain-name (but you can have a custom domain if you pay for one of their plans).

Wix domain names

You can sign up with Wix for free and begin creating your website using its built-in drag and drop website builder. However, Wix reserves the right to display their own advertisements across the top and bottom of your site.

To get a custom domain name or remove the advertisements, you’ll have to sign up with one of Wix’s premium plans.

Here’s a look at their pricing table:

Wix premium plans
A look at Wix Premium Plans.

It’s important to note that you’ll still have to pay extra for any premium extensions you choose to add to your site later on.

WordPress

With WordPress, the software is free to use and you won’t have to worry about any pre-embedded ads.

That said, since WordPress is a self-hosted platform, you will have to purchase your own domain and pay for web hosting.

The difference here is that you’re not bound to pick from a set of five premium plans.

You can go to any hosting provider and any plan they offer given that it meets the minimum requirements. So, you’ll have to do a little bit of research to find which hosting company is right for you.

Generally, hosting can cost you anywhere between a few dollars to a few hundred dollars depending on which plan you go with.

Aside from the costs associated with buying a custom domain and hosting, your costs could also go up if you decide to outsource your site’s maintenance, opt for premium security services, or buy premium themes and plugins.

Wix vs WordPress: Flexibility and Cost

WordPress offers more flexibility than Wix in choosing your hosting plan. Ultimately, the costs you incur will depend on the services you choose to opt for. Though going with the minimum (i.e. basic site, free of ads, custom domain), WordPress is more cost-effective.

Interface and Ease of Use

No one wants to spend a lot of time learning a tool that’s advertised to be intuitive and easy to use.

Can you actually create functional websites with Wix and WordPress without having to code?

Do you need to have some web development knowledge to be able to create a website? Let’s find out.

Wix

Wix’s interface is super easy to use.

All of the customizations you’ll ever have to make can be done by dragging and dropping elements into place or pointing and clicking to select various designs and animations.

Wix vs WordPress: Wix Website Editor
The Wix website editor is a very easy to use WYSIWIG.

Basically, you can design your entire site from the front-end and get a live preview of the changes you make throughout.

If you’ve ever used a drag and drop builder before then you won’t feel that there’s a learning curve at all.

WordPress

The WordPress interface takes a bit getting used to and there is a slight learning curve involved.

You’ll be managing your site from the WordPress “back-end” mainly with some customization options available through the front-end.

Wix vs WordPress: WordPress Editor
A look at the WordPress “back-end” and the native WordPress editor.

With WordPress, you can expect to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the CMS’s nomenclature and figuring out where everything is.

Wix vs WordPress: Which Is Easier To Use

Wix is a lot easier to get started with as compared to WordPress.

You’ll mostly be dragging and dropping page elements into place with a front-end preview of your site the entire time.

Design and Responsiveness

Regardless of the tools, they’re created with, all successful websites have visually appealing designs that look just as good on mobile screens as they do on desktops.

Wix

Wix offers hundreds of free templates to users that sign up with their free plan.

All of the templates are fully customizable through Wix’s built-in drag and drop website builder.

Wix's mobile-responsive options
Wix offers easy mobile responsive options.

You can make your site mobile-friendly by toggling the Make your site mobile friendly option.

In addition to this, Wix also lets you edit and customize your site’s mobile view without having the changes affect your desktop view.

Wix mobile-view editing options
Wix moble editor.

WordPress

When you first install your WordPress website, you’ll have the default WordPress theme activated on it.

From there, you can choose to install one of the thousands of free themes that are available in the WordPress Theme Directory or buy a premium one from a theme marketplace or an independent vendor.

WordPress Themes Directory
A view of the Featured themes in the WordPress repository.

You’ll have to consider a number of factors when choosing a WordPress theme.

Most modern-day WordPress themes are mobile-responsive out of the box.

That said, it’s a good idea to double check for responsiveness when you’re switching themes.

Wix vs WordPress: Which Offers More Themes/Templates?

Wix templates are a lot more customizable and standardized than those available for WordPress. That said, you also have a much smaller pool of templates designs to pick from if you go the Wix route.

Features and Functionality

Sooner or later you’re going to have to add some features to your website.

Both Wix and WordPress have their own form of third-party add-ons that you can use to make your site more functional.

Wix

Wix offers a number of free and premium web apps through its Wix App Market.

For each app, you can view the number of reviews it has along with descriptions, an overview of what the app does, demo, features, and developer info.

Wix App Market

When you find an app you like, simply click the +Add to Site button to add it to your site.

WordPress

The WordPress Plugin Directory has over 50,000 different free plugins that you can install and activate on your site to integrate all kinds of functionality. There’s a plugin for just about everything from forums to e-commerce and caching to SEO.

WordPress Plugin Directory

On top of this, there are premium plugins (such as Thrive Architect) that you can get from plugin marketplaces and independent vendors that come with advanced features and customer support.

Wix vs WordPress: Which Has More Plugins

WordPress has a lot more free plugins to choose from which gives you more flexibility. But you’ll have to be careful to select only high-quality plugins.

On the other hand, Wix has a smaller set of free apps to pick from though you can rest assured they’ll work as advertised and won’t pose any security concerns.

Ownership

Hosted solutions usually pose the problem of site ownership.

It’s important to know who owns your site and what terms and conditions you’ve agreed to when you sign up with hosted website builders.

Wix

Wix is a pre-hosted website builder which means that you don’t actually own your site.

Aside from the limitations of not being able to upload custom templates and apps, you can also expect to have:

  • A domain name that looks something like your-username.wixsite.com/domain-name (unles you purchase a paid plan).
  • Limited server space.
  • Advertisements displayed across the top of your site.
Preview of a Wix site
A look at the ads placed at the bottom and top of your site. To remove these you need to go with a paid Wix plan.

In addition to this, you can’t take backups of your site so if something goes wrong (e.g. your site gets hacked), there’s no way to restore it.

The Content and Ownership section on Wix’s Terms of Use page details what part of your site belongs to you and what Wix owns.

WordPress

With WordPress, you get full ownership of your website since the WordPress software is open source.

You can take backups of your site’s core files, edit the source code in the themes and plugins you install, and even modify your site’s database.

Preview of a WordPress site

WordPress gives you complete ownership of your site whereas with Wix you’re bound by the company’s Terms of Use.

Wix vs WordPress – How to Choose The Right Platform for Your Specific Needs

So, Wix vs WordPress? Which one do you go for?

Scenario 1: Your Budget

If you’re not ready to spend money on your site then we recommend going with Wix. You’ll be able to test out the web development waters and create a functional, mobile-responsive site while you’re at it.

On the other hand, if you’re thinking about getting serious with web development then go for WordPress.

With WordPress you’ll have a custom domain, server space, and a site that belongs to you. Plus, you’ll be able to customize and style it however you’d like.

Scenario 2: Your Level of Technical Expertise

If you’re building your first website or have very little web development experience then you should definitely go for Wix.

Wix has a drag and drop interface and selected templates/apps will allow you to create a functional website in just a few clicks.

But if you have some web development experience or a fair understanding of PHP/HTML/CSS code then you should try WordPress out.

With WordPress you’ll have a lot more flexibility and complete control (and ownership) of your site.

Scenario 3: Your Site’s Purpose

If you need a website to serve as a web presence for your brick and mortar business then you’d fare well with Wix since you don’t need to customize your site down to the last pixel or make use of a lot of advanced features.

However, if you plan on building a much larger site for your business then you’re better off going with WordPress. You’ll have a lot more flexibility when it comes to customizing its appearance, adding themes/plugins to it, and (most importantly) you’ll have your own custom domain.

Wix WordPress
Price Free Pay for custom domain and hosting
Custom Domain ×
Hosting ×
Content Management System ×
Interface Drag and drop builder Slight learning curve
Themes/Templates Hundreds Thousands
Features (out of the box) ×
Flexibility/Customization ×
Mobile-Responsive
Ownership ×
Advertisements ×
Technical expertise required ×
Ideal for Small sites Small/Medium/Large sites

Reasons to Use Wix Over WordPress

  • It’s free.
  • You can create and launch your site in a matter of minutes.
  • You don’t have to worry about looking for a web host or taking care of your site’s technical stuff.
  • You’ll get a decent set of features right out of the box.
  • You have access to a drag and drop interface from the get-go.

Reasons to Use WordPress Over Wix

  • You get a custom domain and you’ll own your site – though it’s at a small cost.
  • You’ll get more themes and plugins to choose from both free and premium.
  • You automatically get more flexibility when you choose WordPress in terms of site customization.
  • You’ll get a full-blown content management system.
  • You can build a much larger, more complex site with WordPress.

Conclusion

Both Wix and WordPress are excellent options when it comes to creating websites. And each platform has its own set of pros and cons.

The one you end up going with is largely going to depend on your own specific needs.

Hopefully, you’re in a good position now to take things further yourself.

Wix vs WordPress – which one did you choose and why? Let us know by commenting below!