You might have seen adverts for Wix Website Building and wondered what’s the difference between Wix and WordPress. They both allow you to build a website without knowing any coding. But which is better? It’s a bit like deciding which rabbit hole to go down because it might be difficult getting out of one.
Here’s the results of my research comparing Wix and WordPress to help you decide which platform is best for you. For the avoidance of doubt, I’m referring to WordPress.org which is self-hosting (means you pay for hosting).
I’ve looked at cost (the real cost), ease of use (what’s the learning curve like), support (and how easy it is to access), templates (choice available) and plugins/apps (choice of extra functionality).
Here are my findings:
The first consideration is cost.
Wix advertise that their website builder is free. Is it really free?
Yes, Wix does offer a free plan that costs nothing. However, there are some catches or serious drawbacks.
- With Wix’s free plan you have their logo top and bottom of your web pages, which gives away that you haven’t spent any money on your website which may portray the wrong image if you’re offering services or products that you expect people to pay for.
- You can’t have your own domain name with a Wix free plan. The domain name will look something like yourusername.wix.com/sitename – which could give the impression that you’re not really a serious business as you don’t even have your own domain name!
- Essential basic tools like google analytics, ecommerce and video are not included with Wix’s free plan
To get these basic features, you need to upgrade to a premium plan (the lowest price plan without ads is £6/month which still has limitations)
WordPress on the other hand really is free. You get the software totally free, no need to upgrade to get additional features. Whilst Wix do provide hosting, with WordPress you need to buy hosting to install it to and a domain name which can be as little as £2.92/month (from TSO Host). Make sure you chose a host (like TSO Host) who provide you with a 1-click WordPress install to make it super simple.
Ease of Use
There is a learning curve for both, but how do they stack up?
Wix has a drag and drop editor so that creating pages is fairly intuitive where you drag and drop elements into your page.
With the launch of WordPress’ new Gutenburg editor the experience of creating pages is similar to Wix, with some more flexibility and types of elements, called ‘blocks’ in WordPress.e.g a title/heading, cover image, columns, video etc. It’s a big improvement on the old visual editor which although was free of code, didn’t display in true what your actual page looked like.
Some themes (like my favourite Divi), they provide a true visual editing experience, so you can design and edit your page and see what it looks like instantly before hitting publish and making it live.
Can you get help in a timely manner when things go wrong or you’re stuck?
So Wix have a support centre where they list several help topics and there are tutorials an videos to help you get started. There’s currently no online chat facility. There is however, a phone facility but they don’t publish phone numbers and it wasn’t that easy to find on their website! You request a callback 24/7 but there’s no indication on how quick they are to call back, which might be frustrating if you’ve set aside time to work on your website and can’t progress because you’re waiting on them to call back.
WordPress are similar in that there is a huge repository of how-to articles as well as a forum supported by the huge community collaborating and contributing to WordPress. Again, there’s no timescales on responses and there’s no phone facility at all.
However, if you went with a premium theme like my favourite Divi, then Divi do provide online chat support (in addition to a vast library of how-to articles and videos) and my experience is that they are pretty responsive, although it can vary from instant (i.e within a few minutes), to 12 hours or next day). I think this might be due to time differences.
In addition, your host will provide support on issues like ‘the site is down’ or broken type issues and certainly with TSO Host, they respond within minutes. I’ve noticed that some of their operators have been able to help me on WordPress issues too. But also be aware that not all hosting companies offer the same kind of support, so that’s important to check.
Winner: Draw, possibly Wix with the slight lead, but if you went with Divi, then WordPress with Divi is the winner.
The look of your website can be easily created using pre-made templates for both Wix and WordPress.
Wix claim to have over 500+ templates to choose from.
However, once you’ve chosen a template, you can’t later on switch it.
WordPress has 1,000’s of free templates to choose from and then add to that thousands of premium themes. My favourite premium theme is Divi Theme by Elegant Themes and within Divi there are 800+ premade designs plus it’s fully customisable.
You can also switch themes to your heart’s content when you get fed up of one, or your business develops and you want to freshen the look.
In Wiz they’re called Apps, in WordPress they’re called Plugins. These are mini programmes that give you extra functionality, for example, add a form, sign up box, shop, members only areas, online shop facilities, location maps, and so on.
Wix have 250+ apps available. Some are free or have a lite version, otherwise you have to pay for it.
WordPress has 55,000 plugins and there’s a HUGE choice. Basically, if you can think of a function there’s probably a plugin for it. Like Wix, many are free or have a lite version of a premium version.
The overall winner is WordPress for cost, ease of use, number of themes and plugins/apps to choose from although possibly Wiz has a very slight lead on support because there is the possibility of phone support.
If you’re considering building a WordPress website for your business and aren’t sure where to start, (because let’s face it, too much choice can also be overwhelming), then check out my Biz Website Course. It’s my online course where I show you step by step in short videos, like you’re sitting on my shoulder watching and copying what I do to build a beautiful website.
Disclosure: My recommendations for TSO Host and Divi are affiliate links, which means if you click those links and then purchase, I get a small kick back for the recommendation. Even if I didn’t get any kickback I would still be recommending them because they are my tried and tested products and I don’t recommend what I don’t like or use myself.