Wix or WordPress?
Which should I choose?
Lets jump into a comparison. Wordpress (WP) is not for everyone, but Wix is also not for everyone or every need.
I started working on my own websites long before we had Blogger and Wix and right before WordPress created themes and started to become a little easier to use. I started using a Yahoo website and it was hell. Pure hell. You think it’s tough now to create a website, well if you started over 10 years ago…it was much more difficult.
Today themes make all the difference in the world, but it doesn’t solve all the beginner website builder’s issues. Thus the invention of Wix and Squarespace. Builders for those who are not tech savvy or don’t want to learn how to use html or css code.
But I don’t want you to make a snap judgment and assume you should start at one place or another. There are so many options for having your website built, whether you DIY, hire someone, buy a theme, go with Wix, Squarespace or WP so I want to give you some information that will help you decide the right path for you!
You’ll hear the really tech web designers all over the world cry when someone says they use Wix, but I’m not going to sway you from using a tool that makes life easier. Web designers use Wix for their clients to get them set up and going knowing their clients will need Wix to continue to manage the website on their own, rather than paying a designer to make all their changes and add blog posts and new pages. Some people can use WP no problem, they get it or they have future plans that require they have more of an open source option like WP, and others need something easier with no backend issues.
Open Source means code that is made freely available for redistribution. It means you or a web developer can access and change the code to fit the needs of the website. Wix and Squarespace are not open source, so you will be limited in the options they allow, but their options are mighty and you may never need more than what they offer.
Ease of Use
Wix Pros & Cons
Wix has a visual user interface, meaning where you make edits to your website it is visual and drag and drop. You will see exactly how your website looks as you make changes. There are hundreds of included themes with Wix, but once you choose a theme you can’t go back! You can edit and modify with the built in options, but you cannot change themes. However, Wix provides support for anything you need help with on the website – hosting, apps, issues with building, domain, all of it.
WP Pros & Cons
WordPress is the easiest open source platform but it is not the easiest web publishing solution. However, with the use of Elegant Theme’s Divi Theme you have the freedom of drag and drop along with a visual editor. Divi has pretty much revolutionized WP for even the most beginner, beginners. But it’s not always simple some issues arise. Elegant Theme’s support is pretty awesome and will help you fix any issues you run into and answer any questions you might have. However, problems with WordPress itself means you have to contact WordPress. Problems with a plug-in (we’ll get to those soon) means you have to reach out to the support for the plug-in. You could deal with numerous different support platforms.
WP is more intimidating when you first begin and I will not lie, Wix is way easier to navigate as a newbie. All you need to know to work with Wix is how to use a mouse, which is ideal if you consider yourself a “non-tech” person. WordPress will inevitably leave you needing to reach out to a YouTube video or two for help, or at worst hiring someone to finish it up for you. But for tech-inclined people WordPress allows more control and you will probably pick up on it fairly quickly.
Side note: Elegant Theme’s Divi Theme is pretty fantastic and has significantly cut down on some of the issues with WP and needing to know code.
There is no backend in Wix that you have to go into to add content to your site. It is all visual and drag and drop. Super easy to add content to your website.
You work in the visual editor, in the backend in text or in html to add code to help create columns, modify content. But adding content is simple.
Let’s talk apps and plug-ins. WP uses plug-ins and Wix uses apps. Wix has hundreds of apps. From contact forms, booking and calendar apps, social media feed apps to display your social feeds on your website, share buttons, link buttons, photo galleries, marketing tools, email CRM integration, business apps and so much more. One thing I would check is the payment methods you use, or wan to use, to collect payment from clients as Wix is a little limited, but I believe they are adding more options.
Most of what you need will likely be in a Wix app and their library is growing.
WP Pros & Cons
WP has thousands of plug-ins, free and premium, and counting. Kid you not, if you can think up something you need there is probably a plug in for that. So while you could build just about anything you want with code, you don’t usually have to build because there is likely a plug in created for it already. Paid membership websites, ecommerce galleries, numerous payment/check out apps and services, most anything you can think up.
Wix Pros & Cons
Because Wix is not an open source platform, they control all maintenance and updates to their product. There is very little need for a user to update their website or to monitor and maintain the technical pieces. Just focus on content.
WP Pros & Cons
WordPress is open sourced. Meaning you are responsible for updates of the themes and plug ins and of WP itself. There can be times that you update WordPress and parts of your theme may not be compatible with the WP updates. This is one of the biggest downfalls. If you or your host fail to manage updates you leave your website open to vulnerabilities and that is why I suggest my WP clients use a managed host service (this is something I’ll go over in another blog post).
I won’t touch on this too much because price can change and depends on options you choose.
But overall you pay Wix a monthly fee (paid annually for a discount) and includes a domain, maintenance of your site, theme, and you get advertisement vouchers. They also have free websites, but I would not recommend them because you do not get to use your own domain and I believe everyone should use their own domain for SEO purposes – and if you aren’t sure what SEO is, it’s very important to the branding of your site, and how you rank in search engines.
WordPress is free but you pay for your domain, hosting, and themes separately. The upfront cost may be a little more. However, you could go with a managed host that will help with your domain, hosting, maintenance and backup.
In the end, use what works best for you. If you anticipate some future needs that will require a more robust website (ecommerce with lots of products or a complex membership site) with my web designer hat on I would recommend using WordPress and learning it, using Divi Theme, or hiring help. WP is just more flexible with freedom of choice than Wix when it comes to ecommerce and more robust options.
My guess is that 80-90% of people could use Wix and never need anything more robust, but just consider what you plan for your website down the road. (Complicated ecommerce, membership sites or want room for highly customized options). Consider if you will use something like Kajabi or Click Funnels to run membership sites or online courses, then your website may not need to have options for the more complex things.
I use WP and have since they really got started. I use Wix for clients and did create one of my own websites in the past using Wix. It’s easy, it’s fun and visual and easier than WordPress. The websites are very professional and beautiful.
WordPress is more technical, not as visual (but getting better) and a little more difficult learning curve off the backend. A good amount of websites out there are WordPress sites because people really like the flexibility and options to customize and the multitude of features the open sourced platform can provide. WordPress is a great choice and if you are technically inclined you will get the hang of it.
My suggestion is go on YouTube, search the following How-tos for both Wix and WordPress. See what it looks like in action:
- How to add a blog post (in Wix…in WordPress)
- How to build a web page (in Wix…in WordPress).
- How to install a theme (Wix…in WordPress).
- How to install (an app in Wix) … (a plug in in WordPress).
Let me know in the comments below what you chose. I love to hear what others decided and what they are creating their websites for.
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