Batman versus Superman. Danaerys Targaryen against John Snow. MacDonald's vs Burger King.
There are mythical battles where each team always finds an argument in an effort to have the final say.
The “Wix vs WordPress” debate is part of these historical clashes, which seem to never end, as both platforms evolve and develop new features.
That is why WPMarmite found it interesting to tackle the subject closely, giving you an objective point of view.
The idea: to put yourself in the shoes of anyone who wants to create a website, whatever it is, and compare what the two CMS have under the hood.
Hang on, it's gonna be explosive!
- 1/ How to install Wix and WordPress: differences between the two platforms
- 2/ How easy is it to use Wix and WordPress?
- 3/ What types of websites can be created with Wix vs WordPress?
- 4/ What design and customization features do these two CMS offer?
- 5/ And in terms of additional features?
- 6/ How do you manage your SEO in Wix vs WordPress?
- 7/ How to ensure the security of your site on both CMS?
- 8/ What about help and support on both platforms?
- 9/ Pricing: what are the differences between the two CMS?
- 10/ Wix vs WordPress: what should you choose?
1/ How to install Wix and WordPress: differences between the two platforms
Let's start by imagining we are starting a website from scratch. How do I install a Wix site vs a WordPress site?
On Wix, it's simple: it's a SaaS service, which allows you to register in just a few clicks, on a single platform.
You enter an email address and password, choose a domain name… and that's it! Wix takes care of everything else, from hosting your website to updating it over time.
With Wix, everything is done, in short, to make the platform the easiest to use for absolute beginners.
The platform will guide you from the beginning in the design of your website, by asking you a series of questions about your creative objectives. Are you creating a website for a company, an online shop, a blog? What is your level in terms of web design?
At the end of these few questions, Wix offers you designs adapted to your goals: blog templates if you have indicated that you want a blog, ecommerce templates if you want to create a shop…
The last and only step, before you start customizing the design, is to connect a domain name, purchased outside the platform, to your brand new Wix site. A crucial step if you want to have a site without the prefix wix.com at the end of your domain name… and a paying step, as we will describe at the end of this article.
Easy as ABC, isn't it?
When facing how simple it is on Wix, WordPress may seem more complex, less spontaneous.
Indeed, from wordpress.org, you will have to ensure, outside WordPress:
- Hosting your website by subscribing to a hosting offer;
- Choosing a domain name.
This way, you can then connect all this to your WordPress site.
While this installation may seem a little more complicated at first glance, it is not so difficult. Some hosting providers even offer to do a quick installation of WordPress, supporting all these crucial elements.
Installing WordPress can thus take a little longer… but I promise there's no need to be an expert to get it done! Especially if you refer to the complete guide that WPMarmite has prepared for you on this subject.
2/ How easy is it to use Wix and WordPress?
You have installed your Wix or WordPress site. Good. Let's now compare the handling of these two platforms for website creation.
On the one hand, we have the very intuitive tool that is Wix.
Everything happens by dragging and dropping in the editor: you see on your screen the structure and design changes you are making, and can adjust them in a very visual way.
The CMS gives you access to a multiplicity of modules, in a well classified sidebar, where it is easy to navigate and choose the elements to add to your page.
Each of these modules can then be customized by clicking on them: color, shape, effects on mouse hover, text, alignment… Once your eye is familiar with the interface, you can easily build a page in a few minutes.
To add other pages to your Wix site, proceed by doing the same: just select the menu at the top left of the editor to manage everything in a single window.
Faced with this ultra-manageable CMS, WordPress may seem much more complex to handle.
The interface is of course less ergonomic, less spontaneously understandable even if some process has been made since Gutenberg, the new text editor available with WordPress 5.0, arrived.
Does this mean that a WordPress site can only be created by getting your hands on the code? Far from it!
Over time, many plugins have developed, to help those who do not want to touch the code: the page builders, who also use drag and drop. Elementor, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer… a wide choice is available, at variable prices, and are more or less intuitive for you to design your WordPress website.
To manage the creation of different pages on WordPress, you will also not have the same experience as on Wix. A “Pages” tab is directly available in the administration, and after a few minutes of experimentation, you will not have any more difficulty managing the structure of your site.
3/ What types of websites can be created with Wix vs WordPress?
Wix and WordPress assert that it is simple to create any type of website with their interface.
Showcase site, blog, e-commerce shop… Everything seems to be possible, with both CMS.
But what's really going on there?
Create an ecommerce site on Wix or WordPress
You will have to pay €25 per month ($28) for the Wix eCommerce feature, which will allow you to sell physical or digital products.
As always on Wix, everything is done in a very intuitive interface, where you see the catalogue of your different products, and can manage their description, price, or even their images in a few clicks.
But as you know, running a shop is not just about showcasing your products.
Behind the Wix eCommerce functionality, you can find:
- A rather simplistic stock management: you can enter the number of products available in stock, or tag your products with a specific code to manage your stock internally.
- Simple promotion management: simply check the “Balance” box and indicate the discount that applies. You can also manage discount coupons, or even free delivery.
- Different payment systems: you can offer payment by credit card, PayPal, or by cheque or cash (offline). Other payment modules exist in the Wix App Market if you want to offer others.
- A basic delivery system, automatically calculated according to the amount of the order and the weight of the products. Your customers can have their orders delivered at home, free of charge or not, or pick up their orders in store.
- Automatic VAT is taken into account to comply with the legislation.
All this will be very well suited to a small online ecommerce activity, with a catalogue of a hundred products max… Beyond that, you will have a complicated visibility of your stock.
As for WordPress, you say “ecommerce” without talking about the flagship plugin WooCommerce.
Thanks to WooCommerce, you can set up an online store for free, in a fairly simple way. Its functionalities are more advanced than Wix eCommerce, in particular thanks to additional plugins that make it possible to be in legally compliant when talking about invoice generation, credit notes, etc.
In short, when you look at it a little bit, WooCommerce becomes an online store manager adapted to any type of store.
Create a blog on Wix vs on WordPress
Do you need to integrate a blogging feature into your site?
Wix takes care of it, again in a very intuitive way. By adding a blog to your site in one click, you can then easily manage your different categories, and organize your blog by dragging and dropping, like all other types of pages.
From the Wix application manager, you can also add more advanced functionalities, such as opt-in to subscribe to your blog, or a forum functionality.
As for WordPress, it was originally designed as a blogging platform.
So WordPress is tailor-made for anyone who wants a blog!
Articles are separated from other types of pages in a dedicated administration tab, and it is very easy to create posts, organize them into different categories, and manage their publication.
With the arrival of WordPress 5.0 and the new Gutenberg editor, you are now able to visually organize the content of your articles into different blocks, just as you will be able to do on your other pages. Enough to compete with Wix and its WYSIWYG, which attracts so many beginners…
Also note that if you delegate the writing of your articles to others, the role management system on WordPress is particularly interesting. You can choose to give them access only to the blogging part of your site, without risking them touching other pages or your WordPress settings. A big plus, for anyone who wants to set up a content production machine!
On Wix, the system is less complete. You can choose between the roles:
- “Administrator”, who can have full access to the site, except for billing and deletion options;
- “Back Office Manager”, who can manage the site settings, but cannot change them.
It's not so easy to manage a simple guest blogger, or your cousin who helps you run your online store from time to time.
Create an online booking site on Wix or WordPress
Do you want to create an online booking site, for a hotel or sports classes for example?
Easy, with the Wix Bookings feature.
From €19.90 per month ($22.50), this feature enables you to manage your bookings very easily.
Let's not dive too deep into it. But a simple illustration of the interface of this Wix application shows how easy it is to manage:
With WordPress, you can also organize your online bookings. Plugins combined with WooCommerce, such as WooCommerce Bookings, The Events Calendar, or WP Booking, help you to manage all this with mastery.
4/ What design and customization features do these two CMS offer?
You now know that, whatever your project, Wix and WordPress can help you achieve it.
But when you think about creating a website, you think far beyond its functionalities… And quite often, the question of design will arise.
Let's talk a little bit about it, by observing the customization at work on each of the CMS.
On Wix, there are hundreds of free templates, adapted to different types of industries.
All these templates are well suited for mobile browsing, and are classified into different categories, which you can select from the platform.
From these templates, you can start customizing your website design.
And that's where the problem lies: on Wix, you will remain restricted by the customization settings imagined by the CMS developers, or by the applications validated by the platform itself.
Certainly, you can enter an interesting customization granularity… but never more so than WordPress, which does not place any restrictions on customization.
So let's explain.
On WordPress, you will find some pre-installed themes on the platform. However, you will discover on third-party sites an extensive choice of themes to download. Some are costly, others free, and their quality varies depending on how they have been developed.
However, by following some basic rules to select our theme, we find ourselves with many more choices than on Wix.
Certainly, you will have to go through more steps on a WordPress site to reach your ideal design. Namely, first choose a theme, then add customization via the options, then with a page builder (and possibly by the code).
But with WordPress, your customization possibilities are limited only by your imagination!
As an open-source platform, WordPress allows you to install third-party plugins to reach the desired design, but also to get your hands on the code to set up a level of detail that is not accessible on Wix.
5/ And in terms of additional features?
When you start designing a website, you can immediately imagine what will appear on it: download or contact forms, call-to-actions, social sharing..
Where will you find these custom features on Wix or WordPress?
Let's start with Wix, where you will first find, de facto integrated into the platform, some pretty basic features. By clicking “Add” in the sidebar, you will find them classified into different categories, with more or less clarity.
But let's be clear: you won't go far with these few elements.
To search for more advanced elements, such as payment or opt-in forms, pop-ups, pricing tables, customer testimonial inserts, and more… go to the Wix App Market.
It is in this App Market that you will find various and varied features, some for free, other Premium.
On WordPress, should understand the process by now: the magic happens with plugins.
The offer of WordPress plugins, whether in the official repository or on third party sites, is absolutely overwhelming.
A great plus, which also generates a point of attention: it is necessary to know how to sort through these plugins which, if well marketed, are all the more attractive than the others.
Each of these plugins really meet a particular need, and you will often have the choice between different plugins for the same functionality. Enough to choose the one adapted to your site or your particular challenge.
6/ How do you manage your SEO in Wix vs WordPress?
A beautiful website is okay… but your target audience still has to find it on the web! And to do that, nothing beats a good SEO. What should you choose for this: Wix or WordPress?
Long criticized as a CMS whose sites had difficulty becoming search engine optimized, Wix has evolved well in terms of SEO:
- All templates are designed in HTML5, which makes them easy to read for search engines.
- It is easy to manage your on-page SEO, with simple access to title, <hn> and meta description tags, and to manage alternative image texts.
In addition, Wix now offers a free option called Wix SEO Wiz. What the heck is that?
Wix SEO Wiz is an interactive guide that helps you target SEO actions, to properly optimise each of your pages for search engines robots.
You start by entering the keywords on which you want to rank your web page. Then, a ready-made SEO plan is delivered to you, including checklists of the elements to be set up, connections to your social network accounts, and content optimization.
Wix SEO Wiz also allows you to track the results of these SEO efforts.
On the WordPress side, we find the same handling of on-page SEO, with easy access to the different tags to optimize (images, alternative texts, <hn> tags)… but also third-party plugins that help you manage your SEO.
Among the most famous, Yoast SEO remains a must-download. Its traffic light system guides you to fine-tune the SEO of your pages around keywords related to your business.
7/ How to ensure the security of your site on both CMS?
Your website is a sacred temple. There is no question of leaving security breaches lying around, which could be invaded by malicious people/scripts who would put it at risk.
So who is the best bodyguard between Wix and WordPress?
On Wix, as soon as you create your website, everything is included in it, in terms of security.
Updates are made directly by the platform managers, as well as all security options as well. Reassuring? Without doubt, for a novice who doesn't know much about website security.
On the contrary, on WordPress, security is your business:
- You must take care of the updates yourself. This allows you to prevent your site more or less from risk of serious security breaches.
- It is recommended to install dedicated plugins to avoid any problems. SecuPress is, for example, an excellent plugin, which takes care of everything that is crucial for your site.
8/ What about help and support on both platforms?
Let's imagine that you are creating your website. You're doing well, you're pretty proud of yourself. When suddenly, you are blocked. You can't set up a feature, you are lost on the CMS…
What can you do? Who can you contact to help you out?
On Wix, as soon as you subscribe to a Premium package, you will have access to 24/7 support with platform specialists.
On WordPress (and here, I risk of making you a little anxious), this is not the case.
However, chill out: WordPress is the first CMS used in the world, and brings together aficionados and other experts from all over the world, in a very active community that is ready to give you the best advice.
From specialized sites (such as WPMarmite, for example 😉 to forums, you will often find answers to your questions, whatever your issue is. The key is to formulate your question correctly, so that Google or forum users understand your concern!
9/ Pricing: what are the differences between the two CMS?
This brings us to a decisive point for many website designers: how much does it all cost?
Wix offers a range of different subscriptions, from free (where your site will be polluted by unmanageable advertising inserts, and where you can't connect your domain) to a VIP package of €24.50 per month.
The differences between these offers will depend on several criteria:
- The performance of your site, linked to the bandwidth it will be granted;
- The storage of the media you can do on the CMS;
- Additional features, such as sending newsletters, Wix ecommerce, or the Form Builder application, which allows you to build your forms (duh!).
There are also 3 offers to accept payments and bookings on your site:
WordPress, on the other hand, is free when you register.
But be careful! You will have to bear many costs, including:
- The hosting and domain name of your site;
- Its plugins and features;
- The design, via the themes you may pay for;
- The maintenance of the site.
The bill can quickly rise if you don't know where to go, and if you download plugins and themes like a maniac. So inform yourself beforehand, test the free versions of the plugins, and have a chat with experts in the community.
10/ Wix vs WordPress: what should you choose?
As you have seen, on the one hand, Wix and WordPress are similar and have the same benefits. On the other hand, one or the other will be more appropriate for your project.
The answer to this fateful question will therefore depend on your profile, and on what you want to achieve as a final website.
If you are a beginner and don't want to get your hands on the code or aren't looking for ultra-personalization at all, Wix can be enough for you. This may be perfect for a blog, or a company that does not have a huge growth ambition.
However, if you want to get more advanced customization, get your hands dirty to manage the slightest parameters of your site, or pay someone to do it for you, no doubt about it: choose WordPress, which allows you to manage everything related your site.
In terms of website creation speed, Wix undoubtedly wins. But if you want a design that can change indefinitely, real performance and all the flexibility you can get, you'll prefer WordPress.
The most important thing is to know how to identify what will make your site a good one, for your goals as well as for your visitors… and then choose the right CMS, and use it wisely.
In the WPMarmite team, we are probably a little biased, WordPress being our hobby for years now.
But I still wanted to share with you a discussion that took place between us, and that made us smile. We recently discovered that Wix's blog… was running on WordPress.
Are you part of the #TeamWordPress? Or are you a Wix fanatic, an expert in its every detail?
Explain why you prefer one or the other in the comments below: we love reading your prose! 🙂
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