Planning to start a website but unsure which site builder to use? Perhaps you could look into WordPress and Wix, two of Internet’s most popular web publishing platforms today.
WordPress and Wix each stand out in various terms such as flexibility, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness. But which one is best suited for your next website?
We’ll find out in this post which features both the benefits and downsides of WordPress and Wix.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system released in May 2003 as a free-for-all webpage creator system. It features an open-source code accessible to anyone who needs it.
The platform has since become the most widely-used content management system, powering over 60 million websites.
WordPress only requires its users to purchase their own hosting and domains.
No fees are needed to use WordPress’s features. The platform is powered by MySQL and PHP codes.
Fully-customizable websites are the heart of WordPress. Website owners who want flexibility in their website designs and functionalities often turn to WordPress.
For instance, the platform carries several free themes for its users to try. Premium themes are also available from other developers, but these usually require a fee.
Users can also embed a number of plugins on their WordPress sites.
What is Wix?
Wix is another content management system developed in Israel in 2006. It is a cloud-based website builder that can create HTML5 sites as well as mobile sites.
Wix is classified as a freemium services provider, earning revenue from sales of its premium upgrades. Users can start building websites on Wix for free, but there will be certain limitations on customizing their sites.
Features that Wix offers include a drag-and-drop site building interface, customizable templates, third-party app integration, and a mobile site editor.
The platform also has a so-called WIx ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), a feature that lets users answer a few questions about their intended website design and creates that full website in a few minutes.
Comparing the Two Platforms
Having knowledge of the basic functionalities of WordPress and Wix, it’s now time to compare their features and weigh their respective benefits and downsides.
The following elements are factored in into this comparison:
- Website creation interface
- Site Building Tools
- Website Maintenance
- Support Systems
Let’s look into them one by one.
Website Creation Interface
WordPress requires some knowledge of CSS and HTML coding in order to create websites.
A bit of coding is needed in setting up or customizing any part of a WordPress website, which may be a problem for total website beginners.
Also, WordPress isn’t a visual platform – you don’t get an instant preview of what your webpage will look like while you’re still in editing mode.
Wix, on the other hand, uses a drag-and-drop interface that is much more user-friendly for total newbies.
Simply choose the elements needed in a website, drag them to the website builder, and drop in whatever place desired.
You see a live preview of the webpage as you build it.
The Verdict: WordPress is simply a content management system which offers little to no official step-by-step support on how to build websites.
Users are highly encouraged to learn HTML and CSS in order to navigate the WordPress world easier. However, Wix is easier to use because of its drag-and-drop interface which requires zero coding skills.
Page previews are also available in Wix.
Site Building Tools
WordPress is the easiest open-source platform for building websites. Its open-source nature lets anyone with coding skills open, view, and modify the platform’s codes.
This makes WordPress a leader in flexibility and website customizability.
However, the open-source WordPress also means that anyone can just create themes and plugins as they wish.
This contributed to the extensive growth of the WordPress community with over 40,000 plugins available for download to date.
The downside is that these plugins and themes aren’t all totally safe and high-quality. Most of them come from low-quality developers who may just break your website because of their poor themes and plugins.
Faulty WordPress plugins are often the source of bugs in a WordPress website. Developers of such plugins may or may not respond to you if you encounter problems with their products.
This is especially true for free plugins or for those bought with a minimal fee.
Now, Wix isn’t an open-source platform like WordPress. Wix’s codes aren’t available for everyone to see and modify.
Wix is a cloud-based system with a team of private developers creating its selection of website building tools. Plugins and themes are usually integrated into Wix’s own website builder.
Wix’s private nature makes its plugins and themes a lot less buggy than WordPress’s tools. Should anything go wrong with their tools, you may contact a centralized support team to help you fix them properly.
The Verdict: WordPress wins in flexibility and site customizability. It has a vast collection of plugins and themes – you’ll never run out of choices to fit your website needs.
However, its extensive amount of tools coupled with its open-source nature is quite risky, considering that several of these plugins and themes are of low-quality and have the potential to bring bugs to your developing site.
Wix might be more private and limited than WordPress, but its plugins and themes are created by its private developers and have lower chances of causing bugs to your website.
Updates and maintenance are both essential for WordPress to enhance security and improve its features. WordPress conducts automatic updates for minor releases and security changes.
However, manual updates are necessary for major WordPress releases. You must also manually start an update on all your used themes and plugins to ensure they’re working properly.
If updates are not initiated, there is a huge risk of errors occurring in your plugins and themes due to incompatibility.
If you use plugins or themes created by other WordPress developers, check carefully to see if they are still updated or not.
Some developers do update their products, but others won’t. Outdated tools are again likely to cause bugs or affect the functionality of your website.
In worst cases, missed updates or outdated tools may cause security breaches and may expose your site to hacking attacks.
For Wix, all updates are automatically deployed by their technical team. This means that automatic updates happen even without you knowing it.
Websites under Wix are constantly maintained through their team, ensuring your site’s security and functionality are never compromised.
The Verdict: WordPress mostly requires manual updates to maintain your website and its themes, plugins, and other elements.
You must initiate the updates on all your site’s elements one-by-one to keep your website in tip-top condition.
Wix, on the other hand, does all the updates automatically, something that non-technical website owners or small site teams can benefit from.
WordPress’s support team consists of a large number of users and an even larger number of tutorials available in all parts of the Internet.
Since WordPress is open-source and is used by millions of site users, there is an overflow of help texts and information anywhere you search on the Internet.
The downside of WordPress’s enormous amounts of support is that it’s hard to sift through all of them to check which are legitimate, and which are not.
One surefire option may be to work with a certified WordPress developer, but that can cost you lots of money in the long run.
On the other hand, Wix has a dedicated troubleshooting team to help in any queries regarding the platform’s features.
They offer scheduled phone support and email supports as well. You can also find an official collection of tutorials and videos on their site for your easy reference.
The Verdict: WordPress has an amazing community of users that help troubleshoot problems and guide newbies through various kinds of tutorials.
This vast number of support is accessible anywhere in the Internet.
But it can be hard to find the legitimate tutorials and problem-solving articles given the enormous amount of information about WordPress in the Internet.
Wix has a limited number of help tutorials and problem-solving texts created by its developers and seen on their website. While its support tends to be less compared to WordPress’s, Wix assures users of its high-quality support because they come direct from the Wix team. The platform also has their own support teams available via email or phone.
Using WordPress is free. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t shell out some cash to publish a website. You must purchase hosting and domain first in order to use WordPress.
Add to that the costs of themes and plugins should you wish to get something else other than the free offerings on WordPress.org.
Hosting and domain plans may cost you up to $15 per month. Paid themes and plugins may cost you $20 up to $200 each, depending on the quality of your chosen tools.
If you’re having a hard time customizing your website in WordPress, you might need to hire a skilled developer. That may cost you another extra hundred dollars monthly until your website is completely finished.
For Wix, you may start using it for free. The downside is that you’ll have WIx ads on your website. You’ll also have limited customizing capabilities. But you can upgrade to the following monthly paid plans as you need it:
- Connect Domain – $4.50
- Combo – $8.50
- Unlimited – $12.50
- eCommerce – $16.50
- VIP – $24.50
It will all depend on the functions you’re willing to get on your Wix website. You can get the following upgrades when you decide to use these plans:
- More bandwidth
- More storage
- Free Domains
- Ad Vouchers
- Site Booster App
- Form Builder App
All these paid plan options also get rid of the Wix ads on your site, except the Connect Domain plan.
The Verdict: WordPress may be free to use, but the additional costs of hosting and domain plans, themes, plugins, and developer work may significantly add up to a few hundred dollars monthly.
Wix starts out as a free-to-use builder, but they offer monthly paid plans to get rid of Wix ads (excluding the Connect Domain plan) and improve the functionality and customizability of the site you’re building.
Getting a Wix plan might be more feasible for someone who is on a tight budget.
Summing it Up
Which platform is better for your next website? It is difficult to give a conclusive answer. It will depend on a lot of factors on your side:
- The kind of site you want to build
- How customized you want your site to be
- How much your budget is
- Your technical know-how and coding skills
WordPress is certainly a powerful and free website-building platform. But to get the most out it, it requires you to have basic coding skills.
It also needs periodic manual updating, and may be costly to use because of the additional payments for hosting and tools.
If you don’t mind these things, then WordPress is surely the best platform for you – you get lots of community support and you have unlimited options to customize your website.
Wix is another powerful platform, even though it is not an -source software. Wix may be right for you if you prefer a no-frills way of creating a website.
It’s also great for non-tech savvy website owners. It has drag-and-drop functions for those unfamiliar with coding, it’s got automatic updates, and has an extensive range of official tutorials and a dedicated support team as well.
Choose Wix if you don’t mind paying a few bucks for upgrading functionality of your website.
To conclude, choosing between WordPress and Wix can be quite tricky. The key is finding which platform suits your needs best.
After all, both of them boast of powerful features that you can’t find in any other content management systems in the Internet.
Choose which platform will best suit your needs and get ready to see your new website come to life.