We’re dealing with two very big names here: Wix has soared in popularity in recent years, and boasts a ton of celebrity fans including Karlie Kloss. WordPress, meanwhile, powers a third of the websites live today.
They’re both great platforms (see our detailed review of Wix here), but they’re actually very different:
Wix is an all-in-one, easy-to-use website builder. It came top of our expert research as the best overall website builder, and is perfect for people who want to create their own site but don’t know how to code.
Wix presents you with a range of pre-designed templates that you can populate with your own content, using its intuitive drag-and-drop editor. It even has design assistance, where Wix will build a website for you based on your answers to a few simple questions.
WordPress is a self-hosted open-source content management system. By that we mean it’s more powerful than Wix, but requires a bit of technical knowhow to use. You have to pay for things like hosting and a domain name separately, but it’s ultimately more flexible for coding.
To help you better understand Wix and WordPress – and work out which one works for you – we’ve put together this handy guide that digs into eight key areas.
Think you already know which one’s right for you? Check out some more specific reading below:
When it comes to ease of use, the learning curve for WordPress is definitely steeper. A lot of people choose WordPress for its flexibility, but with this flexibility comes complexity.
If you have some coding knowledge, WordPress makes the world your oyster. You can edit just about anything, but you will need advanced technical knowledge to make adjustments.
Alternatively, you can always hire a skilled developer, but that can prove fairly pricey.
While there are limits to Wix, it is designed and built specifically so it’s easy for non-developers to use. You can learn how to use Wix a lot quicker.
Wix is a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) website builder, so you can drag and drop paragraphs, pictures, slideshows, shopping cart buttons, and more anywhere on your web pages. You can also resize anything in a few simple clicks.
To show you just how easy it is to build a website with Wix, we put this video together:
As for WordPress, the downside is that whatever content you insert into the editor, you won’t see what it looks like “live” until you preview or publish the page.
This is by no means a major issue, but you will have to continuously click back-and-forth between edit and preview modes, just to see how it’s all coming together.
Winner: Wix wins here. It makes building websites easy for anyone thanks to its simple drag-and-drop editor. WordPress is the more powerful platform, but it also comes with complexity. You’ll need to spend a lot more time learning how to use WordPress.
Website Builder (Wix) vs WordPress SEO Guide – see our opinion about SEO with website builders such as Wix, and how it compares to WordPress.
Design and customization are things that WordPress prides itself on. There’s practically no limit to how much you can customize your site… but as you now know, it’s not overly simple to do.
Provided you’re comfortable with coding, WordPress allows you to make wholesale changes to its themes, and really put your own stamp on your site.
WordPress has a selection of free templates, or ‘themes’, you can work off – but if you’re serious about your site’s aesthetic, you’ll want to purchase one of its premium options.
While you can buy WordPress themes from a variety of sources, we’d recommend sticking to ones made by the platform itself. This is to avoid paying for a dodgy theme some amateur designer has knocked together.
WordPress premium themes cost between $25 and $299. They’re by no means cheap, but are the best option if you want a slick design that’s protected against bugs and updates.
Wix lets you pick from a massive range of over 500 templates. All these templates are categorized by industry and come pre-populated with example content, to give you an idea of what your final site may look like.
Another nifty thing is that each template will have built-in features which are relevant to the industry it’s categorized under. This can save you time and effort trying to find something like a subscription form for your magazine site, for example.
You can access the code of a Wix template, but it’s not recommended unless you’re technically advanced. You should be able to customize everything you need simply by using the drag-and-drop editor.
If you aren’t bothered about design and customization, or simply don’t have the time, you can always use Wix ADI. This is a design assisted tool that will create your website for you, simply by asking you a few questions about your site’s purpose and your design preferences. To learn more about Wix ADI, read our review here.
Winner: Wix may be the easier and safer pick, but for pure design and customization, WordPress is unrivalled. You can edit just about anything to your exact liking with advanced coding, and have an array of both free and premium themes to choose from.
WordPress is an open-source platform. This means that its codes are open to everybody to use and modify. Any programmer or coder can use WordPress to create their own themes or plugins for others to purchase or download for free.
This is one of the main reasons why the WordPress community has expanded to more than 75 million websites (with most recent stats saying it now powers around 30% of all websites on the internet). As more people and businesses build websites, WordPress is expected to continue growing.
There are over 55,000+ WordPress plugins, which have been downloaded more than 1.2 billion times, giving you an idea of how extensive the WordPress community really is.
The fact that WordPress is so large is also a potential problem, though. As you can imagine, anyone with a little bit of coding knowledge can build a theme or plugin for WordPress – which carries its own set of risks.
The quality of these tools could be excellent, or they could be junk.
So from this perspective, while WordPress gives you tons of flexibility with tools, a lot of them are mediocre. This is not to say there aren’t any good WordPress plugins available – in fact, there are lots – but you will need to sift through a lot of them to see which ones stand up.
Wix is not an open-source platform. This means that only its private development team can produce website building tools. As a result, Wix’s tools are fully integrated into the website builder, and have a much lower chance of being “buggy”.
Wix is also expanding its Apps Market, so you can add a lot more functions to a Wix website. These Apps are fully integrated, so you don’t have to worry about installation – see our full Wix App Market review here.
If you experience technical issues with Wix’s tools, Wix will fix it for you.
Winner: It’s another win for Wix. Everything is tested and controlled by a private development team to ensure quality, and it also has good, centralized support functions. The main concern with WordPress is that a lot of its tools and plugins may not be built by skilled developers.
Wix vs WordPress Comparison Table – If you prefer a table / chart based analysis, click here to see it.
The major difference to cover here when deciding on WordPress or Wix is that Wix has ecommerce built-in. You’ll have to sign up to one of Wix’s dedicated ecommerce plans, but from there, everything you need to sell online is ready and waiting for you.
With WordPress, you’ll need to install a plugin called WooCommerce in order to sell online. It’s free to install, but there are some additional costs involved, such as transaction fees.
Wix’s ecommerce features are relatively advanced, but don’t compare to pure ecommerce platforms like Shopify. Wix eCommerce is really for people who want a website that’s capable of selling the odd product here and there. It’s not recommended for full-blown online stores.
WooCommerce is far more advanced. That said, it’s another cost you need to keep track of, and will again require some technical knowledge to set up. WordPress with WooCommerce is better if you need a website just to sell online, although you may find it easier to use an ecommerce platform if that’s your goal.
Winner: This is a call that pretty much sums up Wix vs WordPress: ease vs power. WordPress wins, purely because we’re not talking about convenience or setup speed – rather, it’s a question of how good the platform can be for selling online. Wix is by no means a bad choice for ecommerce, though.
Before we dig into which platform is better in this area, let’s take a step back and understand what SEO actually is.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making changes to your site to improve its chances of ranking highly in search engine results pages.
There are many tweaks you can make to improve your website’s SEO, and all of these are factored into search engines, like Google and Bing, when they create ranking algorithms.
Still with us? Great!
WordPress and Wix actually have something in common when it comes to SEO – both rely on apps or plugins.
On WordPress, you need to install a plugin call Yoast. Yoast is the number one SEO plugin for WordPress, and is used by over 5 million websites. It offers both free and premium services, although the free option is very limited.
Yoast premium costs $69 to use for one WordPress website, and comes backed with great SEO features like:
- Editing metadata – Changing the text that appears on search result pages.
- Internal linking suggestions – Guidance on the best pages to link to on your website when creating a new web page.
- Redirects – Automatically sending someone to a new URL when you change the slug on an existing page.
Wix also has a bunch of dedicated SEO apps, the most popular of which is Site Booster. Site Booster is free if you’re signed up to Wix’s Unlimited plan or higher, but will cost Free and Combo plan users $3.44/month.
Site Booster also has tons of cool SEO features, such as embedding your company address in search results, targeting keywords, and performance tracking. You can read more about Wix’s full SEO capabilities in our dedicated Wix SEO review here.
Winner: It’s a tie! Both Wix and WordPress have basic, built-in SEO tools, and both offer apps or plugins that give you access to more advanced SEO features. We’d say Yoast is slightly better, although Site Booster is included in the cost of most Wix plans at no additional charge.
Website Builder SEO vs WordPress SEO: which is better?
From a maintenance perspective, WordPress is always updating itself to improve security and fix bugs. When this happens (a few times a year), you’ll also need to update your WordPress website.
Most larger, more reputable theme and plugin developers will update their products for you, but that’s not always the case.
If the theme and plugins you use are not updated by the WordPress developer, you may risk these tools conflicting, and potentially hurting, the performance of your website.
For this reason, we’d recommend thoroughly vetting the WordPress themes and plugins you use. After all, you don’t want to be caught out.
With Wix, all updates are carried out by its technical team, and automatically deployed to your site – you don’t have to lift a finger (and you probably won’t even know the updates took place). This is a real benefit, especially if you are not technically savvy.
Wix is also constantly creating new templates and apps for you to use. The apps can be added to an existing website at any time, but it’s important to know you can’t switch your website’s templates without having to design the whole thing from scratch again.
Winner: Neither WordPress or Wix are perfect in this area, but Wix just shades it due to its automatic, inhouse app and feature updates. If WordPress updates, there’s no telling what impact this will have on your site if you use non-compatible plugins.
WordPress has an enormous community of users and an overwhelming amount of tutorials to help you. Again, there’s plenty of great information out there, but separating the good from the bad isn’t always simple.
One option is to hire a skilled WordPress developer to help you set up, configure, or modify your website – but this can quickly get expensive.
Wix has a focused support team to help its users troubleshoot. It’s also created a lot of help articles and videos, and forums to support you in building your website. Wix also offers email and scheduled phone support as well.
Wix’s support team will save you precious time – since everything used in its website builder is built by Wix itself, the chances of your website running into serious issues will be minimal.
Winner: Powerful as WordPress is, it’s more difficult to find relevant, worthwhile help. With Wix, you can always get good help by reaching out to its dedicated support team. Support is also available through a variety of services, including phone, email, and a help center.
The amount of money you want to invest in your website is an important consideration, and this can vary wildly, depending on if you use Wix or WordPress.
Wix offers seven premium pricing plans and one free plan. As you move up the packages, you get access to more features.
If you sign up to an annual plan, you can save between 17% and 23% per year, depending on which package you select:
|Wix Pricing Plans||Monthly ($/month)||1-Year ($/month)||Savings (%)|
* This price reflects the Business Basic plan, which is the cheapest of the three ecommerce premiums.
For the Combo, Unlimited, Pro, eCommerce, and VIP plans, Wix gives you a one-year free domain name (valued at $10 – $12) and $300 in advertisement vouchers (Google Adwords and Facebook Ads) for the Unlimited, Pro, eCommerce, and VIP plans. So if you use the vouchers, you can make your annual fee back very quickly.
With WordPress, you’ll need to get your own hosting service. You’ll also likely need to purchase a theme, since WordPress doesn’t come with attractive free templates.
A pre-made WordPress theme costs around $25 – $299, depending on how reputable the theme developer is (general rule of thumb: the higher the price, the more reliable it is).
If you want to add more functionality to your WordPress site (such as fancy slideshows, widgets, etc), you can install some free or paid plugins, which may cost around $15 – $70 per plugin. Again, this will depend on the reputation of the developer.
Plus, you’ll need to purchase your own custom domain name when using WordPress, which costs about $10 – $12 per year.
This means the initial investment for a WordPress website could range from $140 to $200, or higher, depending on how many paid plugins you pick up.
This doesn’t factor in the cost of hiring a WordPress developer if you want to make customizations to your site.
Winner: While Wix charges a set monthly price, WordPress can vary drastically. WordPress will almost always cost more than Wix to use when factoring in all the extra costs, and you could be left in a pickle – unless you fork out a ton of cash for a developer.
You should now have a strong idea of what Wix and WordPress are, and how they work. We’ve covered the main differences are between the two platforms, and you should now have an idea of which one is better suited to your needs.
As a recap, here’s a summary table of our comparison above, along with some final thoughts below:
|Wix vs WordPress||Wix||WordPress|
|Ease of Use||A very user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder. You don’t need to know how to code, as Wix is catered to non-technical users.||Steep learning curve (not beginner friendly). It’s best if you know how to code and you are technically savvy. If not, you might need to hire someone who is.|
|Design and Customization||Over 500 professionally designed templates for you to work off, but you can’t switch templates without redesigning your site.||Almost limitless control over your site’s aesthetic (if you have advances coding knowledge). Remember we recommend you use WordPress themes built by the platform itself.|
|Apps and Plugins||Limited customization, but all the features and functions are closely controlled, monitored, and tested to ensure they work properly.||Very flexible and customizable, but could be problematic if your custom tools or plugins break down.|
|Ecommerce||Built-in sales features in any of its ecommerce plans. Perfect for selling a few products.||Must install a plugin like WooCommerce to create an online store. Better for pure ecommerce sites, or for selling in bulk.|
|SEO||Basic SEO functionality, with advanced features included via Site Booster on the Unlimited plan or higher.||Basic SEO tools, with Yoast plugin providing advanced features at a premium cost of $69 for one website.|
|Ongoing Maintenance||Since Wix doesn’t open its platform to external developers, it controls all aspects of the platform – meaning it manages all the updates and maintenance work for you.||Requires frequent maintenance and monitoring, especially if there are updates to the platform, theme, or plugins. You are responsible for maintaining your website.|
|Help and Support||Dedicated support team with organized tutorials. You can also get help via phone or email.||Large community forum full of discussions, but not well organized. Getting a timely response is also inconsistent.|
|Pricing and Ongoing Commitments||7 premium plans, ranging from $13 per month to $49 per month (based on annual plans). You can also use Wix for free, but it has certain limitations.||Could range from $200 – $15,000, depending on various factors (hosting, themes, plugins, hiring help, etc.)|
Wix vs WordPress is a very personal choice – WordPress is more powerful and flexible, but it also takes time to sort through all the tutorials and plugins to find the right tools.
Wix, meanwhile, manages all its own updates and support. Despite not being as flexible as WordPress, Wix makes the whole website building experience easier, and much more pleasant – especially for non-techies.
You Should Use Wix If…
Wix is right for you if you don’t have a lot of technical experience in creating websites, and want an easy-to-use platform with no coding required. If you don’t use Wix’s free plan – which comes with tacky advertisements – it will cost you between $13/month and $49/month.
You Should Use WordPress If…
WordPress is right if you’re a little more tech savvy, and want power and flexibility. Be mindful – some coding knowledge is needed, and you’ll have to maintain your website when WordPress updates. Costs vary, but generally, you’ll be looking at around a $200 setup fee with ongoing monthly costs in place after that.
Just be aware that time and resources are the key considerations here:
- Wix – less maintenance and lower cost in the long term
- WordPress – more flexibility, but more maintenance, steeper learning curve, and costs more in the long run
In conclusion, if you are a one person team or don’t have dedicated technical resources to help you build, maintain or troubleshoot a website, we recommend using Wix.
If you’re still unsure, try signing up to a free trial and taking Wix for a test drive.
We hope that this discussion about the difference between Wix and WordPress has been helpful to you! If have any other questions – that aren’t answered in our FAQs – drop us a comment and we’ll get back to you.
Which is better: Wix or WordPress?
If you’re pretty technically confident and are looking to build a large site, WordPress is worth a try. However, if you’re not so tech savvy and prefer an easier platform – while still being able to create a beautiful and professional site – definitely look into Wix.
Is Wix or WordPress easier to use?
Wix is a pure drag-and-drop website builder, and is super easy to use. WordPress is much more complex, and demands a higher level of technical knowledge. If ease of use is the most important factor to you when making your decision, Wix is the one for you.
Is Wix really free?
Wix does have a totally free plan available – you’ll just need to be ok with having its adverts displayed on your site. However, if you want to get rid of these, all you have to do is upgrade to its cheapest monthly plan, which costs $11/month.
What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is a self-hosted open-source content management system that uses code to create and manage websites. WordPress.com is a blogging platform that’s hosted for you. We’ve compared Wix to WordPress.org, but you can read our WordPress.com review here.
How much does it cost to build a website with Wix?
You can technically build a website with Wix for nothing! Wix does have a free plan, but it comes with limitations – you can’t connect a personal domain name, and your site will have Wix adverts on it. The prices of premium plans vary from $11 to $35 monthly.
How much does it cost to build a website with WordPress?
You’ll have to sort out hosting ($5 – $10/month) and a domain name (approx $10 a year). You’ll also probably want to invest in a paid theme ($30 – $80), as well as extra plugins ($15 – $50). The initial investment involved will likely cost you around $200.