Wix or WordPress?
The confusion between Wix and WordPress:
Today we would like to talk about something that causes a lot of confusion among small creative business owners: choosing between a website builder platform like Wix or WordPress. As a result of the perception that these two are the same thing that yields the same results, it can be confusing.
To illustrate the differences, we will be using Wix as the website builder platform. In short, Wix is a hosted platform. Likewise, Squarespace, Weebly, and Hostgator are all hosted platforms and website builders. Typically, you would build a site using their templates and host your domain with them.
On the other hand, WordPress is a self-hosted open source content management system. Before you can start building, you would need to host your domain with another hosting provider. You could use themes and a builder on your CMS to build your website. Above all, you could develop a website on WordPress from scratch using code.
This article will discuss why you would choose Wix and WordPress. At the bottom of the article we have laid out a checklist and a table for easy understanding, but it is useful to go through the details to understand which option would serve your business.
The main reason that you would choose Wix to build your website is for ease of use. Wix offers a drag-and-drop service, similar to that of PowerPoint. It’s simple to start and to use. Wix intended for the amateur and the entrepreneur.
You would choose WordPress for greater control, flexibility and scalability. It’s a lot more complex than Wix. For instance, you have to be able to understand how to install WordPress on the c Panel of your website, before you can install a theme. It’s not simple. WordPress is intended for businesses who want to grow and businesses who need to differentiate their websites with unique functions.
Let’s talk about it.
Tools and functionality:
As Wix is a hosted platform, you will be limited to Wix’s tools and functionality. You won’t be able to use external tools on the platform. This might not affect you at all. If you are content with the Wix apps and template offerings, then you are good to go. This becomes a problem however for businesses that require specific functionality and software to operate. For example, booking systems, shipping companies and accounting softwares won’t be able to integrate with Wix. You will be limited to Wix’s offerings.
Moreover, WordPress is open source and able to integrate with 3rd party tools and softwares. For example, online shops might be better suited to WordPress than Wix. Multiple shipping companies allow tracking integration with WordPress and Woocommerce. Consequently, Courier Guy is one of the South African courier companies that is quite useful. On the client’s side, from the order confirmation email, a tracking number can be sent out. It’s automated, and does not require the shop owner to manually email the client shipping information.
Storage and bandwidth:
Another limitation of Wix is that because it is a shared platform, storage and bandwidth is shared with other users. Users can choose the packages with higher storage and bandwidth. The problem with this is, that it can be more costly. Also, it also implies that you can only grow as fast as Wix. Wix will determine the storage distribution amongst servers.
WordPress allows for greater control over your storage and bandwidth as it is self-hosted.
Although Wix has done a lot to expand into e-commerce, it does not compare to WordPress’s WooCommerce, or Shopify or even Squarespace. It comes at an additional cost to Wix customers. Additionally, it does not have the functionality and flexibility that Woocommerce, Shopify and Squarespace can offer.
For online shops, it is worth considering other platforms.
Installation and setup for WordPress is free. However, you do need to register and host a domain which would come at its own cost. We recommend this for our clients, but our clients are small businesses who want to grow. This option allows for the control of bandwidth and storage dedicated to websites that Ostara Studio designs. Depending on where you are in the world registration and hosting of domain fees can change. In South Africa, web hosting can cost you R99 per month with Hetzner, or as low as R59 per month with Afrihost.
In contrast, Wix is able to offer a free website and free domain to you. This domain is not your own, but a Wix domain. It looks less professional, but if you are on a budget and want to start lean, then it could be the way to go. Wix also offers premium plans where Wix hosts your domain of choice on their platform, starting at $4.50 per month. The VIP and Unlimited deals seem affordable, and more valuable for what is offered. It is a monthly amount, so also needs to be considered in the long run.
Wix has a private development team, in-house, that deals with all apps. Depending on how you view this, it could be a benefit or a disadvantage. Often in-house development often means that there is not as much variety to the offerings as they are working under one brand. Therefor there is a level of control from the Wix brand.
The open source nature of WordPress is most noteworthy. It allows developers, across the world, to develop plug-ins. Again, this could be viewed as a benefit or a disadvantage. Developers don’t always create plug-ins that are well supported or user-friendly. WordPress manages this well with rating of plug-ins. Any well-rated plug-in provider will provide a family or multiple different plug-ins. Thus, it’s easy to spot a credible provider. Above all, these providers also easily refund plug-ins if you aren’t happy with them. Finally, it also means that there are some phenomenally designed plug-ins, that offer great flexibility and there is a large variety to choose from with many developers’ input and creativity.
The Wix vs. WordPress checklist:
Why would you use Wix?
- When you need something that is easy to use: drag and drop builder.
- Require something simple to get started.
- When you don’t need developers for any bells and whistles.
- Can’t afford to get a web designer in to create the website.
- When you don’t have time to figure out the complexity of WordPress.
- You need a one-stop shop that offers a builder, customer support, domain and hosting.
- If you are not planning and growing and thus won’t be moving to another platform.
Why would you use WordPress?
- You want to grow a business quickly.
- When you need specific functionalities on website that a hosted platform doesn’t offer.
- You don’t want to pay fees to setup a website.
- When you have the time to research how to build a WordPress site.
- You have developers or want developers to come in to add specific unique functionalities to your website.
- When you want to take your SEO to the next level.
- You want control over your website, domain, bandwidth and storage.
- When you want a unique website.
- You require a wider selection of themes to choose from.
- When you have an e-commerce store.
- You have a content heavy website.
The Wix vs. WordPress comparison table:
|Limited to Wix features and apps||Versatile and flexible: unconventional features|
|Limited to Wix functionality||Open to 3rd party software and tools|
|Limited to Wix||Can grow and expand|
|Easy website builder||Technical to use|
|Pre-designed templates||Control provides greater creativity and customization|
|Amateur-friendly||WordPress professional is often required|
|Can’t move to another platform easily||Can export content easily to transfer to other platforms|
A note on SEO:
There has been a lot of hearsay about website builder platforms like Wix and SEO. I myself, fell into this trap, as I kept likening WordPress 2019 to Wix 2015. Prior to 2016, there was a problem with SEO. In short, optimization for SEO was non-existent. Consequently, Wix has fixed this and now offers all the usual including meta tags, customizable slugs, image ALT tags and mobile optimization.
As a result of the confusion and changes, multiple developers will inform you that Wix has an ongoing problem with SEO as the website builder model opens itself up to “dirty” or bloated code. Now yes, this does possibly affect optimization, more than it would affect WordPress that has cleaner code. Nevertheless, this is rather minimal.
In the end, SEO has less to do with code, and more to do with your physical input. To see great results, you need to wield great results in ranking. You need a keyword strategy. You need to ensure that your titles and meta descriptions and the lot, follow your optimization strategy.
Conclusion, which is better, Wix or WordPress:
To summarize, it is all about your business needs, your level of commitment and skill, and your vision for your business. Choose the one that best serves your business. Hence you will see the results you need for your business.