As always, here’s the video guide:
Now to the post (including a couple of never-before-seen bonus rounds!!)…
What’s going on guys, in today’s post we’re covering a heated battle between two of the best website builders out there.
It’s the Wix vs WordPress battle royale!
Which is easier to use?
Which is cheaper?
Which is better for blogging and SEO?
Which is better overall?
In today’s match (we know, it’s just a blog post, roll with us here) we’ll find out.
What is Wix?
First, let’s get you up to speed on our two champions.
First up: Wix.
Wix is a complete website platform with everything you need to get started including buying a domain, getting hosting, and creating your online portfolio, blog, or ecommerce store with their fully-featured website building tool.
Everything you need to get started from scratch, no third parties required, which is a big selling point for going with a platform like theirs.
Wix also works out of the box without any technical setup.
Just create an account and you’re getting going right away, starting by choosing from over 500 website designs that will layout the basic look and functionality of your site in one click.
There’s also the Wix App Market that let you expand your website’s functionality fast, no coding required. Some of these you can grab for free, some are paid.
Wix support is available 24/7, so someone’s always got you if you run into a problem.
Wix plans range from free (with a lot of limitations and some may-or-may-not-be-fine-with-you ads) to $25 a month (more on that below).
Bottom line: with Wix you get everything you need to launch your fully-functional website or ecommerce store with minimal technical setup.
What is WordPress?
WordPress (.org, not .com) is also an all-in-one package for building websites, but you’ve got to grab the hosting and domain name yourself.
Think of it like this: Wix is kind of like buying a whole laptop, the actual machine and the MacOS (or Windows) that runs all the software. WordPress is like buying just the MacOS/Windows – you’ve got to get the laptop to install it on yourself.
If that doesn’t quite make sense, there’s also the house/address/land metaphor we used in our what is a domain name post.
Basically, you can get WordPress for free, but you’ll need someplace to install it so that people access to your WordPress website from the web – so you’ll need WordPress hosting (our favorite cheap but good option is HostGator).
And you’ll need a domain name for people to type in and link to so people can find/get to your site.
Hosting starts around $5/month and domain names start around $10/year if you don’t get any special discounts.
Depending on the host you choose, you might have to install WordPress yourself (most hosts have a 1-click option, some don’t) and your host may or may not make it easy to buy a domain name when you sign up for hosting.
Once you’ve got WordPress installed, you’ll then need to find and install a theme and some plugins to get the custom design and functionality you’re going for – you’ve got thousands of free and paid options there.
All of that is pretty easy but definitely more work than Wix.
With a bit of learning and elbow grease, you can do pretty much anything that makes your heart flutter with WordPress. And since WordPress is free and open source, there’s not any dedicated support for you but your host might offer it, there are WordPress support agencies, and plenty of website developers that you can reach out to to help you fix any problems that might come up.
If you want to learn more about WordPress, we cover all the basics in our What is WordPress and How Does It Work post!
Wix vs. WordPress: Main Similarities and Differences
Alright, so that’s a bit of background on our contenders, before we get to the main event here’s a bit of that good ol’ pre-fight analysis.
Whether you go with Wix or WordPress, with both you get an online, fully-featured website builder to create your dream site, but WordPress requires a bit more setup.
With Wix, all you have to do is sign up for an account and you’re ready to go right away; with WordPress, you’ve got to get hosting and a domain first from a place like HostGator, then install WordPress on your host and link your domain to it.
That’s the biggest, mainest difference (no, not a word we know).
Where these two are pretty dang similarly:
- Both are completely capable of running your website.
- Both let you build a modern, super slick website through customizable themes.
- Both let you add pretty much any features and functionality you want to your site.
- Both make it easy to edit text, arrange graphics, embed videos, add pages, etc.
- Both are responsive (look good on both desktops and mobile devices).
- Both can be used to build an ecommerce store.
- Both make it easy to share your content on social.
- Both help you with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Both give you traffic stats so you can see where users go on your site.
So obviously there’s no clear winner here (yet)!
This fight won’t be won by sheer competitive advantage alone.
The winner will need courage. The winner will need endurance. The winner will need to win the crowd over with awesome finishing moves and free Chipotle (maybe not that last bit, but in our experience free Chipotle always helps).
Round 1: Ease of Use
Alright, for Round 1 we’ve got ease of use.
Undoubtedly, Wix is designed from the ground up around user-friendly experience, so signing up, choosing your domain name, and designing your website with their sleek and sexy visual interface is a breeze.
Just drag and drop elements on your website wherever you want, create header menus, set up contact forms – it’s all just a few simple clicks away, no web design experience necessary.
WordPress, on the other hand, has a little bit of a learning curve. As we mentioned, most hosting providers make it easy to install in one click, but you have to get the domain name and hosting separate from getting WordPress and installing it.
And there’s not a nice, straightforward walkthrough to get you set up in the beginning like there is with Wix.
BUT there are tons of resources out there including step-by-step tutorials for anything you’d need to do to build your site with WordPress (*cough* like this website*cough*).
With all the helpful resources out there, WordPress really isn’t that daunting but we’re gonna call this round for Wix because their whole system is geared towards beginners.
Round 2: Cost
Next round: Cost!
So whether you go WordPress or Wix, we’re going to look at costs for one year; in Wix’s case, based on their cheapest (no-free) plan.
Why not use Wix’s free plan?
Well, there are a few major downsides that make the free Wix plan no competition compared to WordPress.
- They add ads to the top and bottom of your site; maybe you want ads for yourself, maybe you don’t, but you won’t get a cut of the ads Wix runs and you won’t control what ads they show.
- You can’t use a custom, unique domain with Wix’s free plan so instead of “yourawesomedomainname.com” you’ll be stuck with “yourWixusername.wix.com/yourawesomedomainname”
- And the free plan doesn’t let you access some pretty crucial add-ons like Google Analytics and ecommerce features.
The reason we chose one year is because, no matter which website builder you choose, you’ve gotta get a domain name for a whole 12 months, so you might as well set up your website building platform based on that same 12 months too.
And, if you haven’t noticed this trend with other online software, things are usually cheaper when you pay for the whole year vs month-to-month. The is true when you’re buying Wix or WordPress.
Paid Wix plans range from $11 to $29 a month when you pay annually, so their cheapest plan works out to about $132 a year. That easy setup and design will cost a pretty penny (worth it? We’ll see!).
WordPress pricing on the other hand… well, the software itself is free.
We love to use HostGator hosting all our websites and definitely recommend them, which is why we’ve got a special discount for you when you sign up using this here link (you can also buy your domain name with them as part of the signup process to keep things easy).
So, with that hosting discount, a year of WordPress will run you about $78; even if you went with a month to month plan (cash flow, we get it) it’s still cheaper to use WordPress than Wix – so WordPress definitely takes this round.
Winner: WordPress (and HostGator)
Round 3: Customization and Flexibility
Getting deep into the fight now with round 3 – customization and flexibility.
So when you make a website with Wix, you’ll start by choosing a template from over 500 options.
Once you’ve picked the one that feels right for your site you can start changing out the images, moving around buttons, changing colors and fonts and adding your custom text…
You can pretty much do anything here as far as design goes, and Wix has hundreds of different plugins inside their App Market that allow you to expand the functionality of your website with helpful tools and apps.
But Wix’s selection of plugins and themes is NOTHING compared to what WordPress has to offer.
Because WordPress is open source and has done an amazing job of building a community over the past decade and a half, there are virtually endless possibilities when it comes to quickly adding looks, feels, and functions to your site.
Plus WordPress has over 29,000 free plugins (and too many paid plugins to count) to help you create an online store, show off your Instagram feed on your site, create contact forms, etc.
So with WordPress, you have 110% control over the customization and complete flexibility with what you want to do to the look and feel of your site.
Which makes WordPress the clear winner of this round!
Round 4: Ecommerce
Then there’s ecommerce – which is basically just turning your website into an online store to sell products.
Wix does have some ecommerce capabilities, but it’s mainly for small business owners that are looking to start a small online shop or get going as quickly as possible.
Tax and shipping capabilities, the ability to do virtual products, and sales tracking mean the bases are covered.
But if you want to do a lot of volume and really scale that bad boy, it’s missing some key features like multiple shipping methods, ability to accept different currencies, some important inventory management features, etc.
WordPress on the other hand can support ecommerce websites of any and all sizes.
There are a couple of super popular WordPress ecommerce plugins that’s great out of the box for building an online store and features a ton of plugins itself.
But the popularity of WordPress means just about any tool you’d use in your online store – from credit card processing to inventory management to shopping cart – almost certainly has a plugin or some sort of WordPress integration.
So, once again we’ve got to call it for…
Bonus Round 1: Wix vs WordPress SEO
Round 4 is where the video ends, we like to keep those short and sweet because we know the latest PewDiePie video is creeping in the Recommended – so always tons of value there but usually just the essentials because we know there’s plenty to watch.
But for you, the discerning blog reader, we’ve got a bit of extra fire.
Enter bonus round #1 – Wix vs WordPress SEO!
Wix SEO is pretty good compared with some of the other best website builders; it lets you change important SEO page elements like page title, alt attributes, headings, etc.
But the free Wix plan doesn’t let you use a custom domain, which makes it extra hard to rank in search engines like Google.
Wix also automatically gives images you upload weird file names (like 8sadf83t3inakndsf-0344onkalsdf.png) which might hurt image SEO (there’s debate about this and the SEO “rules” are always changing).
And while you can customize blog post URLs, you can’t choose the whole thing. So for example, it’s SEO best practice to keep URLs short and include your target keyword which is why the URL for this post is just “createaprowebsite.com/wix-vs-wordpress” but on Wix that URL would probably be something like “createaprowebsite.com/blog/[date]/wix-vs-wordpress”
WordPress has some SEO options out of the box but there are definitely a few free and paid themes and plugins we recommend to help you get complete control over all the SEO elements you need to adjust to maximize your rankings – Yoast SEO and the Genesis Framework being two of them.
So, once again, we’ve got to go
Bonus Round 2: WordPress vs Wix for Blogging
Wix has some good blog options, letting you create categories, tags, schedule posts, include “related posts” at the bottom.
You can also add images, galleries, videos, GIFs and dividers.
So if you want to create a Wix blog, you’re bases are covered.
But WordPress is built for blogging from the ground up – literally anything you’d ever need for blogging comes baked in or, of course, you can always quickly find a plugin if there happens to be something crazy unique you’re trying to do (we haven’t seen a post that can do a standing double backflip but if you wanted yours to…).
So once again, if you’re looking for a website creator that’s awesome for blogging, it’s WordPress.
Which is better Wix or WordPress?
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the overall winner and recommendation…
It’s been a tough match, both competitors have shown a lot of heart…
It seems like Wix has taken quite a few Ls…
But the winner is….
IT DEPENDS! OH WHAT AN UPSET.
Yes, you read that right folks.
Look, we love WordPress, no doubt.
It’s what we use to build all our websites and we think it’s better than Wix in just about every way.
Wix’s ease of use is undeniable, especially for beginners, especially if you just want a simple site.
Wix makes it super simple and fun to build beautiful sites, so if you just want to focus on design and nothing else, Wix is great and you can get it here!
And if you know you just need to quickly build a portfolio website, personal blog, or an “online business card” for your freelancing business, Wix has everything you need.
Plus, their 24/7 support means fixing any problems with your site is fast and easy.
But, if you want to save a bit of money and aren’t afraid to get down and dirty with a bit of website technical setup, WORDPRESS IS THE CLEAR WINNER!
There are just limitless options with WordPress and cheap hosting like HostGator and it’s so popular there are always tutorials and people to reach out to when you get stuck.
And once you get a handle on the basic setup and tools within the WordPress dashboard, it’s really not that much harder to use than Wix.
That’s why it’s our favorite website builder and the one we would truly recommend for most people.
As always, hope that helps and catch yall on the flip side.