Wix vs WordPress – What platform is right for your website?

Today we compare Wix and WordPress so you have a clearer understanding of the benefits and drawbacks to each platform.

Choosing a platform for your website can be challenging, especially with so many options that are available. If you are building a new website, you have a lot of decisions to make. Of course, you need to have some ideas about the style, design, fonts and images that you want to be featured; your branding should be clear and set you apart.

You also need to decide on a great website name, ensure that the domain name you want for your website is available for purchase and make a choice about what hosting company you should use.

While all of those steps are important, there is one pivotal choice that anybody starting a website – whether for business or personal use needs to consider: what platform do you want to use in order to build your website?

Wix and WordPress are just two of the many platforms that are available to build your own website. While they have a few things in common with one another, they are actually quite different and are each better suited for different purposes.

No matter what you plan to use your new website for, read ahead to learn more about the WordPress and Wix – what platform is better suited to your needs?

What is Wix?

Wix is a cloud-based site that allows its many users to create their own web pages easily and quickly using drag and drop tools. Many inexperienced users are attracted to the Wix platform because it requires little to no advance knowledge of HTML coding or website development.

Wix’s business model thrives by enlisting its own community members in order to promote both the platform itself and its users’ sites. Wix can provide basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – this is enough to potentially satisfy a novice user, but many people want more control over their own SEO.

What is WordPress?

Similar to Wix, WordPress is also a website creation tool but it has many differences. First of all, it is open source, and that means that it is ever expanding and constantly undergoing new innovations and capabilities.

There are two versions of WordPress, one that is offered as a service similar to Wix and another that you host on your own website server. For the purposes of this article we will be comparing Wix to the self-hosted version of WordPress.

While drag and drop tools are available (with plugins, some of which will cost you fees), people creating their sites using WP often do much of the programming themselves or hire a developer in order to do this for them.

While WordPress can be difficult to use at first (it has quite a steep learning curve), users who embrace WP are often delighted at the amount of freedom and flexibility they have over the look, functionality and SEO capabilities of the site.

Wix vs WordPress

If you want more control over your website’s search engine optimisation then Wix cannot provide the same flexibility that a self-managed WordPress website can afford its owner. Not only does WordPress give you more flexibility, but it also gives you the benefit of thousands of independent developers who have designed plugins that work to extend the power of the platforms.

As with anything online, your decision should depend on your website’s primary goal. If you are looking to start a personal website that you can update on your own, a Wix website might be the ideal solution for your needs.

If you are looking for a platform on which to build a business website then WordPress is probably more suitable. In order to be effective, a business website should always be built on a platform that is scalable and flexible, allowing it to grow with your business. WordPress can provide you with exactly this.

Third-Party Platform or Self-Hosted Websites?

Wix is a third-party platform that gives you access to managing your website without having to deal with the technical aspects. Wix’s service gives you limited control over your website and it is unclear how many Wix websites are hosted on each web server.

When you sign up for the Wix platform, you have to select a service plan that gives you varying levels of features and support.

As your website grows, you can upgrade your Wix subscription to suit your needs; that said, you can only grow as far and as fast as Wix will allow. This is not ideal for a business website as you should not be forced to make sacrifices.

When you build your business website you should always have full control over every aspect, including its appearance, the website hosting, Search Engine Optimisation options and storage space. This ensures that your site (or sites) can evolve and develop alongside your business needs.

Another downfall of using Wix for business is that you have no option to select what country your website is hosted. The location of your web server can be crucial – for example, if you are a UK company and your website is hosted in the USA, every connection would have to request information from the USA.

If you have to meet data protection regulations it is often simpler to have your website hosted in your country of origin. If your website is hosted in another country, the data would be subject to that countries data protection regulations.

Website load times are one of the many ranking factors that affect where you rank within the search engines. A slow loading website can negatively impact the visitors’ experience of your website and they are likely to go to a competitor.

Installing WordPress and purchasing a domain of your own choosing means that you have more control, and you can choose a hosting package that’s right for you. With WordPress.org own server options you may have limited control, but with third party hosting providers you can always choose the country in which your server is located, and the resources that are available for your website.

Search Engine Visibility

Wix is not an ideal platform when it comes to Google rankings; the worlds largest search engine recently had problems displaying Wix websites in their search result listings, leading to a debate about whether Wix websites are search engine friendly.

While you can control some of your SEO settings with Wix, your page content is loaded using Ajax, and this makes it harder for your content to be correctly indexed by search engines. Google has the ability to crawl AJAX websites, but even they admit it is not ideal if your primary aim is to have good search rankings.

Cost

When it comes to starting your new site, you may want to consider cost and investment. With any site, you will need to pay for your domain hosting, but there are a few subtle differences between Wix and WordPress.

When it comes to Wix, you can easily start your site and pay for your domain on a payment plan – this spreads your investment across a longer period of time, something that can be quite attractive for businesses that plan to generate income from their sites.

WordPress does not offer a payment plan; instead, you will need to pay for everything up front. That said, these costs are usually quite low, and most people do not baulk at a one time (or annual), upfront payment.

SSL Capacity

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is an extra level of encryption and security that you can add to your site. It will create an encrypted link between a web server and a browser, ensuring that all information passed between the two stays safe and secure.

Depending on the types of information you plan to collect about your clients (personal details, payment and account data), this could be very advantageous for your site. Wix does not offer the option to install an SSL certificate, while WordPress has a plugin that will allow SSL. This may be the deciding factor for many entrepreneurs but will be less important for sites that do not collect customer data or take payments.

Content Management

Wix’s drag and drop functionality may give you a lot of flexibility and allow those who are not skilled at programming to design their own page, but having used it myself, I found it to be slow.

If you are looking for simplicity, WordPress does have a few plugins that provide drag and drop functionality; some are paid and some are free. With the introduction of WordPress 5, you will see the introduction of the Gutenburg editor. The new editor bridges the gap between what you see in the editor and what you see on your website.

As you can see from the comparisons above, both Wix and WordPress have positive and negative aspects that will make them suited to different purposes. As a rule, if you have little to no programming experience and your website is primarily for personal use, Wix is probably best for you.

If you are a business owner or someone who wants to achieve high Google rankings and customisability of your website, then WordPress is would be the best choice.

Ben Lacey is the Managing Director of Lacey Tech Solutions. He is passionate about everything to do with websites from design and development through to search optimisation and hosting. He started the company blog as a platform to help educate current and prospective customers about the ever changing website development industry.

What are your thoughts?

We hope you found our article useful and look forward to answering your questions.