December 14, 2020

WordPress vs. Wix

We’re asked pretty often to give our opinions on different content management systems (CMS), and inevitably we’ll be asked to give our thoughts on WordPress vs. Wix.

Truthfully, it’s not an easy answer–you can’t go completely wrong choosing either one.  Wix has a big marketing footprint (they’ve paid for those $5 million Super Bowl commercials), while WordPress has a huge internet footprint–it powers almost 40% of all websites!

So, instead of leaving the choice to a coinflip–or that Jason Statham Wix commercial–let’s get into the details to determine which CMS is better for you! Here are things we’ll take a look at:

  1. Ease of Use
  2. Ownership
  3. Security
  4. Customization
  5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Wordpress vs Wix boxing gloves

1. Ease of Use

WordPress: Installing your own copy of WordPress isn’t hard, per se, but it’s not drop-dead simple.  You do need to install your theme, your plugins, and set that up properly.  But, once your WordPress site is setup–and you’ve installed a great theme like Divi or The7–building beautiful pages is drag-and-drop easy!  It really is just a matter of hovering over an area you want to edit, and clicking–super simple and easy to manage. And when you add new plugins that extend your drag-and-drop system, you really start tapping into the power of WordPress.

Wix:  Because Wix has fewer options than WordPress, the drag-and-drop editor is simpler.  It’s intuitive, easy-to-use and very friendly.  The simplicity, though, can limit the features available to you, so if you want something that’s just a little different than the standard, getting it to work can be tough.

Our Choice: Tie. Both Wix and WordPress can be easy to use.  While Wix excels at pure simplicity, WordPress excels at making the more complex solutions simple.


2. Ownership

“We’ll never hold your site hostage.”  That’s what we tell people when we build their site.  We’ll help you build your site and help you host your site–but you’ll always have the freedom to take your site with you and host it anywhere else you’d like!

WordPress: With WordPress, you have a choice to take your site one of thousands of hosting companies (or even doing it yourself on AWS or Azure).  You’ll own every part of your site — the custom and open source code, the stylesheets, the database.  It’s yours forever.

Wix: With Wix, they’ve decided that you don’t need that choice–you can ONLY have your site on their system.  And once it’s on their system, you’ll never be able to take it off; it’s there until you close your account. It makes things a bit simpler than WordPress, but you’ll have no choice when it comes to ownership–Wix owns every part of your site, except the content.

Our Choice: WordPress — you should own ALL of your site, no matter where it’s hosted. There are hundreds of quality WordPress hosting companies (we’re fans of WP Engine) that have great support, and hosting your site with any of them is a straightforward process.

Wordpress Logo

3. Security

WordPress: Because WordPress is open source, and anyone can host it, putting your site on a reputable and managed host like WP Engine is paramount!  In the same way that you’ll have control over customization of your site that you don’t have on Wix, you’ll have control of where you site is hosted–that you don’t have on Wix.  Opting for incredibly cheap $5/month hosting plans can be frought with unknowns.  When hosting your site, make sure you’ll be on a solid, secure, backed-up hosting company that has proved itself.  “You get what you pay for,” right?  Don’t pay for the cheapest plan out there.

Wix: One of the great things about using a completely hosted plan like Wix is that you’ll never need to worry about your hosting situation.  Everything is managed by Wix.  Security, backups, responsiveness are all baked into their monthly plan. It’s simple, it’s easy, and doesn’t take much thought.

Our Choice: Wix — It’s tough to beat the  simplicity of Wix’s hosting system.


Wix Logo

4. Customization

WordPress: Opt for WordPress and you’ll find what seems like nearly endless plugin customization options.   The official WordPress plugin directory contains over 50,000 plugins–and that doesn’t count 3rd party plugins you can find for purchase at sites like Envato!  Sometimes the plethora of plugins can seem more complex than the closed system of plugins within Wix.

When it comes to the look of your website, there are thousands of themes available for WordPress — just one site like Theme Forest has over 11,000 (!) themes alone. Additionally, there are 5,000+ third-party themes that WordPress has approved.  In addition, you could hire a WordPress developer to create a completely custom theme tailored precisely to your needs!

The bottom line is whether you want a free theme or are willing to pay for a premium theme, you’ll have no shortage of options with WordPress.  We recommend folks purchase a well-supported and infinitely customizable theme from companies like Elegant Themes or Elementor to rest assured that your site’s theme will continue to be secure and supported for years to come.

Wix: Wix gives you the opportunity to choose from more than 500 templates, each of which is free with the Wix plan.  Each template is categorized according to industry and pre-populated with content that provides an idea of what the site will look like when complete.  There are quite a few good looking ones there (we’re fans of the “Coaching Professional” template).  However, once you dive deeper into the site, and need to start some customization, you’ll likely find you’re stuck.  In short, Wix is somewhat basic–its design options are geared toward beginners, folks who don’t need to make distinctly custom decision.

To make things even simpler, Wix has created “Wix AD”, a design tool that builds the website for you! After posing questions about the site and reviewing your unique desires for that site, it will automatically generate a complete site for you–though the results can sometimes be lacking.

Our Choice: WordPress — because of the ENORMOUS development community and the seemingly endless plugins and themes.

Wordpress Logo


5. SEO – Search Engine Optimization

WordPress: Both Wix and WordPress rely on plugins and apps for SEO.  However, WordPress is generally regarded as the superior option because of industry-leading SEO plugins like Yoast and RankMath.  It’s a good idea to install one of the plugins on your site–you’ll have a much easier to understanding what you need to do to improve your SEO. Both Yoast and Rankmath are free, and also offer upgraded paid subscriptions that give much more directed details tailored to your site, particularly if you integrate Google Analytics and Google Search Console into the plugin.

Wix: Wix’s marketplace has some capable SEO apps, notable Rabbit SEO and Site Booster.  While both plugins offer suggestions and analytics that can help you better your SEO, they lack the depth and details that the WordPress options do. Both plugins also offer free plans, with upgraded paid subscriptions that offer additional features.

Our Choice: WordPress — You can’t go wrong with Yoast or RankMath.  Right now, Yoast is used on more than five million sites, and RankMath is quickly getting a stellar reputation for it’s intelligent insights and thorough SEO integrations (with Google services and social media)

Wordpress Logo

Wix Vs WordPress: The Verdict


Because of the extensive customization options, the true ownership you have over your site, and it’s incredible SEO plugins, WordPress comes out ahead.  Wix is a great choice if you’re looking for a simple solution… sometimes, you just want to walk before you run, right?  Consider Wix walking, and WordPress running.  The issue, then, comes up when you realize you want to start running.  Wix just isn’t built to be a website solution tailored to your needs, and you’ll need to build your site from scratch again.

Wix has helped millions of folks get their site online.  WordPress has helped tens of millions of folks get their site online.  Both are great solutions.  WordPress wins, just because you’ll be able to run with it once you’re done walking!


by Jonathan Watson

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