WordPress vs Wix
Published On: February 20, 2023 Revised On: December 15, 2023

The Differences Between WordPress & Wix

WordPress, an open-source content management system, has evolved significantly since it started as a blogging platform. It’s known for its flexibility, extensive customisation options through themes and plugins, and a strong community of developers and users. Its ability to cater to many websites, from simple blogs to complex e-commerce sites, makes it an option for many.

On the other hand, Wix offers a more user-friendly approach with its drag-and-drop website builder. It appeals to users who seek simplicity and ease of use without technical expertise. Wix provides a range of pre-designed templates and a host of features integrated within its platform, making it a popular choice for small businesses and individuals looking to set up aesthetically pleasing websites quickly.

The purpose of this comparison is not to declare a definitive winner, as the choice largely depends on the user’s specific needs, technical skills, and the nature of the project. Instead, this article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of both platforms, comparing them on various aspects such as ease of use, design flexibility, features, pricing, and performance.

Background Information

Both WordPress and Wix have significantly influenced the landscape of web development. With its open-source flexibility, WordPress appeals to users seeking a customisable platform, while Wix caters to those prioritising ease of use and quick setup.

Brief History of WordPress

WordPress began in 2003 as a simple blogging platform built on the foundations of an earlier project named b2/catalogue. Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little created it as a user-friendly tool for online expression. The platform was developed using PHP and MySQL, and it was distinguished by its open-source nature, allowing anyone to use, modify, and redistribute its code. This fostered a vast and vibrant community of developers, designers, and content creators, rapidly expanding its capabilities beyond blogging.

Over the years, WordPress evolved into a comprehensive content management system (CMS), enabling the creation and management of various types of websites. Its plugin architecture and theme system allowed for extensive customisation and functionality, which attracted a diverse user base. WordPress’s versatility made it a popular tool, from small personal blogs to large corporate websites.

The Differences Between WordPress & Wix

Brief History of Wix

Wix.com Ltd. was founded in 2006 by Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami, and Giora Kaplan. The idea of Wix stemmed from the founders’ difficulties in creating a website for another business venture. They sought to develop a platform enabling anyone to build their website without the required coding or design skills. This vision led to creating of a cloud-based web development platform with user-friendly tools and a drag-and-drop interface.

Initially, Wix was built on Adobe Flash technology, which shifted to HTML5 in 2012, greatly enhancing its capabilities and performance. This transition was pivotal in Wix’s growth, allowing it to offer more robust and SEO-friendly websites. Over the years, Wix expanded its offerings to include solutions for e-commerce, online marketing, and website hosting, among others. Known for its simplicity and ease of use, Wix became a popular choice for individuals and small businesses looking to establish an online presence quickly and without technical complexities.

Ease of Use

When it comes to the user interface, WordPress and Wix offer distinct experiences tailored to different user preferences and skills. WordPress provides a more powerful but complex interface for users seeking depth and complete control. At the same time, Wix is tailored for ease of use and quick website setup, albeit with some limitations in customisation.

User Interface Comparison

WordPress features a dashboard-centric interface that offers extensive functionalities. The interface is divided into sections like Posts, Pages, Media, and Plugins, each providing control over specific aspects of the website. This level of organisation, however, might be overwhelming for new users unfamiliar with web development concepts.

Wix, in contrast, is designed with simplicity in mind. Its user interface is based on a drag-and-drop model, allowing users to compose their pages visually. This user-friendly approach makes it easy for beginners to understand and use. Elements like text, images, and buttons can be moved around freely, offering a more intuitive way of building pages. However, this simplicity can sometimes limit advanced users who require more detailed customisation.

Learning Curve for Beginners

WordPress’s learning curve is steeper than Wix’s, primarily due to its range of features and customisable options. Beginners might spend more time understanding the platform’s intricacies, such as theme and plugin management, custom post types, and SEO optimisation tools. However, the WordPress community and tutorials make it easier to find guidance and support.

Wix is more beginner-friendly, allowing users to create and publish a website with minimal learning quickly. Its straightforward, intuitive editor means users can focus more on design and content than technical aspects. Wix is well-suited for users who want to create a professional-looking website without delving too deep into the mechanics of web development.

Customisation Options

WordPress stands out for its customisation options, mainly due to its open-source nature. Users have access to thousands of themes and plugins, allowing for a high degree of tailoring in both design and functionality. This flexibility lets users create unique websites tailored to specific needs, from simple blogs to complex e-commerce sites.

Wix offers a range of pre-designed templates, which users can modify using its drag-and-drop editor. While this ensures ease of use and a quick setup, it limits how much a site can be customised. Advanced features like custom JavaScript and third-party integrations are available, but they must match WordPress’s depth of customisation.

The Differences Between WordPress & Wix

Design and Flexibility

WordPress stands out for its extensive customisation capabilities and diverse design options, suitable for users with varied technical expertise. While more user-friendly and easier to navigate, Wix offers less flexibility but ensures a streamlined and hassle-free design experience.

Template and Design Options in WordPress

WordPress is renowned for its range of design options, from its extensive collection of themes. These themes range from basic layouts to sophisticated designs catering to various industries and purposes. Choose from thousands of free and premium themes, each offering different aesthetics and functionalities.

Many themes come with their customisation panels, allowing users to tweak designs without coding. Furthermore, WordPress themes are generally responsive, ensuring websites look good on all devices. Proficient coding users can further customise themes or create a unique design. However, it’s important to note that the quality and functionality of free themes can vary.

Template and Design Options in Wix

Wix offers a collection of professionally designed templates for ease of use and aesthetic appeal. These templates cover various categories and styles, ensuring users find a design that closely matches their vision. The drag-and-drop editor allows easy customisation of these templates, although the changes are somewhat restricted to the template’s predefined layout.

Wix templates are also responsive but employ an ‘absolute positioning’ model, meaning elements stay fixed where they’re placed as the screen size changes. This can sometimes lead to issues with mobile responsiveness, requiring additional adjustments. Unlike WordPress, Wix doesn’t allow users to change templates once a site goes live. To change the design, one has to redesign the site with a new template, which can be a limitation for some users.

Limitations and Flexibilities

While WordPress offers flexibility in design, it requires a steeper learning curve, especially for advanced customisation. The open-source nature of WordPress means users have almost limitless possibilities in terms of design and functionality, but this can also introduce complexities, particularly around maintaining and updating custom code.

Wix, on the other hand, offers a more controlled environment. Its templates and drag-and-drop editor are perfect for users who want a beautiful website with minimal effort. However, this ease of use comes at the cost of flexibility. Wix’s design system is less adaptable compared to WordPress, especially for users looking to implement unique or complex features.

Features and Functionalities

WordPress offers a more robust and flexible platform, especially for users requiring advanced blogging, e-commerce, or SEO functionalities. While more user-friendly, Wix offers sufficient features for basic to moderate website needs, focusing on simplicity and ease of use.

Core Features of WordPress

WordPress is renowned for its robust feature set, designed to cater to a wide range of website needs. Key features include:

  • Extensive Customization: With thousands of themes and plugins, WordPress allows for deep customisation of both design and functionality.
  • Content Management: It offers a powerful content management system (CMS) with an intuitive editor for creating and managing posts and pages.
  • User and Role Management: WordPress provides a comprehensive system for managing user roles and permissions, which is crucial for team collaboration.
  • Multilingual and Multisite Support: It supports creating multilingual sites and managing multiple sites from a single WordPress installation.
  • SEO-Friendly: The platform is optimised for search engines, and its capabilities can be further enhanced with SEO plugins.

Core Features of Wix

Wix’s features are geared towards simplicity and ease of use, including:

  • Drag-and-Drop Editor: Users can quickly build and customise websites without coding knowledge.
  • Integrated Functionality: Offers built-in features for e-commerce, booking systems, and more without needing external plugins.
  • Wix ADI: The Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) feature can automatically create a basic website based on user input.
  • App Market: Wix provides a variety of apps for additional functionality, though less extensive than WordPress plugins.
  • Hosting and Maintenance: Wix is a fully hosted platform for hosting and maintenance.

Comparison of Blogging, E-commerce, and SEO Capabilities

Feature Category WordPress Wix
Blogging
  • Advanced features like categories, tags, comments, and RSS feeds.
  • High flexibility in customisation for unique blog designs and functionalities.
  • Essential blogging features, including posts, categories, and comments.
  • Less versatile in blogging-specific customisations and options.
E-commerce
  • Comprehensive e-commerce solutions with plugins like WooCommerce.
  • Flexible in payment gateways, shipping options, and store customisation.
  • Suitable for both small and large online stores.
  • Built-in e-commerce functionalities are easier to set up but require less customisation.
  • More suited for smaller online stores with basic e-commerce needs.
SEO Capabilities
  • Extensive SEO tools with plugins like Yoast SEO.
  • Detailed control over SEO aspects, including meta tags, sitemaps, and clean URLs.
  • Ideal for advanced SEO strategies.
  • Basic SEO features like meta titles, descriptions, and custom URLs.
  • Has made improvements but may offer a different level of advanced SEO control.
  • Good for basic to moderate SEO needs.

Cost and Pricing Structures

In the long term, the cost of running a WordPress site can vary significantly based on the hosting service, the number and type of premium themes and plugins used, and the level of customisation and maintenance required. WordPress is often more cost-effective for those with the technical skills to manage and maintain the site.

On the other hand, Wix’s subscription-based model offers predictability in costs, with a clear monthly or annual fee that includes hosting, maintenance, and a set of features based on the chosen plan. This can be more manageable for users who prefer a more straightforward, all-in-one solution, but it may become costly if many premium add-ons are used.

WordPress Pricing: Hosting, Themes, and Plugins

  • Hosting: WordPress is a free software that requires hosting to run. Hosting costs vary widely, from a few dollars a month for basic shared hosting to hundreds for dedicated servers. Managed WordPress hosting, which offers specialised WordPress services, is another, often pricier, option.
  • Themes: While many free themes exist, premium themes typically range from USD$30 to USD$200. These often come with additional features and support.
  • Plugins: Essential plugins can be free, but many premium plugins – which offer advanced features and support – can cost anywhere from a one-time fee of USD$20 to recurring annual fees of several hundred dollars.
  • Maintenance: Costs for maintaining a WordPress site can include updates, security, backups, and occasional developer fees for troubleshooting or customisations.

Wix Pricing Plans and Add-ons

  • Subscription Plans: Wix operates on a subscription model, offering various tiers ranging from basic website plans to more comprehensive business and e-commerce plans. Prices range from around USD$14 to USD$39 per month, with business plans going higher.
  • Templates and Apps: Most templates are free, but some premium templates and apps in the Wix App Market may incur additional costs.
  • Domain and Extras: While Wix offers a free tier, it includes Wix branding and advertisements. Removing these, getting a custom domain, and accessing additional features like Google Analytics integration requires upgrading to a paid plan.
  • E-commerce: E-commerce features are available on higher-tier plans, which are more expensive but include functionalities essential for online selling.

Pros and Cons Summary

WordPress stands out for its flexibility, customisation, and powerful CMS capabilities but requires more technical involvement. Wix is ideal for those seeking ease of use and an all-in-one package but it needs more customisation and advanced features.

At ARCC, we offer website development and design services in Singapore for both WordPress and Wix platforms. Our team will ensure a tailored solution aligns with your business goals. Contact us for more details and to discover how we can enhance your digital presence with our assistance.

Aspect WordPress Advantages Wix Advantages WordPress Drawbacks Wix Drawbacks
Customization & Flexibility Unmatched customisation with themes and plugins. Simpler, user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. It can be overwhelming for beginners to have a steep learning curve. Limited flexibility and advanced customisation options.
Content Management Robust CMS ideal for diverse website types. Integrated tools for streamlined website building. Requires regular updates and maintenance. Changing templates necessitates a site rebuild.
Community & Support Large community, extensive resources, and support. Hosted platform with regular updates and maintenance. Quality of plugins and themes can vary; some may need more updates. Performance issues, especially slower loading times on mobile.
SEO Capabilities Advanced SEO optimisation with plugins. Basic SEO tools built-in, improving in capabilities. Needs more attention to security as a self-hosted platform. SEO capabilities are less sophisticated compared to WordPress.
Control & Ownership Complete control over website and data. All-in-one solution, including hosting and features. Technical expertise is needed for maintenance and security. Less control over the website due to the hosted nature.