It’s been a long time since I’ve had to build a website from scratch. The last one was back in 1996, around 7 years after the World Wide Web was invented, and it was so different from today! That website went through a few makeovers and a name change, but is still running today. I still remember how difficult it was to figure out what platform to use for my site because back then, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and Shopify didn’t exist. Everything was created from scratch.
Choosing the right website platform can be tough, especially when there are so many options to choose from. Which one should you choose? Well that depends on your needs…both have advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a look at the best way to decide between them and we’ll start with WordPress vs Wix.
Before we continue on, here are some terms that you should know to fully understand the comparisons below:
- platform: the thing used for the website such as WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, Weedbly or HTML
- html: the coding used to build a website from scratch – don’t worry, we’re not even going to entertain this option
- hosting: a type of service that allows people and businesses to make their website accessible on the Internet
- CMS: a content management system which is used to create and manage digital content
- drag and drop: a tool that’s used to build a webpage without having to know how to write code
Comparing Wix and WordPress
WordPress and Wix exist side by side, yet each one has its own unique selling points.
Wix is a web-based platform that you can use to create and publish your own website. They provide free templates for many industries, and offer premium templates at a cost if the basic template does not suit your needs. You can edit pages with Wix’s drag and drop feature, add text, images or videos to your website and blog.
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS) for websites of all types and sizes. You can use WordPress for anything from a simple blog to an online store. You can also use WordPress for more complex projects like e-commerce, education systems, membership sites and much more.
Wix offers some amazing templates but their system leaves much to be desired in terms of complexity. Once you build your site on Wix, you’re locked into their proprietary platform.
With WordPress, you have the option to export all your work as a single zip file and move your site to another provider.
WordPress is great if you’re looking for the most flexible solution that has an active community of support and puts you in control of your website. You can use themes that are already designed or build one from scratch fairly easily.
Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that allows you to create your own site with no coding knowledge.
WordPress, on the other hand, is more customizable and has an extensive library of free and paid themes and plugins (to customize the website). It has a built-in drag-and-drop editor called Gutenberg, but you can use any page builder you want with WordPress.
If you’re looking for something simple or have limited time to devote to building your site, then Wix might be better for you.
However, if you want more control over design, need a more complex website or want to sell products through your website, then WordPress is the better option.
On the other hand, may be more difficult if you’re not tech-savvy, but that’s an easy fix with the proper training and it will provide greater customization options that Wix can’t offer.
The biggest issue with Wix is being locked into their template designs, which can be frustrating for someone who wants to create a site that looks different from what Wix offers. There isn’t an option to use any other page builder with the service either and there are more restrictions on customization in general.
On WordPress, you have access to thousands of free and paid templates so it’s easy to customize the look of your website with your branding colours and fonts. You also have access to plugins and themes that you can add onto your site for a variety of purposes.
Wix may be more convenient if you’re not interested in spending time building your site from scratch.
In general, WordPress is the better option if you want more control over design as well as customization options.
If there are any updates to the physical technology, Wix takes care of it. You have no choice in the matter.
With WordPress, you’re notified of any updates that need to take place, whether they are security updates or feature updates, you have a choice. I won’t lie, sometimes if you have a gazillion plugins on your website (you’d never have a gazillion plugins installed), things might break, but with a proper system in place, such as automatic backups before updates, you can revert to the previous setup with a click of a button.
WordPress or Wix: your choice is….
It’s best to decide what your needs are and then choose a platform accordingly.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What do you need your site to look like?
- Are there specific colors, images, or fonts that you want?
- Do you have the technical skills and time to learn WordPress?
- Do you have the technical skills and time to learn Wix?
- Is having control over your website a priority for you?
- Do you need a blog for your website?
- Are you ok with your site being locked in with Wix or do you want the freedom to move your WordPress site to another hosting provider if you find better pricing or service?
- Do you want to build from scratch or use a template that you can customize?
- Do you have the time to build out your site in WordPress so it looks polished and high-end?
- Do you want something really simple that you can set up using Wix in a few hours, but at the cost of looking generic?
- Do you need any special features for your site?
- How much time and technical skills do you have for this website project?
- Are you selling any products or services? if so, how many?
I can go on and on with a bunch of questions, but in the end, the simple way around this is to plan your website on paper first and then decide if you want to invest a couple of weeks on learning how to build your own website using WordPress or if you want a quick and easy solution with the understanding that you will be limited by using Wix.
Wix is great for those people who want to build their own website, but don’t have the time or patience to learn how WordPress works. It’s important that you know what the limitations are with Wix before building your site. Imagine investing 30 hours building your site in Wix, only to find out a feature you want isn’t available and all that time is wasted because Wix isn’t compatible with other platforms. If your goal is to build a very simple site with little customization or growth potential, it sounds like WIX might be what you’re looking for.
I won’t lie, WordPress can be a little daunting if you try to learn all of it at once without having a solid website plan. But with a plan, foundational training, a support system in place and knowing that making mistakes is how you learn, designing your website becomes a lot more manageable and you’re 100% in control of your website. Plus you can in fact have fun with this process if you take the time to learn and keep things simple in the beginning.
I hope this comparison helps you design between WordPress and Wix.
Until next time, stay inspired.