WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world, but it isn’t the only one. Easy to use, drag and drop page builders like Wix offer site owners with no technical background the tools to create attractive, fully functional sites within minutes. Wix and self-hosted WordPress both make beautiful sites, but they are very different in terms of features and costs. Here’s a look at the differences between WordPress vs. Wix and what they both have to offer.
Website Builders and Content Management Systems
Wix is a full-service site builder that makes it easy for even the newest of users to quickly set up a website in a variety of different niches. The self-hosted version of WordPress from WordPress.org makes a number of different page builders such as Elementor, Gutenberg, and Beaver Builder available to its users – but WordPress was conceived as a content management system that features a bare bones content editor and can be populated with text, media, and links.
Both Wix and WordPress can be used to set up a working website without knowledge of code, but there are significant trade-offs between the fully hosted Wix and the mix and match flexibility of self-hosted WordPress that new site owners may want to consider.
Ease of Use
As many already know, there are many benefits of using WordPress, which is why so many users turn to this platform. However, it’s also important to note that Wix also offers a variety of features that are highly desired among website owners as well. Wix advertises itself as a full-service site builder that anyone can use. Using one of the more than 500 website templates Wix offers, users can drag and drop elements to create a site in minutes without any coding. Because Wix is a hosted platform, its developers maintain control over all the available tools and applications, so users can’t import outside tools from other sources. Once a new site owner chooses a template, they’re stuck with it. Website templates can’t be quickly changed as a site’s identity evolves, but the Wix interface is user-friendly, made with beginners in mind, and it offers round the clock support for troubleshooting and answering questions.
With WordPress, many more functions are left up to the user. Self-hosted WordPress sites come with an administrative dashboard that provides access to the tools needed to install a theme, make basic customizations, compose a page or post, and add any plugins needed for added features.
Learning to work with the WordPress dashboard and the many available theme and plugin options requires a somewhat steeper learning curve than Wix does. Additionally, finding support can be a do-it-yourself effort that involves sifting through thousands of forums, tutorials, and websites devoted to the workings of WordPress. However, although WordPress users don’t have direct access to a dedicated user support portal, the worldwide WordPress community offers advice and information on just about any aspect of using WordPress.
Flexibility and Versatility
Depending on your website’s purpose, you may need to consider future expansion and the ability to scale up to meet additional demands as your business grows. Although Wix offers tools for creating and running a fully functional website, it may not include all the features you need to accommodate growth. Wix is fully hosted, which means that its shared platform allots storage and bandwidth among Wix users, depending on the hosting plan they have purchased. This could be a problem for a site that experiences a sudden surge in traffic, or needs more resources to run secondary applications.
Wix also limits a user’s options for customizing the site. Although Wix users have access to hundreds of well crafted templates for setting up a site, it isn’t possible to import one from an outside source. And although Wix allows users to add extra functions by choosing from its library of “applications” (analogous to plugins in WordPress), users may have to pay additional monthly fees to use them and, again, they are limited to only those applications provided by Wix itself.
One reason for the enduring popularity of WordPress is its virtually limitless versatility. Once the core WordPress code is installed, users can draw from the official WordPress theme and plugin directories, as well as from the products of developers worldwide to customize their site, and add features to meet its unique needs. WordPress makes it easy to switch themes as a site’s identity changes and to add and delete plugins as needed. Also, while WordPress users don’t need to know coding in order to set up and run a site, those with development skills can fine tune WordPress even more by working with the core code, as well as theme and plugin files to fine tune the site’s appearance and features.
Costs for Setup and Maintenance
The cost of setting up and running a website depends on a wide range of factors, and that can change considerably over time as a site evolves. Because it’s a hosting platform, as well as a site builder, Wix makes it easy for users to calculate costs with a tiered series of monthly plans that also include a domain name and varying levels of storage, access to add-on apps and more. There is also a completely free starter plan, but it has limited features and requires users to accept advertising on their site. As a site grows and changes, users can scale up to a higher pricing plan that offers the features they need.
Because Wix offers all of its tools in packages with fixed monthly fees, users don’t need to factor in external costs, such as hiring developer services or purchasing assets from outside sources. This kind of one stop shopping makes it especially attractive to new users looking for an easy and relatively economical way to set up a site, even though it limits options for customization and specialized functions.
WordPress itself is free to download and install – and it is possible to set up an entire site nearly for free with a basic hosting package and free themes and plugins from the official WordPress directories. But depending on the features and functions a particular site needs, the actual cost of setting up and running a WordPress site can be highly variable. Those costs include buying and registering a domain name, and can also include purchasing any premium themes and plugins needed to get the right look and functionality for the site, or hiring a developer to work with the site’s core code.
eCommerce is booming – and just about anyone can set up an online store with both Wix and WordPress. Wix includes a number of eCommerce themed templates for setting up your site, but to get full eCommerce functionality that includes the payment gateways PayPal and Authority and other key eCommerce tools, you would have to buy their eCommerce web hosting package at a higher monthly price than the standard fees.
With powerful eCommerce plugins like the worldwide favorite WooCommerce, WordPress offers an array of eCommerce themes and plugins to create an online store of any kind and scale it up as the venture grows. Installed on any basic WordPress site, WooCommerce and similar free and premium plugins allow users to choose from a variety of payment gateways, product display layouts, and shopping cart configurations to do business both locally and globally.
Both Wix and WordPress put the tools for creating a visually appealing and fully functioning website within the reach of any user. Wix is a hosted site builder that promises an all-in-one site building solution, but users are limited to the features and tools created by its own development team.
That’s a trade-off new users with small sites might be willing to accept – but for site runners who crave control over all aspects of their site and the flexibility to build in new features as it evolves, self-hosted WordPress offers unlimited options for unlimited growth.
Now that you know the differences between WordPress vs. Wix, you can now choose the one that’s best for you and your site.
Top 4 Reasons to Use WordPress When You Redesign Your Website
For many small business owners, designing and managing a website can be challenging. You may have designed your site when you first started your business and are now feeling a bit behind the curve when it comes to having an attractive site that’s both user and SEO friendly.
With the wide variety of website options available, from custom designed sites to cookie-cutter themes, it can be overwhelming to think about doing a website redesign. You want to make sure that your site is a strong and accurate reflection of your business, but also that it gets ranked in Google and people are able to find it.
When it comes to doing a website redesign, we highly recommend that businesses use WordPress. Some people think WordPress is simply a blogging platform, but it’s much more powerful than that. WordPress is our #1 recommendation for an SEO-friendly website platform, and we’re not alone. Google is also a fan of WordPress.
There are many reasons why we recommend WordPress for website development:
1. WordPress is easy to use.
Initially, it may take you some time to get familiar with WordPress’ dashboard and interface. But, once you learn how to use the interface, it’s very easy to update your website structure, design, pages and blog posts.
WordPress offers users a way to create a simple website structure, which refers to the layout of the pages on your site.
Most WordPress templates include a homepage with a navigation bar that links to the various pages on your website. The layout for this makes it easy for a website user to look for what he/she needs and click through to the page.
Google considers the website structure when ranking a website. Not all its users are computer-savvy and Google wants to ensure that even those people have a positive experience on the sites they’re ranking. When users can go to a site and quickly find the information they need, Google is happy. This is why it’s imperative that your site’s layout makes sense.
Website Design and Content
You don’t need to know how to do any type of custom coding or HTML in order to take advantage of all of the capabilities WordPress has to offer. Thankfully, their interface makes it simple to add text, images, video, and effects to your webpages and posts.
Plus, you can also easily customize your website’s colors, fonts, and design features through your WordPress dashboard as well. And, if you do know how to custom code, WordPress still gives you the option to do so, making it a great fit for everyone.
2. WordPress offers professional and inexpensive themes with convenient plugins.
With WordPress, you don’t need to spend a fortune having a site built from scratch. WordPress has thousands of themes that create a basic layout and structure for your website and its pages. These themes range in price from being completely free to costing $299, which was the most expensive theme we found. The average theme costs $40, which is way more affordable than a custom site. Plus, themes are available for every industry, so choosing the one you like the best is the real challenge.
And just because there are themes, it doesn’t mean your site will look just like someone else’s site. All themes can be customized to look just the way you want it to reflect your branding and the personality of your business.
WordPress is known for its plugin functionality, which can make your website faster, more attractive, and useful to users. There’s a plugin for just about anything you can imagine, and that can make it easy to solve many common site problems.
For instance, if you use GTMetrix to test your website speed and find your site’s speed is slow, then you can install the W3 Total Cache plugin or WP Rocket to optimize your website’s speed. This should speed up the site quite a bit.
While it’s still important to have a WordPress developer take care of major problems or changes to your site, many non-developers can successfully take care of minor issues with the use of plugins.
3. WordPress is mobile responsive.
In March 2018, Google officially announced that they are taking a “mobile-first” approach to rankings. That means that it’s more important than ever that your website is mobile-friendly.
The good thing is, WordPress makes it easy to create a mobile responsive website and nearly all WordPress themes are mobile friendly, so you don’t have to worry about your site not being accessible by people using their mobile devices. Plus, the themes automatically update the mobile site when you update your site for desktop, so you don’t have to worry about designing two looks for your site.
4. WordPress is SEO friendly.
While no website platform is SEO friendly out-of-the-box, WordPress definitely comes the closest and also makes it easy for you to update your site to make it SEO friendly. With WordPress, it’s easy to customize the URLs of your pages, add keyword-focused title and meta tags, install Google Analytics to track your SEO efforts, and more.
WordPress also has some great plugins available that will help you understand if your pages are optimized for Search Engines. Our top recommended SEO plugin is WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plugin offers a user-friendly way to stay on top of your SEO and optimize your website content and structure to help raise your rankings.
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