Website builders and content management systems have ushered in a new era of web design by allowing users to build a website without coding.

The market is now flooded with website building tools and platforms that appeal to individuals and businesses with varying levels of technical knowledge, budgets, and purposes. Evaluating these different options can quickly become overwhelming.

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To help you narrow your selection and pick a solution that meets your unique needs, we’re comparing two of the biggest names: Wix and WordPress.

Both Wix and WordPress offer built-in features, templates, and add-ons for creating a custom site without coding or even knowing how to code — but they present two very different approaches to creating and managing a website.

Wix is a website builder that offers website building tools and hosting in one place. For users who don’t have the time to learn or use a variety of out-of-the-box features, Wix presents an ideal option for creating and launching a site quickly.

WordPress, on the other hand, is a multi-purpose content management system that provides the advanced features and customization options needed to create and manage a complex site. With a CMS, you can customize the design of your site, add multimedia in your posts, organize your content by tags and categories, manage multiple users, and much more. As a result, the process of setting up and launching your site will be longer.

Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between Wix and WordPress so you can decide which solution better aligns with your site’s needs and goals.

Wix allows users to create and launch sites quickly — but you’ll have to forgo some flexibility for this ease-of-use. With Wix, you can have your own custom domain, choose the colors, fonts, and layouts on your site, and add more advanced elements like animation and scroll effects to your pages. But you can’t add forms or featured images to blog posts, you can’t switch templates after your website goes live, and you can’t edit the underlying code, just to mention a few examples.

You’ll have much more flexibility with WordPress. You can tweak the appearance of your site, change its permalink settings, create and manage blog posts, enhance your security, add forms and live chat to the front end, and much more.

Extending the functionality of your WordPress site in these ways will require you to either install and configure a range of plugins or add code to your files. That won’t be a problem for more advanced users but will limit beginners' ability to build complex sites with advanced functionality.

Now that we have a better understanding of the different user bases that Wix and WordPress attract, let’s compare the costs associated with building a site on each platform.

Wix vs. WordPress Price

Let's start by comparing the costs of these two solutions. While Wix offers four premium hosting plans with resources that scale up at each price point, WordPress is free to use. You will have to pay for hosting, domain registration, and premium plugins and themes, all of which range in price.

Let’s start by looking at the costs associated with building a Wix site.

Wix Price

Wix offers a limited free version for individuals or small businesses to build a site, but it’s ad-supported. To provide visitors with an ad-free experience, you’ll have to upgrade to a premium version.

Paid plans start at $13 per month. The higher tiers, which range from $17 to $39 per month, offer unlimited bandwidth, more storage, and more advanced functionality, including built-in analytics.

If your site is missing some key functionality, then you can check out the Wix App Market, which offers over 250 free and premium add-ons. Premium apps vary in price, ranging from $3 to $20 on average.

8 free and premium add-ons from the Wix App Market Source

WordPress Price

Because WordPress is open-source software, it is free to download. However, you will have to pay for a domain name, hosting, and any premium plugins or themes you want to install. As a result, the costs of building and managing WordPress sites can range dramatically from $566 to $52,817.

According to Website Builder Expert, the average costs are much more moderate than that range implies. Building a WordPress site will cost you around $200 and managing it will cost $11 to $40 per month, on average.

Wix vs. Wordpress for SEO

According to Search Engine Journal, sites listed on the first Google search results page get 91.5% of the traffic share for a keyword or phrase.

To get your site listed on the first page and drive more organic traffic to your site, you need to optimize your on-page and technical SEO. Let’s compare how Wix and WordPress can help your SEO efforts below.

Wix SEO

Wix makes it easy for you to optimize your on-page SEO with the the Wix SEO Wiz. You can add image alt-text, meta descriptions, headings, and custom URLs to your posts and pages.

You can also create 301 redirects, hide certain pages from search engines, and set up integrations with Google Analytics and Google Search Console to optimize your site for search.

The premium plans include a service called “Site Booster.” This helps get your business listed in local directories and by Google and other major search engines. You can also download or purchase SEO apps in the Wix App Market.

However, Wix lacks certain functionality that enables you to optimize your technical SEO. Its major disadvantage is that it relies on Javascript to display its URLs, which can’t be read by search engines. This makes it difficult for search engines to crawl and therefore much less likely that Wix sites will rank.

Javascript also bloats the code of many Wix sites, which increases their load times. For example, taking a look at the source code of a site from the Wix showcase, you can see a lot of unnecessary JavaScript and on-page CSS. Because speed is a ranking factor for search, this code bloat further decreases their chances of ranking.

Code bloat from Wix siteSource

WordPress SEO

Like Wix, WordPress allows you to add image alt-text, meta descriptions, headings, and custom URLs in your posts and pages. Its permalink structure is also more SEO friendly than Wix’s.

While WordPress has cleaner code out of the box, it also allows users to maintain granular control over every part of their code, from HTML to CSS.

WordPress does lack built-in SEO tools, but it offers some of the most popular and advanced tools in its plugin directory.

To help you with on-page SEO, for example, you can install the Yoast SEO plugin for your WordPress site. This plugin will offer suggestions for creating readable text, using your keywords, optimizing your meta descriptions and image alt text, and adding internal links.

Yoast SEO plugin SEO analysis resultsSource

To help you with technical SEO, you can download plugins to optimize your images, generate and update XML sitemaps in one click, integrate with Google Analytics, cache your site, and more.

Wix vs. Wordpress for Blogging

According to Tech Client, websites that feature a blog are 434% more likely to be ranked highly on search engines.

To reap the SEO benefits for your site, you need to select a platform with layouts and features that are designed specifically for blogging. Let’s compare Wix’s and WordPress’s selection below.

Wix Blogging

In addition to offering 57 blog templates for different niches, Wix provides standard blogging features to help you get started. You can add media to your blog posts, organize them with tags and categories, and schedule them.

While Wix offers a drag-and-drop editor for creating pages, its post editor looks and functions like WordPress’s Classic editor. You can change the style and colors of different fonts, borders, and buttons and add images, galleries, and videos in this interface. Uniquely, Wix offers an archive of free media so you can insert images and videos right into your posts without going to a third-party site like Pexel.

Wix post editor looks and functions like the WordPress Classic editor

Source

To add other elements to the page, like music or maps, you’ll have to add HTML code. This process can be intimidating for beginners.

WordPress Blogging

Since WordPress began as a blogging platform in 2003, it may not come as a surprise that it offers more blogging options than Wix. Right out of the box, you have tags, categories, RSS, a comments section, and more.

You can control the visibility of your posts and pages by setting them to public, private, or password-protected. You can also use the new block editor, Gutenberg, to create blog posts by dragging and dropping different elements on the page.

WordPress Gutenberg editorSource

In short, WordPress provides more control over your blog than Wix.

The Key Differences Between Wix and WordPress

With either Wix or WordPress, you can create a custom site for your business without coding. Deciding which one is right for you will depend on the functionality you need and how much time and money you’re willing to invest in learning the platform and managing your site.

Below we’ll summarize the key differences between the two platforms.

  Wix wordpress
Software Proprietary website builder Open-source content management system
Price Free with ads. To remove ads and get more bandwidth, storage, and features, premium plans are $13, $17, $22, or $39 per month. You can also purchase premium apps, which range from $3 to $20 on average. Free to use the software. Costs associated with domain registration, hosting, and premium plugins and themes range from $11 to $40 per month, on average, on top of a one-off sum of $200.
SEO In addition to the Wix SEO Wiz, which helps with on-page SEO, SEO apps are available in the Wix App Market. However, there are limitations for optimizing technical SEO. You can choose from hundreds of plugins that help optimize your on-page and technical SEO.
Blogging Offers standard functionality for creating and organizing mutli-media blog posts, but lacks native commenting system and other features. Text editor for blog posts does not have drag-and-drop functionality. Offers more advanced blogging functionality, including content visibility and a built-in commenting system. WordPress’s drag-and-drop block editor, Gutenberg, works for blog posts and pages.

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Originally published Mar 4, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated March 31 2020

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