Thinking about building a new website? The first thing you need to consider is which platform to use, and there are heaps of elements to consider in deciding which website builder is right for you. Doing some research and web browsing to suss it all out is good practice before making a decision – after all, you don’t want to find out that the platform you choose to invest your time in is frustratingly difficult to use or the functionality you require is beyond its capabilities.
But don’t worry – we’ll help you make the right choice by giving you the essential details you need to know by comparing two highly popular platforms, and exploring the functionality that sits at the core of each.
Let’s do some introductions first, starting with WordPress. It’s a free and open-source platform, which means the codes are open for everyone to utilize and modify. WordPress was initially released back in 2003 and today powers more than 30% of the world’s website. Due to its plugin architecture and templates, WordPress offers a wide array of functionality and design themes.
On the other hand, Wix operates on a “premium” business model, so you can use the basic functionality for free, and then pay for the extras such as eCommerce capability, additional storage and removing ads. Just like WordPress, it’s a cloud based website builder platform that has its own dedicated team of developers.
So now that you’ve got the quick overview, let’s take a closer look at these two platforms in contrast to each other. We’ll compare them based on pricing, design and flexibility, user friendliness, maintenance, and user support.
Although WordPress is free, you still need to pay for the hosting and your domain name. Running a competitive WordPress based website can demand a lot of functionality, but the good thing is that there are a lot of plugins and themes (both paid and free) that you can choose from to cater to your needs.
Wix pricing is pretty straightforward. You can choose between the free version and 5 premium plans. The higher your plan, the more access you get to richer features and functionality. Here are the current prices (in USD):
Both WordPress and Wix are good DIY options and when considering cost you should take a whole of life approach and include the set up costs, especially if you hire a professional developer and use paid plugins. More often than not, paid plugins are more reliable than the ones for free, and the same goes with web developers.
Design and Flexibility
When it comes to design and flexibility, WordPress really stands out. Since it’s an open source platform, many programmers have created their own plugins or themes that they share or sell. Currently WordPress has listed over 56,000+ plugins available, so that gives you an idea just how vast the WordPress community is.
Wix is not an open-source platform and its’ codes aren’t open to the public to modify, which means you are limited as to how much flexibility you’ll get. However, it still boasts an arsenal of great themes and Apps that you can choose from, which are crafted by the Wix development team.
Simply put, Wix has limited customisability but since every bit of the functionality has been developed internally by their own team, you’ll get end-to-end support for the whole platform. WordPress offers a tonne of options, is very flexible and highly customisable – so you’re more likely to end up with a unique website if you choose the WordPress route.
Right out of the box, Wix has this one, especially for DIY beginners and non-techy individuals. Wix sports a drag and drop style of website building, which means that anyone who knows how to use a mouse can build their website using this platform. It also has a neat feature called Wix ADi (artificial design intelligence) that asks you a set of questions when you first start and then builds your website automatically based on your answers.
But WordPress users don’t despair – there’s no need to familiarise yourself with all of that complex back end stuff such as HTML and CSS. As we said in our recent blog there are some good drag and drop page builders that will make building your WordPress site relatively easy.
WordPress is really competitive when it comes to publishing updates and making sure that you are safe from vulnerabilities. Having that said, it also requires all the developers of plug-ins and custom themes to create their own individual updates, making it sometimes troublesome. It also a good idea to copy your whole site prior to updating anything – just in case an update screws with your design. Wix updates everything without you doing anything since all their themes and apps are done by their team.
Since WordPress is widely used, it’s easy to find self-help materials online. There are hundreds of communities full of forums and YouTube channels that offer detailed instructions for just about any support issue. You can get help through many different avenues for this platform but if you’re a DIY’er, don’t expect it to be timely or especially organised.
Wix has a dedicated support team who you can contact by phone or email. Also, most of the customisable elements in their platform come with a help icon, which can provide the solution to your issue without you needing to look further afield.
So Which Platform is Best?
No doubt about it, WordPress and Wix are both great platforms, and which one is right for you depends on your individual requirements. In summary though:
WordPress is feature rich and highly customisable so you’ll end up with a website that is completely unique. It’s not as intuitive to set up as Wix unless you invest in a Page Builder plug in, but once your site is set up, the content management system is pretty easy to navigate – so if you choose to use a Web Developer to build your site for you, you should be able to manage much of your own content moving forward.
Wix is highly intuitive and can virtually build itself if you want it to. This is a great platform if you want to build your own very simple website, you don’t have any customised requirements and you aren’t looking for a unique design.