This article is part of a larger series on Small Business Websites.
Wix is an all-in-one website builder whereas WordPress requires separate hosting, domain, and installation. Both allow you to build an online presence, but Wix is far easier to use and comes with a domain, SSL security, and design tools to help you get online quickly. When comparing Wix vs WordPress, WordPress also has a much higher learning curve, but offers more complete customization, functionality, and search engine optimization (SEO).
We have found the best use cases for either platform are as follows:
- Wix: Best for businesses that want to quickly build a professional, custom-looking website with zero code, and best for getting your site up and running quickly
- WordPress.org: Best for businesses whose top priority is search engine optimization (SEO) or that need niche features or tools not available in all-in-one site builders
Wix vs WordPress at a Glance
Free with paid plans from $16 per month and ecommerce from $27 per month
Starting at about $3 per month, depending on web hosting provider and plan
Ease of Use
Intermediate to advanced
800+ templates and hundreds of premade content blocks, all editable with an intuitive drag-and-drop builder
Thousands of free or premium WordPress themes, edited via WordPress’ classic or Gutenberg block editor, or with purchase of a premium drag-and-drop page builder plugin
Robust ecommerce for online sellers, restaurants, artists, fitness, accommodations, events, events, service-based businesses, and more
Ecommerce plugins available, including industry-specific paid and free plugins
250+ Wix apps, but not all are free
55,000+ plugins for WordPress, but not all are updated/compatible, and not all are free
Less flexibility, but far more than most other website builders
Virtually unlimited capabilities through plugins and code
Knowledgebase, 24/7 call-back service
None, forum-only, or support from your web host
Did you know? There are two WordPress services: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a web hosting service, while WordPress.org is the open-source content management system (CMS) used to build WordPress websites. When we reference WordPress in this article, we are referring to WordPress.org.
Most Affordable: Wix
If all you need is a basic website, Wix is likely the best choice. Wix has all-in-one packaged plans with hosting, a free domain, and an SSL certificate. The base $16 per month tier provides everything you need to build and manage a full-featured small business website, including an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, hundreds of premade templates and content sections, SEO, web contact forms for lead generation, ecommerce through plugins, and more.
The difference in the cost to build and maintain a site with WordPress vs Wix varies greatly. WordPress is a free CMS, but that doesn’t mean you can build a website at no cost. With WordPress, you’ll have to get hosting, a domain, an SSL certificate, and will likely want to purchase a premium theme or WordPress website builder, as well as other plugins, separately.
- Wix: Pay a low monthly fee for an all-inclusive website builder, though costs could increase if you upgrade to a higher tier or add premium third-party integrations.
- WordPress: WordPress.org is free but to get a website online, you’ll need web hosting, a business domain name, SSL certificate, a theme or page builder, and plugins. It may be cheaper than Wix if you only need a very basic site—find out more about how much building a website on WordPress costs.
Winner: Wix. Although Wix may appear to be the pricier option at first glance, the value of having an all-in-one website builder, host, and free templates is huge. Most small businesses using WordPress end up needing to purchase premium themes or a page builder to get the look they want as well as premium plugins for website security (WordPress doesn’t have built-in security), web forms, and more.
Easiest to Use: Wix
Beginner-friendly with hundreds of premade templates and content blocks for site building with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor—or even easier with the Wix ADI site builder.
Fairly steep learning curve to set up and use WordPress even when using of a WordPress website builder. Default page editor is not intuitive.
Anyone new to website design will find Wix is much more user-friendly, and it’s one of the best website builders available. Answer a few questions, pick a template, and start editing your website in minutes with Wix’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor. Although WordPress has a section-based editor, it’s pretty much a blank canvas unless you purchase a theme or site builder to lessen the learning curve of learning how to build a WordPress website.
- Wix: It’s easy to use from the get-go with clear instructions and no installation or maintenance requirements, unlike WordPress.
- WordPress: It’s the made-from-scratch cake version of a website builder—you need to know how and whether each element is going to work together. It takes time to learn WordPress but can be worthwhile for those willing to invest the time to learn.
Building a Website With Wix
Building a website with Wix is easy and intuitive. Start with one of its more than 800 professionally designed templates or a blank template. From there, edit and customize the template’s pages and build quickly with premade content blocks, web forms, call-to-action buttons, and more.
Using Wix’s traditional editor is so simple. Click on whatever element on the template you want to edit, and then add your own text, image, or video. You can also change your site’s colors and fonts to more easily to match your brand.
Drag and drop to move things around on a page, or to add a new element, simply drag and drop from the left menu onto the visual editing space. Right-clicking your mouse will bring up more options, and Ctrl + Z (or command + Z for Mac users) works to undo any mistakes. Follow our tutorial for building a Wix website in just five steps.
There’s an even easier way to build a website with Wix using the ADI editor (ADI stands for artificial design intelligence). Answer a few questions, choose the fonts, colors, and layout you want and which pages you’ll need, such as About, Services, and Contact. The ADI builds your site and then gives you the ability to edit it and get your site online in no time and with no learning curve.
Whether you start with a template or let Wix’s ADI build out your site and its pages, you can build a basic website and get online in less than a day. You can experiment with the free plan to check out the templates and site editing experience, so there’s no risk in trying it out.
Building a Website With WordPress
Unlike Wix, to build a WordPress website you will need to have web hosting, a domain, and SSL certificate. You will also have to install WordPress. Fortunately, many of the top WordPress hosting companies, including DreamHost and Bluehost, have plans from $2.95 per month that include WordPress hosting, come with WordPress installed, and manage its updates for you. They also include a free domain, SSL certificate, and email addresses on your domain.
As part of your hosting or WordPress installation, login credentials will be added. This is the username and password you’ll need to access the WordPress dashboard to build your site. Once logged in, you’ll see a dashboard.
You can change the appearance of your site by adding a Theme (Appearance > Themes), including opting for a free theme in the WordPress library. Keep in mind that free themes allow little customization, so you might not even be able to change preferred colors to match your brand.
Alternatively, you can purchase a premium theme from sites like ThemeForest. Premium themes generally give you far more customization options and many come with drag-and-drop website builders, making site building easier. To add a new page, click on Pages in the left navigation menu. From there you’ll be taken to a page where you can add content using blocks.
However, the interface is not intuitive, and figuring out how to add things like hero images and formatting doesn’t come naturally. I’ll be honest with you—it took me several years to be good enough at WordPress and to feel confident adding it as a service to my digital marketing agency. It’s not for the faint of heart, and a lot can go wrong.
A large number of WordPress users end up either paying several (or many) thousands of dollars to have a custom framework, templates, and editor created for them or buying a WordPress page builder (or a theme that comes with a page builder). While this makes it easier to build and edit pages, however, it doesn’t take the pain out of managing WordPress and your theme and plugins.
WordPress isn’t a website builder—it’s a content management system (CMS). It’s not inherently easy to use in terms of the design of your page. However, it does include a block editor with visual elements, so you can sort of see what you’re designing as you add elements to a page, but it isn’t the same as a visual design editor, like Wix.
When you build a website with WordPress, it’s important that you get familiar with the left menu under the Dashboard. This is where you’ll be able to add new pages, change your theme, and install and maintain plugins, for example.
As the illustration above demonstrates, if you are going with WordPress and want to build the site yourself, it’s wise to purchase a WordPress page builder like Elementor. Alternatively, you can get hosting, domain, SSL, and a WordPress website builder with hosting companies like Bluehost and DreamHost, along with other benefits for about $3 a month.
Winner: Wix … by a mile. Wix is built for user-friendliness, and it includes all the setup, tools, and software maintenance, leaving you free to build a website and focus on growing your business.
Best for Site Design Tools: Wix
With Wix, you get professionally designed templates and multiple prebuilt options for section layouts. It’s easy to change site-wide colors and fonts, and even design beginners can build a custom-looking website in just a few hours.
Site design with WordPress’ default editor will take time to learn and master, even with purchase of a premium theme. Alternatively, design your site somewhat more easily with purchase of a WordPress website builder.
Aside from the technical aspect of how to build a business website with Wix vs WordPress.org, there’s the actual design component. Both Wix and WordPress offer templates (or themes). However, you also have a drag-and-drop editor with Wix, while not every WordPress theme includes editing tools.
In terms of the sheer number of templates available, WordPress wins with anywhere from 11,000 to 31,000-plus themes from thousands of different developers. Keep in mind, though, that these are templates are designed by developers from all over the world. They allow varying levels of customization and there’s no guarantee that a theme you like will be (or will remain) compatible with WordPress and the other plugins you need to use.
On the other hand, Wix has an impressive number of templates compared to other site builders, with more than 800 (including industry-specific templates). As they are designed specifically for Wix, you can be confident each will work with the platform and the apps you want to integrate. Plus, they’ll be maintained over time to prevent issues with your website and its security.
Another way WordPress themes and Wix templates differ is the extent to which prebuilt pages come with the theme. With Wix templates, a number of prebuilt pages are available, as are premade content blocks, making it easy to add image galleries, web forms, reviews and testimonials, custom menus, pricing tables, and more.
Most WordPress themes don’t come with that level of predesigned pages and elements. In addition, even if you purchase a theme with a page builder, you may still need to source and add additional plugins for image galleries, web forms, and other design elements.
With Wix, all templates are free to use. WordPress templates are developer-designed and require you to download and install them (not to mention that it’s difficult to vet a theme beforehand or even find out if the developer is reputable or if the theme will be compatible with your other plugins). Over time, if a developer doesn’t keep the theme updated, it will also become incompatible with WordPress updates and may break your site or leave it vulnerable to hackers.
- Wix: Choose from 800-plus free templates broken out by industry and site type, or start with a blank template and add content blocks for specific sections. Customize every aspect of your site visually (logo, colors, fonts, and so on).
- WordPress: Choose design-limited free WordPress themes, a premium theme for about $50 to $80, a WordPress page builder, or custom web development that will cost from a few hundred dollars on Fiverr to tens of thousands with professional design firms.
Winner: Wix, for simplicity and easy site customization capabilities. Wix wins again in terms of design as all templates are built by Wix, ensuring that they are all high-quality, maintained over time, and compatible with your app integrations.
Easiest Website Maintenance: Wix
No need to install or maintain Wix system or maintain the third-party apps you integrate. All templates are available to you free and you can add third-party apps and native functionality with a click.
WordPress requires installation and frequent updates. You can get managed WordPress hosting to avoid this, but will still have to find, install, and continually maintain your site’s plugins and theme.
When it comes to ease of use, maintenance, and cost, Wix pulls way ahead. There’s no need to download and install a template with Wix, and software updates are automatic, unlike WordPress. Every WordPress.org plugin you add for design or function is likely to be updated several times a year, requiring manual updates on your part. Your theme itself will have to be updated.
If you don’t have a managed WordPress host, like DreamHost or Bluehost, you’ll also have to manage WordPress updates several times each year. And that doesn’t even touch on the issues that can arise with obsolete or incompatible plugins. Read our list of WordPress tips and tricks to get an idea of how much work site maintenance involves.
Winner: Wix, hands-down. You won’t need to install or maintain Wix or any of the third-party apps you integrate into your site, unlike with WordPress.
Best for Ecommerce: Wix
Robust ecommerce from $27 per month to sell products, tickets, book appointments, take reservations, sell digital and physical goods, and more.
Requires use and maintenance of plugins ranging from free to premium, depending on ecommerce types required (e.g., WooCommerce plugin users wanting to sell digital goods, subscriptions, and memberships require premium plugin extensions).
Setting up an online store is far easier with Wix for some of the same reasons noted in previous sections. You don’t have to find and install plugins or manage them, and it’s easier to set up payment gateways. And there’s far less to configure. Whether WordPress vs Wix is better, though, will depend on whether there are unique capabilities you need in an online store or your site overall.
When you’re first starting your website with Wix, you can select whether or not it will be ecommerce, and Wix will include that functionality. You can also add it afterward at any time.
To build a WooCommerce store on WordPress, you’ll have to select a plugin for ecommerce functionality, a payment processor, and you’ll need to make sure you’re using the appropriate SSL certificate. Depending on whether you need to sell digital goods, event tickets, subscriptions or memberships, and other specialty items, you may also need to pay for WooCommerce add-ons.
To accept payments on a Wix online store, opt for the first Business ecommerce plan at $27 per month. It’s a complete ecommerce solution and has industry-specific tools for restaurants, artists, ticket sales and event venues, accommodations such as hotels or vacation rentals, and online booking tools. For comparison, an online WordPress store with Bluehost that comes with WordPress, WooCommerce, and other plugins installed for you costs $39.95 a month.
Setting up a Wix store and adding products is straightforward, including built-in inventory management and reports. You may need to find an inventory management plugin for WordPress. Likewise, if you need industry-specific tools such as those referenced above, you will likely need premium plugins in addition to a basic shopping cart plugin like WooCommerce.
- Wix: Setting up an ecommerce website is easy, straightforward, and you won’t have to shop around to find an app to use—Wix includes all the functionality you need, and more.
- WordPress: You can set up a shopping cart, dropshipping plugin, and inventory management tool that works best for you, but none of it is included automatically. It’s more complicated to configure, easier to break, and will require maintenance over time.
Winner: Wix. Wix makes it easy to get set up and sell online quickly and easily. You’re also likely to pay from a little to significantly less than it will cost to sell online with WordPress.
Best for Overall Website Functionality: It Depends
Comparing Wix vs WordPress for functionality is kind of unfair as they are both highly functional in different ways. Wix is pretty functional as-is, but it also suggests other apps that may be helpful. With 300-plus apps in the Wix Marketplace, and more being added all the time, it’s likely that all the functionality you need is available and easy to install and add to your site.
Conversely, WordPress doesn’t come with a lot of functionality. You’ll have to research things like themes and plugins, and then download, install, and manage them. But while it’s a lot more work, your site can do just about anything with the right WordPress plugins.
Wix gives you the option to add features you might not have even considered until (for example) the Wix walk-through asks things like, “Do you want a forum?” “How about social media feeds right on your site?” or “Maybe you want a live chat function?” In addition, unlike previous editions, Wix now also allows you to embed code, opening up even more avenues for website functionality, features, and integrations.
Wix apps are just a click away and easily searchable by name or type. Likewise, from the WordPress dashboard, it’s easy to access the myriad of WordPress plugins available to add and activate for your site. However, they’re not as well organized, so finding the best apps for your website could take more time as well as trial-and-error.
Plus, it might be harder to find exactly what you’re looking for with WordPress simply because there are so many available. When choosing a WordPress plugin, be sure to check things like reviews and ratings, whether the developer provides support, if updates are included, that it’s being actively maintained, and whether it’s compatible with your version of WordPress.
Wix and WordPress offer free and paid apps, similar to plugins, but Wix only offers apps that are guaranteed to work seamlessly with its platform. WordPress is an open-source platform, so anyone can create a plugin and it may or may not work with your theme or other plugins. There’s also no guarantee that your WordPress plugin will continue to work in the future, whereas Wix’s team is constantly maintaining the software and third-party integrations.
- Wix: More than 300 apps on the Wix platform, including both free and paid apps; all are compatible with the platform, and no maintenance is required on your part.
- WordPress: There are well over 50,000 plugins (free and paid) created for WordPress, but there’s no guarantee one will work with your chosen theme and other plugins, be updated over time, or maintain compatibility with future versions of WordPress.
Winner: Wix, unless there’s something you can only get with WordPress. Wix is the winner of functionality. Unlike WordPress, which can potentially break with one new plugin or version update, Wix always works as expected.
Best for Overall Capabilities & Customization: WordPress
There’s virtually no limit to the amount of customization you can achieve with a WordPress site, with the catch that it takes more time and may require premium plugins or developer coding.
Wix is the best drag-and-drop website builder because it offers the most extensive customization to build a website with a custom, professionally designed look without writing a line of code.
If you’re willing to put in the time and work to learn WordPress and manage every aspect of your website, it can be worth it. WordPress websites offer the best search engine optimization (SEO) and are the most fully customizable. If you can imagine it, there’s probably a plugin for it.
Some great examples of why WordPress may be a better choice include responsive design and flexibility. If you use a WordPress theme that has a responsive design, your website will look fantastic on a desktop, mobile phone, and tablet. By comparison, you might have to adjust your Wix site to make sure it looks good on every device.
When it comes to flexibility, you can install a new theme with WordPress and your content will convert. However, you might have to spend a little or even a lot of time reconfiguring page content and design, especially if you switched to a different page builder. With Wix, to change themes you essentially have to start over, but you can build your new design for free while keeping your current site live.
- Wix: Your website is easy to design and edit, but you can’t easily change templates.
- WordPress: You can customize just about any aspect of your site, but it may require a web developer, and while you can change themes, it might not be without redesigning and reconfiguring your content.
Winner: WordPress, for sheer scale. WordPress offers more customization and capability. You can do almost anything in terms of custom site design, features, and functionality with WordPress, but it has a steep learning curve, and unique customizations are likely to require a professional developer.
Best Customer Support: Wix
Wix users enjoy 24/7/365 support backed by a knowledge base, video tutorials, and an engaged community forum.
WordPress doesn’t have a support team to answer questions or help you build your site, but your hosting company may have some help and information. Support is spotty as questions relative to themes and plugins would go to various outside providers.
If it’s important to you to have the ability to speak to someone about a website issue you’re having, you’re far better off choosing Wix. Wix offers a large knowledge base full of helpful frequently asked questions (FAQs), articles, and how-to guides. If you need to speak to someone, you can go through a chatbot to try to get an answer to your question or submit a callback request.
WordPress doesn’t have direct support in the same way. It’s an open-source platform, so there is no official customer support. Users have been asking and answering questions for decades, though. So, there’s likely an answer to your question on a forum somewhere, if you can find it.
Your web hosting provider may also have a knowledge base, community forum, and offer some basic WordPress support. Your theme and plugins may each have support forums and channels as well. However, when you stack it all up, getting the answer to your question on any given day could be complicated.
- Wix: You can find answers in Wix’s extensive knowledge base, or request a callback to speak to someone.
- WordPress: There is no actual support for WordPress, but you can search online for answers to your questions, or turn to your hosting company for help.
Winner: Wix. Wix is a much better choice for customer support because it actually offers direct customer support and help 24/7/365.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Wix have blog templates?
Yes, Wix has blog templates. Plug, blog functionality can be added to any template. In fact, it’s one of the top blogging platforms for those looking to blog online and build a following.
Is Wix good for SEO?
There’s no question that website builders fell short when it came to SEO in the early days as most were hosted on subdomains, even in premium versions. But those early failings have long been overcome. Today, you can use the best SEO website builders confidently, establishing authority for your own custom business domain name. Take advantage of all of Wix’s SEO features, including following the SEO Wiz to fully optimize your site for online search.
Is Wix better than WordPress?
In most cases, Wix is better for building a website than WordPress.org. Tools and apps are easier to find and install, and are 100% compatible and maintained over time. Site building is inherently easier with Wix’s intuitive drag-and-drop builder and premade templates and content blocks. The best-use case for WordPress is if you need unique functionality and have the technical know-how, time, and resources to build and manage a WordPress site.
If you decide to build on WordPress, the best WordPress website builders even the playing field somewhat in terms of how easy it is to build a website. DreamHost and Bluehost both include free WordPress site builders in shared hosting plans from $2.95 monthly with hosting, SSL security, a free domain, and free email addresses.
Is Wix.com completely free?
Yes—Wix has a completely free plan you can use free forever or to test the platform and create a business website. The free version is hosted on a Wix subdomain and includes SSL security, but it does display Wix branding, which can detract from the confidence you want your site to instill. We highly recommend that when you’re ready to publish, you opt for a paid plan using your own domain name to grow your online presence. Weebly and GoDaddy are two Wix alternatives that also offer a free version.
In a comparison of Wix vs WordPress.org, both are leading platforms for business websites, but each works very differently. For complete control over the design and functionality of your site, you might need WordPress. However, Wix is easier to use, more affordable, has solid SEO to get your site found online, and includes templates and easy-to-integrate features and functionality you need to get your site up quickly.
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