Wix or WordPress?
A question that I see multiple times a day on Facebook, especially in groups with a lot of newer business owners. There are a ton of different website platforms, but the Wix vs. WordPress debate is always a hot topic. And here’s my breakdown + opinion of it.
- Drag + drop website builder
- Wix hosts your site
- Dedicated support from Wix
- No coding required
- Wix app market
- Closed platform
- No/very limited custom coding
- Slower than WordPress sites
- Limited on SEO-friendliness
- Not necessarily drag + drop but customized through a user interface
- Self-hosted sites, you choose your hosting provider
- Support comes from your hosting provider
- Generally more SEO-friendly
- Open-source platform
- Tens of thousands of free and premium theme + plugin options
- Custom coding is easy to add
Let’s talk about what some of these points actually mean for you.
Wix is a drag + drop builder
So, right off the bat, Wix might look enticing if you’re not a tech person. It’s fully drag and drop and functions like a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” sort of thing. Because of that, Wix has a smaller learning curve than WordPress.
WordPress is a content management system + web platform that allows you to make a more custom site than Wix does. You’ll have access to the code, so you’ll be able to make more advanced edits or hire someone to make those edits for you. If you have a very specific vision for your future website, WordPress will allow you to bring that vision to life. With Wix, you will have to make a few compromises. Even if you work with a web designer who creates for Wix, there will be limitations as far as what they can do for you.
At the end of the day, WordPress wins in this area. The learning curve is a bit bigger, but you’ll be able to customize your site to your heart’s content. there are tons of free tutorials and walkthrough articles to help you figure out WordPress if you’re new.
Wix hosts your site for you + decides what features you are able to use
Wix hosting comes with dedicated support. If you come across issues with your Wix site, you’ll be going through the Wix support team. A premium Wix plan starts at $11/month and you unlock more features by paying more. You don’t unlock Wix’s Google Analytics dashboard until you’re paying for a business plan (starts at $23/month) and you don’t get site visitor analytics unless you’re using their “Pro” plan ($22/month) or higher. To accept payments on your site, you need to use their business plan or higher.
WordPress doesn’t limit you to certain features in this way. You can be paying $5/month for hosting and have access to your visitor analytics if you want to. You’ll just have to connect Google Analytics manually. Also, you can accept payments no matter how much you’re paying. If you have issues with your site, you’ll be reaching out to your hosting provider – not WordPress themselves. My favorite hosting provider (they just have amazing customer service) is Siteground.
Is Wix SEO-friendly?
The simple answer here is kinda, but not really. Wix sites by default have a lot of messy code going on. Their sites are also much slower, on average.
Don’t believe me? Visit any Wix-built site and right click on the page. Select “view page source” to see the code for that page. You’ll notice that it looks a lot different than the code on the average WordPress site. A lot of things are being loaded in a way that is not as efficient and this all has a negative effect on SEO, because it slows the site down.
To check the PageSpeed of a site, go to Google PageSpeed insights and plug in the domain name. Ideally, sites should load in under 3 seconds on both desktop and mobile.
So what CAN you do if you’re on Wix and need SEO help? You can do on-page optimization. Comb through your site content and do as much as you can to optimize your posts and pages. Since you can’t touch a Wix site’s code, your SEO strategy will, unfortunately, be limited.
WordPress is not only built cleanly and well-optimized, but it has some free tools that you can make use of to help optimize your site. The YoastSEO plugin, for example, is free. It’s incredibly valuable, scoring each of your posts and pages and helping you get on-page optimization done efficiently. For more technical SEO, you’ll have access to the code of your site with WordPress. If you’re not someone who is familiar with SEO or custom code, you’ll at least have the ability to hire out for it in the future.
WordPress is super SEO-friendly. Still, you’ll want to make sure that the theme you use is also cleanly coded. Themes based on the Genesis framework are usually a safe bet.
Wix can get expensive, especially considering what you’re getting for the price
We already talked about how Wix gates features depending on the package you’re paying for. In my opinion, that’s pretty wild. Check out the Wix pricing plans to get a look at what I’m talking about.
With WordPress, you can choose to pay for premium hosting services and get more storage space, bandwidth, and support. But it’s not necessary to do so, especially if you’re just starting out. Most of the “extra features” you’re seeing in those Wix plans are things that you can get for free with a few WordPress plugins. I pay $5.95/month to Siteground to host 5 different sites for me. I’d be paying upwards of $150/month for the same stuff with Wix. Well, actually, I’d be getting less because I wouldn’t have access to plugins or custom code.
If you’re signing up with Wix because they offer a free basic plan, definitely think it over because Wix sites can get expensive rather quickly.
Considering all of these points, I never recommend Wix to anyone who wants to start a website for their business or blog. Mainly for these reasons:
- Wix is super-limited in terms of customization.
- Wix sites load slowly, leading to frustrated users (They will click off your site and go somewhere else)
- There are some things Wix does not allow you to do for SEO
- If you need business functionality, Wix can get expensive – you’ll get more for your money using WordPress
The only reason I’d endorse the idea of creating a Wix site is if you’re 100% unwilling to devote the time to learning WordPress and you just need to get a website up. If that’s you – hey – “done is better than perfect”. Get that Wix site up, but consider looking into WordPress or even Squarespace when you’re ready to level-up.
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