In this piece, we’ll be comparing two platforms that are very popular amongst the DIY website creators: WordPress and Wix.
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There are two versions of the WordPress platform. In this blog, we’ll be exploring the most commonly known; the self-hosted version (www.wordpress.org). If you’d like to learn more about the different variations of WordPress, we explore this in more detail in our blog article: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
WordPress is the most popular platform on the market, powering 37% of all websites.
- WordPress is free, open-source software
- There are thousands of free plugins and themes available for customisation
- You can pay for additional themes and plugins for further customisation
- It’s the most popular CMS on the market, meaning there’s lots of helpful support and forums online
- WordPress receives regular updates to ensure your website is fully up-to-date and secure
- It has one of the most significant online communities of developers and users
- You’ll need to pay for a domain, SSL certificate and hosting
- There’s no direct support from WordPress with the self-hosted version
- If you’re doing it yourself, you may hit a technical wall in terms of what you can achieve
WordPress is self-hosted; this means that you need to source your own hosting. Often you can find a hosting agency that’ll do the setup for you. If not, this step can be a little complicated, so it’s worth looking online to the community for help. WordPress does have a ‘famous five-minute setup’ so it is relatively easy to get a WordPress website up and running in minutes, but you’ll still need some fairly specific technical information like database usernames and passwords. We use WP Engine as our hosting partner as they’re one of the best for speed and security. If you choose to work with an agency, you should ask them if they’ll cover hosting.
The platform is entirely free to download and install, although you will have to source your hosting, SSL certificate and domain name to get the site live. Prices for these vary but can be achieved for as little as £15 a year. It’s also relatively easy to find a developer to support your site at a fraction of the cost of other platform specialists.
You can achieve just about anything with WordPress. And if there’s not a free plugin, there will be a paid one or someone online willing to develop the functionality for you at a price. This makes WordPress great for businesses who want their site to feel bespoke, scale quickly, and offer advanced features.
Favoured by the masses, WordPress is an easy to use, intuitive platform. Unlike Wix, it doesn’t have an out of the box drag and drop-feature, but you can achieve this with specific plugins, or the in-built ‘blocks’ feature does go some way towards achieving this. It also has a more advanced admin area, which can be daunting if you haven’t had training or used WordPress before but is generally quite easy to use with a little practice.
WordPress doesn’t have an out-of-the-box eCommerce feature. However, you can install WooCommerce, which is a free plugin that transforms any site into an online store. Like WordPress, WooCommerce is also completely free by default with no hidden transaction fees or running costs. You only pay to enhance the shopping experience through specific paid-for plugins. It’s no wonder WooCommerce is the number one eCommerce software on the market.
Wix is ranked as the 4th most popular CMS on the market by WhatCMS, accounting for just 2% of the known market. Quite significantly less popular than WordPress, Wix is still one of the highest-ranked and more popular platforms among well-known ones like Squarespace and Weebly. It’s also climbed the ranks quickly in the last few years as the result of a well-executed marketing strategy that has put them across multiple channels online and offline. This strategy has positioned them as the go-to platform for people looking to quickly and easily launch a new online business with little or no prior experience.
- All in one platform – log in from anywhere
- Built-in eCommerce functionality
- WYSISYG (what you see is what you get) editor
- Online support from Wix
- Never in full control of your website (hosting, server, up-times)
- Design limitations
- Requires a paid subscription to add a domain and remove Wix adverts
- Not the best for search engines
Wix is a hosted platform; this means you can access it from any device at any time by simply logging in. It also means you don’t have to worry about sourcing your hosting. It does, however, mean you won’t have any control over backups, server speed, security and things such as up-time. So, if the site goes down, you’ll be reliant on Wix to let you know and bring it back up again.
Wix is free to start with but then has paid plans for specific enhancements and improvements. If you want to connect your own domain, speed the site up, have access to more storage, or simply remove the Wix ads at the bottom of the site, you’ll have to invest in one of their premium plans starting at £3 a month. However, you’ll need to be on the £6 a month plan to remove their ads.
Wix’s drag and drop functionality means it’s the perfect choice for beginners or DIY-ers. Its WYSIWYG editor also means there are no surprises when it comes to design, and you don’t need to worry about backend code. Wix also has built-in support for all their customers, so if you do get stuck, you can ask them for help.
Wix also has an integrated eCommerce feature. It’s limited and not ideal for ambitious business owners, but it’s a good first step to eCommerce. It does, however, require a premium eCommerce plan starting from £13 a month and they do charge transaction fees, which you can find out more about here.
Which is best for me?
The answer to which CMS is best for you depends on your requirements and how technically savvy you are. To help you, we’ve given some basic case-solution examples below:
- If you’re just getting started and looking for a simple or one-page site = Wix
- If you’re looking for a short-term website solution = Wix
- If you want to be in complete control of your website’s performance and customisation = WordPress
- If you require a blog = WordPress
- If you need an eCommerce store = WordPress
- If you’re going to commission an agency = WordPress
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