WiX v. Wordpress: Our Input
Beach Websites is a WiX legend partner, and we've been designing with the platform for more than 8 years. We sometimes recommend a client might need a Wordpress, or fully
coded site depending on their needs. But here is our definitive view of the pros and cons of each.
The two platforms offer something similar but in completely different ways.
Wordpress has been around much longer and is more popular with traditional coders. WiX tends to be more popular for everyday users because it’s much easier to user, adjust and add to.
I suggest WiX to the vast majority of my clients because they just don’t need the functionality that WordPress offers. Many issues are much-of-a-muchness, but take a look and the pros and cons below... the biggest difference for all my clients is cost. I simply cannot produce a WordPress site for the low prices I charge for WiX sites.
WiX recently brought out their game changing new product, WiX Studios. This gives agencies like ours even more control over the design process with breakpoint designing more like a Wordpress or fully coded site. This allows for greater responsiveness, and the ability to design more dynamic sites to make your website stand out.
For design, WordPress is limitless…depending on your budget. We can custom code an entire site to have it exactly how you or any designer wants it… for a price. Also once you’ve uploaded all your content on a WP site, you can change the design easily (within reason) to a new theme – although navigation might need to be adjusted.
The standard WiX editor is about 80% of this design flexibility at a much lower cost, which is about 100% more that what most companies need. However a full redesign has to be done manually.
With the new WiX studio, designing has recently become even more flexible for the platform, and while its only been available for a few days, we can see that this product will be highly disruptive.
Updating / adjustments
The bigger difference is in updating down the track. My coding team can put together a great site and you and your team will be able to change images and update text and add a blog post. However, you won’t be able to do anything more than that without a coder, or very strong knowledge of the WP (most people use envato) design system. I’ve been using wordpress for over a decade and I still struggle with it and have to call on my team. WiX is drag and drop; and you can add whole levels of functionality with only a few hours’ practise.
This is an area that WiX loses a few points in its standard editor. For mobile it’s fine…you can separately adjust the mobile version of your pages and I personally prefer this to whatever the theme you choose in Wordpress which you are then stuck with in terms of the mobile layout (unless you pay for a coder). For tablet it’s more problematic. Most designs work okay on tablet but it’s not perfect. That being said the whole tablet revolution didn’t really happen, and most users are still on desktop (in their offices) or mobile.
Again, i we design your site in the new Studio, the responsiveness is off the charts and actually better than Wordpress as we can adjust the template for different break points (and therefore for mobile and tablet).
Wordpress works as an open source platform; the site and its features are hard coded, or created using plugins, created by the developer community. This offers more flexibility due to the vast range of plugs with advanced features.
There are still a lot of things you can do in a coded site that WiX simply can’t do, like advanced bookings/membership/B2B eCommerce etc.
The downside to this is that managing updates and compatibility between plugins can be complex. Most of the better plugins are also paid annually, which is an extra cost on top of hosting.
WiX creates their core product and all their features in-house which means there is accountability should plugins not work as advised. The price you pay for hosting covers all of their functionality (although there are premium hosting levels) and you get a lot for your hosting cost. You can also add functionality with ease since its modular, and the vast majority is included in the basic hosting packages.
With WiX code (velo) and databases you can actually code most of the main functionality in WiX to get close to the advanced processes that can be done in wordpress. I’ve used velo coding for an advanced eCommerce site, and often use the WiX database system for large search-based sites.
Updates and Backups
This is where Wordpress causes the most headaches. A plugin designer may decide to update their coding, or there is a server fail or a security breach, and a part of your site stops working.
Wordpress and plugin updates need to be installed anytime they are changed, and this can mess with your coding or design, meaning you need to pay someone to fix it. Sometimes there is even an annual cost to include all the updates. There have been cases of plugin developers disappearing, going bankrupt etc. and their products don’t get updates to match worpress updates which means the site owner has to start again with than functionality.
Wix updates automatically and its modular nature means that no update will mess with your current design and functionality. Updates are including in the annual hosting cost.
Page Load Speed
This is dependent on the number and size of elements on a page. WiX’s speed is optimised on their platform. Wordpress’ speed also depends on on-page content but also on your hosting server. With a higher quality server, you can get much faster speeds that WiX, but you pay for it.
Almost every WordPress designer/developer will tell clients that only a WordPress site can rank on search engines. This information is 5-years out of date. Google does not have a bias towards WP sites. WiX is generally considered good for basic SEO and marketing with a great system for doing SEO self checks. Wordpress is slightly more powerful and flexible when it comes to SEO, with built in features and plugins available to optimise your site.
However, keeping your content updated, and adding new content in the form of blogs, and having good social media links, are all more important than anything an advanced SEO plugin can offer.
WiX provides a number of security measures included in their packages such as SSL encryption, firewall protection and daily malware scans. It also has a dedicated security team that monitors and responds to threats. Wordpress offers similar, but all security plugins must be kept up to date, and this is often with an annual fee.
WiX is hosting on the company’s dedicated cloud servers, with hardware around the world for security. You can’t move your site off WiX. However no-one can take your site; you still own the design.
Wordpress can be moved between servers (although this can cause problems) and you technically ‘own’ the full site and all its coding.
A Wordpress site takes 3-5x longer to develop than a WiX site, and the cost is therefore 3-5x! Also for management and adjustments which you can’t do yourself, my cost for Wordpress sites updating is often at least three times. WP sites need to be maintained because of plugin updates, so you often need to pay a team to monitor your site.
Note that if you'd like a more dynamic site designed in WiX studio, the initial outlay will be more expensive due to the extra time involved. But for large, professional companies we recommend staying ahead of your competitors with a more modern, future-proof site.