In 2022, WordPress vs. Wix is less of like “David vs. Goliath” and more like “Goliath vs. Goliath.” Both are incredibly powerful website builders that allow virtually anyone to create their own sites, regardless of technical expertise. But despite their similarities, WordPress and Wix each take very different approaches.
So which one is right for you? In this WordPress vs. Wix comparison guide, we match up two of the biggest site-building tools and analyze how they stack up in usability, customization, pricing and other areas so you can see which is best for you.
WordPress vs. Wix: At a glance
WordPress has long been a trusted name in website creation since the beginning of the Internet. Founded in 2003, WordPress was designed to give people without coding knowledge the ability to create websites, first blogs and then later expanding into all kinds of sites.
But in the tech industry, older is not always better. Wix is the younger of the two—although it first launched just a few years after WordPress in 2007, it wasn’t until an investment bump in 2010 that Wix became a well-known name.
When it comes to sheer numbers, there’s no contest; as of 2022, WordPress powers over 455 million websites, accounting for 39%—43% of all sites currently online. And while Wix leads all other DIY website builders with over 100 million users, it still trails behind the more popular WordPress.
Technically speaking, the two are not direct competitors. WordPress considers itself a content management system (CMS), but still applies a paint-by-number approach that pits it against Wix and other “DIY website-builders.” Wix certainly considers WordPress a competitor, judging by the questionable negative ad campaign it launched in 2021.
But the distinction between CMS and website-builder makes a big difference when it comes to usability, customization, pricing and other issues in the WordPress vs. Wix debate. As we discuss below, their unique methods each cater to separate and distinct types of users.
WordPress vs. Wix: Usability
To be clear, both WordPress and Wix make creating a website easy compared to code-based alternatives. That said, by all accounts Wix is easier to use than WordPress.
As a CMS, WordPress involves more work, including a steeper learning curve. Users choose a WordPress Theme, similar to a template, and then customize that theme with whatever images, text, colors, etc. they prefer. Themes give the user a solid layout to choose from, and come pre-equipped with stylistic choices like fonts and button shapes (although these can often be changed later).
The real advantage of WordPress, though, is its plugins. WordPress offers a vast library of plugins that let you add extra features to your site. These could be small, such as a menu for sharing on social media, or massive, such as the WooCommerce plugin that enables ecommerce and financial transactions.
By contrast, Wix offers a more simplistic approach with its WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get). Wix users simply drag-and-drop the elements they want into the places they want, with options for customizing the size, shape, color, typography, etc. You can still use Wix templates, but they’re more flexible than WordPress themes.
The downside of Wix’s straightforward approach is that you don’t get as many “extra” features. Wix has its own App Market, but the options there pale in comparison to WordPress’s library of 59,538 plugins (as of this writing). Still, what Wix offers innately is more than sufficient to build a standard, if not impressive, website.
All in all, if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, WordPress usability lets you do a little more, with plenty of WordPress tutorials to help you learn the ropes. If your priority is convenience and ease-of-use, you won’t mind sacrificing a few extra features to save time with Wix.
WordPress vs. Wix: Customization
Considering the difference in usability for WordPress vs. Wix, it makes sense that WordPress offers more customization options. That’s not to say Wix is bad for customizing—compared to all other DIY website builders, Wix is actually one of the more customizable. But this just goes to show how much you can customize with WordPress.
You can thank WordPress’s plugin library for its vast customization options. WordPress has long been a haven for third-party developers, who make a healthy profit selling original plugins that offer new features and personalization options. Once you learn how to navigate the plugin library, you can usually find whatever you’re looking for.
Still, though, installing those extra customization options takes time and usually money, as you can see from our guide on how to make a WordPress site. The faster and sometimes cheaper option is to use Wix.
Keep in mind that users can deviate from their Wix template as much as they want—there’s even an option to build from a blank canvas. While Wix doesn’t offer the breadth or variety of features that WordPress (and its plugin library do), they still have all the basics out-of-the-box, including options for ecommerce and transaction. You can learn more from our guide on how to make a Wix site.
The other advantage of Wix is that you don’t have to spend money on plugins, although the assumption with WordPress is that you won’t mind paying extra for special features.
What it comes down to is your vision for your website. If you have an elaborate idea for what you want to do, WordPress has more options and tools to bring your vision to life. If, on the other hand, you’re less rigid and more open-minded about the site you’re building, you’ll find more than enough customization options in Wix to create a site in whatever style you prefer.
WordPress vs. Wix: Pricing
Wix’s pricing plans are fairly straightforward. As you can see below, for a monthly fee (paid annually) you get a predetermined set of features, allowing you to choose the plan that best fits your needs. Wix also offers a free plan, but it’s quite restrictive and includes Wix ads, making it a bad choice for professional websites.
The Unlimited plan has everything you need for a normal professional website. If you’re building a small site or standalone landing page, the even cheaper Combo plan could work too. It’s worth noting that, if you want to sell anything on your website, you need one of the three “Business” plans, which enable online transactions.
WordPress pricing gets a little more complicated. Technically speaking, WordPress is free, but in practice, you’ll find costs come out to be comparable to other site builders, or even more, because of hosting, plugins and themes.
On Wix, hosting—storing your site’s data on a server—is included in all packages so you don’t have to worry about it. On WordPress, though, you have to buy your own hosting from a third-party provider like BlueHost or SiteGround.
Typically WordPress hosting costs between $2-6 per month (more if you want extra benefits), and it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Your hosting determines your site’s loading times and how many requests it can handle, as well as safeguarding against online attacks or site outages. Some even offer benefits like customer assistance or free domain names.
On top of that, WordPress plugins and themes usually cost money. While you can build a website with only free plugins and themes, it would look minimal and bare-bones, plus you’re negating one of the biggest advantages of WordPress.
Aside from the free ones, WordPress plugins can cost anywhere from a couple of dollars to over a hundred, not to mention they can be either one-time charges or monthly subscription payments. To know for sure, we suggest planning out which plugins you want to buy beforehand and make an estimated budget.
All in all, the price of WordPress is scalable to how advanced you want your website to be, but on average you can expect a $200 starting cost with around $20 monthly payments. That makes it more expensive than Wix, so you should ask yourself how much do you need those plugins.
WordPress vs. Wix: Extra features
Last, let’s talk a little about additional features, and how they differ in WordPress vs. Wix.
Blogging & SEO
WordPress originated as a blogging platform, so it’s naturally better for blogs than Wix. You can still post blog articles on Wix just fine, but it’s a lot more convenient on WordPress. That extends to SEO as well. WordPress handles their backend SEO requirements better than Wix (such as search engine indexing), and its plugins include some pretty useful SEO tools like Yoast.
Before choosing WordPress or Wix, ask yourself how important content marketing is to your business strategy. While Wix can handle blogging to some degree, if written content and SEO are integral to your business model you may want to consider WordPress.
When it comes to marketing on WordPress, you’re on your own. Maybe you can find a plugin that helps with emails or social media, but for the most part, your marketing campaigns exist independently.
Wix, on the other hand, offers what’s called Ascend by Wix. This suite offers extras like email marketing tools, chat boxes, forms and social media linking. Although limited access to its features are free, full access requires a monthly payment of between $10 and $49 a month.
Wix offers customer service via phone, email, chat or social media; however, depending on whom you ask, you’ll get different answers as to its quality. Wix’s customer service is rated poorly on Trustpilot and Sitejabber, but professional review sites tend to speak more highly of it.
By contrast, WordPress doesn’t have an official customer service. What it does have is a community of WordPress users who are happy to discuss technical solutions and troubleshooting in WordPress forums. While that’s not exactly the same as speaking one-on-one with a professional, considering the millions of users it has worldwide, you’ll most likely be able to find the answers to common problems somewhere online.
WordPress vs. Wix: Final verdict
Which should you choose, WordPress or Wix? What it all comes down to is how complex you want your site to be and how much effort you want to put into it.
Of course, more complex sites require more resources: time, money and work. That’s what you can expect with WordPress, an elaborate site built to your own personal specifications, but one that tends to require more time and effort (and most likely money if you plan to use a lot of plugins).
Alternatively, you can sacrifice a little of that complexity for convenience and ease of use. That’s what you can expect with Wix, a simpler and more basic site, but one that takes less time and effort to create. Take those terms “simpler” and “more basic” with a grain of salt; Wix still has enough capabilities to make an intricate site, just not to the same extent as WordPress.
We can’t say for certain that one is better than the other—in fact, compared to other website builders, both are viewed quite highly. The difference between WordPress and Wix depends mostly on user preferences and the kind of site you want to build.