Wix® vs. Shopify® Business Website Builder Review

When you own a small business, your website is one of the most crucial elements of presenting your products and services to the world. You need something easy to build and maintain that won't break your budget. We take the guesswork out of choosing a small business website by reviewing and comparing two of the most popular website builder options, Wix and Shopify.


Our Pick:

For our money, Wix is the better building platform for creating a website that shows off your business's personality. With themes and customization options that cater to a wide variety of businesses, Wix has ecommerce capabilities, apps/plug-ins that work seamlessly with your website, and the backing of 24/7 customer support. You can see our comparisons in several categories below, but both websites offer a no-obligation 14-day trial if you want to check them out for yourself.

Wix vs Shopify.

If you have an existing website, both Wix and Shopify offer migration services, but the costs vary by how much information you are transferring. Both website builders require that you purchase a hosting plan before you can migrate your old site. While neither service is overly expensive to move to, it's worth looking into the costs for your business when making this decision.

Wix vs Shopify.

Ease of Use: Wix vs. Shopify

Ease of use is a big draw for any website builder. No one wants to waste time working on their website when they could be attending to their customers, practicing their craft, or providing services. Neither Wix nor Shopify require any website-building expertise, which makes them relatively simple to use, but let's see how these two stack up head-to-head.

Ease of Use: Wix

Wix is a point-and-click and drag-and-drop website builder, which means that you can create a basic site for your business in a short amount of time. It's easy to upload your graphics and get them into place with Wix's intuitive, well-marked menus. These menus also make it simple to place text on your website, toggle between pages, and make space for plug-ins like calendars. After you first manually save, Wix autosaves while you work, preventing potential headaches from lost content.

Wix vs Shopify.

Ease of Use: Shopify

Shopify's builder allows you to upload photos, arrange your page sections, and add text through a series of click-through menus. These menus are well-marked but can begin to seem redundant or have too many repetitive steps. Shopify is straightforward to use, but it doesn't have an autosave feature, so users need to frequently and manually save their work. It takes a bit of patience to remember to save after every change and while toggling through the lengthy menus.

Wix vs Shopify.

Themes and Templates: Wix vs. Shopify

Customization is a significant consideration when choosing a website builder. You want to balance the ease of maintaining a point-and-click building site with the ability to showcase your business's character and values. Both Wix and Shopify have a variety of templates and themes to help you accomplish that goal, and we took a look at how they compare.

Themes and Templates: Wix

Wix has dozens of diverse themes that you can choose from to begin building your website. You can search them through several different filters, including free or paid themes, and by business or industry. Once you pick a theme, the templates offer color and text options to further customize your website's look, plus you can drag and drop page sections to only use what you need for your business. Wix's themes and templates appeal to a broad spectrum of aesthetics, although they do have a signature feel about them— you know they've all been created by Wix, much in the way you can tell that one builder constructed many houses in the same neighborhood.

Wix vs Shopify.

Themes and Templates: Shopify

Shopify has over 100 free and paid themes for your use, and you can also import a theme using a CSV file. Shopify also allows you to modify the code on existing themes for further personalization. Once you've chosen or uploaded a theme, the templates will enable you to remove sections you don't want to use, but you can add them back at any time. Because Shopify is a builder dedicated to ecommerce, the themes tend to center heavily on product presentation.

Wix vs Shopify.

Apps and Plug-ins: Wix vs. Shopify

Because every business is different and has different needs, it's hard for a website builder alone to cover every aspect of a complete website. Apps and plug-ins help you achieve the things that your website alone can't handle. They also aid in further customization. Let's see how Wix and Shopify compare in this category.

Apps and Plug-ins: Wix

Wix has a proprietary App Market, where you can find everything from calendar plug-ins to advanced analytics trackers and everything in-between. Wix's App Market has apps and plug-ins that are specifically designed by Wix engineers, as well as third-party apps to make integration with outside partners quick and easy. Many apps are free or low-cost, but some are subscription-based. Be sure to know which you're buying before you make a purchase, so you don't get locked into any unwanted long-term overhead.

Wix vs Shopify.

Apps and Plug-ins: Shopify

Shopify also has its own app store, where it offers thousands of apps and plug-ins from third-party developers. Shopify vets every app to ensure they work with its platform, and that they can be installed in just a few steps. Many apps come in a Lite version for free, with full versions available for a one-time fee or a subscription. You should take care with the paid apps, especially the subscriptions— they can add up and become pricey over time.

Wix vs Shopify.

Ecommerce: Wix vs. Shopify

For small businesses, the ability to sell products and services online is no longer a novelty— it has become a necessity. Your website is a reflection of your work, whether you're an artist, home contractor, or a retail store. Both Wix and Shopify offer ecommerce solutions, but this is the one category where Shopify shines. Here's how the ecommerce features fare against each other.

Ecommerce: Wix

It's as easy to build an ecommerce store with Wix as it is to create your website, but that also means that your store could end up looking a little generic. Wix stores can accept a wide range of payment options with no transaction fees, which is helpful, but Wix stores also require apps and plug-ins to run a fully customized retail business via the web. Wix also has a reputation for being slow-loading, so that’s something to consider if you're looking to build a high-traffic web store.

Wix vs Shopify.

Ecommerce: Shopify

Shopify is a dedicated ecommerce platform, meaning it's all about product presentation and tracking metrics. It's easy to load, categorize, showcase, and sell your goods with a Shopify store. Inventory management and customer accounts are built into every Shopify plan. Although you may want to integrate apps for calendars and scheduling, it's possible to maintain a Shopify store without any plug-ins. You can also use a Shopify store for advertising and selling services.

Wix vs Shopify.

Pricing: Wix vs. Shopify

We know that keeping costs down is essential for small businesses. Wix and Shopify both have an array of pricing plans to fit your budget and meet your website building needs.

Pricing: Wix

You can get started with Wix with a 14-day free trial, and once you choose a plan, there's also a 14-day money-back guarantee on your first premium plan purchase. Wix wants to give you every opportunity to select the best plan for your business, and you can upgrade at any time. Wix offers several plans for both service and retail-based businesses. The prices shown here reflect the cost per month when you pay upfront for one year of service. Costs are slightly higher when you pay by the month, or you can get discounted rates should you choose to pay in advance for two or three years. Wix frequently runs sales of up to 50% off for a year of its premium plans, so keep an eye out to take advantage of these savings.

Wix vs Shopify.

Wix Combo Plan, $14/month: This personal use plan is ideal for people starting a side business or who want to showcase creative works like visual or written arts. This plan gives you a domain (free for the first year), 3GB of storage for photos and text, and room to upload up to 30 minutes of video. This is a budget option that's a nice place to start building your website. The combo plan also comes with an SSL certificate and 24/7 customer support.

Wix Unlimited Plan, $18/month: The Wix Unlimited Plan is a step up from the Combo Plan, offering more storage (10GB), more video capability (1 hour), and advertising vouchers from Google and Bing. This is a good plan for small business owners looking to highlight their goods and services without spending a lot of money on a dedicated web store.

Wix Pro Plan, $23/month: The Pro Plan includes everything from the previous two plans and ups the storage to 20GB and video capability to two hours. This plan is excellent for business owners looking to expand their websites to showcase services without worrying about spending too much time or money on site maintenance. The Pro Plan also includes the Wix Site Booster app (SEO plug-in) and Visitor Analytics app (metrics plug-in), free for one year.

Wix VIP Plan, $39/month: Wix's VIP Plan is its highest tier of website plan without an ecommerce store. With the VIP Plan, you get everything included in the lower plans, plus Priority Customer Support. The VIP Plan includes 35GB of storage and increases the video capability to five hours. This is a good option for small-to-medium-sized business owners who have a lot of media to share, like art galleries, authors, or other creative or service-based enterprises.

Wix vs Shopify.

Wix has separate plans for ecommerce websites. They come with all the site-building features of the regular website plans, like 24/7 support, SSL certificates, and a domain free for the first year, but they also include everything you need to get set up selling and accepting payments online.

Wix Business Basic, $23/month: The economy web store offering from Wix still has many great features. You get the ability to create and maintain customer accounts, track sales and inventory, and book events and services all in one place. This plan also includes unlimited product listing and secure checkouts. The Business Basic plan is a good option for retail start-ups or brick-and-mortar stores looking to test the ecommerce waters.

Wix Business Unlimited, $27/month: The Wix Business Unlimited plan has all the features of the Basic plan and adds drop shopping, sales tax calculation, and customer review features. It's a terrific mid-tier plan for busy retail businesses on a budget.

Wix Business VIP, $49/month: Wix Business VIP comes with a fairly significant price jump, but it includes priority support, up to 50GB of data and media storage, and unlimited video hours to showcase and advertise your products. It also increases the drop shipping, sales tax, and review features of the Unlimited plan, giving you everything you need to run a medium-sized retail and ecommerce business with little worry about your website maintenance.

Wix Enterprise, $200/month and up: Larger businesses can contact Wix for pricing on complete website and ecommerce packages that fit all their needs, with a dedicated account manager and premium sales and metrics capabilities.

Pricing: Shopify

You can play around with a Shopify site for 14 days before choosing a plan, which is a decent amount of time to decide if you like the platform or not. When you choose a Shopify plan, they each include the features of the previous plan, so it's easy to upgrade at any time without sacrificing anything on your website. These prices are per month when billed annually. Like Wix, prices are slightly higher if you pay as you go and lower if you choose to pay upfront for two or three years of service.

Wix vs Shopify.

Shopify Lite, $9/month: The Shopify Lite plan is a bare-bones option that doesn't have a front-facing web store. It does allow you access to Shopify's dashboard so you can track your sales and inventory, create customer accounts, and manage payments and shipping. You get 24/7 support, the Lite version of Shopify's proprietary point-of-sale system, Shopify POS, and a "Buy Button" to add to your existing website or social media sales channels. This is a good place to start for people who sell their products primarily off-line, at pop-up shops, and as a side business.

Basic Shopify, $29/month: This plan includes the features of the Lite plan, but the Basic plan also includes a front-facing retail store, an SSL certificate, an extra user profile, and the ability to have up to four inventory locations. It's a good plan for start-ups or small retail shops.

Shopify Shopify, $79/month: This mid-tier plan includes all the previous features plus five user profiles and inventory locations. Shopify’s Shopify plan also includes more advanced professional metrics, and you can add international domains and sales to expand your business abroad. This Shopify plan is a great option for small-to-midsize businesses with people working from and inventory stored in multiple locations.

Advanced Shopify, $299/month: It's a pretty big jump in monthly costs, but the Advanced Shopify plan gives you all the features of the lower plans, plus additional shipping integrations and customizable advanced metrics. The Advanced Shopify Plan allows up to 15 user profiles, so it's ideal for small-to-medium retail and ecommerce businesses with multiple employees or admins working from a variety of locations.

Shopify Plus, starts at $2,000/month: Business owners can contact Shopify directly to get prices for Shopify Plus, a full-service web hosting and integration service that serves medium-to-large ecommerce enterprises. Shopify Plus is individually tailored to each client, with web hosting, international ecommerce options, and detailed inventory and supply chain management.

Pros and Cons: Wix vs. Shopify

Every website builder has upsides and downsides, and these features will affect how you choose which one to use. Based on the overall features of both Wix and Shopify, here are the biggest pros and cons to both.

Pros and Cons: Wix

Pros:

  • easy point-and-click, drag-and-drop interface
  • plenty of available free and low-cost apps and plug-ins
  • several tiers of pricing plans to fit any business and budget
  • 24/7 customer support and extensive troubleshooting library
  • generous data storage for higher plans
  • unlimited product listings and transactions for ecommerce sites
  • the ability to book services and sell goods from the same platform
  • no transactions fees on any sales, ever

Wix vs Shopify.

Cons:

  • sites are data/media-heavy, making them slower to load than other web builders
  • some features aren't fully customizable which can seem a bit "cookie-cutter"
  • big jump in pricing for its upper-tier plans

Pros and Cons: Shopify

Pros:

  • dedicated ecommerce platform
  • dozens of themes for desktop and mobile-ready sites
  • detailed business tracking metrics
  • inventory management from multiple locations and multiple user profiles
  • hundreds of free and low-cost plug-in applications
  • multiple sales channels and the ability to accept global currency
  • point-of-sale systems make transactions easy from anywhere
  • unlimited cloud storage space

Cons:

  • subscription app fees and plan charges can be pricey over time
  • Shopify takes a percentage of all transactions, except for Shopify Pay
  • no autosave feature can lead to lost work while building and updating

Bottom Line

Head-to-head, we stand by our choice of Wix in this comparison. Shopify is an excellent choice for online retail businesses, and if that's your focus, we won't fault you for choosing Shopify over Wix. But Wix is more affordable, both in subscription and transaction fees, and offers a broader array of themes and capabilities for a diverse range of businesses. It's a better overall choice for small business owners looking for an easy-to-build, clean, professional-looking website while sticking to a budget.

Closing Thoughts

Now you've got all the information you need to decide between Wix vs. Shopify to build your small business website. Since you can get a 14-day trial with both sites, there's no risk in trying them out for yourself to see if you agree or disagree with our comparison. If you're still in the planning stages of your business, check out these helpful articles and tools for exploring business opportunities, naming a new business, and creating a standout logo. For more help getting your new business up and running, you can check out these additional tools and articles:

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Wix Website Builder Review