Wix vs. WordPress.com
As a small business owner, you want to be sure to choose the best platform to build a gorgeous website for your brand. If you’re weighing whether or not Wix or WordPress.com will best serve your needs, you’ll want to examine which features and benefits each offer— as well as their pricing and ease of use.
Need help building your small business website? Check out our How to Build a Website guide so you can get your website up and running.
Ease of Use
Wix offers an all-in-one web hosting, domain, and website building platform to customers. This is ideal for customers looking to build a website quickly without the hassle of integrating with third-party domain services.
In addition, the Wix website builder is both powerful and simple, using easy, drag-and-drop functionality to add and remove elements. There is no code required to build and design your website with Wix, and many users can complete their website over the course of a single afternoon. This is particularly important for small business owners operating on tight schedules.
Despite this ease of use, some users will find their ability to work within this program limited over what’s available to them with an open-source program. Advanced website builders and those with experience with a CMS may find this lacks the customization they’re used to, but this makes it an ideal program for beginners.
Wix offers three pricing strategies— the first is Website Building, the second is Business & Ecommerce and the third is Enterprise, which is priced by the quote and is primarily for customers looking for a more full-service option. Though the ecommerce plans provide all of the functions of the equivalent tier for website building, the reverse does not hold true.
- Easy to use, drag-and-drop format
- Free version available
- Affordable pricing
- Hundreds of beautifully designed templates
- Ecommerce options available that are perfectly suited to small businesses
- Ecommerce may be limited for bigger businesses
- App library could be larger
Wix users must purchase a Business & Ecommerce plan to utilize the platform’s range of ecommerce features. Purchasing a plan will enable customers to add products, accept in-house payments, create accounts for customers, and manage their store’s analytics. Wix also provides marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) tools to Business & Ecommerce customers. Read our in-depth Wix review for more information on Wix’s ecommerce services.
Appls and Plugins
Wix users have a library of several hundred apps to choose from. These include marketing and finance tools, as well as social media integrations. Many of these apps are free, but some require a subscription to access them at an additional cost. Wix proves that you don’t need the widest library of apps and plug-ins to offer everything users need to develop and integrate their websites.
Template and Themes
With nearly a thousand templates to choose from, each tailored to a wide array of businesses and industries, you can easily find a Wix template that will suit your needs. Wix templates are gorgeously designed and fully customizable using a range of editing tools.
Users should bear in mind that once they have selected their template, it is locked in and cannot be changed. It is important to choose carefully to avoid spending extra hours modifying the wrong template when you could have found one that was better aligned with your branding.
Some users also complain that Wix websites are poorly streamlined for mobile use, citing loading errors and missing features for mobile sites. Users should devote extra time to ensure their website is displaying correctly across all devices.
Ease of Use
Unlike WordPress.org, which requires customers to purchase their own domain and web-hosting services before installing the software, WordPress.com offers the same software but also includes a built-in domain and web hosting. These services come at a premium, but transform the process of creating your website through WordPress.com into a simpler one-stop solution.
Unlike Wix, WordPress.com is not a simple drag-and-drop website builder. Those who choose to work within WordPress.com without prior experience in CMS software should be prepared to adjust to a new platform. Recent updates have made the website building software more approachable for entry-level users, but building a site through this platform remains a technical skill that will need to be developed with time and practice.
WordPress.com offers the same software as WordPress.org, and likewise, this software can be downloaded for free. To take advantage of the platform’s in-house hosting and domain services, users will need to purchase a plan. These start with simple, stripped-down features at a minimum price and scale to fuller service features at a higher price point. Plans include Personal, Premium, Business, and Ecommerce.
- Free option available
- The level of customization available with open-source, CMS can’t be beat
- The ability to use WordPress software with all-in-one domain name and website hosting services
- Access to the software’s extensive suite of integrations and plug-ins
- WordPress.com boasts a vast knowledge bank— from WordPress.org’s documentation to relevant social media groups and blogs, there’s an endless supply of information about building WordPress.com websites
- WordPress.com easily integrates with customer relationship management (CRM) programs like HubSpot® and Salesforce®, ecommerce tools like Shopify®, and more.
- Challenging and time consuming for beginners
- Inability to install your own themes and plug-ins without purchasing top tier plans
- Top tier plans are expensive, particularly for those accustomed to WordPress being free software
WordPress.com offers a range of ecommerce features through the platform’s Business and Ecommerce plans. These features are, in fact, limited compared to the endless number of integrations that are possible with CMS website platforms. The primary benefit with WordPress.com is the ability to take payments in-house, rather than pay the fees that come with third-party gateways.
Appls and Plugins
There are many thousands of plug-ins available to WordPress.com users through the platform’s plug-in browser. These include nearly every option you can imagine. Most of WordPress.com plug-ins come from third-party plug-in marketplaces, which offer a wide variety of options. With so many selections, users should never be unable to find what they’re looking for— albeit, you will have to pay a premium for certain plug-ins or purchase the site’s Business or Ecommerce plan.
Template and Themes
WordPress.com has thousands of built-in themes to choose from, many available to install directly through your WordPress.com dashboard. Other themes will need to be purchased via a third party and uploaded to your WordPress.com website. With so many selections available you can find one for virtually any industry, matched closely to your company’s existing branding.
Themes and templates can be endlessly changed and modified using WordPress.com.
Best Website Builders
Our Pick for Best Website Builder: Wix
Despite WordPress.com offering the powerful features of this dynamic software with the added bonus of built-in web-hosting, Wix remains the best option for small businesses. The easy-to-use, drag-and-drop software makes building a website a breeze. The Wix website builder also offers plenty of ecommerce solutions that will meet all the needs of any small business.
Using a CMS is not an entry-level skill. It takes an experienced user to execute effectively. Many will get frustrated with WordPress.com and turn to a site like Wix after they give up on trying to learn the software— a little poorer and more exasperated than they were before.
Need help with building your Wix website? Check out our how to build your Wix website guide and get the help you need for your business website.