WordPress or Wix for Blogging

WordPress or Wix

I use both WordPress and Wix for blogging and websites and sacrilege though it may be to some, when it comes to recommending one over the other, it’d depend more on the person than the ultimate intended use if they’re set on doing it for themselves.

Wix

Wix has this rep as being ‘easy’ because it’s very much a WYSIWYG drag & drop builder. If you’re familiar with MS Office tools, in particular PowerPoint, then you’re going to recognise the interface, or at least how to move and adjust things around on it.

Wix also comes with a website building wizard called ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) that’ll ask some questions, and then create a ready made site for you – which will be pretty good in its raw form too.

However, Wix still has a learning curve, and you’ll need to go on that journey if you want to get the most out of it.

I still remember several years ago, sitting looking at my Wix screen, new website in front of me, and didn’t have a clue what the menu options meant, or where to find and implement the page objects I wanted.

It was a learning curve as I say, and to get a really bespoke site that looks less like the stock template, and more like something uniquely your own, will take several weeks of playing around and getting familiar with everything. Especially Wix’s idiosyncrasies and temperament –  and how easy it is to snare the wrong object and suddenly throw it out of alignment or lose it behind something else.

So getting a functional website is a lot easier than with WordPress, but only if you’re happy to have pretty much the same one everyone else does (not that WordPress doesn’t suffer from this, and even more so).

Wix is a whole lot easier to place page objects anywhere you want them though, and the style options allow real customisation, and it’s in mastering those details you have to invest a bit of time.

If you’ve never used Wix, and you consider yourself a hotshot developer, you’re not just going to jump in and know what you’re doing straight away. You’ll mump and moan, but the reality is you’re unfamiliar with the tool, so you’ll want to stick with what you know, not necessarily because Wix is so limiting (it’s not) or what it produces is so bad (it’s not).

Where the development/design world likes to try and hit Wix over the head is on the SEO and code bloat issue.

I don’t know if way back when, when Wix first appeared, if it’s SEO implementation was bad, but these days it just simply isn’t. You have as much SEO control as WordPress, on the surface level for the typical user anyway.

Which is just about everyone.

The whole SEO-thing is a charge you still see levelled at Wix, and it seems to have assumed urban myth status, something that’s just accepted as true, without bothering to check if the product’s actually guilty.

I can tell you I have a Wix blog and it has plenty first page and top ranking Google placements above WordPress sites.

So it’s not Wix per se, and WordPress doesn’t possess magical SEO powers that Google is biased to, and thus ranks higher, regardless of the content.

Google doesn’t give a damn what platform your content is on and stated publicly that it has zero problem crawling and indexing Wix sites.

There’s affiliate huckster programs (Empower and Kalatu) still claiming their blogging platform is more Google-friendly, and thus more ‘powerful’ than WordPress. The same folks who’d rip Empower for making a nonsense claim like that are still happy to make similar claims of WordPress in relation to Wix though.

Wix did a SEO challenge last Christmas as well, with significant prize money, trying to put this subject to rest, but still it’s parroted that Wix is in some way SEO deficient.

Me, I’ve not seen it if it exists, and wouldn’t say the SEO charge is reason not to consider Wix.

Wix is fiddly, though. You get two layout versions to have to set, one for desktop and one for mobile. The mobile version can be a pain to model, especially starting off with what Wix thinks is a best-guess interpretation of it.

If you add anything new to page, it’s anyone’s guess where it will end up in the mobile version, and if you have a lot of page elements, be prepared for a lot of re-work dragging and moving things around.

Like a lot of work if you have a big page, and while you can capture and move elements as a group, if you miss something, it’ll get left behind and it can hard to find again! It’s very flexible for sure, but with that you’ve got drawbacks too, and that’s one of them.

The nice thing about that though, is that your site definitely doesn’t have to resemble the grid layout of WordPress, and you really do have complete freedom to place anything, anywhere you want it, with ease.

Once you get the hang of Wix, it is a very nice tool to use. It’s like painting a website into life.

If you’re completely new to web design, you won’t go far wrong with Wix in my opinion, but you won’t just jump in and be adept straight away.

If you’re not that familiar with MS Office then you may still struggle, and even if you are, just because you can use MS Word, doesn’t mean you’ll be okay either.

Wix makes web design easy for sure, but like any tool, you still need to get to grips with it.

Wix will take care of all your backups, system updates, and applications behind the scenes. Likewise security isn’t your issue to guard against in terms of patches and version releases, and you don’t have to worry about any of that.

There’s an application market for additional functionality, and unlike WordPress plugins, the apps have to pass quality control and are vetted by Wix. If anything goes wrong, Wix will see that it’s fixed for you.

The downside is that the app market is small in comparison to the thousands of apps available for WordPress, and while some may have a free version, just about all of them will require you to pay a subscription for them to work as you’ll really need them to.

Perhaps he biggest drawback of Wix though, is that once you’ve decided on a template for your website – restaurant, photography, retail, blog etc. – you won’t be able to change it. To see how it looks in some other format, you’ve got to start again.

Once you get familiar with Wix, that’s not so bad, as you can work around it to a certain extent, but templates do impose certain structures that it can be hard to fully get rid off if you decide you should’ve chosen another look and then try and recreate it in the template you’ve chosen, rather than scrap your work and start again.

There’s nothing wrong with using Wix, and in the hands of a good page designer, you can have a great looking website.

WordPress

I like WordPress. It’s block building, or at least that’s how I think of it in these days of responsive web design and the themes to go along with it.

And these days you don’t have to get your hands dirty in code, you can plug in (quite literally) a page builder to shift everything around on the page for you.

To a certain extent.

Those page builders though, I think they take a lot of getting used to, even the supposedly ‘visual’ ones.

If that’s too much, as in difficult, you can buy a whole laid out template from Envato, and get a ready-made site.

Or you can contract the services of a web developer, which will please the web developers, but not really anyone else who just wants a half decent looking website-blog.

I think if you’re moving from WordPress to Wix, you’ll make the transition a lot easier than going the other way. Folks coming from Wix to WordPress tend to give up faster and run back to what they know rather than persevere.

And I don’t blame them.

At first nothing seems easy or intuitive with WordPress. You’re bouncing around the dashboard, the page, the nooks and crannies where various options are to be found (and not always in the same place).

Adding menus, configuring plugin settings, shortcodes, none of it will be familiar. And that’s before you get to shoving widgets around trying to figure out how to get your theme to look like something bearing some resemblance to the theme demo.

And the how-to on the theme documentation page won’t mean anything.

You’re in for a much, much steeper learning curve with WordPress than you ever are with Wix.

Not just necessarily with WordPress itself, as depending on your host, you may have to install WordPress and configure backups etc yourself too.

Without a little help, you’re going to be totally lost.

SiteRubix takes cares of some of that heavy lifting for you, but once you get logged in, you’re in the same place as everyone else.

But, WordPress was made for blogging, that’s it’s raison d’être, and it does that well.

It makes a good website too, when you get the hang of it, but if you don’t want to learn HTML, JavaScript and CSS you’ll be using plugins.

There’s thousands of them too, and being open source as WordPress is, anyone can make one available.

Meaning the quality of these add-ons is as wide and varied as the functionality of the plugins themselves.

They can conflict, interfere and even completely crash your site! And that’s the good ones!

But WordPress is considered a step-up from Wix – probably because it’s harder – like UNIX/Windows servers, but like a lot technology, the gap closes.

I don’t mean to be bashing on WordPress, I like it, but like a family member, I know it too.

Costs

Wix is a one-stop shop. You can get your domain name, hosting and website all in the one place.

Of course you can do that with WordPress too, but with Wix you won’t have to pay to implement any of their website templates, whereas nearly all themes you’ll have to pay for if you want to move up to the “pro” version.

With Wix, you won’t be left scratching your head either once you’ve chosen a template: you’ll get a website within a minutes.

With WordPress, once you’ve chosen your theme, as above, you may be left wondering quite what happened to the slick page you saw on the theme demo as you stare at the less than inspiring home page that’s usually presented.

But assuming you go with a free theme, then decent hosting like SiteGround will run you about £70 inc VAT for the year for the Grow Big package… but you can get hosting cheaper. Just remember it’s cheaper for a reason though, and you don’t want your site up and down like a yo-yo or loading at a snail’s pace.

Wix will run you about £112 in VAT annually on their unlimited plan, but the combo plan would suffice for a blog initially at around £75 I reckon.

Where WordPress wins out price-wise is that most hosting will allow you more than one domain. So for the one annual fee, you can create as many websites as your subscription allows. With Wix, your subscription applies to one site only, and if you want another, you’re going to have to pay full price for it again. They do free hosting, but you’re probably not going to want your site emblazoned with Wix advertising or prefixed with a Wix domain name. Not if you want to look professional.

In terms of speed, most WordPress sites are shared hosting, as is Wix, and although you can get dedicated hosting it’s not worth the expense (unless you become massive and get millions of hits a month).

Wix gets some stick again on its load times, but that’s full load, and from the user’s perspective the site won’t appear unduly slow. WordPress won’t load any faster on bad hosting but a simple blog probably will load faster in tests than Wix, but it shouldn’t be deal breaker faster.

Verdict

In this instance, I really don’t have a winner.

If you want your own little affiliate blog then I’d say either will do the job for you, and it’s down to what you’re happiest in using and gets you set-up and online with least pain, rather than the cost.

Because the ease of use of Wix may be worth the bit more you pay to some people. I understand that.

If you want a small business website, something like a calling card site for your plumbing site say, I’d probably advise Wix if you plan on doing it yourself.

If it’s a site for your gift store and you intend selling its products online too, then I’d say WordPress.

But for a blog, you can go either way in my opinion, because the keywords will work the same for both and so will the content.


If you’re looking for a WordPress hosting and training solution, SiteRubix is the platform/solution provided within Wealthy Affiliate.

On top of that, you get a keyword planning tool, community support and discussion, and training in all areas of affiliate marketing and website development.

So if you’re looking to monetise your blog, or explore affiliate marketing, there’s no better resource than Wealthy Affiliate.

There’s no credit card sign-up required to join, your email will suffice, and you’ll get a week of full membership which is more than enough time to look around and see if it’s for you. After that, your membership will revert to the basic level.

It costs nothing, so check it out and see if Wealthy Affiliate is for you.


Recommended further reading:

I read this one a few years ago now, but the principles remain the same, and it’s a cheap buy.

How to make money bloggingHow To Make Money Blogging

How I Replaced My Day Job With My Blog

By Bob Lotich

3 comments

  • Brandon

    I’m more of a WordPress kind of guy. I started with WordPress and I’m not breaking up our great friendship we’ve grown together 😛 I have not tried Wix, however, I do not need to. I’ve used WP for so long, it has everything I need, it’s used by most bloggers all around the world and they are constantly evolving. What more could you want? Great article, well worth the read!

  • Darcy

    I use Wix for quite a few months, but had to give it up because I just about went broke. The prices didn’t agree with me. I felt I was paying to much for what I was getting. I do love their themes though! They are gorgeous and lots to chose from. I use WordPress mostly for its great comment system and the ability to create customer account websites. Wix doesn’t have those abilities. (At least they didn’t when I used them last.)

    Excellent article!

  • I started with Wix several years ago for my small business website and LOVE IT! Its so easy to use once you play around with it for a bit. I am now planning to start a blog and have heard WordPress is the way to go. However, for me, after browsing through their site several times, I am running back to Wix as you said I would. 🙂 I would much rather pay a higher price for ease of use. Plus, the mobile site editor has been improved on Wix. It used to be an absolute nightmare. But I just redesigned my site, and it was a piece of cake. Super easy to use without the incessant overlapping issues like before. Thanks for the article. Great overview of both options!

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