Wix vs WordPress for Blog Hosting
I recently wrote an article walking you through the steps to set up a blog on Wix. Shortly after I received a few reader questions asking me why I chose Wix over WordPress and a hosting site like Bluehost so I figured I'd share what I learned about Wix vs WordPress for blog hosting.
Wix vs WordPress for Blog Hosting
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging and website platforms in the world. It should be, the product is free and comes with a ton of available plug-ins and development tools because of the robust community that utilizes the platform. What's more, a healthy portion of the most popular blogs out there recommends Bluehost and WordPress to get your blog set up. They tout a super cheap price for Bluehost ($2.95/month) and send you on your way. What they don't tell folks is that Bluehost is only a small part of getting your site set up and to take advantage of all the features the Bluehost/WordPress combination has to offer you will be purchasing plug-ins, Googling how to use tools, and/or paying for professional help to get your site setup and running properly.
That is why I chose Wix because they take all those headaches and costing uncertainty out of the equation. All the tools you need to get your blog up and running fast are available in a few clicks. You don't need professional help and the core features you need are available for free! Below are the Pros and Cons of each, a costing comparison, and a quick final summary.
Wix is really a one-stop-shop for everything a blog could need. An easy to use set-up interface gets your site up quickly. The additional features the come with a premium subscription are amazing as well. You get vouchers for Google Ads and Bing, free hosting, a free business email address, and a ton of additional free features. A free version of Wix allows you to test things out if you aren't certain of your plan from the get-go (you won't have access to all features, but the basics will be available for you).
A template builder allows you to make site-wide changes, with a few clicks, if you don't like the look and feel of your site. Wix consistently receives high marks for hosting and site uptime as well. They help you optimize your site and articles for SEO through a quick 5-step process with built-in tools every step of the way.
If you want to launch an ecomm site they have a robust toolkit for billing and store setup. They support direct payments without the need for a payment plug-in. They also have inventory and shipping ops tools as well. Not to mention the fact that they can help you handle taxation as well.
The last pro for Wix is their support structure. They have a great help center, quickly respond to emails, and have a robust international community of users who have solved most, if not all, issues you may run into.
WordPress is a content management system with a robust community of users. The basic functionality is easy to use and allows a variety of design options. Because WordPress is utilized by so many websites worldwide it is constantly getting updated and additional plug-ins. The backend support is robust and your site will be stable.
Similar to Wix is the support community so if you ever have an issue you can quickly Google it and find your answer quickly (probably even a YouTube video to make it even easier to fix/get an answer).
Because Wix is a privately held company without open-source code the feature list isn't quite the same as WordPress. You have to rely on the Wix development team to identify and prioritize new features vs request it on Github, for example. At times the editor tool can be difficult to understand and use (the ADI tool solves for this, but with limited features).
Nearly every feature you want on your WordPress site is a plug-in which typically requires a new user name and password for these additional tools. Many of the most popular plug-ins come at a cost to you (and are a part of your Wix subscription).
Being open-source leaves WordPress vulnerable and attractive to potential hackers. If you aren't familiar with a particular plug-in you are leaving yourself open to problems. If you don't install your updates regularly, again you leave your site vulnerable.
Certain customizations can bog down your site and some of the themes include unnecessary code that, again, can slow your site.
This is where things get tricky! There is a great breakdown in this blog under the "How much does it cost to start a blog" section which is about 10% of the way down the page. Since there is WordPress.org and WordPress.com the various prices are broken out along with the first year cost of Wix. As you can see the initial year on Wix is around twice as much as either WordPress option. What isn't explained or added is the cost of plug-ins and themes which can both get pricey. Wix on the other hand has 100s of themes and plug-ins that are included in their premium subscription (the type of subscription I recommend if you are starting a blog).
I'm obviously biased toward Wix (the subscription version because of the tools available) because this site is built utilizing the tool. The initial cost may look higher on Wix, but after you add hosting costs, a custom email, and a variety of plug-ins on WordPress to have your site function similarly to a Wix site you find out that Wix is a better deal. The feature sets are similar enough for a blog that it was a no brainer for me to choose Wix above WordPress to build The Saving Dude.
For comparison's sake, I think of Wix as an iPhone and WordPress as an Android device. Both have a ton of amazing features and can definitely do things the other can't. Similar to Apple, Wix has a closed ecosystem that protects your site. It also is highly focused on design elements and ease of use. All the more reason for me to choose Wix as my website host of choice.