Wix versus WordPress: which is better?

Wix versus WordPress: which is better?

I compare cost, designer, optimisation and more

If there’s one thing I get asked by my SEO students at least once a week, it’s ‘Are Wix websites any good for SEO?’

And I get it. Wix is an easy to use platform that allows even the least technical beast to build a site quickly and easily.

I know that you want it to be great for SEO – because then life would be so much easier. But is it?

In this episode I’m going to compare both platforms and give you my honest opinion about whether Wix is really SEO-friendly, and how it compares to my favourite platform: WordPress.

Tune in to learn:

  • My previous experience with Wix.
  • How Wix stacks up against WordPress in terms of:
    • Cost
    • Usability
    • Optimisation
    • Design
    • Plugins and apps
    • Shops
    • Support
    • Maintenance

 

PRICE:

wix pricing

Wix

  • The basic Wix website builder is free but comes with branded advertisements on your site.
  • You cannot have a custom domain name for your site with the free version, so your site will be username.wix.com/sitename
  • The basic plan also doesn’t have any additional features.
  • The premium plan is around US $12.50 a month at time of recording and gives you a free domain, the ability to remove ads, a favicon, and a couple of apps, form builder and site booster.
  • You’ll need to upgrade for an eCommerce store.

WordPress

  • WordPress software is free, but you’ll need to buy a domain name and hosting for your site.
  • Cheap hosting on Siteground is around $5 a month.
  • You get free designs, but most likely you’ll want to buy a sexier theme.
  • I’m a big fan of Divi, which comes in at around $80 or more for lifetime access.

The winner:

I’d say it’s pretty equal from a start out point of view, obviously the more complex your site the more it will cost.

USABILITY

Wix

Wix is super easy to use: you can simply drag and drop elements onto your page, and then interact with those elements to change the colour or the font or whatever.

WordPress

  • WordPress has a visual editor, but it’s a bit harder to get your head around.
  • Content formatting is pretty easy, with a menu similar of that in Microsoft Word.
  • But if you want the drag and drop, you have to get a page-builder theme. Again, I recommend Divi.
  • Divi allows you to add modules to build out your page, or grab free layouts already set up to create cool looking sales pages and contact forms.

The winner:

Wix wins here: it’s MUCH easier to use – you don’t need to worry about hosting or backups or security or plugins and themes.

OPTIMISATION

From a site optimisation point of view, there’s lots we need to consider, so I’ve made a big list.

THE BIG STUFF

WORDPRESS WIX
Online stores YES YES
Responsive layouts YES YES
SSL Certificates YES YES
Ability to add Google Analytics code YES YES
Ability to verify with GSC YES YES
Speedy load times YES – with some additional work YES ish

 

ON-PAGE SEO

WORDPRESS WIX
H1 tag YES You have to use the HTML element to add heading, which is a bit of a pain
Sub header editing YES YES
Unique page titles YES YES
Unique meta descriptions YES YES
Image alt text YES YES
SEO-friendly URLs YES YES
Ability to edit URLs YES YES
Custom domain YES Only with paid version
Optimisation scoring NO NO
Focus keyword NO NO

 

LINKS

WORDPRESS WIX
Canonical URLs YES NO*
No index. No follow URLs YES YES
301 redirects YES YES

* This is important from a duplicate content point of view, and if that doesn’t make sense to you. head back to Episode 19.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA AND BLOGGING

WORDPRESS WIX
Featured image for social* YES – with plugin NO
Social sharing buttons YES – with plugin YES
Facebook open graph* YES – with plugin NO
Twitter open graph YES – with plugin YES
Integrated blog YES YES
Blog categories YES YES
Blog tags YES YES

 

* Open Graph allows integration between Facebook and its user data and a website. By integrating Open Graph tags into your page’s content, you can identify which elements of your page you want to show when someone share’s your page.

GEEKY STUFF

WORDPRESS WIX
Robots.txt YES NO
Sitemap YES WIX generates an automatic sitemap for you but you can’t access it or customise it
Schema and structured data* YES NO
AMP support** YES YES
CDN option ** YES YES

 

* Listen to episode 5 with Tony Mcreath.
** Listen to episode 6 with Dawn Anderson
*** Listen to episode 17 with Vahe Arabain.

The winner:

WordPress. Nuff said.

DESIGN

Wix

  • Wix has 500+ pre-made templates to choose from.
  • All responsive and written in HTML5 – that’s a good thing!
  • You can customise your design and change the layout.

WordPress

  • Thousands of free and paid themes – it’s all about choosing a theme with good support.

The winner:

WordPress – the sheer volume of choice makes it the hands down winner.


PLUGINS AND APPS

Wix

  • 200+ apps you can add to your site – adding galleries, forms, comments and mailing lists.
  • Most are free, others have monthly payments.

WordPress

  • Around 40k of free plugins – pretty much everything as well as some complex plugins.

The winner:

WordPress – again sheer volume of choice makes it the hands down winner.


SHOPS

Wix

  • Offers ecommerce paid plan.
  • You can accept payments with Paypal.

WordPress

  • You can add a store using Woocommerce or other plugins.
  • Lots of payment gateways.
  • Expensive but great support.
  • Integrates with heaps of platforms.

The winner:

Yes, you need a plugin, but that still makes WordPress the winner.

SUPPORT

Wix

Have a support team to troubleshoot issues, and a forum – lots of resources in the Help Centre.

WordPress

  • Lots of forums, lots of FB groups, most common WP problems can be answered there.
  • Individual plugins for support.

The winner:

Equal – WordPress requires a little more effort, but there are many more people to help.

 

MAINTENANCE

Wix

  • The Wix team manages everything: all the updates and back-up, so you don’t have to do anything.
  • You’re paying for peace of mind.

WordPress

  • Does require quite a fair bit of maintenance to keep up to date.
  • Not updating themes and plugins could cause issues.

The winner:

Wix – it’s maintenance free – at a small monthly price.

*UPDATED

Early from Technobird pointed out that you can add a social image on Wix for Facebook but not other platforms. Thanks for the correction Karly.

Summary

I guess it comes down to horses for courses.

WordPress is powerful and flexible – you can literally build anything you want and can be in complete control – but it can be hard to learn – unless you take my awesome course, and even as a DIYer, you may need the help of a developer to do the more complex things.

Wix is less stressful and easier for non-techies, but you’ll be forever at the mercy of the Wix platform – you won’t be free!

After all my research and time, I’m still a true blue WordPress girl. Yes Wix has definitely improved, but it’s still not a patch on WP.
Sorry Wixers!

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And big thanks to Amy Wyhoon for her lovely review.

  • Bec Waterhouse

    What it comes down to for me is, as you said, you don’t own your site on Wix. If they shut up shop you’re in trouble.

    Yes, if your web host goes bye bye it’ll be difficult but you’ve got access to your own backups (because you’re backing up to the cloud right, right?) so get your site set up again fairly quickly. If you’re following best practice you’ve also got your domain registered with someone other than your web host so switching your DNS to point to a new site should be easy and you’re back in business.

    • Yes I think that’s the main thing for me, the lack of ownership and the lack of control.
      I guess the truth is that lots of people don’t WANT the control and don’t care about the ownership – they want an easier life 🙂

      But I love getting my hands dirty with WP. Thanks for listening.

  • Great comparison Kate. I am going to send anyone looking at Wix and WordPress to this page to get a balanced overview. Thank you!!

    • Thanks Nik – I’m really flattered that you liked it.

  • Tara-Tamiko

    Kate, you’re far too gracious! I’m one of those who will slate people for using Wix. Generally because they come to me for help and aI can’t. Help them. I’ve rebuilt sites for free to get them away from Wix and I have two clients who are moaning about have to switch to WordPress.

    Yet, they came to me because they can’t rank! They don’t understand why! Well…even though Wix clearly has upped their game – thanks for the info…didn’t know Wix could play nicely with Google Analytics now – the truth is as you said in the pod: Do you want to build your business on someone elses land?

    Another thing to consider, as put by a Redditor: If your website’s no.1 priority is the usability for and not your audience, you’re doing it wrong!

    Great info…thank you!

    • Hey I didn’t think I was gracious just open minded and honest :-).

      I obviously prefer WordPress and recommend it to everyone. Dang I even have a course on how how to build an SEO friendly WordPress site.

      But I’m a bit tired or people dismissing Wix out of hand – hence the pod.

  • dig2000

    This is an excellent and thorough comparison of the two services. I’m a WordPress person and I appreciate seeing the plus points for WIX. A good point to remember, no matter what platform you use, your content needs to be great to stand out for SEO. I’m big on flexibility so I go with WordPress for the ease of growing my site and the community that supports it. It’s more elbow grease but I like the options I have in WP.

    • Hi yes I’m a WP girl at the end of the day and like getting my hands dirty, but I agree it’s nice to know the pros and cons of Wix, rather than dismissing it out of hand.

  • Great comparison, Kate! Although my main sites run on WordPress I don’t see anything wrong with using a Wix site for something smaller where I don’t want to run updates all the time. They are really much better now in terms of SEO than they were 1-2 years ago. Did you see their latest announcement, Wix Code? This might be quite interesting for someone like you who doesn’t mind a bit of coding.