So, it’s come to this. I can’t overstate the popularity of Wix and WordPress.com: both are extremely popular content management systems (CMS).
The former is known for being a major pioneer and force in easy website building. The latter is known for being the go-to website builder for many blogs, though “ordinary” websites also use it frequently.
Note: technically, there are two types of WordPress. The first is WordPress.org, which is a free and open source software for content management. Using WordPress.org requires more stuff on your end, namely getting hosting and getting a domain name from different parties.
The second is WordPress.com: this is a commercial version of WordPress that looks very similar but works more like a paid CMS. WordPress.com is a one-stop-shop, meaning paying for it includes hosting and domain names (like Wix).
In this review, I’ll be talking about WordPress.com, and I’ll be referring to it just as WordPress.
In any case, these two really are giants. Wix claims to have had 110 million users in 2017. WordPress is frequently said to power 32% of websites on the internet (meaning both WordPress.com and WordPress.org), but figures for WordPress.com specifically are harder to come by. One estimate is that 37 million sites use WordPress.com.
So which one is better? Which one should you trust with building your website? Both Wix and WordPress have free versions, making the choice even more complicated.
Both are easy to use. Both obviously have benefitted countless millions of users. How can anyone weigh these two greats of site-building against each other?
Well, keep reading. Because I’m going to do just that.
Our first point of concern: the price. What do the respective products of WordPress and Wix cost? The answer has a lot to do with their tremendous popularity.
Wix and WordPress are both known for having a “freemium” model—you can get a free account and use some of the tools, but you’ll have to pay to upgrade and get the real thing (a domain name, SEO tools, etc).
Wix’s pricing structure is a little more complex than WordPress’s, so let’s tackle it first. If you want to have a full account with Wix, you can get either premium website plans or premium business and e-commerce plans.
The most basic premium plan is $5 a month and basically lets you connect a domain—it’s the most minor upgrade from a free account. Combo, the second tier, is $11 a month, and Unlimited is the third tier at $14. The fourth tier, VIP, is $29 a month.
The premium e-commerce plans have three tiers, not four: Business Basic at $20 a month, Business Unlimited at $25, and Business VIP at $35. Higher tiers increase storage, come with unlimited bandwidth, and have more marketing tools or other bonuses.
And WordPress? WordPress has three paid plans and one free one. The first paid plan, Personal, starts at $4 a month. Premium, the second tier, is $8, and Business comes in at $25. That’s about it for WordPress’s pricing structure.
To put it succinctly, Wix and WordPress have very closely priced plans. They both have free versions, their first paid plans are a dollar apart, and the latter tiers are only a few bucks apart.
With pricing this close, one can’t really describe one platform as cheaper than another on price tags alone—for that, we’ll need to get into features.
As it stands so far, both platforms are closely priced and enormously popular. For help in distinguishing them further, let’s turn to the features they offer.
I’ll start with WordPress. The free WordPress plan comes with the “Jetpack Essential” features—which is the most basic tools of site maintenance, like seeing activity on your site, visitors, etc—some free themes and basic customization. All subsequent plans come with the Jetpack Essentials.
Free plans also get 3GB of storage space, do not have their own domains, and have WordPress.com advertising. You can remove them by upgrading to a paid plan.
The first real tier/paid plan, Personal, is very similar. However, it comes with email and live chat support, 6GB of storage space, the removal of ads, and a custom domain name.
Premium and Business, the last two tiers (at $8 and $25 respectively) make more significant changes to the features.
Users get access to all the premium themes, get more advanced design customization, more storage space, and some eCommerce tools (like site monetization, simple payment processing).
I think for simple bloggers, WordPress is great—that’s why it’s so popular among bloggers, after all. Its free package is pretty generous, and the first tier is pretty okay—however, I think they should have more customization tools or templates available for entry-level paying customers.
Additionally, limiting storage to only 13GB for Premium accounts sounds a bit stingy to me. The fact that you can only remove WordPress branding, install plugins, or use SEO tools by upgrading to the highest tier is also a little unfair to my mind.
Wix’s free account is similar to WordPress in that it is mostly the core website builder with the company subdomain.
The first paid tier, Connect Domain, lets you add your own domain name and allows for 1GB of bandwidth and 500MB of storage.
Combo, the second tier, doubles the bandwidth allowance and increases storage to 3GB. It also removes ads, much like Personal on WordPress.
Unlimited and VIP are the latter two tiers for Wix’s premium website plans, and they primarily increase make bandwidth allowance unlimited, increase storage (to 10GB and 20GB), increase the amount of video time that can be uploaded, and improve customer support and email capabilities (including email marketing campaigns).
The business and eCommerce premium accounts on Wix all have unlimited bandwidth, Google analytics, payment processing, free domains for the first year, ad vouchers, even better email capabilities and more storage (20—50GB).
Needless to say, if I think WordPress is being a little stingy with its storage, allocations, I think Wix is even more so. I have to give these two a break because they’re primarily website builders and content management systems, and not focused as much on the hosting itself.
With WordPress, one can suppose users would typically be adding content regularly—especially bloggers. This might not be as much the case with Wix, so perhaps the storage differences are justifiable in that sense.
Storage and bandwidth allocations aside, I think WordPress is better featured for its free and first tier plans.
While WordPress might be roughly better for the free and first tiers, Wix has much better site building and design/customization capabilities at those tiers.
Wix also takes it with the remaining tiers, and it’s also nice to have more options to choose from. Those with eCommerce interests in particular will find strengths with Wix.
I would say that based on features alone, WordPress is better for bloggers overall (this is probably obvious). Wix, however, is better for creating most other websites, including small and personal ones. For eCommerce purposes, Wix takes it hands down.
Ease of Use
The massive popularity of both WordPress and Wix is something of a giveaway to how easy to use they are. If you don’t know already, you’ve probably guessed it: they are both very easy to use.
More than that, ease of use is part of their identities. So which one wins?
To be frank, I can’t really compare. They are both incredible easy to use: the only differences are in their designs and UIs, which could appeal to users differently.
I can say that Wix is easier for general site creation whereas WordPress is easier for blogging. Obvious, right? Don’t get me wrong. If you’re looking for it, you can blog with Wix without much trouble. And WordPress has very easy site creation tools.
However, Wix lets you get much more hands on with your website earlier into the game (meaning with lower tiers) without any trouble. You work with more templates, and far more editing options even from the free account—and it’s still as easy to use as WordPress, if not more so.
In contrast, WordPress is pushing you to make your first post from the moment you set up your account.
It’s not a bad thing, but ease of use does reveal the respective strengths of these two platforms.
Overall, I’ll just say it’s a tie: both Wix and WordPress are excellent examples of what ease of use in online solutions should look like.
If they’re both super easy to use, there probably isn’t too much of a need for customer support…just kidding! It’s a bit true, but strong customer support is always important. Do these two keep up their close competition?
First off, representatives from both platforms are very solid, though your options for contacting them differs somewhat. WordPress does not have any phone support, but it does have live chat and email support for all paying tiers.
In contrast, Wix only offers phone support and ticket support, and has no live chat option. This is rather unfortunate, but in the end, both WordPress and Wix each cover two out of the three main options—so it just depends on which you prefer.
I will say, however, that both live chat, ticketing/email, and phone support have been pretty great with both WordPress and Wix. I do think Wix’s representatives have been a bit more helpful, but I’m not sure how much I should attribute that to chance or Wix itself.
As far as onsite information goes, both Wix and WordPress perform well, just for different reasons.
Both have a good collection of informational articles, but in my opinion Wix’s Help Center is both much better organized and contains better content.
The WordPress support page is still useful, but not as robust as Wix’s Help Center.
Where WordPress does excel is its incredible online community. Because of its massive popularity, both WordPress.com and WordPress.org have probably the most useful forums and answer pages on the internet. There is of course the official WordPress forum but that’s only a fraction of the stuff online.
A lot of support can be found unofficially in a variety of places. A quick Google will illustrate the point well. Wix also has a vibrant online community—one of the best and biggest in the SaaS world—but the immensity of the WordPress community is hard to compete with.
In sum, I would say both Wix and WordPress have very good customer support representatives, but Wix could take a slight lead.
For online information, Wix has better official documentation and support, but WordPress has a larger and more helpful online community than Wix. To put it in general terms, they both have great customer support.
Security and Reliability
From pricing to customer support, Wix and WordPress just won’t let up with their close competition. At every turn they seem determined to excel, and security and reliability are some of the best examples of that.
Wix doesn’t talk much about its security on its website—this is unfortunate, but not uncommon with some companies. In my experience, Wix security has been fine.
WordPress names a few of its security measures: encryption by default for all sites, firewalls, DDoS attack measures, regular data backups, and the like. You can also download your WordPress data at any account level, a sort of manual backup.
How about the regular performance of Wix and WordPress? How is their uptime? We’ve tested both for this solid measure of performance and server security.
You can see our Wix site’s latest Uptime here
As you can see, both our uptime and response time with Wix has been very good.
You can see our WordPress site’s latest Uptime here.
And as you can see, our uptime and response time with WordPress has also been excellent—perhaps a bit more so.
I’m hesitant to declare WordPress an outright victor. Both WordPress and Wix have had three months of perfect uptime. While Wix has had one month with a few minutes of downtime, we’ve also been formally testing Wix a month longer.
I also don’t think a 100ms difference is so noteworthy—it’s when the difference is in the hundreds that I take note.
Overall both Wix and WordPress have great uptime and response times in our measurements—better than most hosting websites we’ve tested, which is surprising.
I’d say WordPress leads slightly for security and reliability, but that overall both Wix and WordPress are very secure and perform very well.
Even if you’ve only been skimming, you probably understand how top notch WordPress and Wix are in site building and freemium models. Let’s go over the big points…
Wix and WordPress are very closely priced. When someone takes features into account, WordPress might be better for the free tier and first paid plan. Generally speaking, WordPress is better for casual bloggers, unsurprisingly.
However, Wix is much better for anyone interested in earning money off their site, with more eCommerce plans and tools to choose from. Wix is also better for overall site design, so those who want to blog but are highly invested in design might find a better option in Wix.
As far as ease of use goes, the two are about equally easy to use—Wix is more impressive for how easy it is to create and customize pages, and WordPress is easier for anyone who wants to start blogging right away without any steps.
When it comes to customer support, things are close but more nuanced. Wix and WordPress both have solid representatives available, at least in my experience. WordPress has a better online community, even off the official site resources, but Wix has much better official documentation and resources.
Finally, as far as security and reliability go, they’re still about tied. WordPress might have better response times, but by a slim margin, and in my opinion the jury is still out on the uptime comparisons.
The good news is they both have better uptime and response times than most major hosting companies in our tests.
In short, I would recommend WordPress to those interested casual, personal, or otherwise small-time blogging.
I would recommend Wix to basically everyone else: those who want any other type of site, those who want highly customizable and well-designed blogs, and anyone looking to make money off their site.