Wix, Shopify, or WordPress?
You’ve no idea how many times we get asked which of these is best. It’s often asked by business owners wondering how to set up a website for their company and unable to see how the three differ.
Here, we’ve put down insights into each website builder in writing, comparing the trio’s features, strengths, and weaknesses. This way, you can figure out which option is best for your business’s actual needs.
Let’s start with Wix before moving on to Shopify, and finally to WordPress.
Right off the bat, we can tell you that Wix is probably the easiest to use of the three. That makes it very popular, as even beginner webmasters can figure out its drag-and-drop interface very quickly.
Adding to that is that it has a plethora of templates and themes available. That can drastically speed up your website creation if you’re not very design-savvy.
It also stands in its favour that it’s the only one of the three options with a built-in Design Assistant. This is a function that creates and prefills site drafts with content for you, letting you skip staging when testing drafts.
Moreover, Wix is fairly affordable. It technically has a free plan, but that comes with Wix ads, low bandwidth and storage limits, and no Google Analytics.
In all likelihood, businesses would instead use its ad-free Business plans, the cheapest of which offers unlimited bandwidth and 20GB of storage space for just $23 or USD 17 per month.
Now, it might sound like everything is
rosy thus far, but every website builder has weaknesses. For example, changing e-commerce templates on Wix isn’t as easy as it is on, say, Shopify. That can make rebranding your online store a bit of a chore.
Moreover, there’s no such thing as site transfer to other website builders on Wix. You can’t make a website on Wix and expect to transfer it to WordPress, as an example.
So, what about Shopify? Well, this is a website builder designed for e-commerce… and it really shows. It has easily the most powerful store management and inventory tools of the lot!
There are a tonne of templates and themes for e-commerce here too. Sure, Wix has more templates, but Shopify beats it in ones designed specifically for online stores. The Shopify templates for such sites also tend to be even cleaner.
What’s more, Shopify was designed for better scalability for e-commerce. This means that you can use it to design much larger online stores than the other two builders.
Shopify also offers more payment gateway options for online stores than its competitors. Again, this is an advantage if the site you’re building is actually a digital shop.
The downside of Shopify being focused on business users from the get-go is that it’s a bit expensive. Entry price is around $40 or USD 29, and even the themes can be more expensive.
It also doesn’t have a free plan option, though it does have a free trial. That’s probably understandable because of its niche, though.
Finally, it also has perhaps the weakest blogging tools of the lot. That may be a problem for some businesses, say the ones that focus on brand- and authority-building through content online.
Let’s mention a few quick things before we get into WordPress: it’s actually a Content Management System or CMS. That’s technically different from a website builder, even if it can cover much the same functions as one.
Furthermore, there are two versions of it: WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
The .com version is a self-hosting platform where you can build your site. The .org one is a free version but requires you to get your own website hosting provider.
What does this actually mean for your purposes? Since you don’t need to know the technicalities, these are the only things worth taking away from that:
It’s not strictly a website builder but can be used to build websites.
Because it’s not really a website builder, it doesn’t come with a default drag-and-drop interface. Its focus is content, so building sites with it usually requires a lot of typing.
We’ll review the .org version here because it’s the one most people are more interested in.
Anyway, WordPress gets its popularity from being used to build a tonne of blogs. As such, it’s perfect for businesses that need a strong blogging platform or that focus on online content.
Another strength of the platform is that it’s actually highly customisable. However, because the interface isn’t really designed for outright website building, some people can find it a bit clunky to use.
It’s also probably the weakest of the three when it comes to ecommerce designs. It just wasn’t designed to do online stores, and you can see that when using it.
To add to that, it doesn’t come with free hosting options. The .com version technically does, but that also comes with pricing plans for use.
On the bright side, using the .org version is actually free. If you consider that you can get cheap hosting now for around $4 a month and your own domain name for $15 as a one-time purchase, it still comes out as the cheapest option.
Moreover, it’s the only one of the three to offer live chat support. Technically, they all come with support, but Wix and Shopify use only email, phone, and forum (which WordPress also offers).
Which one is for you?
Now we come to the real query: which one should you use?
In a nutshell, we’d suggest Wix for websites for services, small businesses, and those running only small online stores (if you really can’t stand Shopify, anyway).
Those with more structured teams, larger e-commerce sites, and a large number of item SKUs in their inventory are better off with Shopify. That’s true too if you want better integration with Google Ads.
And finally, choose WordPress if you want a highly customisable and flexible but somewhat less user-friendly and more maintenance-heavy site with strong blogging features.
It will ultimately depend on your circumstances and preferences, of course. And there are many other options, from headless CMSs like Strapi to entirely customised and complicated tech-stacks—but we honestly only recommend those for businesses with a lot of resources and massive traffic.
It’s best to start off with user-friendly options that you know you can handle as well as maintain. Wix, Shopify, and WordPress are all capable of scaling to suit most businesses’ needs.
If you think you still need more help choosing one of them or with setting up your website, though, reach out to us. We can help you with that as well as all of your digital marketing needs!