I've been designing and developing websites since 2004, creating websites in Wordpress and large stores in Bigcommerce. I knew basic coding, but didn't know enough to develop an entire website into these advanced systems. They required custom coding, so I would do the design and hand it off to a developer to integrate for me.
The major problem I ran into, was not being able to find a reliable web developer that stuck around and provided quality coding. Some issues that arose was that the developer would go M.I.A. or they would provide a final test website that had a lot of elements that didn't match my design - and those are only a couple of examples.
When I came across Wix, it was a positive changer for me. Not only was I the one running show with my custom designs, but I didn't have to rely on a web developer. Some of my current clients had me change over their website from Wordpress to Wix and the feedback I got from the transfer was really positive. "It's much more user-friendly" to "I don't have to update plugins anymore!" to "It's much easier editing my text and images."
I get it though - Wix is not for everybody. It really depends on your website needs that may require the advanced customization that Wordpress or even a large ecommerce system like Bigcommerce offers. Having dabbled in both Wordpress and Wix for a long time, I've compiled a list of comparisons that may help make your decision easier.
Wix is by far more user-friendly and appealing to the eye. They have lots of graphics and nice layouts to make clicking your way through your admin panel easy and fun.
Wordpress doesn't have a lot of graphically pleasing elements to their admin panel and it isn't as appealing to the eye, but it does the job. Sometimes it is hard to find elements of your site to edit and it can be frustrating, since documentation is dependent upon what you receive from your web developer or videos on the web that may not be applicable to how your website was setup.
Apps and Plugins
Wix allows you to add-on apps to enhance your website. For example, you have an existing Etsy store and you want to integrate it into your website, well there is an app that allows you to add it to your website easily. You don't have to keep them updated, which really saves you the headache.
Wordpress has a similar setup, but they are called "plugins". They have a major downside to their plugin system and has been the biggest headache for my clients. Plugins need to be constantly updated or some functionalities may break on your Wordpress website. Not only that, but if they are outdated, it gives an opening for hackers to get in.
Both website systems have tons of apps and plugins to choose from including advanced forms that accept payments, to offering ticket bookings and more. Some are free and some are paid, so depending on how many add-ons you need, it could get costly.
Wix already has an eCommerce store that comes with their system. You would just need to choose the eCommerce hosting plan to activate it. Customization to styling would need to be made to match the fonts and colours of your website, but it's ready to go.
Wordpress needs to have a store custom-coded into your website for you by a web developer. There are some plugins readily available that you can just download and it works "out of the box", but they don't have advanced features unless you pay for the plugin. Even then, styling it would be a headache and requires some coding knowledge. The majority of people that are using a store on their website use Woocommerce, which needs to be integrated by a web developer for you (unless you decide to choose a ready-to-go theme by Woocommerce).
Wix has a blog system that comes with their websites, but it's basic and you can only choose from pre-existing layouts and formats. Blog visitors will need to create an account to comment on your posts.
Wordpress has a powerful blog system. It's what they are known for, actually. With a web developer, you can customize the look of everything and where they are positioned - from your sidebar list of categories to comment styling, archives, search bar, ad boxes, affiliate integrations and more. Blog visitors can comment without creating an account, which is convenient, but does open to the door to spam, unfortunately.
Member and customer logins are available for both systems, where they would be able to edit their shipping addresses, review their order history, change payment options and more.
Wix has great support as they get back to you fairly quickly, but at the current time I am writing this blog, it is by email or you can request them to call you. Hopefully they will move towards customer support by phone (you calling them) and live chat. There are tons of tutorials at their help center with step-by-step images to walk you through how to use your website, so that is great.
Wordpress support is reliant upon your agreement with your web developer, since they would be the ones that are custom coding your website into the Wordpress system for you (or whoever you purchased your Wordpress theme from). It is extremely inconvenient, especially if they are not reliable or don't get back to you. Documentation and tutorials are again based on whatever information your developer provides to you or videos online that may not be applicable to how your website was setup. For example, there are different ways to integrate photo galleries (depending on if developer is using a plugin or custom-coding the gallery editing), so there isn't a "one size fits all" documentation and ease of use can be a headache.
Edit Your Site Independently
Wix allows you to to easily make edits on your website and with their drag and drop feature, you can move around elements (like a text box) wherever you want on a website page. You can also change colours, fonts and formatting easily. Edits are made live in website mode, so you can see how it looks before publishing.
Wordpress is based on a code called CSS that styles your website. So if you wanted to change fonts and styling, you would need the developer to do it for you. It is not a drag and drop system, so you couldn't move around text boxes, images, etc., to wherever you want, since it was coded into that format for you. Edits are made from the admin panel separate from your website, so you can't see how your edits look until you go publish the page.
Wix is a user-friendly and editing it is as easy as using Microsoft Word to input images and edit text.
Wordpress may require basic knowledge of CSS and HTML to make more advanced changes, such as styling fonts, etc. However, adding/editing text and images is easy within their editing box.
Wix currently doesn't have the option for customers to have a wholesale account. A workaround for this though is to provide your wholesalers with a special coupon code that they can use at checkout.
Wordpress allows for accounts to be marked as wholesale (with the right plugin - we recommend using Woocommerce for stores). Customers would then be able to login to their account and they could see their discounted pricing.
Theme File Transfer
Wix is dependent upon using their system, so you can't download any theme files like HTML to use with another system.
Wordpress is a little different. It is first coded with HTML and CSS (development code) and then that code is integrated into the Wordpress system to allow you to edit your website by yourself. So, if you were ever to change your website to another system, you have the HTML/CSS files available, however, development would still need to be made with those files to integrate it into another system.
So the moral of the story is, whatever system you choose, try to stick with it. You likely will need to start again with either one, if you are moving to another system.
Wix is protected and your site is secure (https) and is operated from logging into their website. There are no hacking concerns here.
Wordpress is a huge headache in this area. Since this system is being installed directly on your domain, it is up to you to keep your plugins updated, your passwords changed and your site secure, so you are not susceptible to hacking. This has been one of the biggest issues my clients had to deal with.
My biased opinion leans more towards Wix because that is what I develop websites in and I'm done with the headaches of Wordpress, however, it is not the right fit for everyone. Here is just a summary of some of their pros and cons:
Pros for Wix
Easy to edit
You can set up a basic website by yourself
Includes customer service and support
Lots of apps to choose from to enhance your site
Customers can create accounts
Lots of step-by-step tutorials with images to help
Cons for Wix
Doesn't allow for classified websites
Doesn't support discounted wholesale logins
Large sites can load a little slower
Support is by email or request a phone call (should provide a customer service phone # and live chat)
Pros for Wordpress
You dream it, it can be coded
Powerful blogging system
Lots of features to an online store
Lots of plugins to choose from to enhance your site
Customers can create accounts
Cons for Wordpress
Keeping plugins updated can be a nightmare
Susceptible to hacking without proper security measures taken
No customer service, reliant upon your web developer for support
Tutorials are based on what you can find on YouTube
. . . and the list can go on, but we'll stop here. If you have some features and opinions you would like to share about the two systems, please feel free to comment below.