stuff to read
With WordPress, if you know CSS and HTML, or if you don’t mind spending a few hours working out how to modify your template’s code – you can get exactly the website you want. Plus, you will find tons of responsive WordPress themes online. They usually cost between $30 & $60 (have a quick look at Elegant Themes or Themeforest), and most of them are responsive.
There’s one potential gamechanger on the horizon, though. While the Gutenberg drag-and-drop editor is currently only available for pages and blog posts, WordPress plans to roll this out to entire websites during the year. That means that WordPress users will soon be able to easily edit any part of their site, without the need for any additional code or plugins. This will make the editing experience more on par with Wix’s in terms of ease of use, although it’s likely that some coding will still be needed to get your designs exactly as you want them.
Winner: Kind of a draw. If you want complete control and are willing to tweak CSS and HTML code, WordPress. However once again, Wix is much better for complete beginners and you will still be able to customize your designs without needing to touch any code.
Ecommerce: Adding an online store
You might have noticed Wix’s dedicated online store section. It’s actually a pretty sophisticated solution, with plenty of options for payments, automatic taxes, shipping, plus more features being added all the time. What’s great is that it also supports digital goods and that it’s one of the more affordable ecommerce website builders.
It’s also possible to have language-specific versions of your site (e.g. fr.mystore.com or mystore.com/fr), which is great if you have a multilingual store, although you won’t have full control over the URL, which is not ideal.
However, there are a few downsides that make it better suited to small businesses. For instance, Wix sites tend to be slower to load due to their content-rich themes, which doesn’t make for the ideal shopping experience (and can hurt SEO).
It also isn’t built for very large stores as the site’s navigation is limited to one sub-level, making it harder to organize larger product catalogs. Finally, the features for multicurrency stores come up a little short – you can’t sell in other currencies, for example.
SEO: Will I show on search engines?
This is another area where Wix does well, making it a contender for the best website builder for SEO. You can change the page title, alt attributes, have a great choice of headings and more. However, be aware that the free plan doesn’t allow a custom domain and this makes it extra hard to rank in search engines.
We have two complaints about Wix: even though your loading speed depends a lot on your images, we have the feeling it could be faster. Another issue we found is that images are named automatically when you upload them.
Wix gives them cryptic names (such as d4cccb26731e9~mv2.png) which could hurt image-based SEO websites like photography blogs. Also, you can customize blog posts URL, but not the whole thing, so you sometimes end up with links like “wixsite.com/mysite/single-post/My-Blog-Post”.
Apart from that, the Wix SEO Wiz is a handy tool for beginners to get started in SEO. For more advanced users, built-in tools like 301 redirects and ‘SEO Patterns’ (which let you set up rules for auto-generating meta titles and descriptions) are very useful.