Anyone looking to start a new blog comes across the fundamental question of where to host that blog. Two the of biggest names in hosting blogs are WordPress and Wix. Settling the question of Wix vs WordPress is a good first step towards setting up the blog, because everything else follows after that in terms of getting started on design and content creation. In this article, we will compare Wix and WordPress to discuss their various advantages.
Wix and WordPress have two very different approaches to hosting and design. WordPress places itself in the open source community along with other venerable software like the Linux and Android operating systems. The code behind WordPress’s tools and software is freely available to anyone. That means that whoever wants to can write an extension or plugin for WordPress by building on the existing code.
On the other hand, Wix takes the opposite approach. The source code for Wix is proprietary and not available to the general public. The development team writes all of the extensions and features to Wix themselves- outside developers and amateurs cannot write their own. Wix maintains tight control over its code, essentially creating a monopoly on Wix development.
Both approaches have advantages. For example, by keeping all development internal, the Wix team can ensure that every add-on and extension for their hosting software will be free of bugs and have high quality. There is a quality control barrier for Wix extensions, because the team will not make an extension available until it is ready for release. WordPress’s open source approach is quite different. Because anyone can write an extension or plugin for WordPress and make it available, there is no quality control. No central authority decides whether or not a plugin is ready for general use. That means there are often a lot of WordPress plugins with unfixed bugs or poor functionality floating around on the Internet. The opposite is also true- many people develop fantastic WordPress plugins for a variety of applications. In practice, it is not that difficult to distinguish between good and bad plugins, especially when considering that many popular plugins have extensive reviews and documentation.
While the differences in philosophy may seem minor, they lead to very different outcomes. In practice, WordPress winds up with a much larger potential selection of plugins, even considering the quality of the offerings. The larger development community for WordPress simply allows for more depth and breadth of support.
Technical Hosting Differences
The philosophical differences also extend to the way the two platform handle hosting. Wix only allows people to host content, such as blogs, on their own servers. On the other hand, WordPress lets content creators host their content on any hosting service and still use the WordPress platform. WordPress offers their content creators more freedom. However, it is true that WordPress users have an additional relationship to manage: the relationship with the host. Wix ‘s approach is slightly more convenient, because all support issues related both to hosting and to the platform itself can be handled through the same channels of communication. On the other hand, that also increases risk. Any problems with Wix threaten both the platform and the hosting for all blogs that use it. On the other hand, an issue with hosting for a WordPress blog can be solved by switching hosts, and that does not necessitate switching platforms. WordPress’s greater freedom is also a positive point, because users can select the host they want themselves based on the different merits of their hosting options.
The capability for SEO is where Wix’s central approach really starts to hold it back. Making full use of modern SEO techniques and statistical tracking for reader data is a crucial part of running a successful blog. However, Wix users can only use SEO tools that Wix releases. On the other hand, WordPress users can tap into the vast developer community to make use of cutting-edge SEO tools. Some of these SEO plugins are valuable enough that their developers charge users for them.
This is possible because WordPress’s commitment to open source software does not extend to developers. In the case of SEO plugins, developers are typically not lone wolves coding alone. Most developers of high-end SEO WordPress tools are SEO and marketing companies. That considerably increases the quality and strength of the software. Wix users are limited to the extensions that inh-house developers release. The Wix team cannot match the rate of output for WordPress plugin developers, because while in an area like SEO, there are many companies competing to release good WordPress plugins, the Wix team is the only developer that can release any Wix plugins. That team needs to divide its attention between every possible kind of plugin that users want.
The Final Word on Wix vs WordPress
Wix and WordPress differ greatly on the kinds of features they offer to prospective users. These differences have a major effect on the user experience. After taking into account all of the different factors, it is hard to recommend Wix over WordPress. WordPress is much more versatile and offers the user a much greater degree of control over the final result. Users can personally change the code that affects the layout of their content, or use plugins to extend WordPress’s functionality in powerful ways. Wix’s approach limits user access to the code, so the community is bottlenecked by the capability of Wix’s developers to provide more functions and tools. Although learning and using WordPress takes more time, the rewards are correspondingly much greater. Wix simply can’t keep up with the development community WordPress offers.