As a startup, you’re working hard to build your brand. You know that brand awareness starts with a good blog. This is your chance to share information about your company, point out the products and services you sell, and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
The failure rate of startups is high, though. You have to be careful with your money. It’s not financially responsible for you to blow a bunch of cash on a cool blogging platform, at least not yet.
Wix and WordPress are great, inexpensive options for startups looking to get their first blog online. Which is the better bargain? Which has better tech support and more advanced features?
We’ll dive into both the Wix blogging platform and the WordPress platform to compare them and answer those questions.
Wix claims on its homepage that it’s free. Indeed, you can use most of the features on the site without paying a penny. That said, there’s also subscription services. These include premium plans, domains, and mailboxes.
There are five plans you can choose from when you sign up with Wix. These are VIP, eCommerce, Unlimited, Combo, and Connect Domain. Let’s explore each of these premium plans in-depth:
- VIP offers “first priority support.” This package includes a professional site review, priority responses, VIP support, an online store, the form builder app (valued at $48), the site booster app (valued at $60), $300 in ad vouchers, no Wix ads, a free domain, and 200 gigabytes of storage. This plan costs $25 a month.
- The eCommerce package is ideal for small businesses and startups. It includes an online store, the form builder app, the site booster app, $300 in ad vouchers, no Wix ads, a free domain, and up to 20GB storage and 20GB bandwidth. It cost only $17 a month.
- The Unlimited package is made for freelancers and entrepreneurs. It includes the form builder app, the site booster app, $300 in ad vouchers, no Wix ads, a free domain, 10GB storage, and unlimited bandwidth. It’s an affordable $14 a month.
- The Combo plan is probably not a good choice for startups since it’s a personal use plan. You only get a free domain, no Wix ads, 3GB storage, and 2GB bandwidth. This package costs $10 a month.
- The Connect Domain is also probably useless to startups. This plan only offers 500MB storage and 1GB bandwidth for $5 a month.
You can buy your own domain through Wix, too. This includes the domain name, which may end in .com, .net., .org, or .gov. Here are the other domains Wix lets you choose when building your website:
- .com.br (for Brazilian businesses)
- .co.uk (for United Kingdom businesses)
- .tv (for streaming, audio, or video sites)
- .me (for personal sites)
You can use your free Wix domain voucher initially for your domain. That gives you a free year. After that, it costs about $15 to $16 annually to keep using your domain. If you want extras, such as privacy protection or a domain extension, this could cost more. If you’re located outside of the US, the cost may also be higher.
Wix subscribers can use Google Cloud’s G Suite mailboxes. With this arrangement, you receive mobile device management, 24/7 support, ad removal, access to Google Docs and Google Calendar, 5GB cloud storage, 25G email inbox, and your own email address, which you can customize.
While there’s no extra charge to use the G Suite mailbox, you must have already brought a premium package as described above. Most of those packages allow you to connect a domain. This syncs your current website URL to Wix.
You can then log in via Gmail to check your email.
As mentioned, most of Wix’s features are free, but not all are. Some of the features we discuss may cost money, so be aware of that.
According to Wix, there are more than 500 templates to choose from. Some of these templates are graphics-heavy and others are less so. No matter what kind of website you want to design, you can probably find a handy Wix template that matches your vision.
Many of these templates can be customized to an extent. If you don’t like any of the templates Wix has to offer, you can choose a blank template. This is an empty canvas that you can make your way.
Wix makes it easy to find a template, so don’t worry about wasting time browsing all 500+. They’re categorized for fast access. The categories are:
- Landing pages
- Creative arts
- Community & education
- Fashion & beauty
- Health & wellness
- Restaurants & food
- Online store
Wix’s app market lets you add widgets to your site and blog. These tend to be free. You can get chat, social media buttons, and analytics jut by using Wix apps.
Here are the most popular apps Wix users have included on their websites:
- Flipbooks or photo galleries
- Free calling
- AnyFont for Wix, which includes 600 additional fonts
- Instagram feed, which updates when you post to your company’s Instagram
- My Mobile App for mobile use
- Quick polls
- Contact collection through MailChimp
- Wix Reservations for restaurants and other foodservice businesses
- 360-Degree Images, which are in 3D
If you’re not pleased with your site’s columns, you can use the Columns feature to do something about it. This clarifies text and lets your header images shine. This feature is free, so play around with it and see if it improves your website.
Lightboxes in the world of Wix are pop-up offers everywhere else. As a startup selling a product or service, you definitely want these on your site. You can even choose which lightbox appears and when, allowing you to personalize the customer experience.
Booking Calendar and Booking Widget
You don’t have to be on the road to make use of the booking calendar and booking widget. Both can be used to check your schedule, keep track of events, and prevent you from double-booking yourself.
Don’t have time to make a website, even through Wix? No problem! Artificial Design Intelligence or ADI will take care of it. How? You simply tell the interface what kind of site you want and poof, you’ll get something just like it.
A chat feature lets your customers ask questions and get answers in real time. You can even change the appearance of the chat feature so it matches your brand.
Sure, you may have used Wix to build an awesome website and blog. If no one knows who you are though, how will anyone find you? Startup owners who are new to SEO will find the SEO Wiz feature very useful, as it runs you through basic SEO best practices.
If you would like to give your customers the opportunity to chat about your business and industry as a whole, you can use Wix Forums to create your own forum. Forums don’t work for every type of company, though.
If you’re having an event, you can make and manage it through Wix. This includes the guest list and invite design.
If you’re in a business where videos are a major part of your company, Wix lets you review video views, sell video subscriptions, and stream.
Wix Video can be used to share clips from Facebook, Vimeo, and YouTube. You can also upload videos directly to Wix Video.
If something goes wrong with your Wix website, you’ll need support. Clicking the “support” button on the Wix homepage brings you to the Wix Help Center. This isn’t live support, but detailed FAQs and articles about how to troubleshoot common issues on your own.
The company’s support phone number is 1-800-600-0949. Admittedly, it’s not easy to find that number on their website. You can also create a support ticket online if you don’t want to wait on the phone.
WordPress also offers its website and blogging design services for free. Like Wix, it has several plans you can choose from. Unlike Wix, you pay once annually for 12 monthly charges.
Let’s dive deeper into WordPress’ plans:
- The free plan is renowned for always being free “for life.” Some startups may use this as a free trial to get a taste for WordPress while others will stick with it as long as they need to. Included features are 3GB storage, basic design customization, more than 100 free themes, community support, Jetpack Essential features (SEO), and a subdomain.
- The Personal plan is intended for bloggers. It comes with 6GB storage, no WordPress ads, basic design customization, 100+ free themes, live chat and email support, Jetpack Essential features, and a custom domain name. This plan costs $3 monthly.
- The Premium plan is made for freelancers and entrepreneurs. It includes VideoPress support, site monetization, no WordPress ads, 13GB storage, advanced design customization, unlimited premium themes, live chat and email support, Jetpack Essential features, and a custom domain name. It costs $8.25 monthly.
- The Business plan is for startups and business owners like you. You get Google Analytics integration, no WordPress branding or ads, SEO tools, access to professional webinars, VideoPress support, site monetization, unlimited storage, advanced design customization, unlimited premium themes, live chat and email support, Jetpack Essential features, and a custom domain name. This costs about $25 monthly.
It doesn’t seem like you have to pay for a custom domain or mailbox when using WordPress.
WordPress is known for its many amazing features. These aren’t all free, but you’ll want many of them for your blog. We’ll now explain these features in more detail.
Choose Between Blog or Website Design
Maybe you already have a pretty nice website. You just want to work on your blog. With WordPress, you can. They have themes (more on this in a moment) for just website or just blogs. If you want both, you can have both.
This is a great feature because you can focus on only the parts of your website that you really feel need work.
Wix may be known for its multitude of themes, but don’t sleep on WordPress. When on the WordPress website, you can easily find the right theme for you. Use the search bar to add a few descriptors. You can also filter results based on whether they’re free or premium. If you really want to get technical, you can also filter results by theme style, subject, layout, and column type.
The premium themes have different price points. Some are $50 and some are almost twice that. It appears that price is at the discretion of the theme designer. That said, if you don’t want to pay, you can still find some professional, clean themes for free.
As a startup, you’re building a brand. That brand means having a consistent look on your website, blog, social media, and all other form of marketing. WordPress understands that need, which is why the site offers design bundles.
These include letterheads, business cards, newsletters, and more. These match the design you’ve chosen for your website. That helps you push your brand further.
Stats and Analytics
Once your website and blog are live, you want to know who is reading and where they’re from. This is where stats and analytics come into play. While many business owners use Google Analytics to gauge their audience, WordPress has analytics built right into its system.
These stats are touted as “easy-to-read,” so even first-time startup owners not acclimated with SEO should be able to understand. You can use these stats to determine where your visitors are coming from, which pages they click on, and which times are most popular.
Besides a website and blog, your startup also needs social media presence. Once you open accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, you can make use of WordPress’ social sharing feature.
This lets you post on social media without visiting those platforms.
One of the biggest features WordPress is known for is its wealth of plugins. There are so many that there’s no way we could cover them all here (and that may warrant a separate article in and of itself).
That said, here are some of the most popular plugins this year:
- Comments Not Replied To, which ensures you can always get back to customer inquiries and comments
- Akismet for preventing spam
- SearchWP for searching
- Custom Field Suite for custom templates and layouts
- Cue for playing music
- Seriously Simple Podcasting for—you guessed it—podcasting
- Event Organizer for managing your calendar
- Good Reviews for WordPress for testimonials
- Google Maps Builder
- Business Profile for SEO
- WooCommerce for ecommerce
This may sound like a complicated concept, but it’s not. Retina-ready displays are high-quality, high-definition pictures and themes. Computers and smartphones display everything in better quality than ever. WordPress makes sure your site is up to par.
Widgets are different than plugins. These gadgets make designing and using your site and blog much simpler. Here are some widgets you may want to consider using:
- Soliloquy WordPress Slider Widget
- Testimonials widget
- Quick chat
- Simple Contact Info for building an email subscriber list
- YouTube Channel Gallery
- Compact Archives for your blog
- Image widget
Drag and Drop Media
It can be hard enough to find royalty-free pictures to use for your website. Then you have to go through the hassle of downloading said picture and reuploading it on your site.
Even if you want to add a simple YouTube video, you have to copy the lengthy embed code. It’s a pain.
WordPress makes it easy to add media with its Drag and Drop feature. You simply grab the media you want, like a picture or video, and drag it right to your post. Don’t forget to give credit to the original author.
WordPress is very clear about its support. It offers help for mobile and desktop versions of your website and blog 24/7. If you have a basic free plan, you can visit the community forums and ask for help. You can also send an email to the WordPress support team.
Those who have a paid plan can contact who WordPress calls its Happiness Engineers. These engineers can chat online when you need them. You can also call the WordPress support phone number, which is 1-877-994-9757.
While both Wix and WordPress are good choices for startups looking to make a branded blog, it’s our opinion that WordPress is the better pick.
Better Value for the Cost
WordPress’ plans are sometimes cheaper than those offered at Wix. You also get more. Wix’s eCommerce plan for startups gives you up to 20GB bandwidth and 20GB of storage. You also get a free domain and money towards ad vouchers.
Compare that to WordPress’ Business plan. That includes a custom domain name, SEO help, support, access to unlimited premium themes, advanced design customization, and unlimited storage. You can also attend webinars, monetize your site, and remove WordPress branding so you can brand your site your way.
Far and away, WordPress has better features than Wix. While both have many templates to choose from, WordPress’ look cleaner and more professional. Wix lacks plugins and design bundles.
More Useful Plugins and Widgets
WordPress’ plugins let you make use of the platform in a personalized way. You can use these plugins to offer more features for your customers. You could also use the plugins internally, like with analytics and SEO.
Wix doesn’t have plugins. While its widgets are fun, WordPress’ are more useful. Widgets that remind you to reply to unanswered comments help a businessperson more than game widgets do.
Wix didn’t have much support information on its website. It appears the company prefers you browse its database of information to troubleshoot your problem yourself. It was tough to find the support phone number.
WordPress very clearly describes its support features. These are right on the homepage. As you delve deeper into the site, you can find the contact information you need to get your problem solved.
As a startup, you’re all about getting the best value for your money. We think WordPress will allow you to do just that. While you may be paying more for some features compared to Wix, you can design just your website or your blog (or both!), add handy plugins, customize your site, and get quality support when you need it.