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Wix vs Shopify: Simple site builder or ecommerce store? Take your pick

We put the best all-round website builder up against one of the best ecommerce-focused builders - it's Wix vs Shopify

Got a great idea for a website, but don’t have the skills to make it happen? Then say hello to Wix and Shopify. No design skills, no coding skills? No worries. If you’re a first timer in the world of web design, you’ve come to the right place. Wix is the perfect choice to start your journey to getting online.

Want to jump straight in and start selling? Shopify is a great choice for building an online store. It might not be as easy to master as Wix, but it still has plenty to offer budding entrepreneurs.

Here the two go head to head to help you decide which website builder will work best for you. Discover how they differ across price, features and ease of use, before we deliver our verdict on which direction you should go.

Still not sure? Take a peek at the finer details with our full length reviews of Wix and Shopify to help make that final decision.

Check prices at Wix Check prices at Shopify

Wix vs Shopify: Pricing

Wix’s entry-level price is hard to beat, because it’s free! It’s not a great option, though, because you must use a Wix-led domain name, which makes the paid plans a more tempting proposition.

The most basic plan kicks off at £4/mth and offers 500MB of storage, a monthly bandwidth of 1GB and the option to connect a custom domain name. It’s ideal for basic sites, but it does show Wix branding.

For a professional-looking presence you want to start with the £7.50/mth Combo plan. This removes all Wix ads, ups the storage to 2GB and bandwidth to 3GB, and includes a free domain name. If you need more storage or bandwidth, along with a few extras, then you can upgrade to the £11/mth Unlimited plan or the VIP plan for £21/mth. 

If you want to go beyond the basics and add ecommerce options, you can switch to one of three plans. There’s the entry level Business Basics at £15/mth, which includes a custom domain name, 20GB of storage and accepts online payments. Business Unlimited costs £20/mth and provides 35GB of storage and ten hours of video play. Top of the pile is the Business VIP plan which removes the video cap, increases storage to 50GB and throws in customised reports and priority support.

READ MORE: Wix pricing

While Wix covers the whole gamut of website building, Shopify concentrates on building online stores and its Basic plan kicks off at £25/mth. This contains everything you need to build a store, to manage inventory and transactions, and comes with basic reporting features and support for two staff accounts. You will also have to pay the highest rates for Shopify payments with credit card fees of 2% plus 25p for each transaction.

The mid-range Shopify plan rises to £65/mth, which throws in professional reporting, ups the staff accounts to five and reduces the rate on credit card fees to 1.7% + 25p. The top-tier Advanced plan boasts everything in the other two plans, plus a custom report builder and 15 staff accounts, but it will cost a budget-shredding £344/mth.

READ MORE: Shopify pricing

Winner: Wix

With prices starting from free, Wix is hard to beat for basic websites. Even the top-end package for websites and ecommerce don’t surpass the £30 mark. The only Shopify plan that can compete is Basic, which makes Wix a much better value option if ecommerce isn’t your top priority.

Check prices at Wix Check prices at Shopify

Wix vs Shopify: Features

Every site needs a domain and Wix will set you up with a new domain (if you don’t have one) and even suggest relevant URLs. This is a simple but time-saving feature that first timers will love. You will need to invest in one of the paid plans to use your custom domain, though.

Wix boasts an impressive collection of themes, meaning you can spend a long time looking for the one you want. But they are neatly categorised and there is a Help Me Choose button to speed up the process. Once you are set up and ready to go, the drag-and-drop nature of Wix is very likeable. 

Beyond the essentials there is a decent selection of clip art and stock photography, which is helpful when building and can be easily switched out for something more bespoke later on. The built-in image-editing tools offer filters and basic enhancements and adjustments, rather than pro-level tools. But crucially, there is an extensive app store to give you a wide range of additional features. You have to pay for most apps, but you can try before you buy.

Shopify’s focus is ecommerce, so it comes as no surprise that there is a comprehensive set of features for tracking customers and sales. There is also visitor analytics to track the paths customers are taking. 

This data can be used in marketing campaigns, and the service includes the option to create marketing emails. Plus there’s a handy tool to create discount codes and promotions. There’s the option to automate marketing campaigns and track their success. If sales don’t hit your target, you can change the parameters and try again.

Shopify comes with handy third-party integrations, some of which are automatically suggested. This is a double-edged sword: great if you’re new to ecommerce, but annoying if you know what you’re looking for. Integration with social media services such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch and Twitter are all accessible through Shopify apps.

READ NEXT: How does Shopify work?

Winner: Wix

Wix has an all-encompassing set of features that are instantly accessible. Shopify has many of the same features, but they’re generally targeted at ecommerce alone, while Wix serves a more general site-building audience.

Check prices at Wix Check prices at Shopify

Wix vs Shopify: How easy are they to use?

If you’re a complete newbie or in a hurry to get an online presence in minutes rather than days, then Wix is definitely for you. It takes a wizard-based approach, asking you what kind of website you want and what your basic objective is. A host of ready-made designs, themes and templates form the basis of your site. Its direct drag-and-drop approach strikes a good balance between ease of use and flexibility. Once you have your basic structure and layouts in place, it’s extremely easy to make global changes through site themes. Admittedly, you can’t position every component exactly where you would want it, but it still does a good job of giving you the site design you crave.

In keeping with Wix’s easy-to-build approach, there is a good set of tools for uploading and managing images, audio and video. Built-in image-editing tools make it quick and easy to adjust and edit your content and Wix makes it simple to add sections or pages, galleries, social feeds, interactive features and more.

Shopify can’t match Wix for ease of use, but it uses a modular system where you can quickly add new sections to each page’s vertical stack. The whole process is more about customising your chosen template rather than building a whole site. It makes it easy to create page elements that showcase your products and make them customer-friendly. But the system is not as flexible as Wix. 

One example is dealing with fonts. You can set them on a global level to ensure consistency across your store front, but to change individual elements on a page you are restricted to small, medium and large for size and bold, italic or list for style. This means that you must think ahead to get what you want, or at least closer to what you want. Annoyingly it’s not always clear how to customise certain features, creating a steeper learning curve than Wix.

READ NEXT: Wix vs Squarespace

Winner: Wix

This one is a no-brainer: Wix is aimed at the complete novice and is almost foolproof. Shopify is hardly complicated, but it can’t match Wix for ease of use.

Check prices at Wix Check prices at Shopify

Wix vs Shopify: Verdict

Wix and Shopify occupy different markets, so the choice hangs on your end goal. If you are looking to build a simple, straightforward website, Wix is definitely your first port of call. It does offer ecommerce solutions at similar prices to Shopify’s entry-level plan, and if you like the Wix ecosystem it does mean you don’t need to learn another website builder. But if you are going straight for an online store then Shopify has the know-how and doesn’t take long to get to grips with.

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