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Best all-round website builder for small businesses
£6.50-£22 per month
£3-£20 per month
When you compare Wix vs WordPress.com, Wix clearly comes out on top for most small businesses.
After all, there’s a reason Wix is our number one overall web builder for small businesses – this platform makes it easy to create a great-looking, feature-packed website for your business.
As for WordPress.com, it feels a bit like it has not really moved with the times. It’s still a great way to quickly start blogging but, when it comes to business use, there’s a steep learning curve and it can be a very tricky web builder to use. However, with enough effort and know-how, the extensive customisation options (with plug-ins) do allow you to create a website finely tailored to the needs of your business.
When it comes to pricing, Wix and WordPress.com are pretty similar. Wix’s affordable pricing plans start from £6.50 and go up to £22 per month for a high-octane ecommerce package. WordPress.com starts at a much lower £3 per month but, again, you’ll pay £20 a month for a powerful plan that grants you access to those all-important plugins.
Read on to learn more about how these two compare in terms of value, website features, design functionality and ease of use:
In short, Wix is a great fit for businesses that want a quick, easy and intuitive way to build a website, while WordPress.com is much trickier to get the hang of, and is therefore best for those with more technical knowledge who want to fine tune almost every element of their online presence.
Wix really stands out when it comes to design – there’s a frankly staggering number (over 800) of templates, along with some of the most intuitive website tools you’ll find anywhere. WordPress.com has a comparatively clunky interface that can hinder things but, if you dive into the range of plugins on offer, then you can really create something that reflects your business.
Wix is a superb web builder that’s affordable (prices range from £6.50 to £22 per month depending on the features you need), packed with features, and comes with 24/7 support.
All this helps explain why it’s our top-rated web builder for small businesses but the crucial point is this – Wix makes creating your website really really easy. Everything, from choosing a template to using the drag-and-drop tools to move things around and add extra features, just works and very quickly becomes second nature.
It’s not perfect, with the biggest issue being that once you’ve chosen your template and built your site, the only way to change it is to start again from scratch. Aside from that niggle though, Wix should be the first place you look for your small business website.
While it has a similar price point (plans cost between £3 and £20 per month), WordPress.com offers a very different proposition to small businesses than Wix does. In stark contrast to Wix, ease of use is WordPress.com’s major weakness as it relies on a clunky, complex and outdated interface.
What WordPress.com has in its favour (on the highest tier, at least) is the biggest app market you’ll find anywhere. WordPress powers much of the internet, and developers have created all sorts of plugins to add extra features and make your site look and feel exactly how you want it to.
In short, WordPress offers a lot of control, and this could make it appeal to more tech-savvy small business owners. Everyone else, though, is better off sticking to Wix or another more accessible web builder.
Following our in-depth testing, WordPress.com came out on top in terms of value for money, with a very impressive 4.7 out of 5 rating.
However, a major factor in this rating is the fact that WordPress.com’s lowest priced plan is only £3 per month. This plan does have some plusses – you can take payments and enjoy unlimited email support, for example – but you can’t use any premium themes or any of the plugins that are central to the appeal of WordPress.com as a website builder. You’ll need to shell out for the £20 per month plan in order to access the plugins, which places it squarely in the territory of a premium Wix plan.
While it can’t match WordPress.com’s 4.7, Wix scores a very decent 4 out of 5 for value for money. You can get a very capable plan for just £6.50 a month, with higher tiers adding bonus features like the ability to accept online payments, more storage, and a professional logo design tool.
£6.50 per month
When you look at Wix’s pricing plans, what really jumps out is the amount of storage on each one. With the £6.50 per month Combo plan you get 3 GB of storage, which rises to 10 GB with the £9.50 per month Unlimited plan, and 35 GB with the £19 per month VIP plan. As the name suggests, the VIP plan also gets you premium customer care.
These prices are based on annual billing (so the Combo plan would cost you £78 per year, for example) and each plan has a 14-day free trial.
For loads more info on what each Wix plan has to offer and which is right for your business, check out our dedicated Wix pricing page.
Make sure you check out Wix's ecommerce plans (this page only looks at web builder plans and features)
£3 per month
£7 per month
£20 per month
Excluding the free plan, there are three WordPress.com web builder plans. The bargain basement £3 per month Personal plan removes WordPress ads and adds email support and premium themes, the mid-range £7 per month Premium plan lets you earn ad revenue (this is unlikely to apply to small business websites), upload videos and access live chat support.
But, for business use, the high-end £20 per month Business plan is our top pick. You’ll get advanced SEO (search engine optimisation) tools, automated site backups and, most importantly, the ability to use any of the 50,000+ plugins that give you real control over your site and make WordPress.com much more than a glorified blogging platform.
Like Wix, these prices are based on annual billing (in this case, the Premium plan costs you £84 per year), and you can also pay a premium to be charged monthly. There’s no free trial, but WordPress.com says you can get a full refund if you change your mind within 14 days.
Both Wix and WordPress.com offer a free plan, and these are pretty similar – both give your site a branded domain (such as myawesomebusiness.wordpress.com) and fill it with Wix/WordPress.com ads. This means that neither is really suitable for business use, but if we absolutely had to pick one, we’d give Wix the edge because the platform is so much easier to use.
Wix wins this one at a canter – with an exemplary 4.9 out of 5 rating compared to WordPress.com’s very substandard 2.1.
One key difference is SEO support, a crucial area for small businesses. WordPress.com does offer you the features you need, but what it doesn’t do is give you SEO best practice prompts when you’re actually building your website. In other words, you need to know what you’re doing, and WordPress.com (unlike Wix) makes very little effort to teach you.
Similarly, WordPress.com’s plugin store offers less “no code” options than Wix does, meaning you have to have some knowledge of the languages used by computers in order to use most WordPress plugins. It’s also full of third parties charging high prices, rather than “native” apps created by WordPress.com. This approach contrasts sharply with Wix, where the app market is full of “no code” products and free apps made in-house, making it much easier for beginners.
Finally, marketing is another hugely important area where Wix zooms ahead while WordPress.com barely gets out of the starting gates. With the latter, the only marketing support offered is via third-party apps, while Wix offers inbuilt email marketing tools and extensive social media features.
So, Wix not only wins by a huge margin, but WordPress.com’s failings seriously harm its credibility as a small business web builder.
Design is another area where Wix is top of the class (4.4) and WordPress.com is wearing the dunce’s hat in the corner (1.8).
To help explain this, let’s take a look at templates, which play a hugely significant role in how your site ends up looking. Wix has an unmatched selection of over 800 free templates covering every theme, from car maintenance to true crime podcasts (yes, there’s really a template for that).
WordPress.com, on the other hand, offers you a choice of 50 in-house themes, and major sectors like healthcare and pets are completely neglected. This might be explained by the fact that anyone can create a WordPress theme externally, so the plugin store has over 11,000 on offer, but these cost extra.
WordPress.com also feels generally outdated in its approach – there’s no way to create your site on mobile and it’s missed the ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) train completely. This tool (which is offered by Wix, amongst others) lets you make a few key design choices very simply, to speedily create a website that you can then embellish later on. It’s a really quick and easy way to go about things, and its omission feels symptomatic of WordPress.com’s lack of interest in less experienced users.
When it comes to design, there’s no contest – Wix easily triumphs over WordPress.com.
Overall, Wix scored an impressive 4.4 for ease of use, while WordPress.com earned a pretty average 3.2.
This reflected the general feeling amongst our testers that Wix makes it easy to create a website and WordPress.com, for the most part, doesn’t.
With Wix, once you’ve chosen a template, you can simply drag and drop things to new locations and add new elements using the toolbar on the side. Crucially, there’s almost no separation between the frontend (the site your visitors see) and the backend (the version of the site you see when editing). With Wix, these are almost the same, so you always feel like you’re working on the live version of your website.
And that brings us to WordPress.com, which one of our testers summed up by saying: “nothing about it is intuitive, and I’m still not 100% sure how it works”. The main problem is the separation between the backend and frontend – the interface you see when editing bears little relation to the live website, and you can only see that version by clicking ‘Preview’. To call this process clunky is a huge understatement, and the lack of autosave just makes things harder than they need to be. Master this alpine learning curve, and you can create a great website for your business – but it’s worth making sure that an easier option doesn’t meet your needs at a similar price.
Needless to say, Wix is the clear winner for ease of use.
Best all-round website builder for small businesses
Design flexibility & businesses looking to scale
Ease of use and simplicity
Value for money
Creating a website in under an hour (thanks to its ADI platform)
Connect Domain – £3.50 per month
£3 per month
Personal – £10 per month
10% off with code STARTUPS10
Basic – £5.59 per month
Connect – £4 per month
£7 per month
Up to 71% discounted with code STARTUPS. Ends May 31st!
Start – £9 per month
Squarespace: £10–£20 per month
Wix’s main rival for the crown of best small business web builder, Squarespace finished 2nd by the narrowest of margins in our testing, but has plenty to recommend it. Notably, it’s renowned for having the most stylish templates around and, while it doesn’t offer the same level of customisation as Wix, that also means it’s much harder to create a site that doesn’t look good. Many of the differences between Wix and Squarespace come down to personal preference, so make sure you carefully consider both to find the right fit for you and your business.
To learn more, check out our dedicated Wix vs Squarespace guide.
Weebly: £4–£28 per month
If you’re just looking for a quick, low-cost way to create your small business website, then Weebly could be your perfect partner. From just £4 per month, you get a well-designed platform that makes it easy to create a basic website using drag-and-drop tools, and this winning combination means it’s our top-rated provider when it comes to value for money.
Keen to explore more options? Head to our rundown of the best small business website builders.
WordPress.org: Price varies
We’re only going to touch on this briefly, but if you’re technically minded, you can use the open-source (free) WordPress.org platform to build your website. This is what WordPress.com runs on, and it’s the ultimate answer for small business owners that want to completely control their website. However, you’ll have to handle and pay for hosting, find and pay for a domain name, and almost certainly use paid plugins as well. This is not an option for the faint hearted, but if you’re considering taking the plunge, then our how to create a business website guide gives a good idea of what to expect along with the average costs.
Overall, there’s absolutely no doubt that Wix is a better fit than WordPress.com for the vast majority of small businesses.
In our testing, Wix triumphed in almost every area as its forward-thinking and intuitive approach to web building showed up WordPress.com’s outdated foundations.
WordPress.com did come out on top in value for money thanks to its ultra-low £3 per month plan, but even this victory comes with the key caveat that this plan doesn’t give you access to hugely important features like the plugin store.
Given this huge chasm in the quality and accessibility of Wix vs WordPress.com, the only real reason to consider WordPress.com is if you’re prepared to shell out for the £20 per month business plan and really exert the extra control that WordPress plugins can give you.
Everyone else is better off using Wix. It’s our top-rated web builder, and makes it remarkably easy to build a powerful website to spread the name of your business. To see exactly what it can do for yourself, why not get started on Wix’s free plan today?
Think Wix is the one? Try it and find out for sure…
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Alec is Startups’ resident expert on politics and finance. He’s provided live updates on the budget, written guides on investing and property development, and demystified topics like corporation tax, accounting software, and invoice discounting. Before joining, he worked in the media for over a decade, conducting media analysis at Kantar Media and YouGov, and writing a wide variety of freelance pieces.
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