When you’re looking around at how to start a blog or a website, Wix is one of the more common options that you’ll see mentioned every now and then.
Wix is a pretty basic platform for making sites, and it’s pretty decent overall, but there are some alternatives that are worth exploring, too.
When you make a site with Wix, you’re stuck with Wix, you’re tied into their ecosystem and 100% reliant on them. It would be better if you were able to move your site elsewhere easily, except your hosting is tied to their platform, so unlike some of the alternatives, you can’t just up and move hosts.
We’re not saying Wix is going to just up and disappear in the middle of the night or anything like that, but when it comes to something as important as your website, then you need to have complete control over it – and that’s something you just don’t get with Wix.
Now, if you’re looking for something for a basic site and you’re not going to be making money off your site, and it’s just kind of a side-project, then Wix isn’t the worst option out there.
There are many Wix alternatives like Shopify for online stores, and plenty more – but there’s also a different approach to getting your site online, and we think it’s a much better way to go for people who are taking their sites very seriously, and we’ve got a couple of different options when it comes to that better approach which we’ll discuss in a few moments.
There are a handful of companies who offer a relatively similar service to Wix. We view Wix as the budget, lower-end option among their peers, but there are plenty of similar companies. Some of them are worse than Wix, some of them are better, some are just a bit different. Shopify is a great Wix alternative, but it has some of its own downsides, too.
Wix offers hosting and a platform to design basic websites, blogs, and online stores. Wix’s hosting plans start at a much lower price than some of their direct competitors, but they really don’t offer you very much in terms of features until you get to Wix’s more expensive plans, but even those are lacking in some core features and functionality that we consider mandatory and essential for starting a business blog or site (Mainly it all comes back to ownership and control of your site and content), but once again, for a dead-simple site that you aren’t reliant on for an income, Wix can handle it.
Shopify, on the other hand, starts at around $30 per month and go all the way into the hundreds, but they also offer much more comprehensive plans compared to Wix when it comes to eCommerce and selling things on your website, and Shopify can truly handle some of the internet’s largest and most popular shops, so you really won’t have to worry about paying hundreds of dollars a month for Shopify until your shop is so large that the fee is just a drop in the bucket anyways.
Despite the fact that Wix makes it very easy to start a site, and you’ve probabally seen at least some of their commercials lately as they grow in popularity, there are some issues with these types of platforms that most people aren’t really aware of, and may only discover after investing a lot of time in setting up their store or site.
The pros for these companies is that they make it pretty easy to get started on your site without needing to know any coding or programming or anything like that, but the downside is that they completely lock you in to their eco-systems. Since these services are meant to attract people who are unfamiliar with starting websites, and don’t really know a lot yet, their customers don’t really know what they’re missing out on, and which lacking features are going to end up biting them down the road.
By the very nature of attracting customers who are brand new to this, people don’t realize that you can get much better website creating and hosting packages, that are JUST as easy to setup and customize, for a much lower price, with infinitely more features and power.
We don’t want to disparage them at all, they are honest about what they offer and ufpront about how much it costs, but our main goal today is to make you aware of some of the Wix alternatives that may be a better fit for you.
But of course, Wix has tons and tons of paying customers, who are very happy with their websites. At the end of the day, these are all viable options depending on what your unique needs are. Wix isn’t great for everyone, but it’s great for many people, and here are some alternatives for everyone else…
The Problem With Some Wix Alternatives
Besides very high monthly fees, the problem with some other website builders is that you don’t have total control over your site, nor over your server.
Every website in the world is stored on a server, which is what you’re paying for when you buy web hosting. Usually, you can put any software you want on top of that server, for example WordPress (which is the most popular way to build a website, especially for beginners), or shopping carts for online stores, or forums, or whatever you want – it’s your server, you can do what you want with it.
BUT with some companies, they’ve basically bundled it together, the design platform and the hosting itself. You pay for hosting, and you can only use their proprietary site builders / platforms to create your site.
The problem with that is that you become tied-in to these companies. You can’t easily take your site and move it to another platform, which can definitely cause some headaches down the road.
The issue with being tied-in to one platform is that the internet is a fast-changing place, and you’re better off having the normal type of webhosting, where you’re free to do whatever you want with your site, and you’re free to move it to any of the other countless hosting companies out there.
If that sounds bad, you’ll appreciate our top recommendations. First, let’s take a couple of minutes and focus specifically on people who want to do eCommerce with their own online shops…
Best Choice for Online Stores: Shopify
Now, if you were looking at Wix to host your online shop, and you’re serious about it, Shopify is a much better option in many cases.
If you wanted a site more focused on content, and a blog, or a magazine, or a site to promote your business, basically anything that isn’t a shop – then you’ll still want to keep reading to see our #1 Wix alternative overall. Our #1 alternative can definitely handle an online store, but if you don’t mind spending more, and you’re only interested in a store, rather than all of the other stuff we mentioned, you should check out Shopify.
With price tiers at $29, $79, and $299, Shopify is more expensive than our top pick, but it’s worth it for online stores because Shopify has everything you need in one place, and they make it really easy. While WordPress on Bluehost is VERY easy to set up a business website, a magazine, a blog, and so on… it’s a little more work to get an online store set up and running perfectly, so that’s where Shopify is useful.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that the higher-priced Shopify plans also entitle you to a much lower merchant fee for processing payments, so when your store is large enough to require a more expensive package, it will more than pay for itself with all of the money you’ll save on processing fees.
They’re leaps and bounds better than any other shop-centric platforms, and probably the best option for launching an online store if you’re not experienced with websites whatsoever.
But for Everything Else? Skip Wix, Use WordPress Instead…
If you build your site using WordPress, WooCommerce for online stores, or really any other site-builder that you host on your own server, you have the freedom to move it around as needed.
You have the freedom to easily upgrade your resources if your site gets more popular, you aren’t over-paying (especially in the case of smaller sites who don’t need hosting that costs nearly as much as these companies charge in their bundled packages).
This is why we strongly recommend going with a hosting company like Bluehost, or Hostgator, or other solid hosting companies, any of them will be better than Wix for starting your site, in our opinion and experience, because you’re building your castle on a MUCH stronger foundation, rather than on somebody else’s land.
WordPress has a massive community of people who support this open-source project, and its infinitely more powerful than the closed-off platforms that sites like Wix leave you stuck with.
Our #1 Wix Alternative is WordPress hosted at Bluehost, Here’s Why:
If easy to set up and simple to use is what you’re looking for, and you like the idea of spending less money for more features and just doing things right the first time so you don’t have to deal with headaches down the road, then using WordPress to create your website with Bluehost webhosting is an excellent alternative to Wix.
5 Reasons You Might Want To Use Bluehost + WordPress Instead of Wix
There are many reasons that this is our top recommendation if you’re looking to start a blog, a website, or an online store and you’re looking for something better than Wix. Here are five of them…
5. Price: Bluehost’s shared hosting plans cost quite a bit less than Wix’s premium plans. It’s kind of like comparing apples to oranges, because Bluehost has a lot more to offer than Wix, because the Wix service is more limited in what you can do with it, and how much control you have to change and customize things on your website and your hosting server.
4. Features: Bluehost can do everything that Wix can do, with a lot more freedom to edit and customize things.
3. Easy Setup: Bluehost makes the WordPress setup process VERY easy, we can’t overstate this. In the past, WordPress used to be a whole can of worms to get installed on your server, but today – it couldn’t be easier. In the past, it kind of made sense to use services like Wix, because they were genuinely easier for beginners to get started, but that’s just not the case anymore, which basically makes them obsolete and makes it a no-brainer to go with WordPress and Bluehost instead.
2. Very Easy to Manage Site: The ease-of-use doesn’t stop once your site is setup. There was a time where you actually needed training to setup and manage a website, especially a dynamic site like a blog that gets updated. At the very least, you needed a basic understanding of coding, and chances are your site wouldn’t look very good anyways. These days, it’s very easy to setup a beautiful site, to get it looking exactly how you want, and to keep it updated and fresh without having to write a single line of code.
1. Support: One of the most important things that we love about Bluehost is how helpful their support staff are. As we also noticed when we did out WIX vs Bluehost comparison, everyone is SUPER knowledgeable when it comes to WordPress, it’s truly their bread and butter.
A final bonus point is simply the versatility. We’ve been pointing out all the benefits of using WordPress with Bluehost, but the nice thing is that if you don’t want to use WP – you can use any other content management system out there.
With Wix and similar options, you’re stuck using their platform and software, but with WordPress and Bluehost you can use whatever you want.
You can even switch away from Bluehost down the road if they somehow stop being the best option. You’ve got options, you’ve got versatility, and you’re free to make the website that YOU want to make, without being tied into someone else’s ecosystem, and without being entirely reliant on Wix, and without having to pay their huge monthly fees.
Which Bluehost Package is Right for You?
Bluehost has a variety of different hosting packages available, like most hosting companies. Even if you’ve decided that Bluehost is a better fit for you than Wix (it is), you’ve still got to figure out exactly which Bluehost plan to go with, and we’re going to help with that right now.
Let’s take a look at Bluehost’s different tiers for shared hosting, to start with…
Here’s a quick overview of their 3 main shared plans, Basic, Plus, and Prime. The main difference is that Basic allows for one website, and has a limited amount of storage available, whereas the other plans allow you to host multiple websites.
Choosing which one to go with really comes down to what you’re going to be using it for, and what your budget is.
If you only need to host one site, and you’re just doing a fairly simple site, for example a business site where you don’t plan on actually accepting payments or selling things directly from your site, then you can get away with the cheapest plan, Basic.
If you plan on actually doing business through your site, we recommend stepping it up to either Plus or Prime, at least. There’s also a PRO plan offered by Bluehost, which is slightly better than their other offerings, it’s a higher-tier for more important websites.
If you just want a personal site, a blog, or what have you – then Basic or Plus are what we recommend. Basic if it’s just one site, and Plus if it’s multiple sites. Plus and Prime cost the same initially, but Prime will renew at a higher price because it offers additional features that are useful for busier and more popular sites, but kind of overall for a basic personal blog/site.
In any case, you can easily upgrade your plan if you decide you need a little more oomph for your site, and Bluehost also has a very generous money-back guarantee so you’re covered no matter what.
Give them a try, see how easy it is, and if you run into any trouble, just reach out to their 24/7 support who will be quick to help.
Or, if you decide it’s just not for you, you can get your money back.
Really, there’s no reason to not give it a try, even if you’re already using Wix.
If you haven’t signed up for Wix yet, we still recommend trying out Wix’s free plan if you’re at all curious. Even though it lacks core, essential, and fundamental features for running a website, it’ll still give you a feel for their platform, and its limitations, and will really have you appreciating all that Bluehost has to offer.
Hostgator is another great option. We mentioned them earlier on, and now we’ll go into a bit more detail.
If Bluehost isn’t quite what you’re looking for, for whatever reason, Hostgator is one of the largest and most established hosting companies out there. They’ve been at it for a long time, and are definitely worth taking a look at. Let’s start by going over some of the basics…
When it comes to things like setting up and maintaining your site, Hostgator is just as easy as Bluehost, for all intents and purposes. They’ve both made the process very simple. They also both have the same level of support, they’re both responsible for hosting countless websites. They have one-click installers for all of the popular scripts you may want to run on your site, and everything you need to easily get started. Here’s a look at their shared hosting plans, which are great for starting out, and easy to upgrade when you need more resources:
The above image is for Hostgator’s WordPress hosting plans, which are optimized to perform great with WordPress in particular, which make the setup process as easy as it could possibly be (for ANYONE!), and allow for tons of monthly visitors with the ability to upgrade for more.
Hostgator also has some more standard shared hosting plans, which can still run WordPress excellently and cost a few dollars less per month, so those may be worth considering as well. We favor their WordPress packages because they’re still very competitively priced for what you’re getting, and they’ve really managed to dial things in – so if you’re going with WordPress instead of Wix or Shopify, these Hostgator packages are some of the very best options we’ve ever come across.
They include plenty of storage space so that you can backup your site so you’ll never lose all your hard work. If you’re only launching one website, the Starter Plan is more than enough. For multiple sites, consider Standard and Business.
As your site grows, or as your store becomes more and more popular, you can upgrade to a variety of higher-end plans from Hostgator, just hit up their support staff and they’ll gladly assist you in choosing exactly what you need based on your site’s actual patronage.
Starting a website is a fun, educational, and sometimes even profitable endeavor.
One of the common struggles people have is that they aren’t even completely sure what to look for when shopping around for hosting, they aren’t really sure what they need, what’s overkill, which up-sells matter and which ones they should avoid, and so on.
We’ve put together a very helpful guide that shows you exactly how simple it is to get started with Bluehost, and walks you through the whole process, so definitely take a look at that, too… Check it out:
Bluehost isn’t the only option that we recommend as a strong Wix alternative for starting a website, but it’s our favorite because of how simple they’ve made it. They’ve basically beaten Wix at their own game, by making the setup process dead-simple, and charging lower prices, for better plans, with more features.
You don’t have to be an experienced web developer to appreciate the stark difference between these options, and hopefully we’ve helped save you from a few Wix-based headaches down the road.