Have you ever wondered what the best ecommerce website builder is out of the many options available? We’re here to discuss the differences between Shopify and Wix— two of the most popular website builders on the market today. They both came in as top options when we did a deep dive into the best ecommerce website builders.
Even though Shopify powers over one million online stores and is probably the most popular, Wix is an overall better ecommerce website builder because of its functionality and comprehensive features at such an affordable price.
With smart assistance for website design and free web hosting plus unsurpassed security and reliability, Wix is an excellent option for beginners and veterans deciding to build a website from scratch.
However, both website builders offer extensive support, flexibility, and a range of great templates, so even though we believe Wix is a better option, Shopify is definitely a close second.
Shopify Pros and Cons
- Extensive app integration
- 24-hour support
- User-friendly and scalable
- Transaction fees
- Lackluster blogging software
- Slow setup process
- Extensive app integration
- High-quality ecommerce templates
- Affordable analytics and reporting
- Customizable design
Wix Pros and Cons
- ADIs for design
- Automatic site backup and 24/7 live security monitoring
- Animations tool
- Free extra features
- 24/7 support
- Templates not interchangeable
- Premium plans are one-site only
Now that you know both website builders’ pros and cons, let’s look at the most important criteria to consider when investing in a website builder. Which product comes out on top for each?
Ease of use: Wix
Unlike Shopify, Wix is a little easier to use with its intuitive drag-and-drop interface for website building. This interface is important because it’s so easy to use, with the perfect balance of options for beginners to advanced features that veterans can use to completely transform their website presence.
With Wix, you have total design freedom with the drag-and-drop feature. However, if you feel overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start, Wix lets you fill out its design questionnaire—where its powerful Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) will create a free personalized website for you.
On the other hand, Shopify only gives you the option to edit HTML and CSS within your website, which can be confusing for beginners or anyone who doesn’t know much about coding.
Compared to Shopify, Wix is a simpler option because it’s flexible in the design and setup processes. Some reviewers have said that the initial setup process for Shopify can be slow and that you may need some technical know-how, especially for domain redirection. We think the slow setup can be discouraging to users, where Wix is much better in this aspect.
Like Shopify, Wix lets you hire an expert or freelancer for web design, graphic design, marketing, or web development for an additional fee, which can help those who prefer to work with real professionals instead of the ADI.
Again, Wix comes out on top and has more to offer when it comes to customization. With many free extra features, add-ons, and advanced paid features, you have the freedom to optimize your website for blogging, ecommerce tasks, and even take online bookings.
To make it even easier, Wix lets you optimize your website for SEO purposes, and all you have to do is answer a few questions about your website, location, and specific keywords to get a personalized SEO plan.
In terms of design, Wix has more creative options like video backgrounds, scroll effects, and animation. One pro of Wix is the ability to add animation anywhere on your website for added impact and uniqueness.
Unlike Shopify, Wix offers unlimited customizable tasks, where you can drag and drop design features and fonts wherever you want. Yes, Shopify does let you customize your templates in the theme editor menu, where you can view your deconstructed website to add, remove, or move individual sections around. Unfortunately, though, it restricts these sections too much to be helpful.
This means you cannot move everything, which can restrict creatives that want full control over design and customization, which is why we think Wix is a more supportive option.
There are still some similarities between the two, and just like Shopify, you have the option to completely customize colors and fonts through the advanced Wix editor, where you can choose your primary colors, palettes, and themes.
Template Quality: Shopify
Shopify has over 70 premium themes to choose from. We think the features of the Shopify templates offer more benefits to its users than the Wix templates.
Unfortunately, though, there are only nine free templates. It wouldn’t hurt to add a few more options. However, free themes have a wide variety of customizability and design potential for basic and more simple ecommerce websites.
Shopify offers high-quality templates for most industries, from health and beauty to sports and recreation. It does an outstanding job at honing in on the ecommerce side of things in its template designs, with sale optimization and product recommendations.
Wix, however, offers 500+ designer-made templates for every business niche. Even though Wix has such extensive category of templates, it can be overwhelming to try to choose a permanent template.
Unlike Wix, you still have the freedom to choose another one in Shopify. You can then transfer existing data without the hassle of creating a whole new design on your site. Wix is one template forever, or you start over. Shopify is much better for templates.
What’s great about both premium and free templates on the Shopify store is that they include:
- Customizable content sections
- Drop-down navigation
- Free updates
- Mobile-friendly design
- Free stock photos
- Social media icons
These are comprehensive features particularly excellent for beginners looking at designs for a new starter online business.
Premium templates cost $180 for Shopify Lite plan users. If you happen to purchase the Shopify Basic plan or above, you get to choose 20 premium themes to add to your account. Both premium and free Shopify templates have something for everyone, with high-quality features and customizable options.
Analytics and Reporting: Shopify
Analytics and reporting tools aren’t deal breakers for an ecommerce website builder. But it is a tool that can help you improve your website and give a breakdown on profits and losses—and we found that Shopify offers this feature a little more affordably than Wix does.
The most comprehensive analytics and reporting come with the Shopify Advanced and the Shopify Plus plans. But, if you can’t afford to fork out more than $299 per month, the Shopify Lite and Basic Shopify plans are still pretty helpful and informative.
With the Shopify Lite plan, you can still view key sales, orders, and online store visitor data with its overview dashboard. You also get access to financial reports and product analytics so that you can see the performance of your products.
If you have a more flexible budget, the Basic Shopify plan offers everything the Lite plan does, plus live view, acquisition, inventory, behavior, and marketing reports.
On the other hand, Wix seriously comes up short. You don’t get access to any of these tools on its cheapest plan, plus only one year free for the visitor’s analytics app on the next cheapest plan. It costs additional fees after that month, but isn’t worth the hassle.
Even though Shopify has an impressive range of analytics and reporting tools, we would only recommend the more comprehensive plans to larger businesses that sell high volumes of inventory. Many tools aren’t necessary for a successful (or small) online store.
Both Shopify and Wix offer very similar products that help you build your website from the ground up. Here’s an in-depth look at the different products they both offer and which website builder is better:
Domain Registration: Wix
Wix certainly offers a more inclusive and all-in-one solution for domain registration than Shopify does. First and foremost, Wix offers a free domain for one year with any plan, for as low as $10 per month, whereas Shopify does not. You can expect to pay $14 per year for an individual domain with Shopify, which is around the same price as purchasing a domain from a third-party provider.
Both Wix and Shopify have some form of domain protection and privacy. However, Wix practices private domain registration, which means you’ll avoid identity theft, unwanted solicitations, and domain hijacking.
We found that choosing a domain with Wix is much more seamless than choosing one with Shopify. This is mainly because Wix offers free web hosting with every domain registration, making it easy to set up your website to its full potential.
It’s a little less seamless with Shopify, as it offers subdomains and subdirectories that can impact your website’s URL structure and decrease the SEO value of your main website if you choose a subdomain.
Overall, Wix is more affordable and easy to navigate when registering for a domain. It is especially great for beginners or small business owners on a budget, as you receive a domain for free while getting bonus features from the Wix plan.
It’s not ideal for new users to pay $14 per year, on top of a website builder’s payment plan like you do with Shopify.
Website Design: Shopify
Although we think Wix is a tad more powerful when it comes to customization, Shopify has an overall better website design because of its clear and narrow features. Even though HTML and CSS can be confusing to some, we think it’s a better trade-off than a stubborn template—which is the bulk of your design.
Having such an extensive range of templates to choose from with Wix is more of a downside, but this is only because its templates are not interchangeable.
If you’re building a website, you want to have the freedom of choosing multiple designs to see how they look—but unfortunately, with Wix, you need to manually transfer all of your data onto each template you select. This is a significant downfall for Wix’s design department, which is why Shopify is more accommodating.
With Shopify website design, you have more functionality using Liquid templating language and complete control over all HTML and CSS code that keeps your chosen design intact.
Another cool feature of Shopify’s website design is that you can create customer groups, customer accounts, detailed customer profiles, and custom gift cards—so your customers have access to everything on launch day.
Mobile App: Wix
The last most helpful product offering is the mobile app. Wix offers the most extensive and complete mobile app on the market, which is an excellent option for remote teams that are managing or building a website together.
Although Shopify’s mobile app also lets remote teams work from wherever they are, Wix has a more expansive range of tasks you can complete via mobile.
For example, you can build and edit your entire website through your mobile device, which is incredible in terms of remote access. You can also manage your online store and take payments, complete customer orders, and add tracking numbers.
A few other tasks you can do on Wix’s mobile app include:
- Run your blog
- Stay connected to members
- Let clients book and make payments
- Chat live with visitors with automated greetings
- Track analytics in real-time
What about Shopify? Well, its mobile tasks include:
- Manage your products
- Process orders
- Respond to staff in real-time
The difference is staggering, and users who utilize the Wix mobile app are sure to feel more supported. The Wix mobile app is jam-packed with features that will help grow your website and generate more leads on the go.
Overall, we think Wix and Shopify are both great ecommerce website builders. For four of the seven criteria and product offerings that we looked at, Wix came out on top. At number one on our list of free website builders, we feel that Wix is a very solid all-in-one business solution.
As the more affordable option of the two, Wix offers excellent products, features, and tools that will help you build and improve your online business and presence. With impeccable customization options and an easy-to-use interface, Wix lets you have full freedom of your website.
Wix also keeps your site up and running with its impressive 99.98 percent uptime rate. Your site is always protected with Wix 24/7 team of live security professionals constantly monitoring and thwarting any cybersecurity threats.
Users don’t need to worry about the technical side of things, like domain registration or web hosting, because Wix takes care of all the nitty-gritty. Users have a more seamless and positive experience investing in Wix than any other website builder on the market.