In this article, I compare Wix vs Shopify – their ease of use, features, and performance – to find out which website building platform would suit your business better.
Wix and Shopify are very different builders that include features and functions that are great for commerce, but the type of business you run will probably determine which option is better for you.
To help you decide, I have conducted an in-depth comparison of Wix vs Spotify, highlighting what each builder does well and what it struggles with.
Wix and Shopify are major website builders with a wide range of business functions. They feature hundreds of different design templates, and both are noted for their easy to use interfaces that make them relatively beginner-friendly.
That said, Wix stands out for being very flexible – a feature that Shopify cannot claim. Wix’s drag-and-drop site editor has no grid restrictions and allows its users complete freedom, meanwhile, Shopify can only offer code access which is useful for more advanced users only.
Shopify differs from Wix in that it is more exclusively geared towards online retail. For example, you wouldn’t use Shopify if you wanted to make a blog about fashion reviews, but if you were trying to sell designer clothes, it might be right for you.
The eCommerce features of both builders are robust, however, not equal. Perhaps because online retail is the sole focus of Shopify, it ends up being much better for bigger businesses. So online entrepreneurs might use Shopify if they have hundreds of products to sell, or if they anticipate that level of volume in the future.
Wix, on the other hand, does better with smaller stores than with bigger ones. Wix includes fewer shipment and payment options than Shopify, and bandwidth is also limited with most of its plans. For smaller online shops, these limitations may not impact businesses much. However, for bigger stores, it is possible that these restrictions could damage e-shop’s scaling.
Retail friendliness aside, however, Wix is the easier to use of the two builders. Thanks to preconfigured templates and AI technology, you can do in minutes on Wix what might take hours to accomplish on Shopify.
Wix also wins out in the pricing department, featuring entry-level plans that are less expensive than those offered by Shopify. The actual price of each will depend on the features you need, but in any case, Wix is usually more affordable than Shopify when it comes to eCommerce.
However, none of this is to say that one builder is better than the other. Each has different strengths, and that’s why in this Wix vs Shopify comparison, I will decide which platform is better for your online business.
Wix offers three eCommerce plans and the cheapest one starts at $23 a month. The second-tier plan costs $27/month and the first-tear subscription is priced $49 per month. For users who want a custom solution for their online business, and no plan matches their needs, there’s a fourth option that offers a call with Wix to get a custom plan.
The basic Shopify plan is slightly more expensive, starting at $29 a month. And while the plans for Wix increase in price gradually – the hike in Shopify is a bit more severe. Although the basic Shopify plan is available at a reasonable $29 a month, the next one up costs to $79/month.
However, price and value are not the same, and the value offering of either option will depend on your needs. For example, both entry-level eCommerce plans for Shopify and Wix feature unlimited bandwidth.
The $29 Shopify plan also has most of the major tools needed for running an online store. This includes a limitless catalog, various shipping possibilities, discounts, and payment options as well as round-the-clock customer support.
With Wix, you will need to look into various plugins and tools just to get many of the features that are naturally integrated into the entry-level Shopify plan. As a result, it will be difficult to estimate exactly how much you will pay.
Unfortunately, Shopify features “hidden fees” that might come as a nasty surprise. These are the transactional fees they take out of every sale you make. How much you pay depends on the plan you select. The entry-level plan starts at 2%, but you are charged less with the bigger packages, and advanced Shopify users pay just 0.5% in transaction fees.
However, Wix is always commission-free, which can lead to a major difference in cost down the line.
Additionally, you can get free trials with both builders. Shopify allows you to start without choosing a plan or even providing payment information.
With Wix, though, you select a plan first. Then you have two weeks to decide if it’s right for your needs. Wix also has a completely free mode, but it doesn’t have eCommerce features.
Though Shopify doesn’t have a permanently free mode, it does offer an option called “Shopify Lite”. Shopify Lite costs just $9 a month, but it is very limited in what it allows you to do. You can create a product list and sell your merchandise on social media as well as various other web outlets.
Both Wix and Shopify have features that will help even users with limited knowledge to get started. Wix’s biggest advantage is its intuitive design interface that is powered by its drag-and-drop editor. Meanwhile, Shopify benefits from a vast array of educational resources that are needed to use this platform’s site editor to the full capacity.
In short, Wix is a lot more beginner-friendly than Shopify. When building a website – you don’t have to touch the code to customize most of the elements. However, since Wix’s site editor is so flexible and allows placing any element on top of the other without restrictions – it can get messy when creating a cohesive design all throughout the pages of your online store.
Yet it’s not like Shopify is way more difficult than Wix in terms of ease of use. This platform manages to offers tons of information that may help you ease the online store building process.
Shopify’s tutorial library is impressive and includes dozens of guides and videos that cover everything from organizing your store to performing more specific tasks – such as creating custom landing pages. Even without the tutorials, navigation is relatively intuitive.
You can get started with minimal effort by choosing from Shopify’s free themes and then acquiring additional features as you go. Setting up your store to completion may take hours, but each step of the process is fairly straightforward.
However, despite the user-friendly framework, Wix is still easier to use. This is largely thanks to its famous user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. And, like Shopify, Wix also features dozens of tutorial videos and blog posts to help you out.
However, when it comes to user-friendliness, Wix’s best feature is its ADI mode. Wix ADI (artificial design intelligence) uses algorithms to create a custom site in a matter of minutes. Of course, in pursuing this option you forfeit control over the design process, but it is still a lightning-fast way to get started with a website.
Granted, no matter what, setting up an online store will always be a time investment. Even with AI and automation features, you still have to upload products, set prices, and write descriptions. These things take time.
When it comes to premade templates, Wix is well equipped. The builder has more than 500 different options for all types of websites, including eCommerce. And of course, as an eCommerce store builder, Shopify doesn’t back down so easily.
Wix’s eCommerce templates are organized to suit the anticipated needs of specific businesses. For example, if you browse its template store, you might find niche templates designed for flower shops or cosmetic stores.
Of course, you don’t have to be the type of store described by the name of the template to use it. Wix is simply assuming that the layout, as well as the color motifs of each of its templates, will suit a very specific type of shop.
Still, the precise options may make it easier to find something right for your store. It’s also worth keeping in mind that much of the Wix template library is free, which means users of every budget should be able to acquire a beautiful layout.
The themes look great on the desktop and are responsive to look good on mobile products as well.
Now let’s check what Shopify has to offer. The only real obstacle with its templates is that they cost money.
Though the template store prices vary, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $200 (one-time fee) for your template. There are ten free templates to choose from, but they are fairly bland.
If you are looking for something elaborate, you will probably have to pay for it. In contrast, Wix provides 60 free templates to choose from.
Shopify templates are primarily better for advanced people that demand flexibility. With some HTML or CSS knowledge, you can essentially tweak their templates endlessly, helping you to achieve the perfect interface for your online store.
Ironically, both platforms boast that they are flexible options to build an online store, however, both are adjustable in different ways. Wix targets beginners with its drag-and-drop site editor that has no restrictions, on the other hand, Shopify provides code access that allows tweaking storefronts for more advanced users.
Both Wix and Shopify have many business-oriented features. Remember, of course, that different businesses have different needs. If you are running an online store, Shopify has a clear advantage due to it being a powerful eCommerce platform. However, if you own a physical business and want to promote it online – then Wix may be a better option.
For example, Wix is really great when it comes to creating landing pages, or blog spaces – both features that businesses may be able to take advantage of.
On the other hand, Shopify is fully packed with practical eCommerce features since it’s one of the most popular eCommerce platforms. Below you will find a more in-depth comparative look at business-critical features!
Analytic tools give you the rundown on how your website is doing. They can be extremely precise, providing information on who is using your site and how they are using it. Both Wix and Shopify provide users with robust analytic tools.
Here is a screenshot showing an example of a Shopify analytics report:
As you can see, the report shows how many visitors are coming into the site, how much they spend, and even how often they come back. Reports of this nature help you to zero in on what is working well and what isn’t capturing the attention of your customers.
The nice thing about Shopify’s analytics is that they are completely focused on eCommerce. Wix also features analytic tools that provide a more broad overview of your site performance.
With Wix, you can use a third-party app from its marketplace that gives insight about your website’s traffic, bounce rates, and other useful information that will benefit its users on how to optimize your online presence.
So both Wix and Shopify offer decent analytic tools to have a closer look at how your online business is ranking on search engines.
Shopify and Wix take slightly different approaches to search engine optimization. Shopify uses plugins for SEO. This allows you to choose the resource you think is best for your needs, but it may increase the cost of your store.
Most of Shopify’s SEO applications provide feedback on your keyword performance, as well as other factors such as your content’s readability.
With Wix, the SEO tools are built directly into the dashboard, and Wix SEO Wiz is completely free and available to all users. This tool quickly analyzes the performance of your page and creates customized recommendations for how you can rank better on Google.
However, with the built-in tool, you lose the ability to custom select an optimal SEO strategy for your store.
Additionally, both builders include other in-built important SEO functions. For example, with both Wix and Shopify, you are able to input meta descriptions to help bring traffic to your site.
Neither platform’s approach to SEO is necessarily better than the other, though each will favor a different type of user. Some may prefer the built-in capabilities of Wix, while others might like to choose for themselves with Shopify.
Shopify does better with eCommerce because that is the sole purpose of the builder. If you have a lot of products to sell and you anticipate continuous growth, the eCommerce package of Shopify will suit you better.
The unlimited bandwidth, as well as the general flexibility of the builder, make Shopify really great at eCommerce. If you want to maximize your eCommerce options, Shopify is the way to go. However, if you can settle for less, Wix will be more affordable due to its lack of commission fees.
Shipping is also a factor that can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your eCommerce store. Both Wix and Shopify provide a range of shipping options. The good news is that you get all of the standard shipping features with either builder.
For example, if you are looking for free shipping, weight-based shipping, or flat rate shipping, either builder will work.
However, Shopify ultimately has a wider range of shipping options to choose from. With Shopify, you are able to buy and print your own labels, provide real-time package tracking, and cooperate with dropshipping carriers. These features don’t make or break a business, but they definitely give you enhanced flexibility.
Both Wix and Shopify allow you to accept payments via a variety of different methods. In either case, you will be able to accept most of the major types of payment (credit, debit, PayPal, etc). However, Shopify ultimately includes more options.
Most notably, Wix does not allow you to use Apple Pay or other emerging payment methods provided by social media channels such as Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
With Wix, any website you create is automatically formatted so that it will look good on mobile. You are then able to change up the mobile settings on the builder using the mobile editor feature.
If you are using an ADI site, you can even edit the mobile and desktop version of your site directly from a phone or tablet application.
Shopify is also fairly mobile friendly. All of Shopify’s themes are automatically ready for online checkout. However, you may find that optimizing your web content for mobile may take a little bit more effort with Shopify than it does with Wix.
Because everything you do on Wix is automatically mobile formatted, it is a little bit more smartphone-friendly to start out with. However, both builders are well prepared to capitalize on the ever-important mobile web traffic market.
Some websites prefer to require shoppers to become “members” of their store before they can make a purchase. Establishing a membership pool can be good for business because it allows you to effortlessly build up an email list. As shoppers input their information, you establish a pool of people to send promos and ads to.
Both Wix and Shopify allow you to establish a customer login page.
Shopify has a little bit more in the way of options for this feature. However, the difference is fairly arbitrary. Important though this feature may be, one user login page is not all that much different from another. Still, if you want as much flexibility as you can get, Shopify has more to offer.
I also reached out to both websites in order to get a better understanding of their customer support services. Both builders take a multifaceted approach to this consideration, including tutorial videos and blog posts, as well as providing phone, forum, and email support.
Both builders ultimately do a pretty good job of addressing concerns in a timely manner. Shopify is particularly impressive because of its tutorial resources. Though both company websites feature a blog, the information is much more detailed and user-friendly with Shopify.
Shopify is also quicker at responding to requests for help. They feature 24/7 customer support, whereas Wix sticks to business hours. This makes it much harder to get real-time support in your dealings with Wix.
Ultimately, both builders feature reliable customer service. However, the 24-hour support of Shopify, combined with its dense library of tutorial materials, do give it an advantage over Wix.
Like most website builders, Shopify and Wix both feature a massive library of applications you can use to enhance and customize your website. Both application stores feature thousands of different resources, making it very hard to declare either option better than the other.
The big difference is that, true to Shopify’s nature, all of its plugins are specific to the needs of an eCommerce shop. To that end, it may be a little bit more useful. However, either option will connect you with handy resources.
To test the performance I ran test sites from Wix and Shopify through GTMetrix and LoadImpact. Both software test the stability and responsiveness of the mentioned websites. The results will give you an idea of how your websites would function – were you to pick one of the two builders.
I started by testing the Wix site through both of the evaluator programs. The results were above average. From GTMetrix, my sample site received a page speed score of 80% – a very respectable score. Sites testing in the 90% range are all the better, but 80% is stable.
The LoadImpact results are a little bit more tricky. On the image below you can notice several colored lines. The blue line signifies the site’s response time. The green line signifies visitor requests (simulated web traffic).
Ideally, the response time of a website would remain stable, even as more people access the page. As you can see from the image below, the blue line jumps a little bit but remains mostly stable.
I ran the same tests through the Shopify sample site. While the Wix results were admirable, the Shopify results were truly impressive. The GTMetrix score was 94%, which is just about as good as you can hope to see.
The results of the LoadImpact test were similarly impressive. As you can see, the blue line is fairly irregular, to begin with, but quickly evens out.
It took some time for Shopify to adjust, but in the end, we’re left with a stable result – that’s some great news (for any type of website) since stable response times, and fast performance, is one of the key features to build successful websites.
When it comes to pure eCommerce, Shopify comes out on top. All of its templates are designed for eCommerce use. So are all of its instructional materials and apps. Shopify also features unlimited bandwidth, giving you the ability to expand your inventory indefinitely without worrying about upgrading your subscription plan.
Shopify also wins out in other eCommerce categories, including shipping and payment options, as well as customer membership interfaces. It is true that Shopify tends to take longer to get used to than Wix (especially due to Wix’s ADI mode) but the end result is a beautiful online shop with an abundance of resources.
However, Wix can still be a great option for business owners that need more than just an awesome online store. They have more premade themes and applications that might give you enhanced flexibility as you highlight other aspects of your business.
So in the end, Shopify is a winner when it comes to eCommerce building. However, online businesses aren’t only about online stores. If you wish to promote a physical business with a landing page or a blog – then Wix is a great option.
Wix and Shopify are both great, but they aren’t the only game in town either. There are many other options that provide capabilities similar to what I have highlighted in this guide. Here are a few other website builders that are good for businesses.
WordPress is one of the most popular builders around. It’s great for a wide variety of businesses because it features thousands of different themes and plugins to choose from. There is also lots of room to get creative through coding.
WordPress allows for eCommerce, and though their retail tools aren’t quite as broad as Shopify’s, they still get the job done. There are many different price points for WordPress (especially when you figure for paid themes/plugins), but the eCommerce package starts at $45, so it’s not a budget solution.
GoDaddy has been in the web hosting game for a long time, and they’ve recently expanded into the builder niche. When it comes to business and online commerce, they have two primary options. You can build an online store with the WordPress WooCommerce system or have it done directly through GoDaddy.
The WooCommerce system provides lots of flexibility, while the GoDaddy format is simpler and more user-friendly.
Like Wix, Squarespace is known for being easy to use. The builder features a drag-and-drop system that makes building beautiful sites fairly simple. Squarespace sites aren’t very flexible, but they are straightforward. Business packages start at $18 a month and can go up to $40.