WordPress and Wix: what’s the difference for restaurants?
Location, location, location. Or so it was for restaurants until COVID-19 made online real estate just as important as your physical location. If you’re looking to set up a website for your restaurant, you’re most likely considering website builders like Wix or WordPress.
Between these, there’s no one ‘right’ answer, but WordPress and Wix are the market leaders of two different categories of website builder, so it’s useful to understand the difference. WordPress is a mature content management system with great flexibility, which an experienced developer could turn into a complex, well-designed website. Wix is an easy site builder with less flexibility. It’s designed to be usable for people with no experience building websites.
Below, we explain what those differences mean in detail.
WordPress and Wix for restaurants: a comparison
With Wix, getting started is a quick and easy process. First step, signing up. Next, choosing the type of website you want to create and a website template. And just like that, you’re ready to start building your website.
With WordPress, it’s a bit more complicated. “Hosting” refers to the server space on which all your website files will go. With Wix, hosting is included and you won’t have to think about it. But WordPress is an open-source platform, meaning you’ll need to find a web host and install it yourself. It’s not necessarily a complicated process, but if you do get stuck, WordPress doesn’t offer any official support.
That same principle is true of your entire Wix and WordPress journey. With WordPress, you may find answers to your questions in the community forums, but the responses are often unreliable and the helpful answers can get buried. In addition, WordPress is so widely used and there are so many ways to achieve an aim that there is an oversupply of articles, which paradoxically makes gathering information harder.
Wix, on the other hand, offers phone, chat, and email support, as well as articles and tutorials – so you’ll usually be able to solve any issues that may come up. But, they might charge.
Mobile Responsiveness for Restaurants
Lots of WordPress themes are mobile-responsive (but some aren’t!), meaning your site will usually look great on both desktop and mobile devices without requiring a separate mobile version. However, some mobile-optimised templates can make certain elements of a website look slightly odd, even if they don’t create any functional problems. Checking out user reviews before you choose a template can help you avoid this issue.
Wix also claims ‘your website will automatically look amazing on any device’, but this isn’t entirely true. Wix templates are becoming more responsive, but depending on your site’s content or how you adjust your template’s design, you’ll need to tweak your site to make sure it’s mobile-optimised.
But how important is responsiveness? Well, for restaurants in particular, the answer is: a lot.
According to StoreKit data, around 80% of visitors to use mobile devices to access a restaurant ordering site. Therefore, mobile responsiveness is right at the top of things you should consider. But it also depends on the intention of your customers. Customers are more likely to digest complex information by desktop, or make very large purchases; conversely, customers are likely to make purchases like takeaways on mobile.
That’s why some businesses use external menus which are purpose-built for mobile and takeaway. Take StoreKit Takeaway, which optimises for mobile and includes features like driver management integration. If your website isn’t mobile optimised, your users might bounce straight off, losing you potential customers.
Restaurant Takeaways with WordPress and Wix
Having a mobile-optimised setup is particularly important if you offer online food ordering. So should you set up your restaurant’s online ordering using WordPress instead?
The answer is probably not, because it’s very difficult. WordPress started as a website and blog builder – a “content management system”, not an “online ordering system”. Even with the large variety of available plugins, it lacks the functionality you need to navigate the complexities of online ordering. If you’re using WordPress, adding a separate progressive web app menu like StoreKit Takeaway can make setting up online ordering a lot easier.
Unlike WordPress, Wix does offer a dedicated online food ordering system. It has a lot of strengths – it’s easy to set up, it looks attractive, and is easy to navigate. But it also has some major flaws. Aside from your Wix website not being mobile-optimised, it has yet to support some major payment options, like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Google Pay. And the menu is a web page, meaning it lacks the benefits that progressive web apps like StoreKit Takeaway offer.
But what makes progressive web apps so great? PWAs combine the strengths of both apps and webpages, without inheriting their weaknesses. Like apps, they have fast load speeds and can send push notifications, but they don’t require downloads, which can be offputting for users. As an online ordering menu, it can work as a standalone site for your restaurant, or you can easily add it to your Wix or WordPress website via a URL.
WordPress & Wix Restaurant Themes
With Wix, you can find hundreds of free and stylish templates, categorised by the type of website you want to set up. For restaurants, there’s a section for “‘restaurants and food”’. WordPress offers an even larger volume of templates, including food-related ones, but you’ll have to pay a one-off fee for most of them.
Wix’s templates are pretty flexible. You can grab elements and move them around, so it’s easy to customise. But if you’re comfortable with CSS and HTML, WordPress lets you make changes to your template to set your website up in the exact way you want.
Some parts of Wix’s theme and visual look are reserved for premium packages, such as buttons with minor animated elements.
Features relevant to Restaurants
If you want to build a website for your restaurant, Wix and WordPress offer lots of different features to help you build it the way you want.
WordPress offers tens of thousands of plug-ins – so if there’s a specific feature you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it. But some of the WordPress plugins don’t work perfectly and they can also be incompatible with each other. Making fixes can involve tweaking bits of code, which not everyone will be able to do. But if you’re comfortable with coding, then WordPress will allow you to make much more complex customisations to your website.
Wix also has an extensive library of apps, which mostly focus on making your website more attractive and engaging. But Wix’s apps are easy to set up and they’re all compatible with each other, so you shouldn’t need any technical knowledge. And, like WordPress, Wix’s app market also offers extra features that are more relevant to specific industries, like hotels or restaurants.
That being said, Wix still has some work to do to make their websites mobile-optimised – and that could get in the way of hotel room service or restaurant takeaways, where users are more likely to be using mobile devices.
When it comes to pricing, it can be difficult to judge whether Wix or WordPress is cheaper.
With Wix, it’s clear how much you’re paying. Hosting, themes, and apps are all included in a monthly fixed-price package. Wix’s Business Basic plan is comprehensive, and the main difference between the different plans is storage size. The Business Basic plan should be enough for most small businesses.
Figuring how much your WordPress website will cost you is more complicated. WordPress itself is free, and it does offer some free templates – but you could end up paying for themes and plugins, and you’ll need to pay for hosting and your domain name. How much you end up paying will depend on how complex and sophisticated you want your website’s functions and designs to be.
Wix vs WordPress: which is best for your restaurant?
Both Wix and WordPress are great options for setting up a restaurant website, so choosing one over the other isn’t a straightforward decision.
WordPress is the preferred option for confident coders and bigger businesses because it lets you customise your website in the exact way you want. And as long as you’re not attempting anything too complicated, WordPress is still a good option for tech beginners and small restaurants – and it leaves much more scope for your website to expand and develop later down the line as your business grows.
But for busy restaurant owners with little time on their hands, Wix is the fastest and easiest way to build a website. Building a website with Wix takes hours, but building a WordPress site can take days and weeks. And maintaining and updating a WordPress site can be a lot more time-consuming, and Wix offers much better support options. But where Wix falls short is that it’s not automatically mobile-optimised in the way a lot of WordPress templates are. For your restaurant website, where the large majority of your users will be using mobile, that could be an issue – especially when it comes to online food ordering.
That’s where StoreKit Takeaway comes in. It’s a mobile-friendly online takeaway menu that can also double up as a table ordering menu for your restaurant. It’s easy to set up and for your customers to use, and you can attach it to your restaurant’s website with a URL. It can also work in conjunction with WordPress, where setting up online ordering is difficult.
Because StoreKit is a payment processor, our software is free and we only make money when you do – that means no sign-up fees, no monthly commissions, or any hidden fees.
If you want to try setting up your online ordering menu, you can set one up in less than 20 minutes for free.