Why Your Dispensary Should Make the Switch from Wix to WordPress


One of the questions I get asked a lot by people unfamiliar with the website world, is which platform should I be on? Often, this leads to questions about Wix. In the cannabis industry, Wix websites have gained some popularity from a segment of new founders who are just starting out in business and not familiar with how to choose a website platform. It seems easy enough, right? I can use a web builder like Wix and build my own site because I don’t need a developer. It will save me money, right?

Well, just because Wix is one of the most advertised website builders, doesn’t mean it’s a good choice for your business. Also, building websites is not exactly something you pick up overnight. Why would you want to step outside of your zone of genius (cultivating, selling, whatever it is) to bootstrap your website and potentially create a poor online shopping experience? Plus, when you are ready to leave Wix for any growth needs – improved search engine optimization (SEO), improved customizations, gamification, or other specific functionality – you have to pay to rebuild and redesign your site. It can be expensive and time intensive.

Save money and start on the more scalable, powerful platform so you aren’t creating more work on yourself. In this article, we will compare the two platforms and discuss the reasons why you should make the switch from Wix to WordPress. I’ll tell you why using Wix for your cannabis website can create limitations for your business and why it’s a bad choice for your marketing investment. 

What’s the difference?

Wix is a popular beginner-friendly website builder that allows users to create and design their own websites. You pay a monthly fee for your website, which includes hosting. Only around 2.4% of all websites are built using Wix sites (Source: W3Techs). It’s not at all the industry standard for professional websites and most service providers (website developers, SEO experts, content marketers, etc) worth their weight who hear you have a cannabis business site on Wix will cringe immediately, knowing the uphill battle they face with platform limitations on Wix.

WordPress, on the other hand, is a content management system (CMS) that is more powerful and flexible than Wix. WordPress is free to use, but you will need to pay a hosting provider to host your website. WordPress powers over 40% of the web. Most professional businesses that are serious about growth invest in WordPress over Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, or other platforms out there. 

Wix vs WordPress: Which is the better platform?

Wix and WordPress both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Wix is a platform for beginners as it offers easy drag-and-drop website building and provides templates to choose from. It also offers several add-ons, such as eCommerce stores, that can help small businesses to market their products and services. 

On the other hand, WordPress is a more powerful platform, with a variety of themes and plugins that are infinitely customizable. You can literally build any kind of website you want. WordPress is an open source platform which creates more flexibility for website owners to bring their visions to life, whether it be gamification, eCommerce, selling new cannabis merchandise, or more. WordPress can be more technically challenging, but it allows businesses to create a unique, professional website, with many more options for customization than Wix. Furthermore, WordPress sites are often more SEO friendly than Wix sites, which can help businesses to get more visibility and drive more traffic to their websites. 

WordPress is more SEO-friendly than Wix

Websites need to be optimized for search engine optimization (SEO) in order to better compete online and rank high in organic search results to increase traffic and gain more web visitors. It’s easier for search engines and users to find WordPress sites.

WordPress offers more SEO-friendly features than Wix, such as the ability to easily add meta data, optimized titles and h1 tags, and descriptions. Additionally, with WordPress, you can create customized URLs and add keywords to your content. WordPress allows search engine crawlers to easily read and index your website. Furthermore, WordPress also provides users with tools like Yoast SEO, which provides comprehensive SEO support and can help to boost your website’s visibility and rankings on search engines. 

On the other hand, Wix is not as SEO-friendly because their SEO options are very limited. Wix sites tend to have slower page loading times, which can negatively impact your website’s ranking on search engine results pages. 46.1% of WordPress sites got more web traffic in a month compared to Wix, whose websites only earned 1.4% (Source: ahrefs). WordPress websites get more organic results because it is more SEO friendly and – depending on the hosting provider – runs 50% faster (Source: ahrefs).

Furthermore, Wix allows you to add very basic on-site SEO, but if you need advanced search engine optimization on your site, there’s not much else you can do. Wix also lacks the ability to allow you to control which pages are included in your sitemap.

If you don’t mind the more technical demands, then WordPress is going to be the winner for scaling with you and your cannabis business SEO needs.

WordPress is more flexible and customizable than Wix

Compared to Wix, WordPress offers more features, is more SEO-friendly, more flexible, as affordable, and has better community support. Because it’s a more flexible, open source platform, you have more control over your site from design and customization to hosting and security.

The fact that WordPress is open source means that if there is a functionality you’d like to add to your website there will probably be a plugin for it.  A plugin is like an app on your phone, it extends the functionality of WordPress. WordPress offers an array of plugins and themes to choose from, allowing businesses to add more features to their websites. You get plugins for eCommerce, memberships, chat functionalities, etc. Wix has 200 + apps and WordPress has 59,000+ plugins, so really if you can think of something there will either be a free or a premium plugin for it. There are so many developers out there, like our pros here at The Source, that can customize plugins, themes and templates to your needs and branding. 

Another advantage of WordPress is it can be used for a variety of different purposes. You can use WordPress to create anything from a blog to an online shop. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) for your website, making it easier to manage content, create and edit custom web pages, and add media files. WordPress can be easily customized to create eCommerce stores, membership sites, blog sites, and much more. You can create anything you want!

WordPress gives you control over your data 

Exporting data with Wix is a headache. If you start off in Wix, it’s very hard to export the data across to another platform like WordPress. You can only export the last 20 posts. We had that issue with Jet Cannabis when rebuilding their site. Wix made it difficult for the dispensary owner to export pages, images and files. Luckily, he had our website developers on his side! But for future purposes, skip the headache and start on a platform that gives you full ownership and control of your files and data.

WordPress, in comparison, has total data portability. It gives website owners full control over their data and files so you can easily transfer content and files across platforms. 

WordPress is just as affordable as Wix and better value for your money

WordPress is generally just as affordable as Wix in the long run. You will pay monthly for hosting and any premium plugins you wish to add to your site on WordPress. 

I see most new cannabis business operators outgrow Wix in their first 6 months to a year. Sometimes they are stuck in three year contracts on a platform that won’t scale to their needs and they have to eat that cost. Save time, money, and headaches and invest in the right platform from the start.

Average cost of Wix versus WordPress

People actually pay website designers a lot of money to design their Wix websites. As in, a DIY platform is sometimes just as much or more expensive than a WordPress website. People are actually investing big bucks into Wix, thinking they are saving money, but will spend more in the long run using a platform with limited customization and scalability. I know people who charge over $5,000 for Wix websites for a five page build, which is comparable for a web developer fee for a WordPress site. 

WordPress sites incur annual fees for hosting and any additional plug-ins they use. On average, that might be around $960 per year, on the higher side. Any extra costs would come from one time development fees or website maintenance and upkeep. 

Cost and capability comparison (Wix vs WordPress)

HostingIncluded but only runs within Wix platform$2.95 – $40+ per month depending on hosting needs
Templates and ThemesAround 20 categories and 800 templates. Once your site has content, you cannot change templatesOver 10,000 themes to choose from and make your own give you the most design options for your needs
Customization CapabilitiesLimited customization capabilities. You can customize templates with your content, logo, and brand colors. But if you want actual customization of features or functionality, you’re out of luck. Limited designs can stifle creativity and force your brand into a template that isn’t right for your brand and online strategy.WordPress is completely customizable to your needs. You can create unique, eye catching designs and web pages optimized for conversions. The backend of WordPress has become so much easier and there are drag and drop builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder and Divi and the newly implemented block editor (add ons like Kadence Blocks) that make it super easy for you to build dynamic page layouts. Both platforms offer code-free creation of the look and feel of your website but WordPress has more advanced features and the options of adding in custom CSS if need be.
ScalabilityYou can leverage apps on the Wix marketplace but it’s fairly limited. Plus, the biggest cost of Wix is the fact that they don’t have an export function for website owners to transfer all their site content. So when you quickly outgrow Wix, you have to completely rebuild your website versus just paying for a redesign.WordPress can scale with your business stage and needs. If you start on WordPress, you’ll have platform that can support you now and grow with you in the future. Instead of the hassle of moving platforms, start on the right one in the first place.
Sponsored AdsYou have to pay for the premium plan to get rid of ads showing on your wix sites don’t have ads, which means third parties aren’t monetizing your website traffic like on Wix
Special Features and FunctionalityWix doesn’t have a great platform for developers to be able to go in and customize what they want, so you are limited to what the platform provides. You can get basic functionality such as forms and calendarsIf you dream it, you can do it! WordPress sites can leverage over 59,000+ free & paid add‑ons (plugins) or custom code the solution they desire. If you want to create experiential brand moments on your website, use WordPress. I’ve seen WordPress used for gamification, quizzes, event calendars, eCommerce, and so much more.
Data OwnershipAccording to Wix “Your Wix site and all of its content is hosted exclusively on Wix’s servers, and cannot be exported elsewhere”. Basically, there is no data portability and they “trap” you on their platform because it’s a cumbersome process to move your content and files off of Wix.Your website is your 24/7 employee and you want it working around the clock. If you need to move hosts to get a faster website because yyou have an uptick in traffic, you can easily transfer from one host to another. You own all your files and can take them to any hosting provider of your choosing.
BloggingComments on Wix blog posts are slow, Wix also lacks features like backdating blog posts, creating private posts, and more.WordPress was created for blogging. It is the Crème de la Crème in the blogging world. It has advanced tools and plug-ins to support better SEO, connects easily with email service providers for sending out weekly blog promotions, and WordPress has better analytics to see what content is working.

WordPress is better for eCommerce

When it comes to eCommerce, Wix charges a commission of  2.9% of the transaction amount + 0.30 USD for the US region. And you might have to pay more for third party apps to achieve the functionalities your business needs.

Plus. a cannabis industry peer put her cannabis retreats on Wix and they turned off the merchant processor in days, causing her to rebuild on WordPress.

Wix is not recommended for large online stores. It’s a decent platform if you are selling a few items here and there but if you are reading this blog, then you’re probably an A player looking to scale and sell MORE. For those who want to invest in eCommerce, WordPress is the clear winner.

Get The Most Out Of Your Website Investment with WordPress

Hopefully it’s clear that WordPress is the recommended platform for cannabis businesses that want more control and flexibility with their website. Your website is one of your company’s most valuable assets, that is always evolving and scaling to your business needs. A WordPress website will help you get the most out of your website investment.

Compared to Wix, WordPress offers more features, is more SEO-friendly, more flexible, and more scalable. This means you can start off small knowing that you can easily scale up adding more pages, a blog, an eCommerce website, a membership platform, etc. In short, WordPress is more technically challenging than Wix, but it’s the best platform for serious cannabis businesses looking to scale. 

If you’re wanting to switch from Wix to WordPress, now is a good time to make the switch to a website platform that will help you drive more sales online. The Source Marketing Group provides high quality and affordable website packages. Email us today to see how we can help you get the most out of your website at

Author Profile: 

Kristin is the Founder and CEO of The Source Marketing Group. The marketing agency is focused on elevating female-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses in the cannabis and craft beer space.