WordPress vs Wix vs Squarespace
Using a website builder for your business website can save you a lot of time and money. These platforms allow you to get a professional website up and running in hours and on a budget that previously might have cost thousands to hire a developer or web design agency. Many also include an integrated hosting service and content management system that make updating and populating your website with content as easy as sending an email.
In this article we offer a head-to-head comparison of three main platforms. At Wix vs WordPress vs Squarespace, we examine their respective features, customer support, and pricing plans to see which ones are best for your operation.
(Image credit: Squarespace)
Before we dive in, it’s worth understanding the background to these platforms. WordPress is by far the most popular provider, claiming to power 38 percent of the world’s websites. There are two forms: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. While the latter company used to have a fairly straightforward proposition, it now has four business and ecommerce plans. Warning: On the free WordPress.com plan, your website will have WordPress in the url and ads that do not make you earn anything.
The “real” WordPress, however, is WordPress.org, an open source content management system that requires self-hosting. When people talk about WordPress they usually mean it and that is what is discussed in this article. It’s incredibly customizable, although the UI feels slightly out of date in 2020.
Squarespace and Wix, on the other hand, are website builders that act as a kind of one-stop shop for all of your website building needs. This includes hosting websites, a wide range of sleek and modern templates, tools for creating drag-and-drop designs, and standard maintenance of your website. Hence, they have a much flatter learning curve than WordPress.
Every time someone accesses your URL, they will be redirected to your website, the data of which is stored on your web host. Squarespace and Wix are hosted website builders, which means they handle the hosting in-house.
However, WordPress is a self-hosted platform, so you’ll need to set up your own host. Self-hosting is more complicated, but it gives you better control over your storage space, marketability, and prices. Some of the best website hosts also offer a bespoke WordPress linking service to make the process easier.
WordPress offers unlimited customization in terms of design, so you – or your employed freelancer or agency – can tinker with the coding of your website endlessly. Thousands of free and paid WordPress themes allow you to instantly change the design and layout of your website without affecting its content. When designing your website, WordPress lets you add page builder plugins such as: B. WP Page Builder, Beaver Builder or Divi. These often come with free templates and allow you to create pages using a drag-and-drop tool, making the design process similar to what you might experience with Wix or Squarespace.
Squarespace doesn’t let you create a website from scratch like WordPress, but the templates are stunning and simple – ideal if your business has a visual product. Squarespace’s design tool can take some getting used to and limits you to the parameters of your template. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you don’t want to make major adjustments.
Wix is certainly the easiest platform for beginners and has more than 500 templates. The drag-and-drop editor makes the design process incredibly intuitive. There are two types of Wix to choose from: Wix ADI and Wix Editor. The former uses AI to generate a site for you, while the latter allows you to create a site manually. Wix ADI is quick and easy to use, but it uses preset content and sections. The editor, on the other hand, is more customizable, but it makes it difficult to modify your template after you’ve set up your site.
WordPress was originally developed as a blogging website builder. The content management system is second to none and allows adding videos, images and third party apps with just a few clicks.
Squarespace’s content management system can almost rival WordPress. It includes categories (a way to organize your posts) and post scheduling, plus a live preview of your website as you write. Wix, on the other hand, is more restricted and does not, for example, allow custom layouts. However, if all you need is a simple blog with pictures, text, and videos, you won’t be left in the lurch.
There have been a few reports that Wix’s ecommerce functionality can impact performance. Overall, however, the offerings are impressive, including a comprehensive management tool that you can use to keep track of sales and shipping progress.
In this area too, Squarespace comes into its own. The e-commerce solution has all the features a professional business would need, including coupons, no transaction fees, and zooming in on product images.
WordPress doesn’t offer any built-in ecommerce functionality, so you’ll need to import a plugin, the best of which is arguably Woocommerce. Completely free and easily scalable, it has a large community of developers to help you get it set up and is owned by the same company as WordPress.
(Image credit: Wix)
Squarespace and Wix offer customer support as well as support forums, articles, and video tutorials. In fact, it’s pretty difficult to split them up. While Squarespace has 24/7 email support, Wix has phone lines that you can actually talk to someone over. So this depends on your communication preferences.
Both are undoubtedly better than WordPress in this regard. Since it is open source, WordPress is free to use but does not offer customer support. You can only go to a public forum or go the DIY route with a YouTube tutorial. Since your host is disconnected from the platform with WordPress, there is always a risk of going around in circles trying to find the source of a problem.
Prices and plans
(Photo credit: WordPress)
WordPress is free, but almost always comes with unavoidable costs that are worth paying attention to. First of all, you need to find a web host. They vary massively in terms of price and add-ons, but a solid solution for a website with fewer than 10,000 users per month can be found for around $ 5 to $ 15 per month. Plugins, which are additional bits of code that you can use to improve your website, e.g. B. to run ads are usually free, but cost $ 200 and can be billed once or repeatedly.
WordPress theme templates vary in price from free to thousands of dollars. However, we recommend a solution in the $ 30-70 range that gives you plenty of attractive options at a reasonable cost. So in total, you will see between $ 300 and $ 400 for a reputable WordPress site in the first twelve months.
Squarespace and Wix both have recurring payment plans that come standard with a domain, hosting, and web design, and offer different pricing structures based on your needs. Websites on the Wix basic plan contain ads, so this is not a serious option for a corporate website. Their first professional offering is the $ 22-a-month Unlimited package, which offers 10GB of storage and over $ 250 worth of promotional coupons as sweeteners. Squarespace’s business plan is $ 26 per month and includes unlimited bandwidth and storage, as well as a free email address for the first year.
In both cases, you will pay around 20 percent less if you choose to pay annually instead of monthly. All in all, Squarespace and Wix total around $ 250 over the course of the first year for the type of website a small or medium-sized business needs.
Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress can help you build a professional website without breaking the bank. If you’re looking to spend a little more and invest some time learning how to manage your website, turn to WordPress as the customizability is immense. With a whole ecosystem of freelancers, agencies, and third-party content, you can create something that exactly suits your needs.
However, if you want to build a professional looking website quickly, Wix and Squarespace are fantastic options. In our opinion, Wix is slightly stronger than Squarespace because of its slightly more intuitive design process for small and medium-sized businesses – unless your business requires a particularly artistic design. This is where Squarespace comes into its own, with templates that are visually the best on the market.