You’re looking for the best website builder? Here are some tips to help you choose from the many options. We’ll be taking a critical and close look at three of most popular site builders: Squarespace vs WordPress. All three are industry-heavy-hitters and enjoy great acclaim for different reasons.
We are also exploring their:
- Easy use and features
- Templates and designs
- Pricing plans
- Apps and add-ons
- Customer support
- SEO (search engine optimization) capabilities
…and then we’ll give our final verdict.
You should be able to see which platform is best for you by the end.
There are many topics to be covered, so let’s get going.
Website builders who are worth their salt should make it easy to create websites.
Let’s now take a closer look to the most important features of each website builder:
Wix is a famously simple to use tool that makes it ideal for beginners and anyone who needs a simple website.
Wix allows you to easily edit your website and add functionality through its app store. You’ll find hundreds upon hundreds of widgets and extensions here!
Wix offers website analytics that provide insight into visitor behavior and website traffic. This information will help you make informed decisions about how to optimize your website.
Wix allows you to embed a live chat widget onto your website to interact with visitors in real time.
To collaborate with others, you can add a professional mailbox to your account and create member logins. This is particularly useful if you have a team that helps you manage your website.
Other noteworthy features include:
- Wix Stores: You can:
- Create a simple online shopfront
- Manage and track your inventory
- Create product pages
- Coupons and discounts for customers
- Offer worldwide shipping
Wix Stores work best for small online businesses as the ecommerce functionality of Wix Stores is too restrictive to allow complex e-stores.
- Blog platform: You have many layout options to choose from when creating a blog. However, you are not able to control the design of your posts, tags or categories. Wix allows you to manage comments and share your blog posts on social media.
- Bookings – You can make 24/7 bookings via your Wix website from desktop or mobile. You can also offer group or private services, and sync your appointments with your Google Calendar.
- Music player – You can create a music player that displays albums, tracks and playlists. It is also possible to allow fans to purchase or share your music online, without any commission. You will also be provided with engagement statistics.
- Add media galleries to your website. Your media library allows you to adjust the quality of images and make edits to snaps.
- Basic email Marketing: Start collecting email addresses and start sending emails to your clients.
Squarespace is the ‘leader in website design‘.
Squarespace, unlike Wix, is feature-rich straight out of the box.
There are also over 100 professionally-designed templates available. You can customize them all to fit your brand’s needs. Squarespace templates look great and are a step above Squarespace’s competitors.
It’s a great website builder if you want to create a portfolio and display lots of visual content.
Squarespace offers a wide range of ecommerce tools including event scheduling, bookings management and even member’s areas.
Squarespace offers a variety of useful website analytics and solid SEO tools to help you grow your site. This section will allow you to see the origins of your visitors, their interactions with your content, as well as your top-selling products.
Other noteworthy features include:
- Blog tools: Use an on-site blog to share company news, personal stories and thought leadership pieces.
- Mobile editing – You can edit and manage your website, blog and online store using the Squarespace mobile application while on the move.
- Ecommerce – It is easy to make an online store that stands out using a variety of templates. You can also:
- Design your own product pages
- Create a simple, efficient checkout
- You can list and sell unlimited products
- Embed videos
- Design product categories
…and many more.
- Customer management You can create audience profiles, add tags and make notes to target email campaigns. It is easy to search, filter, and view your subscriber, donor, or customer lists.
- Scheduling – You can create a calendar for yourself and your team, set up email reminders and sync your calendar to platforms such as Google and Outlook. Customers can buy single, recurring and/or bundled appointments from you and your staff.
- WYSIWYG editor: Squarespace supports many types of content and multi-column layouts. This editor allows for greater design freedom. Full-screen editing and responsive design are also possible. Automatic scaling makes it easy to prepare media for your website.
To be clear, when we refer WordPress in this article, we are referring to WordPress.com, not WordPress.org, which is the free open-source software.
WordPress is a leading CMS (content management system) on the internet. It’s easy to see why WordPress offers so many features, including advanced blogging functionality. You can create blogs from many layouts, schedule posts and manage comments. Add tags and categories to tag and categorize your blog and assign authors.
WordPress’s editor includes a desktop and mobile app, with HTML and Markdown support. Jetpack is included, which provides basic statistics about your website, basic SEO, site speed optimization and social media sharing.
WordPress’ plugin directory allows you to add any functionality, not only blogging, but also its free WooCommerce plugin. Shopify and Shopify are rivals when it comes to store management. There are many plugins available to download across a variety of categories including SEO, marketing and analytics.
These are just a few of the core WordPress features:
- Website builder – You have the option to choose from hundreds or even thousands of WordPress themes for your website. You can change your theme anytime and use tons of website building blocks to personalize your brand. WordPress’s FSE new features allow you to create global styles and organize your website in any way you like.
- Accept online payment: Create a payment block in order to accept online credit and debit cards payments for digital downloads.
- Community – You will have access to WordPress’s vibrant community. This is a great opportunity to network, and if you have any questions, someone will be there to help.
- Full customization: You have complete control over the source code of your WordPress website. You can customize your website however you like, provided you have the necessary coding skills. To make your site unique, you can even create your own themes or plugins.
- Built in blogging: WordPress gives you access to some of most powerful blogging tools. You can organize and categorize posts, optimize them to SEO, embed media and arrange your posts in any way you like.
- Backups – You can also use automated backups to restore your WordPress site to an earlier version at any point.
- Add admins – You can add additional users to your site to manage and create content.
Templates and Designs
Your website is a gateway to the outside world. It’s important that it looks good. We’ve already discussed templates and design freedom. But it’s so important that we are giving it its own section. Let’s have a look.
Wix’s templates and designs
Wix is known for its simplicity when it comes to web design and templates.
You will need to select a theme in order to get started with the design process. There are more than 500 themes available. Each theme is designed for different industries and purposes. These include portfolio templates and news sites, stores, business pages and many more.
Unfortunately, once you have chosen a template, it is not possible to change it, unless you are willing to rewrite every word on your site. Before you jump in, make sure to carefully review your options!
Wix ADI is a great alternative if you are having trouble choosing a theme. You will be asked to answer some questions about your website and business, and a theme suggestion will be made.
Once you have your theme, you can begin customizing Wix’s website editor. The drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to use. Simply click on the element that you wish to add to your website (e.g. scroll effects, image galleries, fonts, etc.). Drag it to the place you want it. You can edit each element, but your options aren’t as wide as those of other page builders.
Wix’s lack of design customization is another area where Wix falls short. You can’t edit the site’s CMS or HTML. Although HTML snippets can be added to your site, it is not the same as being allowed to modify the theme’s styling.
Overall though, Wix’s approach is enjoyable to web design. The website editor and templates are simple to use, making website building enjoyable for even complete beginners.
Squarespace Templates and Designs
Squarespace website editor isn’t as intuitive and user-friendly as Wix. Instead of using a drag-and-drop interface you can only edit specific sections of your website from a separate window. This can be a challenge if you are new to web design. Despite this, you can still get great results and have full control over the code of your website.
Squarespace has over 100 themes to choose from. These themes heavily rely upon high-quality and well-fitting imagery. You can also edit images with a variety of built-in features. You can use filters to adjust the saturation, contrast, or other metrics of an image. Squarespace’s themes look amazing and are great for showcasing work by photographers, illustrators, and designers.
Squarespace recently updated its templates so that you cannot switch between them without losing your content. This is something to keep in mind when choosing your theme.
Templates and Designs for WordPress
WordPress has an incredible selection of templates and themes. There are more than 8,000 free themes available. You can filter by feature or category. There are also many premium themes available and themes that have been created by third-party designers.
Let’s now talk about customization. WordPress lets you change your template at any time without losing your content. This allows you to experiment to your heart’s delight. You can also access the code of your website, which you can modify to your heart’s delight.
WordPress has made great strides in Full Site Editing over the years. WordPress introduced the Gutenberg Editor, and now it is rolling out a more comprehensive FSE that allows users to edit all of their sites from one interface. It is possible to place and modify theme blocks in any way you like and create global styles that allow you to keep your site’s design consistent.
Wix vs Squarespace vs WordPress: Pricing
No matter if you are a small business or an individual creator, there is one thing that remains constant: good value for money. It is important to not spend more each month than you need. Let’s now take a look at the pricing plans of these platforms.
Wix is a great choice for both beginners and people who want to give their website builder a longer trial. You can create and host your site for free with this plan.
Apart from that, Wix offers website and ecommerce packages with different pricing and functionality. Wix’s ecommerce plan allows you to make online payments.
These are Wix’s website designs. At the time of writing there was a 50% discount on some plans.
- Combo plan: $14 per month
- Unlimited plan: $18 per month
- Pro plan: $23 per month
- VIP: $39 per month
The Business and ecommerce plans also offer a 50% discount on some packages at the time this article was written.
- Business Basic Plan: $23 per Month
- Business Unlimited plan: $27 per Month
- Business VIP Plan: $49 per Month
Squarespace does not offer a free plan. Instead, you have the option to choose between monthly or annual payments for its four paid plans. You can also save 30% if your billing period is longer.
These are Squarespace’s premium plans that are based on an annual billing.
- Personal: $12 per month
- Business: $18 per month
- Commerce: $26 per month
- Advanced Commerce: $40 per Month
WordPress.com offers a free plan, similar to Wix. It’s great for blogs and personal websites. It comes with web hosting. A flexible selection of premium plans is also available.
- Personal plan: $3 per Month
- Premium plan: $8 per Month
- Business plan: $24 per Month
- Ecommerce plan: $47 per month
Which company offers the best value for money?
The pricing models of all three website builders are similar, especially when you compare their business plans that unlock the ecommerce functionality.
Wix and WordPress both offer free website builders to help you create and launch your personal website. These come with limitations. Wix’s free plan has a limit of 500GB storage and bandwidth. If you are just starting to get familiar with Wix’s interface, however, this is more than enough.
Alternately, you might be willing to pay more for a custom domain and to remove the platform’s branding. The pricing for these platforms is similar. Squarespace is a better website builder with advanced design features.
WordPress is the best value for money if you are willing to pay for one of the more costly plans with any of these site builders. The WordPress Business plan gives you access to all of WordPress’s plugins and themes. This allows you to customize your site to your liking. Although Squarespace and Wix offer similar pricing and features, they don’t have the same features. This is particularly true if WooCommerce is installed alongside your WordPress Business account in order to create a fully functional online shop.
Apps and add-ons
You can’t be everything to everyone on a platform. So what can you do?
Apps and addons are often the solution.
So, let’s find out how these website builders stack up in this space. Let’s see:
Wix allows you to access an entire app marketplace where third-party developers and companies host all kinds of extensions that you can download and use.
There are hundreds of plugins available in many categories.
- Online selling
- Services and Events
- Media and content
- Design elements
You can view the ranking of all apps so that you can see other people’s opinions about them. The plugin’s cost, whether it comes with a trial or an upfront fee, can be viewed here.
Squarespace lists all of its apps and add-ons under “Squarespace extensions.” They are heavily focused upon ecommerce and include the following:
- Fulfillment and shipping
- Products and inventory
- Marketing and sales
Apps for accounting, email marketing, and SEO are also available. Squarespace lacks web-design extensions and smaller widgets. There are 27 extensions available. Some extensions are free while others have a monthly fee or a one-off charge.
While the Wix app store may be large, it is not able to compete with WordPress’s vast array of plugins. WordPress and third-party developers have created thousands of plugins for this popular platform. It actually had over 54,000 WordPress plugins for free in its directory in 2019.
This places you in the position of researching. It’s easy to add too much plugins. You can also choose a less-than-ideal option, which has many more extensions. The plugin directory includes reviews and other useful details so that you can make an informed decision before downloading any add-on.
There is nothing worse than being stuck with technical difficulties and not having anyone to help you. Customer support is the key to success.
Let’s now see what Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix have to offer in customer service:
Wix customer support can be reached via email, social media or via their forum. You can also reach them by phone from 6 am to 5 p.m. PST.
Wix also offers detailed self-help documentation that you can access within the website builder. Every element that may need further explanation will have a help button. Clicking the help button will take you to the relevant documentation.
Squarespace provides live chat support in addition to its forums and online knowledge center. You can chat between 3 AM and 8 PM EST Monday through Friday. Squarespace also offers email support that is available 24 hours a day. They aim to reply to all emails within one hour.
Squarespace does not offer phone support. However, there is extensive online self-help documentation, including webinars and workshops.
WordPress provides a variety of support options including unlimited email support and live chat support. WordPress’s response time will vary depending on which pricing plan you have. You also get personalized support sessions with the ecommerce plan.
WordPress’ active community is also available to assist you. Post your question in the forum and wait for someone else to respond.
There are many tutorials and guides available on WordPress’s website as well as other blogs.
SEO is essential if you want your website to reach as many people possible. However, not all website builders will support your SEO efforts. Let’s take a closer inspection:
Wix’s SEO Tools provide all the functionality necessary to rank high on search engines. Edit image alt text, meta titles, URLs and meta descriptions.
Wix has an integrated SEO wizard that will help you understand what to do to improve the SEO of your website. The wizard uses a traffic light system to show you where your pages can perform better.
Wix’s SEO capabilities are limited beyond that. Wix doesn’t automatically create sitemaps and it is not possible to edit your website’s code. Search engines also find it difficult to understand because of its unusual link structure.
Squarespace offers many powerful SEO features. You can also edit meta titles, headings, tags and descriptions. Squarespace, however, makes it simple to update and create sitemaps.
Although Squarespace isn’t lacking in SEO, it’s not the most user-friendly. It helps to have some SEO experience in order to master it. Squarespace does not offer any SEO plugins. If the built-in SEO features don’t suit your needs, then you will be stuck.
WordPress allows you to change the basics like meta titles and headings. You can also control how URLs will be displayed.
WordPress is mobile-optimized and Jetpack provides the speed and security that search engines love.
WordPress’s greatest SEO strengths lie in its flexibility. We’ve already mentioned the tens of thousands plugins. WordPress’s plugin directory contains almost every SEO plugin you can think of. Yoast is the most well-known SEO plugin. It walks you through all the steps necessary to improve your SEO.
There are many plugins that can be used to create a one-click sitemap, improve mobile experience, check for broken links and more.
You can also make changes to the code of the website if the plugins fail to do the job.
Which website builder is best for you?
This concludes our Wix and Squarespace comparison. This is all we know about the three major web-building companies. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and each will suit different purposes better than the others. WordPress is the best choice for extended functionality, design freedom and ecommerce.
WordPress offers thousands of themes and plugins that can be used to make your web design dreams come true.
Flexibility isn’t for everyone. If you want the best web design experience, WordPress may not be the right choice. Instead, you might favor Wix. Squarespace may be a better choice if you are looking to create a website that displays tons of visual content.
Below is a quick overview to help you choose the right platform for your needs.
Small businesses are best
Squarespace is the winner
Wix is the best editor for sole traders. However, it lacks a lot of functionality. WordPress, on the other hand can be overwhelming and has ecommerce features that are more suited to larger shops.
Squarespace, on the other hand, offers a solid suite of features that can be used to manage small businesses. Squarespace offers all the tools you need to manage a business through one website. It includes tools for marketing, bookings management, launching an online membership area and a variety of design tools that can be used to create an impressive online storefront.
Best for Creatives
Squarespace is the winner
Wix’s website editor may be the easiest and most flexible, but it does not always allow you enough control over your vision.
WordPress, however, offers thousands of themes and endless customization options. This is an excellent platform for creatives. The sheer number of options available to web designers and developers may be overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with the subject.
Squarespace is the ideal solution for creatives. Squarespace has everything you need to make your visuals stand out. It has image editing and automatic scaling options that will make sure your photos, illustrations, and product photos look amazing.
Best for Ecommerce
WordPress is the winner
Although Squarespace and Wix both offer ecommerce functionality their online selling capabilities are quite basic. It is possible to create an elegant, simple storefront and manage your products. Their inventory and sales management tools are limited making it difficult for you to scale your store.
WooCommerce can be installed for free with WordPress. WooCommerce has a lot of features and scales well. Both small businesses and large enterprises can use WooCommerce’s robust inventory management, order fulfillment and store management features. This is combined with the many plugins and design options available to you, and there are no limitations in running an ecommerce shop with WordPress.
Ideal for beginners
Wix is the winner
Squarespace and WordPress don’t have the best drag-and-drop editors. They also offer a wide range of features that can be overwhelming, even though they have many perks. You will also need to have some technical knowledge.
Wix is the best editor of all three. It makes website building easy and fun. A site can be set up in less than an hour, by simply choosing a theme that you like and personalizing it to your brand. Easy navigation is provided by the dashboard and an in-built SEO wizard. If you need help, the in-editor help function will guide you to the best documentation. Wix requires no programming skills.
Our Final Verdict
It’s confusing to navigate the ever-expanding web design software world. Only you can decide what software is best for your website, and which features you need. It’s hard to choose between these three options as they all meet the needs of specific niches.
Wix may be popular with beginners, but designers and small businesses might find Squarespace more appealing. WordPress, on the other hand, is a great option for large companies and websites that want to scale. It allows bloggers to create their own website and it also offers the most customizable and feature-rich website builder.
Let us know if you have decided on Squarespace or WordPress or if you are interested in a different builder. Wix might find a competitor on Weebly while Squarespace users may be interested in Webflow. We want to know what you think. Talk soon and take care.