Wordpress vs Wix vs Squarespace

Every business today needs a website if it is to stand any chance of staying ahead of its competitors. But with so many options available it can be tough to tell which website builder is the best for you.

In this article, we’re going to look at three of the most popular website builders on the market today WixSquarespace, and WordPress to see exactly what they each have to offer.

There are many reasons why a website can be useful:

  • It attracts new customers and makes you more money
  • It tells people you’re a serious business and gives you credibility in the marketplace
  • It saves time by gathering orders and taking payments
  • It allows you to build your brand and target the best customers for your niche
  • It isn’t as complicated or as expensive as you think.

It’s not only businesses who use websites either, charities, associations, clubs or even individuals can find websites a useful way to communicate with a broader audience.

Modern website building platforms mean even the most technophobic can quickly get to grips with the basics and build a good looking site. For the more tech-savvy, the possibilities are infinite.

Overview of our Three Website Builders

Each of our chosen three is among the most popular in the marketplace today. Let’s take a look at why this might be.

Wix Website BuilderWix website builder

Wix was founded in 2006 by two brothers and a friend. Their idea was to take the complexity out of website creation, with the end goal being to revolutionize the way websites were built, making it accessible to all.

In 2009, just three years following their launch Wix had already reached 1 million users. By 2014 this had grown to an incredible 50 million, and today they have well in excess of 100 million users.

Wix offers a simple to use drag and drop functionality, making it easy for anyone to create a website. There are 100’s of designer-made templates to choose from, with free apps and features to bring your website to life. Wix isn’t just a building platform, but also a reliable hosting one combined.

Squarespace Website BuilderSquarespace Website Builder

Squarespace was the brainchild of an undergrad college student in 2003. He wanted to build his own website with a strong design focus, which at the time was not an easy task, this led him to develop the Squarespace web-builder in 2004.

There’s no official information regarding the number of users Squarespace has, but there is mention on their website that it is over one million.

Squarespace’s award-winning templates have a clean, classic, professional appearance that allows your site to be highly visual. This has made Squarespace a favorite with fashion designers, photographers, and artists, or anyone who believes a picture speaks a thousand words.

Like Wix, Squarespace utilizes drag and drop for ease of use, with customizable settings, fonts, colors and page configurations. It also hosts the websites, so there is no need to find a separate hosting platform.

WordPress CMS

Wordpress CMS

WordPress started out as a bloggers platform. It was launched in 2003 by two blog writers who were using b2/cafelog software and wanted something that worked better.

Today there are two options for people wanting a WordPress website: you can use WordPress.com if you want to build a website that is hosted by WordPress themselves or WordPress.org if you want a website that is yours outright. WordPress.org sites require you to find your own host. We will look at the pros and cons of both later in the article.

According to Anuradha Chawla a web hosting expert on Quora, there are around 76.5 million WordPress blogs, 50,000 new WordPress websites launched each day, and WordPress is the world’s number one content management system (CMS) powering a staggering 30% of all sites across the internet.

Many big names utilize WordPress including Facebook Newsroom, Disney, eBay, Sony Music, MTV News, BBC America, Star Wars Blog, Play Station Blog, Bloomerang, Tech Crunch, The New Yorker, Variety, Microsoft News Centre, Time Inc. and many more.

WordPress has many basic and professional templates and plugins to choose from and is endlessly customizable. Themes are available with Elegant ThemesThemeforest and Thrivethemes.

So in the popularity stakes, it would seem that in First position comes WordPress, in second is Wix and running a close third is Squarespace.

Which Website Builder is the Easiest to Use?

No matter your skill level there is a website builder that’s perfect for you. With the three we are reviewing, all are suitable even for relative novices.

Wix Usability

Wix uses a simple drag and drop WYSIWYG system, short for What You See Is What You Get. There is no need to be able to code, so it’s perfect for people with little to no experience, or the more competent.

First, you’ll be asked to categorize yourself (business, online Shop, etc.). Next, you’ll be asked “How do you want to create your Website?” to which you can choose to either let the Wix ADI (artificial design intelligence) create a Website for you or, create your website with the Wix editor. For complete newbies, choosing the ADI option may be a good one, it’s just a matter of answering questions, filling in blanks and adding your own images instead of the ones provided by Wix. This option doesn’t allow for full customization, and the features are more limited, but it’s a great place to start and build confidence. Once you’ve got the hang of it, then you can always switch over to the second option, Wix editor. If you choose to use the Wix editor, you can more finely tune things to your liking, resulting in a more personalized design.

Website for horse owners

There are over 500 fully pre-designed category focused templates, from health and wellness to travel and tourism, so you’re bound to find something perfect for your needs. Each template contains stock content which you merely overwrite with your own information and images.

To help you out, video tutorials are available showing you how to do things. These are accessible by clicking on the “Help” tab at the top of your Wix website builder page, or you can ask questions in the online forums. For the more capable, Wix offers developer tools under the Code tab.

Squarespace Usability

Squarespace’s website builder is also a relatively simple WYSIWYG type. First, you need to choose create a site or start a free trial. This will take you to a templates page where you can search for a template suitable for your business. Next, you’ll be asked for a few business details before being taken to the website editor itself.

Squarespace’s editor is not a simple to use as Wix’s, and it can take a while to figure out exactly what you’re doing. Things pop up when you hover over them and are not visible all the time. Luckily there is a 14 day free trial period, so you can mess around and get used to the editing functions without worrying that anyone will see it! Once you’ve got to grips with it, it becomes easy to master and offers plenty of scope to customize your site exactly to your liking.

Squarespace editor

If you need help, you can find a help tab on the website builder’s home page area. Here there are options to search, read help guides, watch videos, find webinars and workshops, visit the forum or contact Squarespace. There is also a list of popular guides available too.

WordPress Usability

WordPress is suitable for all, from the novice to advanced user. On entering the WordPress site, you’re first invited to “Get Started”. To create a site you simply click the button and complete the questions. It also cleverly asks what your level of competency is, from 1 beginner up to 5 expert! You then need to provide the name you want to give your website.

On free versions the website name you choose will be followed by wordpress.com, if you go for a paid option, you can choose the name you want and the extension you’d prefer .com, .web, .org etc. If the name you want isn’t available, WordPress will automatically suggest other options for you.

Once you’ve created your login, away you go! Here you can fully customize your site, the first thing you’ll want to do is decide on the “theme” you’d like to use, there are a wide choice to choose from.

The editing is pretty straightforward with clear menus and buttons. Simply click and write, drag and drop or upload images and content as required.

Wordpress editing space

Besides themes, there are loads of useful plugins too, that allows you to make the site truly your own. Some plugins are free while you have to pay for others.

If you’re a somewhat more advanced web designer and know how to code, then you can do this on WordPress too.

If you get stuck and feel a helping hand would be useful, WordPress has a support tab at the top of their main WordPress.com website page, as well as WordPress forums and videos.

As I mentioned a little earlier, you have the choice with WordPress of choosing the .com hosted version or the .org un-hosted version. The beauty of the un-hosted version is that you have all the customizable options available, but you can choose any host you like, which is a real bonus as you can find a host to fit your exact needs.

So in conclusion, I would say that Wix is the most intuitive editor to use for a rookie, but for overall functionality, WordPress is the outright winner.

Which Website Builder is the Best for SEO?

Just in case you haven’t heard about SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. That boils down to how easily search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo can find your website and how well they rank it in the list of search results when someone looks for businesses with criteria like yours. Basically, the better your SEO, the more targeted visitors your website will attract.

To learn more about designing a website with SEO in mind click HERE

Wix SEO

For a long time, Wix was lagging behind its competitors when it came to SEO functionality. However, they’ve been working hard to rectify this, and have added an entire area to their website builder dedicated entirely to improving SEO. It will never be as good as WordPress because it just doesn’t have as much flexibility, but by keeping SEO tactics in mind, Wix sites can still get to the top of search engine results.

Squarespace SEO

People who use Squarespace websites are not typically looking for the best SEO features. Their sites information is clean and relatively clear for the search engine bots to read. You can also add Meta titles and descriptions to content to improve readability. With knowledge of proper SEO techniques, your site should do quite well.

Squarespace sites seamlessly integrate with social media sites to help unify your brand and improve SEO too.

If you can code, you could even apply some more advanced techniques to your site.

Related

Where to find Free SEO Keyword Tools 

SEO for Local Business

Mazcloud’s SEO services

wordpress diy website
wordpress diy website

WordPress SEO

WordPress themes are generally well optimized for SEO, but with the ability to add endless plugins and clearly index permalinks, SEO gets even better. Yoast is a great plugin that will help even the most novice of website builders to optimize their site to a high level. Overall WordPress stand head and shoulders above the competition in this aspect.

Which Website Builder is the Best on Cost?

Website builder pricing can vary hugely, but usually they have a sliding scale depending on how many features you want in your bundle. Let’s see how our three compare.

Wix Costs and Services

Wix Pricelist

There are six different options in Wix’s pricing structure, shown here in US Dollars.

  1. Free Website option that includes:
  • Unlimited pages
  • 500 MB of storage
  • A Wix sub-domain that includes wixsite.com in the title
  • Wix ads are visible on the page
  1. Connect Domain for a basic account where you can connect your own domain name. Costs and services:
  • Monthly $7 per month
  • Annual $5 x 12 = $60 in 1 payment per year
  • Bi-Annual $4 x 24 = $96 in 1 payment every 2 years
  • 1GB of bandwidth
  • 500MB of storage
  1. Combo for personal use with own domain name. Costs and services:
  • Monthly $14 per month (does not include free domain)
  • Annual $10 x 12 = $120 in 1 payment per year
  • Bi-Annual $9 x 24 = $216 in 1 payment every 2 years
  • 1-year free domain or connection of your own
  • 2GB bandwidth
  • 3GB storage
  • No Wix adverts
  1. Unlimited for entrepreneurs and freelancers. Costs and services:
  • Monthly $16 per month (does not include a free domain, Ad vouchers or apps)
  • Annual $14 x 12 = $168 in 1 payment per year
  • Bi-Annual $ 11 x 24 = $264 in 1 payment every 2 years
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 10GB Storage
  • 1-year free domain or connect your own
  • $300 value of Ad vouchers
  • Site booster app worth $60
  • Form builder app worth $48
  • No Wix adverts
  1. eCommerce for small businesses. Costs and services:
  • Monthly $20 per month (does not include a free domain, Ad vouchers or apps)
  • Annual $17 x 12 = $204 in 1 payment per year
  • Bi-Annual $15 x 24 = $360 in 1 payment every 2 years
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 20GB storage
  • 1-year free domain or connect your own
  • $300 value of Ad vouchers
  • Site booster app worth $60
  • Form builder app worth$48
  • No Wix adverts
  • Online store
  1. VIP giving priority support. Costs and services
  • Monthly $30 per month (does not include a free domain, Ad vouchers or apps)
  • Annual $25 x 12 = $300 in 1 payment per year
  • Bi-Annual $22 x 24 = $528 in 1 payment every 2 years

Services as for e-Commerce but also including:

  • VIP support
  • Priority response
  • Professional site review

Squarespace Costs and Services

Squarespace offers four options in total, 2 for websites and 2 for online stores. They don’t offer any free websites like Wix, but there is a 14 day free trial period for you to test things out. Squarespace costs are exclusive of taxes.

Squarespace website pricing

Websites

  1. Personal costs and services:
  • Monthly $16 per month
  • Annual $12 x 12 = $144 in 1 payment per year
  • Unlimited pages
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Basic web metrics
  • 1-year free domain
  • SSL security encryption
  • 24/7 customer support
  1. Business costs and services:
  • Monthly $26 per month
  • Annual $18 x 12 = $216 in 1 payment per year

Services as with Basic, plus:

  • Advanced web metrics
  • Professional email
  • $100 Google Ad vouchers
  • Promotional pop-ups
  • E-commerce with a 3% sales transaction fee
  • + more

Online Stores

Squarespace online stores pricing

3. Basic costs and services:

  • Monthly $30 per month
  • Annual $26 x 12 = $312 in 1 payment per year

Services as with the website business plan, plus:

  • Unlimited product sales
  • No sales transaction fees
  • E-commerce metrics
  • Orders, Inventory, Tax, and Coupons
  • Shipping label printing
  • Integrated Xero accounting
  • On domain checkout
  • Customer accounts
  1. Advanced costs and services:
  • Monthly $46 per month
  • Annual $40 x 12 = $480 in 1 payment per year

Services as with website business plan and basic online store, plus:

  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Carrier shipping in real time
  • Discounts
  • Gift vouchers
  • Orders API

WordPress Costs and Services

There are four options on WordPress.com, these are:

  1. Free website that includes:
  • A WordPress sub-domain that has wordpress.com in the title
  • WordPress branding on the site
  • WordPress adverts on the site
  • WordPress community support
  • Dozens of free WordPress themes to choose from
  • Basic level website customization

Wordpress pricing

  1. Personal costs and services include:
  • Annual subscription $4 x 12 = $48 billed yearly
  • 6GB storage space
  • Free custom domain name
  • SEO
  • Spam Protection
  • Social sharing
  • Site statistics
  • Live chat and email support
  • Free themes
  • Basic design customization
  1. Premium costs and services include:
  • Annual subscription $8 x 12 = $96 billed yearly

Services as for Personal, plus:

  • 13GB storage space
  • Unlimited premium themes
  • Advanced design customization
  • PayPal button to take online payments
  • Monetized site
  • Upload videos
  1. Business costs and services include:
  • Annual subscription $25 x 12 = $300 billed yearly

Services as for Premium, plus:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Live courses
  • SEO tools
  • Install plugins
  • Upload themes
  • Google analytics integration
  • Remove WordPress branding

If you decide to use WordPress.org and utilize a separate web host, the services provided and costs can vary widely, but there are some great deals available that could potentially save you cash. It is for this reason that WordPress is also the winner here if you chose to find your own WordPress hosting.

For hosting options, you can try Webhostinghub or A2Hosting.

Advantages of using Wix vs Wordpress vs Squarespace

Wix Plus Points

The best things about Wix are it’s straightforward to use drag and drop design and pleasant designer templates. Even a complete beginner will feel at ease using it. The free domain option is also great for anyone wanting to try out their skills before spending any money.

Wix Minus Points

It isn’t currently possible to change your template once you’ve committed to it. Detailed customization can be hard to achieve, and there are still flaws in the optimization for search engines.

Squarespace Plus Point

Squarespace’s beautiful, sleek, highly visual templates are a big plus. If you want a website where visual impact is of high importance, then Squarespace can undoubtedly deliver.

Squarespace Minus Points

Squarespace is more challenging to use for newbies than either Wix or WordPress, making it less appealing for first-time users. Compared to Wix and WordPress Squarespace is relatively expensive and there is no free site option available.

WordPress Plus Points

You can change themes to your heart’s content, increase functionality easily with plugins for just about everything imaginable and if at a later date you want to, you can hand it over to a pro designer and they can pick up where you left off. It’s easy to use, affordable and has thousands of professional themed templates available to give it real “WOW” factor.

WordPress Minus Points

Due to the sheer complexities of a WordPress site, you may well need to do some research to make the best use of all available features. If you just want something fast and simple it may not be the best choice.

The Winners and the Losers

WordPress is the undeniable winner on all fronts, but it’s harder to call between Wix and Squarespace. If you want an easy to use affordable site then Wix probably just edges ahead, if however, you want something incredibly sophisticated, slick and with high visual impact, perhaps Squarespace is a better choice for you. Whatever your ultimate decision, you can give them all a test run first and see which you prefer.