WordPress vs Squarespace vs Wix
Our Website Builders Showdown

This is it – The Codesquad Website Builders Showdown! With so many website builders out there, it can be quite overwhelming to decide which is the best one for your business. The way you build your site influences your functionality and your brand. As established web designers in Perth, we understand this very well.

Choosing the right web design depends on your business requirements and goals. WordPress, Squarespace and Wix are excellent platforms and the leaders of the lot. We compare the pros and cons of the three here, to make it easier for you to decide on the right web builder for your business.

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WordPress – “36% of the web is built on WordPress”

Visit WordPress: Website
Initial release: 2003
Total web sites: 455 million
WordPress is a free and open-source platform that meets almost all requirements for a professional business website.

WIX – “Create a website you’re proud of”

Visit WIX: Website
Founded in 2006
Total estimated users: 150 million
Israeli software company with offices in Israel, USA, Lithuania, Germany, Brazil, Ukraine, Ireland and Canada
Total employees: over 3,000
Total equity: over $6 billion
Wix is a paid platform. It has a very easy initial set-up, but limited features and flexibility. It is less suitable for larger businesses looking for scalability and customisation.

SquareSpace – “The leader in website design”

Visit SquareSpace: Website
Founded in 2004
American software company with offices New York
Total employees: approximately 1,200
Total equity: unknown
Squarespace is a paid SaaS (software as a service) platform. Templates and pages can be customised with a visual editor but is a more controlled environment with reduced options and flexibility.

Compare and Decide

Ease of Use

As with any platform there will be a learning curve. A lot depends on how happy you are with a cookie cutter, out of the box website vs trying to craft a business site with a particular look in mind.

WordPress is very intuitive, particularly for those who have a grounding in website design. There are lot of third party plugins available to make it easier for you to achieve things beyond a basic website. Alternately you could hire a developer and sit back and relax. Once the set-up is done, it’s the most flexible, scalable and feature rich professional tool.

Squarespace has a gorgeous user interface. It is again, very intuitive and easy to work with. Templates can be easily edited. However, it depends on the type of base template you choose. If you can’t find a template that suits your needs, you will quickly find the experience frustrating. Squarespace is more for website beginners and small businesses with limited requirements. Once you get beyond the design boundaries that Squarespace sets, you will find yourself wanting a platform with more flexibility.

Wix is a simple and ‘drag and drop’ website builder. The overall design is quite functional and easy to configure initially. It’s more of a DIY website for people for whom design, template or website aesthetics is not a consideration. Beyond the initial set-up, working with Wix becomes difficult with no flexibility and very limited features.

Wix features a wizard driven interface:

wix wizard driven interface

Templates

WordPress has literally thousands of paid and free templates. Out of the box it comes with a number of templates that form part of the WP package. There are thousands of developers who keep releasing free and paid “themes”. There are also some truly great themes that can cost $100 or more.

Squarespace templates are quite classy and can be customised but with only around 100 templates, there are many lesser than WordPress.

Wix designs are not in the same class as either WordPress or Squarespace.

Examples of Squarespace templates:

Squarespace template examples

Flexibility

WordPress is the king when it comes to flexibility. You can create any kind of site with any look that takes your fancyfor any business. The enormous range of available plugins make it easy for you to extend the look and features. A good developer can create a truly bespoke site for you.

Squarespace is a “walled garden”. It is beautiful to look at and a delight to work with unless you want something a little different. There are developers available to help with this but there are far more WordPress developers available.

Wix gives you very limited editing options. They do offer an “app” store but they aren’t apps in the true sense of the word.

Example of WordPress plugins directory:

wordpress plugins view

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

WordPress is a clear winner here. IT is built from the ground up with SEO principles in mind. If you invest a little more in adding some of the truly wonderful SEO plugins to the site, you can achieve a higher level of visibility to your site. You can do a lot to optimise the site with careful selection of theme features and selecting a good hosting platform. This is a BIG subject but where SEO is concerned – WordPress is the only game in town for our money.

Squarespace out of the box is “OK” but falls way behind what WP offers. Their sites are mobile friendly which does give them some SEO cool points.

Wix is not the platform of choice for companies looking to achieve strong organic growth.

Plugins like Yoast SEO make WordPress a very powerful platform to work in:

Yoast SEO plugin

If you are a control freak, WordPress gives far more control over your site and its content than other web-builders.  You can also move to a high performance hosting provider if the current one does not suit your requirements. Squarespace is a “less liberal” platform as they have a strong user content policy that you must adhere to. There is no real pathway to migrate sites from Wix. Both SS and Wix are a propriety platform.

Price

WordPress at its heart is free and open-source. You will generally need to pay for hosting though, ranging from shared to exclusive hosting.

Most themes and plugins have free and paid versions, so you have the freedom to choose the best option for your site. To get the most out of WordPress in a business sense, you will end up paying something but you can certainly do everything on your own for almost nothing if you set your mind to it.

Squarespace is a paid solution and has different options for personal to different business and commercial plans. It may seem cheap in the beginning, but with limited flexibility you may need to move onto higher subscriptions to get the most from the platform.

Squarespace monthly fees list below – you can save up to 30% by paying annually:

Squarespace monthly fees

Wix has a free plan for a structured site address. There are also premium plans that allow you to set up a paid site quickly.
The prices shown below are for websites. If you want e-commerce options, you will pay more.

wix pricing

Website Builders – The Verdict

Our Verdict – Go for Wix, if you want a DIY website, are a small business, don’t care much for features and flexibility and have low technical or creative skills.

Squarespace is suitable for small businesses operating in a single location and website owners who need quick and simple website, with not much use for features, flexibility and scalability. You can achieve a good looking website if you can work with one of their templates.

However, WordPress is a more scalable option, ideal for small and large businesses looking to expand to multiple locations, need advanced features and flexibility. Once you are on WP you can always modify your site to suit your evolving needs.

Got any questions? Let our web development team in Perth help you. Contact us here.

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