I think you’ll agree when I say setting up a website as an amateur is exhaustingly difficult!
As an entrepreneur, I had to take the bold step to build my own website. This was intimidating, what with my little tech skills and non-existent coding skills.
However, there’s a solution! Website builders like Wix and Squarespace simplify this process, providing you with tools to set up your page quickly and hassle-free. Business Insider affirms the importance of these forums when starting your company.
If you are not familiar, a website builder is a tool (program, software, etc.) that helps you to create websites visually without writing code or having to download/install anything.
This cuts out the middleman and helps you grow your online presence, accessible to both beginners and entrepreneurs. They are super versatile too, allowing you to build blogs, stores, and many other forums smoothly.
In this article, I will give a head-to-head comparison between two of the best website builders on the market: Wix and Squarespace.
I’ll start with a brief background of each platform, and follow up with eight comparison points: ease of use, design flexibility, SEO-friendliness, blogging, stock photography libraries, add-ons, E-commerce & pricing, and support.
Before getting into that, here’s a video showing you the steps to make a website in minutes:
Wix at a glance
Wix’s popularity has escalated over the last few years, partly due to budget-busting marketing campaigns starring stars like Gal Gadot, better known as Wonder Woman, among others. Today, Wix stands as the biggest competitor in website creation, with over 160 million forums it moderates.
Wix offers a sterling drag-and-drop site creator to start small websites. It provides 100s of free templates, plus its own web hosting as well as domain names (free and paid). The App Market further simplifies integrating extra features like photo galleries or E-commerce.
Squarespace at a glance
Virtually no other site understands how to organize its product with such excellence. Every bit looks chic, fresh, and flawless. Their latest version 7 introduces some new features like a Cover Page Builder, G Suite, and Getty Images.
Squarespace has an impeccable blogging tool, with less abstract and faster online editing. They offer 100+ flexible templates that fully adapt to mobile devices. It enables live content editing, without shifting between the site manager and preview mode.
Top 6 benefits of using a website builder
A well planned out webpage has the power to transform dull pages into attractive ones. And if you’re an entrepreneur with limited time, you’ll want one that saves you time, while still guaranteeing potential customers that you’re legitimate and established.
So instead of sitting and giving yourself a headache trying to understand coding, here are great reasons to invest in a good website builder:
1. No programming or technical skills required
Website builders are tailored explicitly with individuals with little to no technical skills in mind. They ship the drag-and-drop technology while presenting a user-friendly interface design.
Even the average person can write, upload pictures, and alter and move items with a simple click and drag feature without having to learn code and all the other technical stuff.
2. You can Edit anywhere, anytime
The online management allows your web files to be posted and kept on the service provider’s server – not your computer. That way, you can access your account from as many devices as you want and make changes without worrying about losing the data.
3. No need to be design savvy
Creating a catchy, exciting website will challenge you to bring out your creative side with basic know-how in graphic design. But even if you’re confused with where to start or lack confidence in your design skills, you can easily select an expertly-designed template and take it from there.
Templates at their best, provide you with a starting point in creating your page. And they’re flexible, so you can adapt it to fit your style and needs best.
While you are at it, do check out my guide on creating a great landing page here.
4. Libraries and collections of applications
All website builders come with a library of free apps and accessories that enhance your site’s functionality. Some are free, and others need to be purchased, while others are built into the website builder, and others are fully-integrated third-party tools.
You can incorporate pre-designed templates, pre-populated web pages, and ready-to-use applications and tools and have your website up and running in no time.
5. They effortlessly help you maintain your website
Routine website upkeep is a must if you want your website to flourish. Customers are always on the lookout for trendy things, so your site must provide them with the latest news, products, features, or info.
The drag-and-drop editor function with the clear, easy-to-use interface makes rearranging and updating your website is easy.
Building a website with a website builder won’t drain your wallet. You’ll have plenty of free and paid plans to choose from. Compared to hiring professional help, having your own website builder will be a lot more budget-friendly.
As part of your subscription, they’ll throw in a domain (i.e., yourwebsitename.com), templates, a content management system, hosting, and even e-commerce features (depending on the plan). That sounds like a pretty good deal, right?
Wix vs. Squarespace
So now that you have looked into the benefits of creating your own webpage, what do you do when both platforms offer fresh, sleek, and stylish templates? Let us dive into what makes each platform stand out.
Ease of use
To help you build a website without breaking a sweat, Wix and Squarespace come with intuitive drag-and-drop visual page builders. This is topped off with the Undo button in case you mess up.
Wix is like a blank canvas that affords creatives full reigns as you can drag and drop elements as you please. Your only limit is your imagination. Though perfect for experienced designers, it can be overwhelming for first-time rookies.
To solve this problem, Wix made Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), a smart tool that makes significant design decisions for you. It works as a virtual assistant, asking you several questions and then presenting you with a website.
Squarespace, on the other hand, isn’t as much of a technical nightmare. It’s perfect for newbies who want professional-looking websites without the hassle of fixing errors like aligning margins.
Exporting products is also straightforward enough in Squarespace, although digital goods can’t be shipped. Overall, the Squarespace interface is cleaner and decreases the scope for design errors when you’re creating the website.
Image libraries and galleries
Uploading and manipulating images in both is straightforward, providing you with a good range of options, including a carousel, grid, and masonry formats, amongst others.
Wix scores more highly in terms of where you can source your images from — you can connect it to a wide range of social media accounts and import content directly from them. It also allows you to apply a broader range of filters to your images and use an ‘auto cut out’ feature to remove backgrounds from pictures (this can be useful for headshots).
Squarespace is better when it comes to optimizing images for use across multiple devices, allowing you to set a ‘focal point’ for your pictures. This ensures that the most critical part of your image is foregrounded whenever your image is automatically cropped for viewing on smaller screens.
Templates, layout & design flexibility
I love variety, and so do you, which means – for this section – we are picking one that offers more design and layout options.
If you value quantity, then Wix takes the cup with over 500 highly-customizable templates to get you started, divided into 17 main categories.
The downside, however, is, once you pick your template, you’re stuck with it. Switching to another one means building your site from scratch.
Squarespace templates outperform Wix in the aesthetics department. Instead of the traditional choose-a-template-then-customize approach, Squarespace takes a modular approach to web design, which is efficient in its own way, giving a framework-style method.
On top of that, the content blocks are thoughtful and full-featured, allowing you to build your website block by block.
Where Wix allows you to take a template and completely customize it, Squarespace will enable you to make big modular changes on a per-element basis.
Which has better rankings, and how can you get google to notice you? Website owners and marketers invest a lot of time and money, generating consistent traffic because it is the lifeblood of any website.
According to Entrepreneur.com, keeping your eye on SEO could make or break your success as a franchisor. If you fail to rank highly in search engines, then your website becomes obsolete, regardless of how appealing or functional it is.
Both tools allow you to do the basics perfectly well, i.e., add headings, change page titles, edit page URLs, add meta descriptions, add alt text, and create 301 redirects.
They allow you to display your blog posts in AMP format, which can speed up delivery in mobile search results (something that Google, with its ‘mobile-first’ approach to indexing content, approves of).
However, Squarespace’s approach to SEO is quite bare, which means you’ll need to put in a bit more effort. Changing alt text (the text used to describe images to search engines and screen readers) is quite complicated — it’s doable, but a complex process is involved. But you’ll have to add tags and page descriptions manually.
Wix’s weakness lies in its display on mobile versions, which is ‘absolute positioning’ rather than responsive. Google prefers the latter where the size adapts automatically to the device it’s being viewed on.
Wix and Squarespace both have room for improvement when it comes to URL creation. Google likes URLs to be as ‘clean’ and as relevant as possible, but both platforms insert prefixes into your URLs in certain contexts (for example, with blog posts, Wix sticks ‘/posts/’ into your URL and Squarespace inserts ‘/blog/’ into it). It would be good to see more flexibility on this front.
Whether you choose Wix or Squarespace, you get email marketing, Google Ads, Google Analytics, MailChimp integration, logo maker, Facebook ads, and social sharing out of the box.
I love blogging, so I’m constantly on the hunt for tools that make it easy to publish and manage content. What you’ll want is a platform that allows you to share your thoughts with the least hassle.
Both tools help you create and edit your posts while looking at how the post appears to readers.
With either service, you’ll have a fully functioning blog, with options to save drafts, schedule your posts for publishing, add categories, and generally just manage a blog.
One big difference is that Wix’s blog post editor is a separate interface from the rest of your site. It’s not a bad post editor at all, but while you’re writing, you can’t get a clear idea of how your content will look to your users.
Squarespace comes with built-in blogging features, while the Wix blog depends on an app for the potent blog tool.
On the back end, where you manage all of your posts, Squarespace has a search bar to help you find older posts faster. Wix doesn’t have one, and believe me, if you blog for long enough, you’ll need one!
Integrations and add-ons
A great website is more than just great aesthetics. Most website builders offer you the most basic functionality, but when you’ve exhausted these and need more power, you’ll need 3rd-party apps.
If you want to enhance functionality to a Squarespace or Wix website, you’ll be pleased to learn that both platforms integrate with a range of other third-party services.
A great way to add functionality to a Squarespace site is to make use of Squarespace plugins — simple code snippets that you add to a Squarespace site to make it behave in ways that are not usually possible out of the box.
Installing these usually requires code insertion and a bit of configuration by the end-user. But setting them up isn’t too complicated. If you want to learn how other successful entrepreneurs are being hyper-productive with third-party add-ons, visit Forbes.
The integration is smooth, almost seamless. Even when you use a third-party service, it still feels like you’re using Squarespace, and not jumping over to a different site. As a designer, I truly appreciate that.
It’s a user-friendly system that won’t take you long to get used to at all. And importantly, all official integrations include full support from the Squarespace team.
With Wix, you make use of an app store — the Wix ‘App Market’ — to add functionality or integrate third-party services. While the Wix app store contains many add-ons (with a couple of hundreds available), there are some noticeable omissions in the integrations on offer. For example, there’s no official integration for Opentable.
On the plus side, the Wix app store offers many other useful apps that add the kind of functionality provided by these services.
Another way to integrate services, of course, is to use an HTML block and copy and paste code from third-party services into it. Both Wix and Squarespace facilitate this.
E-Commerce and pricing
Wix Business & E-Commerce Plans
|Business Basic||Business Unlimited||Business VIP|
|Free Domain (1yr)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Total Video Storage||5 hours||10 hours||Unlimited|
|Logo from Wix Logo Maker||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Google Ads Vouchers||300 USD||300 USD||300 USD|
Wix Website Plans
|Free Domain (1yr)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Remove Wix Ads||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Total Video Storage||30 Minutes||1 hour||2 hours||2 hours|
|Personal||Business||Basic Commerce||Advanced Commerce|
|Free Domain (1yr)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bandwidth & Storage||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Basic Website Metrics||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|GSuite and Pro Gmail||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|JS and CSS Customization||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Google Ads Vouchers||No||100 USD||100 USD||100 USD|
|Products on Instagram||No||No||Yes||Yes|
There are four monthly Squarespace plans available:
- Basic Commerce
- Advanced Commerce
These plans work out cheaper if you pay on an annual basis. While deciding whether Squarespace is the right product for you, you’ll get a two-week free trial. (This can be extended if you don’t finish your project in time.)
The key differences between the Squarespace plans involve:
- The number of contributors to your site you can have
- Whether you can add custom CSS and scripts
- Integrations with third-party apps
- E-commerce features.
As you might expect, you get more functionality in the above areas as you go up the pricing ladder.
Wix fees vary by location — but generally, they have nine plans available.
These are as follows:
- Business Basic
- Business Unlimited
- Business VIP
You also get a free domain voucher with all the Wix paid-for plans, which gives you a year’s free domain registration.
The main thing to note about the Wix pricing structure is that the ‘Business’ and ‘Enterprise’ plans all facilitate e-commerce; the others don’t.
The differences between the other plans generally revolve around how much file storage you get, the ability to host and sell video content from your site, and access to premium support.
If you need a website to accompany a birthday party, wedding, or garage sale, Wix’s free plan is wonderful; however, due to lack of features, it’s not the best option for professional users.
A key e-commerce feature, abandoned cart recovery, is available at a considerably lower price point in Wix. You can recover abandoned carts on the cheapest Wix ECommerce plan. Squarespace, by contrast, restricts this functionality to its most expensive plan — the ‘Commerce Advanced’ offering.
Squarespace doesn’t impose any limits on file storage; Wix does (the amount you get varies considerably by plan).
They both have robust Ecommerce options
Wix and Squarespace both offer these e-commerce features:
- Accepting payments
- Automatic tax calculation
- Digital products
- Import catalog
- Mailing lists
- Physical products
- Appointment scheduling
- Selling via social media
As you can see, the basic e-commerce features are all there on both platforms. They work in very similar ways since both services have separate interfaces for managing your store, your products, and so on.
When it comes to customer support, you can contact Wix by phone or email. Squarespace lets you get in touch via live chat or email.
You generally have to search for a solution to your problem in the platform’s help material before you are given the option to contact the support team.
If being able to speak to somebody is very important to you, then ultimately, Wix has a slight edge over Squarespace in the support department. You also get the option to pay more for premium support, which some users find helpful.
The choice between the two should depend on your design and coding skill level, what you seek from your website, and how important is optimization for you. I hope you’ve found our Squarespace vs. Wix comparison helpful — thank you for reading!
Leave a comment below if you have any feedback or thoughts on either product (or any queries I might be able to help with).
Did this article help you plan out how to start creating your own website? I’ve got more to help you with the rest of the way:
- Which E-Commerce Platform to Pick [beginner]
- How to become a freelancer? A complete guide for beginners
- How to Make a Million Dollars With Your E-Commerce Store [beginner to advanced]
Want me to cover another e-commerce platform that has not been reviewed yet? Comment below to let me know!