You’ve got a website you want to build. You’re wanting to start from scratch, but you don’t want to deal with a ton of programming. Yet you still want to let your creativity flow so that an individualized site can be up and running for personal or professional reasons. This means you are likely wanting a website builder.
Two top options in this category are Wix and Squarespace.
In the Wix vs Squarespace debate, there are several key points which must be considered to determine the viability of each platform to meet your needs. Here are the comparisons that you’ll want to take a closer look at today.
1. How Easy Is it to Use?
Wix offers users a simple drag-and-drop design for website building that is basic, but organized. You can edit your site pages directly from the platform and have those changes translate to what the site will look like when you publish it. Just drag design elements and widgets onto the page canvas and you’re ready to get to work.
This approach also means that if you wish to change your Wix theme in the future, you’ll need to update all the content on your site. It is a platform which offers absolute positioning once you publish.
You can upload full-screen video backgrounds, create pages for scrolling, and have access to responsive themes that will automatically work to improve your UX by learning about your personal or professional needs.
Squarespace offers a similar experience, but requires more specificity from the user to achieve results. It also features a drag-and-drop design that is responsive, giving your site a consistent look on every device. Themes are offered in several different industry categories, allowing users to quickly create a site that looks and feels like it represents their brand.
2. Access and Contributors
Wix is designed to help users get a website up and running without any programming knowledge. The tools offered can help someone build almost any type of website that they want or need, including an e-commerce platform.
All the features that are available come to the user through their control panel.
Wix users are unable to change their site’s HTML or CSS. You cannot change the automatically generated URLs of your blog posts either, forcing users to create 301 directs if friendly URLs are part of an optimization effort. Adding specific levels of contribution to your created site is not possible at the time of writing either.
Squarespace supports multiple levels of access for your website. You can add multiple contributors to your site with different levels of security. You can assign comment moderators, content creators or editors, and other administrators. Additional user types are also available.
Your existing content can be easily added to your new Squarespace site as well. Blogger, Tumblr, Posterous, and WordPress are all compatible with this platform. Exporting from Squarespace to WordPress is also possible.
Themes and pages are open to coding so you can personalize virtually anything on your site. There are native developmental tools to use or you can become a Developer for your platform.
Both platforms offer free and premium third-party apps that can add to the functionality of the website.
Wix offers users the chance to build their website for free. You’ll receive 500 MB of storage, unlimited pages, and secure hosting on the free plan. Your site will also be on a Wix subdomain and there will be Wix-specific advertising placed on it.
There are 5 paid plans available through Wix that are worth considering as well.
- Connect. This plan is $5 per month, but still displays Wix advertising.
- Combo. At $10 per month, you receive 3 GB of storage, 2 GB of bandwidth, and remove Wix ads.
- Unlimited. This plan provides unlimited bandwidth, access to apps, and $300 in ad vouchers for $14 per month.
- eCommerce. For $17 per month, you can create an online store with Wix and receive the same benefits of the Unlimited plan, but with 20 GB of bandwidth and storage.
- VIP. This plan is for those who want a larger store and the most functionality from their site. Pricing is $25 per month.
Squarespace pricing is based on 4 paid plans that are available. There is not a free plan offered on this platform. All Squarespace plans allow for e-commerce.
- Personal. At $12 per month, you receive 20 pages, galleries, and blogs with unlimited bandwidth.
- Business. For $18 per month, you can reduce your transaction fees and add a professional email address from Google. Unlimited pages and bandwidth are on this plan.
- Store Basic. This plan is $26 per month and allows users to sell unlimited products from integrated galleries and blogs. Contributors are unlocked with this plan.
- Store Advanced. For $40 per month, you can offer real-time carrier shipping, checkout on your domain, and automatic discounts.
4. Customer Support
Wix offers users immediate help with every design or planning feature on their site. There is an icon that can be clicked so you can learn more about the specific feature or option that you’re considering for your site.
There is an extensive online help center offered by Wix as well. You’ll find several how-to content items there based on common issues that users face on the platform. There are instructional videos to watch as well. An active forum is also accessible to find discussion chains that address the problem you may be facing.
Squarespace offers a similar experience. You have access to several how-to tutorials, from videos to content items, which can take you step-by-step through the issue at hand. For additional customer support, there is live chat and email tickets available to users to receive a personalized response.
Squarespace also offers one-on-one workshops at their New York offices on a regular basis to help people overcome specific issues they may be facing with their site.
Wix offers immediate access to hundreds of different templates that cover a wide range of industries. Even when taking advantage of the free plan, the final website design looks quite professional once published. Some of the templates are responsive, but not all of them are – especially on the free plan.
You do have access to mobile editing features that help you improve the look of your site on mobile devices. Keep in mind that these creates a duplicated site, so this may not be helpful to every organic marketing effort.
Wix templates cannot be changed without rebuilding the website. Information loss occurs immediately and no backup is available. You do not have access to coding in the themes either, so personalization occurs through added content instead of theme design elements.
Squarespace features templates that offer responsive designs for multi-platform visitor access. You can change the templates at any time for your site as well without the threat of information loss. There are about 20 cover page designs on this platform and about four dozen templates available from which to choose.
Users can alter the coding for their templates to personalize their look, however, so the design options are virtually unlimited. Without basic programming knowledge, the template selection may seem limited to some users.
All Wix sites and content published are hosted on their own services. This makes it possible to publish a site without worrying about the added costs of a separate host, but it also means there is less overall control of your site. If the Wix servers go down, you have no website access until they come back up. Downtime equals lost revenues, especially if you’re on one of the e-commerce plans for Wix.
Sqaurespace will also be your web host. The images, videos, text, and other content you upload to your site is maintained by their own servers. Like Wix, your first site is a subdomain when you sign-up for this service. You can assign domain hosting to Squarespace if you wish or register a new customer domain.
7. Payment Processing
Wix offers several payment gateways with their store plans. Subscribers can also choose an offline payment method. Stripe and PayPal are two common options that are used, but Wix also allows Square, Braintree, eWay, Worldpay, and MercadoPago gateways so specific regions can be targeted.
Squarespace allows payment processing through Stripe or PayPal only. Users are permitted to take payments from both processors at the same time on their site.
In the Wix vs Squarespace debate, one must consider the size and scope of their business to find the correct solution. Wix is more of an entry-level platform for SMBs that are just getting started or offer a handful of products. It is also a good platform for freelancers and those in the gig economy who want to work independently of a support platform.
Squarespace is a solution for larger businesses who need to remove bandwidth limitations and need support for more product or service offerings.
Both are highly affordable, so match your needs with these key considerations to find the best possible solution for you.