When it comes to designing a new website, you can make it from scratch - or save a lot of time and use a website builder for help. These days, given how powerful website builders have become, more and more people are turning to platforms like Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace.
But given that each of these services takes a slightly different approach to website construction, how do you decide which is the best for you?
Today, I’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each website builder to help you decide between Wix vs WordPress vs Squarespace.
What is Wix?
Wix is an extraordinarily simple website builder used by over three million website owners. The intuitive drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to get your site up and running in just a matter of hours. Plus, Wix offers more than 500 templates to choose from.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is both a website builder and a fully-featured content management system, not to mention the most popular website platform on the Internet today.
WordPress offers numerous official free templates and plugins, but the easier to use website builder-like version on WordPress.com is limited when it comes to these customization options.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is a design-oriented website builder and hosting provider used by nearly two million websites. Squarespace is more limited than either WordPress or Wix in terms of themes, but the themes are beautifully designed and catered towards creative professionals. Plus, Squarespace makes customizing themes easy without any need for coding.
Wix vs WordPress vs Squarespace: Which Web-Builder Wins?
Comparing these leading website building solutions is not the easiest job. Each shines in a different category and is loved by millions. That's why I will compare them by putting the most important website building features and characteristics to the test.
It’s hard to beat WordPress’s price of free when it comes to choosing a website builder. However, that plan is massively limited - with no plugins and only one theme available.
Getting to choose from multiple themes will costs you $5 a month, and getting all the premium plugins, optimization, and eCommerce capabilities will set you back $25 a month.
Those looking to save money may move from WordPress.com altogether, and choose an open-source version from WordPress.org. But even there, you'll need to pay for a hosting provider and domain name for your site, and the creative process will be much more complicated.
Squarespace is a relatively good value for personal websites that aren’t running e-commerce. Website plans start at just $12 per month and include full access to Squarespace’s themes and 24/7 customer support, as well as unlimited bandwidth and content storage. Pricing becomes less competitive if you need an e-commerce option, though, as plans including an online store start at $26 per month.
Wix offers a free option that includes hosting, but it’s limited to a ‘.wixsite.com’ domain and you only get 500 MB of content storage. Just for the privilege to connect a domain will cost you $4 a month.
Premium website plans without e-commerce start at $11 per month, but you only get 2 GB of bandwidth and 3 GB of storage. Unlimited bandwidth starts at $14 per month, but no Wix plans offer more than 20 GB of content storage. E-commerce options are a slightly better deal, starting at $20 per month.
Design and Customization
It can be really hard to choose between Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace when it comes to designing your site since they all offer excellent options.
Wix and WordPress win out when it comes to the sheer number of themes available, while Squarespace favors fewer themes that are more intricately designed and have more style customization options.
Note that while you can start out from scratch with Wix and WordPress, which is advantageous for website owners who already have a design in mind, Squarespace forces you to choose a theme. As for customization, it’s hard to beat the premium WordPress plan.
With a WordPress site, you have complete access to the ‘style.css’ file underlying your theme so you can make edits at will. You can also design a new theme from scratch or create a child theme to modify an existing theme.
Another advantage to WordPress is that on a premium plan you can add an unlimited number of plugins to your site to modify its look and feel.
Wix similarly offers plugins, although the Wix App Market is nowhere near as large as the WordPress plugin directory. With Squarespace, while you can add custom CSS code to a theme, there’s no ability to add content modules beyond what comes standard with the website builder.
That said, when it comes to in-depth customization of your website, Squarespace makes the process simpler than either WordPress or Wix. Short of coding, it can be hard to really make changes to your WordPress theme and Wix doesn’t offer much theme customization at all.
With Squarespace, you have access to hundreds of options, ranging from typography to content sizing, to modify the look of your site’s theme.
WordPress was originally designed for blogging and it remains the king of this domain.
WordPress includes by far the best blogging capabilities of any website builder, offering a Word document-like interface for writing and highly organized tagging features. Plus, thanks to WordPress’s massive array of plugins, you can easily customize how your blog posts are presented to visitors and how to track your analytics.
That’s not to say Wix and Squarespace won’t work for a blogging website, though.
All Squarespace and Wix websites come with built-in blogs, which are perfectly fine for getting your posts out and into the world.
However, there’s not as much room to customize your blog beyond the defaults for your theme and the publishing tools are not quite as extensive as for WordPress.
Wix vs WordPress vs Squarespace - Conclusion
When it comes to choosing which is better among WordPress or Wix or Squarespace, WordPress is best for the majority of websites. You get a huge range of customization options thanks to third-party developers contributing themes and plugins.
However, there's also an issue. If you wish to have the site building experience, as streamlined and simple as Wix, and Squarespace, you'll need to purchase a plan for WordPress.com. And the full-featured plan, complete with plugins and custom themes is $25 a month.
For that price, you can get Squarespace, which is a great option for website owners who want a more managed website building environment with 24/7 support. While the themes allow for a wide range of customization, all style changes can be accessed through a simple menu interface rather than requiring coding.
Wix is a great choice for website owners who want to get their website off the ground before switching to a paid website plan. The Wix drag-and-drop interface is extremely easy to use, there are more than 500 templates to choose from, and you can further customize your site with apps.
At the end of the day, all comes down to which of these editing experiences is the best for you.
Did this guide help you choose between Wix vs WordPress vs Squarespace? Let me know in the comments below!