When it comes to creating your own website, Wix and Squarespace are two names you've most likely come across. They're like the Swiss Army knives of website building, perfect for people who want a website without having any coding skills. Both Wix and Squarespace operate on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, where you pay a recurring fee for all the tools and features you need to build and maintain your site. To make it even easier for you, we've put together a handy pros and cons chart at the end of this article. In this case, we turned Wix and Squarespace inside out, testing their features such as:
- Set up and Ease of Use
- Design Flexibility
- Pricing and Value features
- Apps and Integrations (+E-Commerce)
- Marketing Features (Blogging & SEO)
- Help and Support
- CSS and HTML Access
- Switching Templates
First, let's talk about their stories. Founded in 2006 in Israel, Wix has emerged as a global website-building giant. Wix's mission was to empower individuals and businesses by making web design accessible to all. Over the years, it has evolved into a versatile platform, hosting a staggering 8.56 million live websites. With a team of around 5,000, Wix stands as a testament to the power of innovation and user-centric design. Squarespace, on the other hand, kicked off its journey in 2003 in the U.S. Established with a commitment to simplicity and design excellence, Squarespace has become a go-to platform for those seeking an elegant and curated web presence. With 3.1 million live websites and a team of approximately 1,800, Squarespace has carved its niche as the cool, creative website-building software.
In a nutshell, if Wix were a computer, it would be the PC, offering you the freedom to customize everything. Squarespace, on the other hand, is like the sleek Mac, focusing on simplicity and delivering that curated design experience.
- Set-Up and Ease of Use
Verdict: It's a tie; both platforms are considered beginner-friendly.
Wix stands out with its two website editors, one of which is a simpler and less customizable option and the other is a highly customizable yet slightly more intricate editor. Wix is a classic drag-and-drop editor, so customizing your website's look will be really easy. The platform also has a backup/restore system, making sure users can safeguard their content and restore specific versions if needed. Wix has an automatic synchronization of desktop and mobile versions feature, ensuring changes on one platform reflect on the other.
Contrastingly, Squarespace adopts a singular website editor, emphasizing simplicity from the start. Squarespace is not a drag-and-drop builder like Wix. In order to set up, you first choose a template, then fill out a questionnaire to customize important site elements. The editor, designed as a grid system with sections and content blocks, prioritizes uniformity across most devices.
Both Wix and Squarespace offer an easy way to get started. The choice between the two depends on your preference for flexibility versus structure in crafting your online presence.
- Design Flexibility
Verdict: Squarespace, with consistently stunning templates.
Wix, with its arsenal of over 800 templates, excels in customization and mobile responsiveness. This makes Wix an ideal choice for businesses that prioritize flexibility in design. The user-friendly drag-and-drop editor also makes it perfect for beginners and a great fit for e-commerce websites needing advanced features.
However, Squarespace's designs stand out for their quality, aesthetics, and cohesion, making them the preferred option. Squarespace not only offers top-notch designs but also gives you a plethora of customization options, truly embracing flexibility. Moreover, Squarespace offers better value for money, especially considering long-term savings. It's particularly well-suited for artists, creative professionals, and businesses that value a visually compelling brand.
Wix stands out with its unparalleled customizability, granting users immense creative freedom. However, the sheer abundance of choices may lead to designs that lack the refined polish seen on Squarespace's sites. The decision between Wix and Squarespace ultimately hinges on your specific needs and preferences, whether you crave the versatile freedom of Wix or the curated aesthetic experience provided by Squarespace.
- Pricing & Value for Money
Verdict: Squarespace is considered a better value.
Wix provides a free plan with certain limitations, allowing users to get a taste of the platform before committing to a paid subscription. Wix's paid plans start at $16 per month with the "Light" plan. The pricing then scales based on the plan selected, reaching up to $159 per month for the "Business Elite" plan. Wix offers flexibility in pricing, with different plans designed to accommodate various user requirements and budget constraints.
Squarespace also offers a free trial period, allowing users to explore the platform's features before committing. Squarespace's paid plans also begin at $16 per month with the "Personal" plan and extend up to $65 per month for the "Commerce Advanced" plan. If you select the annual billing plan, then it can result in cheaper plans overall. All Squarespace plans include a free domain for one year, an SSL certificate, and unlimited bandwidth. These inclusions enhance the overall value proposition for users.
So, Wix is noted for offering better price flexibility and providing a range of plans suitable for different budgets. But Squarespace is considered to offer better overall value for money, especially with its added features and the inclusion of a free domain, SSL certificate, and unlimited bandwidth.
- Apps & Integrations:
Verdict: It’s a tie; both platforms offer a variety of apps (+Wix has no transaction fees)
When it comes to apps and integrations, Wix and Squarespace are pretty close, providing users with a diverse range of options to enhance their website functionality.
Wix excels in providing scalable options for small online stores, and the absence of transaction fees gives it a competitive edge over Squarespace. Wix has a robust app store with over 200 apps, including both in-house and third-party options. This extensive ecosystem enhances the platform's overall versatility and functionality. Wix takes the lead in ease of adding an online store, making it particularly user-friendly for those looking to establish e-commerce ventures quickly.
Squarespace, while offering a smaller selection of third-party apps 31 in total, is available in its Extensions store, focusing on a streamlined, design-centric approach while prioritizing compatibility and cohesion. Squarespace's e-commerce tools are well-integrated, providing an ideal solution for small to medium-sized businesses but the platform charges a 3% transaction fee on its cheapest business plan.
Wix's App Market features a wide range of add-ons and integrations, offering more customizable features, but users should note that this may impact site speed. Squarespace's curated collection of add-ons prioritizes compatibility and cohesion, ensuring a streamlined and reliable integration experience.
- Marketing Features
Verdict: It’s a tie; both platforms offer a variety of marketing tools for blogging and SEO.
When it comes to marketing features, Wix and Squarespace are again neck and neck. They both provide users with a diverse set of tools to enhance their online presence, optimize content, and engage with their audience.
Wix offers highly customizable email marketing features, allowing users to create effective and personalized email campaigns. Wix Ascend includes various tools for customer management, automations, and communication, enhancing user engagement. Wix provides blogging tools, including writer profiles, blog-specific analytics, and customizable SEO options, contributing to a powerful content marketing strategy. Wix excels in SEO with its user-friendly SEO Wiz, guiding beginners through the optimization process. Customizable meta titles, meta descriptions, keyword support, and more contribute to a well-optimized website.
On the other hand, Squarespace offers an integrated email marketing solution, allowing users to create and manage campaigns seamlessly. It also provides compatibility with third-party marketing apps, enhancing the flexibility of marketing strategies. Squarespace's social post creator empowers users to craft engaging content for various social media platforms. Squarespace stands out in blogging with stunning template designs and robust multi-author collaboration features, catering to content creators and publishers. Squarespace's SEO checklist serves as a valuable tool for users to ensure their websites are optimized for search engines.
Both platforms offer comprehensive SEO support, including customizable meta titles, meta descriptions, keyword support, and more. Wix's SEO Wiz is particularly praised for its beginner-friendly approach, while Squarespace provides users with a useful SEO Checklist.
- Help & Support:
Verdict: Squarespace, offering high-quality support services.
Both Wix and Squarespace prioritize customer support, offering 24/7 assistance, live chat, and on-site editor help. Wix provides on-page help during editing, enhancing the user's experience. Squarespace distinguishes itself with a comprehensive Knowledge Center, ensuring users have access to a wealth of information and resources.
Verdict: Squarespace with Fluid Engine
Wix uses 'absolute positioning,' necessitating the creation of separate versions for desktop and mobile. This approach can lead to more manual adjustments for optimal display on various devices. Wix’s 'Editor X' is for users seeking responsive design. However, it comes at a higher cost, offering more advanced features but requiring a steeper investment.
Squarespace adopts a fully responsive design, ensuring that websites automatically adjust to different screen sizes and devices. Squarespace enhances control over both desktop and mobile versions through its 'Fluid Engine.' This feature allows users to fine-tune the appearance and functionality for a seamless experience across devices.
While Wix, with the introduction of 'Editor X,' provides a solution for responsive design, Squarespace's commitment to a fully responsive approach and the precision offered by the 'Fluid Engine' highlight its dedication to delivering a seamless experience on both desktop and mobile devices.
- CSS and HTML Access:
Verdict: Both Wix and Squarespace allow users to work with CSS and HTML, but Wix employs a tracking tool code editor for CSS, while Squarespace provides a dedicated CSS editor.
Wix utilizes a tracking tool code editor for CSS customization and allows the insertion of HTML code blocks for added flexibility. Squarespace, on the other hand, provides a dedicated CSS editor for seamless customization using custom CSS and allows users to insert HTML code blocks for additional customization options.
- Switching Templates:
Verdict: Squarespace, as it offers more flexibility.
Wix doesn't allow switching templates after installation. It offers a wide range of templates to choose from during the initial setup, emphasizing the importance of selecting the right one from the start. Similar to Wix, Squarespace doesn't allow users to switch templates after installation. However, it provides flexibility by allowing manual changes within the chosen template to achieve a similar look, enabling users to tailor the design to their preferences without completely changing templates.
- Content Management System:
Verdict: It's a tie.
Squarespace excels in content management by facilitating the seamless import of text content from WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr. It provides handy import wizards for smooth data transfer from platforms like Shopify, Etsy, and Big Cartel, supporting up to 10,000 products effortlessly. Offering four heading levels (H1-H4), Squarespace allows users to structure their content effectively. The platform optimizes images for various devices using a 'focal point' setting, and it provides a versatile range of gallery options, including carousel, grid, and masonry formats. While it features a media library, file management could be more user-friendly. Notably, Squarespace lacks autosave functionality, necessitating manual saving. Storage is generally unlimited, excluding videos, and injecting code on every page requires a 'Business' plan or higher. The Weglot-powered multilingual tool supports up to 20 languages but may charge extra.
Wix offers robust content management capabilities, with import options varying based on the interface used. While Wix ADI doesn't support content importing, Wix Editor enables the smooth transfer of products via CSV and WordPress-format blog posts, accommodating up to 50,000 products in batches of 5,000. With flexibility in heading levels (H1–H6), Wix stands out. It connects seamlessly to social media for image sourcing and provides extensive image editing features, including various filters and an 'auto cut out' feature. Wix integrates with Adobe Lightroom Classic and excels at managing files and images through its user-friendly media manager. Notably, Wix offers autosave and content versioning, ensuring periodic saving of site content. Storage limits vary based on the plan, with higher-tier plans offering more generous limits. The 'Wix Multilingual' app, supporting over 100 languages, is free. Both Wix and Squarespace support the addition of HTML blocks for scripts and third-party widgets, catering to multilingual capabilities.
Choosing between Wix and Squarespace boils down to your specific needs and preferences. Wix, akin to a PC, offers limitless customization with a vast template collection and extensive app options. Squarespace, resembling a sleek Mac, prioritizes design excellence and cohesion. Squarespace's refined templates, value-for-money pricing, and comprehensive support services make it a preferred choice for those valuing a curated web presence. In contrast, Wix shines with unparalleled flexibility and a larger app ecosystem, catering to users seeking diverse functionalities. Whether you prioritize creative freedom (Wix) or a visually compelling, structured experience (Squarespace), both platforms stand as powerful tools for website creation.