We’ve reviewed two of the top players in the industry – Wix vs Squarespace. Today these website builders shine brighter than ever, but they come with their own pros and cons. We’ll help you figure out the right one for you!
What options do I have for getting a website online?
You’re probably reading this because you need to build a website. And you probably don’t want to hire a digital agency. Let’s go over the options that you have today:
- Use a website design tool based on AI such as The Grid or Firedrop and get a website created for you automatically — you have no control over the output and usually the results are disappointing.
- Build a website with WordPress complete with WordPress’s ecosystem of specialist WordPress hosting, themes, and plugins — you have lots of control over infrastructure and functionality, but building in WordPress is less visual.
- Use simple drag-and-drop tools like Wix or Squarespace to build a website for your business — these DIY tools feature visual builder that are intuitive and easy to use. The process of getting a website up and running quicker than ever.
Website builders like Wix and Squarespace give you all that you need to setup your website, with easy drag-and-drop builders, and the simplicity you can be up and running with your website in hours.
As of December 2018, WordPress has also updated its visual editor and offers much more control and functionality for significantly less money compared to website builders. With your only cost being the cost of hosting (under $10/month) and having simple features like one-click-install, thousands of free plugins, we suggest you to give a chance to our guide How to Build a Website from Scratch and learn to use WordPress in under and hour.
If you still want to take the easiest route out there, continue reading:
Wix vs Squarespace: An Overview
No time to read?
Wix has greater value for money, let’s you edit almost everything you dream of, but lacks some integrations and optimizations. Use Wix if you want a website online cheap, fast and built with an easy drag-and-drop style editor.
Squarespace has advanced technical features, great looking templates and comes with everything you ever need. Use Squarespace if you care about things like site speed, SEO and stunning visuals. These features also mean that it’s not as cheap.
For blogging, use either Squarespace or WordPress.
Back to our comparison…
Wix has more than 100 million registered users and people love Wix for a reason: creating, running, and managing a website shouldn’t have to be so hard.
Wix for people, that want to get their site up and running quickly, but don’t care about SEO, site speed and other more complex features.
Squarespace is the most spectacularly easy-to-use DIY (Do it Yourself) website builder available today. Squarespace boasts of stunning website templates, comprehensive integrating capabilities, a gorgeous editor, and the fact that it’s also affordable.
Squarespace makes it so easy to set up a website that you could literally have a website up and running within a few clicks and maybe spending an hour or two adding content, images, and video. Squarespace has some of the prettiest website templates (that look good on mobile, tablets, and on desktops).
On top of those gorgeous looking templates, Squarespace integrates with Mailchimp, Paypal, and several other important marketing tools along with other applications that you could be using already.
While both of them are super popular among users, they have their pros and cons that we highlight as clearly as we can.
Interface & DIY Editor Usability
The Wix Editor truly brings customizability to you. Either pick from more than 200+ professionally designed, mobile-responsive, and industry-specific or templates sorted by business-type or choose to start with a blank template.
After choosing one of the templates (categorized into industry or business types), Wix provides you with a drag-and-drop editor using which you could just drag in sections (or edit existing sections) that make up each page of your website. By quickly added and editing your sections, you are essentially using building blocks to create your website.
With Wix, every template could be edited completely. Each element can be dragged about or moved to any other part of the page. You can add new elements anywhere on the page or remove existing ones from anywhere on the page.
Wix boasts of a truly pixel perfect, canvas-like experience which makes it absolutely easy for anyone to build a website.
Squarespace has the world’s best templates to base your website on and it also has a minimalistic User Interface for your DIY website editor.
For most practical purposes, any template you pick on Squarespace has stunning UX/UI, design, and mobile-responsiveness built in. Your website can look drop-dead gorgeous. That’s the point of using Squarespace.
However, Squarespace doesn’t come with absolute freedom you have with Wix as far as working with layouts, dragging and dropping elements, and other such features you come to expect from Wix.
As far as non tech-savvy users are concerned, with Squarespace, the process of building your website is “boxed in”. You’ll pick a template and make changes to that template.
Wix vs Squarespace: Features
Squarespace has everything you need to set up your website (with beautiful templates). You can also choose to go for their ecommerce packages and run your online store. Squarespace provides you with domains, websites, hosting, and a comprehensive set of marketing tools.
Hosting, SSL & Website Loading Speeds
Google is increasingly taking page speeds as an important factor when it considers your page ranking for relevant keywords your users search. If you used WordPress, you’d have control on just fast your pages load.
This is, however, based on the hosting packages you take and plugins you use along with your Website management — all of which takes work. With Squarespace, you get unlimited and fast hosting included with your package.
Squarespace also throws in 2048-bit SSL certificates (created and renewed for you automatically) making your website secure and more trustworthy for your customers.
While Wix does provide hosting and SSL, websites hosted on Wix are typically slower than those on Squarespace. Also, Wix provides standard SSL while Squarespace has advanced 2048-bit SSL.
Search Engine Optimization
Each Squarespace website is Search optimized and built for helping your potential customers find you. Squarespace websites load fast (above).
However, note that you still don’t have any control on the speed of page loads for your Squarespace website. That’s the whole point. Squarespace doesn’t want you to tinker with servers; it just wants you to focus on your business.
Wix also wants you to focus on your business and not worry about your website. However, Wix websites come bloated with code and minimal control on your SEO work.
Wix doesn’t allow something as simple and universal as being able to manage your website URLs (for pages or blog posts), for instance.
Wix is terrible for SEO while it loads your websites slowly (which further damages any chances you might have for good SEO).
Wix has an image manager along with access to some stock photos from inside the image manager if you need them. You can also upload images and videos and showcase them as galleries.
Squarespace takes image management to a whole new level, however. With features like Adobe Image editor, Getty images direct integration, responsive image management (upload and/or manage images on mobile phone), Image focal point control, progressive image loading, Image metadata importing, and a CDN included, managing images is a dream come true with Squarespace.
Of course, with Squarespace, you also get galleries, gallery blocks, display effects, and ability to showcase videos in galleries.
There’s virtually limited ways to get traffic to your Squarespace website if you don’t do blogging, at a regular frequency. The idea is to provide valuable content, get your visitors to trust you, and they’ll buy from you.
Squarespace is no WordPress. But you still get a robust – albeit simple – blogging solution (CMS) from Squarespace complete with text, images, videos, and galleries.
Blogging on Squarespace will make you feel like a blogger. Breath-taking new designs with minimalism at heart, your blog can’t look better than what Squarespace can make it look like.
Another unique feature with Squarespace blogging is that you can directly publish your content to Apple News and reach millions of readers.
Wix has a blogging system too.
But it’s not a typical CMS. It’s just an HTML page that you’ll build but it’ll have your blog posts listed in a chronological order (it’s for this reason what it’s hard to customize your blog URLs). If you are used to WordPress or any other up-to-date system, you’ll be disappointed with Wix’s blogging system.
Integrated Social Sharing
Squarespace has invested time, resources, and effort to try to make social media work for your Squarespace site.
Social media comes integrated with every site you build on Squarespace. Update your content once or write a new blog post and just click on a button to simultaneously share your content on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (among others).
With Wix, you’d have to use standalone apps to make social media work for you.
While “follow on social media” buttons come standard, other social media features will require a choice of apps from the Apps marketplace.
While email marketing is the most profitable channel you’d ever deploy when it comes to digital marketing, Wix breaks all the fun by forcing you to use their proprietary email marketing software. It’s not bad at all, but it doesn’t give you rich (and ever growing) features that companies or apps like mailchimp, Drip, and Campaign monitor provide.
Assuming you did want to use Wix’s email marketing app, you’d not be able to do much with it since it might lack the integration to your CRM, for instance. Or you might not be able to connect your email marketing with Facebook ads campaigns.
Squarespace now has an all-new email marketing platform that works just like Mailchimp. In addition, it also integrates with other email marketing tools that you might want to use.
Wix doesn’t have a specific dashboard for comprehensive site analytics. However, it does integrate with other analytics tools such as Google Analytics, HotJar, and several others.
Squarespace analytics, however, is one of the most stunning analytics dashboards we’ve ever seen inside a DIY website builder.
Squarespace boasts of advanced analytics, starting with the most important KPIs you’d need to know everything you need for your business website.
With Squarespace analytics, you get access to data about traffic, sales metrics, popular content, purchase funnels, abandoned cart stats (for ecommerce), site search statistics, device filtering, activity logs, and so much more.
Maps, RSVP, & Forms
Wix, as discussed above, does allow you to add apps that can help you to collect RSVPs for events, create and use forms, and embed
Squarespace content engine platform also comes with fully-customizable forms, maps, and RSVP functionalities built in. With the “customer engagement” features in Squarespace, you get the best of all-inclusive hosting and website management along with customer management features. If you are on ecommerce plans, you also get complete data regarding your orders, shipments, and payment details right inside your Squarespace dashboard.
Wix also provides you with functionalities for ecommerce, except that it’s not as expansive and cohesive as Squarespace is.
Ease of Use
Wix is easy. So easy that you could build your website while you were sipping lemonade out in the porch.
Wix makes it a no-brainer to build a website for a business. It’s so simple that you could use it to teach elementary school students.
Drag and drop elements. Click and swap images, videos, or text. Add forms. Click and link to whatever you want.
While the Squarespace DIY editor is much more powerful, it’ll take some getting used to.
Also, unlike Wix, there’s not much you can drag around and play with.
Wix is easy, but Squarespace is only slightly less easier to use.
For developers or for those who can dabble with code, both Wix and Squarespace websites can be completely customized exactly the way you want them, on brand.
Complete customization with HTML and CSS, however, is beyond the scope of this blog post and it’s not the intended audience we wish to help.
The way integrations work with Wix is through its own Wix Marketplace. Some of the most commonly used tools and applications are available in Wix’s 250+ app marketplace. You either get these apps for free or you’d have to pay for them (depending).
There are so many apps, for virtually everything you need, that you’ll never find it lacking for what you want your website to do.
The only problem is that you might end up with way too many apps. This is as much a problem for your website management as too many plugins is for WordPress.
Want to manage events on your Wix website? Use Wix Events. Need to collect subscribers to grow your email list? Use Wix Subscribers.
While we like the Wix Marketplace, we only worry that adding on paid subscriptions to your Wix subscriptions will inflate the cost of running and managing your business.
The good thing about Squarespace is that it’s a all-inclusive, comprehensive platform. So, it’s not just a website that you’ll build with Squarespace but you could manage your entire business with it (e-commerce included).
Squarespace has forms you could build your subscribers with. You have forms, RSVP functionality, SEO, social media, and everything else you need already included in the system. On top of that Squarespace has direct third-party integrations along with full support for all third-party integrations such as with Mailchimp, Xero, GSuite, ShipStation, and more.
Squarespace starts with a 14-day free trial after which you’ll need a paid plan to have your website live.
Pricing for Squarespace without ecommerce (personal plan) starts from $12 per month(paid annually). Or you’d shell out $16 month(paid monthly). For business plans, it’ll cost you $18 per month (billed annually) or $26 per month (paid monthly).
If you are looking for online stores with Squarespace, pricing starts from $26 per month (paid annually) or $30 (paid monthly). For larger e-commerce stores, Squarespace will cost you $40 per month (paid annually) or $46 per month (paid monthly).
Wix, on the other hand, has an indefinite free trial (you could just create an account and start designing your website). Your website, if you don’t have a domain name yet, will be on https://yourdomain.wix.com
If and when you are ready to upgrade, you’ll upgrade to one of their premium plans. Wix Premium plans can start at $5 per month (for domain connect) and can go up to $35 per month. Note that this isn’t taking any paid apps you might need for your website.
Wix Marketplace has both free and paid apps and if you choose to work with paid apps, your monthly costs will add up soon enough.
Squarespace and Wix have originally set out to make it easy for the technically-challenged entrepreneurs and webmasters to create and launch websites easily. However, not everyone goes with what a template dictates. Some people like to customize their design exactly the way they want them.
Both Squarespace and Wix give you features that make it easy for you to invite collaborators — includes your own team, outside vendors or contractors, freelancers, designers, and other specialists — to help design or manage your website.
The actual approach taken to invite collaborators, assign roles to them, and to give them access to parts (or the entire site) is slightly different, however.
Disadvantages: Wix vs Squarespace
Whether you choose Wix or Squarespace, either platform has something the other does not.
You’d have to consider choosing the right platform to build your website by taking into account what you’d really need for your business, the marketing or business tools you’ll have to integrate with, and the degree of control you’ll have over your website (if that matters to you).
For some business owners, flexibility in design is important. For others, complete ownership of site and the ability to transfer sites (just in case) are important.
A few others will need absolute control in everything from design to the speed of websites.
As such, it’s critical to note that each platform can deliver (and cannot) and set your expectations right.
Disadvantages of Wix:
- Wix has terrible SEO and Blogging system. Wix just can’t compete with the sheer versatility and universal applicability as WordPress.
- Wix doesn’t have site portability. If you ever wanted to transfer your site, the only way to do it is to manually move every piece of text, image, and video over to your new site. If you stop paying Wix, you lose your website. If you stop paying for any of the paid apps within the marketplace, you lose access.
- Wix forces you to use its proprietary apps for some incredibly important digital marketing functions. Take email marketing for example. Most people like to have control on their email marketing campaigns (everything from design to email deliverability) and hence they use tools like Mailchimp, Drop, or Campaign Monitor. Wix, however, doesn’t work with any of these popular tools. You’ll have to use Wix’s own email marketing tool which doesn’t give you the same flexibility and features as the popular email service providers do.
- When you use Wix, you have no control over the speed of your website. There’s nothing you can do to speed up your website page load time, for instance. The same can be said for Squarespace, but they’re a bit faster in this sense.
- Despite everything Wix provides for you to customize and design, there are a few customization options lacking. Like the button text for forms “Submit” buttons.
Disadvantages of Squarespace:
- Not everything integrates with Squarespace unlike WordPress. However, it’s better than Wix in this regard.
- Squarespace is a closed ecosystem. What’s built here, stays here. If you choose to walk away, you can’t. At least, not entirely. You have the option to export content to WordPress, of course.
- Your websites are template driven. Pick a template and go with it. Need anything “custom”? Reach out to an expert.
- You won’t find those little things you always took for granted in WordPress. Like, there’s no preview button after you write blog posts. You can’t right-click and see how your post looks like. If you thought WordPress had a learning curve, Squarespace has its own learning curve.
- Talking about blog posts, you can’t batch edit blog posts. To edit posts, you’d have to look for them first within Squarespace dashboard.
- The social sharing buttons that Squarespace provides are minimal.
Conclusion: Wix vs Squarespace?
Before we come to conclusions, let’s set our expectations.
DIY website builders are perfect for those entrepreneurs and website owners who:
- Want to get started as quickly as possible, with minimal fuss.
- Hate tinkering or dealing with servers, infrastructure, and technology.
- Have focus on “growing a business” than having to deal with “websites”
- Love getting leads, sales, or results rather than working 4-6 hours a day just trying to get website design right.
- Are content-focused, visual, and minimalism is at the core of your entrepreneurial mindset.
If you answered yes to any of the above, choosing between Squarespace and Wix is the next step.
The best choice overall: Squarespace.
But, don’t get us wrong: we like Wix and we know the market Wix is trying to target.
Wix is for you if you just want to build a website with an easy-to-use builder and get it for a great price. It doesn’t have to load super fast, need glitter, polishes and extra features. Fortunately this also means, that it doesn’t have to cost as much as Squarespace.
Wix is good for you if you wanted a quick and simple web presence for your business. You get great value for money and you can always move to more advanced systems. If you want to start a blog, we’d look at Squarespace or WordPress.
Go to Wix.com and start building with their easy-to-use system.
Squarespace is like the luxury segment of DIY website builders. It does everything that Wix does with a little more style and oomph.
Squarespace is for you if you not only care about how your website, brand, and business is represented on the web but also how you manage to get leads and sales (while simultaneously making a splash with your brand) online.
Their built-in analytics tools are mind blowingly good and Squarespace handles SEO like a champ. SEO is one of the most important things when trying to settle in between Google’s front page results.
Go to Squarespace.com and get the best features out there.
If you still find that none of these are a great fit your you, try WordPress. Here we teach you how to get your WordPress site up and running in a matter of hours with the world’s most popular and advanced platform. Trust us, we’ve built over 150 sites using WordPress and teach you for free.