Imagine you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, ready to launch your online store. You know that your website’s design, features, and performance are crucial to your success. But with so many website builders available, how do you choose the one that’s best for your needs?
In this blog post, we’ll dive into the ultimate showdown between the Big Three: Squarespace vs Wix vs WordPress.
By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, helping you make an informed decision to power your online venture.
Comparing the Big Three: Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress
Each of the Big Three platforms offers a unique set of features, design options, and pricing plans. Here’s a breakdown of each platform:
- Squarespace: Renowned for its sleek designs and robust blogging features, Squarespace is a popular choice. However, it has limited templates and a higher price point.
- Wix: Beginner-friendly, Wix boasts a large template library and intuitive drag-and-drop tools. However, it lacks design versatility and advanced blogging tools.
- WordPress: Not just a page builder but a comprehensive platform, WordPress is highly customisable and flexible. It offers thousands of themes and plugins, including drag-and-drop features. However, it presents a steeper learning curve and requires a hosting service.
We’ll now delve into the specifics of each platform and examine its offerings.
When comparing Squarespace vs other website builders, Squarespace is known for its visual templates and comprehensive blogging capabilities, making it an excellent choice for image-driven brands and content-centric websites. Though its library of over 165 templates is smaller compared to Wix, the designs are thoughtfully crafted and tailored for specific business types.
Squarespace also offers a range of e-commerce features, making it a viable option for online stores, including the ability to create a single online store. However, its pricing plans, starting at €15 per month, are higher than Wix and WordPress, which may deter budget-conscious users.
Wix is a popular choice for those new to website building, thanks to its user-friendly drag-and-drop builder and an extensive library of over 800 templates. While its design versatility may not be on par with Squarespace or WordPress, it provides a wide array of features through its app store, making it a flexible option for various website types.
Wix’s blogging capabilities, however, are more basic compared to its competitors, lacking the advanced tools offered by Squarespace and WordPress. Still, its pricing plans, starting at €10 per month, make it an attractive option for those seeking a cost-effective solution.
Before diving deeper, it’s crucial to distinguish between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, as they cater to different needs. WordPress.com is a hosting platform that offers various subscription plans, suitable for those seeking a more managed experience. On the other hand, WordPress.org represents the open-source platform we are discussing in this article. This version is free to use, offering unparalleled freedom and customisation but requires you to secure your own web hosting service. Unlike WordPress.com, WordPress.org is entirely without limitations, providing users with full control over their website’s design and functionality.
WordPress reigns supreme in terms of customisability, with an immense selection of themes and plugins available to help you tailor your WordPress site to your exact needs. As an open-source platform, it offers virtually limitless possibilities for design and functionality. However, this flexibility comes at a cost: it requires a steeper learning curve and the need to secure your own web hosting service.
Despite these complexities, WordPress remains the most popular website builder globally, powering 43% of all websites on the internet. (W3Techs, 2023)
Check this article to learn more about what is wordpress.
Ease of Use and Design Options
- Wix stands out with its intuitive drag-and-drop editor.
- Squarespace offers a more streamlined experience with fewer templates and design options.
- WordPress has a moderate-to-difficult ease-of-use rating but compensates with its vast selection of themes and plugins, offering virtually limitless design possibilities.
Your selection among these website builders will ultimately be influenced by your preference for customisation, technical skill level, and budget constraints.
While Squarespace offers fewer templates than Wix or WordPress, it compensates with its stunning, pre-configured designs tailored for specific businesses. This means that even users with minimal design skills can create a beautiful, professional-looking website in just a few clicks.
Squarespace templates also come with a built-in page builder, allowing for easy customisation without any coding knowledge. Additionally, updates are simple and straightforward, ensuring your website stays fresh and current.
Wix’s drag-and-drop builder makes it incredibly easy for users to create and customise their websites without any technical knowledge. With over 500 mobile-friendly templates, users can quickly find a design that suits their needs and start building their online presence.
However, one major drawback of Wix is the difficulty in switching themes once you’ve started building your website. This means that if you decide to change your website’s design, you may need to recreate your content from scratch, which can be a time-consuming process.
While WordPress offers unparalleled design options with its vast selection of themes and plugins, it historically wasn’t as user-friendly as Wix or Squarespace. However, with these recent advancements, the platform has become much easier to navigate. Users can now utilise the Gutenberg editor alongside the traditional dashboard and customise themes to create their desired look. Additionally, the availability of various page builder plugins has further empowered WordPress, enhancing its capabilities and making it a formidable option for both small-scale and large-scale projects.
For those willing to invest time in learning the platform, WordPress now not only offers the most comprehensive range of design options among the Big Three but also boasts a much more user-friendly experience. This evolution makes WordPress a great option to start small and scale up, meeting diverse needs and skill levels.
What Types of Websites Can Be Built?
When it comes to building websites, Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress each offer unique capabilities that cater to a variety of website types. While all three platforms enable the creation of virtually any type of website, each one has its own strengths and specialises in certain areas.
Let’s dive into the types of websites you can build with each of these platforms, focusing on their distinctive strong points.
Squarespace is known for its visually stunning templates, making it an excellent choice for image-driven brands. This makes it ideal for building portfolio websites, artist websites, and photography websites. For example, photographers can showcase their work in high-quality image galleries, while artists can display their artwork in a visually appealing layout.
Furthermore, Squarespace’s robust blogging features make it a strong contender for content-centric websites, such as blogs or online magazines. Its e-commerce capabilities also make it suitable for online stores.
The user-friendly nature of Wix makes it a popular choice for beginners. With its extensive template library and easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder, it’s a great platform for building personal websites, blogs, and small business websites. For instance, a local bakery could use Wix to create an attractive website showcasing its products, complete with an online order form.
Additionally, Wix’s flexibility and app store make it a viable option for more complex websites, such as online stores or booking websites.
The high level of customisability offered by WordPress makes it suitable for virtually any type of website. Its flexibility allows users to start with a basic setup and gradually expand functionality as needed. From simple blogs and business websites to more complex e-commerce stores and membership sites, the possibilities with WordPress are virtually limitless.
For example, a business could initially use WordPress to create a basic professional website with a blog and customer testimonials. As the business grows, they can seamlessly integrate an online store or expand to include more advanced features. Similarly, a non-profit organisation could start with a simple website featuring a donation button and event calendars, later evolving to include member-only content and more intricate functionalities.
We’ve observed clients who began with platforms like Wix but eventually faced limitations as their needs grew. They moved to WordPress to create something more advanced, valuing its ability to adapt and scale with their requirements. Whether it’s a membership site or a sophisticated online platform, WordPress facilitates this growth and adaptation, making it an excellent choice for those who want to start small and have the option to expand over time.
Features and Functionality
Each website builder exhibits its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to features and functionality. Squarespace offers superior blogging features and e-commerce functionality compared to Wix, making it an excellent choice for content-centric websites and online stores. Wix, on the other hand, provides an array of promotional and e-commerce features but lacks advanced blogging tools.
WordPress, as the most versatile platform, offers vast functional capabilities with thousands of plugins to fulfil various website needs, making it the top choice for users seeking a highly customisable website builder.
Squarespace’s blogging features are more comprehensive than those offered by Wix, providing users with a more robust platform for creating and managing content.
Additionally, Squarespace offers a range of e-commerce features, such as multi-platform payment integration, sales analytics, and inventory management, making it a strong contender for online stores. However, it’s important to note that Squarespace’s functionality may be limited compared to WordPress, which offers a wider range of plugins and customisation options.
Wix provides a variety of promotional and e-commerce features that can help businesses grow their online presence. However, its blogging capabilities are more basic compared to Squarespace and WordPress, potentially limiting its appeal for content-heavy websites.
Despite these limitations, Wix still offers a solid platform for users seeking a user-friendly website builder with a focus on promotional and e-commerce features.
When it comes to features and functionality, WordPress stands in a league of its own, offering unparalleled versatility and customisation options. Unlike Squarespace and Wix, WordPress presents a virtually limitless array of possibilities through its extensive selection of themes and plugins. This adaptability allows users to precisely tailor their websites to their specific needs and preferences, whether for a simple blog, an intricate e-commerce platform, or anything in between.
One of the key strengths of WordPress is its vast plugin repository, enabling users to add a wide variety of functionalities ranging from SEO optimisation tools and social media integration to advanced e-commerce solutions and membership systems. This makes WordPress not just a website builder, but a powerful tool to create highly customised, feature-rich web experiences.
Moreover, WordPress excels in content management and blogging, providing sophisticated tools that go far beyond the capabilities of Squarespace and Wix. Its robust content management system (CMS) is ideal for those who wish to create rich, engaging content with ease and sophistication.
If you want to see more benefits of wordpress, we got you.
Pricing and Plans
Cost is a crucial consideration in selecting a website builder. Squarespace, while offering a 14-day free trial, has pricing plans starting at €15 per month, making it the most expensive option among the Big Three. Wix offers separate plans for websites and business/ecommerce, with prices ranging from €10 to €149 per month, making it a more cost-effective option.
WordPress, as a free platform, is the most budget-friendly choice, but costs can grow as your website traffic and functionality needs expand. Understanding the pricing structure and potential additional costs of each platform will help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and budget.
Squarespace offers a 14-day free trial, allowing users to explore its features and templates before committing to a paid plan. Its pricing plans cater to various needs, including promotional websites, blogs, and e-commerce, with prices starting at €15 per month for the Personal plan.
While it may be more expensive than Wix and WordPress, Squarespace’s sleek designs and robust features make it a viable option for those willing to invest in a more premium website builder.
Wix’s pricing plans are designed to cater to different website needs, from simple websites to business and e-commerce sites. Prices range from:
This makes it an affordable option for those on a budget.
It’s worth noting that Wix also offers a free plan, which may be suitable for users looking to create a basic website without the need for advanced features or a custom domain.
WordPress, as a free platform, is an attractive budget-friendly option. However, it’s important to be aware of the additional costs associated with this choice. Unlike Wix, which offers a free domain for the first year, and Squarespace, where you can buy a domain separately, WordPress requires you to independently find a web hosting service and a domain name registrar. These components are essential for launching and maintaining a WordPress site and add to the overall expenses.
Basic web hosting services can start from as low as €5 per month, suitable for beginners. However, higher-traffic websites or businesses needing better performance and security might consider premium services like Rocket.net, which we use and recommend for its excellent speed and security, although it comes at a higher price.
The cost of a domain name varies depending on the registrar and the domain extension. This, combined with web hosting costs, should be considered in your overall budget for a WordPress website.
In addition to hosting and maintenance costs, it’s important to consider the potential expenses associated with various plugins, depending on the specific functionality required for your site. While some plugins are available for free and provide basic features, others are paid and offer more advanced capabilities. The choice between free and paid plugins will depend on your individual needs and the level of functionality you’re aiming to achieve with your website.
Despite these initial setup costs, WordPress remains a highly popular choice due to its unparalleled customisability and scalability. Its ability to adapt to a wide range of needs, from basic blogs to complex e-commerce sites, makes it a compelling option for many users.
Customer Support and Resources
Reliable customer support and ample resources are critical components of any website builder, facilitating efficient resolution of any issues encountered during the website construction process. Squarespace offers 24/7 email and live chat support, ensuring that help is always available when needed. Wix provides 24/7 phone and ticket support, although its live chat response times can be slower compared to Squarespace.
WordPress, as an open-source platform, has varying resources, with community resources and forums available for free users. Understanding the support options available for each website builder will help you choose the one that best meets your needs.
Squarespace offers 24/7 email support and live chat support during designated hours, ensuring that users can access help whenever needed. While it may not offer phone support, its timely and efficient customer support ensures that users can resolve any issues or access guidance when building their website.
The platform also offers a range of resources, such as help articles and guides, to assist users in navigating its features and tools.
Wix provides 24/7 phone and ticket support for its users, ensuring that help is always available when needed. However, its live chat response times can be slower compared to Squarespace, which may be a concern for those who need immediate assistance.
Despite this drawback, Wix still offers a solid support system for its users, with a range of resources available, including help articles, tutorials, and a support centre.
Unlike Wix and Squarespace, WordPress doesn’t have its own dedicated support team. But what makes WordPress stand out is its massive popularity. This means there are loads of resources available on the internet. You’ll find a lot of video tutorials on YouTube and many Facebook groups full of WordPress enthusiasts and developers. These are great places to get help and advice for your WordPress site.
Also, depending on the page builder you choose for your WordPress site, you can get support directly from them. This is really handy if you need specific help.
All these resources make WordPress a great choice. Even though it doesn’t have an official support team like Wix or Squarespace, the huge WordPress community and the support from page builder companies can be really helpful. This is one of the reasons why WordPress is a better option than its competitors.
Choosing the right website builder can be a challenging decision, but a clear understanding of the unique offerings of Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress can guide you to the right choice. Squarespace stands out for its sleek designs and robust blogging features, although it’s a bit pricier. Wix, known for its user-friendliness and extensive template library, offers simplicity but may fall short in advanced blogging tools and design flexibility.
WordPress, however, excels in customisability and flexibility. Its vast selection of themes and plugins makes it ideal for a wide range of websites, from simple blogs to complex e-commerce platforms. Although it requires a bit more effort to learn and necessitates separate web hosting and domain registration, its scalability and the wealth of community-driven support resources make it an excellent choice for those who wish to start small and expand over time.
Considering your specific needs, budget, and design preferences will help you confidently select the best website builder for your online presence.
As a web design agency, what do we recommend? Our go-to choice is WordPress, for its ease of use and remarkable flexibility. It’s an ideal platform for those looking to start small and expand over time. We regularly use WordPress and confidently recommend it to our clients, as it provides a solid foundation that can adapt and grow alongside any business.
If you’re leaning towards WordPress and need assistance with your website, we’re here to help. Whether it’s setting up, customising, or scaling your WordPress site, our expertise can guide you through every step of the way with our pay monthly websites.