WiX vs Squarespace
In a previous blog post, the two most popular website platforms for creative entrepreneurs were compared. Second to the Wordpress or Squarespace debate is WiX vs Squarespace.
WiX is another contender for best website builder.
You’ve probably discovered this on your journey to find the right platform for your website.
If you read my other post, Squarespace vs. WordPress, you might have gathered that I like to test out web design tools. WiX is no exception.
I dug deep into WiX and learned all about its features and its benefits. I made lovely sites and became a Certified WiX Webmaster through the company’s own training program.
After getting to know both WiX and Squarespace quite well, I have a pretty good idea about the pluses and minuses of both, especially for creative entrepreneurs.
If you’re wondering which one is best for you, you’re in the right place. I have a lot to share.
Pour some tea and let’s get started!
In this post you’ll find the following:
What is WiX
Why choose WiX
Is WiX right for me
What is Squarespace
Why choose Squarespace
Is Squarespace right for me
What is WiX
WiX is a cloud-based, drag and drop website builder. Like Squarespace, they offer everything you need under one roof - domains, templates, and hosting.
They use the “Freemium” model, so it’s possible to have a website for free.
Free websites come with lots of ads for WiX and in places that compete with your own branding.
Upgrading your site to a premium package will remove ads and allow you to connect your own domain. Depending upon which plan you choose more bells and whistles will be available.
Similar to Squarespace, WiX offers website packages as well as Business and eCommerce plans
See the image below for their pricing plans and what is included.
Why choose WiX
Wix is a fun, relatively easy website builder and hosting service all-in-one.
WiX feels like a blend of both WordPress and Squarespace. It’s potentially a happy medium between the two.
Much of what makes both WordPress and Squarespace great has been combined.
Apps and Plugins
Like WordPress, users can expand the capabilities of their WiX site through apps and plugins found on the WiX’s marketplace. Some of these apps and plugins are created as well as maintained by the company. Others are created and offered by 3rd parties.
The 3rd party apps and plugins integrate with WiX just fine. This can be a problem with WordPress as not all plugins available play nice with each other.
A drawback to the use of apps and plugins is the cost associated. The premium apps - those without ads and increased functionality - come with a price above and beyond the service level fees for using WiX.
The price of having a site on WiX can add up pretty quickly, depending on your needs.
Lots of templates and limitless possibilities
WiX offers hundreds of templates. Their catalog is added too often as well. If a template is not what you’re looking for, WiX offers a blank slate - a template you can completely make your own.
With WordPress, one needs to have some design and development skills to customize a template. With Squarespace, there are a limited number of templates to choose from.
WiX solved both problems with their large offering of templates and their blank canvas template. Since no technical skills are required, it’s easier to get the site you want.
The downside to this? WiX is not mobile responsive.
Currently, we are in a mobile-first world where at least 50% of the time websites are viewed on mobile devices.
Mobile friendly and mobile responsive are not the same thing.
All of Squarespace’s templates are mobile responsive meaning, regardless of the screen your website is viewed on it will look and function great.
This is not the case with WiX. Unfortunately, you’re risking the appearance and overall user-friendliness of your site due to the fact that WiX websites are not mobile responsive.
One other drawback to the templates is the load time.
Most people do not like waiting around for a site to load. WiX sites, with all the add-ons and moving parts, can take some time to load.
If you choose the lowest paid plan, you will not have unlimited bandwidth, so depending upon how many people visit your site in a month, your site may not load at all.
Should you decide to go with WiX, make sure you select a plan with unlimited bandwidth.
WiX vs Squarespace SEO
Again, WiX viewed their competition. One of the myths about Squarespace is poor SEO. And it is a myth. WordPress is known for having great SEO. WiX aims to compete with WordPress here.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization is basically how sites like Google and Bing help you get found online.
For many, SEO is a foreign language, and possibly even a very dry, boring foreign language we don’t want to learn, lol!
WiX understands this and makes it relatively easy to ensure that the site you have created will get indexed by search engines like Google.
The tout having the best SEO.
The cool thing is that WiX really does make SEO easy and simple to understand. This is great because SEO can get rather complicated and overwhelming.
While they do make it easy, this feature of WiX is not exactly proprietary. Users of WordPress can simply add Yoast to their site.
Squarespace users and designers like myself know how to apply SEO tweaks to the platform to ensure that your website will get found online.
If you need help, WiX offers support forums, knowledge base, email and phone support. This is for the premium levels only. For all levels there are support forums and knowledge base.
The knowledge base is well organized. Answers to questions are pretty easy to find and advice can be easily implemented.
I’ve learned though that if something is missing from the knowledge base then it is likely to be unavailable or not possible with WiX.
For example, I went searching for how to schedule a blog post on WiX. I discovered this wasn’t possible.
WiX also has a few active groups on Facebook in case you get stuck.
All around, the customer support is almost on par with Squarespace.
Is WiX right for me
WiX has some great features and benefits. The backend - the guts of your website - is pretty easy to navigate. WiX refers to their backend as the editor.
WiX could serve a creative entrepreneur well. You can set-up shop, clients can book appointments, and you can post calendars of your events, to name a few things you can do.
The downside is that most of these functions cost additional money. Unlike Squarespace, these features are not included. In addition to cost, there is the software to install and configure. Now you have a time as well as financial investment, which is not something we creatives always have a surplus of.
If blogging is important to you, and for most of us it is, WiX drops the ball. WiX has a long way to go with their blogging features and functionality.
While WiX offers its SEO Wiz to help you get found online, the efforts end there.
Content marketing and the promotion of your site through content is really important. Unfortunately, WiX does not have the tools to support this.
If you are a content creator, WiX is not for you.
With WiX, you might find that there’s always something missing. Even after you’ve paid for upgrades, it still isn’t quite there yet.
WiX might be better as a hobby site than the home for your business. WiX just doesn’t function as well as Squarespace or WordPress.
Unlimited creative expression
No need to learn to code
Easy and fun to use
Blog capabilities leave a lot to be desired
Not mobile responsive
Page load times
Cannot change templates
What is Squarespace
Like WiX, Squarespace is a website builder and an all in one service. You can purchase a domain name, build your website, and host it with Squarespace. You can also add your own professional email - highly recommended - through Google to your Squarespace site with ease.
In the earliest versions of Squarespace, blogs and portfolio sites where the brand’s main focus. Thanks to the success of one template in particular, Squarespace has grown and they now offer a full suite of features and benefits to creative entreprenuers.
Beautifully displaying work, products, and services as well as content has been at the heart of Squarespace.
Squarespace offers over 60 mobile responsive templates. No matter what template you select it will look good on any size screen or device. Squarespace will sort these templates for you based on the intended use or goal of your site.
Why Choose Squarespace?
Squarespace is often the choice for creative entrepreneurs.
Even well-known bloggers choose to use Squarespace, and there is a good reason for this. Take a look below to see why small businesses, especially creative entrepreneurs choose Squarespace.
Squarespace does not offer a free level of service. Instead, Squarespace has a 14-day free trial. If you work with a Squarespace Circle member like myself, you can get a 6-month trial.
Just sign up for a free account, select a template, and get to work on your Squarespace site, for free.
Easy to Use
Squarespace is what is called a fully managed platform, which means they take care of everything for you!
Like WiX, Squarespace offers tiered levels of service, but theirs are more streamlined and inclusive.
The backend, or the guts of your site, is well organized and very clear. Making design edits and tweaks to the appearance of your site is easy in the Design section. Adding pages and sections to your site can be found under the aptly named Pages.
Navigation behind the scenes of your Squarespace site is very simple.
Clean, Modern Mobile Responsive Templates
Squarespace offers many templates to choose from but each one is created with modern website trends in mind.
Outdated concepts are not part of the design. This includes acknowledging mobile users.
All of Squarespace’s templates are responsive. This means that it won’t matter if your clients or customers are viewing your site on a laptop, tablet, or their mobile phone; your website will look great regardless of the screen it is being viewed from.
If you do not like the template you’ve selected at first, you can change it, at any time.
Unlike a site created on WiX you are not stuck with one template.
This is great if your site needs change, or you need different features and functionality that one template has over another choice.
Several templates, like the Brine template family is super flexible. A template selected from the Brine family has the capabilities of growing with you and your business, so depending on which template you choose, you may not have to select another one in the future.
Real people are available 24/7 to answer your questions and point you in the right direction if you get lost. Support is available via email and live chat.
One of the features of the live chat that I love is being able to get a transcript of the conversation emailed to me so I can have it for reference.
The support team at Squarespace is stellar, but they also offer an online knowledge base with articles that are updated regularly and often, so no outdated material that leads to nowhere.
There are also quick video tutorials to help you out and an active, friendly Facebook group.
Squarespace offers their versions of plugins which are already built-in. You won’t have to worry about ensuring different pieces of software you would like to use in order to enhance your site are compatible.
Instead of offering plugins and apps that can add up in both money and time, Squarespace simply incorporated helpful software so you don’t have to think or worry about it.
As mentioned above in this post, Squarespace has partnered with other reliable companies to offer integrations.
This means the software that has been tested and determined to be compatible with Squarespace is made available to you at no additional cost.
Integrations with MailChimp email marketing and Acuity scheduling are including with your membership fee.
Squarespace has simple, straightforward pricing. It is clear and easy to understand what is included at each membership level.
Squarespace will take the guesswork out of which service level is right for you. You won’t have to decide upon how much bandwidth you need since all plans include an unlimited amount.
Currently, they have a total of four options. If paying annually, prices start at just $12 per month. And this price includes your site, hosting, support, integrations, and more.
As a Squarespace Circle member, I am pleased to offer my clients 20% off their first year of service with Squarespace.
That’s a nice saving that can be put towards travel, art supplies, or crystals, just saying!
It’s worth noting that included in the price is the more advanced maintenance a website requires.
Yup, that means not having to find a reputable developer to have on call because Squarespace has their own developers on staff to fix anything buggy or security related. If an issue arises, Squarespace handles it!
No muss, no fuss.
Squarespace offers a pretty sweet deal to creative entrepreneurs looking for a web presence. It seems like a done deal to choose Squarespace as the online home for your business.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the drawbacks of Squarespace.
Below is a list a few common concerns and complaints about Squarespace.
Squarespace offers several templates to choose from, and they are designed with different needs in mind such as online store, portfolio, or blog.
The main goal is to prioritize the intention behind a website so, many of the template’s capabilities are focused on achieving said intention, whether it offers your customers an easy to use shopping experience or a beautiful portfolio site to show off.
The templates on offer to its customers are geared toward the creative entrepreneur, however; some may find that the templates available do not allow enough creative control.
Another drawback is the workarounds needed in order to create a large store on Squarespace.
Each product page is limited to 200 products. If you own a boutique shop with a limited line, this will not be a problem for you, but it is definitely something to keep in mind.
Not everyone agrees on Squarespace’s SEO capabilities.
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization or the set of methods and tools used to make your site appear in search results generated on Google or Bing.
Much of Squarespace’s SEO is built-in whereas WiX utilizes plugins and an SEO tool that points out where and what a user needs to include on their site to get found online.
The truth about SEO is that sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo play their cards close to their chest when it comes to discovering what actually improves one’s search results.
In fact, each site regards the recipe to top search results a very closely guarded secret. Still, many are under the impression that WordPress is superior to Squarespace when it comes to this aspect.
WiX is definitely challenging WordPress and Squarespace on this.
Squarespace is fully managed so, they have a team of people who work solely on SEO. I’ll let you be the judge on this one ;).
Let’s recap: Squarespace is a one-stop shop where your website and hosting is in one place. Because of this, much of the routine maintenance is done for you.
This can make your need of retaining someone to take care of this for you unnecessary. Squarespace is easier to learn, but if it’s not your thing, or you want greater customization from your template, you can hire a Squarespace web designer who will give you the site you want and show you how to use it!
Easy to use
Small business, solopreneur, and creative entrepreneur friendly
Either you or a Squarespace Web Designer can help you customize
Conclusion: Which website builder is best
Ultimately, it comes down to your business needs.
The online home of your business should support it. This means being able to fully function in the current environment - mobile-first, serving our audiences, and ease of use.
Your website is an incredible ally in your business. For many of us, it is the place where you showcase your products or services, where you meet customers and clients, and the face as well as the personality of your brand.
It’s worth it to ensure that your site can meet these needs.
Squarespace serves new and mid-level businesses and creative entrepreneurs quite well. Compared to WiX it is the winner, hands down, in my book