If you’ve ever looked into building your own website, it’s likely you’ve asked yourself the following question: WordPress Vs. Wix Vs. Squarespace – what should you use to build your businesses website?
All 3 of these systems are popular website building platforms and they each have their pros and cons. To make things simpler, I’m going to split this comparison into WordPress Vs. Wix AND Squarespace, because Wix and Squarespace are very similar.
They’re both hosted closed systems (that basically means you won’t have to worry about setting up its hosting or choosing additional functionality – most of it will be built in). Whereas WordPress is an open-source self-hosted system.
So the first decision you’ll need to make is whether or not you choose to use WordPress. If you choose not to go with WordPress, you’ll need to decide what you’d prefer to use between Wix and Squarespace.
WordPress Vs. Wix & Squarespace
WordPress currently powers over 30% of the internet – it’s a fantastic content management system (CMS) that allows you to pretty much build anything, regardless of your business – e-commerce, membership sites, social media sites, directories, forums, even cloud applications. If customizability & flexibility is what you’re looking for, WordPress has the clear lead here.
These days, most web design & digital marketing agencies use WordPress as their go-to platform because of how powerful and scalable it is. When you know what you’re doing, WordPress is limitless and everything works so smoothly. It’s the reason why we use WordPress almost exclusively at Digital Roo.
I know that regardless of the problem I’ll need to solve for a client, I can do it with WordPress. I also know that I’ll be able to build sites exactly how I want and need them to be in order to get the results a client is looking for.
You just don’t get that kind of freedom with platforms like Wix & Squarespace – they’re way too limited.
What’s more, WordPress allows for advanced SEO customisations meaning that if you build everything properly, it stands a much better chance ranking in search engines like Google. This is huge if you’re a local business because there are a lot of profitable search terms you can rank for.
But with all of this freedom & flexibility comes a much larger learning curve and sometimes that learning curve can be completely unnecessary. This can be a problem for small business owners and solopreneurs with limited time & resources. Especially, if all you want to do is get a simple website up and running as quickly as possible.
With WordPress, not only do you have to build the site & write all the content, you’ve also got to figure out hosting & setting up domain names, what the best plugins to use are, what’s theme to use, how to insert the content, and getting your head around how the back-end of works in the first place.
All of this takes time… And it can also be incredibly frustrating when (not if) things go wrong because you won’t have access to support.
Plus, figuring it all of out is one thing, being confident that it’s set up properly so that you haven’t damaged your site and/or ruined its SEO is something else entirely.
Then you’ve got to look at the costs.
There are additional costs that are associated with owning a WordPress website (despite technically being free) that you won’t have with platforms like Wix & Squarespace. The cost of your hosting and domain is the first thing – you can get these for quite cheap so that’s not the issue.
The costs start building up when you look into purchasing additional licenses for plugins & themes, which you’ll most likely want to use because they’ll make your website much easier to manage (instead of having to code everything from scratch or hire an expensive developer to do it for you).
For instance, a standard website we build using WordPress will include around anywhere from £100 to £200 per year worth of additional licenses.
Add at least £50 on top for basic hosting (£100 for premium) & domain name and you’re looking at anywhere from £150 to £300 per year to run your website.
On the other hand, Squarespace will cost £120 – £180 per year and Wix will cost around £70 to £200.
So despite WordPress being a ‘free’ open-source system, it will still end up costing the same if not more than a Squarespace or Wix Website.
When you’re trying to figure all of this out on your own whilst you’ve got a business to run, there’s no doubt that it’s overwhelming. That’s why a lot of business owners end up hiring an agency to do it for them. Not only will the agency be able to do a better job (hopefully!), the business owner will also be able to spend their time elsewhere.
If you’re set on using WordPress but want to fast-track the development & learning curve process, consider hiring someone to do it for you. It can take a long time to get right on your own :-).
If that’s not possible due to budget restrictions, or you simply want to build the website yourself, Wix and/or Squarespace are worth considering. You won’t have to go through the same kind of learning curve with these platforms.
Wix Vs. Squarespace
In comparison to WordPress, Wix and Squarespace make it a lot easier to get started. It’s as simple as signing up for an account, using some of their templates, paying a monthly/yearly invoice and then building out the site from there with their ‘intuitive’ drag & drop builder.
You won’t be able to build ‘any’ kind of website, but you will be able to build something suitable for a small business (unless you’re trying to add in advanced functionality, then you’ll have to go with WordPress ;-)).
Between the 2, Squarespace is the better option. It’s better coded, has been built with better SEO in mind, has beautiful templates that anyone can use, it has decent support and it has a simpler pricing model.
Wix also has these things but it just doesn’t ‘feel‘ as good. Everything is a little more clunky, a little less intuitive and a little less customisable.
They’re pricing plans are also more difficult to understand and if you go for the cheapest options, they’ll add in ads that look terrible on a business website.
If I was answering this question in an ideal world and to someone who had plenty of time up their sleeves to properly learn how to build out a website, my answer would be WordPress 95% of the time. It’s just going to be your best option long-term.
But living in the real world, I also know that most business owners don’t have that time and they may not have the budget to hire someone to do it for them.
In those instances, I’d recommend looking Wix & Squarespace, but spend more time with Squarespace. It works well, you’ll be able to build a solid website even if you have no experience, and it’s easy enough to figure out on your own.
As a side note, many website/business owners start out by using a system like Squarespace or Wix to get something up quickly and then turn to a more powerful solution like WordPress later on when they realise how limiting it can be.
It’s how I got started and it’s also one of the reasons I ended up falling in love with WordPress. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get something done because the functionality isn’t there!
Let me know in the comments section below if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help out :-).