Wix vs Squarespace Review 2024: Choosing the Right Website Builder
In the digital era, a compelling online presence is more than a mere luxury—it's necessary. Two names often emerge as frontrunners among many website-building platforms: Wix and Squarespace. But which one reigns supreme?
Whether you're a budding blogger, a business or simply someone looking to carve a niche online, the choice of your website builder can make or break your experience. It's not just about aesthetics but functionality, ease of use, and scalability.
This comprehensive guide dives deep into what is better Squarespace or Wix in 2024, dissecting their features, usability, and performance.
1. Ease of Use
User Interface and Experience
Both Wix and Squarespace offer user-friendly interfaces that are easy to understand and use. Wix shines with its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, offering unparalleled freedom in design. It's like playing with digital Lego blocks – you can virtually place elements anywhere. Squarespace, on the other hand, opts for a more structured approach. Its editor guides you within set parameters, ensuring a clean, cohesive design. The question is, do you prefer boundless creativity or guided elegance?
Template Design and Customisation
Squarespace's templates are sophisticated and offer a high-end look, appealing to users seeking a gallery-like aesthetic. These templates are particularly well-suited for artists, photographers, and designers. Wix, with its broader range of templates, caters to a wider audience. Its templates span across various industries, and the level of customisation available allows for significant tailoring. However, this can sometimes lead to design inconsistencies if not managed carefully. Wix’s design flexibility is unmatched, but it requires a more hands-on approach to maintain aesthetic coherence.
Learning Curve for Beginners
It's difficult to choose between the two platforms as they are both highly intuitive for users of any experience level. For beginners, Wix offers an accessible entry point. Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface is accommodating for non-technical users. The platform provides a plethora of pre-designed templates which can be easily tweaked, reducing the need for design expertise. In contrast, while beautifully designed, Squarespace can be less intuitive for users unfamiliar with design principles. The platform’s structured approach provides a steeper learning curve but ensures a higher standard of design quality.
2. Features and Flexibility
Built-in Features and Tools
Both platforms offer a robust set of features but with different approaches. Wix’s App Market is a comprehensive ecosystem, hosting a wide range of applications for various functionalities — from advanced e-commerce solutions to effective SEO tools. This marketplace allows for a high degree of customisation and scalability. Squarespace, while not having a similar marketplace, compensates with its suite of integrated features. The platform provides a cohesive set of tools that are well-integrated into its system, including e-commerce, social media integrations, and email marketing tools. Squarespace’s focus is on providing a streamlined, cohesive user experience.
In the e-commerce sphere, both platforms have their strengths. Squarespace’s e-commerce tools are elegantly integrated, offering a streamlined and visually appealing online store experience. It provides robust inventory management, a variety of payment gateways, and excellent product display options. Wix, on the other hand, has been aggressively enhancing its e-commerce features, now offering a comprehensive suite including multiple payment options, advanced shipping solutions, and effective customer engagement tools. Wix is particularly appealing for its flexibility and customisation options in e-commerce.
Blogging and Content Management
Wix and Squarespace provide robust blogging platforms, each with its unique features and characteristics. Wix’s blogging features are versatile and user-friendly, supporting a range of content types, including text, images, and videos. It allows for easy social media integration and has effective SEO tools to enhance content visibility. Squarespace, with its focus on design, offers a visually appealing blogging experience. Its content management system is robust, providing excellent layout options and image management tools, making it a preferred choice for visually-driven blogs or portfolios.
3. Website Performance and SEO
Site Speed and Uptime
Website performance is critical for user experience and SEO. Squarespace is known for its optimised templates which contribute to faster loading times and consistent performance. Wix has made significant improvements in site speed, particularly with its newer templates. However, due to its highly customisable nature, poorly optimised Wix sites can suffer in performance. Both platforms offer reliable hosting with excellent uptime, ensuring that websites remain accessible and performant.
SEO Tools and Capabilities
Wix and Squarespace have evolved considerably in their SEO capabilities. Wix offers an integrated SEO Wiz tool, guiding users through the process of optimising their site. This includes custom meta tags, alt text for images, and structured data. Squarespace also offers a comprehensive set of SEO tools, with an emphasis on clean site structure and mobile responsiveness. Both platforms allow for detailed control over SEO settings, but Wix’s guided approach can be particularly beneficial for SEO novices.
Mobile responsiveness is a critical factor in today’s web environment. Both Wix and Squarespace ensure that websites are automatically optimised for mobile devices. Squarespace’s templates maintain their design integrity seamlessly across devices, offering a smooth transition from desktop to mobile viewing. Wix also ensures mobile responsiveness, but the level of design consistency can vary depending on the customisations made by the user. Wix provides the unique advantage of enabling users to make modifications to their mobile view separately from their desktop view. This feature is particularly helpful for creating more complex and intricate layouts, as it allows for greater customisation and flexibility.
Wix Performance Metrics:
- Speed: Average load time of 2 seconds for standard websites.
- Uptime: Consistently maintains 99.98% uptime.
- Scalability: Offers a range of plans suitable for small to medium-sized businesses, with options for increased bandwidth and storage as the business grows.
Squarespace Performance Metrics:
- Speed: Sites generally load within 2.5 seconds, slightly varying based on design complexity.
- Uptime: An impressive 99.99% uptime, ensuring reliable accessibility.
- Scalability: Tailored primarily for small to medium-sized businesses and portfolios, with limited options for large-scale e-commerce sites.
4. Customer Support Experience
Wix Customer Support
Overview: Offers 24/7 customer support through a ticket system and a callback service. Users appreciate the comprehensive help centre and active community forums for troubleshooting.
User Feedback: "The callback service was a lifesaver. I got personalised help within minutes," says Mia Rodriguez, a Wix user and owner of a photography business.
Squarespace Customer Support
Overview: Known for its efficient 24/7 email support and live chat service during business hours. Squarespace also provides extensive online resources and community forums.
User Feedback: "Squarespace’s live chat was quick and helpful. They resolved my issue in one session," reports Alex Johnson, a freelance graphic designer.
5. Notable Brands
Notable Brands Using Squarespace
- HBO: Known for its high-quality television series, HBO has used Squarespace for promotional websites related to its shows.
- Tony Hawk Foundation: The foundation created by professional skateboarder Tony Hawk uses Squarespace for its website, showcasing the platform's ability to support non-profit organizations.
- GE: General Electric has used Squarespace for some of its project-specific websites, highlighting the platform's adaptability for corporate use.
Notable Brands Using Wix
- Disney Good Neighbor Hotels: This group of hotels, associated with Disney, uses Wix for their website, showcasing Wix's capability in the hospitality industry.
- CBC Music: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's music division utilises Wix for its online presence, indicating Wix's strength in media and entertainment sectors.
- Tiger Beer: This Singaporean beer company uses Wix for some of its campaign-specific sites, demonstrating Wix’s appeal.
Limitations of Wix
- Template Switching: Once you choose a template and edit your site in Wix, you can't switch to a different template without redoing your work.
- E-commerce Capabilities: While Wix supports e-commerce, it is less robust than specialised e-commerce platforms. It's more suitable for smaller online stores.
- Website Speed: Wix websites can sometimes have slower loading times, especially if the site is heavy with content or uses many high-resolution images.
- SEO Limitations: Early criticisms of Wix centred around its SEO capabilities. Although it has made significant improvements, some users still find it lacking compared to other platforms that offer more advanced SEO tools.
- Customization Limits: While Wix is very user-friendly, this comes at the cost of customisation. It may not be suitable for websites that require complex, custom-developed functionalities.
- Exporting Website: Wix does not allow users to export their website data to another platform. This can be a significant limitation if you plan to migrate your site.
Limitations of Squarespace
- Limited Design Flexibility: Squarespace's structured templates offer less flexibility than drag-and-drop freedom in platforms like Wix. This can be a limitation for users wanting very specific design customisations.
- E-commerce Integrations: Squarespace's e-commerce tools are suitable for small to medium-sized businesses but may not scale or offer as many features as dedicated e-commerce platforms.
- No Autosave Feature: Squarespace lacks an autosave feature for content, meaning you could lose unsaved work if there's a disruption.
- Higher Learning Curve: Squarespace can have a steeper learning curve than Wix, especially for users without design or tech experience.
- Limited Third-Party Apps and Extensions: While Squarespace integrates with several vital third-party applications and services, its ecosystem is not as extensive as some of its competitors.
- Website Speed and Performance: Similar to Wix, Squarespace sites can also experience slower load times, mainly with image-heavy sites or complex designs.
7. Squarespace vs Wix Costs
|Combo Plan: $14/month (For personal use)
|Personal Plan: $12/month (Billed annually)
|Business Basic: $23/month
|Business Plan: $18/month (Billed annually)
|Mid-Tier Business Plan
|Business Unlimited: $27/month
|Basic Commerce: $26/month (Billed annually)
|Advanced Business Plan
|Business VIP: $49/month
vanced Commerce: $40/month (Billed annually)
|Available with Wix ads
|Free for the first year in premium plans
|Free for the first year in all annual billing plans
|From 3GB in the basic plan to 50GB in higher plans
|Unlimited storage in all plans
|Unlimited in all premium plans
|Unlimited in all plans
|Extensive app market, more design freedom
|Superior design templates, built-in analytics
Key Points to Consider
- Domain Costs: After the first year, both platforms charge annually for domain renewals.
- Transactional Fees: Squarespace charges transaction fees on its Business Plan but not on its Commerce plans. Wix does not charge transaction fees on any of its Business and E-commerce plans.
8. Wix vs Squarespace Feature Comparison
|£3.50/month (Connect Domain)
|£20/month (Basic Commerce)
|£30/month (Advanced Commerce)
|Limited but high-quality
|High, within template constraints
|Extensive through Wix App Market
|Limited but curated
|24/7, extensive knowledge base
|Email, live chat, extensive guides
|Video tutorials, forums
|Detailed guides, community forums
9. Wix vs Squarespace Conclusion
Wix and Squarespace cater to different needs and preferences. Wix stands out for its design flexibility, extensive feature set, and ease of use, making it suitable for users who desire creative control and customisation. Squarespace, with its focus on design coherence and integrated functionality, appeals to users prioritising aesthetics and a streamlined experience.
Both platforms provide an efficient approach to web design which is suitable for a variety of applications and businesses. As an agency, we prefer the design approach of Squarespace, but often the choice is based on personal preferences rather than one platform being better than the other.
10. Squarespace vs Wix FAQs
How does the pricing of Wix and Squarespace compare, and which offers better value for money?
Wix and Squarespace offer various pricing tiers catering to different needs. Wix generally provides more flexibility with a wider range of price points, including a free plan. While slightly pricier, Squarespace justifies its cost with premium designs and integrated features. The value for money depends on your specific requirements - do you prioritise extensive customisation options (Wix) or premium design and seamless integration (Squarespace)?
Can I switch from Wix to Squarespace or vice versa without losing my content?
Migrating from Wix to Squarespace or vice versa can be challenging, as there's no direct transfer tool. You'll need to manually move content, including reformatting and redesigning your site on the new platform. While some elements, like blog posts, can be moved relatively easily, others, like site design and functionalities, require more effort.
Does Wix or Squarespace offer better customer support and learning resources for beginners?
Both Wix and Squarespace provide robust customer support and comprehensive learning resources. Wix excels with its extensive knowledge base, video tutorials, and 24/7 customer support. Squarespace offers strong support through its help centre, live chat, and community forums. For absolute beginners, Wix's more intuitive interface might require less support overall.
How do Wix and Squarespace perform regarding website security and data protection?
Answer: Both platforms are known for their strong security measures. They offer SSL certificates, secure hosting, and regular updates to keep your site safe. Squarespace is particularly noted for its all-in-one platform, where everything is managed internally, which can enhance security. Wix also provides robust security features, ensuring a safe environment for website creators and visitors.
Are there any significant differences in the range of third-party integrations and apps available on Wix and Squarespace?
Answer: Wix has a clear advantage in terms of third-party integrations due to its extensive Wix App Market, which hosts a plethora of apps for various functionalities. While offering integrations with key services and tools, Squarespace has a more limited selection than Wix. If your website relies heavily on third-party applications and integrations, Wix might be the more versatile choice.