Wix vs Squarespace: What are the biggest differences and which is better for a freelancer, entrepreneur, or business?
Take a look and see which of these two website builders are worth your time and money.
Wix vs Squarespace – The many Differences
Wix and Squarespace are the two biggest website builders and they power closely 55% of websites that are built with a website builder.
In order to save you some time if you need to make a quick decision, I have summarized a final decision here. I would definitely recommend Wix over Squarespace because of its user-friendly structure, large range of templates, prices, and many features. That doesn’t mean that Squarespace deserves no credit, but my recommendation will always be Wix in this comparison. If you want to go into more detail. I have created 10 key points to analyze the differences and select a winner for each point. Let’s see if we can agree on these points! 🙂
Which is more user-friendly for beginners?
If you’re a beginner or looking to get your website online quickly Wix is more beginner-friendly than Squarespace. With a free plan, Wix became a cheap and hassle-free way of testing your website’s look. Wix’s range of templates and design features ensures that your site looks professional even if you’ve just started designing.
Although Squarespace is not quite as easy to use as other website builders, it is a good product for smaller websites, online stores that needs a good look.
But it needs more time and practice to master, unlike Wix. They do offer a drag-and-drop function, but it requires more clicks to accomplish simple website editing and users have to be aware that all changes are published and available to their visitors once you save them.
Designs and Functions
There are small differences here with the number of template selections. Squarespace has some of the best designs at your disposal, but Wix has more templates to offer, (over 500 templates and 100 themes to choose from.) Squarespace’s templates are more flexible, customizable, and better looking.
Working with Squarespace is not exactly difficult. But for me, it is still not the most intuitive tool to use. Despite the many features, the UI is minimalistic and that is great, but its usability could be improved. As mentioned with the saves and clicks, the editor was slow because of continuous changes all the time when I made my saves. Some of them were unnecessary if I change my mind or want to do something different. Wix has designs that look professional and allow for pixel-perfect customizations. The templates are just as good as Squarespace’s so I cannot really tell, which is better. This comes all down to your personal opinion. There is a mobile-friendly version that can be adapted individually (however this is something you need to keep an eye on before publishing. Sometimes Wix’s templates are not very compatible with all devices, but that is rarely the case.)You are also able to embed your videos in the background or upload your own fonts into Wix’s editor.
Wix has a free version where you can test out your new website and publish new designs. But it shows some pretty visible Wix ads as well as the “Wix” word in your domain name. An ad-free version starts from the premium plan “Combo”.
Wix has flexible payment options that let you pay monthly, yearly, or bi-yearly. With Squarespace monthly prices are based on 1-year contracts, so you have your yearly (and bi-yearly subscriptions) where a domain name is included for the first year. (After that prices start at $20 annually if you want to keep your domain.)
Prices of Different Plans
All these prices are based on yearly plans.
Most new users should be perfectly fine with the Combo plan from Wix unless you decide that you are going to need an additional eCommerce store. This is why I have divided their plans into two categories. If you don’t plan on doing any eCommerce-related business, a Combo plan is perfect.
For eCommerce sites, a Business Basic is just enough. If you want to have multiple sites, you will need a Business Unlimited plan. For all paid plans there is a 14-day money-back guarantee! 🙂 Squarespace’s pricing is much more straightforward. There are only 4 plans, which you can purchase monthly or yearly. Winner: Wix wins in general, thanks to their free plan and the more cost-effective eCommerce offer. Squarespace only offers a 2-week free trial. Also, be aware that should you ever stop paying for your website, your Squarespace site will vanish from the web. With Wix, you can still keep it in a free account, which is a big advantage!
Building an Ecommerce Store
Wix isn’t your first choice if you think of an eCommerce store. Most people would lead you to Woocommerce or Shopify. But Wix shouldn’t really be ignored in this case, since it has everything if you want to set a small or medium-sized online store. Squarespace is also a surprisingly powerful eCommerce solution, with professional features you’d expect from the best platform. So let’s have a look at the features to decide: Wix or Squarespace for an online store?
|Sell physical goods||Yes||Yes|
|Sell downloads or digital products||Yes||Yes|
|Import / Export product data||Yes||Yes|
|Payment opportunities||Square, Stripe, Paypal, and more.||Stripe, Paypal, and Apple Pay.|
|Sell offline (cash on delivery)||Yes||No|
|Abandoned Cart Recovery||Yes||Yes|
|Live Carrier Cost Calculator||USPS||USPS, FedEx, and UPS|
|Automatic Tax Calculator||With Avalara||No|
|Print on Demand||Yes (Dropshipping)||No, except with Printful|
In my opinion, there is no clear winner here.
Therefore I’d say that the price is the main factor here, starting at $23 for Wix and $26 for Squarespace.
Expanding through Add-ons
I’m gonna cut through the chase and say that Wix is taking the lead with add-ons thanks to its App Market. You can find a lot of useful extra new features that can enhance your site like email marketing, google ads, data tracking, booking, gallery creation, and much more.
Be aware that while there are some free add-ons, some of them have to be paid for if you want to use them or unlock their premium accounts!
With Squarespace, the options are much smaller with Squarespace Extensions marketplace. These extensions are made to improve your eCommerce (shipping, dropshipping, and accounting services.) Because of the lack of add-ons, plugins, or extensions, anyone will be able to see that Wix is a definite winner in this case.
The biggest difference here is that Wix offers phone support and Squarespace gives help through chat. Apart from that, both platforms are ready to help their customers from the beginning with their guides, videos, forums, and tutorials.
Which is better depends entirely on you. I prefer chat support, but some people just want to get things done with a phone call. This is entirely up to you so there isn’t really much debate here.
This is perhaps one of the most important things for me. Why? Because more than 50% of my website visitors come from an android or an iPhone. And I’m sure this is a similar case with many other content creators, businesses, or website owners.
But more importantly, a mobile-compatible platform is quick, gives better UI, and is SEO-friendly. To be completely honest, it is hard to tell, which is better. As mentioned in the “Design and Functions” part, there are pros and cons that may affect mobile devices.
Be aware that both Wix and Squarespace have flat navigation systems when it comes to mobile optimization.
What I mean by that is you can only have one sub-level under your home page. So if you are planning to build a larger website with multiple sub-menus under your main menu, you should better try out a WordPress hosting site.
- Wix’s templates are not fully responsive and you can’t change your template for a new one once you build a website. You can still change things and select different fonts or colors, but your overall outlook and layout is you’re pretty much set. This shouldn’t be a bad thing, because this way, your mobile layout is pretty much set and small changes won’t mess up your look.
- With Squarespace, I also cannot complain. With its templates, they all seem to be responsive for mobile devices where moving elements is more rigid than with Wix. Here you can switch themes all you want.
SEO friendly Hosting
You can absolutely rank high with a web builder, but you need a fast website, SEO-friendly setup, and additional tools to help you. Wix is one of the best ones for that in my opinion.
In the table below I have combined some factors to help you see the difference.
|Header Tags||H1 to H6||H1, H2 and H3|
|Images alt attributes||Customizable||Customizable (but difficult)|
|Let’s Encrypt SSL||Available||Available|
|Search engine guide||Available only for pages, not posts||Available for all|
|Responsive design||Available||Available (but less responsive to SEO)|
|Mobile compatibility||Has less responsive design||Responsive|
|Conclusion||Really good for SEO||Good for SEO|
While Squarespace used to have a few important flaws in the SEO department, they have now gotten completely rid of them – well, almost. The only annoying thing that remains is that it’s sometimes really difficult to find the right place to add the alt-text for images. What’s more, is that there are a few older templates that don’t let you customize your page title for the home page. But these are dying out, fortunately.
Winner: Unexpectedly, after the most recent update, Squarespace is now just as strong as Wix for SEO. It’s a draw!
Which is better for Blogging?
Based on what I’ve mentioned so far, I believe most people choose WordPress for blogging. Wix is the kind of platform you’d have to build a company profile if you have a small shop, a store down the street or if you are a freelancer.
Bloggers like myself want to drive traffic and satisfy search intent. According to Squarespace, they have a premium-only blogging platform entirely dedicated to bloggers. In fact, they also offer a complete and dynamic e-commerce solution starting at just $24 per month. While this sounds nice, it is a pricey solution.
Just as a friendly suggestion. If you want to become a serious blogger, Squarespace or Wix alone are not your go-to options. Most people would recommend using WordPress or a WordPress hosting solution because of the thousands of plugins and beautiful themes online that can support WordPress to boost user experience and SEO.
This is by no means, a lash out on Wix or Squarespace. I just believe that WordPress is and always will be the #1 platform for bloggers and content creators who want to get thousands or millions of readers.
The Cons of Wix and Squarespace
Apart from blogging, both platforms have several downsides. I will leave the choice to you, which you’d like to choose more.
Wix and Squarespace both have 3 issues I don’t like.
- While they have some amazing and beautiful templates, it’s quite hard to change them. While it’s possible to change your designs within the template itself, you will be surprised to know that it’s impossible to select an entirely new one. So be careful with that.
- Loading speed is also a major factor at play, which influences user experience and SEO. While we only talking about 1 or 2 seconds of load speed in most cases, research shows that Wix is a little slower on mobile devices.
- Wix is free to use with ads littered across the screen and their domain name displayed in your URL. However, as mentioned before, their cheapest plan is $14 per month. That is not the cheapest solution when compared to WordPress hosting services like Bluehost or Dreamhost.
- With Squarespace, you can get a 14-day free trial. After that, you won’t be able to do anything unless you pay since your account and editor will be frozen.
- Squarespace prides itself on its drag-and-drop function. And while it is good and easy, I’m not 100% convinced that it’s the best thing out there. For example, once you’ve chosen a template, you’re brought to the editing, but you can’t edit your site from that page, you have to go to another one. To start editing, you can’t click on an element and change it from there like it is with a plugin I’m using with WP like Elementor.
- As a blogger, this bothers me the most! As a big WordPress user, I focus a lot on optimizing my content to fulfill every aspect of SEO. But with Squarespace, all you can do is edit your site title and meta description. Nothing more! I mean come on! You can’t tweak specific content keywords, you can’t tag segments separately, you can’t really do anything.
Final Remarks – What’s best for you?
Overall, I would recommend Wix and not Squarespace. There are three main reasons Wix should be your go-to choice:
- it’s easier to use and manage
- it gives you more creative freedom
- it offers a wider choice of premium plans than Squarespace
Sure, Squarespace is ideal for creatives – but Wix has something for everyone, and it’s even better for blogging if you want to avoid WordPress.
With Wix’s great support, large app market, and interactive SEO, there’s nothing stopping even the most nervous of technophobes from jumping feet first into the world of website building. And with Wix’s free plan, you can start straight away!
Once you have selected or experienced one of these website builders, don’t hesitate to share your opinion in the comments! 🙂