Building websites today has become easier than ever before, thanks to innovative platforms. There are plenty of options to choose from for your next website project.
Some of the most popular platforms include Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress. With these website-building platforms, you don't have to write a single line of code.
There are a lot of similarities between these major site building platforms. They all have pre-made themes or templates for you to customize, as well as premium options.
Each has plugins and extensions to expand your customization capabilities. They’re all relatively easy to use, while some take a little more know-how than others.
With so many options, it’s difficult to figure out which platform is best for your needs.
Let’s go through everything you need to know about each platform: its core features, pricing, ease of use, and more.
Keep reading for a full comparison of Wix vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress, or jump ahead with the links below.
- Introducing Wix vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress
- What kind of websites can you build?
- How easy is each website builder to use?
- Features and customization
- Performance and SEO
- Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress for online stores
- Pricing for Wix vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress
- Wix vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress: which site builder is best for you?
Introducing Wix vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress
You can use any of these three website builders to create good-looking websites. However, the procedures you will go through to create the websites have some slight variation. For instance, the number of templates/themes that you will get with each varies.
In addition to the number of templates, you will also have to consider their quality in terms of design and the ease of editing them. These platforms also have different pricing plans and feature sets that you need to clearly look at when making your choice.
In this section, we will walk you through the core differences between these three platforms, including the kinds of website you can build with each, ease of use, features, performance, and more.
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What kind of websites can you build?
Wix: easily create good-looking websites
You can use Wix to create ecommerce, blogs, portfolios — any kind of website. It has over 800 templates that you can customize to build the kind of website you want. Half of these templates can be used to create ecommerce websites. These templates can all be customized using the intuitive, easy-to-use Wix page builder.
Users can also use Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) to generate websites automatically within a few minutes. Wix ADI uses basic information about the site you want to create to generate a fully functional site within minutes. This feature is ideal for creating simple websites with a few web pages and features.
Wix has a 100 static page limit with their plans. While this may not be a deal breaker for most websites, this makes Wix less ideal for complex websites requiring hundreds of pages.
Squarespace: beautiful, functional websites
Among Squarespace's major strengths are its good-looking and well-designed templates. If you are looking for a platform to enable you to design a beautiful and functional website, Squarespace is a solid option. Squarespace has over 100 templates for creating different websites, including online stores, landing pages, portfolio websites, blogs, and more.
It also comes with a built-in page builder that you can use to customize any of the templates you choose. For those with coding experience, Squarespace offers the option to further customize your website by editing or adding code. This increases the flexibility of creating more robust websites.
Unlike Wix, Squarespace allows users to add up to 1000 pages. However, they don’t recommend adding more than 400 pages as this could slow down your website.
WordPress: fully customizable design options
WordPress is the best option if you want the flexibility to create a fully unique and functional website. You’re not limited to one way of doing things. You can use defaults, or you can choose your theme, page builder, and plugins to make everything exactly the way you want it.
Unlike Squarespace and Wix, WordPress users need to pick a hosting provider for their websites. This flexibility means you can choose and migrate to a host with better performance.
WordPress supports over 30,000 themes for creating different kinds of websites. These themes can be purchased from the official WordPress store or third-party theme providers such as Themeforest.
WordPress has a robust page building experience built-in that includes popular page blocks you can put together on your pages. If you’d like to get fancier, there are many other options for third-party page builders that WordPress supports, including: Elementor, Beaver Builder, Thrive, Architect, Brizy, and more. Before installing a page builder, it is important to ensure it is supported by the theme you want to use.
A great way to ensure you’re using a great-looking, modern theme — with excellent starter templates, blocks, and page building features you’ll love — is to use a high quality theme like Kadence (a Nexcess sister brand).
The flexibility of WordPress makes it the ideal option for building websites that want to grow. Anyone wanting to create a complex and robust website will want to go with WordPress.
How easy is each website builder to use?
Wix: best for beginners
Among the three options, Wix is the easiest to use — whatever your level of experience. It has a straightforward page builder that enables you to create web pages by simply dragging and dropping elements. Users can fully customize every element of their web pages without coding.
Another crucial feature that makes Wix easy is Wix ADI, which we previously mentioned. Spinning up a website nearly instantly by answering a few questions is great if you have little experience and don’t have a complex design in mind.
This feature is mainly geared toward people who want to create a basic website in the shortest time possible. The good news is the web pages generated by Wix ADI can be customized if one wishes to do so.
Squarespace: intuitive website builder
Squarespace allows users to create web pages using predetermined content blocks. This makes it easier for beginners since they don't have to make a lot of changes to the pre-built web pages. Having a structured design also makes it easier for users to change themes without losing the structure and content of the web pages they have already created.
Squarespace also offers some of the best templates in the market, so users don't have to make lots of changes. It also has an intuitive page builder that makes it pretty easy to make changes to the webpage.
However, Squarespace's structured design philosophy limits the flexibility to create and customize pages in the way one may wish.
WordPress: learning curve
Of the three platforms, WordPress has the most for beginners to learn. While it may have a bit of a learning curve, WordPress is still user-friendly and has a lot of important benefits.
As we shared earlier, WordPress gives users far more flexibility than the other platforms.
More flexibility means website developers can make more choices, so it’s more complex than a Wix or Squarespace site. The complexity of building the website will also depend on the theme you choose and the page builder, but at the end of the day, you’ll have what you envisioned.
Paid themes, if you can budget it, typically come with more pre-built web pages and content, which reduces the customization you’ll need to do to create a functional website. There are some great free themes, but they can require more editing to get your WordPress site looking the way you want.
Choosing a theme can be overwhelming, which is why Nexcess makes it easier for you. Every WordPress site you create on Nexcess’ managed hosting platform comes with the free version of Kadence already installed. Kadence comes with excellent starter templates, content blocks, and easy-to-use page building features you’ll love.
WordPress is geared toward the user who is willing to learn, who wants the freedom to choose their own hosting provider without vendor lock-in, and who wants more control over the details of their website.
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Features and customization
Wix: limited functionality
Wix has hundreds of templates to choose from and a built-in page builder that you can use to customize these templates.
Wix allows developers to fully customize every element of the web page but it lacks structured customization. That makes it close to impossible to change a theme without losing the created web pages and content.
Wix websites are also a little limited when it comes to the features you can add. This is because Wix’s app store doesn’t have nearly as many third-party integrations to add to your website compared to other platforms.
- Total design freedom
- Intuitive UI features including animation, video backgrounds, and scroll effects
- 100 built-in fonts or upload your own
- Wix ADI
- Hosting included in plan
- Velo, an open development platform to build, manage, and deploy professional web apps using Wix
- Analytics tools
- Customizable, integrated audio players
- 30+ media gallery options
- Third-party app market with over 400 apps to choose from
- Wix mobile app
- Blogging tools
Squarespace: some flexibility
Squarespace offers a little more functionality and flexibility when compared to Wix. It supports more third-party integrations that users can add to websites to further enhance their functionality. Squarespace’s templates are also well-designed and come with more features out of the box when compared to other website-building platforms.
Pre-built layouts for default pages like Contact, About, Blog, etc
- Universal asset uploading
- 600+ Google web fonts and 60 Adobe Typekit fonts
- Built-in analytics
- Robust blogging platform
- Integrations for 900+ third-party apps
WordPress: complete customization options
WordPress is the best website-building platform when it comes to flexibility and customization. It comes with plenty of themes that users can fully customize using a page builder of their choice. The WordPress Plugin Directory and third-party stores have a wide variety of plugins, fonts, and other useful assets you can use to enhance the functionality of your website.
With WordPress websites, owners have the freedom to use a hosting service of their choice. This also allows them to access all website files, including plugins and themes, using a control panel or portal dashboard with the hosting provider. Apart from hosting, WordPress offers all the features that you get with Wix and Squarespace through third-party plugins.
The wide variety of plugins that users can install on their websites makes it possible to create sophisticated, highly customized websites with WordPress.
- Full site editing
- Over 9,000 free themes in the repository
- Library with 50,000+ plugins
- Community-based support
- Easily integrated performance and analytics tools
- One of the best known blogging platforms
- Plentiful SEO options
- Painless scaling for when traffic hits unexpectedly
- Secure (pending you stay updated)
- Professional email
Performance and SEO
Wix: Built-in SEO options
Wix comes with built-in SEO tools that website developers and managers can use to ensure their sites are visible in Google Search and other search engines. Most of the SEO features, such as Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and caching, also help in improving the performance and loading speeds of Wix websites.
Some of the built-in SEO tools that Wix comes with include structured data markup, Server-Side Rendering (SSR), URL customization, auto-generated meta tags for all pages, XML sitemap generation, image optimization, Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and caching, Google Search Console integration, site verification, mobile optimization, and more.
Squarespace: Technical SEO limitations
Squarespace also has some built-in SEO tools that developers and site managers can use to increase the visibility of their websites in search engines. However, it doesn’t have as many built-in SEO features and tools as Wix. The good news is that its current built-in SEO tools are good enough if they are well utilized.
Some of Squarespace’s built-in SEO features include built-in mobile optimization, SSL certification, Google search console integration, auto-generated meta tags for all pages, auto-generated sitemaps, clean URLs, and an SEO checklist.
When it comes to performance, Squarespace has well-optimized templates that are essential in ensuring websites load in under three seconds as Google recommends.
WordPress: Powerful performance and SEO plugins
WordPress gives users more flexibility to use the plugins they want when it comes to implementing SEO. There are plenty of third-party SEO and performance-related plugins that users can install to boost the loading speeds of their site and its visibility in search engines. Some of these include Yoast SEO, SEOPress, Rank Math, and more.
Most of these plugins have a free version with basic features to get you started. For the best results, you may have to subscribe to their premium versions to access all features that these plugins offer.
And, depending on your hosting provider, you may have access to additional features. For instance, with fully managed hosting from Nexcess, you get Plugin Performance Monitor free of charge to ensure your site remains highly performant at all times.
Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress for online stores
Wix: Good for basic ecommerce stores
Wix is mainly geared towards creating simple online stores. If you’re selling just a few items, the built-in ecommerce features like cart and checkout, payment integration, and store analytics make it easy to jump right into ecommerce.
Added features such as marketing tools and other apps extend the functionality of your site. With these tools, it is possible to create a basic online store, and it’s doable for novices.
Squarespace: Nice store design, less functionality
Squarespace has a good number of ecommerce templates that you can use to create online stores. It is also slightly ahead of Wix when it comes to creating online stores.
Some of its ecommerce features include multi-platform payments integration, sales analytics, shipping labels, displaying product reviews, selling on Instagram and Facebook, Point of Sale integration, order management, inventory management, and more.
Squarespace works for both beginners as well as more seasoned business owners in ecommerce.
WordPress and advanced stores with WooCommerce
WordPress is the ideal platform for creating more sophisticated ecommerce stores, thanks to WooCommerce. The WooCommerce plugin allows you to seamlessly integrate advanced ecommerce capabilities into your websites.
Some of the core features that WooCommerce comes with include multiple payment platforms, order management, store content customization via its theme (such as Kadence), marketing tools (Woocommerce Analytics), shipping tools, and more.
Again, you may get additional tools for ecommerce depending on your host. For example, managed WooCommerce hosting from Nexcess comes with Sales Performance Monitor which alerts store owners to sales trends and anomalies.
Nexcess’ sister brand IconicWP provides many popular WooCommerce plugins to help boost sales and improve the usability of your online store.
Below, we outline the pricing structures of Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress at a glance.
|Connect Domain at $4.5/month.||Personal plan at $14/month.||WordPress Free at $0/month|
|Combo at $8.5/month||Business plan at $23/month||WordPress Personal at $4/month|
|Unlimited at $12.5/month||Commerce Basic plan at $27/month||WordPress Premium at $8/month|
|VIP at $24.5/month||Commerce Advanced plan at $49/month||WordPress Business at $25|
|Basic Business at $17/month||WordPress Ecommerce at $45/month|
|Business Unlimited at $25/month|
|Business VIP at $35/month|
Wix has seven pricing packages that you can choose from depending on the computing resources you need and features. However, their cheapest plan is not ideal even if you are getting started because Wix will automatically include ads in your website content.
For that reason, we recommend going for at least the $8.50/month plan if you can afford it. With this plan, there are no ads and you also get more cloud storage and bandwidth than the cheapest plan.
As your website grows, you may consider upgrading to the Unlimited, VIP, and the rest of Wix’s business plans. The choice between these should largely depend on the amount of storage you need, the length of videos you intend to upload, and the customer support priority you expect.
Squarespace has four pricing plans that you can choose from depending on the features that matter most to you. Their cheapest plan starts at $16/month, which is significantly higher than Wix’s cheapest plans. The good news is that all their plans have unlimited bandwidth, which is not the case with Wix's cheapest plans.
Squarespace’s cheapest plan could definitely be utilized since it has just enough features for new websites. However, you may have to upgrade to their Business plan ($23/month) if you need access to analytics data of your site and the option to have an unlimited number of contributors.
The Commerce Basic and Commerce Advanced plans are ideal for ecommerce websites since most of their extra features focus on marketing, sales, and transactions processing.
WordPress.org and WordPress.com pricing
When it comes to WordPress, you have WordPress.org and WordPress.com. They differ in a number of ways. Mainly, sites on WordPress.com are hosted with WordPress, while WordPress.org is self-hosted, allowing you to pick whichever WordPress host you like.
WordPress.org is open source and free of charge. However, you will incur hosting charges and other costs, such as buying a theme or plugins you may need.
Premium sold plugins and themes can also be used on WordPress.com business plans. WordPress.com also sells paid plugins.
WordPress.com also has an ecommerce plan which comes with a number of benefits.
Wix vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress: which site builder is best for you?
It is clear that each platform has a target audience that it was designed for. Wix was designed for users who want to create basic websites and have them up and running in the shortest time possible. Squarespace is for users who need beautiful and relatively more functional websites.
WordPress is for users who need the most flexibility and customization. It’s also the best option for creating more sophisticated websites with many features and capabilities. From ecommerce to SEO, WordPress boasts the best capabilities, whether you’re a novice or a pro.
However, you will need a reliable hosting provider to get the best out of your WordPress site.
Check out Nexcess to get some of the best managed WordPress hosting on the market.
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