Website builders that allow consumers to easily craft and launch websites directly from a compartmentalized platform have become all the rage in recent years.
Website builders such as Wix, Weebly, WordPress and Squarespace all implement cutting edge technology to make it easier than ever to create you own website from scratch. Whether you're doing e-commerce, building a personal brand, establishing a content empire, or any online website really, a solid website builder is necessary to making any of your plans come to fruition! Building your own brand is so much more profitable in the long-run than starting a business on an existing platform, and choosing how your business operates at the start will determine the overall profitability of the business down the road.
Gone are the days where a team of developers would tirelessly work for weeks coding and testing a basic, functioning website - these same types of websites can now be created within minutes of signing up!
Of course, this has also led to some decision fatigue, as users are now wondering which website builder is the best for their needs. In this article, I hope to quell the debate between two of the more popular website builders, Squarespace and Wix!
Both Squarespace and Wix, at first glance, seem to provide very similar end results to the user, however there are some key differences between the two companies that I think users should be aware of, and I hope that my testing and reporting on the matter can help you make an educated decision on which platform is best for your needs!
Whether you choose Squarespace, Wix, or some other top options on the market, it's absolutely essential that you pick the right option for your website needs, as the last thing you want to do is invest copious amounts of time and resources into creating your website, only to really find out down the road that you could have made things much easier and effective had you chosen a different website builder from the get-go!
So, let's go ahead and dive into my review so that you can make this educated decision, and take the guesswork out of choosing the right platform for your needs!
There are tons of minor differences and nuances between these two platforms, but I first want to just give you a basic understanding of the key differences between the two, so that way you can better understand which one is best for your needs, without necessarily having to digest TONS of information in the process.
When it comes down to it, Wix provides a really easy to use platform for beginners to get started. They have unparalleled support (in comparison to all industry standards), and a flawlessly designed user interface to make getting your first website up and running extremely easy. Furthermore, I believe they offer a slightly better overall value for the money that you're spending on the product.
In comparison, Squarespace offers users a higher level of design elements, with their slick and polished designs and templates, users on the next level of website creation will be drawn to the professionalism and sleekness of Squarespace's core design elements. This platform really is the master website builder when it comes to design, and as such users looking for advanced creative options will definitely gravitate towards Squarespace over Wix.
When it comes down to it, it's really going to be a factor of what you need the website builder to do for you and your online web presence, and these core differences between the platforms are what's going to separate many readers of this post into 2 different camps.
Now, I want to dive deeper and really uncover some more fleshed out details and differences between the two platforms.
Both platforms offer their users a unique arsenal of design elements within their website building dashboard, and this design process really starts with the templates that are available to choose from.
Squarespace comes with some truly unique and professionally designed templates for their users to utilize on their website.
Know this, when you choose Squarespace, you are getting expert quality designs.
This is the main selling point behind Squarespace, and what makes it ideal for photographers, painters, musicians, and other creative minds. Their website templates are built with the creative workers in mind, and people who want to deliver an expert portfolio to the public would be wise to choose the platform as their website builder.
Wix also has its unique advantages when it comes to its design elements.
Their custom ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) is the first of its kind to fuse AI with website design and creation, which allows users to pick a template, edit and launch a website like never before. Users can create a fully fleshed out and functional website within minutes of start-up, which is something that hardly any other platform on the planet can compete with.
What Wix also brings to the table is Quantity. With over 100 Million active users, they realized it was pertinent to create hundreds of templates for their users to utilize in order to prevent a bland, repetitive creative result across the majority of their websites. This amount of templates far exceeds the number of templates that are available with Squarespace!
Like most aspects of this review and comparison, the builder that's best for you and your needs is going to be the one that you should choose.
Squarespace has differentiated itself from ALL website builders with their elegant, professional themes. With access to over 40 different base themes (all of them of the highest quality), creative workers and artists will find it rewarding to build a website designed around their work.
However, with Wix, users can really develop any time of website imaginable, and they get access to all the tools and base templates necessary to make all visions come to life. While their templates aren't as professionally glossed as Squarespace, they have a much more overall selection of templates, and their easy to use drag-n-drop editor allows for a long-term, extensible creation of fantastic work.
With that being said, let's move forward in the review!
How accessible are each of these platforms for the beginner, intermediate and advanced users?
While customer support may be an afterthought for users who are more focused on overall features/designs, it actually plays a vital role in the development and establishment of your website.
With huge advances in technology comes increased potential complexity on individual platforms, and it's essential for software/tech companies to hone in on their customer support in order to make it easy for customers to actually derive value from their product/service.
For website builders, it's huge to have a dedicated team of specialists able to help guide you through all possible questions with the platform and designing your website.
We tend to overestimate our abilities when we view ourselves as tech savvy, but having people who are trained to solve problems and guide users through the entire process involved with specific software is something extremely valuable to even the most expert of web designers.
One thing I've really noticed about Wix is their fantastic simplification of their platform. They have video walkthroughs and prompts that make it easy for users to use the platform easily throughout all aspects of the website creation process.
Furthermore, they have dedicated forums and a support center which allow users to interact with other, experienced users and troubleshoot potential website problems in real-time.
Wix also has a professional in-house support team that is reachable by phone and email during business hours (6AM - 5PM Pacific Standard Time). I found their responsiveness with email quite quick, but if you need immediate answers for your potential issues, then I recommend you give them a call!
One thing to note, however, is that they don't have a 24/7 live chat feature that is becoming all the more common with tech companies. This may be something they implement in the near future, and it would be highly beneficial to keep a constant finger on the pulse of customer satisfaction!
Squarespace has taken customer support to another level, and it has allowed them to really solve customer issues quickly and effectively, providing tons of value for the customer overall.
Perhaps this is necessary due to the professional nature of their themes, as the added complexity that can come with having higher quality designs (and thus, more technical needs for the customer) can create highly specialized issues that must be solved by trained professionals exclusively.
Like Wix, Squarespace has a support center, which acts as a solid knowledge-base for customer issues, as well as a support forum for quick fixes and general question answering.
However, what I really like about Squarespace is their live chat functionality and high-level email support. Their live chat is available during business hours (3 AM EST to 8 PM EST Mon-Fri) so that you can get questions answered by experts within minutes. Then, if you have questions that are more in-depth or technical, you can also email their support team which is constantly monitoring and replying to customer needs 24/7. Squarespace has a standard of excellence with support tickets that habitually has them answering and solving customer issues within one hour.
This makes them leaders in the industry for customer support!
While both companies have outstanding customer support, I think the edge definitely has to go to Squarespace on this one.
They have the standard platforms for user interaction and troubleshooting with their support center and forums, as well as a way for customers to get questions answered quickly 24/7.
This creates a very high quality relationship with the customer and allows them to quickly accomplish their main mission when using the platform: creating their stunning looking website from scratch!
Wix also does a great job with support, but there will be times when the customer simply can't get their problem solved for 10-12 hours as the question can be outside the scope of understanding for forum users and/or the support center Q&A, and the customer will have to wait until business hours in order to get their question solved by Wix support directly. With Squarespace, consistent speed of support makes them the clear favorite in this situation.
I do like how Wix has implemented phone support, which can make interpersonal communication between the support team and the customer easier, which could lend itself valuable to customers who are having a difficult time exactly articulating and pinpointing their areas of concern.
Overall, both platforms do great with support, but Squarespace has a higher standard of excellence (if only by a little bit!).
Probably one of the main concerns for readers of this review is the pricing for each of the platforms.
While Wix has a "free forever" plan, it's not really a viable option for the serious website user, and I'll explain why in a little bit.
Squarespace has a 14-day free trial for their platform which allows you test the platform in full before deciding to make an investment. This "free trial" is becoming all the more common with top tech companies, and something that allows them to introduce their platform to potential customers and make them more money in the long-run.
So the free plan is an option for all users of Wix, but it comes with serious limitations.
For starters, having your website as a subdomain of Wix.com definitely jeopardizes professionalism, SEO benefits and overall user expectations. For example, which domain seems more professional and one where you would want to spend your time on?
Having your website as a subdomain of Wix is just not viable for professional website owners, and if you have a business where you're trying to establish your own brand identity, then it's obvious that having your website's URL as a Web 2.0 to Wix is just not OK.
Furthermore, the free package also comes with advertisements for the Wix platform embedded into the structure of the site, which further harms brand reputation.
What's great for us is that it's not expensive at all to get one of Wix's paid packages, and this allows us to use the wonderful Wix platform in its entirety (drag-n-drop editor, templates, support, etc.) without sacrificing some base elements necessary for a serious website creator. Here is a breakdown of the Wix pricing options:
As you can see above, the various pricing options that Wix has gives you access to a bunch of really neat features embedded within the Wix platform.
For example, if you go with the VIP package, you really can eliminate some add-on platforms that complicate the sales funnel (having different landing pages softwares, mailing options, and website builders makes your business run less smoothly and increases costs). This means that business owners can run a much cheaper operation than other sales funnel solutions provide!
At the very least though, I really recommend that you get the Combo package as it's quite affordable, gets rid of the unprofessional elements of the free version, and allows you to use the Wix platform for it's amazing support, website creation tools, designs, etc.
For more information on Wix pricing, visit this page here.
Squarespace, unlike Wix, doesn't offer a "free forever" plan, which isn't something that I see as a knock on the platform itself due to what I mentioned in the section above.
However, they do give users access to their entire platform for free for 14 days. Many tech companies offer their platforms for time-sensitive free trials these days, so this is something that allows Squarespace to reach more customers, keep up with tech trends, and provide value to customers for free. Furthermore, they don't collect your payment information until you've used the trial, so there's really no risk to get started and try the platform for 14 days now!
The main pricing tiers for Squarespace are as follows:
Please note that these prices are dependent on year long subscriptions to the service, which means that paying month to month will incur you slightly higher costs than what are mentioned above.
Despite the fact that Squarespace gives you a more professional platform, as well as a free of charge trial period, I have to give the nod to Wix for better pricing.
Wix is highly affordable, and even if you don't choose the free package, you're getting tons of value for a very cheap price, which is something that Squarespace doesn't compare to as well.
Many of my users reading this review are looking to start an online business on the cheap, and as such are looking for a great free website builder. What I recommend if you're looking to make quick profits online, is to utilize a free traffic method in combination with one of these website builders to have a platform for directing users to your website. From there, I recommend also using a free/cheap email solution to capture leads and market affiliate products to these leads over time.
Even if you're bad at email marketing and do things 95% inefficiently, this method should generate you some good online cash to invest into premium methods and tools! I also recommend you check out this book on online marketing to further gain insight into what you need to do to win in online business. It's not as hard as you think, but it will take the right strategy and positioning in order to win!
I would love to skirt around determining a clear winner in this review, which I think is a plausible way to conclude, however, I also think one of these platforms is better to use from an overall viewpoint.
Wix contains tons of value packed into the platform for a really affordable price, and if you're just experimenting with the platform, you still have the option to create a free website without ever having to pay for the platform (despite my reservations in doing this, many people still see this as incredibly valuable).
Wix is the easiest website platform to use with outstanding customer support to help guide even the most green website creators through the creative process towards website completion. They really take the entire customer experience into consideration, whilst also giving tons of variability in website design with their sheer number of templates, drag-and-drop editor, and ADI.
Wix is a really great option for beginners as well as more advanced website creators for these reasons, and the flexibility that you have with the platform while also having access to a truly easy-to-use environment make it my top choice for users of almost every demographic.
For experienced website creators who need something a bit more professional and polished, I still think Squarespace is a great option. This is especially true for users in the creative space, such as photographers, musicians, actors, etc. Artists absolutely adore this platform, and if you need a solid website platform for your portfolio, and have some extra cash, I definitely think this platform would suit you better than Wix.
Again, it's all going to be dependent on your needs for your website creation software, but, in most cases, Wix is simply going to be a better platform for you to choose!