Should I choose Wix or should I sign up for Squarespace? If you are reading this article, then chances are you are struggling to decide whether to place your future web presence in the hands of the completely rebuilt Squarespace or to try your luck with Wix, probably the easiest website builder out there. We intend to help make that decision a bit easier for you.
We’ve just updated our Wix versus Squarespace comparison, so let’s to dive into the five areas that we feel will impact your decision:
#1 Ease of Use
Wix. Wix is easy. When you open the control panel for the first time, you get a feeling you’ve been using it for years – it’s well organized, eye-pleasing and really motivating. It’s a real pleasure to work with it.
You can easily customize your site in a WYSIWYG editing environment simply by dragging design elements and widgets to the canvas. The flipside of this approach – called ‘absolute positioning’ – is that you can’t change your theme in the future. You can remodel your existing theme as you wish, but there’s no way to get back to the gallery and choose a new design. The only way to do that is to build another site (from zero) and then transfer your Premium account to it.
The control panel of Wix is divided into two areas: Dashboard and Editor. The Dashboard lets you easily manage your sites’ settings, and the Editor gives you a total WYSIWYG website creation experience. Heres’s how easy it is to use Wix:
Squarespace. Earlier, Squarespace had many UX-related pain points. Luckily, most of these were addressed. The new version of the builder (Squarespace Seven) is much easier than its predecessor. Nevertheless, it is still inferior to that of Wix. There’s certainly a learning curve. But once you understand its logic, updating your site gets easy and fast.
Check out this introductory video to get to know your way around the latest version of Squarespace:
Wix vs Squarespace. Beyond any doubt, Wix is funnier and easier to use. Squarespace has a more stylish, polished look, but it’s less intuitive. Make sure to check out help videos before you start customizing your Squarespace site.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
Wix. If your goal is to build a website in one sitting without writing any codes, then Wix might be right for you. It offers enough tools to build a variety of websites: blogs, corporate websites, eCommerce sites and more. Most of the features are native options that you can enable directly through the control panel. Others are offered as third-party extensions available through the Wix App Market. This means your site has a potentially huge set of features. Here are some sample apps from the Market: Form builder, Site search, Newsletter signup form, Customer reviews, Appointment booking and more.
The only downside about the Market is that to get the full-packed experience of the app, you have to pay for it on top of the standard Wix fee. This means your monthly fee can go up to thirty or even forty dollars based on your installed apps. The good news is that most of the apps come with free basic versions.
Let’s take a closer look at the core features of Wix:
e-Commerce. Wix has an in-house eCommerce engine that has everything you need to set up a simple store. Just like anything in Wix, your store will be managed in a visual interface. The Store Manager lets you organize your products into collections, feature specific products in prime places on your site (highlight bestsellers and promote monthly specials), create product options such as sizes or colors, add multiple photos for each item, customize thank you messages, set multiple payment options, set shipping and tax rules for each product, and more.
Blogging. You can easily add a blog to your site and enjoy the following features: scheduled posts, Featured posts section, Facebook comments, etc.
In November 2013 Wix raised 127 million, and its vertical expansion began. Apparently, Wix marketers decided to create ready made, turnkey solutions for different business sectors, and one of their first projects became Wix Hotels.
The flipside of the incredible ease-of-use of Wix is the inability to access your site’s source code. Wix does offer tons of options, but it doesn’t let you tweak your site’s CSS/HTML. There’s no way to check and clean up your code. Users can’t even re-write auto-generated URLs that aren’t human-readable, while with Squarespace’s Developer platform users can change everything in their site – from the opening doctype tag to the footer. That’s a vital difference between Wix and Squarespace.
Squarespace. Squarespace is feature-rich. Its feature set looks more compact, as it has no app markets. Similar to Wix, Squarespace has an in-house eCommerce platform and a blogging engine. Yet rather than focusing on what these site builders have in common, let’s outline the key differences, which actually are Squarespace advantages.
- Squarespace supports multiple access levels: you can add multiple contributors including Administrators, Content Editors, Comment Moderators and other user types.
- Import/export. Squarespace lets you easily import blog content from Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress, Posterous and Squarespace 5, while e-retailers can import commerce content from BigCartel and Shopify. You can also export your Squarespace site content to WordPress.
- Squarespace opens up the codes and lets you change everything from the header to the footer. You can do that using native development tools, as a Developer platform user.
- Squarespace has a family of iOS and Android apps that let you manage your site from anywhere.
Squarespace vs Wix. Because Squarespace is more flexible, it’s the clear winner. It lets you completely rebuild your website in a professional way keeping your site’s architecture clean. But don’t get me wrong. Wix is still a great option. If you’re satisfied with the chosen template, features and performance of your Wix site, you might not need all those bells and whistles that Squarespace has to offer.
Wix. Wix offers a great collection of templates for all tastes. They are fresh, professional and diverse. Unfortunately, you can’t switch Wix templates. You can easily create a new website using a new template, but there’s no way to change your existing site’s theme. No custom CSS can be applied.
Mobile view. Wix offers an easy-to-use mobile editor that allows users to fine tune the optimized view of the site using the same drag-and-drop tools. You can resize, relocate and show/hide items without affecting the normal view of your site.
In April 2014, Wix announced its acquisition of Appixia, an Israeli startup for creating native mCommerce apps. Here at SWB we expect that this purchase will translate into new mCommerce functions for Wix.
Squarespace. Squarespace templates feature rich imagery, refined fonts and minimal layouts. I’m in love with their designs. However, it is fair to say that their templates are monotonous. The good news is that custom CSS can be applied to any template design.
Mobile view. All Squarespace templates are designed with the multi-screen world in mind. They are all responsive. However, users can’t edit the mobile view – at best, they can enable the Mobile Information bar.
Wix vs Squarespace. Squarespace designs leave more room for customization, while those of Wix are more diverse. Wix has a built-in Mobile editor; Squarespace allows to edit the Mobile Information bar only.
#4 Customer Support
Wix. Each editable element in the control panel contains a small interrogative sign icon – just click it to learn more about the object you’re about to edit. Wix also offers an extensive help center with videos, how-to articles and forum. Many questions have already been asked and answered there.
Squarespace. Squarespace offers premium help including tutorials, live chat and email support. They also hold one-on-one workshops that take place in their Customer Care offices in New York. The workshops are open to anyone, including new, long-time, and potential Squarespace customers.
Squarespace vs Wix. Both website builders offer enough help resources, yet Squarespace seems to be closer to its audience, apparently because they don’t have free users and thus their user base is smaller.
#5 Pricing Policy
Wix. Wix has a free version, and four paid packages: Connect domain ($5.95/mo), Combo ($10.95/mo), Unlimited ($15.95/mo), and eCommerce ($19.90/mo). These are discounted to $4.08, $8.25, $12.42, and $16.17 respectively, if you go with a yearly plan.
Pay attention to the fact that the lowest price version of Wix ($4.08-$5.95 a month) displays Wix brand ads. For more details go to their Subscriptions Page.
Squarespace. Squarespace has no free plans. You can use it free for 14 days only. Paid packages start at $8/mo. Your choice will mainly depend on the website type – personal, business or eCommerce site. See the full list of features for each package here.
Wix vs Squarespace. With Wix you can get a free website for lifetime, if you don’t mind displaying their ad and using a subdomain, while Squarespace has no free plans at all. I think both site builders are fairly priced. Squarespace is more expensive, yet it offers more for that price.
Wix vs Squarespace: Conclusion
So which one is more effective: Wix or Squarespace? If you’re looking for a freebie, you’ll only find it on Wix. In terms of functionality and freedom of customization, you have better chances to create an exceptional website with Squarespace.
Again, the choice will depend on your needs and your budget. If you still don’t know whether or not you need a website, or you just want to try your webmaster skills – Wix is the best option for you. It lets you play around as long as you need to see if it fits your needs.
Because every web project is different, we can only give you some general insights. But they should be enough to give you a good idea . And if you have others to add, we’d love to hear them in the comments.
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