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Wix vs Squarespace

Wix vs Squarespace

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.

Wix Editor

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.

Squarespace 7 Control Panel

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.

Wix App Market

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.

Wix eCommerce Examples

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 Template

  1. Squarespace supports multiple access levels: you can add multiple contributors including Administrators, Content Editors, Comment Moderators and other user types.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

#3 Designs

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.

Wix Mobile Editor

Check out what real Wix-based websites look like: Wix eCommerce examples, Wix blogs examples, Wix portfolio examples.

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.

See what published Squarespace websites look like: Squarespace commerce examples, Miscellaneous Squarespace websites.

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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  • Orlando Chavez

    This question is in relation to both services. What happens if I no longer want to pay for the service or wan to move my site elsewhere? Do I lose my site? Can I take it and move it?

    • http://superbwebsitebuilders.com/ Howard Steele

      Hi Orlando,

      Thanks for your question. With Wix in order to keep your website free you have to downgrade your account and disconnect your own domain name (if you connected a custom address). As far as I know there’s no way to transfer your site from Wix elsewhere.

      What about Squarespace, it’s more flexible: you can always export your files to WordPress.

  • Just Rich

    You can change the template you choose on wix. I do it all the time. Squarespace is not user friendly at all.

  • Maricel Syvels

    I have a wix account and would want to transfer my domain name & content to squarespace. Is that possible?

    • http://superbwebsitebuilders.com/ Howard Steele

      Hi Maricel,

      With Wix, you can’t even transfer your content to another Wix template.

      You can transfer your domain, but there’s no way to transfer your content – you have to do that manually. Sorry.

      • Maricel Syvels

        Thanks.. That’s what I actually meant, the domain. Thank you.

  • yourtechlibcom

    Thanks for this informative Wix versus Squarespace review! I think Squarespace is like expensive cars. It’s an elite brand – they don’t place ads on your site, don’t offer free versions… these are just my thoughts.

  • Wim Wyloeck

    Hi Howard, thanks for this amazing review!

    • http://superbwebsitebuilders.com/ Howard Steele

      Hi Wim,

      Here’s a photography site built using Squarespace: http://esquareda.com/ The owner says he uses a max-width of 1980 pixels and runs his pics through JPEGmini.com for compression. That works for him.

      • Wim Wyloeck

        Thanks a lot!!

  • T V

    I’m building a dance studio website. We need it to most importantly, look professional. We also hope to sell dance apparel at some point and include online registration, to make things easy on our families. I don’t have any site building knowledge. Does Squarespace sound like the best fit? Thinking Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace. Thanks.

    • http://superbwebsitebuilders.com/ Howard Steele

      You can also check out uKit website builder.

      • T V

        I took a brief look at it..Might be a good fit. I like the price. I’ll play around with it and see how nice I can make it look. Looking professional is number one goal of this. If can make happen for lower price, all the better. Thanks!

  • Rosana Modugno

    Thanks for this review. I’m currently ripping my hair out with Squarespace and wanted to add that if you have ADD, Squarespace will probably make you crazy. I find it stressful and without phone support at all, I can’t learn. I have questions popping up every other minute and without real time help (their chats are only open from 3am-8pm EST mon-fri), you have to sit and wait for their reply by email, which regardless what you hear, it’s not within the hour. Their customer service is really nice however but…when you have a learning disability and you are up against techies who explain it the way they know, you will go through a bunch of reps before you finally understand one thing and for me, that’s not good enough. I need and want it NOW and love to learn but sitting and waiting for a reply thru emails for every ticketed question really played on my nerves. I spent the entire trial offer asking questions and waiting for replies, meanwhile my site is still not ready to go live.

    Question for you:

    Wix: Can I keep my domain a dot com only? Meaning, (this is where you can tell I am not tech savvy, so excuse me), will there be a third party added to the url like http://www.mysite-wix.com? I wouldn’t want that.

    I am playing around with Wix now and find it very easy to use. What took me 2 wks on Squarespace is taking me 1 hr on Wix. For an ADD, this is important to know. Thought I’d throw that out there.

    Thanks in advance.