With so many web building tools available in the modern web design market, it’s not easy to pick the best one right from the start. Each service has something special about it – something that makes it a good choice for the completion of certain tasks. Wix and Squarespace are two powerful website builders, which have much to offer both to newbies and web design experts.
Each of these services deserves special attention and each of them should be analyzed in details prior to being selected for commercial or noncommercial web building needs.
A Quick Snapshot:
Wix – is a full-featured website builder, which provides unique out-of-the-box functionality. Abundance of mobile-ready and visually-appealing templates, advanced design customization tools, availability of integrable widgets and add-ons, powerful ADI tool, Turbo and Ascend features have made the system a respectful representative of the web design niche.
Squarespace – is a decent cloud website builder, which works best for the development of blogs, professional portfolios and small web stores, but can also be used to design other types of websites. The website builder may seem complicated for first-time users and, thus, it requires certain time and effort investment.
So, which service should you sign up for in the long run – Wix or Squarespace? This depends upon the type of website you are planning to launch, degree of its customization, your budget and web design skills. Anyway, if you are reading this article, then you are, probably, 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. Have a look at the updated Squarespace vs Wix comparison to make the informed decision now.
1. Ease of Use
Wix. The website builder features exceptional ease of use and convenience for all user categories. When you reach the control panel for the first time, you get a feeling you’ve been using it for years – so well organized, eye-pleasing and really motivating it is.
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 scratch) and then transfer your Premium account to it.
The control panel of Wix is divided into two areas: the Dashboard and the Editor. The Dashboard lets you easily manage your sites’ settings, and the Editor gives you a total WYSIWYG website creation experience.
The latest update of Wix editor makes the process of website creation even easier with a more splendid outcome. In particular, the redesigned editor allows to create full-screen video backgrounds, build long-scrolling pages with easy navigation thanks to the Strips Layout feature. With the new editor, you can give your site a whole new dimension with parallax scrolling effects.
Squarespace. Earlier, Squarespace had many UX-related pain points. Luckily, most of these were addressed. The latest version of the builder 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.
Even though, Squarespace is a WYSIWYG website builder, its website editor is still less intuitive as compared to that offered by Wix. There is also one notable demerit about the editor – the system doesn’t have a preview option and all the changes you make are saved automatically. As a result, visitors can see the website as it is, with all the mistakes you may accidentally make. This triggers the necessity to possess at least some coding basics or web design experience to avoid the problems.
What’s more, you’ll have to get used to Squarespace Style Editor. It’s not that complicated, but there are still certain nuances you should memorize to effectively work with it. For example, you’ll have to move the sections and objects to arrange them properly and customize the page as you need. However, some templates have fixed positions for all the elements and it may be impossible to move or change them, even if you want to. All in all, it’s somewhat more complicated to design a website from scratch with Squarespace editor.
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 and it takes time to explore and master all its nuances. 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 projects, portfolios, landing pages, websites of non-profit and commercial organizations 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.
The undeniable highlight of the website builder that is not available in any other platform is Wix ADI. The Artificial Design Intelligence tool is a revolutionary solution, which allows creating tailor-made websites by using business information provided.
Application of the tool does not imply coding skills and you do not need any preliminary web design background to work with it. The tool will guide you through the entire web creation process, providing step-by-step tips and recommendations. What you need is to submit your website-related information to let the system understand what kind of website exactly you need.
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 option is also available in the website builder. The system allows adding a blog to your website, create and update posts, schedule publications, create Featured posts section, enable Facebook or Disqus comments etc.
Do you need a forum for your website? That’s not a problem as well – the website builder lets you create and add a full-featured forum to the existing website. Wix Forum widget is easy-to-use and quickly to install from Wix App Market. It comes with the commenting option, enabled subscription feature, post publication, editing, scheduling and removing options as well as photo and video integration.
Wix Turbo feature deserves separate attention. Comprising a set of tools and technologies, it makes it possible to optimize the browser rendering time with no serious impact upon its functionality. This eventually results in the speedup of website loading time and has positive impact upon customer engagement and retention rate.
Being a customer-oriented service, Wix has recently introduced an advanced Ascend feature. This is the all-in-one business solution, which contains more than 20 tools and products needed to successfully manage and promote your project from the single dashboard. The tools are available in thematic sections with regard to their indication and purpose.
Even though, the website builder has a powerful App Market, it gives users an opportunity to create their own applications. This is possible by using the Wix Code tool – the exclusive app builder that does not require any coding skills. There is no need to deal with a text editor or other tools to start and manage an application with the system – the interface is logically-structured to let you complete the actions as needed to further create a website app that really works. The app builder allows you launching databases with all the website-related info, adding new content into the app, creating new website effects and embedding them into the available elements.
Squarespace. Squarespace is feature-rich. Its feature set looks more compact, as it has no integrated 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. It lets you easily import blog content from Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress and Posterous, while e-retailers can import commerce content from BigCartel and Shopify.
You can also export your Squarespace site content to WordPress. What’s more, the website builder 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.
Even though, Squarespace is viewed as a drag-and-drop website builder, it’s not a completely drag-and-drop tool in the standard understanding of this notion. You won’t be able to drag and move all the elements on a page. To upload images and media files, you will need to reach the Style Editor. This is also the place, where you can resize the required elements and adjust them on a page.
The Style Editor additionally provides a set of out-of-the-box options. Thus, you can choose the required page styles that will further be automatically applied to the rest of the pages (these include blog, cover, product, gallery pages as well as index and event pages).
With Squarespace, you can integrate multiple widgets and add-ons into your website. Some of the most popular samples are social media buttons, widgets for photo and image galleries, eCommerce tools for cafes and restaurants, Contact Form Builder etc.
The website builder is also known for its eCommerce engine. It comes with a free SSL Certificate, integrable shopping cart, decent online product presentation, image editing option, lightbox gallery that additionally provides detailed product descriptions etc. What’s more, Squarespace lets you add up to 100 different product variations from SKUs and it frequently grants loyalty options to regular users (coupon codes, free shipping vouchers, fixed and floating percentage discounts etc.). It uses Stripe to accept payments made with Mastercard and Visa credit/debit cards.
The website builder is also known for its powerful blogging engine. This is great place to start a full-featured blog. The system makes it possible to host the existing podcasts and apply extra functions like trackback and comment activation, addition of geolocation tags and RSS feed, iTunes tagging, reblogging and more.
Wix vs Squarespace. Although Squarespace is quite flexible and powerful, it’s not the clear winner, when it comes to functionality and feature set. Even though, the website builder lets you completely rebuild your project in a professional way keeping your site’s architecture clean, it cannot offer such an impressive number of useful apps and advanced features as its competitor. Wix, in its turn, is a great option for business, personal blog or portfolio website. 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.
Design Comparison Chart
|Number of Themes:||550||67|
|Theme Import:||✘ NO||✔ YES|
|Visual Editor:||✔ YES||✔ YES|
|Theme Change:||✘ NO||✔ YES|
|Mobile Optimized:||✔ YES||✔ YES|
Wix. The website builder has one of the most impressive template collections in the modern web design market. As of today, it encompasses over 550 high quality themes and the gallery is regularly updated. The templates fall into thematic categories to simplify users’ choice.
Wix also ranks high, when it comes to design customization options. To give the selected template desirable look, you should add and edit content blocks, integrate widgets and extensions from the App Market or the Internet, apply visual and animation effects, set up layer parameters and adjust other options based on the niche your website belongs to and the goals you wish to achieve.
If you don’t manage to find a theme that comes up to your needs and specialization or you just wish to give your website unique look, you can select a blank theme to design your project from scratch.
Mind that the system doesn’t offer template change option because of the absolute positioning feature mentioned above. So, take your time to make a smart choice from the very beginning.
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.
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 granted that you upgrade to the Business Plan. The CSS website editor offers multiple instruments to let you effectively edit website menu, while the reset option will help you get back to the original site design in case of necessity.
The website builder doesn’t have a rich template gallery (there are currently around 67 designs here by now), but the existing samples are worth the attention due to their quality and professional look. What’s more, they cover a broad range of niches and work well for various website types, including digital stores, blogs, portfolios, restaurant and cafe websites, wedding sites and more.
Another design-related feature that makes the system prevail over its numerous competitors is the Cover Page Builder. The tool lets you design one-of-a-kind cover pages out of content blocks you further have to fill with your own content. This is a perfect approach for the creation of one-page websites and landing pages.
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 editing the Mobile Information bar only. These are the main features that make Wix the winner in the “Designs” nomination.
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 Support Center with videos, how-to articles and forum. What’s more, you can reach the FAQ section and browse it to find answers to lots of system-related questions.
Wix has its own YouTube channel, which is regularly updated with new videos that demonstrate the basics and special nuances of working with the website builder. If you still don’t manage to solve your web design problems, you are welcome to contact the customer support team of the service via email.
Squarespace. Squarespace offers premium help including tutorials, live chat available 24/7 and email support. It has also started holding one-on-one workshops that take place in their Customer Care offices in New York. Additionally, the website builder includes the Tutorial Resources section that is rich in informative articles and videos to help you solve any system-associated problem.
Community Forum will also be of great help as this is the top notch destination for users willing to communicate with other system subscribers, who are ready to share their experience and ideas.
Squarespace vs Wix. Both website builders offer enough help resources, yet Wix seems to be more friendly to its audience, because they have strong built-in help engine.
5. Pricing Policy
Wix. Wix has a free version, and five paid plans: Connect Domain ($4.50/mo), Combo ($8.50/mo), Unlimited ($12.50/mo), eCommerce ($16.50/mo) and VIP ($24.50/mo), if you go with a yearly plan. Pay attention to the fact that the lowest price version of Wix – Connect Domain – displays Wix brand ads. To get rid of them, you’ll have to upgrade to one of the higher plans. If you make a year or more subscription, you will get a domain name for free, that’s a nice bonus.
Squarespace. Squarespace has no free plans. You can use it free for 14 days only. Paid packages start at $12/mo and go up to $40/mo. Your choice will mainly depend on the website type – personal or business website, or eCommerce (basic or advanced) site. The main difference between package options are in additional features, both paid plans variants have almost the same set of standard options.
|Pricing Options:||✓ Connect Domain ($4.50/mo);|
✓ Combo ($8.50/mo);
✓ Unlimited ($12.50/mo);
✓ eCommerce ($16.50/mo);
✓ VIP ($24.50/mo).
|✓ Personal ($12/mo);|
✓ Business ($18/mo);
✓ Basic store ($26/mo);
✓ Advanced Store ($40/mo).
|Features:||✓ Free Website; |
✓ Hundreds of Professional Themes;
✓ Unlimited Bandwidth.
|✓ Free Domain Name; |
✓ 24/7 Support;
✓ Unlimited Storage and Bandwidth.
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. As opposed to Wix, Squarespace has no free plans at all. I think, both site builders are fairly-priced. Squarespace is much more expensive, but it doesn’t offer more for that price.
So, which one is more effective: Wix or Squarespace? Both website builders enjoy popularity in the contemporary web design market due to the broad range of services, tools and features provided. They are among the most powerful niche representatives, each of which has its target audience. 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.
Wix is a cloud website builder, which offers powerful out-of-the-box feature set that comes up to the web design needs of all user categories. The system stands out from the crowd due to its advanced ADI tool, Turbo, Ascend, Code features as well as hundreds of mobile-ready fully-customizable templates. These are only a few features that make Wix the renowned niche leader.
Squarespace is a powerful website builder and a decent competitor to Wix. The system works great for the creation of portfolios, blogs, personal website builders and projects for artists. The platform is a bit complicated for first-time users, yet it offers advanced contemporary features that let you design feature-rich websites.
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.
Overview Comparison Chart
|Ease of Use:|