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Squarespace vs. Wix: Which Is Right for You?

Last updated: March 23, 2020
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It’s never been easier to build your own website, whether for personal use or for your small business. Website building has gone from requiring in-depth coding skills to something almost any computer user can handle — as long as you use the right tool. Sites like WordPress, Weebly, Squarespace, and Wix have made it so anyone with a vision can build a website, often in just an hour or two. Whether you’re looking for a simple blogging platform or a powerful drag-and-drop editor to create a professional website, there are affordable options available.

In this article, we will compare two of the best website builders out there: Wix and Squarespace. We’ll look at ease of use, design options, e-commerce, and their pricing plans. By the end of the article, you should have a good sense which is right for you.

What Are Squarespace and Wix?

Squarespace.com and Wix.com are drag-and-drop website builders which allow anyone to craft a beautiful online presence. Gone are the days when you needed to have extensive HTML or CSS coding knowledge to create a great looking webpage. With simple user interfaces, both of these sites allow you to quickly build high-quality websites that provide a great user experience for people visiting your site, whether they’re on a desktop or a mobile device.

Both Squarespace and Wix share many of the same features. You can connect domain names you already own or get domains through them. They also let you select from a list of attractive templates to give your site a polished look.

If you own a business, you can even build an e-commerce store using either of these platforms, which will allow customers to buy products and pay securely with a credit card or PayPal.

Comparing Which is Easier to Use

When looking at which of the two builders is easier to use, a lot depends on how much experience you have with computers.

Squarespace has great options and is very intuitive for most people who are just starting out in web design. For complete beginners, though, Wix has the edge when it comes to ease of use.

This is mostly thanks to a Wix feature called Artificial Design Intelligence, or Wix ADI. With Wix ADI, you pick a template or even some general themes you like and then give them some details for your site. Tell them the name, the purpose of the website, elements you’d like on the page, etc. Once they’ve got everything, Wix ADI will automatically create your website. It’s as simple as answering a few questions to get started.

Want a bit more control over the process? Both Wix and Squarespace offer you the ability to build your website using drag-and-drop technology, and both are easy to learn. Move things around, enter text, change the color of your background, add photos — it’s all there, and Squarespace might even be a bit simpler and intuitive when it comes to designing the site.

So for absolute beginners who want to build a website quickly, Wix wins the “ease of use” category with their ADI technology. For people who want more control and aren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty, Squarespace might be the more intuitive website builder to use.

Design Options and Templates

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We’ve talked about which site builder is easier to use. Let’s break down Wix vs. Squarespace when it comes to design options and templates.

In terms of variety, Wix has a lot more templates than Squarespace — they currently offer over 300 to choose from. They provide a wide range of options for different business types, personal blogs, photo galleries, and more. Whatever you can dream up, or whatever business type you want to feature, odds are they have a template designed for that very thing. They also let you customize the template with different colors, menu items, and more.

The downside to this wide range of templates is that they vary in terms of functionality. Some Wix templates are fully responsive, meaning they will automatically display properly  whether they’re viewed on desktop, mobile, or tablet. Others aren’t responsive. They’ll work on mobile but might be a bit wonky or require some finagling from you. The other big issue: If you build a Wix site with one template, it’s exceedingly difficult to switch templates later. Not all your information will be brought over, if any. If you decide to switch templates, you might have to rebuild the entire site.

Squarespace templates are beautiful and customizable as well, but there are only about 110. That’s probably more than enough, and even though they might not always be designed with a specific site category in mind, odds are you can find a beautiful template that works for your business. Plus, they’re all responsive, meaning they’ll automatically work on any device.

Also, Squarespace lets you switch templates and save all the information for your website. Photos and text will be brought over, and fitted as best as possible into the new template. It might require some work, but unlike Wix, you won’t have to start over. Squarespace also offers a mobile editor for quick changes you need to make on the move, something Wix doesn’t offer.

Squarespace vs. Wix for Small Business

Wix has a lot of options to incorporate e-commerce directly into the website building process. Most of these are found in the Wix App Market, which allows you to find widgets for what you need for your business and then incorporate those plugins seamlessly into your website. If you pay for a business site (more on pricing in the next section), you can get access to a ton of great features, including Google Analytics, unlimited bandwidth, email marketing, and even no-commission payment processing.

Squarespace doesn’t have an app market. That will make it easier to set up for e-commerce since it’s all done in the site builder, but it does limit your options a bit when doing so. However, they have some great built-in options for people who run businesses with them, including email marketing services that come when you launch a business site. You can also integrate your social media marketing efforts directly into feeds that live on your site.

Both Wix and Squarespace offer secure payment services, and both allow you to integrate a Shopify button, if you prefer your payments go through that platform.

Pricing

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We’ve broken down the features of Wix and Squarespace. Let’s get to how much it’s going to cost you to build a site with them.

Wix Pricing

Wix has a lot of pricing options. You can build a free website on their platform, but that option doesn’t let you have a custom domain and they can advertise on your site. If you want to power up, they have eight different pricing options:

  • Combo plan: $17/month
  • Unlimited plan: $22/month
  • Pro plan: $27/month
  • VIP plan: $47/month
  • Business Basic plan: $28/month
  • Business Unlimited plan: $33/month
  • Business VIP plan: $56/month
  • Enterprise plan: $750/month

Note: You can save on the monthly cost for all of these if you pay annually.

The first four options are for basic websites without e-commerce. The Combo plan gives you a basic site, a customized free domain, and email support, but it limits the amount of files you can store on the site. The Unlimited plan gives you all that, plus unlimited storage. You also get their “site booster” for your Wix website, which helps you get found on search engines.

The Pro plan and VIP plan offer more perks. The Pro plan comes with a free logo design and the ability to add subdomains, while the VIP plan offers rapid response phone support for any issues you may have.

For people building an e-commerce website on Wix, you have the four “business” options. All of these are built to allow e-commerce, but each tier provides more in terms of storage, support, shipping help, security, and more. All their e-commerce sites are commission free.

Squarespace Pricing

Unlike Wix, Squarespace doesn’t have any free plans. If you want to build a site with them, you’ll need to pay a little bit of cash. Their pricing model is much simpler as well: They have two tiers of payment for sites that don’t require e-commerce, and two premium plans for e-commerce sites.

For sites that don’t require e-commerce, Squarespace offers:

  • Personal plan ($12/month)
  • Business plan ($18/month)

Like Wix, you can save on the monthly costs for all of these if you purchase an annual plan.

The Personal site will be perfect for anyone looking to highlight work and is a great option for photographers or bloggers. The personal plan offers a free custom domain, SSL security, unlimited bandwidth and storage, and 24/7 support. The Business plan offers all of that, along with advanced metrics, email from Google, $100 in Google Ads credit to get found on the search engine, and limited e-commerce. You can set up an online store, but they charge a 3% transaction fee to the buyer and seller.

For their e-commerce sites, Squarespace offers:

  •  Basic plan ($26/month)
  • Advanced plan ($40/month)

The Basic plan lets you sell unlimited products with no transaction fees and helps with inventory, orders, and lets you issue coupons. They offer label printing services, help you list products on Instagram, let customers set up accounts on your site, and give you the option to handle checkout right on your domain.

The Advanced plan has all of that plus some high-powered features, including the ability to get recurring payments through subscriptions, advanced shipping options, and abandoned cart auto-recovery. (That means if someone puts an item in their cart and then closes the site down, their cart will fill back up with the item when they return to the website.) For e-commerce sites looking for serious growth, the Advanced plan is recommended.

Final Verdict: Wix vs. Squarespace

For true beginners looking for flexible pricing plans, Wix lets you choose from a range of pricing options, answer a few questions, and create a website quickly. For people who prioritize beautiful templates that are customizable and always mobile-friendly, you might lean toward its competitor. Squarespace might seem more limited when compared to Wix’s range of templates and pricing plans, but for people who value simplification (and the ability to try out multiple templates), Squarespace could be the better choice.

The choice really depends on your needs — both are fantastic options for entrepreneurs or anyone looking to build a website.

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