Learn which website builder, Wix or Squarespace, is better for building your website in 2020 based on pricing, usability, customization, and other factors.
For those building their first website, non-code website builder options like Wix and Squarespace offer the user-friendly ability to create and launch a website from scratch. With intuitive tutorials and interfaces, these builders let anyone, regardless of experience, design beautiful websites that would have required a professional team of designers and web developers decades ago.
With all of this progress, you’ll still need to make the tough decision of choosing between these two excellent choices that each have their own merits and drawbacks. To save you time, this guide will walk you through the key differences (and similarities) between Wix and Squarespace including their pricing, design offerings, technical capabilities, and more.
Jump down the index below if you’re interested in a particular comparison or read on if you want the full picture on Wix and Squarespace’s key features and differences.
Index [each linked to respective sections]:
- Website Templates
- SEO Capabilities
- Customer Support
- Standout Features
- Final Opinion: The Winner
Wix vs. Squarespace Usability
Perhaps the most essential thing to consider when choosing the right website builder is how intuitive and usable it will be for creating a great-looking site. Fortunately, both website builders are highly-usable but there are key differences to consider in this important category.
Wix is easier to use than Squarespace in that it allows users to drag and drop elements literally anywhere on the page. So if you want text or an image in one part of the page, you can just drag and drop it there with ease.
Squarespace also allows you to drag and drop elements but only to certain parts of the page. You’re constrained by Squarespace’s unique markup and “content blocks” system that only allows elements to be dropped on certain parts of the page. This content blocks system is reminiscent of WordPress which restrains the user in what areas elements can be added to the page.
While it may be easier to drag and drop willy-nilly with Wix, this could cause issues for page readability and your site’s SEO. The SEO section of this guide will address this specifically.
Key Takeaway: Wix is easier to use than Squarespace but you should consider the implications of Wix’s permissive drag-and-drop feature for your website’s SEO.
Pricing: Wix vs. Squarespace
When selecting a website builder, getting the most bang for your buck is of course a top priority. Wix and Squarespace have different pricing strategies with Wix offering 8 options broken down into personal and business categories, while Squarespace offers just 4 choices.
Pricing for each option is listed below but you should consider Wix’s 4 Website options or Squarespace’s cheapest personal option if you’re looking to build a website for yourself and don’t plan to add ecommerce offerings. On this front, Squarespace has the cheapest offering at just $12/month versus Wix’s range of $13 to $37 per month options.
For those interested in creating a business or ecommerce-focused website, consider Wix’s 4 business options or Squarespace’s business, basic commerce, or advanced commerce options, where once again Squarespace offers slightly cheaper plans starting at $18/month.
Carefully consider the features that each plan by Wix and Squarespace offers with more expensive plans of course offering more premium features and cheaper plans being more limited. Both website builders offer generous advertising promotional credits and customer conversion tools with their business plans.
Combo (Personal Use): $13/month
Unlimited (Entrepreneurs and Freelancers): $17/month
Pro (Brand Building): $22/month
VIP (First Priority Support): $37/month
Business and Commerce
Business Basic: $23/month
Business Unlimited: $27/month
Business VIP: $49/month
Basic Commerce: $26/month
Advanced Commerce: $40/month
Key Takeaway: Squarespace edges Wix out with slightly cheaper plans and similar functionality for each category.
Design Templates: Wix vs. Squarespace
Both Wix and Squarespace have beautiful templates to choose from that would make any website shine. Regardless of whether you’re picking out a template for a blog, online store, wedding registry, or any other idea you can conceive of, both builders will have something for you. The main differentiators here will be the number of templates available, customizability, and ease of editing templates.
Wix has over 600 templates available but don’t be overwhelmed too quickly. They break down all templates into categories and subcategories like Blog > Fashion & Beauty. Once you choose a template, you can play around with templates and add text as a guest without being logged in if you want to take any for a test drive.
Unlike with Squarespace, you won’t be able to edit the underlying HTML or CSS if you have a specific look you’d like for your template. You will be able to drag and drop elements to your preference though. Wix templates are also not responsive so you’ll have to design a desktop and mobile version of your site with each template. Also, a key warning before you choose a template with Wix, you’ll lose all of your content if you switch templates so be certain you’ll stick with a chosen template for the long-term.
Squarespace has far less templates available than Wix but available templates are high-quality and carefully curated. When reviewing templates, you’ll be taken through a process of selecting your website’s category like Design or Gaming, then asked the purpose(s) of the site like selling a product or building a community. Based on these answers, you’ll be served templates that may be best.
Templates on Squarespace are responsive and can be edited with HTML and CSS to your preference. Squarespace templates are dependent on great imagery so be sure to use a free high-quality stock image site like Pexels to beautify your site or even hire a professional photographer if you want to showcase specific imagery.
Key Takeaway: If you want more options, Wix is the better pick but if you’re seeking responsive design templates, choose Squarespace.
SEO Capabilities: Wix vs. Squarespace
Search engine optimization, the process of improving your website according to search engine standards to increase your organic traffic from search, is a vital aspect of good website creation as your site will likely require organic traffic to succeed.
As mentioned, Wix makes it easy for website builders to design beautiful sites with their drag-and-drop abilities but this could result in SEO degradation if two versions of your site are created: mobile and desktop versions. In contrast, Squarespace relies on responsive design meaning there will be one version of your site that will display differently for phone, tablet, and desktop visitors.
Both website builders provide guides to help you get started on optimizing your site for search and allow you add and edit essential elements on pages like headers, titles, and URLs. Following SEO best practices for on-page content, having great content related to primary and secondary keywords in your space, and earning links to your site will help you better rank for high and medium-traffic keywords. Regardless of which builder you choose, follow these recommendations and the instruction of guides provided by both Wix and Squarespace.
Key Takeaway: Both website builders provide good SEO guides and tools to help you optimize your site but good technical SEO is vital for your site. Squarespace has better technical SEO capabilities and takes the cake in this area with their responsive design.
Plugins: Wix vs. Squarespace
Wix and Squarespace both offer impressive plugins that can elevate your newly-built website with features and functionality that will delight visitors and customers alike.
Wix app market has been around for longer and offers page after page of plugins. Whether you want to auto-translate your website into another language with a Wix translator app, place custom banners on your site, or just integrate Google ads, Wix app market has you covered.
Squarespace’s extension marketplace is more new than Wix’s app market and is more ecommerce focused but will likely expand with time. Many custom features like store conversion tools that WordPress or coded websites would require plugins or additional code for are already provided by Squarespace (and Wix) so the somewhat limited plugin marketplace can be excused.
Key takeaway: Wix offers more plugins than Squarespace and takes the cake in this category but Squarespace is sure to add more extensions with time.
Ecommerce: Wix vs. Squarespace
If you want to build a great online store, Wix and Squarespace both have dedicated tools to help you succeed. While their main focuses aren’t ecommerce like Shopify, both have invested in being worthy competitors with excellent templates and features for product sellers.
Wix Ecommerce offers over 500 modern templates for online store owners with store and product page experiences that will wow potential customers. Through Wix, you can create shipping and tax rules for products whether you’re selling in the continental United States or even internationally.
Plus, if you don’t yet have a supplier and want to take advantage of new product trends, you can use dropship through Wix’s partner Modalyst, further maximizing your time and profits.
Wix’s Print on Demand services are also impressive, allowing artists to add their designs to products like mugs and t-shirts and sell directly – a game changer for artistic influencers who want to monetize their followings. Wix is affordable with ecommerce plans starting at $23 per month.
Squarespace likewise offers beautiful templates and a store builder that will help you convert and retain customers seeking your products. In addition, Squarespace offers specialized templates and experiences for sellers of services, subscriptions, and digital content.
Wix’s key logistical features like tax and shipping are also offered with Squarespace at a slightly higher price point starting at $26 per month. Squarespace has made itself the universal ecommerce site builder by catering to sellers of all stripes, not just product sellers, so for these business owners, Squarespace is the clear choice.
Squarespace offers cart abandonment recovery features that will help you convert otherwise lost customers with products awaiting purchase. In addition, you can manage your ecommerce store remotely with the Squarespace Commerce app.
Key takeaway: Wix’s ecommerce site builder is more affordable than Squarespace but offers less features and is primarily product focused. For serious ecommerce sellers, Squarespace is the clear winner.
Customer Support: Wix vs. Squarespace
As with anything technical like website building, support will be needed by beginners. For this reason, great customer support is vital and both Wix and Squarespace have made a point of offering customer support front-and-center with FAQ centers and access to direct company support for questions.
Wix’s Help Center covers every related subject conceivable from technical issues support to billing issues. Customers with questions are directed to this area but can also submit a ticket to customer support or be connected directly via phone call. Callback service is available in English 24/7 and select other languages at select times and days.
Wix also offers guides and posts on relevant subjects you may need help with on the Wix blog on subjects like SEO and design.
Squarespace likewise offers an extensive help center with similar guides and FAQs that customers would need for successful websites. Blog posts are also offered on additional topics users may be interested about and webinars are also hosted and available for viewing on getting started, growing your audience, and more.
In addition, Squarespace has a forum where users and contributors can share insights and ask pertinent questions. If these resources don’t sufficiently answer questions, chat support is available for quick responses to pressing queries.
Key Takeaway: Both website builders offer ample resources for customer support but Squarespace is the clear winner with their sheer number of support offerings. But if you prefer phone support to chat, Wix is a better pick.
Final Takeaway: Which Website Builder is the Best?
Now with all that’s been reviewed in this guide comes the difficult decision of choosing the best website builder. Both website builders are winners in specific categories, some of which may be of more importance as you build the website of your dreams.
Wix is a clear winner when it comes to editing and usability, pricing for ecommerce features, number of available templates, number of plugins available, and access to customer support by phone. Squarespace is the winner when it comes to personal and business website pricing, responsive templates, SEO, ecommerce abilities, and customer support resources.
If one website builder is the best all-around for beginners, the winner is Squarespace. Their curation of great templates is great for new website creators and by limiting drag-and-dropping elements, they reduce technical SEO debt for website owners. In addition, they offer ample customer support resources which can’t be undervalued with all of the questions that can arise when creating a site for the first time. Finally, Wix’s rigidness in erasing content when choosing a new template can be disastrous for website owners who may be indecisive when making their first template selection.
With all of this said, the final decision of website builder is yours to make and is dependent on the features you value most. Ultimately, both Wix and Squarespace are great options with minor differences that will affect your site quality.