Are you looking for a new business website? Which website builder platform should you use? WordPress, Squarespace and Wix? These are names that top any search. These website builders are multi-purpose platforms that support small to medium scale businesses, ranging from basic to advanced websites. Whether you are thinking about blogging. E-commerce, membership, online course, digital products, online bookings, event tickets, online training, coaching, consulting, music, photography, wedding websites and more.
So that you know which angle we are coming from, our analysis of WordPress, Squarespace and Wix will be based on;
Website builder platforms infographic
Wix is an all-in-one website builder platform ideal for anyone looking for basic websites. Wix provides you with a free to paid plan to build your website.
However, the free basic plan has some restrictions. When you use Wix free plans, personal and unique domain names are not supported. If you want a fully branded website build on Wix, you will need a paid plan.
Wix has in-build design templates, basic website functionalities and hosting features – all-tide-in-one-pack. Wix allows you to use the available 500+ templates to customise your website, but once you click the published button, you can not change your mind and swap it over to a completely new look. You have to stick with what you got or rebuild your entire website to scratch. No change of mind with Wix. If you are using Wix free plan, expect to see their network ads appearing on your website.
Wix pricing plans are three; VIP, Pro, Unlimited Combo, usually referred to as the business and E-commerce plans. How do you decide what plan to go for? Depends on your website needs and requirements. For example; if you want to use your personalised custom-domain name, then, you have to choose the Wix paid plan. The good news is you can seamlessly upgrade your free to a paid plan at any time to extend the functionality.
Wix paid plans ranges from £6.50 to £19/ month, and are suitable for basic blogging or promotional websites. If you need additional website features, for example; website analytics, SEO and video, you have to be ready to choose a higher Wix paid plan. Want to be selling your products or services online, accepting online payment etc? you need the ‘business & E-commerce’ plan – pricing from £13 to £22/month. This Wix paid plan allows you to have access to e-commerce functionality and online payment for your e-commerce website. For example; you can sell your products, digital downloads (e-book etc), event tickets and more.
For membership and subscription sales that require recurring payments, you will need an online payment system like stripe or PayPal.
Wix paid plan package allows you to use your personalised or branded domain name (website address) for free in the first year. After that, you will be charged about £42/year for your domain. Do you want to save some money? Then, register your domain on GoDaddy and connect it with your Wix website.
The challenge that most new website owners face is making their websites functional and visually appealing. Wix provides over 500+ plug and plays mobile-friendly website design themes that are ready to be customised with simple drag and drop features.
The snippet of Wix website templates.
Photo Source: Wix Template
Wix also gives you design themes that are suitable for different industries and niches. For example; Event promotions, ticket sales, restaurants, real estate, online stores, music portals, salons and more. Wix allows you to build a website that looks and works the way you want it based on its available features.
Things you need to know about Wix;
Wix features and functionalities
Similar to Wix, Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder platform. Squarespace supports different types of websites, blogging and online sales functionality. Squarespace provides 40+ design templates that look visually stunning and ultra-modern. The main reason why visually-focused brands and style-focused influencers preferred Squarespace. Squarespace is user-friendly. You can learn how to use it quicker than WordPress. Beautifully branded websites can be set up in a few days with moderate efforts.
Unlike Wix, you can easily swap out Squarespace templates and change the entire design. Squarespace also offers you more blogging features than Wix, but there is no free plan like Wix. Squarespace has only a paid plan. When you compare Squarespace starting price of £13/month – you might find Squarespace more expensive in the long run (terms) than Wix and WordPress.
Things you need to know about Squarespace
Squarespace has a 14-days free trial allowing you to test-drive Squarespace risk-free. If you fall in love with it after the free trial, you can choose any of the four paid plans and continue building your website without any interruption. Squarespace costs from £10 to £15/ month depending on the plan package features. It is completely up to you to decide what plan to go for. But to help you decide, you need to consider if your website will be image focus brand or a content-focus brand. Will you be blogging, accepting online payments etc?
The Squarespace eCommerce plan costs from £20 to £30/month. This package includes sales-driving features. For example; discount coupons, shipping tools. The marketing options are included in a higher paid plan.
Squarespace has more e-commerce features than Wix for small to moderate sales needs. However, e-commerce-focused brands are better off with more robust e-commerce platforms like Shopify or wordPress.
Similar to Wix, your personalised or branded Squarespace website domain name is free for the first year. After that, Squarespace charges renew based on your plan, starting From £20 to £30/month excluding VAT billed annually depending on your URL and plan. You might be better off by registering your domain with a low-cost domain name registrar like Godaddy and connecting it to your Squarespace website.
Squarespace is slightly more complex than Wix but easier than WordPress especially if you are new to building websites.
Squarespace has a section-based website editor which can take a bit of a learning curve for beginners. But you have about 40+ sleek and modern designs to drag-and-drop with customisation options. If you know how to save web-fully optimised images and how to successfully upload them to the Squarespace back-end (dashboard), then setting up a Squarespace website will require moderate skills to complete.
Snippet of Squarespace layout design
Photo Source: Squarespace Template
Squarespace offers you mobile-friendly 40+ plug-and-play design templates that are suitable for most industries. It is good to note that Wix offers you 500+ while WordPress offers you unlimited templates.
Squarespace is popular for its pre-configured designs for blogs, online stores, music, photography, membership sales websites. What is more, unlike Wix, you can change or update the entire Squarespace website looks and feels by changing your design template at any time.
Squarespace Feature and Functionalities
Squarespace features are mobile-friendly with multiple blog categories, tag options and beautiful visuals. Squarespace is a content-rich website builder platform because of its all-wrap-in-one features. Squarespace provides for blogging, SEO, social media and site analytics without constant demand for plugins and themes updates and maintenance needs that WordPress is noted for.
Squarespace eCommerce functionality is great for image-focused brands that sell music subscriptions, downloads, photography or artwork and other digital products.
Squarespace recently rolled out subscription and membership sales features with a recurring payments system. It also supports physical products sales, event management plus tickets.
Squarespace works well with many popular third-party services for marketing, shipping and bookkeeping. For example; Mailchimp, ship station and Xero.
According to a recent blog post on the WordPress website, WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder. It provides home to 42 percent of all websites either for small businesses or giants like the fortune 500 companies. WordPress popularity is driven by its visually unlimited functionalities and low cost.
wix and squarespace, WordPress requires a moderate to advanced skill level which can be scary to the new users. That is why time is essential in grabbing the dynamics of WordPress, but it’s worth every effort if you want your website to have unlimited potential and capacities.
Unlike Wix and squarespace, WordPress is a free stand-alone-platform. WordPress works with your choice of domain name and hosting plan which you can get from Siteground, and many others.
WordPress gives you unlimited room for expansion. Website tools such as plugins allow you to add any type of functionality you need to empower your website to work as you intended. For example; you can use a free ecommerce plugin like woocommerce to transform your website into an online store with endless design possibilities.
If you can dream of any type of website, then wordpress gives all you need to build it. You can create any website imaginable by pairing wordpress with different plugins and themes. For example; you can use wordpress for influencers blogs, e-commerce online stores, promotional websites, affiliate marketing websites, online courses, video lessons portals, membership sites and a lot more.
WordPress can almost be free to operate, but if you want to stand out from the crowd with a branded and hosting account that gives you the control over your website, you would need to invest in buying domain and hosting. Although WordPress is a free website builder platform, you will need to pay for a domain name and hosting plan. As the needs of your website increase, such as website traffic or functionalities, these costs will grow.
For the costs you will encounter when setting up wordpress website – see example below;
Most WordPress-friendly hosting packages include a year of domain name registration for free. After that, your domain name renews at the hosting yearly plan price. If you choose a multiple-year domain name registration plan, you can get a discount to reduce the cost and keep the website address (domain name) for that period of time. Check out siteground details.
WordPress hosting plans can cost from £3 to £7/month for personal to premium websites. However, when your website traffic increases or you have a large website that demands added storage or bandwidth, your monthly host cost will increase. For example business and ecommerce websites cost about £20 to £36/month. As you can see, the more your website needs, the higher the hosting price due to added security, backup, storage and bandwidth needs.
Snippet of siteground offers package
Photo Source: Siteground
WordPress is a framework that comes to life by adding design themes and plugins. Unlike wix and Squarespace that allow users to increase their functionalities by upgrading to a higher paid plan, wordpress is standalone and doesn’t behave like an all-in-one pack website builder platform.
The power of wordpress websites is in the hands of themes and plugins. Except you choose to code everything from the scratch but why reinvent the wheels when you have 1000+ themes and plugins to explore?
WordPress themes and plugins are sometimes free with basic and paid versions which allows you to expand its functionalities, designs, features and many more.
Your website needs help to decide the right themes and plugins. For example; if your website goal is mainly for blogging, a free wordpress blog theme and a few free plugins such as yoast SEO and mailchimp for email marketing may be all you ever need. If you are aiming for an e-commerce store, the popular free woocommerce plugin and theme may be all you need to get started.
However, if you are creating an online course or lesson, online membership, subscription sales, online booking, event tickets sales, and other specific niches, you may have to buy plugins and themes with the exact features that will empower your website to work for you.
Thus, your wordpress website needs and functionalities influence your choice of themes, plugins and cost.
You are correct if you think creating a wordpress website needs moderate to advanced skills plus a learning curve. Sometimes it may be overwhelming for a non-technical user when you have to tweak a code to get your theme or plugin to function well. That is why WordPress gets moderate to advanced ratings for easy to use. But when you think of the unlimited design options – 1000+ themes available for your use, can we give A+ rating for wordpress limitless possibilities? YES!
WordPress themes snapet
Photo Source: WordPress Template
WordPress initial setup is simple. Most hosting packages come with wordpress pre-installed. To get started, you need to install your choice of themes and plugins. This is where the work starts.
Many wordpress users find deciding which themes and plugins to choose from as a daunting task because of 1000+ options available. However, it’s fun and exciting to see the possibilities open to your business website and brand through these unlimited design options.The best way to get started is to visit my youtube channels as I cover the basic to advanced tutorial on WordPress.
Things you need to know about WordPress
WordPress themes and plugins require regular updates. This is generally a few clicks of a button on your wordpress website dashboard but always backup your website before performing any update.
Since you can upload WordPress to a hosting site, you can also export your website and move it to another host if it becomes necessary to do so. Unfortunately you can never export or move your website with a website builder like wix and squarespace. If your decision is to leave wix or squarespace, you have to rebuild your website from scratch.
WordPress functionalities are vast, unlimited and endless. Those are three words that come to my mind when I think about WordPress. If you can dream or imagine any website needs there is probably a wordpress plugin that will fill that need.
Below are examples of popular wordpress plugins to inspire and empower your website to function and work.
Elementor: Page builder – free and paid version provides website design elements.
Woocommerce: Free ecommerce plugin for wordpress, physical and digital services.
Yoast: – Free SEO tools for any type of wordpress website.
Mailchimp: – Free basic email marketing (up to 500 subscribers) paid version with more features.
LearnDash: – Turn website to online course, learning and lesson sales to wordpress site.
Woozone: – Turn WordPress website into Amazon affiliate store.
AffiliateWp: – Affiliate marketing content tools for affiliate bloggers.
Cartflows: – Turn your website into funnel.
Wish list: – Access restriction to specific content to the membership area of your website(Allow and Disallow access) putting you in control.
Buddy Boos: – Turn your website into online community.
Fluent CRM: – Helps you manage leads, customers, email campaigns, automate email sequencing etc.
Tutor LMS: – Helps you turn your website into eLearning platforms. Where you run and mange online courses or classes.
These are few of the 1000+ plugins that can take your website journey in the right direction. You can explore the world of wordpress plugins on themesforest.
Many wordpress themes come preloaded with needed plugins to help simplify your wordpress website build. You can find theme/plugin packages for e-commerce, real estate, restaurants, blogs, affiliate marketing, online courses and membership websites to mention just a few.
Premium themes average cost around $49. These premium theme/plugin pairings are generally worth every cent since they save you a ton of time searching and testing various plugins
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