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Both Wix and Squarespace are well-known for offering simple pricing, easy-to-use features, helpful integrations and a library of elegant templates for almost every kind of business. They’re functional, expandable and give business owners plenty of control over the look and feel of their site. This detailed comparison will help you decide which option might be right for your business.
There’s a fair amount of overlap between Wix and Squarespace, as well as other site-building platforms on the market. If you’re choosing between Wix vs. Squarespace both offer many of the same core capabilities but with some nuanced differences.
If you’re new to web design, Wix can be a great option for getting comfortable without getting in over your head. Wix is straightforward, inexpensive (especially if you don’t need e-commerce capabilities) and places a heavier emphasis on function rather than form. The Wix platform offers over 500 customizable templates that make it easy for users to create a custom experience for their site — so you can find the right design for your business and be able to customize it to be unique to you.
With Wix, you can get up and running quickly and with minimal fuss. There are three ways to create a website with Wix: its drag-and-drop web editor; artificial design intelligence known as Wix ADI, which will build a site for you and Corvid by Wix, an open development platform meant for people with coding experience. So, no matter your skill level or expertise, you can find the perfect way to build your site with Wix.
Squarespace is among the most popular website builders on the market — and with good reason. The platform makes it easy to not only build a website but also make one that’s visually stunning and eminently usable. Getting set up takes a matter of minutes, and you can get the basics of your site together in an afternoon’s worth of time (or less, depending on your needs).
More than anything, Squarespace is known for its library of stunning, modern website templates that work for just about any kind of business. These templates are all highly customizable as well, which means you won’t end up with a cookie-cutter site despite being able to take advantage of pre-packaged designs.
One obvious difference between Wix and Squarespace is the number of plans each platform offers, as well as their cost. Wix, unlike Squarespace, offers a free starter plan. Wix also offers eight paid plans, compared to Squarespace’s four.
Wix has some of the most versatile pricing around, offering a free introductory-level plan as well as paid monthly plans that offer increasing levels of support and service. You’re likely to find a subscription tier that works for your needs — both in terms of budget and must-have features.
Wix’s free option is a pro compared to Squarespace but comes with some pretty significant limitations. First, there’s no top-level domain included. That means you won’t be able to purchase your own custom website name, and your web address will include “.wix.com” within its address — not necessarily the most professional look for a business. Plus, the free Wix plan places ads on your site, which is certainly less than ideal for the long haul. If you’re looking to test out features within the Wix system, this is a great way to explore without having to pay first. You can transition your free version into a paid version easily if you decide to stay with the Wix platform.
Beyond the free version of Wix, the platform defines its two categories of services as Website and Business and E-commerce, which decides what kinds of features are baked into your account. The website plans offer varying levels of customization and support and can work for most businesses that aren’t looking to sell their products online. Business and e-commerce options, on the other hand, are needed if you want to sell online.
Wix website plans
$13 per month
$17 per month
$22 per month
$39 per month
Entrepreneurs and freelancers
Complete online branding
First priority support
-Free domain for first year -Remove Wix ads -30 video minutes
-60 video minutes -$300 ad vouchers -Site booster app -Visitor analytics app
-2 video hours -Events calendar -Professional logo -Social media logo files
-Priority response -VIP support
Wix e-commerce plans
$23 per month
$27 per month
$49 per month
$500 per month
Small businesses that need to accept online payments with few frills
Growing businesses looking for greater functionality
Businesses needing priority support
Enterprise-level businesses looking for end-to-end business solution
-Free domain for first year -Remove Wix ads -5 video hours -Google Analytics -$300 ad vouchers -Site booster app -Visitor analytics app
-10 video hours -Professional logo -Social media logo files
-Unlimited video hours -Priority response -VIP support
-Support of Wix pros to build and scale your website -Advanced maintenance and infrastructure audit -Dedicated account manager -Advanced web protection features -Access to industry experts
Unlike Wix, Squarespace doesn’t offer a free version of its web hosting and design product. Even though there’s no free Squarespace option available, the paid plans are priced competitively and line up well with the services each of them provides.
$12 per month with annual subscription or $16 month-to-month
$18 per month with annual subscription or $26 month-to-month
$26 per month with annual subscription or $30 month-to-month
$40 per month with annual subscription or $46 month-to-month
-Unlimited bandwidth and storage -SSL security -SEO features -Basic website metrics -Squarespace extensions
-Point of sale -Customer accounts -Checkout on your domain -Ecommerce analytics -Merchandising tools -Products on Instagram
-Abandoned cart recovery -Sell subscriptions -Advanced shipping options -Advanced discounts -Commerce APIs -Limited availability levels
Wix and Squarespace are best-suited for businesses that don’t have major e-commerce needs. If e-commerce is your top priority, you’d be better served with an e-commerce platform like Shopify, BigCommerce or WooCommerce (if you run a website on WordPress).
However, if you’re looking to create a visually appealing website to showcase your business, you’re in the right place. As such, the design features of both Wix and Squarespace may be a deciding factor for you.
Most people who venture into creating their own small-business website for the first time are apprehensive about two major tasks: navigating through their site’s back-end system to get things up and running and picking a design that reflects what their brand is all about. In this regard, Wix has plenty to offer. You can use the Wix publishing platform to choose from more than 500 design themes, each offering a mobile-friendly version built-in without any additional work required on your end. Each template comes with drag-and-drop tools to help you put your content exactly where you want it.
Wix’s slate of templates includes specific themes designed for different kinds of businesses and projects. This includes restaurant websites, real estate pages, salons, ticket sales and more. The variety of specialized templates can make it easier to pick the right design for your business by whittling down your options. Be careful, as Wix doesn’t support on-the-fly template swapping. This means you can’t build your site and swap out the underlying template for something else, leaving your content intact. You’ll have to start over anytime you want to make a theme change, which can be a limiting factor.
Plenty of template-based website providers offer different designs and site-building tools designed to take the challenge out of getting your webpage off the ground. In reality, however, many of these providers offer a less-than-intuitive design interface. Squarespace lives up to its claim of making it easy to get a beautiful site up and running. The robust library of templates will give you a variety of options for your website; plus, each of them offers significant customization options that help you make your site your own. You can change colors, fonts, text and image placement and more.
Squarespace’s back-end tools are simple as well. Publishing a new page is as simple as picking out the design elements you need, uploading imagery and writing text. From there, you can move elements around to create a page that matches exactly what your vision is. Other platforms can constrain your design options to what each platform is capable of providing. This is rarely the case with Squarespace’s best-in-class design tools. Better still, you can change templates on the fly without having to completely rewrite the content on your site.
How to choose
Both Wix and Squarespace offer a ton of benefits for business owners who want to make a splash with a modern, sleek and functional website. Where they truly differ is price, design capabilities and ease of use.
Wix is a great option for business owners on a budget, as it has a completely free option. Plus, its paid plans are on par, if not cheaper, than Squarespace. Furthermore, Wix is best for beginners who want to easily create a website. Besides its easy drag-and-drop editor, it has additional methods by which to build your site, giving you a great deal of flexibility.
Squarespace, on the other hand, offers the most visually appealing templates, making this the best choice for image-driven brands. While slightly more complicated than Wix, it’s still an easy-to-use platform that can help you create a website in a matter of hours. Plus, Squarespace offers more robust SEO tools, which can help you better optimize your site to be found in search.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.