The Complete Guide to Wix versus Squarespace versus WordPressJosh Astete
When you are trying to find the right website builder for your brand, things can get a little overwhelming. There are a lot of options to choose from and they’re not all created equal.
When you are considering the best CMS platforms, however, most likely it comes down to Wix versus Squarespace versus WordPress. Curious which platform is the right one for your website? Read on, and we will walk you through everything you need to know in order to pick the ideal web builder.
What Are the Best CMS Platforms?
CMS stands for “content management system” and it is a type of software that is used to create and edit digital content. If you are looking to build a website, you are most likely going to use a CMS platform to help you do that.
Whether you end up using Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress, the point of all of these systems is to give you the necessary tools and/or templates to make website building efficient and simple.
The web builder competition today is fierce. It almost always comes down to Wix versus Squarespace versus WordPress, the three most popular CMS platforms. Let’s break down each of these programs and see how they compare against each other.
Founded in 2006, Wix was originally a website builder based on Adobe Flash. When Apple’s first iPhone came out in 2008, their phone didn’t support Flash. Because of this, Wix and several other website designers started transitioning away from Flash. In 2012, Wix switched completely from a Flash-based platform to an HTML5 one.
Wix is known and well-respected for providing one-page websites on their free website builder. This type of platform is humorously known as “living with the parents.” That’s because the room might be free but don’t act surprised when you start getting charged for additional costs.
Wix is a wonderful option for people who want a simple and professional-looking website and don’t want to have to do any coding. The company’s website boasts over 500 themed templates which you can use as the basis for your site. They have themes specifically designed for industries such as restaurants, online businesses, hotels, and artists.
A well-known feature of Wix is its drag and drop editor. All you have to do is drag and drop your digital content on your Wix page and you’re done. This is especially helpful if you have no technical knowledge when it comes to web building.
Wix also has an online inventory of millions of available and free stock images that patrons can free to use. You can also have a video be the background of your website as well which can make for more unique user experience.
The company has also added a Parallax 3D effects feature. This feature moves layers of your website at differing speeds. This speed difference creates an interesting 3D perception. The online comic book “The Boat” uses this feature to great effect.
With Wix, you can also add a customizable blog to your site. There are also more than 250 applications that you can include. Some of these apps link to Eventbrite, Etsy, and social media accounts.
The biggest benefit of Wix is how easy it is to use. No technical know-how is needed to create a professional-looking website with Wix. Also, after you sign up, they will start sending you training emails so you can get the most of the web builder.
You get to choose from their hundreds of available templates. Each template comes with pre-set content that you are supposed to replace with your own.
You can also utilize email marketing apps and e-commerce. With their Visitor Analytics app, you can view different statistics about whoever visits your site.
The company also offers you the option to add your own domain name. If you instead simply use the free version of Wix, then your web address will look something like yourname.wix.com.
Squarespace is a very similar platform to Wix. Both are drag and drop web builders that offer you templates and are designed to help the inexperienced web technician.
The biggest difference between Wix and Squarespace is the editor. With Wix, you can drag and drop content and place it anywhere on your webpage. Squarespace, on the other hand, forces you to drop the content into specific columns and rows on the page. This can be beneficial for users who are not so confident in their web design skills.
Squarespace offers a variety of elements known as “content blocks.” These are like Wix’s apps. One of Squarespace’s most popular elements is its Restaurant Menu content block.
Web designers typically have a frustrating time with restaurant menus because of their unique formatting. Squarespace solved the problem by offering its own stylish template that makes it easier for restaurant owners to input their items and prices.
Unlike Wix, Squarespace only offers around 40 templates. A significantly smaller amount than Wix’s 500+ templates. What’s nice about the Squarespace platform though is that you can combine pages from different templates. So if you like the contact page from one template and the About Us page from another, you can use both for your site.
You can also add third-party apps to your Squarespace page. These include ones from Evernote, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Dropbox.
Although Squarespace has no free version, you can start using the site at just $5/month and a 14-day free trial. There are various payment tiers that allow for easy scalability.
Thanks to Squarespace’s helpful and responsive interface, you will have a pleasant time designing your perfect site.
The last contender in our Wix versus Squarespace versus WordPress debate, WordPress is quite different than the other two platforms. Originally released in 2003 as a blogging platform, WordPress has gone on to become a flexible website builder.
This is because the platform is open source. In fact, WordPress’s open-source code is so popular that in 2018 it was powering 26% of the internet.
Being open-source means that WordPress’s source code is free and available to the public. Anyone can copy the code and change it to their own preference. This differs greatly from the other two platforms we discussed, where their codes are not available to view and edit.
To be clear, there are two WordPress sites. WordPress.com is the company’s blogging site. WordPress.org is their web builder.
Although WordPress does offer plugins, apps, and themes, you cannot just sign up and start dragging and dropping. However, there are plugins that can let you drag and drop content. Some of the available plugins are free while others are going to cost you. There are many great SEO plugins for WordPress as well.
You can edit any part of your plugin or theme. Nothing is off-limits. You can even make a “child theme” that allows you to update your template without losing the edits you made.
The biggest benefit of WordPress is that it is entirely your own. The possibilities for what your site can look and function like is completely up to your skills and imagination. With that said, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the possibilities.
If you are a coder, WordPress is not too hard to use although it might take some time to get used to. And although you can’t own the WordPress code, you get to own every plugin and piece of content on your site. So if you decide to migrate to another web platform, you can more than likely move everything with you.
Also, WordPress is totally free. But depending on your coding skills, you might feel it necessary to hire an outside web developer.
Conclusion on Wix versus Squarespace and WordPress
After reviewing the information above, we can see that the winner of the Wix versus Squarespace versus WordPress debate ultimately comes down to what you are trying to accomplish. Each of these platforms has its pros and cons. It is important that you evaluate what you want your website to be able to do as well as where your web design skill level is at.
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