Contrary to the popular narrative, a website IS supposed to be judged by its looks or covers. It must amuse the visitor enough to stay and explore more of it. This is why a website must be built in a way that pleases the eye while being equally efficient and smooth in its operation. Two of the most popular website builders, Wix and Squarespace are often compared for their templates, performances, and features. With careful attention to details and design being the main focus in both of these web builders, picking a winner amongst the two can get tough.
Wix and Squarespace together power around 55% of the websites that are built using a website builder. Website builders make constructing a website convenient for people with no technical knowledge. Building a website from scratch requires numerous steps, from getting a domain name, choosing the right web host to finally launching and testing the website. Website builders enable users by providing them with a feature set that makes putting together a fully functioning website possible.
Wix and Squarespace are similar in function but they hold stark differences in technical capabilities, pricing, designs, and other factors. Depending on your needs, one of these could easily be declared better than the other. For that, let’s explore what are the key differences between the top two website builders in the market.
Both of these builders have an incredible stash of templates for any kind of website. Be it a blog, registry, or an online store, etc. When it comes to design templates, Wix and Squarespace differ from one another in factors like customizability they offer, the number of templates available, or the ease of editing and using them overall.
Wix has around 600 templates, broken down into categories and subcategories. For instance, a category Blogs will have subcategories like Food and Eateries or Fashion. At Wix, you can test templates and play around with them without logging in and see the final look.
Wix doesn’t allow editing the underlying CSS or HTML, unlike Squarespace, you only get to drag-and-drop elements as per your liking. Note that once a template is chosen you won’t be able to change it without losing content. You’ll also need to separately design mobile and desktop versions for each template at Wix.
Squarespace has far fewer templates than Wix but they all are carefully curated and high-quality ones. The process is a little different for selecting templates, you’ll first be asked about the category and then the purpose(s) of your website.
Based on that you’ll be served with templates that are the most befitting. Templates are responsive and allow HTML or CSS editing as per your preferences. It gives more options and freedom for beautifying your website with high-quality imagery.
Takeaway: If you’re looking for responsive and a pretty website, go for Squarespace but if you’re looking for more options, get Wix.
Ease of Use and Customizability
Ease of usage is perhaps the most obvious deciding factor when you’re looking for a website builder. Any non-tech person would prefer a website that is intuitive and has easy menus. Both Wix and Squarespace are highly user-friendly but Wix allows dragging and dropping of elements on the page anywhere you like. If you like to keep text in one area and images on another side of the page, you most certainly can!
On the other hand, Squarespace does come with the same drag and drop feature but it lets you drop elements only at certain parts of the page. Squarespace has particular “content blocks” and this unique markup restricts the user from placing elements just anywhere they like, quite similar to WordPress. For SEO and responsiveness on multiple screens like those of mobiles or tablets, websites with too many add-on features can get harmful.
Takeaway: Wix is easier to use as compared to Squarespace but the permissive drag-and-drop feature has unfriendly implications on the site’s SEO in the future. (more explanation in the SEO section)
All beginners, and even experts at times, would need technical support when building a website. Wix and Squarespace both offer direct company support and give access to FAQ centers in general.
The Wix customer help center has information regarding all the technical issues one may encounter. Customers looking for guidance or information are directed to this help center and can also speak directly with customer support via phone call.
They also have a callback service in English (default) and other languages as well, available 24/7. On subjects like design and SEO, you may find guiding articles and posts on the Wix Blog.
Similarly, Squarespace also has an all-time available help center for FAQs and guides for customers. It also offers numerous blog posts, guides, and hosts webinars for helping newbies in getting started, growing and scaling their websites’ audiences, and more. Squarespace has a forum for contributors and users to ask questions or share insights, moreover, chat support is available for urgent queries and quick responses to them.
Takeaway: Both website builders are in close competition on this one, the winner, in this case, would vary from person to person. If you prefer phone call support over chat, Wix is your guy. But if you prefer more sources of help then Squarespace is there with its multiple support offerings.
A good website builder allows optimization of a website in accordance with search engine standards so it can attract more organic traffic, which is vital for its success. As discussed earlier, Wix’s drag-and-drop feature makes the website more user-friendly but doesn’t have a responsive design. This means Wix needs two versions of the same site; one for mobile and one for desktop. This results in SEO degradation. Squarespace on the other hand has an SEO advantage due to its reliance on a single responsive design that appears differently on different screens of mobile, laptops, or tablets.
Both website builders allow addition and editing elements like headers, URLs, and titles and provide guides on how to optimize your sites better for SEO. They offer tips and best practices for SEO about on-page content, earning links for the website, regarding primary and secondary keywords, etc. Regardless of your final pick, the instructions and recommendations on both website builders must be followed as they are quite legit and helpful.
Takeaway: Wix and Squarespace both offer great guides for SEO management and improvement, albeit, Squarespace takes the edge with its responsive design and technical SEO capabilities.
Functionality and features elevate a user’s experience and both these website builders allow you to delight your visitors with impressive plugins or apps. Wix offers a huge number of plugins, Wix app market covers any and every feature you might need to incorporate on your website. From placing customized banners, integrating Google ads, or auto-translating with a Wix translator app, Wix has got your back!
Squarespace is more e-commerce focused and has a comparatively limited plugin marketplace as it’s relatively new. Though, store conversion tools and other custom features that other coded websites might require are provided by Squarespace.
Takeaway: Wix is the clear winner in this case, though, Squarespace may add more extensions over time.