If you’re searching for a website builder to launch a small-business website, Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress are among the first names that come up in any search. These multifunction platforms enable online activities such as blogging, e-commerce sales, and online bookings, as well as ticket purchases, music and videography sales, and more.
The main differences between these top website platforms are their ease of use, design control, overall functionality, and expandability.
|Best Functionality for||Beginners and those with basic online sales requirements||Brands with a strong visual identity, influencers, and online sellers||Online brands, bloggers, and e-commerce businesses that are looking to expand|
|Pricing||$4.50 to $24/month||$14 to $23/month||Free (Just Webhosting Price)|
|E-commerce pricing||$17 to $35/month||$27 to $49/month||Free (Just Webhosting Price)|
|Ease of use||Easiest to use||Moderate||Moderate to Difficult|
|Blogging features||Basic||Moderate||Full control|
|Sales functionality||Products and Services||Products, Services, and Memberships.||Full Control|
|Customer Services||Email, Call, and Help Center||Email, Call, and Help Center||Forums and Online Tutorials|
Wix is an excellent platform for anyone new to website development who requires a simple, cost-effective, and functional promotional website or online store. Only Wix provides a completely free plan, but the free site displays Wix’s network ads and does not support a unique domain name. A paid plan is required to create a fully branded website.
Wix provides an extremely user-friendly turnkey solution that includes website hosting, design templates, and website functionality — such as e-commerce and other online sales features — all in one nice package. Wix falls short of the competition in terms of design flexibility. While the template you choose has many customization options, you can’t change the look of your website once it’s published.
Wix pricing is divided into “Website” and “Business & Ecommerce” plans. It does have a basic plan, but any serious branded service website, blogger, or online business will want the ad-free, custom-domain features that Wix’s paid website plans provide.
To add functionality, you can seamlessly upgrade your free or lower-level Wix website to a higher plan at any time.
Wix’s “Website” plans range from $4.5 to $24 per month and are ideal for bloggers or those looking to build a promotional website. Plan pricing increases the availability of features such as website analytics, SEO, and video, but none of the “Website” plans support online sales or payment processing.
To sell anything online using Wix, you need a “Business & Ecommerce” plan and these range from $17 to $35 per month. These plans allow for online payments for all types of e-commerce functionality, such as product sales, digital downloads, and event tickets. Wix Payments, Stripe, or PayPal are required as your payment solution for recurring payments for membership and subscription sales.
The address of your Wix website, also known as a domain name or URL, is free for the first year with any paid plan. Wix will then charge you $14.95 per year for your domain. You could save money by registering your domain with a different provider, such as GoDaddy, Google, or Bluehost, and connecting it to your Wix website. However, Wix’s domain price is competitive, and managing everything from a single platform is simple and convenient.
Functionality and Design
The most difficult challenge for most new website owners is making their websites both functional and visually appealing. Wix has you covered in both regards. Wix provides over 500 mobile-friendly website design themes that are ready to use and can be customized with simple drag-and-drop tools.
Wix also has design themes for specialty websites such as event promotion and ticket sales, restaurants, real estate, online stores, music portals, salons, and so on. In a nutshell, Wix allows you to create a website that looks and functions exactly how you want it to.
However, once you’ve published your Wix website, you won’t be able to easily switch to another theme. Wix differs from most modern website builders in this regard. Its competitors, such as Squarespace and WordPress, allow you to quickly change your entire appearance by swapping themes. Wix allows you to edit elements of your website using built-in design tools, but if you want to completely change the look of your website, you must rebuild it with a new Wix theme.
Capabilities and attributes
Wix provides a solid set of promotional and online selling features that meet the needs of many small businesses. All paid plans include a custom domain name and a professional email address for branding purposes. You also get built-in SEO, chat, and analytics tools, as well as social media link icons and email marketing tools.
Online bookings and prepaid services, event tickets, music streaming and downloads, physical product sales, and photography and art sales are all supported by Wix e-commerce plans. Wix does not include built-in membership or subscription sales, but there are some third-party apps you can connect to expand your sales functionality.
Every Wix plan includes blogging tools as well. However, when compared to Squarespace and WordPress, its blogging features are basic. You can manage multiple authors and contributors, but for content-focused brands that manage hundreds of blog posts, Wix’s single-tier category structure and menu options may be too simple.
Squarespace, like Wix, provides an all-in-one website builder platform that includes promotional, blogging, and online sales functionality. Squarespace is also extremely user-friendly, allowing you to create and launch a beautifully branded website in a matter of hours. Squarespace, unlike Wix, does not have a free plan. Indeed, with a starting price of $14 per month, it has the potential to be the most expensive platform among the three (Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress).
Although Squarespace’s blogging features are more robust than Wix’s, WordPress is the undisputed leader in blogging and content-focused websites. Squarespace has fewer design templates (around 40) than the other two, but they are all ultra-modern and visually stunning. In addition, unlike Wix, you can easily swap out Squarespace templates to change your overall look.
Squarespace does not have a free plan, but it does offer a 14-day free trial so you can try it out risk-free. If you decide Squarespace is the right fit for you, you can upgrade your free trial to one of four paid plans and continue building without interruption. Squarespace charges $19 per month for promotional websites or blogs that do not require online sales or payment processing features. E-commerce plans cost $36 or $65 per month, with the higher plan including sales-boosting features like discount coupons, shipping tools, and marketing options.
Squarespace’s e-commerce features outperform Wix’s for small-to-moderate sales requirements. Volume sellers and e-commerce-focused brands, on the other hand, are generally better off with more robust e-commerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce running on WordPress.
When you create a Squarespace website, you get a free domain name for the first year. Following that, Squarespace charges an annual fee that ranges between $20 and $70 per year, depending on your URL and plan. You could save money by registering your domain with a less expensive provider, such as GoDaddy or Bluehost, and connecting it to your Squarespace website.
Functionality and Design
Squarespace is slightly more complex than Wix for beginners, but it is far easier to grasp right away than WordPress. Squarespace has a section-based website editor that takes some getting used to, but its sleek and modern designs provide a plethora of drag-and-drop customization options. Setting up a Squarespace website will take you no time at all if you can save a web-optimized image and upload it to a dashboard.
Squarespace has about 40 plug-and-play design templates, which is a small number when compared to Wix’s 500 and WordPress’s near-infinite options. However, they are all visually stunning, which explains Squarespace’s popularity among visual brands and style-conscious influencers.
Squarespace layouts are mobile-friendly and can also be tailored to specific businesses. Pre-configured designs for blogs, online stores, music and photography sites, membership sales, and other purposes make it simple to create a specialized website.
A design advantage over Wix is that you can completely change or update the look of your Squarespace website at any time by simply changing your design template.
Capabilities and attributes
Squarespace’s blogging features are a significant improvement over Wix’s. Try Squarespace if you want a content-rich website with multiple blog categories, tag options, and stunning visuals all wrapped up in a very user-friendly system.
In fact, many high-profile bloggers and affiliate marketing companies prefer Squarespace to WordPress. It has a lot of blogging, SEO, social media, and site analytics power, but it doesn’t require WordPress’s constant plugin updates and theme maintenance.
Its e-commerce functionality is also impressive, and it is especially useful for image-focused brands that sell digital products such as music subscriptions and downloads, photography, or artwork. It supports physical product sales, event management and ticketing, and a variety of services, and it has recently added subscription and membership sales with recurring payments.
Squarespace also integrates with a number of popular third-party services for marketing, shipping, and bookkeeping, such as Mailchimp, ShipStation, and Xero.
WordPress powers more than half of the world’s websites, and its popularity stems from its nearly limitless functionality and low cost. However, when compared to platforms such as Wix and Squarespace, new users typically discover that WordPress’s impressive power comes with a steep learning curve. You’ll have to spend some time learning the WordPress platform, but it’ll be worthwhile if you want a site with limitless capabilities.
WordPress, unlike Wix and Squarespace, is not an all-in-one solution. It’s a free, stand-alone platform that works with your preferred hosting services, such as Hostinger, Bluehost, GoDaddy, WPEngine, or any of the other WordPress hosting options available. Hostinger’s basic WordPress hosting packages, for example, start at around $1.99 per month, while business hosting starts at $4.99 per month due to additional security features.
WordPress is also endlessly expandable through plugins that add various types of functionality and free e-commerce themes that provide limitless design options. When you combine WordPress with various plugins and design themes, you can create anything you can think of on the internet. WordPress can power influencer blogs, e-commerce stores, promotional websites, affiliate marketing websites, video lesson portals, membership sites, and more.
WordPress is a free platform, and it can be nearly free to run for small, basic websites. However, as your website traffic and functionality requirements grow, so will your costs. The following are the basic costs you’ll face when launching a WordPress website.
Hosting a WordPress website can be as low as $1.99 or $4.99 per month for basic websites or business websites. However, if you receive a lot of traffic or have a large site that requires additional storage or bandwidth, your monthly hosting costs can quickly rise. Due to additional security, backup, storage, and bandwidth requirements, well-trafficked small-business WordPress websites typically cost between $20 and $50 per month in hosting.
The domain name
Most WordPress hosting plans, like Wix and Squarespace, include a free year of domain name registration. After the first year, your domain will be renewed at the annual fee of the hosting service. Most WordPress hosting providers offer discounted multi-year domain registration to help you save money and reserve your website address for several years.
Plugin and theme
As previously stated, WordPress, unlike Wix and Squarespace, is not an all-in-one solution that allows you to increase functionality by simply upgrading your plan. WordPress is merely a framework. Add a design theme and, in most cases, functionality plugins to bring your website to life.
There are literally thousands of themes and plugins to choose from. Some are free, but the majority provide a free basic version as well as a paid version with additional functionality, design features, and so on. Choosing the right theme and plugins is entirely dependent on your specific requirements. For example, if you’re just starting a blog, a free WordPress blog theme and a few free plugins, such as Yoast for SEO and Mailchimp for email marketing, maybe all you ever need.
E-commerce sellers frequently use WordPress’s popular free WooCommerce e-commerce plugin in conjunction with an e-commerce theme, but plugins for online lessons, subscription sales, online bookings, event ticket sales, and other specialty sales are typically not free. In short, the price of WordPress is determined by your specific plugin functionality and theme design requirements.
Functionality and Design
After reading the preceding, you’re probably thinking that putting together a WordPress website takes some effort — and you’d be correct. As a result, WordPress is rated as “moderate-to-difficult” in terms of usability. However, thanks to the thousands of available themes, its design options are nearly endless, earning it an A+.
If you use a major WordPress hosting provider, your initial setup will be simple. WordPress is pre-installed on hostinger and other top services. Then all you have to do is install your theme and plugins and set up your website. This is the point at which the work begins.
For those new to WordPress, choosing a design theme and functionality plugins can be time-consuming and overwhelming. At the same time, it’s exciting to see all of the possibilities for your website, brand, or business.
The best way to get started with WordPress is to go to YouTube and search for “WordPress starter tutorials,” which are plentiful. These provide a quick introduction to installing and configuring WordPress themes, as well as selecting the best plugins for your specific needs. Much of this is trial-and-error, and even seasoned WordPress users are constantly experimenting with new theme and plugin solutions.
You’ll also need to keep your themes and plugins up to date. This is typically a simple click in your WordPress dashboard, but it is a task you will not have with a Wix or Squarespace website.
Capabilities and attributes
WordPress’s functional capabilities are described by three very appropriate terms: vast, unlimited, and endless. Basically, if you can think of a need, there’s probably a WordPress plugin that can meet it.
Consider the following popular plugins to help you get started with your WordPress website build:
WooCommerce: A free WordPress e-commerce plugin for physical, digital, and service sales.
- Yoast: A set of free SEO tools for any WordPress website.
- Sucuri: WordPress security; many hosting platforms include this or a similar plugin as a free bonus.
- Jetpack: A multi-featured tool that provides marketing, social icons, security, backups, and other features.
- Mailchimp: Basic email marketing is free; the paid version adds more features.
- MemberPress: Extends WordPress’s membership and subscription features.
- LearnDash: Enhances WordPress with online learning and lesson sales.
- WooZone: This plugin transforms a WordPress website into an Amazon affiliate store.
- AffiliateWP: is a WordPress plugin for creating affiliate marketing content for affiliate bloggers.
These are just a few of the thousands of plugins available to help you take your WordPress website in any direction you want. On ThemeForest and WordPress.org, you can explore the entire universe of WordPress plugins.
Many WordPress themes come pre-installed with the plugins you’ll need to build your WordPress website. Theme/plugin packages are available for e-commerce, real estate, restaurants, blogs, affiliate marketing, online lessons, and membership websites, to name a few.
The majority of these are “Premium” themes that range in price from $20 to $150 — with the majority costing around $49. These premium theme/plugin combinations are generally well worth the money because they save you a lot of time searching for and testing different plugins.
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