WordPress vs. Wix vs. SquareSpace

ecommerce

WordPress, Wix and Squarespace have become very popular website builders over the years. They’re all good platforms but vary depending on your wants and needs. To learn more about the difference between the platforms continue reading below to know which is best for you.

Comparison Review Of WordPress, Wix & SquareSpace – Content Management System

A content management system (CMS) is a software application that is used to create, manage, and modify digital content. CMS handles all the basic infrastructure of building a website without the need of you knowing how to code. Most popular CMS have features built-in or available to download as add-ons. To learn more about the different content management systems continue reading.

WordPress is a self-hosted and open-source content system. In simpler terms this means it is more powerful than the other platforms. The pros of WordPress is it has broad functionality and more complex features. The SEO features are considered the best with WordPress and the freedom it gives with powerful plugins. You have the option to have customized template designs and it offers great blogging features that can include a comments section. While the learning curve can be a little difficult, professional website designers are skilled in giving you a great WordPress website that you will love and have full ownership of.

Wix is aimed for non-technical users but your options are limited and you are not able to customize your themes fully to fit your brand image. There is a dedicated support team to help and guide you with building your website 24/7 but users have less control as a tradeoff for the easy use and templates are difficult to customize. Some more complex website features may be missing or have limited features unless you pay for higher packages.

SquareSpace provides hosting, along with a template library and domains are given for free only with an annual purchase. All the features are built-in which means no apps, extensions or plugins are offered so you are stuck with the themes they offer. It hosts websites that are designed specifically for small businesses, ecommerce and design portfolios. While SquareSpace is pretty easy to set up it does not offer flexibility like other platforms.

Website Ownership

Website ownership is extremely important because it matters who controls your website.  For any business owner, website ownership is paramount to their success. Rather than relying on a third-party to update and manage their website performance; owning the site helps you to control your performance and make improvements.  It also allows you the freedom of choice and doesn’t restrict your growth.

WordPress is the only software out of the three that is open source and comes with a GNU Public License, which means that, in essence, you own the files and can do what you’d like with your website.  You are not limited in file access, edits or updates.

Wix & SquareSpace both use proprietary software.  This means that you’ll most likely never be given direct access to the core files which limits editing.  You are also forced to stay with each platform with limited options to export your content. This severely limits your options and growth.

Cost Comparison

The amount of money spent on a website is a factor when considering which platform is right for you. Costs of building a webcam can include hosting, monthly usage fees, or involving a third party to design and design the site for you. Any business should find the best solution for their budget.

WordPress is a free platform. Your cost will depend on your web hosting package and you would need to find, pay and set that up on your own. Another cost that you may have is hiring a website developer that can code customize the theme of your website for your business. There are four ways to grow with different packages to choose from and have amazing flexibility with WordPress to create any website you like.

Wix has a free plan but only if you use a Wix subdomain and it displays Wix ads on your site. To get rid of the ads you would have to pay for an upgraded plan. The other plans range from $13 – $49 a month. The higher your plan is the more features you have but the options are still limited in the lower packages.

SquareSpace has four plans to choose that range from $12 – $40 a month for a personal, business, basic or advanced plan. The personal plan is quite restrictive so realistically you would most likely need to go with a higher plan to get the features that are needed.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Comparison

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing your chances of ranking highly on search engine results pages.  In the tech industry, there are established standards that improve SEO on a website. With the rise of content management systems, mastering SEO has become more difficult due to the limitations of the CMS software.  Although it is more difficult, it is not impossible and can be done depending on which platform you use.

WordPress is considered one of the best content management systems to use when it comes to SEO. It gives you a lot of freedom and the platform is SEO-friendly. WordPress offers powerful and free plugins that can add great functionality to your site. Yoast is the best SEO plugin to use with WordPress which gives you features such as meta tags, titles, descriptions, keywords and sitemaps. You also have the freedom of making SEO-friendly URLs that contain the keywords you want which will help your website rank even better. You are able to customize your content and update it as you please without the need of coding. WordPress also allows you would obtain a license to every plugin and theme you use, so you own the database information and can do whatever you would like with it.

For Wix, it sets up a custom built in SEO plan for you based on questions that you answer. Wix’s most popular SEO app is Site Booster, which is free only if you’re signed up to the Unlimited plan or higher. Wix’s SEO covers the basics but doesn’t excel much beyond because it is limited and there is never any direct access to the files themselves.

SquareSpace offers an all-in-one platform for SEO but for more advanced techniques you would need additional coding which SquareSpace doesn’t allow. Each page and post has their own configuration boxes to enter the meta title and descriptions but when compared to other platforms it is limited. You can’t add rich snippets which are bits of data that enhance your search results when using SquareSpace unless you use Google’s Data Highlighter tool which can be messy. Also, it is important to note that if you are not familiar or comfortable with SEO then SquareSpace might not be the right option for you because of the coding and learning curve.

eCommerce Performance

eCommerce is the sale of products or services through your website. For most content management systems (CMS), ecommerce integration is a possibility without completely rebuilding the website. There are various methods of integration with varying limitations per platform. Below illustrates the highlights of each platform.

WordPress features eCommerce integration through plugin installation. Woocommerce, which is also owned by the same company as WordPress, is a free plugin that allows for the sale of physical or virtual products. It can integrate with many payment processing methods including Paypal and Authorize.net, as well as the leading shipping platforms such as USPS, UPS,  Fedex and many others. Woocommerce features hundreds of 3rd party plugins to enhance and customize the sale process through your website. Woocommerce is ideal for small to medium stores that can sell anywhere from one to thousands of products.

When it comes to Wix you are able to promote your products with an ecommerce store that offers an all-in-one management tool to help you keep track of your orders, payments, shipping, create discount codes and more; but depending on your package some features may be missing. With the free version you aren’t able to sell anything but you can get a feel for the platform which is a bit frustrating. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t be able to get the full eCommerce functionality that includes the payment gateways such as PayPal and Authorize.net without purchasing their web hosting package at a higher monthly price. However, you have the option to create an app for your ecommerce store with Wix Touch. With their eCommerce option it would only benefit smaller sized businesses that have limited products to sell.

SquareSpace is a good eCommerce solution in an easy package but it comes with limitations. The payment gateways you can use are limited and it doesn’t come with much advanced retailing functionality. A key thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t allow you to export digital products. The eCommerce function for SquareSpace is good but it is not as developed as others, so if your website’s main function is with eCommerce then you should consider other platforms.

Conclusion

At the end of the day WordPress, Wix and SquareSpace have become very popular website builders and there are several things to consider when choosing the right platform for your website. With many of these platforms offering free plans it is important to note that WordPress is the only platform that offers complete ownership of your website; giving you the freedom of moving your data and being able to change it whenever you want, unlike other platforms. From our research, we believe the best platform for many reasons is WordPress. If you believe your business site will increase sales, then WordPress is worth the investment because it exceeds its competitors. You will have multilingual support, freedom of unlimited customization, powerful SEO ranking, access to all kinds of plugins and great eCommerce integration for any business size.

Still have questions about which platform is ideal for you? Want a professional to help you get started? We’re here to help! Reach out to us with any questions by calling (248) 477-5994 or contact us online today.