When you need a website for your business, a website builder can make it happen with speed and ease. Both Squarespace and Wix come out near the top when it comes to the best website builders, but which one is better?
I checked out their best—and worst—features to bring you a comprehensive view of what they have to offer. They each have their merits, but you might be surprised at how they perform based on their features, marketing tools, and overall functionality.
When it comes to website builders, you can’t go wrong with either one. But depending on how you plan to use your business website, the best one for you and your business might vary.
Squarespace Pros and Cons
There’s a lot to love about Squarespace. It delivers:
- Flexible design
- High-quality templates
- Excellent blogging platform
However, it may not be right for everyone. It has a few shortcomings.
- Can be difficult to navigate
- Limited backup options
- Quality template selection
- Free SSL certificate included
- 24/7 email support
- Wide range of extensions and apps
Wix Pros and Cons
Wix delivers in many key ways, including:
- Lots of apps and widgets
- Free website option
However, it isn’t perfect.
- Lacks some ecommerce features
- Unstructured builder
User-friendliness determines how quickly you can get your website up and running and how well you can maintain it over time. Without a platform you can easily understand, you could have a clunky website that doesn’t look the way you want or that takes forever to set up and update.
Both Squarespace and Wix are known for their user-friendly platforms. Neither requires coding knowledge, and both offer a lot of freedom with design. The main difference between the two comes to how you can edit things.
Wix has an unstructured editor, which lets you move images, text, videos, and anything else you want to add anywhere on the page. Squarespace’s structured editor is based on sections within the template, so you’re more limited with where you can put things. This limitation, though, means everything stays organized and in its designated place.
With Wix, the mobile and desktop versions don’t always sync up, which means you might move something in one view, but it doesn’t carry over to the other. It can make for tedious changes, whereas Squarespace’s structured editor makes the same changes for each view.
Overall, Wix is more beginner-friendly. Squarespace has some more complicated and in-depth features to navigate, which creates a learning curve that can delay your site launch. Wix also has a site history feature that lets you revert to older site versions, a feature Squarespace doesn’t offer.
If you want to jump straight into your platform without any bells and whistles, Wix is the way to go. Once you get the hang of Squarespace, you can speed things up, but if you’re not familiar with website building, it may not be your best option to start.
Features and Tools: Tie
Wix and Squarespace have tons of features to help you make your site unique. Both have all the basics you need for a solid website foundation, like form builders, website customization tools, audio players, and image galleries. Both builders have gone beyond simply creating a website and come with features that help you keep your business running with marketing and ecommerce tools.
Wix works better for small businesses. It’s easy to set up, and the platform comes with tons of built-in features, so you can use everything right away, without searching for extras. For example, it has memberships and live chat features built in to make connecting with customers simple.
Squarespace uses more extensions and third-party apps to give you the tools you need, and it might take you longer to find them all to get what you need for your business site. That said, sometimes they use third-party apps because they know that those apps can offer better-quality functions than if they tried to build them into the site builder.
Squarespace’s platform works better for portfolios and blogs. If your business relies heavily on images—for example, a photography business site—you may want to go with Squarespace for an attractive layout and intuitive portfolio interface.
Both builders have most of the same features, including integrations and other features that can help you improve the look and function of your site. That said, if you don’t need anything fancy, go with Wix. If you need more specialized features, Squarespace might work better for you, even if it takes longer to get going.
Customer Support and Helpful Resources: Wix
When you have a problem with your website, you want to know that the company you choose for your web builder will help. Fortunately, both Squarespace and Wix have a reputation for helping you solve issues fast. They just use different channels to do so.
Squarespace has a live chat system you can use Monday-Friday from 3:00 am to 8:00 pm. They also have a 24/7 email support service, and they claim to respond within an hour or sooner, depending on your paid package.
Wix has more communication channels when it comes to customer support, including:
- Social media
- Support center
They don’t have a live chat, which some people might see as a disadvantage. However, they do have a 24/7 callback service and many self-help resources. People who use Wix have said that the representatives are so helpful that the contact method doesn’t affect the quality of their support.
Both Squarespace and Wix have plenty of on-page support. Since Wix incorporated this feature earlier, it has tailored these self-help resources better to their customers. That gives them a leg up over Squarespace, even if both companies have great customer support services.
SSL and HTTPS Encryption: Tie
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate encrypts your website’s connection. It makes your site more secure by preventing other people from accessing your information, especially while you communicate online. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) works with the SSL to make transferring data, like any personal or payment details, secure, and it’s stronger than HTTP connections.
Squarespace and Wix both give you an SSL certification and HTTPS with it. Any business should have these tools on their site, as customers trust businesses that care about the safety of their information.
In this case, Squarespace and Wix provide the same high level of website protection, so you can’t go wrong with either one.
Themes and Templates: Squarespace
The appearance of your website depends heavily on the theme and template you use. It should match your business while providing a functional and attractive place for customers to visit. Plus, if you have an online shop, you want a theme that makes it easy for customers to do browse and pay.
When it comes to the templates that Wix and Squarespace offer, it’s a quality versus quantity issue. Wix has well over 500 templates to choose from. Squarespace only has 113.
At first, it sounds like Squarespace is at a disadvantage here, but it has much higher-quality templates to make up for the small selection. They’ve won awards for their intuitive and attractive layouts and designs, which says the company wants you to love the one you choose.
Meanwhile, Wix’s templates are a mixed bag. You might get a gorgeous one, but they have plenty of clunky ones, too. That can present a risk for your business, especially since your website is one of the most significant factors for drawing people in.
Squarespace templates conform to different industries and businesses, so you can almost certainly find what you need even with fewer to choose from. Each one has a professional, clean look, so you have a solid base for building your site.
The downside to both web builders is that you can’t change your template after you publish your site. Still, Squarespace adapts better by giving you access to all design features on all templates. Wix isn’t quite so advanced, and the platform makes it harder to use certain design features on some templates. When it comes to templates and themes, Wix’s vast selection can’t compete with Squarespace’s quality.
SEO Features: Wix
Website builders weren’t always known for getting Google’s attention. Now, many of them—including Squarespace and Wix—have upped their SEO game with more tools to make your business stand out to search engines.
Squarespace and Wix have built-in SEO tools and offer SEO support. They have meta titles and descriptions, plus keyword support, headings, and SSL security that improves rankings.
Wix’s SEO Wizard gives you slightly more upgraded optimization. It has a few SEO features Squarespace lacks, like personalized SEO suggestions and prompts.
While Squarespace does have sophisticated SEO tools, it isn’t beginner-friendly. You might need more than a crash course to get on board with its features, whereas Wix makes it easy to get your website going fast without sacrificing SEO.
If SEO is important to you—and, as a business, it should be—Wix gives you the boost you need without requiring extra effort.
While pricing shouldn’t be your only priority when you look for a website builder, it still matters. Wix and Squarespace are close in pricing for most of their plans.
Wix offers a free plan that you can use forever, as long as all its features work for your needs. Squarespace, on the other hand, only gives you a 14-day free trial. If you decide you like the builder, you’ll have to pay.
When it comes to paid plans, Wix has more to choose from, and they’re tailored more to different businesses. With Wix, you can get these packages:
- Combo: $14/mo
- Unlimited: $18/mo
- Pro: $23/mo
- VIP: $39/mo
- Business Basic: $23/mo
- Business Unlimited: $27/mo
- Business VIP: $49/mo
- Enterprise: Custom pricing starting at $500/mo
Wix’s Business plans have more ecommerce features, but even their more general plans have plenty of stuff you can use for your business’s website. The general plans give you features like a free custom domain for a year, an SSL certificate, and apps like a site booster, visitor analytics, and an events calendar. Plus, with the Enterprise package, you can customize the features you get, so the price reflects what you use.
With Squarespace, you have fewer plan options, though that doesn’t necessarily mean fewer features or lower quality. Squarespace offers four packages:
- Personal: $12/mo
- Business: $18/mo
- Basic Commerce: $26/mo
- Advanced Commerce: $40/mo
Depending on your package, you get access to different metrics and extensions that let you improve your site. Plus, advanced analytics tell you what you’re doing right—or wrong—so that you can fix it and increase site traffic.
Although Squarespace doesn’t come with more than one specific business plan, both Commerce plans give you fully integrated ecommerce. You also get premium integrations, a free custom domain, SSL security, lots of templates, and optimization for mobile.
Wix may give you more options for a growing business because it offers more tailored plans, and it has the option for a free plan. Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan, but it offers more in its lower-tier paid plans. So if you don’t need a plan specific to your industry, Squarespace ultimately wins out here. You’ll get more features you can use in the future without having to upgrade.
Website Building: Wix
When it comes to design, Squarespace’s templates and themes make it easy to stand out with a clean, organized, and attractive site. Wix falls short here with lots of templates of lower quality.
Squarespace offers more flexibility for portfolios, businesses, and blogging. Structured templates with Squarespace offer less freedom with customization, but they ensure everything matches on all devices. The unstructured builder with Wix, while it doesn’t synchronize changes on different devices, gives you the ability to structure your site however you want. Velo by Wix also gives you the ability to create web apps quickly.
If you don’t want to build your own website, Squarespace and Wix can put you in touch with someone who can. Squarespace has a network of vetted web design experts to help you, and Wix can put you in touch with an expert or freelancer. The only difference here is that Squarespace makes a point to tell you that they’ve checked out the people they work with, whereas Wix only promises to get you a design partner fast.
When it comes to website building, Wix gives you a quick, functional, and attractive site, especially for a small business. It’s intuitive, and almost anyone can use it as soon as they log in. Squarespace has a steeper learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, the builder is easy to edit and understand.
If you have an online shop, you need a high-quality ecommerce platform. The easier it is to use, the more satisfied customers you’ll have when they enjoy a seamless shopping and checkout experience. Your website should encompass every part of the browsing and buying experience, which means your website builder needs to have features compatible with your store.
Wix has ecommerce features that scale with your growing business. You have more product and payment options with Wix, including:
- Wix Payments
Wix also offers rock solid security to protect all your online transactions. Every Wix eCommerce site is compliant by default with the Payment Card industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). Wix also provides both sellers and buyers with secure checkout and payment methods that ensure protection from fraud and risk activities. Sellers can choose from 50+ secure payment providers, too.
Wix also boasts a 99.98 percent uptime rate, meaning your customers will never click onto your site only to find a ‘site unavailable’ message. It also keeps your site backed up across 20 data centers and backup servers. Your data is secure and your site is protected by a 24/7 team of live security professionals who are constantly monitoring and protecting all Wix sites against cyberattacks.
With Squarespace, you only have:
- Apple Pay
Squarespace lets you sell physical and digital products, as well as services. Wix does you one better, with physical, digital, and service products, as well as booking for, say, travel accommodations.
Both builders have lots of basic ecommerce tools, like inventory management, donations, discounts, shipping tools, and selling unlimited products on your site. In fact, Squarespace has a cheaper business plan that comes with these features.
In terms of ecommerce, a lot of Squarespace’s features only come with third-party apps, like the automatic tax calculator, which Wix has built in. Wix also has more sales tools, which gives a better overall value.
Marketing Tools: Wix
Squarespace and Wix come with similar marketing tools and features, so one isn’t necessarily better in terms of quality. But Wix is cheaper and has more features, which can work to your advantage, especially since you don’t need to use as many third-party apps to access them.
Both site builders come with features like email marketing, social media integration, and branded newsletters. With Wix, you can use a lot of marketing features with its free plan, whereas Squarespace makes you buy them.
With marketing, you need analytics to understand how your campaigns help or hinder your business. Squarespace has built-in analytics to show you all your metrics, and Ascend by Wix does the same job to help you market your business and products.
Along with Wix Email Marketing, Wix’s marketing tools make it easy to run promotional email and ad campaigns while keeping track of their success. This tool looks almost identical to Squarespace Email Campaigns, so you’ve got a solid foundation for all your marketing needs no matter which tools you use.
With marketing features, the only advantage to Wix is that they make their tools easier to access. If you have the free version, you can still run your campaign, which makes them more convenient and accessible than Squarespace.
Overall, Wix takes the win for the best website builder. It gives you more for your money, as well as for free, and its platform is more intuitive when you want to launch a website fast.
Both web builders have their high points, though. Squarespace takes the top spot for better quality features and templates, even if it has fewer options than Wix. Wix has better small business features, while Squarespace has everything you need to make your portfolio or blog stand out. Above all, Squarespace’s templates shine brighter than anyone else’s.
No matter which one you choose, you can make an attractive business website. But when it comes to overall features, quality, and functionality, I recommend Wix over Squarespace.