Squarespace vs WordPress vs Wix vs Weebly – Which Website Builder is Best?
Website builders usually advertise their platforms as having a superb set of features. But have you ever felt confused about which one would work best for your brand? With so many options available, it can be quite an overwhelming task to choose the perfect one for you. Web experts have narrowed the choices down to the top four – Squarespace, WordPress, Wix and Weebly. That gets you well on your way. But even then, you still have to make a final choice: Squarespace vs WordPress vs Wix or Weebly? This article will compare the features of these four and guide you to choose the right website builder.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is a website builder that ranks highly on the list of options for easy site-building. It is a platform that gives people the chance to build creative and yet highly professional websites for their brands. For people who have zero knowledge about coding, Squarespace is the best way to create a classy, high-quality website. Squarespace is well-respected in the industry for many reasons, but high on the list is their range of beautiful website templates.
With practically no effort on your part, you can build a website with stunning and unique design features. You can choose from several industry-specific templates: whether you’re a writer or a pet-store owner, you’re likely to find something that works well for you.
Squarespace is suitable for designing many different types of websites. You can build an online store, a portfolio website or a blog. Whichever one of these you choose to create, you can take advantage of Squarespace’s in-built marketing suite, to help you grow your business.
That’s not all. The platform also offers website analytics to track your site’s performance. It breaks down the sources of traffic to your site to very great detail, including geographical locations. It also gives you statistics to show which content your visitors are engaging with the most. All of these are useful for improving your online marketing strategy.
What is WordPress?
When people think about building a website, one of the first options that pop up is WordPress. It is arguably the most well-known website building platform across the globe. Founded in 2003, it is currently owned by a US company called Automattic Inc.
At first, the founders of WordPress created it to be just a platform for creating blogs. Since then, things have changed quite drastically. WordPress has now expanded to cater to the needs of people who want to develop other forms of web-based content.
It’s slightly different from other site-building platforms because it is not exactly a website builder. Instead, it is a Content Management System, that gives beginners and professionals alike the chance to set up and manage their websites or blogs successfully.
WordPress is excellent for both small and large businesses. You can choose from any of the available themes, and customize them your suit your preferences. Apart from standard websites, you can also use WordPress to create e-commerce sites, portfolio websites, online stores, events and forums. You can use WordPress for free (and most people do!), but you will have to pay for any plugins that you need.
What is Wix?
Wix is a website building platform that gives users complete freedom to design and build their websites with ease. Whether you’re making a website for the first time or are a pro at website building, Wix has everything you need to get your website up and running in just a matter of minutes. It also offers three different methods that you can use to build your website. Among those three, you’re likely to find a way that works perfectly for you.
Firstly, you can choose from any of the 500+ pre-made templates. The templates cover several hundreds of industries – photography, music, arts, hospitality, food, etc. If you can name it, Wix has it! The platform uses a drag-and-drop tool to allow users to fit their ideas into the template they’ve chosen. With Wix, using a template doesn’t restrict you in any way. You can still tweak your website in any way that you want. If you’re really in a hurry, and you don’t even want to do the work of deciding on a template, then you can use Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) system.
The way this works is quite satisfying. You start by answering a series of questions about your site, such as the type of site you want, the industry it falls under, and your design and colour preferences. After that, you sit back and watch Wix build a complete website for you.
Of course, you can still make some adjustments to the finished design. But if you need a fast way to build a website, then this is it. Finally, you can use Wix Code to develop your website from scratch. This method is ideal for technical experts who want the absolute freedom to build their sites on their terms.
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What is Weebly?
Weebly is yet another famous website builder on the market. It was founded in 2006 by David Rusenko, Chris Fanini, and Dan Veltri.
They started it up when they were at university (for some reason, it seems that many entrepreneurs start their top businesses while they’re still in education). So, the story is quite typical; a group of college students was experimenting with something, and then it unexpectedly caught on and exploded into a multimillion-dollar business.
David Rusenko and Chris Fanini both attended Pennsylvania State University. During their time there, the school asked every student to create and manage an online portfolio. As you can imagine, the students who were not technically inclined had a tough time with this. Can you guess what happened next?
Yes, you’re right. That was the basis for the idea to create a platform that would make it easy for anyone to create a personal website. Like other website builders, Weebly uses drag-and-drop tools to help you create the perfect site to exhibit your work, products, ideas, or services. It’s very intuitively designed and is super easy to use.
Although the design features are deliberately limited, Weebly is still the perfect combination of functionality and creativity. It also has an Android and iPhone app that you can use to manage some aspects of your website on the go. You can check traffic to your site, respond to comments, update posts on your blog, and add products to your online store.
Squarespace vs WordPress vs Wix vs Weebly: A Comparison
So, we’ve established that each product is an all-inclusive website builder, capable of helping you design your perfect webpages. But they also have their unique selling points – features that make them stand out from each other.
In this section, we’ll compare the four website builders by analyzing some features like ease of use, special features, website analytics, speed, flexibility, and integrations.
Ease of Use
The unfortunate truth is that people who use the internet are often in a hurry and very easily distracted. No one has time to spend on protracted and complex procedures. The most popular content on the internet is those that promise to show you fast, simple or easy ways to do something. When it comes to website building, the desire for speed and simplicity doesn’t change. Any website builder that is difficult to use is unlikely to last very long on the market.
While all four builders are relatively more straightforward to use than other competitors, Weebly is by far the most user friendly. The intuitive nature of the program makes it extremely easy to use. Everything you can think of has already been thought of and arranged for you. The tools you need are neatly packaged and easy to locate.
Weebly is also drag-and-drop editor like the others, but it comes with a detailed guide on how to use it. There are also several “how-to articles” that leave no room for confusion or frustration.
Wix is also easy in terms of its setup. With several industry categories to choose from, selecting an appropriate template is pretty straight-forward.
Squarespace’s simplicity lies in the limited number of templates it offers. Some might see this as a negative thing. But for many people, choosing from an endless plethora of templates can be overwhelming.
Of the four, WordPress is the most complex to use. The learning curve is quite steep, and for people who are new to building a website, this can be a bit daunting. It takes a bit of getting used to, so you might not experience the full benefits of WordPress at the outset. That being said, the results that you’ll get from WordPress can be stunning – you just need to know how to use it.
Flexibility and Design
These are two essential factors to consider before you decide on which website builder to use. Your skillset and the purpose of your website will determine what you need to seek out actively. If you’re looking to create an advanced high-level website, then you need a builder that offers you more flexibility. Web design agencies and tech gurus will also find it useful to choose a website builder that gives them the freedom to explore their inner geekiness.
In terms of flexibility, Wix comes in first, if just for the many different ways it offers for you to build your site. You can choose a template and tweak it until you’re satisfied, but for people who need a quick way to have a website up and running, Wix’s ADI feature is a real time-saver. By answering a few quick questions, you can have a complete website ready for use in no time at all.
Some people may be more interested in unique, breathtaking designs for their websites, such as artists and photographers, for instance, may have such interests. For these people, Squarespace is the better builder to choose. It has the most creative, unique and modern designs. The downside is that the initial designs that Squarespace offers are very few.
However, for design flexibility, WordPress gives you more options. Millions of people all over the world contribute to providing you with access to multiple themes, colour schemes and fonts on WordPress.
These days, a lot of selling happens online, for both physical and digital products. To get the most out of your online store, you need to make sure that the website building you’re using has useful eCommerce features.
Some website builders have their online stores built-in, while others are integrated with third-party e-commerce applications. Both of these options can be great, depending on what your needs are. The main thing is that the online store should be convenient for customers, and you, the owner.
Wix’s industry-specific templates include a range purpose-designed for online stores. Simply choose the industry that fits your store, then use Wix to create a layout that perfectly matches your business. Wix accepts multiple payment methods, so your customers are not limited.
Squarespace has beautiful designs for online stores, but once again, these are limited. Also, the eCommerce features of Squarespace are fairly unsophisticated. It’s best to use them for simple online trading.
WordPress doesn’t have built-in features for online selling, but as with other elements of WordPress, you can download plugins for eCommerce. The range of plugins goes from simple to complex, dependent on your particular eCommerce store. One of the more popular advanced eCommerce plugins is WooCommerce.
But we think Weebly is the champion website builder for eCommerce. For one thing, there’s no need to download a plugin to set up a shopping cart, as everything is already included. Weebly gives you all the features of a fully-functioning online store out of the box. It also has analytics to help you track products and sales.
Search Engine Optimization
WordPress is hands down the best for SEO. All of WordPress’s websites and blogs are SEO friendly. The website builder automatically generates codes and formatting that follow SEO best practices. This itself is great for promoting online presence. But it doesn’t end there.
As you know by now, WordPress thrives on plugins. There are several plugins that you can download to boost your search engine visibility further. Some of these tools have a cost attached, but are extremely powerful. Others, such as the ever-popular Yoast, are free.
Wix comes in second to WordPress. It takes care of the fundamental aspects of SEO, but you need to install some plugins for better results. Once again, as with WordPress, these are either free or paid – simple or fully-featured.
Squarespace also automatically optimizes for search engines. The main difference is that you’ll never need to download any extra plugins. All of its SEO features are embedded in the central platform. This is great, but it also means that the elements are limited to just title tags and meta descriptions.
Weebly does a relatively good job of making their sites SEO friendly, but once again, you’ll need the help of third-party applications to get the best SEO results.
Most people use their phones and mobile devices for internet searches. It’s an easy and convenient way to get information on the go. Because of this, your website must be mobile responsive. So if someone accesses your website from their phone, the website should resize to fit the size of the phone screen.
Search engines now consider this as an important factor in ranking their results. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it will be further down on the results page, and you won’t get much traffic to your site.
Both Weebly and Squarespace websites are automatically mobile friendly. Once you create a website on these platforms, they are automatically formatted to fit mobile screen sizes.
Wix websites aren’t automatically responsive, but there are features and elements that you can use to tweak the format for mobile devices.
WordPress sites are also not mobile responsive at the outset, but there are plenty of plugins that will do the job for you. Alternatively, the WordPress user community offers many hints and tips on editing your website manually to make it mobile-friendly.
Squarespace vs WordPress vs Wix vs Weebly Pricing
All four platforms have different subscription packages to meet different needs, but they’re all quite affordable, at least in the early stages of developing your site. Some also offer free plans to whet your appetite.
Squarespace does not have a free plan available, but it has four paid packages which you can choose from – personal, business, basic commerce, and advanced commerce. Of the four, The Personal plan is the cheapest. For $12 a month, you have access to a free custom domain and a variety of templates to choose from.
On the surface, WordPress appears to be the cheapest of the four site builders. You can install and start using it at zero cost. But here’s the catch. To do almost anything on your website, you will need to pay for and install a plugin. Some plugins are very cheap, while some others can be pretty costly. In the long run, you might end up spending far more money using WordPress than you would have spent on other website builders.
The paid subscription plans start from a minimum of $4 a month. That gives you access to more features than the free version, but you still have to buy plugins for some tasks.
Weebly runs on a freemium basis, quite similar to WordPress. There’s a free version available, with optional upgrades at a cost. The difference between WordPress and Weebly is that Weebly gives you a lot more features for free. However, the downside (on the free plan) is that the domain name you use includes the word ‘Weebly’, and there’s a non-removable Weebly ad in the footer.
Wix is also has a free plan, but for better results, you need to upgrade to a paid plan. The difficulty is that there are several ones to choose from- Combo, Unlimited, Pro, VIP, Business Basic, Business Unlimited, and Business VIP. The Combo package costs $13 a month. That’s more expensive than the cheapest packages on other website builders, but the range of additional features makes up for the price hike.
All told, even the most expensive of the starter plans will only cost you $130 over a whole year, which is a very reasonable IT spend.
Squarespace vs WordPress vs Wix vs Weebly: A Summary
So, what’s the verdict when it comes to Squarespace vs WordPress vs Wix vs Weebly? It’s hard to say generally that any one site builder is better than another. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, and your choice will depend on what features you need most.
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