Wix and Squarespace are giants in the world of site-building: they are among the most popular website building platforms in the world.
Unlike traditional hosting companies, which include website builders but emphasize the actual hosting of space on servers more, Wix and Squarespace emphasize the process of creating and designing websites (though they are also hosting companies by default).
This is part of what has made them very popular, especially for those looking for very easy and efficient solutions.
If you Google hosting options, for example, you’ll get a ton of results for companies that really emphasize the hosting aspect of websites.
If you Google website builders or something similar—how to make a website, for example—you’re very likely to get results for Wix and Squarespace.
So that’s where these two are—titans of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) site-builder world, competing fiercely today just as they have been for over a decade.
On to the obvious question: which one, then, is the better one?
Which is more affordable, which offers more features, and as they’re both advertised as easy to use, which is easiest to use?
All these questions and more will be answered in the following sections, so keep reading!
As both these companies advertise their ease of use and accessibility, one would hope that they come with low prices—after all, that’s kind of the name of the game with many SaaS platforms.
Wix is known for having a “freemium” model—you can get a free account and use some of the tools, but you’ll have to pay to upgrade and get the real thing (a domain name, SEO tools, etc).
With a free account, you get a lot of templates—hundreds, which is more than the dozens you get with first-tier paid accounts on mainstream hosting companies—and unlimited pages.
It’s basically a highly-developed website builder with a wix.com subdomain.
If you want to have a full account, you can get either premium website plans or premium business and e-commerce plans.
The most basic premium plan is $5 a month and basically lets you connect a domain—it’s basically an upgrade from a free account.
The second tier is Combo, at $11 a month, and the third is Unlimited at $14. The fourth tier, VIP, is $29 a month.
The premium e-commerce plans are composed of three tiers: Business Basic at $20 a month, Business Unlimited at $25, and Business VIP at $35.
Higher tiers increase storage, come with unlimited bandwidth, and have more marketing tools or other bonuses.
Squarespace’s pricing is both simpler and more expensive than Wix’s.
The first big difference is Squarespace does not have a free version of its software available. Squarespace also has two types of paid accounts: websites, and online stores.
The second big difference is that there are only two tiers for each of these types of site packages.
The first tier for a “website” account is called Personal, and goes for $12 a month.
The second tier is called Business and goes for $18.
For accounts falling under the “online stores” category, Basic starts at $26 a month and Advanced is $40. The increase in price, obviously, significantly increase the amount of features regardless of tier.
At first glance, Wix seems to do much better with pricing.
I’ll grant that they have a superior pricing structure and better costs themselves, but it’s not as easy a victory as some would think.
The features included in these tiers make the price even more nuanced than usual, so let’s talk about what you get for the different accounts!
This features section might be a bit complicated, but that’s okay—we need to sort out the stuff that truly makes a price reasonable or not.
Wix has a couple cheaper options, but are they even worth it?
As mentioned, a free account with Wix is the core website builder that can’t be connected to a full domain without an upgrade.
Connnect Domain with Wix ($5 a month) unsurprisingly lets you connect a domain, and grants 1GB of bandwidth and 500MB of storage as well.
Connect Domain is really the bare minimum—an initial upgrade to the free account.
The second tier is Combo, at $11 a month, which increases bandwidth to 2GB and storage to 3GB, and removes ads.
It also includes a free domain for one year, and allows for up to 30 video minutes on your site.
The third tier is Unlimited—intended for freelancers—and as the name implies, has unlimited bandwidth and 10GB of storage along with $300 ad vouchers, more video time, and a form builder and site builder app.
The fourth tier is VIP, which increases storage to 20GB, increases permitted video time to 2 hours, adds email campaigns (up to 10 a month), allows for up to 50,000 emails per month, and gives priority customer support.
The business and eCommerce premium accounts on Wix all have unlimited bandwidth, accept online payments, remove Wix ads, contain Google
Analytics, a free domain for a year, $300 ad vouchers, and are 100% commission free.
As you upgrade between those accounts, you mainly get better email features, better support, more video hours (from 5 to 30), and more storage (from 20GB to 50GB).
Now for Squarespace: all Squarespace sites come with SSL certificates and DDoS protection. Personal website accounts get unlimited pages, galleries, and blogs with unlimited bandwidth and storage.
They also get optimization for mobile readers, site metrics, and an included free domain.
Now, this is Squarespace’s pricey first tier, but with the unlimited pages, blogs, bandwidth, and storage—well, it’s much more reasonable than it might have sounded at first.
The two tiers for Online Stores—Basic and Advanced—contain all the aforementioned Business Plan features as well as a few others.
They’re basically more optimized for eCommerce: they have better metrics, inventory and order tools, label printing, an accounting tool, customer accounts, gift cards, and no transaction fees.
An Advanced Online Store account has all of the above, plus customer accounts, abandoned cart auto-recovery (which increases the likelihood your customer buys something), real time carrier shipping, gift cards, and discounts.
Wow—that’s a lot of stuff.
This is what I meant by the trickiness of the price tags between these two companies: although Wix has more types of accounts and cheaper accounts, those cheaper accounts are not nearly as well stocked as Squarespace’s entry-level account.
More than that, all of Wix’s accounts have limits on storage, even the ones significantly more expensive.
Wix doesn’t remove bandwidth limits until it’s $14 a month tier, which is pricier than Squarespace’s $12.
Both sites are good with features, but Squarespace offers overall better deals with them.
Every Squarespace package is fully featured—either well-stocked on the lower end, or feature-packed on the high end.
With Wix, you don’t get truly fully featured accounts until the second or third tier.
Further, while both sites have specialized accounts for eCommerce, Squarespace has a more robust set of tools for handling eCommerce needs, and I think they win in that category.
My judgment, then, is that Squarespace overall has more and better features than Wix, to the point that the differences in prices are pretty much negligible—and in some cases, Squarespace might even be the better deal.
Ease of Use Comparison
You might be able to guess that comparing ease of use between these big shots is difficult.
All big hosting companies try to be easy to use, but if your main product is a website builder, then you really have to be easy to use.
Both Wix and Squarespace mainly market themselves as easy solutions.
Which one wins out then?
At risk of sounding like I’m taking the easy way out, they really are about evenly matched.
Both Wix and Squarespace are very fluid platforms.
They center around having a tool that lets you access plenty of templates and customize your own website, and they pretty much offer equally easy and robust builders.
Wix dashboard overview:
Squarespace dashboard overview:
As far as managing and running your account or site specifications, I might say Wix is simpler depending on your account. If you’re using Connect
Domain or a free account, Wix becomes the simpler service.
This is simply because you have less features, and the restrictions make everything as straightforward as possible.
If you take Wix up on a tier with a corresponding Squarespace account, however, they even out again, so I don’t consider Wix much easier to use.
Overall, sorry to disappoint—the truth is both these services are as easy as can be, and the only factor that could really change that is whether you are using one of Wix’s free or Domain Connect accounts.
Customer Support Comparison
As usual, I’ll be talking about two different types of customer support: the first is material you can search and browse on the company website, and the second type is customer service representatives.
As far as on-site material goes, both companies have very robust support pages that center most of their informational content.
However, Squarespace also offers webinars for those who want guided help, and a community forum called Squarespace Answers.
Wix’s Help Center has many more categories for topics, and has articles grouped together much more specifically than on Squarespace.
For example, there are categories for Wix photography sites, Wix restaurant sites, and so on. Wix also offers a help desk software called Wix Answers, but that is an extra purchase.
Squarespace’s knowledge base has significantly fewer topics for articles; however, that does not mean they are lacking information.
There is nothing wrong with having broader categories; in some sense, it’s a little less overwhelming—I prefer Wix’s thorough approach, but that’s just me.
The real item of interest for me is Squarespace Answers and their webinar option. Although Wix might have a better knowledge base, forum pages are very useful and can fill in gaps in knowledge bases.
For that reason, I’ll say Squarespace leads in on-site informational support.
How about customer service representatives?
Here’s a bit of bad news: Wix doesn’t have any.
Well, they do, but they do not have a live chat.
They do have phone support, but you’ll have to be paying for a VIP account to get that.
If you’re holding an account with a lower-tier, you just have the on-site informational resources, or use a ticketing system.
The ticketing system is good, and usually replies within 5-10 minutes.
However, you can’t always bank on it—and sometimes you want answers quickly.
Squarespace, on the other hand, has email and live chat support.
The live chat support is not 24/7, unfortunately—although the email support is—and there is no phone support.
Compared to traditional hosting companies, Squarespace is on the lower end of options for contacting representatives.
In comparison to Wix?
Squarespace is winning already. Now, let’s take a look at a test of the live chat I recently conducted.
Look closely…that’s right. Queue position number 5: the live chat is really only faster than email, but it’s not nearly as speedy as what other companies are capable of offering.
At 2:35pm, a representative finally joined the chat.
However, I did not get a response until 2:37pm.
As you can see, the response was fine—but it did take a while.
Now, generally I’ve had a good experience with Squarespace’s customer support.
However, as representatives can get queued easily, I have usually used email support, where timeliness is less urgent.
Squarespace’s customer support is overall good, but there is no phone support and the live chat can be slow if you’re unlucky.
This live chat took 10 minutes; submitting a ticket on Wix can take a similar amount of time, or shorter, depending on how lucky you are.
On the bright side, Squarespace’s on-site information is great, and the forum is a nice bonus.
Wix’s customer support in contrast, doesn’t have much of an advantage over Squarespace’s.
They have a slightly more robust knowledge base, but they lack a forum and customer representatives are unusually inaccessible aside from the ticket system.
For these reasons, while neither has stellar customer support, Squarespace’s is much better for having more accessible representatives and more informational content on its website.
Security and Reliability Comparison
Last but not least, let’s talk about the security of Squarespace and Wix.
Both companies focus more on design and website building than hosting—insofar as what they advertise to their customers—but naturally both companies are by default hosting their customers’ websites.
Given that they don’t offer a lot of hosting options, it might not be surprising to see them falter a bit where uptime is concerned.
Instead, I’ve found both Squarespace and Wix to have great uptimes.
Wix has phenomenal uptime even better than some major hosting companies.
The same has been true of our experience with Squarespace: to our surprise, these cloud-based and design-focused companies perform great.
Something else I found admirable in Squarespace is their transparency.
Aside from detailing their security protocols, they have a page informing professionals how best to alert Squarespace to security flaws.
I haven’t really seen the same level of openness or detail with Wix.
They do at least have an email address dedicated to receiving security concerns, but that’s about it.
Overall, Wix and Squarespace both do well in the security department. I would say that Squarespace is more transparent and seems up to date with its security protocols.
However, both Wix and Squarespace have great uptime, and for that, I commend them.
We’ve covered a lot of ground, and now it’s time to complete the journey.
Wix and Squarespace are both top companies in the field of easy website creation.
Comparatively, Wix has more pricing options and perhaps better pricing overall.
The fact that Wix has a free—though very limited—account, as well as a $5 per month premium account, is excellent, and surely part of its popularity.
However, although Squarespace lacks plan options, it does come more loaded with features. Its entry-level plan is approximate in price to Wix’s second-tier premium plan.
However, Squarespace’s comes with better features, and the trend carries upwards with subsequent tiers.
That’s not to say Wix lacks features—it does do well in the features department overall.
Squarespace just isn’t as expensive as it seems at first, compared to Wix, thanks to the fact that it loads some extra tools and benefits that Wix does not.
Both services about equally easy to use, and it really comes down to which user interface you prefer. Substantively, they both come with small learning curves.
For customer support, I would say Squarespace does significantly better. Although Wix possibly has a better knowledge-base, the two companies seem on-par there.
However, Squarespace also has a community forum, webinars, video tutorials, and more accessible customer service representatives. It’s not perfect, but it definitely beats out Wix.
Finally, they’re about tied in security, although Squarespace is more transparent.
In conclusion, while both companies bring a lot to the table, they’re not equally beneficial to every person.
I would recommend Wix to people looking for more affordable and personal websites.
Both Wix and Squarespace are built to accommodate freelancers and businesses, but I would say Squarespace comes loaded with better tools for eCommerce, regardless of your account tier; for that reason, I recommend Squarespace more for freelancers and online businesses.
While neither company is perfect, I do believe they both do very well.
I would highly recommend trying both for yourself, as Wix has free accounts (Try Wix) and Squarespace has a free trial option.
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