Website building and development is an art that is in demand! The immense requirement of this trade has brought about revolutionary platforms that have made website development easier than ever before.
WIX and Squarespace are two such platforms providing drag and drop editors along with customizable templates. Their templates target almost all of the business industries including personal websites for individual usage. Deciding between these platforms can be daunting for the first time user, nonetheless this elaborate list of pros and cons of WIX vs. Squarespace is here to help you out.
A simple visit of Youtube in the recent times will have made you aware of the basics of the WIX platform, it looks pretty neat in the advertisement and might make it look like a child’s play. However there is a lot more beneath the surface that one must be aware of before deciding what platform to use.
WIX is especially known for its diverse range of industry specific templates. It hosts more templates than any other developing tool exceeding 500 templates that target all industries, ranging from retail to service providers and health care to personal use websites.
Even if the extended number of templates are overwhelming and your business falls between the two industries that cannot be found on WIX; the platform provides you with a handy dandy AI that will make the decision for you. Fill up a questionnaire that estimates the nature of your business and requirements from the website; WIX AI will present a template best suited to your needs. The provided template will be customizable (ofcourse) making the process even easier.
In-House App Store:
WIX hosts an application store that allows to integrate third party applications with your website making it rich in features and providing you more control over the functionality. Some of the applications are free and can be installed with a simple click however, additional cost is charged for the rest of the applications. These applications allow you to add
✓ Wix stores
✓ Form builder
✓ Social media stream
✓ Wix booking
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are also easily integrated within a WIX template meeting all the crucial functionality elements of a website.
User Interface and editor is the most prominent feature of WIX that makes it popular among the users. The platform is favored by non tech savvy users due to its easy to use nature, drag and drop functionality and on the nose UI.
Help & Support Options:
Wix features extensive help and support for its users by providing help options and description at every element and every level. Video tutorials and literature on WIX and its usage is readily available on the internet and that too in abundance.
Diverse Payment Plans:
The best thing about WIX for a casual user is the free plan that WIX provides that is not available on other platforms. However this plan comes with limitations over site traffic and content. Additionally it forgoes the custom domain and alots a subdomain of the WIX website to the user. E.g: www.something.wix.com
Besides the free plan WIX offers multiple payment plans with different hosting options that include:
✓ A paid hosting option that ranges from $4/month for a two-year plan to $30/month for a month-to-month pricing plan.
✓ E-commerce store pricing plan that begins from $15/month
✓ All paid domains on Wix will also incur a $14.95-$15.95 yearly renewal fee.
Mobile responsiveness of a website is a must in today’s day and age. All WIX templates are mobile friendly and out of the box. An added positive feature is the mobile editor that allows you to set a separate layout for mobile view because the formatting of a website is bound to change when viewed on a mobile screen. The freedom that it allows the user is highly valued by the WIX customers.
Wix application store comes packed with a site booster application that gives you a head start in the SEO game even if you do not plan to hire an agency. However if the ranking of your beloved site matters to you, and you are unsure about the site booster app, HTML Pro is one of the top 10 NYC’s agencies which can provide top notch SEO services.
This drawback of the WIX platform stems directly from its easy to use nature, its templates are impenetrable. Once you have chosen a template it cannot be changed or even transferred to another WIX template. It might as well be a lifetime commitment, even if you want to switch to another payment plan or a newer template it would have to be built from scratch including the acquisition of a domain name. The WIX websites are hosted on their own servers thus having a no transfer policy. In addition to all that WIX retains the rights to the code since no changes in the code of the website is allowed; so, in order to transfer your website to another platform, you will have to start from the beginning.
The Free Plan’s Arduous Cost:
The free plan that WIX offers comes with a hefty price of annoying WIX advertisements in addition to all the limitations. The ads are very visible and on the nose which will leave a very bad impression towards your branding if it is being used for a business website. However you might decide to bear with it if the website is for personal use.
WIX does offer online store templates and third party app integrations for easy payment methods but the templates are not suited for an extensive online store that garners heavy traffic. The complex functionality of an online store is not offered in the templates because with WIX you get what you see and the rigidity of the template does not allow addition of functionalities in the source code.
Squarespace initially started as a blog hosting company and grew into a very popular web building platform favored by agencies and customers alike. Here are the key features of Squarespace that you need to know before choosing it as your hosting platform.
High Quality Templates:
Squarespace offers very little variety when compared to WIX but the templates offered are signified as clean, artistic and feature rich that give a very professional appearance.
Everything is Customizable:
The quality that sets Squarespace apart from all its competitors is its immensely customizable nature. The platform provides a template that can be customized with its editor allowing you the freedom of choice, as you can also access the HTML and CSS code of the template. An additional feature that Squarespace offers is unlimited domain name and template changes; there is no policy that prevents the transfer of your website from one template to another however Squarespace templates are not optimized for this process and doing so may cause missing content and broken hyperlinks. Users can also upload their personal themes but for that you need to be well versed in CSS. Nonetheless, if you require a highly functional website that is customized to your liking under a budget hiring an agency for Squarespace development is the best option.
In-House E-Commerce Platform:
Unlike WIX, Squarespace holds the capability of hosting an online store and provides separate payment plans for such platforms.
Improved User Interface:
WIX has always been praised due to its easy to use UI however Squarespace is not far behind in the game. Current updates in the platforms have caused user experience to improve a great deal which also points to the vigilance and responsibility towards the user.
Can Import Content:
Squarespace allows the user to import data from Tumblr, Blogger & WordPress while also allowing the creation of multiple contributors to the website.
Popular with Artists & Designers:
Squarespace is considered the best builder for artists and designers due to its meticulously crafted templates and aesthetically pleasing designs. Many artists prefer it for their portfolios as the platform supports image heavy templates and includes CDN (Content Delivery Network) for image optimization. The website builder implies a limitation over image size and accepts only high quality images, which may sound like a negative however this will ensure a higher quality and outlook to your website giving it a very pleasing and professional look.
You Own the Rights to Your Code:
The customer gets to retain the rights of some of the code from a Squarespace platform even when the contract has expired and you have decided to move on which means that at the end you will not be left empty handed, building a website from scratch.
Integrated Email Marketing Services:
Squarespace websites are also integrated with MailChimp, an email marketing service which allows you to maintain your newsletter without any hassle.
Web design on Squarespace has a rather steep learning curve especially for the layman. The customizability that gives it the edge over its competitors is what makes it harder to understand and use because more options mean more complexity. The fact that development agencies offer squarespace development as their service is testament to the fact that it may not be for everyone.
Lack of an In-House App Store:
Third party app integrations can be done on a Squarespace website however, the absence of an in-house app store makes the process a tad bit time consuming and complex. The nature of third party apps offered for Squarespace also varies from company hosted apps to others. Apps hosted by Squarespace are easier to integrate into the website but the company takes no responsibility towards the other apps; customer support is also valid for Squarespace hosted apps only.
No Free Plan:
The payment plans offered by Squarespace are limited in nature and start from a higher bracket. This makes the web builder something that cannot be affordable for every customer out there but they do offer a 2 week trial period for customers that intend to test the platform’s capabilities.
Squarespace offers four pricing plans from $12/month to $40/month, billed annually ($16/month to $46/month when going month-to-month). Ecommerce sites start at $18/month.
All domains purchased through Squarespace will also incur a $20 yearly renewal fee.
Online Customer Support:
Squarespace provides 24 hr online customer support to its users but this article provides a WIX vs. Squarespace analysis and here WIX emerges as triumphant. Comparison of online help videos, help buttons and other content shows that Squarespace does not have enough literature surrounding it. Although customer support centre is highly responsive and readily available the online help available is insufficient.
Initial search engine optimization is not provided by the web builder until you decide to integrate a site booster or hire a professional to do it for you. Even than there are certain changes that you will be unable to make causing the SEO to suffer.
Does not Have a Blank Canvas Template:
Squarespace templates are artistic and feature rich but the platform does not offer a blank canvas for the user to implement their ideas, which means that if you have a clear vision of how your website needs to look and none of the templates hold up to the standard, a complete overhaul of an existing template will be required costing you additional time and effort.
Even after this list Squarespace vs. WIX is a fairly tough decision but all this discussion boils down to requirements from your website, how you want to achieve them and what are your future goals. If the requirement list includes the following points then WIX is the ideal website builder for you:
✓ Quick and easy solution
✓ Self implementation
✓ Simple functional requirements
✓ No clear vision of website
✓ Little or no expansion of business/website
However if you have clear ideas about what you want and your requirements’ list includes:
✓ Elaborate functionality
✓ Extensive e-commerce capabilities
✓ Ability to expand or switch platforms
✓ Customizable design
Than Squarespace is the website builder for you. With Squarespace you have the ability of hiring professional help at any step of the way if the task becomes too overwhelming. Squarespace development will be easier on the pocket and get you the results that you need.
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