Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, and More
Are you looking to start a small business website? Great news! There are tons of services available for building websites, and of these services, there are plenty that are friendly to small businesses.
Trying to compare each and every website building service would make for a very long blog post, so we decided to focus in on four of the most popular.
Here’s a hint at the end result:
When our clients come to us without a website builder, we have settled on the one that we recommend every single time.
That said, we’ve used all four of the most popular services: Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, and Shopify. We’ll provide our thoughts on each and we’ll let you know why we made the choice that we did. After that, the decision is yours!
Squarespace is the trendy, new website builder that you’ve probably heard a lot about. Users love Squarespace for its sleek appearance, simple user interface, and brilliant designs.
Squarespace has made website building cool and easy.
Users love Squarespace for its sleek appearance, simple user interface, and brilliant designs.
In our opinion, Squarespace has some significant pros and cons. From what we’ve experienced, we feel confident in saying that it definitely wins when it comes to ease of use. Learning to use Squarespace is not time-consuming, and a great looking website can be produced on a Squarespace template in no time.
As we mentioned, Squarespace is also popular for offering a sleek, professional appearance on any website. Images look crisp and clean, and site templates lend themselves to beautiful results.
However, the issues we have with Squarespace are not in the basics. While this site builder offers the quickest “get up and go,” we’ve found that templates offer little flexibility.
If you’re an experienced Squarespace user and head to someone else’s Squarespace site, we’re willing to bet that you could probably identify the exact template that person is using. That’s how similiar each site ends up looking.
Why do all Squarespace sites look so similiar? Aren’t the users at all creative?
Of course they are! But unfortunately, Squarespace’s ease of use disappears when you try to do anything that’s a little bit outside the norm or at all complex.
You’ll find that you get stuck dealing with a mess of a site that’s all over the board. Sadly, you’ll probably give up and revert back to something simpler in the end.
This same issue can also lead to a great deal of frustration if you have specific ideas in mind for your site. Trying to add originality to a Squarespace site build can be frustrating and time-consuming. It’s very difficult to make the pre-built modules bend in the ways you want them to.
Great for: Photographers, Videographers, Designers, Freelancers
Best Use: Creating a beautiful, visual-intensive site without worrying about time-consuming website building processes.
Ease of Use: 10/10
Hosting Included: Yes
Wix has a reputation for being the poor man’s Squarespace. Many people think of it as less functional and less intuitive. They go on to assume that Wix websites are all ugly and uninteresting.
Wix has a reputation for being the poor man’s Squarespace.
If you ask us, not all of these rumors are true. It is true that Wix is much less intuitive than Squarespace. Learning to use Wix properly takes time and dedication.
In our opinion, many of the templates that Wix offers pale in comparison to Squarespace templates. However, Wix has what Squarespace does not – enhanced customization opportunities.
Wix actually offers a blank template that can be filled in with the widgets (headings, images, videos, and more) of your choosing. In theory, your site can look (almost) however you want. Like with any site builder, you’ll be limited by many elements that have been pre-designed by the Wix team.
You’ll still feel “trapped” every now and then, and may feel stuck with a website that looks like a Wix site. After all, Wix widgets do have a look, and over time, you might find that you’re frustrated with it.
Great for: Small Businesses, Online Stores
Best Use: Developing a strategically planned website that stands out.
Ease of Use: 7/10
Hosting Included: In some cases
We’ll go ahead and tell you this right away: This blog post was written on WordPress. In fact, here at FeedbackWrench, we use WordPress to build our websites as well as many of our clients’ sites.
WordPress, though difficult to learn, offers incredible flexibility as well as seemingly endless third-party plugins that make building a great site easy.
WordPress, though difficult to learn, offers incredible flexibility as well as seemingly endless third party plugins that make building a great site easy.
WordPress services can be split into two categories. They offer unique propositions on wordpress.com and wordpress.org.
On wordpress.com, users have the option of hosting with WordPress.
On wordpress.org (which we recommend) users have the option to download WordPress for free and make use of it via another hosting platform.
Unlike Wix and Squarespace, third-party plugins are central to the web designing experience. WordPress users have the option to choose their own website builder – and that’s a key takeaway here.
In the Squarespace and Wix reviews, we mentioned how it’s easy to get stuck with “the look” your website builder has. WordPress, however, is not really a website builder itself.
While WordPress does offer a built-in website builder that’s comparable to both Wix and Squarespace, it also offers you the flexibility to venture out and install a completely new website builder of your choosing.
There are many, many options to pick from. That’s why when you find a WordPress site while browsing online, you probably don’t even know it.
Popular website building options include Divi, Visual Composer, Elementor, and Beaver Builder. With such a diverse marketplace filled with website builders that have dozens of widgets that are compatible with thousands of themes, the possibilities on WordPress are close to endless.
Though WordPress can be difficult to learn, the capabilities it offers can be well worth the time spent self-educating.
Great for: Anyone Who Has Time To Learn
Best Use: Designing a powerful, unique website that looks completely original and unique to you.
Ease of Use: 4/10
Hosting Included: In some cases
Shopify is a platform on the rise. It’s often viewed as the go-to for e-commerce stores. In fact, it differentiates itself from the other website builders listed here because e-commerce is really the sole focus on this platform. Instead of being a catch-all, Shopify has created an intuitive solution for just one kind of website.
Here’s the problem with Shopify – it barely qualifies as a website builder. With only a couple of building modules and almost no options, it’s almost impossible to make your site stand out from the rest.
Try to do anything creative with the website builder and you’ll almost surely end up stuck and frustrated. Your options are about as limited as they come.
That said, take comfort in the fact that Shopify’s layout looks great without any customization. Your store will stand out beautifully without you touching it much at all.
You can also rest in the fact that Shopify is great at the element that matters most to e-commerce sites – the store. You probably won’t find a builder that makes it easier to have an online store completely laid out in the right kind of way without lots of messing around.
Product pages and other essential pages alike are easy to build and implement.
Shopify’s backend is also famously good at what it’s for – the shopowner!
Great for: Shop Owners Who Don’t Want to Mess With Complex Site Building
Best Use: Skipping the infamously costly creation of an e-commerce site and enjoying the chance to get a store started all on your own.
Ease of Use: 8/10
Hosting Included: In some cases
If you’re thinking about building a website, we’d encourage you to check out each of these options before you make your decision. After all, everyone’s needs are different. None of these options are bad, but they’re all vastly different.
If you want to talk about having your web design done for you, or if you’re interested in partnering with a consultant to help you through the process, we’d be happy to talk more about what we do. We’ll even buy your coffee!