So you’re considering designing your own website, but you’re not sure what platform to use. There are a few good options for those who aren’t web developers or programmers. These include >WordPress, Squarespace and Wix. But which one is right for you and your business? We look at a few factors to help you decide which company you should design your website with:
Ease of Use
No one is going to use a website if it’s not easy to use. That’s what makes this such a vital factor when comparing sites.
WordPress is extremely user friendly. It only takes five minutes to download, and once you have downloaded it, you can get to work right away. WordPress has a dashboard which is pretty self explanatory, with tabs including posts, pages, comments, appearance, plugins – it doesn’t take much guessing to figure out where you have to go to edit each of these. If you do get stuck, there’s online tutorials and support available. However, WordPress is a little more complex to use than Wix and Squarespace, and you may end up needing to pay for a developer to improve your website.
Wix is also an easy platform to use. All the content on your screen is available to edit at all times. All you have to do is drag and drop what you want to edit. No coding needed! However, it does become a bit tricker when trying to figure out how to add specific elements and what icon correlates to what action – it’s not quite as straightforward as WordPress. You’ll also have to think about whether you want to change your template or even whether you want to always use Wix. Wix doesn’t allow you to change your template or even export or transfer your site elsewhere. So if in the future you decide you want to use another platform instead, you might have to start building it from scratch.
Squarespace is a what you see is what you get type of website. It’s a drop and drag website, so you can drag content wherever you want. This is ideal for people who aren’t tech-savvy, don’t know coding, and don’t want to deal with the steep learning curve you’ll find with WordPress. While Squarespace offers some nice templates, they may not be appropriate for every business. They can come across as more suitable for a personal or creative blog. Like Wix, the menu can also be a bit confusing to use and find the features you’re looking for. What you see while editing the page may also not be what appears on the final page, which is understandably frustrating. You can get around this by using HTML coding, but if you don’t know how to do this, you’re probably going to want to use a more reliable platform.
WordPress is the clear stand out in this category. >WordPress powers 26.4% of the web, and has a 59.4% market share. On a daily basis, there are 500 new sites being created on WordPress. Popularity comes with a lot of benefits its competitors simply can’t offer. Because there’s so many users, it also offers 10,000 template themes, and 38,000 plugins, with free options as well as premium paid. There’s something available for everyone, no matter what industry your business is in.
You can also use Google Trends to measure WordPress’ popularity. WordPress is also able to generates far higher searches on Google than both Squarespace and Wix. WordPress has an average of 88, Squarespace 7 and Wix 25.
Wix is growing in popularity, thanks to their continually improved website builder. As of July 2016, Wix has 88 million registered users, with 2.12 million of those accounting for paying subscribers. 45,000 new users join Wix every day.
Data on Squarespace is a little harder to find, due to the fact that they’re a private company, unlike Wix, which is publicly listed. Squarespace’s website boasts it has over 1 million paying customers.
Of course, signing up to all three of these services is free. But there are additional costs to consider, such as domains, hosting, plugin and theme costs.
Wix offers a range of premium plans. All plans include free hosting, domain connection, 500MB+ Storage, Google Analytics, premium support and come with no setup fee. Prices range from US$4.50/month for 1GB bandwidth, to US$24.50/month for unlimited bandwidth.
Squarespace has various pricing depending on whether it’s just a website or an online store, and if it’s personal or business. For personal websites, prices are US$12/month, while business websites are US$18/month. It’s a bit pricier if your business is an online store. The basic package is US$26/month, while the advanced is US$40/month. You can also buy a domain namefor US$20 per year, and will always renew at the same rate.
WordPress has free, personal, premium and business pricing options. Personal costs $3.99/month, premium is $10.75/month, while business is $33.25/month, with these being billed yearly.
You’ll also have to factor in costs of premium themes and plugins, particularly if you’re using WordPress.
When you’re building a website, you’re going to want to know what type of support is available. The last thing you want is to run into a problem and have no one to get help from. Fortunately, all three platforms offer some form of support:
- Wix: has forums and a Support Centre, as well as the general email and phone options.
- Squarespace: offers a forum and knowledge centre. While Squarespace don’t offer phone support, they do hold live chats weekdays from 3:00AM and 8:00PM EST.
- WordPress: has a variety of options for you to get support. The first place to check out is Documentation, where you can gain assistance with everything from downloading wordpress to upgrading to creating posts and pages. Like Wix and Squarespace, WordPress also offers a forum, as well as a Support Handbook and a step-by-step plan for those who are just getting started.
We can’t tell you which is the best or which platform you should choose to develop your website. It all comes down to your technical skills, how long you want to dedicate to web development or improving your skills, and what type of business you’re running. Squarespace and Wix are best if you don’t have the technical skills, but WordPress is the better option if you want a more professional, customisable website.