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CMS COMPARISON: WORDPRESS VS SQUARESPACE VS WIX

With brand going digital first, a website has become a crucial point for a brand. We often work with clients who have different objectives, future expansion plans and budget. We make it a point to always suggest a platform that best meets these criteria. We work with three different platforms: Squarespace, WordPress & CorePHP. While CorePHP is a very custom solution, we’ve compared three common CMS platforms that are most used and what each means to individuals with specific objectives.

Self Hosted WordPress: Self-hosted WordPress is a software available to download from wordpress.org that you can install on your a hosting server and connect it with a domain. It’s open-source platform, the code is freely available and can be customised with a theme or custom design, HTML and CSS as per requirements.

Squarespace: Squarespace is a ‘software as a service’ (‘SaaS’) website builder where each month you will pay a certain subscription cost or a fee to build and maintain your website and use other services. Within Squarespace you’ll find there are two version: first, a standard one meant for people without web development knowledge and a developer’s version which allows the ability to change the source code for a certain objective. This allows developers to extend the functionality of the website.

Wix: Wix is a pay as you go cloud-based website builder that is designed for small businesses and individuals and meant for people who would like the DIY their website as it required no coding knowledge.

01. Pricing

  1. WordPress
    Wordpress source code is available for free. However, for it to develop into a website interface, you need to pay for other stuff such as hosting or server, domain, a theme or have a designer on-boards for custom design, e-commerce payment gateway, plugins and development costs. Some of these are a one time cost while others maybe recurring. E-commerce payments can be accepted via WooCommerce which is again a free plugin but the actual payment gateway you use, may cost you a fee per transaction
  2. Squarespace
    Square works on a pay as you go model. Pricing starts at Personal at $12/month when billed annually or $16 month to month. Business at $18/month when billed annually or $26 month to month. The payments accepting facility or e-commerce functionality is available only in the Business plan. For e-commerce stores, pricing for Basic at $26/month when billed annually or $30 month to month Advanced at $40/month when billed annually or $40 month to month
  3. Wix
    Wis is free for an a basic version of website with ads and no custom URL i.e., username.wixsite.com/sitename. For Premium version, it’s Rs. 70/monthly for a website and includes hosting, e-commerce facility, 1 year free custom domain post which you need to pay the annual renewal cost. Payments can be accepted via their store itself.

02. Hosting & Domain

  1. WordPress
    To run a WordPress websites, you need a hosting or a server as well a domain. On an average a hosting may cost Rs. 500/month ($7) and a domain may cost Rs. 600-3000/month ($10-50)
  2. Squarespace
    Hosting and domain is includes in the subscription cost above and is self hosted on SquareSpace
  3. Wix
    Hosting is includes in the subscription cost above and is self hosted on Wix. Domain is free for a year and post that its 897/year ($13). You can also connect an existing domain if you own one from elsewhere.

03. Application

  1. WordPress
    A lot of people and businesses use WordPress for its flexibility and expansion. It is the most popular among the lot and hosts some high profile sites such as Walt Disney, Wall Street Journal, Marks & Spencer, Vogue India, Katy Perry, Mercedes Benz, The Rolling Stones, Etsy, Microsoft, Beyonce and many more. It’s meant for individuals and businesses who want to create a websites with a lot of scope. A large availability of plugins, templates and customisation options makes WordPress a popular option for those who want to create more impressive professional and comprehensive websites.
  2. Squarespace
    Squarespace is perfect for individuals and small businesses that work in the creative industries with a lot of images. The platforms offers sleek  templates and simple designs options to display creative works. Squarespace is apt for portfolio based websites for small business and creative individuals who want to display their work online.
  3. Wix
    Wix is meant for individuals and small businesses that want to do all the work themselves and want to build a simple static website. These are for individuals who want to have a basic presence online and want to DIY their website with an available template.

04. Customisation & Expansion of Features

  1. WordPress
    WordPress offers around 50,000 plugins and can create website functionalities that you could possibly want in your website which makes it pretty simple to do things for you. There is a lot of control with functionalities and how you’d like a certain thing to look like. Coding a custom feature with WordPress is also possible where you develop your own plugin and integrate it with your site. All websites can make use of API integration with WordPress such as shipping APIs, Payment APIs, ERP APIs etc. All of this will be created and managed by your developer (potentially us, yay).
  2. Squarespace
    Squarespace themes are very visually appealing and apt for the creative industry. Once you pick a template, you wont need too many changes. However, any customisation required can be limited in terms of adding new feature as the platform doesn’t have free apps and plugins. According to their terms of use, you cannot edit their source code or the theme code as well unless you’re on Squarespace Developer. Only Business and E-commerce websites can make use of API integration such as shipping APIs, Payment APIs, Form APIs etc. All of this will be created and managed by your developer (potentially us, yay).
  3. Wix
    There are about 250 Wix paid and free apps which let you modify the website to an extent. So you would be able to do a bit of customisation on your website depending on your need. API integrations with Wix is limited but possible.

05. Content Management Flexibility & Ease of Use

  1. WordPress
    With WordPress, it comes with the default editor which is slightly difficult to work with. However, instead of the default editor we craft your backend in a way that it works in a drag and drop as well as you can add elements like text box, images, charts, sliders, etc. There is an option to preview as to how exactly it will look once your page is published.
  2. Squarespace
    Squarespace is a website builder by default and is really easy to use. You can basically pick, switch, and personalise your templates using drag-and-drop feature. You simply choose an element like a text box, drag it to where you want it, and drop it – and that’s exactly how it will look once your page is published.
  3. Wix
    Wix is a website builder by default, you can pick, switch, and personalise your templates using drag-and-drop feature. You simply choose an element like a text box, drag it to where you want it, and drop it – and that’s exactly how it will look once your page is published.

06. E-commerce

  1. WordPress
    Wordpress use the plugin WooCommerce for e-commerce application. A payment gateway such as CCAvenue, PayU, PayPal etc needs to be integrated to accept payments online.
  2. Squarespace
    For e-commerce application, Squarespace has its own platform as well as payment gateway so there are no external integrations required. Stripe is being BETA tested by Squarespace as we speak. You can also redirect to stores such as etsy where the transaction can be completed.
  3. Wix
    Wix requires integration of a payment gateway such as PayU, PayPal, Stripe to accept payments.

07. SEO

  1. WordPress
    Wordpress has multiple SEO plugins that make on site SEO optimisation easy and efficient. All the way from Page titles, meta descriptions, appropriate H1-H3 headlines, keywords, and alt text to the robots.txt file, or implementing a CDN, the process is a breeze. However this does need technical knowledge to be carried which we train you for post your website is ready.
  2. Squarespace
    Squarespace has the technical stuff like SSL certificate, generating a sitemap, dealing with the robots.txt file, or implementing a CDN, among other technical tasks covered. Page titles, meta descriptions, appropriate H1-H3 headlines, and alt text are where Squarespace SEO is limited. Also lot of Squarespace designs by default are image and graphic driven. They look nice but not having enough content which makes it not so good for SEO. However, with some help from a developer with some design skills, you can overcome this issue.
  3. Wix
    Wix has the facility to manage page titles, meta descriptions, appropriate H1-H3 headlines, keywords and alt text to the robots.txt file within its platform itself and needs no additional plugin. Technical stuff such as generating a sitemap, dealing with the robots.txt file is taken care of by Wix itself.

08. Mobile Responsive

  1. WordPress
    Most WordPress themes themes are responsive. It means that they will all adjust themselves automatically basis the device you are accessing the website such that they are sized correctly for any devices. If you’re working with a customised theme or adding custom elements to your theme, you may need developer help to work with responsiveness.
  2. Squarespace
    All Squarespace themes are responsive. It means that they will all adjust themselves automatically basis the device you are accessing the website from such that they are sized correctly for any devices.
  3. Wix
    Mobile responsiveness on Wix is limited and depending on the theme you may have to play around with elements and design to make your website completely responsive.

09. Analytics

  1. WordPress
    There are many WordPress plugins out there that can add analytics straight into your site’s back end. Often times, you can get incredibly comprehensive analytics. For example, you could sign up for Google Analytics and use the Google Analytics + plugin to add all the stats to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Squarespace
    Squarespace includes an analytics feature, but it only has basic information. You can now also integrate Google Analytics to Squarespace to get detailed website analytics.
  3. Wix
    Wix has Google Analytics inbuilt and there’s no need to add a plugin for it. However you aren’t able to connect the two together in the admin area.

10. Security

  1. WordPress
    Wordpress security is self managed. There are many plugins available as well as couple of manual things that need to be executed by your developer to make your WordPress website secure. The hosting also needs to be secured and limited people should have access to it.
  2. Squarespace
    The security of your website is the responsibility of Squarespace. It makes sure to protect your website is safe from hackers, and that the system stays online and running smoothly. You will also get an SSL certificate included in all Squarespace plans.
  3. Wix
    Security of your website is the responsibility of Wix. However websites built are prone to quite a few hacks and malicious hacking attempts. It is often easy to redirect a WIX website to phishing and automatically download malicious files from a separate page.

11. Maintenance

  1. WordPress
    Wordpress has constant updates that improve security and fixes bugs as well as introduced new features.
  2. Squarespace
    There is very little ongoing maintenance that is needed with Squarespace. All updates are in-house and re automatically applied to your website. However, there aren’t as many updates
  3. Wix
    Maintenance for websites are taken care of by Wix. They will also an install and SSL certificate for your website, and ensure it is always up-to-date, running smoothly, and performing.

12. Migration

  1. WordPress
    Content such as blog posts, portfolio posts and products that you build for on one theme can be easIly transferred to another. However, the existing content will be appended to your new theme and you can copy and paste as needed. It is also easy to take the site that you’ve created and export it elsewhere if you’d like – your WordPress site is totally yours.
  2. Squarespace
    While migrating your website, you can export some if your website content into an .xml file, not all of your site will export as some of it relies on Squarespace’s platform. If you do decide to leave Squarespace, you might not be able to easily transfer your website to another platform.
  3. Wix
    “One of the biggest downsides of using Wix is that once you’ve selected a theme and build your website, and want to change your theme, you will have to rebuild the entire content. Also if you do decide to leave Wix for another platform, you’ll have to build your website from scratch elsewhere as all the code, template and design are “rented” and not owned and below to Wix exclusively and cannot be transferred elsewhere. It is not possible to export files for the entire site to another external destination or host.”

There is no clear winner between all three as it totally depends on your exact requirement and objective. If you’d like to discuss with us your website requirements, and would like for us to build one for you. you can view our list of services here our past work here and drop us a message here.

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