Are you trying to decide on a content management system (CMS) for your website? There are a handful of options to choose from, but it’s hard to choose when you don’t have experience with each platform.
This article will help you learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix. If you’re looking for information on other platforms, check out these articles:
Here’s what you need to know about WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix.
- Recap of WordPress vs. Squarespace vs. Wix
- Good news – we can develop your website on any of these platforms
WordPress has been the most popular content management system for many years, although it has some competition. Still, WordPress has an impressive market share of 65.1% as of December 2021.
Should you use WordPress for your ecommerce website? Weigh the pros and cons to decide.
8 Advantages of using WordPress for your business website
1. WordPress development is easy and affordable. WordPress is open source and free. Because it’s been around for a long time, there are plenty of expert developers available to help with customization.
2. Plenty of themes. WordPress has more themes than any other content management system. That’s because independent theme developers are constantly creating new themes to sell on sites like Template Monster and Themeforest.
3. Customizations are easy for developers. Almost any PHP developer can customize a WordPress theme. If you find a theme you like, but it needs some tweaks, it will be easy to get the customizations you need.
4. Custom theme creation is easy. For experienced developers, it’s easy to create custom WordPress themes. WordPress is easy for developers to learn, unlike some more complicated theme systems (like the Smarty Template system).
5. Theme developers almost always make mobile-friendly designs. Today, it’s hard to find a theme that isn’t already mobile-friendly.
6. Extensive documentation and unofficial support. You can find endless WordPress support groups and troubleshooting guides online. The only downside is it’s not official support, so you’ll need to sift through user-generated content to troubleshoot your issues.
7. Easy to update. You can update most pieces of content on your WordPress site without any technical knowledge.
8. A variety of plugins make adding features easy. WordPress doesn’t come with a lot of inherent features, but you can add just about any feature with plugins. For instance, you can create a membership site, add social buttons, use a custom commenting system, and more.
5 Disadvantages of using WordPress for your business website:
1. You’ll need plugins to run an ecommerce website. On the surface, using an ecommerce plugin doesn’t seem like a disadvantage. However, if that plugin ever gets discontinued, your entire store is at risk.
For example, if your ecommerce plugin relies on storing data on the plugin’s server, that will disappear. However, if the plugin is contained within WordPress, it will still function, but without regular updates and patches, it will be a security vulnerability.
2. You’ll need more customizations than you think. At first glance, you might not think you’ll need many customizations. However, even the best themes have limitations.
3. Compatibility issues. Since WordPress lacks many native features, you’ll need to install a bunch of plugins to get the features you need. Each new plugin increases the risk of creating a conflict between plugins that can break your site. That’s bad news if you need two plugins that are in conflict.
4. Security measures are required. You’ll need to implement a variety of security measures like changing salt keys, updating plugins and core files, protecting your admin directory, and changing your table prefix.
5. No support. WordPress doesn’t offer official support for self-hosted websites. However, you can browse support forums, but you’ll need a developer to resolve issues.
These advantages and disadvantages apply to self-hosted WordPress installations, not the free hosted website builder from WordPress.com. The free website builder on WordPress.com is not a good option for a business. You can download the latest version of WordPress from WordPress.org.
Who should use WordPress?
WordPress is perfect for individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners who have a dedicated website developer or have a basic understanding of code. WordPress is also great for simple ecommerce needs.
Almost any business is a fit for WordPress. However, if you need extensive functionality you may want to consider hiring a developer to build a custom CMS.
Squarespace has a market share of 2.7%, which is nowhere near WordPress. However, this platform brings some serious power and usability to the business world.
Should you use Squarespace for your ecommerce website? Weigh the pros and cons to decide.
8 Advantages of using Squarespace for your business website:
1. A smooth and user-friendly checkout process. Squarespace pays attention to detail. The checkout process is one of the smoothest around. For instance, when entering a credit card, the expiration date and code are on the same line as the card number.
The cursor automatically moves to the expiration and code after the card number is entered. This may not seem like a big deal, but it makes the process smooth.
2. Simple designs. When it comes to design, simple sells. Squarespace offers some of the best templates for businesses with a small selection of products.
3. Hosted services. Squarespace is hosted, which means you don’t need to get a separate hosting account.
4. Integrations. Squarespace has plenty of integrations to connect with popular applications like PayPal, UPS, FedEx, USPS, Facebook, Dropbox, Google Search Console, Disqus, Twitter, and more.
5. On-page editing. When you’re logged in as the admin, you can edit your site’s content on the actual page. That’s a huge plus!
6. More native functionality. While plugins are available, you don’t need plugins to add basic features to your site like you do with WordPress.
7. Automatic updates. Since your site will be hosted, you won’t have to update your software – all updates are taken care of for you.
8. Support. If you run into problems you can call support for help.
4 Disadvantages of using Squarespace for your business website:
1. Customizations are limiting. Squarespace offers a limited ability to customize your website. That isn’t a big deal for some people, but there’s a downside to making customizations at all: you can’t get support.
If you need to troubleshoot something on a Squarespace website, you’ll need to remove all of your customizations first.
2. Lack of readily available plugins. Unlike WordPress, Squarespace has limited plugins (extensions) available. That’s mostly due to the fact that the platform hasn’t been around as long.
When you need additional features you can’t get with a plugin, you’ll need customizations. Customizations will make the cost of your website rise. And remember, you’ll need to disable your customizations if you need official support.
3. Squarespace takes a cut of your membership sales. Squarespace has a simple built-in membership feature, but you’ll need to pay for this feature and they’ll collect a transaction fee for every membership sold.
4. No multi-language support for your payment page. You can build a multi-lingual site, but your payment page will have to be in English. At this time, you can’t edit the code on the payment page.
Who should use Squarespace?
Squarespace is ideal for ecommerce and is great for small businesses without a dedicated website developer. It’s perfect for people who don’t have time to learn basic website maintenance, don’t require massive customizations, and those who need access to live support.
Wix has a market share of 2.9%, which hasn’t grown as much as other platforms in recent years. However, Wix can be the perfect platform when you have simple needs.
Should you use Wix for your ecommerce website? Weigh the pros and cons to decide.
5 Advantages of using Wix for your business website:
1. Drag-and-drop editing. Nothing beats drag-and-drop editing when you’re not a website designer. This makes it easy for anyone to add content to a Wix theme.
2. Intuitive admin user interface. Most Wix website owners edit their own site. The back end is highly intuitive and user-friendly.
3. Wix is hosted. You don’t need an additional hosting account to get a website with Wix – it’s fully hosted. You can also register your domain name through Wix.
4. No long-term plan requirements. Other platforms require long-term commitments, but Wix allows you to cancel at any time. This is good news if you want to experiment with Wix knowing you might change your mind.
5. Full support. No matter what issues you run into, you can call the support team for help.
7 Disadvantages of using Wix for your business website:
1. A starter plan will place ads on your website. To get an ad-free site, you need a paid plan.
2. No truly unlimited plans. With a Wix site, you will be limited in terms of disk space and bandwidth. You can get an unlimited plan, but only your bandwidth will be unlimited – you’ll be limited to 10GB of disk space.
3. Limited customization options. While you can customize some things, you’re bound by the themes available. You can’t fundamentally alter the design.
4. No plugins. When you need to add functionality to your Wix site, you have to use widgets. However, widgets use iframes. If you’re running advanced marketing strategies, iframes will slow you down.
5. SEO options are limited. You may have noticed you hardly ever see a Wix website rank in the search engines. That’s because it’s hard to perform extensive SEO. Wix comes with built-in support for SEO, but it only supports basic SEO – not the strategies required to achieve top rankings for competitive keywords.
6. The navigation system is limited. You’ll only get two levels deep with a Wix navigation menu. While navigation should be simple, and not every page needs to be included in the menu, this limitation won’t work for everyone.
7. You can’t export data properly. You can’t just download your website in .html and .css files from Wix if you choose to move to another host. You’ll have to recreate each page. You can export your content to a CSV file, but that won’t help you rebuild your website.
Who should use Wix?
Wix is ideal for individuals more than businesses simply because it’s hard to get extensive customization. However, if you need to get a simple site up and running fast, Wix might be ideal.
Wix makes a good ecommerce platform for simple needs, but is less than ideal for large online stores.
Recap of WordPress vs. Squarespace vs. Wix
The best platform for businesses and individuals who don’t want to hire a developer is Squarespace.
The best platform for businesses and individuals who don’t mind hiring a developer is WordPress.
The best platform for businesses and individuals who need a simple, fast website and don’t need many features is Wix.
Good news – we can develop your website on any of these platforms
If you’re ready to build your website, our professional team of developers can create a custom website yourself on WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix. At Website.Design, we’ll help you determine which platform supports your needs and we’ll design your site for you.
Contact us today for a free consultation and get a quote for your business website.
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