Website-building was an enormous task, but not anymore. Today, you don’t need outstanding programming skills to build a website.
Does this mean you should hire a programmer? Actually, you don’t need one!
In fact, with the evolution of technology and the rising website demand, you can create your own website in less than 1 hour.
Setting up a website is fast and simple thanks to website builders and CMS like Wix, Weebly, and WordPress etc. With these tools, you can customize your website to make it more appealing to the masses.
There’s enough talk about the best website building platform. However, this article aims to settle this debate. So, which platform is the best among Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs WordPress.org? Let’s find out.
Don’t confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com. You can see this comparison: WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org to understand the difference between the two.
Here onwards, I will use WordPress in place of WordPress.org or vice-versa.
Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs WordPress.org: Comparision
Since their inception, these website builders continue to grow in popularity. Although WordPress continues to dominate the market, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace have a significant market share.
WordPress.org takes it all. Even though other platforms continue to rise in popularity, WordPress enjoys the largest market share. Previously, WordPress began as a blogging platform in 2003. Later, it grew to become a content management system (CMS) powering over 75 million websites.
According to an article on VentureBeat.com, WordPress powers more 30% of the websites of the whole internet. These stats definitely makes WordPress far ahead of other website building platforms in the market.
Furthermore, WordPress is not only popular among beginners who are just starting their blogging journey but it is also trusted and adopted by renown companies. For instance, eBay, The New York Times and CNN use WordPress.
Key Features of WordPress.org
Ease of use
Initially, WordPress was launched as a blogging platform which meant to use for content creation and running content-oriented blog or website.
But over the time WordPress has evolved much. Now you can design your dream website using WordPress drag and drop builders like Divi, Elementor etc. without coding skills and programming experience.
Themes & Plugins
WordPress offers tons of themes and plugins which makes it suitable for not only for a simple blog but for complex functionality website like eCommerce website, Community forum etc.
WordPress themes allow you to tune your blog look and feel. While plugins allow you to tweak your website’s functionality, thus making the website flexible.
Since Google has started mobile-first indexing, so it becomes really important that your new blog or website is mobile ready. With WordPress mobile-ready responsive themes and WordPress mobile plugins, you can easily make your blog mobile friendly.
WordPress can be considered the best platform for blogging for those who want to start serious blogs and willing to scale their blogs to a higher level.
eCommerce is undoubtedly one of the most popular business models of this era. With WordPress, you can make your dream eCommerce online store. Plenty of eCommerce themes and plugins (paid and free) are available.
WordPress is the epitome of customization. Thanks to its open-source nature, millions of people can make contributions to the platform. As a result, you can get free designs and themes which you can customize by changing color schemes and fonts.
Ownership & Scalability
Since WordPress software is a free and open-source that means you own the software the moment you start using it. WordPress is a self-hosted solution where you pay to buy a domain name and web hosting so literally you own those two as well. Hence you have full control over your blog or website.
WordPress as software is robust and flexible so that you can scale easily. With WordPress multi-user support you can easily manage your team working on your WordPress site.
On contrary, in other platforms like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace your blog or site is hosted on the web hosting owned by that platform even if you purchased their paid plan.
And the biggest disadvantage not having complete ownership of your website is that you don’t have full control.
Let’s what could be the consequences.
For instance, the platform can remove your whole website if your website content violates their content policy. Or the platform can force you to delete some specific piece of content for policy violation.
As you do not have complete ownership and control, it is really a bit impractical and difficult to scale.
When it comes to marketing and SEO, WordPress takes the top spot. For example, Yoast SEO is a fantastic plugin which you can use to add and check on keywords. In addition, it provides guidelines on how to write meta descriptions, title tags and how to format your website address.
WordPress does well to secure websites against multiple security breaches including brute-force attacks. In particular, you can utilize security plugins to limit login attempts.
Probably, WordPress community is the largest community of bloggers, webmasters, and web developers.
Because of the huge popularity of WordPress, almost all major email marketing, push notification service providers offer easy to implement-solutions like plugins and add-ons etc. to integrate their service with WordPress.
We have discussed, WordPress is free and open-source. This means you can use or modify it as per your needs.
To this end, the only real cost involved is the domain name and web-hosting although this will depend on the hosting company you choose.
Bluehost is a preferred hosting company for many WordPress site owners. In fact, they have an offer going for $2.95/month which includes a free domain name and SSL certificate. However, if you don’t like them, you can get back your money thanks to a money-back guarantee program.
On the other hand, you may have to hire a pro-developer for additional theme customizations or to create a unique theme to suit your website. Nevertheless, this can cost up to a few hundred dollars to millions depending on the complexity of the website.
Wix released their open beta platform in 2007. Three years later, the platform recorded more than three million users which showed a faster growth compared to Squarespace. In 2017, Wix claimed to over 100 million users on their platform.
Key Features of Wix
Thanks to the drag-and-drop feature, you don’t need any prior programming knowledge to build a website. First, drag-and-drop multiple elements on the editor. Next, start customizing the website according to your taste. That’s it!
Wix has all SEO factors in mind. In fact, to make it easy for you, Wix offers free and paid apps like Site Booster which makes it easy for search engines to crawl your website. Besides listing you on the sites that matter, the Site Booster App will also monitor your site’s performance.
Ease of Use
After signing up, Wix will direct you to a page where you’ll choose the site you want to create. Next, your creativity will take center-stage in the editor where you can customize your website.
However, if you get stuck or need guidance on how to use certain tools, you can access video tutorials.
Pricing & Plans of Wix
Pricing & Plans may vary in different countries as Wix offers country-specific plans and pricing.
This is the cheapest plan available ($4.50/month) and you can expect to get:
- 1GB bandwidth
- 500MB storage
- A custom domain for website address
- Displays Wix Brand Ads
For $8.50/month, you’ll enjoy:
- 2GB bandwidth
- 3GB storage
- Free domain for a year
- Get rid of Wix ads
- Get custom favicons
- Premium support
- Google Ads credits worth $75
Freelancers and entrepreneurs make up the biggest users of this plan. For $12.50/month, this plan offers:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 10GB storage
- A free domain for one year
- No Wix ads
- 2 premium business Apps (a form builder and site booster app)
In addition, you’ll get these and all other features in the Combo plan.
If you have a small business, then this package is suitable for you. Also, you’ll need to pay $16.50/month for these features:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 20GB storage
- An online store
- 2 business apps
- No Wix ads
- A free domain for a year
The VIP Plan
The VIP Plan is the most expensive on Wix and you’ll get everything and more for $24.50/month. Although it’s is expensive, you can expect quality features such as:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 20GB storage
- A free domain for one year
- An online store
- 2 business apps for free
- 10 email campaigns per month
- Priority response
The user data on Weebly is scarce, but they state to have at least 40 million active users. Nevertheless, it’s unknown how many users pay for premium services, so it’s difficult to estimate the number of users who have used Weebly since 2006 when it came to life.
Also, before embarking on website building, you must specify the main purpose of the website.
Key Features of Weebly
Ease of Use
Creating a website with Weebly is easy thanks to the drag-and-drop builder. In fact, you can have a website up and running in 30 minutes. First, you’ll start with registration which entails questions about your website.
For example, is it an online store, a blog or a simple personal website? After answering these questions, you can choose your theme, the color and the website’s address or URL.
After that, you can customize the website in the drag-and-drop editor. Also, don’t worry if you don’t know how to use the editor, the message tips will guide you throughout the process.
However, if you get stuck during the process, which is not a possibility, the messages from same the tooltips will get you back on track.
The Drag-and-drop Builder
You don’t need any programming skills to create a website using Weebly. In fact, with the drag-and-drop builder, you can add maps, photos, videos, and text easily. All you have to do is select an item and drag it to the position onto the builder where you want to place that on your website.
Regardless of the website’s purpose, Weebly guarantees a variety of templates to choose from. Whether you need a simple, classic or bold website, Weebly has your back. In addition, you can choose a different color for the same theme to enhance your website’s appeal.
All themes on Weebly are responsive, therefore, anyone accessing your site via mobile will have no trouble viewing its content.
Further, the editor allows you to enhance various features for both Android and Apple devices. As a result, you can also test the functionalities with built-in virtual mobile platforms.
Search engines expect websites to be mobile-friendly, to use meta tags (like meta descriptions, meta titles etc.) and fast loading time. No need to worry though because websites/blogs built by Weebly tick all these boxes.
Weebly addresses all major security concerns posed by hackers and other forms of attacks. For instance, all websites built from the business plan will enjoy SSL security which encrypts all user’s data on the website.
The Free Plan
This free plan offers sub-domain of Weebly.com as your site’s domain name. This package includes 500MB storage space, free hosting as well as support via mail and chat. However, you’ll have to deal with Weebly ads. Also, you don’t have the freedom to customize your domain name.
The Connect Plan
Price: $5/month for annual payment cycle.
Connect plan is their basic paid plan for websites. This plan allows you to connect a domain to your Weebly website. It comes with a free domain, 500MB of storage, SSL setup, support via chat & mail. But you can not get rid-off Weebly ads even with this paid plan.
The Pro Plan
Price: For $12 monthly (when paid annually), you’ll get access to:
- Unlimited storage
- Support via email and chat
- Phone support
- Google ads worth $100
- Up to 100 members
- Video Backgrounds
- Site Search
The Business Plan
Price: $25/month for annual payment cycle.
In this plan, you’ll get:
- SSL security
- Track inventory
- Include a shipping calculator
- Unlimited services and products
- Add coupon codes
- Unlimited memberships
In addition, you’ll enjoy all other features in the Pro plan.
The Performance Plan
This is their most expensive plan for eCommerce websites. You’ll have to pay $38 every month (when paid annually). This plan offers several features eCommerce store like cart abandonment recovery, gift cards, and real-time shipping rates etc.
Since its launch in 2003, Squarespace has at least 1 million customers on their platform. Including some popular ones like Rodarte, a fashion company and Lyft, a driver service. They offer website several templates for different category of websites.
Key Features of Squarespace
Ease of Use
The user interface on Squarespace’s site builder makes it easy for beginners to build their website. To begin with, you’ll need to fill in details about your website such as the purpose, the name, and location.
Afterward, you’ll access the site builder where you can customize your site. In addition, any changes made will appear in real-time.
Squarespace offers hosting services in all packages. In addition, you can use a personalized domain. Also, they have an in-house team which takes care of the platform’s design and operations, thus you don’t need any additions.
Also, you can access analytics within the platform. As a result, identifying a problem if it occurs is easy.
With over 40 templates to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice. They might be fewer than what other platforms offer, but distinct variation will provide authenticity for your website. Moreover, I suggest you enhance the appearance further by adding a custom image to give your pages more appeal.
In addition, you have the freedom to use more than one theme on a single website.
Mobile compatibility is available for all themes. Therefore, all websites built on Squarespace will meet the mobile-friendly standards. However, you won’t have the freedom to customize the mobile part of the website on a separate editor.
The customer support team isn’t available via phone, but you can contact them via email or chat. Most website builders’ customer support teams operate within their own time zones.
SEO and Marketing
Squarespace uses blocks to arrange information on websites. As a result, search engines find it difficult to crawl these websites. Nevertheless, if you’re aware of the steps used in improving SEO, you can use the original layout from Squarespace to improve SEO.
Thus, if you’re looking to create a blog to start blogging, Squarespace won’t meet your SEO demands.
You can use social buttons to share information on your social networks. Besides the social networks, you’ll enjoy email integration of MailChimp for your email marketing campaign, but that is as far as Squarespace will go with marketing. With this in mind, you may need to outsource if you need extra marketing tools.
- The Personal Plan: This package goes for $12 per month billed annually. In it, expect a simple but beautiful website including a free custom domain including unlimited storage and bandwidth.
- The Business Plan: You’ll have to pay $18 per month billed annually to get a fully integrated eCommerce website. Moreover, you’ll get unlimited contributors and a 3 percent transaction fee as well as the features offered in the personal plan.
For Online Stores
- The Basic Plan: For $26 per month, you’ll get an eCommerce platform complete with Commerce Metrics, Label Printing via ShipStation and including the features from the Business Plan.
- The Advanced Plan: $40 per month. This package offers abandoned cart auto recovery, gift cards, and orders API. Furthermore, you’ll get all the features from the Business Plan.
Wix vs Weebly vs Squarespace vs WordPress.org: The winner to start blogging
To sum up, website building is a demanding process which needs careful planning. Therefore, consider your website’s purpose, your target audience and whether you’ll need a website developer’s help.
WordPress.org emerges the winner even though other platforms put up a spirited fight. Hence, if you need a robust blogging website with numerous functionalities, then WordPress is your go-to website builder.
For example, you’ll enjoy SEO, site speed optimization and analytics which will help you to understand your readers.
Also, you may need some time to learn how to use WordPress, however, this CMS allows you to create a professional website while growing your target audience.