Are you looking to build a new website for your small business – without breaking the bank?
If getting a new website is a priority, but spending thousands for a web designer and developer isn’t an option, you’ve probably already been looking at website builders such as Wix, Squarespace and WordPress.
After all, they all have great options (including customisable templates) that are easy and intuitive to use – even for the most inexperienced of us.
But how will you know which to choose?
For those unfamiliar with all three of these website builders, it might seem a bit overwhelming when you don’t know where to start (and if this is the case, I’d recommend doing as much homework first as possible, by reading up on blogs like these).
You may even decide that none of these are for you, and take my advice further below (but we’ll get to that later).
However, as an experienced digital marketer who specialises in helping small businesses succeed, I’m going to compare all three of these website builders first – so you can make a more informed choice at the end of the day.
If you’re determined to handle all aspects of your small business’s website yourself and you want something simple, Wix is a good option to use.
You don’t have to be an experienced design pro to use it – in fact, with so many ready-to-go designs to choose from, you can make a choice, adapt it to suit your needs, insert your content, and have a professional-looking website in what feels like no time.
Another thing I like about Wix is that it’s also pretty all-inclusive, and every Wix account comes with the drag ‘n’ drop website builder, web hosting, web pages, blog, online storage space, online scheduling and invoices.
It’s also optimised for those more experienced with web design, and have various client projects on the go. So, in a way, it’s sort of like the best of both worlds.
- Over 500 site designs, in 70+ categories
- Easy-to-use drag ‘n’ drop builder
- Free site hosting
- Responsive, mobile-friendly designs
- Customisable fonts
- Image editor included
- Blog module (so you can publish blogs easily)
- Integrated social media (link to your Facebook, Twitter etc.)
- Great 24/7 support
- Option of using your own domain name (choose whichever .com or .co.uk you like!)
- WYSIWYG editor (to edit site content)
- Additional 250+ apps available via Wix’s App Market (including Shopify, live chat, and email subscription integration)
- Full design control (with some limitations)
- Easy-to-use drag ‘n’ drop builder
- Responsive designs built using HTML5
- Mobile site editor
- So many designs to choose from
- Regularly updated with new designs
- Support available
- Lacks advanced features
- Limitations apply (can be frustrating for pros)
- No CSS code available (for displaying HTML in various different views)
- Ads (free and starter plan)
- Not ideal for SEO (if you’re planning on non-branded organic search)
The good news is that Wix has a free option, along with five paid options ranging up to $24.90 per month. Which isn’t a lot compared to the likes of Squarespace (which is next on my list).
Initially launched in 2004, Squarespace now has over one million customers, and some notable businesses have chosen them over the others on this list.
They pride themselves on allowing users to create sleek, stylish websites in a simple, straightforward way (essentially, drag and drop). It’s perfect for beginners – and pros – although, notably, there aren’t any free options for this service.
They also have some top names, such as actors Keanu Reeves, and John Malkovich – the latter of which has used Squarespace to create his new(ish) fashion brand’s website.
The video below is not only beautifully shot, but also highlights how he was able to use Squarespace to achieve the sleek, smooth look of johnmalkovich.com.
Anyway, we’re going off-topic slightly here… my point is that at least on the surface, Squarespace looks pretty damn impressive. So, let’s take a closer look at what’s going on beneath the surface.
- Modern, purpose-built templates (to get a website ‘straight out of the box’)
- Option to install multiple templates on your site (for more options)
- Blogging module (so you can publish blogs with ease)
- Easy-to-use style editor and custom settings (make your website unique)
- Configure pages, fonts and colours to get the look you want
- Mobile compatibility built-in (so your site will look great on mobile)
- Customise your content layouts (great for getting the look you want)
- Image editor built-in (from Aviary)
- Supports social media (link to your Facebook, Twitter etc.)
- Use any domain name of your choice
- Add your own custom CSS (design the view you want for HTML)
- Components to support ecommerce (if you have a shop)
- Includes CDN for images (Content Delivery Network to optimise your images)
- WYSIWYG editing (edit images and text whilst seeing how it’ll look for others)
- A very comprehensive range of features
- Easy-to-use and intuitive
- Simplistic, stylish designs (great for the design-conscious)
- See immediately how your site looks on mobile when editing
- Good selection of add-on features/widgets available
- Top class support via live chat and 24/7 support tickets
- Requires high quality images
- You can only use one sub-navigation
- You’re unable to edit the page title in blog posts – which could also be bad for SEO
- It’s not cheap, plus there are no free options
- Preview mode is missing – so doing a larger update can be problematic
Various price options available starting from £10 for a personal account, and ranging all the way up to £30 per month (based on 1-year contracts).
Finally, the titan of the pack; WordPress. If you’re looking for a flexible, reliable choice that can be used at a beginner’s level – but also suits more experienced web developers – WordPress is usually a go-to for many small businesses. A lot of well-known brands and household names use it, after all.
WordPress also has great drag-and-drop builder themes (similar to Squarespace) such as Divi Builder – which has lots of different templates as ‘child themes’ which you can customise to suit your needs.
This is something I’ve used myself quite a bit, and it makes creating a website a lot simpler – once you get the hang of it. I actually find it quite relaxing to use, and can build websites from scratch this way.
Although WordPress is relatively easy to use, it’s not the simplest option available on this list. You’ll probably still find there’s a small learning curve for those who haven’t used it before.
There are various themes and plugins to get to grips to that can help you achieve everything you need for your website. Along with the difference between pages and posts, categories and tags… it’s all good though, trust me.
This platform also makes it easy to publish lots of lovely, helpful content that will help answer your best customers’ questions and make informed choices about your products or services.
- Thousands of themes and page styles available (many of them free!)
- Easy theme customisation (use a theme or template and customise it to suit you)
- Responsive, mobile-friendly designs (will look great on mobile)
- Open-source structure (save time by using code developed by someone else)
- Auto updates (so you’ll always have the latest version)
- Image editor built-in (albeit basic)
- Plenty of handy widgets and plugins
- Retina-display options available (for higher pixel density)
- Scheduling option for posts (so posts go out whenever you schedule them)
- Mobile features to support multiple OS
TIP: Plus, there’s all of these other hidden features that you might not know about.
- Simple and convenient
- Plenty of options to suit your needs
- Low-cost (essentially free – but you can choose to pay for extras if you want to)
- Great design bundles available
- Very secure to use
- Support and guidance via the WordPress forums
- It’s a universal platform that a lot of people are already familiar with – you might be, too
- WYSIWYG editing is not supported (although themes like Divi Builder get around this issue)
- No pre-built effects
- No direct support if you run into issues (although some theme developers will be able to offer some assistance)
- Complex, sometimes bloated, code
WordPress is free to use (with tons of free plugins and templates) but you still have to pay for your domain name and web hosting.
Advice from an experienced digital marketer
The best advice I can give you is to ask yourself why you need a new website. If you want to drive sales, there’s so much more to it than simply getting a new site – and most of the time, it’s not something you can do yourself.
In my experience, putting together a new website and making sure all the nuts and bolts are working correctly – not to mention ensuring you’re good to go from an SEO standpoint – can be difficult if you’re also focusing most of your time on your business.
So, save up (if you can); put money away every month if you have to, until you can afford for an experienced web developer to put together a professional website. If that’s not an option, there are other, cheaper ways to do it (like the options above) – but getting an experienced eye to help you out is definitely a good idea.
I hope you’ve found this blog helpful when comparing Wx vs Squarespace vs WordPress. Especially if you’re new to website builders, and you need to make a choice for your small business, it can seem a bit overwhelming to decide.
The best advice I can give you is to do your homework (read more blogs like this one) think carefully about what you need – and how much of the work you’re able to do for yourself.
For instance, if you already have a bit of experience developing websites, when WordPress or Squarespace might be a good option for you. But if you’re a total beginner, you might find Wix appealing.
Do you have any questions about which website builder is the best fit for you? Feel free to leave me a comment below. I’m here to help!