Wix and Squarespace are the two biggest website builders—and it’s not even close. Together they power 55% of websites that are built with a website builder.
But while they’re both popular, they also have stark differences. It’s almost like Mac vs PC— Squarespace is curated and design-y while Wix is occasionally chaotic but allows for a lot of freedom to customize.
I recommend Squarespace over Wix, but it’s important to understand the differences, and that’s what this article will explain.
Wix vs Squarespace At A Glance
Two Most Popular Website Builders
Wix and Squarespace combined are 55% of the website builder market— significantly more than any other company.
Mac vs PC
Their differences are almost like Mac vs PC: Squarespace is curated and design-y while Wix is occasionally chaotic but allows for a lot of freedom to customize.
Different Page Editors
Wix is an unstructured editor where you drag elements anywhere on a page. Squarespace is a structured editor where elements snap into columns and rows.
Both Have Excellent Features
There are core features that every website builder just needs to have: photo galleries, maps, forms, audio players— that kind of thing. Both Wix and Squarespace have these covered. (Wix may have a slight edge in the amount of features.)
Wix has more templates than Squarespace but Squarespace has better templates. This isn't necessarily a knock on Wix's templates as Squarespace has the best templates of any website builder.
Table of Contents
The biggest difference between Wix and Squarespace is the page editor.
Wix has a highly customizable, unstructured editor. Whereas Squarespace’s editor is structured and easy to use.
Wix’s Unstructured Editor
With Wix, you can move any element anywhere on your page—even by one pixel if you want. It’s an unstructured editor.
Being able to drag and drop elements anywhere on a page feels freeing on paper. However, it can (and often does) lead to frustrating problems, especially for non-designers.
Here’s a simple example showcasing a typical scenario:
These are some major and minor frustrations you’ll see in the minute-something video of us using the Wix editor:
- We clicked the “Add Strip” icon below the second strip. Yet, the block appeared in front of the second section (Yes, it’s not a “strip,” but we nevertheless wanted it below the second section). Also, it’s unclear whether the third section can fit between the second section and the footer.
- We had to resize the map on the mobile device.
- When we deleted the middle section, the third section didn’t snap in its place like you would expect.
- We switched the position of the two remaining sections on the desktop device. The process itself was not ideal. Plus, the changes didn’t automatically reflect on the mobile version — that’s frustrating! This means you’ll have to design pretty much the whole website for both desktop and mobile separately.
Besides, Wix gives almost too many options:
- The editor has a lot of icons and buttons. It can be confusing.
- Users can choose fonts, sizes, colors, and everything about each individual text block. It’s nice to have these options if you know what you’re doing playing with them — otherwise, you’ll either ruin the website or waste your time. Here’s a rule of thumb when dealing with so many options: You want to maintain a consistent look and feel across your website. Ideally, a heading and a paragraph should have the same size and weight throughout the website.
- Wix gives many strip choices, each with different typography, design, and colors. It’s easy to choose a strip that looks awesome individually but doesn’t quite fit the website as a whole.
- You have the option to move things out of the gridline. But if you move something out of the gridline, it may not be accessible/visible on some devices.
Overall: Giving someone Wix is like giving someone a blank canvas with all the colors, the paintbrushes, and all other painting supplies. If that someone is a web designer/painter, the result will be a great website/painting. But that much open-endedness is a lot of responsibility to hand off to a user not quite adept at web designing/painting.
Squarespace’s Structured Editor
Squarespace doesn’t run into the same problems—because Squarespace has a structured editor, and it’s among the easiest to use.
In Squarespace, you can’t move an element anywhere on a page. Instead, Squarespace’s Fluid Engine editor only allows you to drag elements (called Content Blocks) into rows and columns of a section. It’s still a visual, drag-and-drop editor; it’s still very customizable — but there’s an inherent and sensible structure that you stay within.
Let’s try to make the same simple web page we made with Wix with Squarespace:
Overall, we recommend Squarespace’s structured page editor over Wix’s unstructured page editor.
Wix’s unstructured editor may give you more flexibility, but it introduces a cascade of knock-on problems—such as having to make the same edit twice.
In terms of volume, Wix has significantly more templates than Squarespace: Wix has 850+ templates, and Squarespace has 150+ templates. But you need just one template at the end of the day, and Squarespace’s templates are better!
Squarespace Template Examples
Squarespace has the best templates of any website builder. This is subjective to a degree, but honestly, there’s no other website builder that matches Squarespace’s clean, modern templates:
Squarespace Templates Are Consistently Good
These are the last three templates on Squarespace’s ‘All Templates’ page:
Wix Template Examples
Wix’s best templates aren’t quite as nice as Squarespace, and their worst templates can be…corny and dated.
Wix’s Template Quality Is Inconsistent
One primary reason behind Wix’s always-increasing number of templates is that Wix never deletes its outdated templates (Squarespace does). Therefore, not all Wix templates are good.
For example, these are the templates from the last page of Wix’s “All Templates” category:
They all look from the early 2010s because they likely are!
Note: In both Wix and Squarespace, you can’t switch your template once you’ve chosen it.
Squarespace also has better template customization. For example, it’s much easier to apply your brand colors consistently. Basically, you choose a palette that then applies throughout your website. If you want to get more specific and choose colors for individual elements, you can do that too. Here’s how it works:
Frankly it’s confusing and difficult to do this with Wix. You can technically sort of do it…. but it’s just way, way more complicated. I would be very surprised if many users took advantage of this complicated system:
There are core features that every website builder just needs to have—for example:
- Photo galleries
- Audio players
Both Wix and Squarespace have these core features covered.
In recent years both Squarespace and Wix have aggressively moved beyond websites and into online presence—each launching their own online booking features, ecommerce, and email marketing.
It’s really only when you move beyond these core features that the differences become clearer. Overall, I would characterize it like this: Wix has more features, but Squarespace tends to do a better job of features.
Features Wix Supports (And Squarespace Does Not)
For example, below is a list of features that Wix supports out of the box (you have to add them from the App Market, though). The only way to get these features with Squarespace would be to integrate with a 3rd party provider or custom code.
|Forum||With Wix Forum app.||Requires integration with Muut.|
|Live Chat||With Wix Live Chat app.||Requires integration with a 3rd party provider such as Tawk.|
|Multilingual site||With Wix Multilingual app||Required integration with WeGlot|
|Third-Party Fonts||Add directly from the editor||Need CSS code|
Then there are features that Wix supports and Squarespace simply doesn’t. Some examples:
- Wix lets you autoplay videos; Squarespace doesn’t — this means you’ll need to use GIFs if you want to autoplay something on Squarespace.
- You can’t upload WebP images or WebM videos to Squarespace — that’s disappointing in 2023!
- Wix allows you to build landing pages with no header and footer, even on the free plan; Squarespace requires you to have a Business or above plan.
- Wix autosaves pages as you edit and gives access to site version history. Squarespace doesn’t autosave — that’s disappointing, to say the least!
Important Note: All the Wix apps are labeled “free to install” on the Wix App Market. It’s true, but most of them have paid versions, and Wix doesn’t mention the pricing on the app landing page.
Also worth noting: Wix’s app store (Wix App Market) is superior to Squarespace’s app store (Squarespace Extensions). You can install 500+ web apps from the Wix App Market compared to 30-something on Squarespace Extensions.
Squarespace Often Does A Better Job On Features
Squarespace may not match Wix on every feature, but they often do a better job at the features that they do match.
Here are some examples.
1. Restaurant Menus
Here is what editing a restaurant menu looks like on Wix— watch how many clicks it takes to edit one item:
That’s just takes way too long.
I’m sympathetic to Wix— restaurant menus are deceptively hard to format for websites. It’s why many restaurants just link to a PDF menu. But this also shows you how much more thoughtful Squarespace’s restaurant menu editor is.
For restaurant menus, Squarespace invented a simple markup language. You follow the formatting patterns and can write your menu in real time. It’s really clever and intuitive:
Much easier, right?
2. Ecommerce Donations
Another example of Squarespace doing a better job of features is donations.
Wix can technically accept donations, but it’s just a basic donation button that sends visitors to Paypal. It is not a full donation system.
Squarespace, on the other hand, has an excellent, fully-featured donation system— it’s much better:
|Donor Specific Checkout||Yes||No|
|Donor Email Receipts||Yes||No|
I used to work for a non-profit, and these three features are critical. You don’t want donors to have an ecommerce experience, and you’ll find suggested amounts on every major non-profit— it’s a best practice.
Finally, here’s one last example: podcasts.
Wix offers a Podcast Player, but it doesn’t syndicate podcasts. Syndicating is critical to a podcast website—it’s what allows you to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Squarespace is the only website builder that can syndicate podcasts. It’s another example of Squarespace taking the time to get a feature right.
Similarly, Wix doesn’t have many other features required to make a good podcast website. Wix user Jessjoyce lists a few of them in an app review:
Tip: Both Squarespace and Wix integrate with Zapier— and you’ll want to take advantage of this. Zapier let’s you create automations based on visitor activity. So for example, you could tell Zapier to send you a text message or create a new Trello card every time someone fills out a form. It’s a very handy way to create features unique to you.
Winner: Both (Maybe Wix)
Squarespace doesn’t have as many features as Wix. But the ones it does have are well-thought-out and plenty for most users (from artists to accountants and service businesses to ecommerce).
Wix’s features are also great and worth considering…if a feature you need isn’t available on Squarespace (many aren’t — even some important ones!).
Wix and Squarespace have both aggressively built ecommerce features over the last few years. We have compared both with Shopify - the best overall ecommerce builder, and both fared quite well. Squarespace was a bit better in some important aspects, though.
Both cover the fundamentals of a store (inventory management, discounts, product variations, taxes, etc.) and also have advanced features too:
|Custom Email Receipts||Yes||Yes|
|Connect To Print On Demand Services||Yes||Yes|
|Point Of Sale System||Yes||Yes|
|Instagram Shop Tagging||Yes||Yes|
|Automated Cart Recovery||Yes||Yes|
|Recurring Payment Products||Yes||Yes|
|Back In Stock Notifications||Yes||Yes|
|Low Stock Notifications||Yes||Yes|
But I’ve also found Squarespace tends to build more sophisticated features.
For example, Squarespace lets you add sophisticated forms to products— so that you can ask for additional information when a customer checks out. You can choose from a variety of field types: dates, radio buttons, phone numbers, text fields, file uploads, and more:
Wix technically let’s you add form fields to products— but you can only add text fields:
Similarly, Squarespace’s inventory management, shipping, tax settings, product editor (that includes its whole page editor for additional information), and more are better than Wix. Learn more here.
Both Squarespace and Wix cover the core features needed for small stores. But Squarespace’s ecommerce features are more sophisticated than Wix.
Squarespace has the best blogging of any website builder. If the primary purpose of your site is blogging, just use Squarespace.
Both Wix and Squarespace support fundamental blogging features:
- User roles
- Google AMP support
- SEO (Slug, Title, & Description)
- RSS Feed
- Social Sharing
But beyond these core features, Squarespace goes a step further:
- You can have multiple authors on a single post,
- You can set a separate social image for when you share on social media,
- The Squarespace blog editor lets you add Instagram feed, galleries, newsletter forms, scrolling, event tickets, restaurant menus, and more.
You’ll find core blogging features on both Squarespace and Wix. But Squarespace blogs look more beautiful because of the superior blog editor.
Fun fact: Squarespace started as a blogging platform!
Squarespace and Wix both have mobile apps for android and iOS devices. And boths’ apps do a solid job of allowing you to handle your website/business from your phone!
Wix Mobile App
The Wix mobile app lets you see reports and analytics, chat live with visitors, create and send email campaigns, create and share social media posts, manage your blog, and manage your online store.
However, you can’t build web pages through it because Wix has an unstructured editor.
Squarespace Mobile App
The Squarespace app allows you to create content, manage your store, and grow your business anytime, anywhere (as long you have a smartphone and internet connection, of course). You can do almost anything with it — including editing your whole website (because of its structured editor), adding products, checking analytics, keeping an eye on inventory, adding SEO descriptions, and more.
Note: I found the Squarespace app a bit buggy last year, but new updates have removed the bugs.
Squarespace and Wix give access to pretty much all native website builder features through their mobile apps. However, Wix doesn’t (and can’t) allow building web pages from its app — Squarespace does! So another point to Squarespace.
Wix and Squarespace are (the top two!) closed website-building platforms. This means both companies take care of everything, including security and maintenance of the platform and sites on it.
And they do a fabulous job by employing all these security features:
- SSL certificates: Domains connected with Wix or Squarespace are automatically protected with free SSL certificates. This means any information passed by a visitor to you (like their email id, credit card details, phone number, etc.) is encrypted and secure.
- PCI DSS compliance: PCI compliance (payment card industry compliance) refers to a set of 12 security standards businesses use to secure customer card data. Both platforms comply with the highest PCI standards.
- Rigorous development process: It goes without saying these giant website-building platforms follow all security best practices during development.
- Third-party app security: Wix and Squarespace have strict policies and programs to ensure no third-party app or app update with safety threats is published.
- Security monitoring: Apart from having a secure core, both platforms monitor all sites to catch security attacks.
- Bug bounty program: It’s impossible to have an unhackable platform. If an expert hacker has ill intentions, there’s always a teeny-tiny possibility they will succeed. But both platforms minimize the risk to a high degree by having a bug bounty program. In other words, they pay independent security researchers a bounty for finding and reporting bugs on the platform.
The two top closed platforms ensure a high degree of security for their users!
A few notes to help you compare pricing plans:
Who Has The Lower Price?
Neither. Both platforms are competitively priced. The cheapest Wix plan Combo costs $16/month (annually), and the cheapest Squarespace plan Personal also costs $16/month. The other plans are also in the same range, so it’s not a deciding factor.
In the past, Wix offered a Connect Domain plan that was only $5 / month— but it included an ad on your page (it looked like this). This plan is no longer available in the US.
Be Careful: Misleading Pricing
It’s common for website builders to advertise their annual plan at a per-month cost. Which doesn’t make sense. You aren’t paying $16/month. You’re actually paying $192/year.
Squarespace at least makes this clear on their pricing page:
Wix does not make this clear at all on their pricing page:
So just remember that when you are comparing prices!
Wix Storage & Bandwidth Limitations
All Squarespace plans have unlimited bandwidth. But Combo, Wix’s cheapest plan, has a 2 GB limitation. Which is ridiculous in 2023. It should be unlimited.
How limiting is the 2 GB/month limit? Well, calculating bandwidth usage is tricky, but here’s one thing to think about: this Wix example site is 1.4 MB. So you wouldn’t want to average more than 50 people/day visiting your homepage. If the average visitor visits two pages of the same size, that’d be a 25 people/day limit. So on and so forth.
There are storage limits as well, but it’s unlikely you’ll hit them. Similarly, Wix has a 100 static page limit on all its plans, but it’s unlikely you’ll need more than 100 static pages — you can surely have more than 100 dynamic pages (like blog posts and product pages), but that’s different.
In the end, I recommend Squarespace over Wix. Here’s how I would summarize:
- Squarespace structured editor is much more stable— you may prefer Wix’s unstructured editor, but I would suggest you keep in mind some of the frustrating things an unstructured editor introduces.
- Wix has more features, but Squarespace tends to do a better job of features.
- Squarespace has better templates and template customization.
It’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t mean Wix is bad. It’s more about how good Squarespace is. There are plenty of worse options than Wix.
And ultimately, the difference could be about preference: Wix’s unstructured editor offers a high degree of control, while Squarespace is much more curated.
I hope you found this helpful— thanks for reading!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better Wix or Squarespace?
It's close but I do recommend Squarespace over Wix. Squarespace has a better page editor and better templates. Wix has more features.
What is easier to use Wix or Squarespace?
Squarespace. Wix has an unstructured editor that allows for more freedom but is occasionally chaotic and overwhelming. Squarespace has a structured editor that is less flexible but more intuitive.
Which is cheaper Wix or Squarespace?
Neither. Both start at $16/month.