What a time to build websites! Long gone are the days when you needed to know code if you wanted your own website—thanks to modern web builders like Squarespace and Wix, all you need to know is dragging and dropping.

The problem now is which of these popular web builders to use. Squarespace and Wix are both known as user-friendly website builders open to any skill level, but when you take a closer look you notice a few key differences.

In this guide, we take a close look at Squarespace vs. Wix, comparing their usability, customization options, pricing and other features. See how they stack up against one another, and which one has the specific features you’re looking for.

Wix vs. Squarespace: at a glance

People are always asking about Wix and Squarespace because their business models are so similar. Both put web design in the hands of amateurs and first-timers, with easy-to-use site editors that don’t require code and professionally designed templates that give you a solid foundation to start from. And both are priced for affordability, targeting small- and medium-sized businesses that lack the budget for a high-end design agency.

Squarespace logo
Squarespace logo
wix logo
Wix logo

From that angle, Wix and Squarespace have more in common with each other than with other web builders for small businesses.  Wix and Squarespace fit that best-of-both-worlds niche; not as complicated as WordPress, but more advanced than simplistic web builders like Constant Contact, which are designed for low- or no-effort web design.

So right away, you need to make sure you’re in the right group for Wix and Squarespace. You want to design your own website and you have your own ideas, but you have neither the budget nor coding skill to build an advanced, ultra-modern site. You can still build rich and high-quality sites with Wix and Squarespace, but you are limited to the features they offer, as plentiful as they are.

If that sounds like you, you’re in the right place: either Wix or Squarespace will suit your needs just fine. Now, let’s look at the differences between them so you can pick the right one for your tastes.

For an in-depth description of each option, check out our individual guides on how to make a Squarespace website and how to make a Wix website. Both guides go through the step-by-step processes of building a site on each platform so you can see firsthand what to expect.

Wix vs. Squarespace: usability

To many, the appeal of Wix and Squarespace is that their editor is WYSIWYG—What You See Is What You Get. That means, unlike writing code, you can edito your site’s appearance in real time, moving elements where you want them to go and clicking on elements to change them. Both web builders feature this kind of intuitive, no-experience-needed editing style.

The big difference, though, is that Wix is free-form or unstructured, while Squarespace adheres to a grid and is structured. In laymen’s terms, that means you can move elements in Wix literally anywhere — even pixel-by-pixel to get the perfect spot. With Squarespace, however, you must stick to putting elements (called “Content Blocks”) in a certain spot on the grid, confined to columns or rows.

Wix web builder editor
Wix editor
Squarespace web builder editor
Squarespace editor

On the one-hand, Wix has more customization and creative options because it has less restrictions. On the other hand, it’s easier to mess up your own design or get overwhelmed by the choices, whereas Squarespace keeps you fixed in a framework that’s already proven successful, mitigating human error and beginner mistakes.

This also indirectly leads to a common problem in Wix: you have to edit your mobile site separately. With Wix, you essentially have to edit your desktop version and your mobile version on their own, but with Squarespace, you only edit your master copy and they automatically apply changes to both versions.

It’s also worth noting that all of Squarespace’s templates are responsive, meaning they inherently look great on mobile devices. Wix’s templates are not responsive out of the box; you have to tweak them manually to look right, which could add extra hours to your timeframe.

But that’s not to say that Squarespace is easier to use. In fact, most users find Wix easier—Squarespace tends to have more elaborate processes where you have to click more to accomplish a task than on Wix. For that, Squarespace has a slightly steeper learning curve, and editing there may take more time than on Wix.

Moreover, Wix offers what they call ADI, or Artificial Design Intelligence. After answering a questionnaire about what kind of site you want, Wix ADI will automatically generate one for you, so all you have to do is fill in the blanks and customize only the parts you don’t like. While this negates the need of designing the site, it does help in a pinch if you need a finished web site yesterday.

Of course, by now we’re just splitting hairs. Sure, Wix is more user-friendly than Squarespace, but both Squarespace and Wix are more user-friendly than other custom web builders.

Wix vs. Squarespace: customization

If you’re choosing Wix or Squarespace over one of the more basic or even free web builders, chances are it’s because you want to customize it a little and make it your own. The problem with template-style web builders is that they tend to produce generic sites that look the same, but Wix and Squarespace let you personalize your templates to make them unique—at least somewhat.

The real question you have to ask yourself is, how closely do you want to follow a template? Are you just keeping everything intact, swapping out a picture here and there and replacing the lorem ipsum text? Or are you building an original site and using the template only as a starting position?

When it comes to templates, Wix wins for quantity but Squarespace wins for quality. Wix boasts almost 700 unique templates in a wide range of styles—even if you don’t plan to change much from the template, there’s still a higher chance your site will look different just based on the numbers.

Wix templates
Wix templates

By contrast, Squarespace only offers around 100 templates, but they’re all phenomenal. Squarespace’s masterful templates are one of their strongest selling points, each one with a hand-crafted feel that users find appealing. Even if you customize the images and copy, as long as you follow the template format you’re more-or-less guaranteed a professional-looking site design.

Squarespace templates
Squarespace templates

As for actual design options, Squarespace offers more opportunities. Although Wix allows you to build your site off-the-grid, overall Squarespace still presents more features for personalizing your site and adding your own personality. Small design decisions, just as changing the color of a button, are much easier to accomplish in Squarespace than in Wix.

Wix vs. Squarespace: pricing

The pricing between Wix and Squarespace are in the same ballpark, but there are few discrepancies worth noting.

Wix pricing plans
Wix pricing plans
Squarespace pricing plans
Squarespace pricing plans

For starters, Wix offers more plans for those looking for cheaper or more basic features. In fact, unlike Squarespace, Wix offers a completely free plan; it comes with very limited features and forced advertising, but it’s still better than nothing.

If you’re looking for something basic and inexpensive, Wix pricing is your best option out of the two. Of course, you may find what you’re looking for with other free web builders, which offer different features than Wix’s low-end plans. Ultimately, Wix and Squarespace are best for people serious about their websites, so you’re better off with one of the standard paid plans.

Understanding that these prices apply when paying annually, you can expect to pay around $150 – $200 for a year’s subscription. The exact amount depends on the features and perks you want.

Wix’s Unlimited plan includes everything a professional website needs, while their VIP plan adds priority responses, VIP support and a new logo thrown in as a perk.

Squarespace’s Personal plan likewise offers all the essentials, although you’ll need to upgrade to the Business plan if you want to unlock some Premium content, as well as marketing tools, analytics and more than two contributors.

Before moving on, take note of the storage space. Squarespace offers unlimited storage for all their plans, no matter what, but Wix only offers 10GB for Unlimited and 20GB for VIP. If you’re planning to use a lot of storage space, you may be better off with Squarespace, although it’s best to calculate how many gigabytes you’ll need beforehand so you don’t pay for space you won’t use.

If you want to start an ecommerce store, that’s a different story. Both Wix and Squarespace charge more for plans that enable online sales: Wix’s cheapest ecommerce plan goes at $17/month (when paid annually) compared to Squarespace’s cheapest ecommerce plan of $26/month (also annually). Those are just the minimum plans, with even more expensive plans offering more perks.

Before deciding on a plan, make an estimate of how many products you want to list and what ecommerce features you need. Smaller online stores can skirt by on the lower plans, but serious retailers will have to invest more.

Wix vs. Squarespace: extra features

Getting into the minutiae, Wix and Squarespace tend to deviate when it comes to specific features. Take a look below at the fields that concern you most to see which appeals more to your preferences.

  • Blogging: While you can set up a blog on each just fine, Squarespace offers more and better options, like post tagging, categories, URL customization and team collaboration.
  • Customer service: Both have adequate customer support. However, Wix offers phone support during business hours (they try to keep this secret on their site to limit the amount of calls, but here’s a shortcut), while Squarespace only uses live chat and email—though they’re known for their expediency in responding.
  • Email marketing: Both offer optional email marketing tools as add-ons, but the big difference is that Wix’s email marketing tool has a robust free version that permits 5,000 emails and 3 campaigns every month.
  • SEO: Although web builders have a stigma for hurting SEO, both Wix and Squarespace seem exempt from this criticism — their SEO offerings are both quite good. The most significant difference is that Wix does not integrate SEO from their blogs, so if blogging is a main SEO strategy, you’re better off with Squarespace.

When it comes to specific features, there are a few differences between Wix and Squarespace. We recommend making a list of your non-negotiable feature essentials and see how each platform treats them. For example, if you make a lot of mistakes when editing and frequently revert back to earlier versions, Wix has a better backup and restore feature.

Final verdict

So which is better, Squarespace or Wix? That depends on your particular needs, preferences and design style, not to mention criteria like pricing and storage. In a nutshell, you can break it down like this:

  • Squarespace is a little more sophisticated, with higher-quality design tools and features.
  • Wix is simpler and easier, with less of a learning curve.

No matter which one you choose, when it comes down to the actual designing, you’re on your own. So if you find web design intimidating or would rather hand it off to a professional, you might want to hire a web designer instead.

Still not sure what option for building a website is right for you? Take the quiz below to find the best option for your needs!