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Squarespace vs Wix: Which is best for a novice?

Squarespace vs Wix
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Trying to decide between Squarespace vs Wix? This guide has all you need to know. Selecting the ideal website build tool for your needs is crucial if you want to create an attractive, fully functional website. But, it's important to understand that different builders are better suited to different use cases. For example, a complete beginner who wants to create a photography portfolio to showcase their work will likely select a different platform than a tech guru who wants to sell a new video editing program. 

In this Squarespace vs Wix comparison, we look at two of the world's most popular website builders from the eyes of a beginner (for more options, see our best website builder roundup). 

Wix is arguably the most powerful builder available today, with a versatile editing interface and a huge template library. On the other hand, Squarespace is known for its professional templates and great selection of native features, although its editor does have a few flaws. But which is best? 

Squarespace vs Wix: Features

Squarespace vs Wix: template screenshot

Wix has a huge selection of portfolio templates (Image credit: wix)

Both Squarespace and Wix boast a huge number of advanced features, including their excellent template libraries. Squarespace has made a name for itself in the website building space due to its extremely attractive, professionally designed themes. On the other hand, Wix has a huge design library featuring more than 500 templates, which means that there's really something for everyone. 

They both offer some form of e-commerce. Wix's online store tools are comprehensive, but they tend to be a little confusing and hard to set up, which means that they probably aren’t the best option for beginners. However, Squarespace's online selling integrations are excellent. Not only can you sell physical products, but also digital downloads, appointments, tickets, and more. 

Squarespace prides itself on its impressive range of native features, which means that you should be able to find almost everything you want without needing any third-party integration. But there are also various extensions available to help you manage taxes, e-commerce, invoicing, and more. 

The Wix App Market is huge, with an add-on for almost everything you can imagine. These range from email marketing integrations to dropshipping apps and portfolio optimisation tools. 

Overall, Wix just comes out ahead in terms of the features on offer. Its e-commerce platform is very powerful, if a little hard to get started with, and its template library is extensive. However, Squarespace certainly isn't far behind. 

Squarespace vs Wix: Performance

Wix and Squarespace use fundamentally different editing styles, which means that it's important to carefully compare the overall performance of both options. 

When getting started with Squarespace, you will be guided through a neat questionnaire asking about what type of website you want, what your goals are, and what stage of your project you're at. Then, you will be shown a selection of the most appropriate templates to base your site on. Choose one and begin editing. 

The Squarespace editor itself is quite confusing, even for those of us who have used it numerous times in the past. If you're a complete beginner, expect to spend a significant amount of time just familiarising yourself with the user interface. But if you're willing to put the time in, you will find a decent number of advanced tools here. Squarespace uses a block-based editor, which means you will be confined to placing elements in pre-coded positions. However, the level of customisation is still quite good – at least, it is once you become comfortable with the user interface. 

Squarespace vs Wix: editor screenshot

The Wix ADI editor is a great option for website-building novices (Image credit: Wix)

Wix actually has two different website creation options, the Wix Editor and the Wix ADI. Wix ADI uses artificial design intelligence, and is quite similar to Squarespace, albeit easier to use. You will be confined to placing design elements in pre-coded positions, although you can switch your ADI site to the Wix Editor for more flexibility. 

The Wix Editor is where things really start to get interesting. It can be a little confusing to use because of the huge number of customisation options, but it's really worth spending the time to get the hang of. 

Basically, the Wix Editor enables you to drag and drop elements to any position on your page, with few constraints. You can even add custom code for more advanced editing if required. 

All things considered, Wix ADI is our recommended choice here for website-building novices. However, it's also hard to best the Wix Editor if you're willing to spend a little time getting the hang of it. 

Squarespace vs Wix: Support

Squarespace vs Wix: Support screenshot

Squarespace offers notably better customer support than Wix (Image credit: Squarespace)

Squarespace offers both email and live-chat support, although the live chat isn't always online. The service also provides a selection of self-help resources, including guides, webinars, and tutorial videos, along with an active community forum. 

Unfortunately, support is the area where Wix really falls down. It offers both phone (callback) and email contact options, but in our experience, response times can range to more than two days. Luckily, the Wix knowledge base is excellent, but it would have been nice to at least see some form of live chat or instant phone service. 

Squarespace vs Wix: Pricing and plans 

Squarespace vs Wix

Wix's prices are slightly better than Squarespace’s (Image credit: Wix)

Both Squarespace and Wix offer a range of subscription options. For starters, Squarespace's four plans range from $16 to $46 per month ($12 to $40 with an annual subscription). All plans come with a 14-day free trial, but there’s no free-forever option. 

Squarespace's $16 per month Personal plan is quite limited, but it should have everything you need to build a simple portfolio or other website. A Business subscription ($26 per month) unlocks advanced marketing and basic e-commerce tools, while the Basic Commerce ($30 per month) and Advanced Commerce ($46 per month) add increasingly powerful online selling features. 

On the other hand, Wix's free-forever plan offers an excellent way for beginners to familiarise themselves with the website-building process – without having to spend a cent. It is quite limited, but it's a good place to start. 

If you want to upgrade to a paid plan with Wix, these start from $14 per month for a simple Combo subscription. Once again, though, this should be more than enough for a basic portfolio or another simple site. E-commerce plans start from $23 per month, although you will need a Business Unlimited ($27 per month) or Business VIP ($49 per month) subscription to unlock any notable advanced features. 

Squarespace vs Wix: Verdict

Both Squarespace and Wix deserve their reputations as two of the world's best website builders. But although both are certainly viable options for website-building beginners, Wix does stand out as the better choice.

This is largely due to the huge number of beginner-friendly features on offer and the intuitive Wix ADI editing interface. Squarespace does boast slightly better customer service, but Wix's lower prices and free-forever plan really seal the deal. 

Ultimately, we'd recommend the Wix ADI editor as the best website builder for a novice.

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