One of the most common questions people don’t understand about creating a website is the difference between the many platforms we can choose from. Today, more than 30% of the websites are powered by WordPress, but Squarespace, Wix and some others are gaining popularity too.
What is WordPress?
To understand the differences between these relatively new platforms and WordPress, first, you need to understand what WordPress is. WordPress is a free and open-source software that provides a user-friendly interface to create, edit and manage a website.
The design can be customized at different levels, depending on the installed theme and the skills of the user. A good theme allows you to modify pretty much anything, including adding custom codes, therefore resulting in an entirely custom-made website.
However, to use WordPress, you need to register a domain name, have a hosting package, set them up correctly, install WordPress, choose a theme and customize the design. To get a fully custom website, no matter which theme you pick, you will need to know HTML and CSS coding too. This is frightening for many people, and this is when Squarespace, Wix, and others come into the picture.
What is Squarespace and Wix?
Squarespace, Wix, and some other platforms provide code-free design features with hosting and domains automatically set up. You don’t need to do any developer stuff, just drag and drop your website elements in the way you want them to be displayed.
So what’s the deal? The disadvantage is that because you can’t touch the code, you are constrained in your design to what the platform allows you to create. Additionally, these services are provided by a third-party, therefore you rely entirely on them to run your website. Once you stop paying for the subscription fee, for example, you will lose your website for good.
The advantage of a WordPress website is that the software is open-source, you host it on your own, therefore your website remains yours forever. You still have to pay for a hosting package and domain, but you are not bound to any particular provider, and even if you don’t want your website online at any time in the future, you can save it on your computer without limits.
Which one should you choose?
There is no right or wrong answer, it ultimately depends on you and your business. If you know how to code and like tech things, WordPress is a definite go for you. However, if you don’t know how to code and you don’t want to work with a developer, you are better off with Squarespace or Wix.
Regarding costs, if you decide to hire a developer to make a WordPress website for you, it can cost anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars depending on the level of customization. Additionally, you might need a developer to update it if you need something changed. Squarespace, on the other hand, for example, starts from 144 dollars per year and you can pretty much change things on your own. Still, you will need to pay the subscription fee indefinitely or lose your website, in contrast with a WordPress site which is developed once and remains yours forever.
A Squarespace or Wix website is a great choice for simple projects, while a well-developed WordPress site is an investment that gives you more customization and versatility.
This article is intended to be a comparison of the self-hosted, open-source WordPress content management system and subscription-based drag and drop website builders. For a comparison between the self-hosted WordPress and WordPress.com, please see other posts. For more information about the exact features of Squarespace and Wix go to squarespace.com and wix.com respectively.