First let’s have a look at Wix. Wix boasts that all you need to do is choose a template, input some text and then – bam! – you have a website that will get you found online.
Wix offers a free plan for beginners and premium packages from $5 monthly. If you don’t want Wix ads on your site, you’ll have to pay at least $10 monthly.
You can select from more than 400 templates on the Wix Templates directory, all of which are divided in their appropriate categories. You can preview templates before making a final choice, however there is a significant catch with this. Wix limits you to one template per website, meaning once you have made your decision on a template, it’s final and you won’t be able to choose another one without having to re-create your content again. Oups!
On the plus side, Wix has one of the easiest website builders to use. It offers you a “pure” drag & drop user interface, so you can literally place any content (such as images, text, buttons, slideshows, social buttons) anywhere on your website. As such, you have a lot of creative freedom and control over your design, with very little content placement restrictions. But because all design management is done through the drag & drop interface, Wix also imposes limitations towards custom modifications using HTML and CSS.
Here’s an example of a yoga teacher website created with Wix:
Wix’s templates are not totally mobile responsive, but they do have an advanced mobile user interface and editor, allowing you to customize your own mobile website.
The biggest problem with Wix used to be that it seriously lacked in SEO (Search engine optimization). SEO is one of the most important pieces of any website. It means that people find your website when they search on Google for something related to what you do. So this was a big problem and you’ll still find a lot of people saying that Wix is bad for SEO, but I did some research and apparently they fixed those issues in 2016.
The problem I have with Wix is more personal taste I guess. I just don’t like their templates and I think most of the websites built with Wix look, well, outdated. To be fair, of course you can build an ugly website with WordPress or Squarespace too, but I think Wix seriously lacks.
To sum it up: with Wix you can build an attractive (if a bit outdated looking) website and it will be easy for you to update. Wix also covers the basics of all options that regular sites need. However, if you are planning to add more advanced features like for example a membership website, booking functionalities or even just more advanced newsletter sign-up forms, Wix won’t be the best alternative.
Like Wix Squarespace is a website builder where you choose between different templates and create your website with a drag-and-drop builder.
Squarespace offers you 4 different price packages, starting from $12/month for their personal plan, which allows you to create a website with up to 20 pages. Similar to Wix, the higher the plan, the more tools you get. Note that Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan. They offer you a 14-day free trial period though.
In contrast to Wix, Squarespace has taken the “quality over quantity” approach in their templates collection. So while you have only 68 templates to choose from, any Squarespace template you end up using is of very high quality and easy to customize. You also can change templates for your website at any time.
Here’s an example of a beautiful yoga teacher website created with Squarespace:
All of Squarespace’s templates are fully mobile responsive. This means that your website will display beautifully across all mobile devices. All your content will automatically adjust to fit within mobile display screens.
Squarespace is also a drag & drop website builder, so you can create your website without touching a line of code. However, their platform is a bit more structured than Wix, so while you can drag & drop content around, all the content has to be placed next to each other or stacked on top of one another. It’s more of a modular building experience where the system automatically “snaps” your content into position. This makes it a bit more limited, but it also ensures that your website will always look good.
The biggest advantage that Squarespace has over Wix is that their templates are some of the most polished and professional-looking designs you’ll find anywhere. I really like their designs and would recommend them over Wix anytime.
WordPress.org is an open-source content management platform ideal for building blogs and websites. It requires signing up to a website hosting package.
(To add confusion there’s also wordpress.com, which is a platform like blogger where your website is hosted on the WordPress servers and you have very limited features and possibilities. This is not what I’m talking about here. Best forget that WordPress.com exists for now, okay?)
Since the WordPress platform itself and many plugins and themes are free to use, your only real costs are going to be your website domain and hosting.
A domain will cost you roughly $15 per year, while hosting can set you back anywhere from $30 to $100 per year. I recommend Siteground for hosting, their packages start at $3.95 monthly. So you definitely can save some money compared to using a more advanced package from Wix or Squarespace.
The WordPress theme defines the look-and-feel of your website. There are thousands to choose from and it can be quite overwhelming. I always recommend investing in a premium WordPress theme, because the developers will update it, it’s more secure and you’ll get support. Most premium WordPress themes come integrated with all needed features, like a drag-and-drop builder, sliders, responsive design, search engine optimization, and custom homepage designs. I use the Avada theme, which costs a one-time fee of $60, and I love it!
The biggest advantage of WordPress is that the possibilities are unlimited. You can add just about any functionality you wish and create a truly unique website. You can decide to choose a simple theme for now and switch to a more custom-designed website at a later time without having to start from scratch.
Also you’ll have access to plugins! A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to your WordPress website without you needing to add a single line of code. They can add new features to your website, like security functionalities, analytics, SEO tools, membership websites, social media sharing and so much more. There are thousands available for free to download and you can also buy premium plugins from a wide range of developers and companies.
But all this flexibility comes at a cost. WordPress is definitely more complex to set up and also to maintain. You’ll have to make sure to update your WordPress version, theme and plugins regularly to keep your site secure.
So yes, wih WordPress you will need to invest more time to get your website up and running, but in my opinion it’s worth it for the flexibility, features and the possibilities for growth.
I’ve built over 10 websites myself with WordPress. When I started, I was so intimidated by just having to sign up with a hosting provider and all that techy stuff, too. But thanks to Google I figured it out and you know what? It really wasn’t so difficult! It was easy actually! And it is such an empowering feeling to be able to do all that by myself. If you don’t know where to start, check out my blog post how to get a WordPress website in 10 steps.
I also like that I have total control of my website. I’m not dependent on a provider like Wix or Squarespace. What if they increase their prices? Or go bust? It’s my business after all and I want to own it.
So there you go. My recommendation would be WordPress, but if you’re just starting out you can create a good website with Wix or Squarespace as well.