We hear it almost daily from our clients and prospects –– some people hate Squarespace, Weebly and Wix, while we continue to shout out our love for WordPress.
But why is there such polarization?
After all, they’re all Content Management Systems with similar platforms. They’re all widely known. They’re all easy to use. But why does WordPress claim that it single-handedly powers over a quarter of the Internet?
This article will explain why we’re particularly in favor of WordPress, why our web design business focuses on WordPress implementations, why we train our clients one-on-one to love using it to update their own websites and blogs, and why they tend to hate those other platforms.
Let’s Start With Squarespace: It’s Good, But It’s Not Great.
What some like about Squarespace is that it’s easy to use right from the get-go with first-timers who have no previous web design or CMS experience. This platform launched in 2003 and has launched millions of websites, though the total number is vague.
- What we like is that it uses a simple graphic user interface and a drag-and-drop content editor for everything from adding images to video to audio clips.
- You can create new pages and posts with just a click or two.
- Overall, it’s just $8 a month or less than $100 per year for its personal plan.
- Because Squarespace purposely has limited choices, we’re sorry to say that we hate the fact that it has correspondingly had fewer options for design templates when using its site customizer.
- Additionally, Squarespace templates add a lot of unnecessary background tasks that tend to bog your site down.
- You don’t get many features even with advanced plans and can only create a site with 20 pages, a blog, or can only enable two other contributors to your site. That’s pretty limiting overall.
- Now if you want a plan that supports e-commerce, its professional plan costs $16 per month, but you can only sell up to 20 products on your site – and you’ve got to use Stripe to process your payments – which is only accepted in a few countries globally.
- Beyond the costs, Squarespace doesn’t allow you to have full control over your site.
- We’ve heard clients mention things like Google Analytics tracking doesn’t work properly, they cannot update it for SEO as they’d like to (by using tools like you could with WordPress), and that the sites are terribly slow.
With all of that being said, I’m not sure you’d want to make an investment into something that you cannot customize or optimize to your liking.
Next, Let’s Consider The Pros and Cons of Weebly.
Clients of Weebly enjoy this 10-year-old platform because it combines the ability to build a website or an e-commerce store, then market both with its built-in tools, all in one place.
Because its platform states “beautiful website starts here”, it promotes a powerful drag-and-drop website builder and guided set-up to get you to the finish line faster –– with no coding needed. That’s a real plus if you’re a first-time user or don’t want to deal with the intricacies of code, especially for dozens of hundreds of e-commerce products.
- Allows you to design your website to customize your storefront and to showcase your products.
- This can complete your e-commerce platform to manage your inventory, track orders, and handle taxes.
- You get access to advanced tools for real-time shipping, abandoned shopping carts, coupons and different currencies.
- Access to 200 high-quality apps to make it easy for you to add some advanced features to your website, including popular apps like appointment scheduling, accounting, live chat, and much more.
- Grab built-in marketing tools to sync your site and your store with customer emails, promote your brand, and even get found on Google with SEO tools.
So there’s not a lot to hate here, BUT it’s still not WordPress.
- We still see the limits here on the backend. You do not have full control over all technical aspects of your site.
- Where this might be easy to use for yourself, you won’t get the specialized attention that you’d get from hiring a group of website developers to help you carry out your website strategy.
- Even more, you’ll experience the same items that Squarespace includes to bog your site down.
A slow website means fewer rankings and an unsavory user experience.
Third, We Throw Wix in the Mix.
According to its website, Wix “unites beauty and advanced technology to create your stunning website – it’s easy and free”.
It offers everything you may need, including free websites with easy drag-and-drop tools, designer-made templates, beautiful galleries, mobile optimized, a huge image collection, secure hosting, and 24-7 support, all in one free website builder.
- The power of Artificial Design Intelligence to create the perfect website for your needs, with stunning layouts, images, text, and contact forms.
- Wix Video showcases, promotes, and sells your videos on your website and mobile.
- Wix SEO Wiz can help you figure out how to rank higher and get found on Google with a paid website SEO plan.
- You can use Wix Mobile App to receive real-time updates and manage your online store.
- Get Wix Chat to connect with your customers in real-time.
- You have access to Facebook tools, Dropbox, Reservations, and more.
- Plans that range from free to $25 per month, depending on exactly what type of website presence and support you need.
So even with free themes to create stunning websites, powerful AI technology, no creative limits, and no coding, our expert designers and creative team just don’t embrace Wix as much as we cherish WordPress.
- Even the starter plan does not remove their ads from your site. If you’re a legitimate business, you probably don’t want to advertise that you’re using a free DIY site.
- The higher you go in their plans, they’re actually more expensive than Squarespace and Weebly combined!
- The editor is still kind of a pain to use. While it is (literally) a drag-and-drop editor, it still takes a lot of time to create your site and make it look the way you want it to.
- Sure, it’s customizable but only to a certain degree. All of the “extra” stuff that you’ll get with this site, you won’t actually need. This slows your site down.
- Not to mention, many of the apps and extensions you get are not even apps. They’re a bunch of Iframes added to your site. Having multiple Iframes are bad for SEO.
- You can forget technical SEO. What you see and what Googlebot and Bingbot sees—are VASTLY different.
Now Meet WordPress, The Heavyweight Champion of the CMS World.
We’ve saved the best for last.
Now 14 years old and with well over 76 million websites and blogs built on its platform, WordPress is pretty tough to beat. Why? Because it’s generally regarded as the best content management system for users of any level for any type of website.
How much do we love WordPress? Let us count the ways:
- It’s the most popular content management system in the world, powering 28% of the Internet and 65% of CMS in global markets.
- It offers open source software so you can get a custom domain –– and support
–– from just $2.99/month.
- It’s an extremely robust platform with more than 350 easy-to-use themes, over 2,700 free templates, and more than 33,000 free plug-ins.
- It’s the easiest to use for beginnings with only a slight learning curve, for a website, an e-commerce site, a membership site, or just about any other site.
- It provides a choice of a WordPress post editor or a visual editor.
- Adding an image, a video, or an audio clip is as easy as drag-and-drop.
- We tell our clients that if they can use Microsoft Word, they can edit text in a similar way on WordPress.
- You can do ANYTHING you want with WordPress.
- The tools and plugins that are at your fingertips are limitless, most of them being completely free or very low-cost options.
- You have complete control over your content, your code, and your technical SEO.
- Quite simply, WordPress helps you focus less on web design and focus more on your core competencies: running your department or business, acquiring new customers, retaining your current base, and exceeding everyone’s expectations.
What’s more, WordPress is our favorite content management system platform because it’s the most intuitive. It’s the most accessible. It’s the most reliable. It installs very quickly. It’s very flexible. It’s extremely user-friendly. It makes it easy to be SEO-optimized right away. It’s easily customizable. It makes website maintenance easy. It’s highly secure. It has a huge developers’ community for troubleshooting. And it’s the best overall CMS choice. Period.
So with all of this, can you see why we shout out our love for WordPress vs. the other CMS platforms?
WordPress matches all of Smack Happy Design’s needs for custom web design with the ability to plug in any type of content or e-commerce, then help your site get found by Google and other search engines.
Believe us, we’ve tried the other three platforms repeatedly. Our clients have tried them, weren’t happy with their results, and came to us for help. We always recommend WordPress. And why wouldn’t we?