Wix vs Squarespace vs WordPress – Which platform should you choose in 2021?

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Life is busy. It’s hectic, it never stops, and you have so many things to do and so little time. And when you’re working on setting up your own brand, things are getting even messier. There is market research, branding, products, accountancy, location, team, services, advertising and marketing. And there is an Internet and the need to establish your presence there. A lot to think about and squeeze into your already busy schedule: and let’s be honest, most of those things will cost you money. Let me help you navigate between platforms and systems so that you can choose the best fit for your company.

Photo credit @wayhomestudio for Freepik

With Wix, Squarespace and ready-made templates for WordPress, who needs a web designer nowadays? There is a high chance that once you start typing “website design”, Google will show you adverts from Wix and Squarespace. It looks like you can have a website without any hassle in just a matter of minutes. So let’s dive in and see what’s the fuss is about.

Wix vs Squarespace vs WordPress – the straightforward comparison focusing on:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Design
  3. Features
  4. Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  5. Customer support
  6. Website management
  7. Cost (real cost behind the pricing plans)
  8. Summary

Below, you’ll find a report of how the platforms perform against each other in those categories, based on a medium-sized website. We focus on a typical site with a custom domain name and 3 e-mail addresses, a custom template, a newsletter, registration form, simple gallery (up to 20 pictures), contact form, testimonials and news (blog) feature.


Wix is a cloud and subscription-based service that allows you to design and build your own website or online store.

1. Ease of use

Wix’s strongest side is its effortless use and styling. The drag and drop system lets you create a website with zero technical knowledge. It takes only a couple of minutes to sign up, chose one of the pre-made templates, and you are all set and ready to go. You can add your own logo, pictures and text.

2. Design

With Wix, you have two options. You can use a ready-made template or let the Wix Artificial Intelligence build it for you. The designs appear modern, but they also look like a template site, like many others on the internet.

Source: https://support.wix.com/

3. Features

This is one of the biggest downsides of the platform. If you want to incorporate a blog (or news system), add appointments booking or online shop, you have to install it on top of the site, sabotaging the site performance. The same goes for various forms, pop-ups and other marketing tools.

4. SEO

Wix fells short in Search Engine Optimisation, to the point that you can easily find a ton of articles like All the Reasons Why Wix Isn’t Good for SEO or Is Wix’s SEO really that bad? The platform isn’t built with SEO in mind, and you will end up spending tones of money paying SEO specialists to put your website higher in search results.

5. Customer Support

Wix has faced criticism in the past for poor customer support, but it has improved since then. They now offer an excessive centre/knowledge base, with hundreds of hours of video tutorials, walkthroughs and posts. If you are a paying customer and can’t fix the issue yourself, Wix offers e-mail support and phone support for its VIP clients. However, if you use only a free account, your only option is a knowledge base.

6. Website management

Wix handles it all: your hosting, security and domain (if you wish). It might seem very convenient, but it also comes with a price. The platform determines how many site contributors (editors) you can have and because it doesn’t allow you to create and download your site backup, it makes it impossible to change the system you’re using. If you decide that Wix isn’t a viable option for you after some time, you will have to start from scratches elsewhere.

7. Cost

Wix offers a free plan that is perfect if you want to do a school project or a family website. The free plan comes with an assigned URL: username.wixsite.com/siteaddress, which means you won’t be able to connect your own domain name, and your company address will always link to Wix. The platform ads will also appear on every page and their favicon (website tab icon) in the URL. The free plan comes with storage and bandwidth up to 500 MB, which is not enough for a small site or blog. There are many articles about How to Figure Out How Much Space and Bandwidth Your Website Needs.

You can safely assume that a small blog or a small site needs 1 GB of storage space and 5 GB of bandwidth, the medium site requires up to 5 GB disk space and a minimum of 50 GB bandwidth, and a large, high traffic website or shop demands 30 GB disk space and at least 200 GB bandwidth. All of the above make a free Wix plan not viable for any professional or business use.

Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

The most basic plan (Connect Domain) for £3/month (billed annually) isn’t a workable business option. It has all the free plan limitations, including Wix ads and limited storage and only allows you to connect your own domain name to the website. Because of bandwidth constraints, the only option for a professional and business website are Unlimited and VIP Plans, which comes annually as £102 for Unlimited and £216 for VIP. On top of that price, you need to add a domain name, and if you don’t want to shop around and use Wix to purchase your domain name, it will be an additional $12.95/year, converted to £9.35 by Wix.

Unlimited and VIP Plans are suitable for small and medium websites, but if you think about an online shop or any booking systems, you are looking at Business Plans with prices from £156 to £264 per year. But the real cost of Wix is hidden.
  • Wix offers a free domain in Business Plans, but if you want a personalised e-mail that matches your domain and branding (e.g. myname@mydomain.com), you have to pay extra for each e-mail address you want to use. The platform partners with Google Workspace, formerly G Suite, with prices starting at $6/month. That’s another $72 per year (before tax) for every single e-mail account you need.
  • Ascend Plans. The features you might expect to be free in Wix are actually premium and requires purchasing Ascend Plans. Live chat, forms (if you’re using more than 5), e-mail marketing: e-mail automation and e-mail campaigns, they all call for Ascend Plans. The plans differ from $10 to $49 per month, adding a whopping $120 – $588 to your site cost (before tax, billed annually).
  • SEO cost. Wix is known for its problems with SEO. If you want your site to be visible in search engines, you will have to hire a professional to do it for you. SEO experts’ cost varies and can easily add another £90/month to your bill if you go with a freelancer or £180/month if you choose the agency.

8. Summary

Wix is a good option for building a small and simple portfolio or hobby sites. If you plan on doing anything more, don’t get started with Wix, as it’s impossible to take your site and transfer it to a different hosting or system. The hidden, additional cost of running your website will stretch your budget.

Running a medium size website on Wix with features mentioned earlier will cost you £354 per year.
Here is how we calculate it:

  • Unlimited Plan £102
  • Custom domain name £9.35 ($12.95)
  • 3 custom e-mails for a newsletter, contact form and office £155.99 ($216)
  • Ascend Plan for a newsletter, contact form and automated e-mails £86.66 ($120)

If you choose to pay in advance for your website, opting for a bi-annually payment plan in the second year, the website’s cost is guaranteed to stay the same, leaving you with a £708 bill to pay. After that period, the running cost will increase, as the Wix platform’s service charges increase in price every year.


Squarespace is a subscription-based site-building platform, easy to use with integrated marketing and e-commerce tools.

1. Ease of use

It’s pretty easy to build your website at Squarespace. You pick a template, click on the parts you want to change, and style them in the editor. For example, you can click on the text and apply a different font, click on the background and change its colour, and so on.

2. Design

Squarespace offers 100+ flexible templates that fully adapt to mobile devices. They look sleek and modern and are one of the strongest features this platform has to offer. But if you are looking for unique solutions and are after fully custom design, Squarespace isn’t probably for you. The platform doesn’t allow to build of a website from scratch.

Source: https://5help.squarespace.com/

3. Features

Most of the templates come rich in options, so you shouldn’t have to do much if you are looking to create a basic website. But if you want to add marketing features such as Mailchimp or Facebook Pixel Integration, you will need to upgrade to the premium plan.

4. SEO

Squarespace isn’t such a hostile environment as Wix in terms of SEO, but still, there isn’t much you can do here. The platform does not use plugins. All native features are built-in. The so-called plugins for Squarespace by third parties are really just CSS or other code you add manually to the site yourself – not a real plugin like Yoast for WordPress.

You might think that’s OK; they took care of it for me. But that doesn’t mean they did all the groundwork for you. In fact, it means you will have to pay more attention to site and page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, appropriate H1-H3 headings, body copy, and alt text. And it all can get tricky without a plugin like Yoast to guide you through. Also, some templates are better suited for SEO, and some (mostly older templates) will generate more problems, and you usually don’t know that until your website creation is far advanced.

Business photo created by creativeart – www.freepik.com

5. Customer Support

Squarespace doesn’t offer phone support even for its premium users. You can look for answers in their knowledge base or register for a live webinar where they’ll explain the basics. Unlike Wix, you can contact a rep through a live chat (Monday to Friday during office hours) or send them an e-mail query.

6. Website management

Squarespace handles all the technical aspects of your website – hosting, domain and e-mail. However, unlike Wix, Squarespace offers limited export functionality, which means you can move your site to another platform or system. Depending on what content you have on your site, the tool will export some of it. The rest of the site content will remain on your Squarespace built-in domain, and you will have to copy-paste it manually.

7. Cost

Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan, only a free 14-day trial. When billed annually, the plans start at £10/month for Personal up to £30/month for Commerce. All Squarespace plans come with a free domain for the first year, unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth. The plans aren’t equal. The Personal plan only allows you to have 2 website contributors (editors), and it cannot serve as a base for e-commerce. It also doesn’t include an e-mail from Google Workspace, free for the first year for higher plans.

Squarespace has a straightforward pricing system without any hidden fees. But there are a couple of external costs that are easy to overlook and can generate a hefty bill with time. Some of them only become apparent after a year with Squarespace.
  • E-mail accounts. Same as Wix, Squarespace partnered with Google Workspace. This means you need to pay for every e-mail account you wish to create for your website. Unlike Wix, Squarespace offers one free e-mail account for the first year of subscription for all plans above Personal. However, if you need more than one e-mail (most of the cases), you will need to pay an additional $72 per year (before tax) for every extra account you need.
  • E-mail campaigns and automation. You guessed it right. This is another additional cost of running your website with Squarespace. They offer various E-mail campaigns Plans depending on how many campaigns you plan to run and how many e-mails you wish to send. The cheapest Starter Plan at £4/month, when billed annually, doesn’t give you automated e-mail options, which means your website won’t be able to send automated confirmation for newsletter subscription, for example. This option starts with a Core Plan at £8/month for a maximum of 5 campaigns and 5000 e-mails sent per year, up to £38/month, for Max Plan with unlimited campaigns and 250k e-mails sent per year, when billed annually.
  • Payment Processing Fees. If you decided to build an online shop with Squarespace, you are in for an unpleasant surprise. The lowest plan that allows you to use e-commerce – Business Plan (£180/year) comes with an additional Transaction Fee of 3%. That means you will have to pay the fee on top of the payments to PayPal or other payment gateways you use.
  • Premium Extensions. Squarespace offers a selection of third-party extensions to help you add more features to your website. Some of them are free, but most of them come with an additional monthly subscription.
Business photo created by katemangostar – www.freepik.com

8. Summary

Squarespace doesn’t have a directory of plugins, and any add-ons you might need will have to be added via snippets of code. Because of this, Squarespace works best if you want a beautiful but simple website.

Running medium size website on Squarespace with features mentioned earlier will cost you £343.99 (vs £354 on Wix) in the first year.
Here is how we calculate it:

  • Business Plan £180
  • 3 custom e-mails for a newsletter, contact form, and office £103.99 ($144) using one free e-mail that comes with a Business Plan
  • Core E-mail Campaign Plan £60 (automated responses to newsletter sign-up)
Unlike Wix, if you choose to pay in advance for your website, opting for a bi-annually payment plan, Squarespace doesn’t guarantee its cost to stay the same in the second year.

Some options are free in the first year of subscription, giving you a cold shower in the second year of use. So even if you keep the Squarespace plans on the same level, your website cost will jump to a whooping £410.43.
Here is how we calculate it:

  • Business Plan £180 (price guaranteed with 2-year subscription)
  • 3 custom e-mails for a newsletter, contact form, and office £155.99 ($216) end of free e-mail that comes with a Business Plan in the first year of subscription
  • Core E-mail Campaign Plan £60 (automated responses to newsletter sign-up)
  • New – Domain name cost – £14.44 ($20). Squarespace charges between $20 and $70 to register a domain, which isn’t cheap. So your annual renewal fees could end up costing a lot. For example, on Squarespace a .com domain costs $20, while a .shop comes in at $60. But if you shop around, you will realise that domains .com are available to buy for under $13 and .shop domains are on sale for as little as $26 per year.
A two-year running cost of a website build on Squarespace comes at £754.42 (vs £708 on Wix). After that period you will find your running costs increase, in line with the services’ prices.

In both cases, I didn’t calculate the additional SEO cost to the total running price. However, without a plugin that will guide you through, you will likely have to hire an SEO expert bumping your costs even higher. This also might not become obvious in the first year of using Squarespace or Wix.


WordPress.org (not to be confused with WordPress.com – a restricted platform similar to Wix) is a free to download and install on your server, powerful Content Management System (CMS), best known for its versatility and flexibility.

1. Ease of use

WordPress is a highly customisable and complex system. You can use the built-in editing tools, and you have the option of installing visual website builders and plugins to match your company needs. The back-end, known as a Dashboard, is much more complex than Wix or Squarespace. A lot is going on inside the platform, and it can be overwhelming for new users.

2. Design

There is no better option for website design than WordPress. You can customise free Templates; you can purchase a license and customise professional, designer-made Templates; you can build your website from scratches using one of the visual builders (they also come with pre-designed elements), or you can hire a web designer to do it all for you.

3. Features

WordPress is built for features. Out of the box, WordPress comes with some basic features such as a blog, but it also has thousands of high-quality free & paid plugins that enable you to do practically anything you want with your site. Most importantly, they are effortless to install or remove from your website, and they all come highly customisable. The platform is perfect for building your online portfolio, booking system, creating a shop or website for a restaurant or take-a-way shop. Need to run a news outlet or build a multi-purpose website with various membership options? That won’t be an issue with WordPress. You can also use it to build a simple, one-site website for your company, including a contact form, newsletter, text, and pictures.

Inside  WordPress – plugins installation panel
In terms of features, WordPress doesn’t have limitations.

4. SEO

Out of the box, WordPress comes with very basic SEO options. But there are powerful free and paid plugins that will up your game to the next level. One of the best is Yoast SEO for WordPress, which comes in both a free and a premium version.

The free plugin guides you through the process of optimising your website for SEO. It points you where you need improvements, and using a visual traffic lights system shows you how well your site will measure. You can focus on one key-word or one key phrase. It also comes with a Free SEO Academy, where you can learn basics about SEO and understand what drives your site up in the rankings.

The premium version priced at £89/year comes with more advanced features, multi key-word (multi keyphrase) optimisation, full access to SEO Academy (including paid lessons), free updates, and support for premium plan duration. Yoast plugin right used can safe you a fortune otherwise spent on SEO specialists. Just a reminder, the freelancer will charge you from £90/month, and agency prices start at £180/month.

Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

5. Customer Support

Unlike Wix and Squarespace, WordPress.org does not provide support. If you need assistance, you have an option to visit a public forum (there are many), hire someone to take care of the issue, or sign up for our monthly maintenance plan with prices starting at £6/month when billed annually.

6. Website management

WordPress, unlike Wix and Squarespace, isn’t an all-in-one box solution, including hosting. This means it’s up to you to get your own web hosting account and domain. While this does mean that you can shop around, in the end, the management piece falls on you. If you want to keep your site speedy and secure, you’ll have to learn how to do this or hire someone to help. Our web hosting plans dedicated to WordPress starts at £30/year, and you can add Care Plans from £72/year or trust your own skills and use our help at ad-hock situations for £55 per one-off fix. Unlike Wix and Squarespace, WordPress gives you multiple options to fully backup and transfer your website. You can change your hosting provider, domain name and transfer your website to another system without losing any of your data.

7. Cost

WordPress itself is free to use. However, expect to pay for hosting, domain and a few premium add-ons before all is said and done. There are tons of free templates designed for WordPress, but if you’re after a more professional look, you might want to invest in a custom Template or hire a web designer to build a unique website for you.

A premium, designer-made Template prices starts from £60. They usually come with a license to use on a specific website and free upgrades. They also come with many features, so you might need a web designer’s help to customise it up to your needs. We offer that in our Sratret Plan from £250 with a custom template included. If you decide to go with a web designer, custom graphic design can be the biggest factor in your price. It can also save you a ton of money, help establish the right internet presence and develop your own branding. This option is also a time-safer. The developer will install and configure your WordPress, giving you a ready-to-use system packed with features you want.

At Webindesk, prices for a custom graphic design start at £500. The price includes installation on the server of your choice, implementing graphic design and configuration of the features you want. We also add your pictures and text, presenting you with a unique, eye-catching website, ready to show off to the world.
Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

8. Summary

 There are very few limits with WordPress. If you have a vision – everything is possible.

Running medium size website on WordPress with features mentioned earlier will cost you £287.99 (vs £354 on Wix and £343.99 on Squarespace) in the first year.
Here is how we calculate it:

This gets even better in the second year. You don’t have to pay for the design, so your only cost comes down to £37.99 – a price for hosting and domain name. Now that’s a deal!

Let’s wrap it up. Two-year running cost on Wix comes at £708, £754.42 on Squarespace and £325.98 on WordPress. In the following years, your running cost at WordPress will only consist of hosting and domain name, and even with the inflation and price increase, you will be able to keep your total spend way under £100/year. It would be wise to rethink a custom design with a starting price of £500 in our Business Design Plan with such a bargain. It will only add to your total cost in the first year, bringing it to £537.99. Your only cost will remain hosting and a domain name in the second year, totalling £37.99. The custom graphic design isn’t an option on Wix or Squarespace. Both platforms push you to use their templates, whereas, on WordPress, only your imagination sets the limits.

The verdict

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

Wix’s best quality is the ease of use. You can build a good looking website without any knowledge in minutes. However, its lack of SEO integration will put you massively out of the budget or out of the search engines reach. You will have a good looking website that no-one will know about unless you pay extra for SEO optimisation. It also doesn’t offer a backup and migration option, so if you decide to move to another platform you will have to start from zero, losing all your content.

Wix’s standard running cost (without hiring an SEO expert) will put you at £354 in the first year or £708 in a two-year period with a bi-annually payment plan.

Squarespace is the best solution if you want a stunning design. Unfortunately, they don’t offer plugins compatibility, so you cannot add any extra features not already included on their platform. With time and your business’s growth, you might need to look for another system to support your company.

Keeping a Squarespace site will cost you £343.99 in the first year and £410.43 in the second year (without hiring an SEO expert). This results from an extra fee for some features that come free for the first year subscription. Every following year the price will increase in line with inflation and service charges.

WordPress is the most versatile and advance system that allows you to grow your website along with your company. It is also the most complicated at first sight. However, you can do everything alone; hiring a web designer will be your best option. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

With Webindesk, a WordPress site built on a Custom Template, configured and installed by an expert, will cost you £287.99 in the first year and £37.99 in the following year, totalling £325.98 for a two-year period.
Hiring us to create your one-of-a-kind, 100% custom-designed website will only increase the first year’s cost to £537.99. The second-year running cost will be £37.99, totalling £575.98 for a two-year period. You can easily add a free Yoast SEO plugin or upgrade to Yoast PRO for only £89/year, significantly boosting your site.

WordPress is the most trusted platform and powers nearly a third of the world’s websites, according to Market share yearly trends for content management systems.  It doesn’t generate a yearly cost of usage and doesn’t limit you to pre-installed software.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

At Webindesk, we recommend WordPress.

All quoted prices are current on 23rd March 2021.

Looking to start selling online? Check our article eCommerce Battle 2021: Shopify vs WooCommerce vs PrestaShop