This must be one of the most common questions online: what are the differences between the most popular website creation platforms like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and Weebly? Which one is the best? In this article, I have reviewed all of them, giving you an in-depth review of which platform might be the best for your website setup.
Whether you’ve decided to start your own blog, build a website for your business or set up a portfolio, the first problem you will encounter is the overwhelming amount of different website creation platforms and the confusing decision – which one to choose?!
Generally, WordPress is the most popular choice because it offers self-hosted website creation. WordPress is also overall cheaper and more efficient. At the same time, platforms like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace offer faster and easier solutions.
Making the decision about which one of the website creation platforms to choose is an important first step to building your own website.
As a website designer, I’ve had first-hand experience with all of these platforms and I’ve reviewed all of that below!
Disclaimer: This blog post includes affiliate links.
Comparison of the most popular website creation platforms
Disclaimer: I LOVE WordPress.
WordPress is offering a self-hosted website creation. This means that you’ll have to find a hosting service, purchase a domain and then use WordPress. It’s a lot easier than it sounds!
Make sure to check out this 5 step guide to starting your own website if necessary.
- On WordPress, you will find unlimited customization options. Basically, you can do with WordPress whatever is on your mind. There are tons of WordPress design themes to choose from – I really mean TONS when I say it. There are also all kinds of plugins to use.
- Around 20% of all the world’s self-hosted websites are hosted on WordPress. It’s a LOT! So the platform is stable as a rock and will go nowhere anytime soon.
- WordPress is very-budget friendly. The first year’s hosting with Siteground is around $50. You’ll have to pay an additional cost for a domain, which is around $10, and for a theme that can be anywhere between $20 and $60 (as well as free for starters!). Theme purchase is a one-term deal. So for starting out, you might need around $100 or less if you’re up for a free theme. Read more about WordPress themes for starters! If you compare to other prices – this is the cheapest option to go for.
- There’s a huge WordPress website community. Which means always having all the necessary support! If you’re in any kind of Facebook groups, you might find that most bloggers and business owners have WordPress sites.
- The learning curve is a bit bigger and might be scary for some. You definitely have to read a guide or two before understanding how to proceed. You can learn more in my Blog Creation Simplified – a free guide covering it all!
- The design setup also could take a bit more of your time and you should be genuinely interested in the process. Otherway, it’s easy to get short-tempered… It’s fun and easy to use once you get the idea of how it works though!
When it comes to discussions about which website creation platform to choose WordPress comes first in the list.
Wix, Squarespace and Weebly
In general, all of these platforms offer the same service so I won’t get into separating them for this review.
Wix, Squarespace and Weebly offer website creation with several easy to use tools: ready-to-use templates, easy customization and most things already prepared for you. For example, social media sharing buttons, option to build a shop, create your own email.
If I’d have to answer the question of which website creation platform to choose from these three, I’d go with Squarespace.
Here’s the overall comparison of these platforms VS WordPress:
- It’s great for those who need a website fast. You literally can create a website within a day with any of these platforms. Their pre-made templates are easy to use and update according to your needs.
- Also, their templates very often are modern and elegant. This is especially true for Squarespace while Weebly’s offer is the least exciting.
- Very often these platforms mean no additional hustle for you: there aren’t as many options to work with and the ones offered are easy to use and fast to learn.
- They are taking care of all parts of the process – website’s hosting, email, domain name, etc. – if necessary. This means that you can easily control anything website related to one platform without remembering more than one password or managing several accounts and bills.
- None of these platforms entitle your content to YOU. As a not self-hosted website, you’ve legally created content that they can do whatever they want to with it. For example, your website can be taken down if any of these companies decide to stop working. Although there aren’t many horrifying samples like this, it can happen. And if you’re investing your time and money into your website, you better make sure that it’ll always be available for you.
- These platforms are expensive. Way more expensive than any self-hosted website creation. It’d cost you over $150 yearly to use Wix, Squarespace or Weebly with a decent plan.
- This also means less storage for a higher price. Having enough storage is important if your website will be anything besides a blog. If you’re uploading any photos, maybe even videos, or want to add any other interactive features: opt-in boxes, for example.
- They also have a lack of customization options. It is a very important thing for those who have clear goals on their mind or who are looking forward to growing their websites in the future. Although you can easily adjust various design options, none of the platforms give you complete freedom over the design. For many, this can be a huge dealbreaker when it comes to which website creation platform to choose.
Which website creation platform to choose?
Choose WordPress if
- you’re a blogger and want to monetize your blog. WordPress offers the best SEO tools (read more about search engine optimization) and it overall has a very blogging-friendly platform;
- you want to have a successful website for the long-run. As I said, you never know what can happen with smaller website creators. Even if you want to create only a page or two now, make sure to choose WordPress if you’re looking forward to growing in the future;
- you’re eager to have a website of your dreams. If you’re a strongly visual person you must have some ideas on how your website should look like. Even if you’re just a dreamer with a tiny bit of the vision. WordPress will give you the most options!
Choose Wix, Squarespace or Weebly if
- what you need is a short-term deal. For example, a pop-up website for an event or promo page for a product. These pages will make it easier for you to make it happen and you won’t have to worry about their stability;
- you’re just getting started and literally “don’t care”. If you just want to dip the toe in the water, choose Wix, Squarespace or Weebly to see how websites can be created.
- if you seriously don’t have ANY time. If you’re in a huge rush and your website needed to get done yesterday, go for any of these platforms.
My experience as a website designer
I personally stand and fall for WordPress. Although 4 years ago I had not the smallest idea how this platform works.
The learning curve wasn’t as big as I expected it to be. In no time, I understood how the platform works and realized that most things I was afraid of before could be done in a way easier manner than I thought.
I’ve had my own website on WordPress for more than 3 years now. I’m using Siteground as my hosting and I love this combo. Not only as a true supporter of these services but also as a business owner. Everything is working smoothly, I haven’t had any problems with the website and even whenever the smallest issues arise, I can contact my host that’ll solve the problem.
Previously, I had my website on Squarespace. That’s how I got started! But eventually, it felt very limiting. Also, I started experiencing some issues: it was hard to design pages, they were giving me errors, not uploading correctly and way too many other things I didn’t want to deal with. The baseline is – I LOVE Squarespace the most out of the basic platforms, but it’s not the best choice in the long-run.
I’ve worked on client websites on Wix and Weebly. They are great for starters! However, not as versatile as other website creation platforms. Their offered designs were a bit boring, it was rather hard to make things happen the way I wanted them to be I’d never choose or suggest creating a company website on these platforms tho. And especially – blog! They are very unfriendly for search engines, post-editing options are limited and can easily annoy.
Before you make the final decision…
First of all, take some time to review all website creation platforms and maybe even give their free trials a try. They all have their pros and cons!
I stand by the idea that WordPress is the best platform for your website and, especially, blog. There really rarely is any excuse that’d work for choosing any other platform unless you’re not really serious about what you’re up for or are ready to transfer eventually.