compare and contrast 4 leading website builders
It can feel like there is no limit to the number of platforms you can use to create a website for your small business. Every day these platforms pump out thousands of advertisements to potential buyers, claiming to be the best choice for creating and developing a high-quality site.
In this blog post, we’ll cut through the noise by going over the good, the bad, and the ugly for each of these platforms so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you and your business.
This post isn’t sponsored, so you can rest easy knowing that there is no secret agenda for one platform to be promoted over the other. Just real, raw research to help you ensure you invest in the best.
We’ll go over each of these 4 platforms in depth so you can get to know the pros and cons of each.
In recent years, Squarespace has become a top player in the web design game. With a networth of $6.6 billion at the time of writing, there’s no doubt that this is a popular and valuable player in the web design and development game.
Squarespace boasts being user friendly and intuitive. With a wide variety of free templates to choose from (and even more paid options), they claim to be the best platform for site creation regardless of your industry.
Squarespace is great for those who are looking for an all-in-one tool. You can host a blog, store, and scheduling software all from one place for a competitive rate. There is no code required to publish the site.
Unfortunately, each template on Squarespace abides to it’s own set of rules, which limits customization options. Before committing to a template, it’s important to ensure it has all the design capabilities you want it to have. Not everything is fully customizable and each template plays by its own set of rules (some even limit how big you can make your logo and where it will appear on your site.)
In addition to limiting the layout of the site, Squarespace’s mobile editing is quite limited. Whereas other platforms allow you to edit the mobile site independently of the desktop version, Squarespace automatically creates a mobile version based on what has been designed in desktop.
While the price and usability might be impressive to some, the limited customization options hinder the design capabilities across your website.
WordPress is the leader in the web design space with over 455 million sites created on the platform.
WordPress has a variety of themes that each work differently for users to customize their site. The site also has thousands of plug-ins that can be implemented into your website to add additional features. Coding is often required and the back-end is the least user friendly of the sites we’ll discuss here.
While WordPress does have the most impressive SEO, we recommend only using this platform if you plan to hire a professional designer and developer who knows the ins and outs of the platform. It surely isn’t intuitive although the customization options are impressive and it’s a leader in SEO.
Founded in 2006, this website platform is known for it’s robust customization options, blogging SEO, and no-code interface.
Users can opt to start from scratch or use a free (or paid for) template to get started. The desktop and mobile site can be designed independently, and there are no design restrictions based on the template you’ve chosen.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Showit, is that it integrates with WordPress blogging. This means users can get the best of both worlds: a much more intuitive design interface with the SEO powers of WordPress, which is the leader in SEO capabilities.
We use Showit for the vast majority of our clients because it’s robust design features and impressive SEO blogging capabilities allow us to create extremely high-quality designs for our clients that aren’t impossible to maintain post site-launch.
We have also been blown away by the customer support chat feature on Showit, where we can interact with a real person to get our questions answered in real-time.
Wix has the easiest learning curve. If you know how to use a phone or make a post on Facebook, then you are tech-savvy enough to be able to navigate the platform with ease. While this drag-and-drop builder is highly user-friendly, it’s SEO capabilities are the least impressive in the industry, making it much harder to rank highly on google.
In addition to this, the add-on features like a store or blog are mediocre at best and there are limits as to what you can create within them.
We used to recommend this platform to total newbies, but after seeing the weak SEO capabilities and amateur-looking designs that have resulted, it has slowly moved to the bottom of our list.
Below you’ll find a summary of the four platforms we discussed above: Squarespace, WordPress, Showit, and Wix. Like most things, there are good and bad that exist within each. Our goal is to help you choose the platform that will be the best for your business.
The most important thing is that you choose the platform that you think will be best for your business based on your budget, skillset, and design savvy. Every platform will say it’s the best, so make sure you do your due diligence to discover what will actually be best for you.
Most of these platforms offer a free trial, so you can play around with the features and formatting before you invest.