It’s a fact: If you want your company to get noticed these days, you need a website. And not just any website will do. You need one that’s attractive, user-friendly, and SEO-friendly. Luckily, you don’t have to know a lot (or really, anything) about code or tech to create a beautiful, functional website. You just need to choose the right content management system (CMS).
Three big names rule the CMS space: Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks, and one might be a better pick for your brand than the other. Let’s break down the differences between the three platforms to help you pick the one that’s best for your digital marketing needs.
Squarespace is ideal for companies that want to make a splash, visually, with their websites. The CMS is somewhat more limited than the other options out there, but where it excels, it really excels.
Squarespace comes with 40 built-in templates. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but you may be amazed at what you can do with those 40 templates and a bit of finesse. If you know some code, you can modify the templates to meet your needs and design aesthetic. Even if you don’t know a line of code, you can still take advantage of the attractive preset template options.
Squarespace isn’t the easiest CMS to use, at least at first. If you’ve never tinkered with a CMS before, you might feel a bit lost when you get started with Squarespace. But after a few clicks and tries, it’s pretty easy to get the hang of the system.
SEO helps your site get noticed, by ensuring it ranks up there in the search engine results. The three most popular CMSes include some SEO tools and functionality. But how useful these features vary considerably.
Squarespace has several built-in SEO tools. You can get basic SEO support from Squarespace, but if you don’t already know the basics of optimizing your site for search, you may find those features confusing or difficult to use.
Wix has a lot in common with Squarespace, but stands out in several ways. Think of Wix as the beginner-friendly option. It’s designed for people who have never made a website before and may have no idea what they’re doing.
Wix has hundreds more design templates than Squarespace but how attractive those templates are is really up to you (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all). The tricky thing about Wix is that once you’ve chosen a design template, it’s yours forever unless you completely scrap your site and start again. So, if you go with Wix, make sure you choose your template carefully, as switching can be a bear.
Wix’s standout feature is its drag-and-drop editor. It’s designed for the most tech-phobic users and is simple to master. If you can click on your mouse and keep the button pressed down, you can use Wix.
Beyond the drag-and-drop feature, Wix has an easy-to-understand layout. You can see what your page will look like as you work and it’s not difficult to figure out what to place where. To make things even easier, the CMS has introduced an AI design tool. You tap in the answers to a few basic questions about how you want your site to look and a few minutes later, you get a beautiful website.
If you hear “SEO” and think “SE-what?” Wix is for you. The CMS has built-in SEO tools and support. It also offers an SEO wizard that makes suggestions based on your site’s needs.
WordPress is like the granddaddy of CMS. It’s been around the longest. For years, it had the best reputation. These days, though, WordPress is facing some stiff competition from upstarts like Wix and Squarespace. It may not be the most beginner-friendly platform, but it has a lot to offer more experienced website builders.
WordPress has hundreds of thousands of themes available, which can overwhelm you. How do you choose when there are thousands of options?
While all those choices seem like too much for the beginner, for a more advanced user, they can be gold. Once you’ve selected a template, you can customize it with a bit of code and a few more plug-ins, making your website unique to your brand.
Wix and Squarespace have WordPress beat, regarding ease of use and beginner-friendliness. But WordPress has made some strides in this area recently. It’s not exactly a drag-and-drop editor, but its block editor can be easy to figure out. You can also install a plug-in to convert the editor to a drag-and-drop one, but then again, you need to know how to install a plug-in.
WordPress has some SEO features, including an app for SEO. But it doesn’t offer the same tools or guidance you get from Wix. If you use WordPress, you’ll want to work with an agency that specializes in boosting SEO.
So, which CMS should you choose? Ultimately, it boils down to your skill level and comfort in building websites. If you’re completely new to the game, Wix or Squarespace will be easier to use. But if you’re familiar with code and websites, WordPress is worth a try.