With new website services popping up all the time, it’s easy to question which one is best for you. Different ones offer different options, with some being significantly more limited than others. Some promote an ease of use while others offer deals on hosting packages. But there’s a lot more to factor in than just the setup and design of your website.

Once your site is up and looking good, it needs to function well. Does your website service offer plugins that meet your needs, or will you be required to hire a programmer to build something for you? Does the service include any SEO features? Effective ones? A nice looking website that receives no traffic won’t amount to much. How about a built-in store for e-commerce websites? Is it easy to update your inventory or will you need to invest in a separate service for that?

These questions can feel daunting, especially if you’re just starting out or trying to navigate it all by yourself. But figuring out these key questions will determine whether your website will be a success or an expensive disappointment.

Your website needs are unique. And while questions usually don’t have a one size fits all answer — fortunately, when it comes to web design, there is a one size fits all solution.

Why Is WordPress So Popular?

WordPress sites make up 33% of the sites on the internet. That amounts to over 75 million websites, making WordPress the most popular by far.

The platform has 58.55% of the CMS (Content Management System) market share. People and organizations like the Chicago Sun Times, Mercedes Benz, Time, and even Beyonce all use WordPress.

There’s a reason WordPress is so popular, and it lies in its versatility. With seemingly endless features ranging from e-commerce storefronts, to excellent SEO tools, to spam prevention, to site security, to blog tools, to beautiful design elements, you can quickly realize your vision without the stress or wasteful expense of hiring a programmer to custom build.

A WordPress developer knows how to manipulate everything WordPress offers, to give you a clean, functioning website at a fraction of the cost.

A huge benefit of WordPress is that due to its size and popularity, it gets frequent updates. Bugs get worked out, plugins are tested by thousands if not millions of users, and experts take care of any issues. This means the problems with your site will be few. And when they do come up, your WordPress developer will likely be able to solve them with a few clicks.

WordPress works wonderfully for all types of websites, whether you have a blog, an online store, a membership community, or simply want to offer information.

Some of the main WordPress features include:

  • Countless features
  • Extensive customization
  • SEO-friendliness
  • Ease of use
  • Security
  • Versatility

Cost? What Cost?

One of the main advantages of WordPress when compared to other content management systems is that it’s a 100% free open source platform.

And when you remove the platform’s costs, you can now focus on allocating your budget to creating a beautiful and powerful website.

Unlike some of the other content management providers which charge for every add-on, all you have to pay for when it comes to WordPress is a WordPress developer who will create a site like no other on the web.

But what do the other CMS platforms have to offer?

WordPress vs. Squarespace

When Squarespace rose to popularity in the early 2010s, the coolest feature they brought to the table was their drag and drop builder. Even to this day, it’s more a website builder than a comprehensive content management system that can support sites of any kind.

Who Should Use Squarespace?

Squarespace is primarily made for creatives such as photographers and musicians, for simple e-commerce stores, and for entrepreneurs who need to display their portfolios and biographies. Small businesses and restaurants can also use it (to a certain extent).

Since Squarespace is highly visual and made for beginner users, you can access everything from a neat user interface that prevents you from messing up the code.

This feels very encouraging and helpful in the beginning, but with time, as you start wanting to develop your site further, it becomes an obstacle.

Like Squarespace, WordPress has a clean and simple user interface, as well as an intuitive drag and drop builder. However, WordPress is far more powerful. And while feature-rich, your developer will include only the features you need — with the option to grow as your business grows.

Which Platform is Better for SEO: Squarespace or WordPress?

One of the most important things for your website is its ability to rank well in search engine results.

There are a lot of things that can affect your rankings. Your website performance is one of the most important factors: namely, its speed and compatibility with a variety of devices — especially with Google’s new mobile-first focus.

Squarespace isn’t the best at SEO.

While they’ve made significant improvements, you still can’t change blog page titles or keep your HTML code clean for easier indexing. While your site may be pretty, all of those building blocks add up and slow it down. And neither Google bots nor your visitors want to wait around for your site to load.

When you also consider the fact that you can’t choose your hosting provider on your own (the server speed affects SEO), it becomes clear you should steer clear of Squarespace if you want to get massive organic traffic from search engines.

WordPress, on the other hand, is extremely flexible. With SEO plugins like Yoast, you can optimize your site in the blink of an eye.

You won’t come across any obstacles. You have complete control over every aspect of your site, including the ability to select your own hosting provider.

With WordPress you can create the right foundation for your SEO success, from your server to on-page SEO.

Which Platform is Better for e-Commerce: Squarespace or WordPress?

Squarespace has a built-in e-commerce feature with a decent array of options.

It’s a neatly packed solution for new store owners. However, if you want to export all of your products in one go, you won’t be able to. And since Squarespace has its own e-commerce system, you may miss out on the functionalities of the more serious platforms like Shopify.

Conversely, WordPress offers plenty of plugins and integrations that allow you to set up your store with your platform of choice or with WordPress’ wildly popular e-commerce platform WooCommerce.

Pricing

If you want to create a website with Squarespace, you can choose between the following plans:

  • $144/year (limited functionality that doesn’t include customization and other features)
  • $216/year (full functionality with 3% transaction fee)

If you want to create an e-commerce store with Squarespace, they offer two plans:

  • $312/year (limited, with features from the $18/mo website plan)
  • $480/year (full functionality, no transaction fees)

When it comes to WordPress, you’ll need the WordPress platform itself (free), and your domain name and hosting services.

If you want an e-store, you can use WooCommerce, for free. Most plugins and additional features are also free. This saves your developer money, which in turn saves you money.

The Verdict

If you’re an eCommerce store owner who wants to get their business off the ground quickly, Squarespace has everything you need for the time being.

However, if you want a website that’s unique to your business and offers complete support, go with WordPress and WooCommerce.

WordPress vs. Wix

Wix is another popular website builder that markets itself as a free tool for creating beautiful websites. But how do its features compare to WordPress?

Who Should Use Wix?

Wix is great for beginner users who want to host a personal site or set up a front page for a smaller business. However, since Wix is a website builder and not a full content management system like WordPress, you can’t simply move your site to a different hosting provider when the time comes.

Your site stays with Wix, and this means that after a few months or years of business growth, you’re looking at getting a whole new website.

Conversely, a WordPress site will grow with you. There are never limitations for expansion and updates. Instead of starting from scratch, your developer can make changes as you go, to always keep your site current.

You can export it whenever you’d like, or switch hosting providers or platforms.

Which Platform is Better for SEO: Wix or WordPress?

If you want to get a lot of free traffic with a little help from search engine optimization, you should go with WordPress. It allows you to install unlimited plugins to help you, and you can optimize your entire site with a few clicks.

With Wix, your only option is their Wix SEO Whiz plugin, limited to 5 keywords. If you want something else, unfortunately you can’t have it.

Which Platform is Better for e-Commerce: Wix or WordPress?

Just like Squarespace, Wix also has a built-in e-commerce feature.

You can track your orders and inventory, process payments with credit cards and PayPal, manage shipping and tax, as well as create coupons. The biggest advantage is that Wix doesn’t take a commission from your sales.

However, Wix’s main focus seems to be on visuals and beautiful storefronts. And while that is great for your aesthetic, it may not be the best for business.

With WordPress, you can use WooCommerce — a platform made with WordPress users in mind. It comes with hundreds of features, integrations, and customizations, and also doesn’t take a percentage of your sales.

Pricing

Wix offers plenty of plans that come with even more limitations.

They offer the following plans for plain websites:

  • Free (yoursite.wix.com)
  • Basic: $4.50/mo (Wix ads, 1GB bandwidth, 500MB storage)
  • Combo: $8.50/mo (no ads, 2GB bandwidth, 3GB storage, 30 video minutes)
  • Unlimited: $12.50/mo (unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage, 1 video hour)
  • VIP: $24.50/mo (unlimited bandwidth, 20GB storage, free logo, analytics app)

If you want an eCommerce site, you can expect to pay:

  • Business basic: $17/mo (unlimited bandwidth, 20GB storage)
  • Business unlimited: $25/mo (unlimited bandwidth, 35GB storage, logo)
  • Business VIP: $35/mo (unlimited bandwidth, 50GB storage, priority response and VIP support)

WooCommerce, on the other hand, is free. The only thing that you could pay for are possible extensions and integrations.

The Verdict

Again, we have to side with WordPress.

It simply offers more, and so does WooCommerce, its e-commerce platform. It’s much more flexible, allowing you to make your site uniquely your own — without the limitations.

WordPress vs. Shopify

Nothing is more synonymous with e-commerce than Shopify. However, e-commerce has advanced so much that now WordPress’ WooCommerce offers plenty of features you need.

Pros and Cons of Shopify

The main benefits of Shopify are connected to its simplicity: Much like Wix and Squarespace, it’s a hosted solution, so you don’t have to manage hosting and domain servers separately.

However, if you want to make serious changes to your Shopify website, you’re going to need to know how to code.

The question then becomes: why not just use WordPress?

It’s more flexible and even if you don’t know how to code, you can install a plugin that takes care of things for you.

Pros and Cons of WooCommerce

There’s nothing you can’t customize with WordPress.

Your WordPress web developer can create an incredible website for you at a fraction of what it would cost using other services. And the data is structured in a way that allows you to implement changes site-wide. One thing WooCommerce lacks is phone support, which Shopify does have.

Features

Shopify comes with more pre-installed features than WooCommerce.

However, you can easily add them to WooCommerce with integrations (and WooCommerce’s library includes hundreds of them).

Pricing

WooCommerce is free.

The only thing you can pay for are integrations, and they range from $0 to $400.

Shopify’s plans range from $29/month to $299/month. A month.

Even with the most expensive plan you can still expect Shopify to charge 2.4% + $0.30 for each transaction. If you’re not using Shopify Payments, you’ll be charged an additional fee.

The Verdict

If you want to set up your store immediately and stop thinking about technicalities that can make it better in the long term, go with Shopify.

For everything else, there’s WordPress and WooCommerce.

Is WordPress Still the Best Platform?

Yes! And that’s why we offer it exclusively.

WordPress is the most flexible and powerful solution on the market.

We believe passionately in WordPress because it allows us to deliver websites rich with features, while being easy to maintain, and at a competitive price.

We are here for you every step of the way to create a visually pleasing, functional, and user-friendly website that perfectly suits your business.

Looking to start a new site or take yours to the next level? Ask us about WordPress.