The differences between WordPress and Squarespace, Wix and Weebly

The differences between WordPress and Squarespace, Wix and Weebly

After researching, comparing and gathering information on what you need to know to make a choice between WordPress, Squarespace, Wix or Weebly, I have come to the conclusion that there is no conclusion.

Each of these services has something to offer depending on what you need. For example, if you’re a hobby artist, a free Weebly site (with advertising) may suffice. An artist with little or no computer skill may want a simple drag and drop interface, which is available with all services (drag and drop themes are available for WordPress). A professional artist may want the power WordPress offers.

In all honesty, I find it very difficult to compare Squarespace, Wix or Weebly with WordPress the self-hosted version. WordPress is different, it’s a robust, scalable, open source (free) application that can be whatever you need it to be.

You’ll see how hard it is to compare WordPress with the others in the table below. But first I think it’s important to understand how these proprietary services work.

Where is my backup?

Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and other website services like them are proprietary. Which means you don’t own your website, they do. These companies can choose to close their doors tomorrow and your site goes with it. If you have spent years creating content and a blog following, it can go poof! Don’t think it can happen? Remember when Apple shut down iWeb. Then there was Posterous that left 60,000 clients in the cold.

SquareSpace is the only one of these services that will let you export a XML backup of your content that could be imported into WordPress, but you don’t get everything. It’s not an easy import either as you have to save the export as Livejournal or Typepad which may or may not work when bring into WordPress.

Wix allows you to duplicate your site but it stays on the Wix server, as that is the only place it will work.

Weebly allows you to download a zip backup of your site but has a disclaimer that your blog posts are not part of it because they are in the database, which can not be accessed. They go on to say that your site probably won’t work as expected unless it’s on the Weebly server.

If you’re an avid blogger or just have lots of content and don’t want to go through the hassle of recreating all that content elsewhere, you’re better off using (the hosted version) or Blogger. When you have outgrown these platforms or need extensibility you can easily import into the self hosted version of WordPress.

What about WordPress backups, I can hear you asking. You can export, migrate, save in the cloud, or download to your computer, a complete backup of your WordPress site. You can use this to migrate to another host provider should you ever feel the want or need.

A Fact Based Comparison

Below is a fact based comparison. If you want opinions on how easy each platform is to use you can find lots by doing a simple Google search. These types of comparisons are subjective depending on the author and their bais. You’ve probably figured out by now that I am pro WordPress, but have to say that all the proprietary services mentioned in this article are fairly easy to use.

So just the facts based on the basic entry package of each. All these services provide upgrades that will give more space, ecommerce, etc, which you can check out at their respective sites.

Feature Wix Weebly Squarespace WordPress
Yearly Plan $9.25 – 24.92 $8 – 25 $12 – 18 Varies $3.95 and up, depending on the hosting company
Monthly Plan $9.25 – 24.92 N/A $16 – 26 Varies
Bandwidth 2GB – Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Varies
Storage 3GB – Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Varies
Number of Websites 1 10 1 Varies
Number of Pages Unlimited Unlimited 20 Unlimited
Email Service Google Apps Google Apps Google Apps, Zoho Email Varies
Max UploadFile Size 15MB (audio)10MB (images) 100MB 120MB (audio)20MB (images) Varies
Hosting Grid Hosting Cloud Hosting Cloud Hosting Grid, Cloud, Shared, VPS, Dedicated
Domain Name FREE (1 Year Plan) Not Included FREE (1 Year Plan) Depends on provider. I recommend to keep them separate.
Drag n’ Drop Yes Yes Yes Yes, depends on theme
Free Themes 100+ 100+ 25 1945 + premium
Support Phone – 24/7 Email – 24/7 Forums
Knowledge Base
Email – 24/7 Chat – 11am – 9pm Forums
Knowledge Base
Email – 24/7 Chat – 11am – 7pm Forums
Knowledge Base
Community Forums, WordCamps, free & paid resources around the world
Analytics Google Analytics Weebly Analytics Google Analytics Squarespace Analytics Google Analytics Google Analytics plus many other plugins to chose from
SEO Optimized Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile Website Yes Yes Yes Yes, depends on theme
Social Sharing Yes Yes Yes Yes, plugin or theme supported
Image Editor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Form Builder Yes Yes Yes Yes – plugin
Custom HTML/CSS HTML Only HTML and CSS HTML and CSS Open source so all code is accessible

As you can see it is very difficult to compare WordPress with the other services. All these services can provide you with a basic portfolio site, a blog or ecommerce, including WordPress. But only one is unlimited in its functions and can be as small or as BIG as required.