2020 Website Builder Comparison: Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, and WordPress

Thanks to Covid-19, social distancing, and storefront operating restrictions, a business’ website is more important than ever. Wheels Up’ers have been building and leveraging websites for all sorts of businesses for years, and while every client’s needs are different, there are a few core components that we have always considered while building a web strategy: storytelling, UX, and promotion. (Check out our blog post on these key pillars for more details.)

Gone are the days of needing a web dev to build a robust and impressive website; today’s website builders are drag-and-drop easy, and editing functions are as familiar as drafting an email or editing a photo in Instagram. There are a few popular website platforms we regularly use for our clients: Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, and WordPress. Here’s a side-by-side comparison considering those three key pillars, plus we’ll add backend capabilities into the bake off since there are a few major differences that need to be considered to match the right website editor for each client. WordPress is really in a different category than the other three, but it’s often requested so worth showing how it stacks up to simpler options.

Here’s the <TL/DR> recap:

If you’re looking for a small to medium size site where content management will be handled by stakeholders with various levels of technical comfort, it’s a no-brainer to go with one of the website editors - Wix, Square Space, or Weebly. They can all easily handle websites with up to 100 pages, have good-enough technical SEO capabilities, robust business plugins (including ecommerce capabilities, CRMs, and light marketing automation), accessible support, and beautiful designs, with content management that most can easily learn to use.

Of the three, our pick is Wix. It has the best combination of design flexibility, app plugins, mobile design flexibility, content management. The ability to spin up test environments (for free) and walk back mistakes (don’t we all love an “undo” button?!) are a huge advantage in our opinion. This makes edits, training, and QA with clients significantly easier and less risky.

If you’re looking for an enterprise scale site or have very specific design requirements, WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that has been the backbone of millions of websites for many years. You can’t go wrong with WordPress, but you can spend unnecessary time and money while adding ongoing management complexity with this option. You will definitely need a web dev to get the site launched, and someone who is fairly tech savvy for ongoing maintenance and updates. If you run into problems, you’ll have to leverage Google and the WordPress user community to track down answers since there’s no dedicated support team. You’ll also have to spin up and manage your own hosting, plug ins, and updates - none of which are rocket science, but still if you’re looking for a simple web solution, they are added complexities that the website editors have taken care of for you. The costs associated with a WordPress site are more variable than with a Website Editor, too, since so many of the bells and whistles that make WP great are paid add-ons. You might have to change plugins throughout the life of your site if your originals didn’t keep up to date on security or browser compatibility updates.

Let us know if you have any questions about website editors or want help building a website strategy for your business.