Choosing a CMS for Your Website
It’s time for a new website! HOW EXCITING! But also – how terrifying.
Maybe you’ve had an HTML website for years (and likely relying on a developer to make changes) and you’re ready to take updates on yourself. Or maybe you already have WordPress or similar and you’ve been hearing amazing things about Squarespace or Wix or some of those other user-friendly sites advertised.
Whatever the case, deciding on a new CMS is largely based on preference, purpose and your long-term plan for the site. Our team prefers WordPress (our developer Sunny especially does!) and here’s why!
Wordpress is an open source platform, meaning their code is available to anyone and everyone to use, modify and extend in any way they see fit. This is why it has a large selection of templates and plugins to achieve the layout and functionality needed for almost every use case. Squarespace and Wix keep their platform private and develop apps and templates that cater to a large number of requests for a certain feature.
For instance, if you had your heart set on a templated design for your Wix website, you would be limited on what you could change when adding a call to action in the header, repositioning a logo or removing elements. While contacting Wix or Squarespace (or using their help forums) is an option, in our experience, they rarely approve template changes as other sites already use that layout with no problem.
- Ease of Use
Squarespace and Wix are easier to use as they provide a user-friendly, drag & drop interface to build websites but you are limited to what can and cannot be moved based on a template’s design.
The same functionality can be achieved in WordPress by installing one of many free plugins, and it does have a steeper learning curve. The ease of use paired with the flexibility to modify backend code is a huge bonus.
- User Support
Wix has a dedicated support center for their paying customers, and they are ready to answer questions and help users develop the site they want. They also have hundreds of video tutorials and walkthroughs, email support and also an entire education program – WixEd. Similarly, Squarespace has solid customer care and forums, although with both platforms, be prepared for not every question to be addressed.Wordpress does not have a support center, but there is a huge community of users webmasters that can be reached via their forums, StackOverflow or…Google!
- Ongoing Maintenance
Wordpress constantly updates it’s platform and encourages plugin and template developers to do the same. These updates enhance security, implement bug fixes and are rolled out in a very visual manner and can be seen when logging into WordPress’s admin panel. Wix and Squarespace release similar updates but deploys them on your website internally and globally, taking care of this entire aspect for you.
This is the area where Wix & Squarespace have a serious disadvantage for growing sites that depend on non-branded organic search.
- Adding schema markup, adding pixels, retargeting tools, custom share buttons, custom email collection tools – all are either difficult or unavailable.
- Personalized URL’s can be generated for all pages, except blogs where Wix adds an unnecessary short extra string which Google will find and index.
- An XML sitemap is auto-generated but cannot be modified in any way, even though you may want to hide certain password-protected pages or hidden sections of your website.
- A way to implement domain level redirects to resolve duplicate content issues is another feature that both Squarespace and Wix do not offer.
- We’ve also found meta descriptions to be difficult or impossible to edit on certain Squarespace templates – but this depends on what template you’ve chosen.
From a professional standpoint, while WordPress may have a steep learning curve and is time-consuming to maintain, in the long run, it has proven to be more powerful and effective on the web.
Still not sure which CMS is the right choice for you, or if you even need to make the switch at all? Contact our team of specialists today for a hand!