The CMS Bowl: WordPress vs. Wix vs. Squarespace

WordPress vs. Wix vs. SquarespaceIf you watched Super Bowl 50 you may have seen ads for Wix and Squarespace — two companies that claim to make building a business website dead easy. Unfortunately, WordPress was notably absent from the big game.

And it’s not just the Super Bowl. Wix regularly buys commercial time on cable networks. And Squarespace is all over NPR and most of the top-rated Podcasts.

A casual observer might mistakenly assume that WordPress is just too tiny to compete against much bigger companies. The same casual observer might be shocked to learn that WordPress’s market share (37%) actually dwarfs both Wix (1.5%) and Squarespace (2.4%).

Here are just a few of the many advantages WordPress has over both Squarespace and Wix.

  • It’s open-source, meaning it’s both free to use and free to modify. Why is this important? It means you own your website and no one can ever take it away from you.
  • You can host your website anywhere. With Squarespace or Wix you have no choice. You’re locked into those services.
  • There are tens of thousands of site designs (themes) and plugins available for WordPress. Meaning you’re not limited by a small set of pre-designed templates or pre-determined site functionality.

There’s a reason why you won’t see a Super Bowl commercial for WordPress. Open-source software programs don’t have the cash to spend waste on dubious advertising.

WordPress may have lost the Super Bowl, but it’s dominating the CMS league when it comes to mindshare. To see what I mean, try this Amazon test:

When it comes to third party support and documentation (areas that really matter when you’re choosing a platform to build your online business), WordPress is crushing it.

For what it’s worth, there’s some indication that Automattic (the company behind WordPress) is starting to make marketing a bit more seriously. WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg recently announced that Automattic is looking to beef up its marketing team.

Still, I doubt WordPress will ever spend money to sponsor most of the top-40 podcasts, as Squarespace does. But while popular podcasters are willing to take Squarespace’s advertising dollars, many of those same podcasters are using WordPress to run their own websites (I’m looking at you Gimlet Media).

In the meantime, I worry about unsuspecting business owners who make important decisions based on their media consumption habits. If you’re researching the best platform for your business website, there’s one clear choice: WordPress.