I regularly receive questions about website hosting options. One topic that comes up quite a bit is Wix versus Squarespace. I won’t make you wait until the end of the post. My answer is neither.

Why? It comes down to control and options. Remember GeoCities? MySpace? Object lessons in why not to choose a proprietary platform.

GeoCities offered people the ability to host their site (much like WordPress) with something like myspiffyname.geocities.com. And there was a free tier.

MySpace was technically a social network, but many people used it as their web presence because of the ability to customize their profile page.

Both businesses shut their doors and left users scrambling to find a replacement that didn’t require complete rebuilds of their websites.

For the same reason, I advise people not to choose proprietary content management systems tied to custom hosting like Wix or Squarespace.

It’s fairly simple math that leads me to this opinion. Where can you host your Wix site? Only at wix.com. Where can you host your Squarespace site? Only at squarespace.com. Where can you host your WordPress or Drupal site? There are at least 100 hosting companies that will do a good job hosting either of those.

What happens if Wix or Squarespace goes out of business? Or what if they decide they don’t like your content and choose not to do business with you? At a minimum, the following:

  • Find a new system to learn
  • Find a new hosting company
  • Convert your Wix/Squarespace site data to the new system
  • Redo/recreate the look-and-feel (theme) of your site
  • Point your domain to the new hosting

Translating your site from one system to another and recreating your look-and-feel (theme) are likely to cost you quite a bit of money — unless you know how to do all that yourself.

What if you hosted your WordPress site at wordpress.com and decided after a year that the hosting was too expensive? You would only have to do the following:

  • Find a new hosting company
  • Transfer your data to the new host
  • Point your domain to the new host

When it comes to WordPress, transferring a site can be accomplished with very little effort (and frequently for free). Drupal and Joomla require a little more expertise. I’m sure this varies for other content management systems as well.

But the point is that you don’t have to redesign, re-implement or convert your data to a new system. You don’t have to learn how to use a new system just because you parted ways with a hosting company.

That’s why when someone asks for my opinion on Wix versus Squarespace, I have to say neither.