Battle of Website Builders: Wix vs. SiteBuilder
Launching a new website is now easier than ever thanks to do-it-yourself website builders, such as Wix and SiteBuilder. Each of these builders allows its users to build professional and effective websites with minimal time or skill required.
With its well-known Super Bowl ads featuring famous actors and athletes, Wix is certainly the flashier of the two companies.
But do its features, price and ease-of-use stack up favorably against SiteBuilder ? The short answer is yes. SiteBuilder is an effective website builder, but Wix offers a superior product that lives up to the hype. Read on for a detailed comparison of how these two website builders rate in several key areas.
One of the key factors in choosing a website builder is the pricing plans on offer. This is particularly true if you are a small business owner and every purchasing decision can make or break you. Building a website was once a very expensive proposition. However, the emergence of the do-it-yourself website building model has cut the cost of both building and maintaining a website from thousands of dollars to as little as a couple hundred dollars a year.
SiteBuilder and Wix each offer free plans, however, these are essentially trials. They do not include a unique domain and their functionality is limited. Each builder offers a tiered pricing structure which starts with a basic plan and goes up in price as more functions are added.
SiteBuilder's Personal plan costs $9.99 per month, its Pro plan costs $9.22 per month, its Premium plan costs $12.29 per month and its Ecommerce plan costs $24.98 per month. Users can often get a cheaper introductory rate for their first month, and those who sign contracts spanning 12 or 24 months will enjoy a reduced rate.
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Wix offers a very limited Connect Domain plan for users who have already purchased a domain independently for $4.50 per month. For those seeking a plan with a free domain included, they have 4 choices: The Combo plan, for personal use, costs $10 per month; the Unlimited plan, for entrepreneurs and freelancers, costs $14 per month; the Ecommerce plan, for small businesses, costs $17 per month; and the VIP plan, featuring first priority support, costs $25 per month.
For those seeking a simple site for personal use, for a portfolio or for a small business, SiteBuilder's Pro or Premium plan are reasonable options. However, if you are looking to open an online store and you require Ecommerce functionality, Wix's Ecommerce plan offers the most reasonable option at just $17 per month.
The bottom line is that each of the website builders offers affordable options in the lower tiers, but Wix provides better value for slightly more advanced sites.
SiteBuilder has a good feature offering if you are looking to build a relatively simple site with basic functionality. It offers a free domain name with all premium plans, unlimited email addresses at your domain name, SEO tools to get your site to the top of search results for its two top tier plans, and the ability to sell products and receive payments on its Ecommerce plan. A premium plan allows you to monitor your site's stats through Google Analytics and measure your advertising ROI. Businesses that want to increase their social media presence can add the SocialBooster app for $49.95 per year. For an additional $10 a month you can add email marketing through Constant Contact.
Wix offers all of these features and more. It’s on the cutting edge technologically and is constantly adding new features. Wix app market allows users to add various functions to their site with one click. It features more than 150 apps, some of which are free and some of which are paid. Wix plans come with an SEO Wiz that takes you step-by-step through a plan to increase your site's reach on search engines. Popular apps allow you to add directions to your location on your site, a widget with the weather, the possibility to share playlists, a form to collect contacts from your site and a forum to let visitors to your site interact with you and other users.
Wix app market allows you to add a plethora of features to your site
Perhaps Wix's most impressive feature is its Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI), which it released in 2016. Wix ADI is ideal for those who want to save the time and energy of using a drag-and-drop editor to create their site. It designs your website for you in a matter of minutes by asking a few questions about your site's subject matter and your style preferences. Once ADI has designed your site, you can still jump back on with the drag-and-drop editor and adjust it as you see fit.
Wix ADI can build you a website after having asked just a few key questions
For those seeking to start a personal website or simple business website, SiteBuilder's feature offering may be enough. It answers all of the basic needs. However, if you have growth in mind for your website, and you enjoy new features and technology, Wix wins the features war in a landslide.
Ease of Use
SiteBuilder’s drag-and-drop editor is fun to use and easy. It doesn’t require any knowledge of code or design experience. However, those who have very little computer experience and haven’t used programs such as Photoshop may lose patience with the editor.
Once you’ve selected a template, you can customize it with the editor, changing fonts, background colors and images. You can add your own images or use the stock images provided by SiteBuilder. If you have all of your content and images prepared, you can have your site up and running in a matter of hours.
SiteBuilder’s drag-and-drop editor allows you to easily customize your template
Wix’s drag-and-drop editor is similarly easy-to-use and it has the added bonus of providing explainers from the wizard that accompanies your use of the tool. Each element of the editor has an explanation and you get more of a feeling of being walked through the process than you do with SiteBuilder’s editor.
Wix drag-and-drop editor includes helpful tips on how to best use the tool
Furthermore, Wix ADI makes the website building process even easier for those who find the drag-and-drop editor difficult to use. Wix offers ADI with all of its plans, free of charge. After you sign up, Wix asks if you want to create a site using the drag-and-drop editor or ADI. After asking you a short series of questions about your site and design preferences, it creates the site for you in minutes. A wizard then guides you through the remaining steps of customizing your site. You lose some of the customization control that a drag-and-drop editor gives you, but if you are looking to save time and energy, it is an ideal solution. Once again, Wix scores a decisive victory in the ease of use category.
Wix is known for its wide variety of templates, with over 400 different designs to choose from in 16 different categories. The templates are professionally designed and visually stunning. SiteBuilder boasts thousands of templates, however many of these templates are just slight variations of each other. The templates they do have are not quite as visually seamless as Wix’s templates are, however, they are sufficient for a rudimentary website.
SiteBuilder has thousands of templates to choose from
Both website builders offer fully customizable templates for businesses, online stores, portfolios, blogs, events, and a number of other site types. The templates are all mobile responsive, allowing users to view a preview of what the site will look like on both desktop and mobile devices.
Wix and SiteBuilder each offer an array of modern templates that you can easily make your own with their drag-and-drop editors. However, with so many attractive templates to choose from, Wix gives you the better chance of finding something that fits you just right.
SiteBuilder offers solid support options with phone, live chat and email communications available to all users. Premium and Ecommerce plan subscribers receive priority support, which ensures that any tech support or billing queries will be answered within one hour. In addition, SiteBuilder has a knowledge base with step-by-step instructions of how to carry out various functions on your website.
Wix's knowledge base is slightly better, offering video tutorials alongside step-by-step instructions. However, Wix does not offer the same level of support availability as SiteBuilder. Wix does not offer live chat or phone support. Users can either submit a support ticket online, or request a callback from the call center, Monday through Thursday, from 6am to 5pm Pacific Standard Time. Wix's premium plans come with premium support, which ensures that tickets you submit are automatically placed in the premium ticket queue to receive a faster reply.
SiteBuilder has better live support options, but Wix has a far superior knowledge base, so this one’s a tie.
Conclusion: Wix Wins Big
SiteBuilder and Wix are two of the leading website builders for good reason, but Wix is in a class of its own. Both offer reasonable pricing plans and allow you to create a professional website in a short amount of time without design or coding skills. SiteBuilder has a variety of templates to choose from and good customer support options, while Wix is easier to use and has more advanced features.
SiteBuilder is a good option if you want to get a simple site off the ground in a hurry, but if you have aspirations for growth, or you prefer to make a site without the hassle of a drag-and-drop editor, Wix is the better choice. In particular, Wix’s ADI option for creating a website gives it a unique advantage that SiteBuilder can’t match. Therefore, Wix is our preferred choice over SiteBuilder, and is the winner of this battle.