Digital marketing services for local businesses

CMS Comparison: WordPress vs. Wix vs. Weebly vs. Squarespace

All new business owners need a website. In 2016, building a powerful website that works for the business can be the difference between a company folding and a greatly successful company in its early stages.

We’re going to explore some of the most popular content management systems (CMS) small business owners choose to build their website on.

Below, answer:

  • What the most popular CMS is for businesses
  • What CMS is the most SEO-friendly (between WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace)
  • The pros and cons of each CMS (WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace)
  • What CMS we recommend

Let’s get started!

What’s the Most Popular CMS for Businesses?

Over 50% of the global CMS market share belongs to WordPress.

So what’s the most popular CMS to build a website on?


Here are some other quick statistics about the popularity of WordPress:

  • 4 million websites are powered by WordPress (link).
  • 50,000 new WordPress websites launch daily (link).
  • 22% of new registered domains in the U.S. run on WordPress (link).
  • Many popular of most popular companies in the world use WordPress as their choice of CMS—CNN, Fortune, TIME, Spotify, CBS Local, NBC (link).


What’s the Most SEO-Friendly CMS?

When it comes to generating more business from a website, business owners must first ask themselves, “What do I need to do to increase my online visibility and, in turn, generate more business from the Internet?”

The answer?


SEO is the process of optimizing your website for search engines. If implemented well and done successfully, SEO can put your web pages on the first page of Google and generate more qualified organic search visits, leads, and sales.

In other words, SEO helps you get found on Google and other search engines and can increase the number of phone calls and web forms your company receives.

Because of the vast number of SEO plugins for WordPress and their capabilities, WordPress is immediately put at the forefront of SEO-friendly content management systems.

In addition to the plugins, WordPress websites are the most cleanly coded of any other CMS (Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace).

WordPress also provides the most flexibility of on-page editing and content, allowing SEOs to implement their strategies the easiest.

Other content management systems are much more complicated and not as SEO-friendly as WordPress.


WordPress Pros & Cons

Like all content management systems, WordPress has its own pros and cons for business owners, including:

Pros of WordPress

  • WordPress is an open source structure, so almost all developers and webmasters can work on the WordPress platform and outsourcing work is easy and cost-efficient.
  • WordPress is easy to install.
  • WordPress has approximately 45,000 plugins to maximize the functionality of the CMS and improve your website.
  • WordPress is SEO-friendly.
  • WordPress is easy for business owners to learn and use.
  • WordPress is an affordable CMS to build a website on.
  • WordPress is easy to update.

Cons of WordPress

  • WordPress websites are easy to hack.
  • WordPress websites tend to be slower than other websites (HTML or PHP sites without a CMS).
  • WordPress themes, styles, and page templates may be difficult to update without a developer.

Wix Pros & Cons

Wix is a very popular CMS for business owners looking to build their own website and minimize the initial investment cost of building a first-class site.

Pros of Wix

  • Wix has drag-and-drop website templates designed for a variety of industries (small businesses, restaurants and hospitality, service businesses, etc.)
  • Wix regularly releases new tools and designs to stay at the forefront of the build-it-yourself website platforms.
  • Wix’s recent updates have made it a more SEO-friendly CMS.
  • Compared to other content management systems (Weebly, Squarespace), Wix has more design flexibility and functionality.

Cons of Wix

  • Business owners cannot changed their website template after initial creation. So you better like the template you choose!
  • Wix includes visible advertisements on their free platform, which is not a very professional look for any business.
  • Wix is not as SEO-friendly as WordPress.
  • Wix uses AJAX to produce dynamic content, which is not very SEO-friendly.
  • Wix coding is not clean or concise due to its drag-and-drop functionality, which could slow down your site load time and result in poor site structure.

Learn more about Wix and SEO »


Weebly Pros & Cons

Weebly powers more than 30 million websites (roughly 2% – link) of the sites found across the Internet.

Pros of Weebly

  • Weebly is easy to use and also offers drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Weebly provides mobile responsive templates, so business owners shouldn’t worry about their mobile rankings tanking due to Mobilegeddon and the increasing importance of mobile search engine optimization.
  • Weebly not only has a large selection of website templates, but it provides users with more than 40 different page layout types.
  • Weebly provides some SEO functionality, but not as well as WordPress.
  • Weebly provides great features for first-time website owners. For example, Weebly’s Starter plan includes a one year free domain.
  • Weebly provides some in-depth help in their Help Center that focuses on important SEO factors like citation building, Google Search Console support, and link building strategies.

Cons of Weebly

  • Weebly’s designs are very basic and your company’s website may not standout against your competitors.
  • Weebly’s templates, although mobile responsive, can only be customized slightly. Font styles, size, and color schemes are interchangeable, but anything beyond that is unavailable.
  • Weebly does not offer a lot of third-party applications or plug-and-play tools.
  • Weebly allows custom JavaScript, HTML, and CSS application, but without knowledge of coding or the use of developer these features are virtually useless. Many developers will not work with Weebly websites.
  • Weebly is not good from a CMS standpoint. Beyond drag-and-drop functionality, there is little Weebly provides to keep a formal page hierarchy or clean organization of large websites.
  • Weebly is inefficient to move away from. While you can export Weebly content in a .zip file, blog posts and other articles will need to be manually exported and imported into another CMS and redirecting URLs is very difficult.

Learn more about Weebly and SEO »

Squarespace Pros & Cons

Have you ever been listening to Spotify and heard a Squarespace ad? Or maybe you caught Squarespace’s Super Bowl 50 commercial.

Whatever the case, Squarespace is gaining popularity as a website builder and CMS in the U.S. and other countries alike. But is it a good CMS to build your business’s website on?

Pros of Squarespace

  • Squarespace design templates are some of the best we’ve seen from a website builder. If built correctly, Squarespace can give any business a rich, expensive look.
  • Squarespace templates are mobile responsive, like Weebly.
  • Squarespace’s custom styling options are unprecedented in a website builder (but not in a CMS).
  • Squarespace is easy to learn for business owners building a website for the first time. Squarespace uses a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get), giving it a drag-and-drop functionality able to incorporate text, photos, slideshows, videos, etc.
  • Squarespace support is very timely—email response in less than one hour, live chat, etc.

Cons of Squarespace

  • Squarespace can be difficult to organize, causing your SEO value and user experience to suffer. For example, your site’s main menu can only include a single layer below the top level navigation.
  • Squarespace’s in-page editor doesn’t function as smoothly as some other website builders (particularly Wix and Weebly).
  • Squarespace’s style editor is difficult to understand for first time website builders.
  • Squarespace isn’t the best choice for small business owners selling a product or service – it’s more geared towards designers with portfolios, boutiques, and anyone working in a more visual industry.

What CMS Do We Recommend?

At Rank First Local, we always recommend WordPress as the best content management system for businesses.

Although you will more than likely need to work with a digital marketing agency or hire a freelance developer to build your website, WordPress offers the most flexibility and functionality to build a successful business on the web.

Need Help Building a Website?

Rank First Local specializes in affordable web design for small businesses and can help you build an SEO-friendly website on WordPress.

Drop us a line to get started!

"Rank First Local is a great company that really keeps me up to date on all of my marketing/website efforts. They are truly a trusted business partner of mine!"

- Jason J., Managing Partner at Vista Homes

Learn more about our SEO process or get started today!

"Rank First Local is a great company that really keeps me up to date on all of my marketing/website efforts. They are truly a trusted business partner of mine!"

- Jason J., Managing Partner at Vista Homes

Learn more about our SEO process or get started today!