Wix and Squarespace are two of the most popular website builders on the market, and for good reason.
Both platforms offer a wide range of features and tools that make it easy to create a professional-looking website, even if you have no coding experience.
But which platform is right for your restaurant?
“When choosing a website builder for your restaurant, look for one that is easy to use, offers a variety of customization options, and is designed specifically for restaurants,” says restaurant content expert, Elana Kroon.
To help you decide, here is an in-depth comparison and guide of Wix and Squarespace, covering everything from pricing and design flexibility to blogging and e-commerce features:
What operators need to consider
As a restaurant owner, you need a website that is both informative and visually appealing.
Your website should be easy to navigate and allow customers to learn about your menu, make reservations, and order online.
Take a quick look below at what the Reddit community has to say:
Here is a quick look at the two platforms from a restaurant owner’s perspective:
|Pricing||Starts at $16/month||Starts at $16/month|
|Design flexibility||Highly customizable||More structured design|
The pros and cons look as follow:
- Easy to use, even for beginners
- Wide range of templates to choose from, including many restaurant-specific templates
- Affordable pricing plans
- Good SEO features
- Some templates can be difficult to customize
- Limited e-commerce features on lower-priced plans
- Stylish and professional templates
- Powerful e-commerce features
- Good blogging features
- Excellent customer support
- Can be more difficult to use than Wix
- Some templates can be problematic for SEO
Now for a more in-depth look into the two website builders.
A more detailed comparison:
The website builder’s editor
The page editor is the primary distinction between Wix and Squarespace.
A flexible, unstructured editor is available in Wix. In contrast, Squarespace’s editor is well-organized and simple to use.
To help you make the most informed decision, a website building expert, Steve Benjamins, tried and tested both the site builders, and here are his in-depth findings below:
The Unstructured Editor on Wix
You can move any element on your page using Wix, even one pixel at a time if you like. “It’s an unstructured editor,” Steve says.
On paper, it seems liberating to be able to drag and drop items anywhere on a page. However, it can (and frequently does) result in annoying issues, particularly for those who are not designers.
After the Site Builder Report founder tried and tested the website builder, he found a few “difficulties and inconsistencies in both the desktop version and the mobile version.”
Ultimately, in his opinion, Wix offers too many options:
- There are several buttons and icons in the editor. It could be overwhelming.
- Users can customize every aspect of each text block, including fonts, sizes, and colors. Keeping the website’s appearance consistent throughout is recommended, with each paragraph and header being the same size and weight.
- Wix offers a variety of comic strip options, each with its own typeface, layout, and color scheme. It’s simple to select a strip that rocks on its own but doesn’t exactly work for the web page as a whole.
- Moving items outside the gridline is an option. However, if you move something outside of the grid, it might not be seen or available on all devices.
Takeaways: Wix provides a blank canvas with all the necessary tools for web design. However, it requires skilled web design experience, and giving a user, who is ultimately unfamiliar with web design, such responsibility is risky.
The structured editor for Squarespace
Because Squarespace offers a structured editor that is among the simplest to use, it doesn’t have the same issues.
Squarespace’s Fluid Engine editor lets you drag Content Blocks into rows and columns, but elements cannot be moved to another location on the page. The editor is still highly customizable and aesthetically pleasing.
The winner? Squarespace.
Squarespace’s structured page editor is preferred over Wix’s unstructured editor, which may introduce cascading problems like having to make the same edit twice.
The website builder’s templates
Wix has substantially more templates than Squarespace in terms of volume:
Wix offers more than 850 templates, whereas Squarespace has more than 150.
But ultimately, you only need one template, and Squarespace’s templates are excellent!
Examples of Squarespace Templates
Of all the website builders, Squarespace offers the greatest themes.
Although to some extent this is a matter of opinion, Squarespace’s minimalist, contemporary themes are unmatched by any other website builder.
Here are a few restaurant website template examples:
Squarespace includes a section called “Launch Pages” in its template catalog. Rather than whole websites, these templates are made for landing pages.
“Suffolk” is one of the template categories for local businesses. Although it would, at first glance, seem to concentrate on food-related enterprises, it really provides services for bed and breakfasts.
Visitors to the “Juniper” template can view various menus or make reservations by clicking on certain text links that go to those sites.
You can simply change the current links to match your needs, such as changing “Lunch” and “Dinner” to “Lunch” and “Dinner,” for example. The existing links are for food and drink menus.
In Squarespace’s library of templates from prior iterations of the builder, you can find “Blend”.
Takeaways: The templates on Squarespace are generally excellent.
To give you more insights, we’ve added some helpful tips on Squarespace templates from another website-building expert, Ellie McBride:
- “Templates are a great option for people in the earlier stages of business, allowing you to have a gorgeous and functional website, without having the budget/time for a fully customized design.”
- “When you DIY your website, you have nobody to hold your hand through the process. You can contact customer support (Squarespace’s is actually pretty damn great), but you have to know how to phrase your question or issue.”
- “With templates, you get 30 days of email support AND a detailed course to walk you through making the template your own.”
Wix restaurant template examples
“Wix’s best restaurant templates aren’t quite as nice as Squarespace’s, and their worst templates can be…corny and dated,” Steve explains.
Let’s take a look at a few examples below:
This “Burger Corner” Wix template really gives off the impression that it might be from your favorite neighborhood burger joint.
“The Pub” is a fantastic option for any bar or gastropub with its deep and dark tones.
It ideally invites guests to pick up some late-night libations and perhaps even some naughty snacks to go with them.
The appearance of the hot meals and cold beverages is enhanced by the design.
The template “Makisu” falls firmly into the latter category, with a chic and modest style that wonderfully captures the idea of a posh Japanese eating experience.
“Taste Büds” effectively captures the website for a sophisticated and upmarket culinary school or restaurant with its simple, modern style.
Takeaways: The template quality on Wix varies.
The fact that Wix never removes its obsolete templates (Squarespace does) is one of the main causes for the continuously rising quantity of templates on the platform. As a result, not every Wix template is good.
Take note: Once you’ve selected a template in Wix or Squarespace, you cannot change it.
Customization of a template
Better template customization is also available on Squarespace. For example, using your brand’s colors consistently is significantly simpler.
Essentially, you select a palette and use it across the board for your website. You can even set certain colors for particular elements if you want to be more detailed.
Simply put, utilizing Wix makes this complicated and complex. Technically, you could sort of manage it, but it would be a lot more difficult.
Of all website builders, Squarespace provides the finest blogging features. Use Squarespace only if blogging is your website’s main focus.
Wix and Squarespace both provide the following basic blogging functions:
- Roles of users
- SEO is supported by Google AMP (slug, title, and description)
- Social sharing
- RSS feeds, etc.
Squarespace takes it a step farther, though, beyond these essential features. With this website builder:
- Multiple writers can contribute to a single post.
- When sharing on social media, you can choose a different social media picture.
- You can add an Instagram feed, galleries, newsletter signup forms, scrolling, event tickets, restaurant menus, and more with the Squarespace blog editor.
The winner? Squarespace.
Squarespace’s blogging features are more robust than Wix’s. It offers more features for scheduling posts, tagging them, moderating comments, and collaborating with other authors.
But, Wix offers a number of free apps and integrations that can help you improve your blogging experiences, such as social media sharing tools and SEO plugins.
Did you know? Squarespace began as a blogging platform. This is ultimately why they are considered the better choice for blogging.
Both Wix and Squarespace offer powerful e-commerce features, but Squarespace is slightly ahead of the curve.
It offers more features for managing inventory, shipping, and taxes. It also has a wider range of payment processing options.
The winner? Squarespace.
Both Squarespace and Wix cover the core features needed for small restaurant online stores. But Squarespace’s e-commerce features are slightly more sophisticated than Wix.
However, in our opinion, this feature will not necessarily be as relevant to restaurant owners, unless you plan to also sell in-store products and merchandise of your restaurant.
In that case, we recommend starting with the basics, like a website that includes your restaurant story, a reservation button, and a gallery. Then, you can look at expanding your restaurant business.
Wix and Squarespace features
There are certain fundamental capabilities that each website builder must have, such as:
- Photo collections
- Mapping forms
- Players for audio
- These essential functionalities are provided by both Wix and Squarespace.
Both Squarespace and Wix have aggressively expanded their online presence in recent years beyond just their respective websites, introducing their own online booking tools, e-commerce platforms, and email marketing services.
The variations actually only become apparent after you get past these fundamental characteristics. Overall, Wix offers more features, but Squarespace often does a better job implementing them, in our opinion.
Features Supported by Wix (but not by Squarespace)
The features listed below, for example, are supported by Wix (you must add them through the App Market, though).
With Squarespace, integrating with a third-party supplier or writing custom code would be the only way to achieve these capabilities.
|Forum||Available through the Wix Forum app.||This feature will require an integration with Muut.|
|Live Chat||Through the Wix Live Chat app.||Integration with a third-party provider like Tawk is necessary.|
|Multilingual||Through the Wix site.||Integration with WeGlot is necessary.|
|Third-Party Fonts||You can additionally add this feature straight from the editor.||CSS code is needed.|
Then there are things that Squarespace doesn’t support at all but Wix does.
- Wix allows autoplay of videos; Squarespace does not; as a result, GIFs must be used on Squarespace if autoplay is needed.
- Also, it’s sad that in 2023 you can’t upload WebP photos or WebM films to Squarespace.
- Squarespace requires a Business plan or above; Wix allows you to create landing pages without a header and footer, even on the free plan.
- Wix offers access to site version history and automatically saves pages as you update them. Squarespace doesn’t autosave, which is, to put it mildly, unfortunate!
Very important to note: On the Wix App Market, every Wix app has the phrase “free to install” next to it. It’s true, however, most of them have premium versions, and on the app home page, Wix doesn’t list the costs.
It’s also important to note that Wix App Market is superior to Squarespace Extensions as an app store. In comparison to the 30-or-so Squarespace Extensions, the Wix App Market offers more than 500 web apps for installation.
Squarespace frequently excels at features
Even while Squarespace doesn’t always match Wix’s features exactly, they frequently outperforms Wix in certain areas.
Let’s take a look at a few examples to give you an idea:
1. A display of your restaurant’s menu
Take a look at a restaurant menu on Wix. According to website builder expert, Steve, it took him about 10 clicks to set up the menu, and in his expert opinion (and ours), it’s way too long.
“I’m sympathetic to Wix— restaurant menus are deceptively hard to format for websites. It’s why many restaurants just link to a PDF menu. But this also shows you how much more thoughtful Squarespace’s restaurant menu editor is,” he explains.
On the otherhand, Squarespace created a straightforward markup language just for restaurant menus. You can create your menu in real time while adhering to the formatting conventions.
Bonus feature for restaurant owners
However, in case you missed it, we recently collaborated with Wix to help restaurant owners increase their reservations through their website.
Now restaurant owner’s are able to access Eat App in the Wix Marketplace, and set up their online reservation quick and easy on their website.
This is a huge perk for restaurnant owners, considering you want to make it as seamless as possible for your guests to schedule a reservation online.
How can you get started?
1. First, go to the Wix App Marketplace to install the booking widget from Eat App to your website.
2. Search “Eat App” in the search field to get to the Eat App app page from here.
3. Click the “Add to site” button on the app page to begin the integration process. Your web browser will open in a new tab and ask you to provide some basic permissions.
4. You will be sent to the Eat App sign up page after accepting the conditions and clicking “Add to Site.”
The “Sign in” option at the bottom will allow you to access your current Eat App restaurant profile, or you can choose to simply register a new account from this page.
In terms of Squarespace, it looks like you need to use Acuity Scheduling, an external page, or a custom widget to set up an online booking system.
But, from what we can tell, this is not an online reservation system that is build exclusively for restaurant bookings.
The winner? Wix.
But, of course we’re being biased.
Based on the features, cost, and user experience, we think this to be the best choice for the majority of restaurants.
This is exactly why we decided to build it.
Here’s what our Product Director, Joseph Boston has to say about Wix reservations:
“There was obviously a need to help restaurants get a super powerful reservations experience through Wix. Many of our existing customers are constantly trying to find ways to drive more bookings though their website. Features like optimized booking flows and shift management help them do that.”
The website builder’s donation feature:
Donations are just another example of how Squarespace is improving on features.
Technically, Wix is able to receive payments, however there is only a simple donation button that directs users to Paypal. It isn’t a fully functional donation mechanism.
Contrarily, Squarespace features a fantastic, feature-rich contribution mechanism; it is far superior.
“I used to work for a non-profit, and these three features are critical. You don’t want donors to have an ecommerce experience, and you’ll find suggested amounts on every major non-profit— it’s a best practice,” says website-building expert, Steve.
The Podcast feature:
Although Wix has a podcast player, it does not syndicate podcasts. A podcast website has to be able to syndicate since this is how you can submit your podcast to services like Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
What is podcast syndication? The act of spreading a podcast across many platforms in order to reach a larger audience is known as “syndication” in the context of podcasting. This is frequently accomplished via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, which let consumers subscribe to podcasts and instantly get new episodes as soon as they are published.
The only website builder that supports podcast syndication is Squarespace. It’s another illustration of how Squarespace spends time perfecting a feature.
Wix also lacks many other tools necessary to create a quality podcast website. In an app review, Wix user Jessjoyce highlights the following:
“VERY simple podcast player, doesn’t allow for each episode to have its own page (what!) nor modify where the sharing buttons are or add in transcripts or links within the content.”
The winner? Wix.
Wix has a lot more features than Squarespace. But, it’s important to know that the feature that are offered by Squarespace are well thought out for users.
Wix features are generally just great and it’s good to keep that in mind.
Both Wix and Squarespace have good SEO features, such as the ability to customize meta titles and descriptions and create custom URLs.
However, some older Squarespace templates can be problematic for SEO. There is a third-party plugin called SEOSpace that can help address this issue, but it is not a perfect solution.
The top two closed website-building systems are Wix and Squarespace. This suggests that everything is taken care of by both businesses, including platform security and upkeep.
You can tick the follow of on your checklist:
- Your security is being monitored regularly.
- They both offer third-party app security.
- You will get a free SSL certificate, meaning any data a visitor sends to you—such as their email address, credit card information, phone number, etc.—is encrypted and safe.
- Payment card industry compliance, or PCI compliance, is a set of 12 security guidelines that companies must follow in order to protect customer card information. The highest PCI criteria are met by both systems.
- Both platforms include bug bounty programmes, which significantly reduce the risk of hackers. In other words, they provide a reward to independent security researchers for discovering and reporting platform issues.
The winner? Both Wix and Squarespace.
They both offer the best possible security for your website.
Both Wix and Squarespace offer excellent customer support. You can reach them via phone, email, live chat, or social media.
Both Wix and Squarespace are excellent website builders, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.
Wix is a good choice for beginners who want a website builder that is easy to use and offers a wide range of features, including complete design flexibility.
Squarespace is a good choice for bloggers and business owners who need a website with powerful e-commerce and SEO features, and a sleek and professional design.
Which one is right for you?
Ultimately, the best way to decide which website builder is right for you is to consider your individual needs and preferences.
If you are not sure which one to choose, I recommend trying both of them out and seeing which one you prefer.
Both Wix and Squarespace offer free trials, so you can experiment with both platforms before you commit to a paid plan.
- Wix and Squarespace are both good website builders for restaurants, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.
- They both cost the same when looking at the starting packages.
- Squarespace has better design features, blogging features, and e-commerce features.
- Wix’s unstructured editor might be overwhelming if you’re not a designer.
- Wix has more templates, and features than Squarespace.
In the end, taking into account your restaurant’s needs will help you choose the website builder that is perfect for you.