MotoCMS vs Wix vs Squarespace

There are so many established, tried-and-tested website builders out there, that it’s almost impossible to figure out which is the best. And the only way to determine that is to first define your actual needs, and then make your choice.

Today, we are comparing three big players of the web design market – Squarespace, Wix and MotoCMS to help you figure out which website builder will meet your needs. At first glance, the three site builders have quite similar offerings, but after a closer inspection you can see how different some of the important aspects are.

#1 Ease of Use

MotoCMS: To clarify, MotoCMS is not technically a website builder. The company sells what they call CMS templates which are in fact almost ready websites. MotoCMS is not a hosted solution – you need to find a hosting provider yourself (which is quite a positive point to many 🙂 ). Other than that, MotoCMS operates just like most of its competition: once you’ve uploaded the CMS template to the server, you can start working on it just like in any other site buider’s editor. MotoCMS offers a free hosted trial version.


Wix: Wix is probably the most user-friendly site builder I’ve seen. It has an uncluttered interface with easy to navigate menu and self-explaining buttons that lead to tools when you need them. Their new structural elements called ‘strips’ make the process even easier.


Squarespace: The latest version of Squarespace is much user-friendlier than its predecessors, however, it’s still inferior to what we’ve seen in Wix, or Weebly for instance. With Squarespace 7, you can now edit most of the page in the WYSIWYG mode, however, it’s still not that straightforward as it could be. The mechanics of building a site using Squarespace are not smooth at all, as for a tool that is advertised as simple and fast.


Summary: Wix is the easiest; MotoCMS is easy but finding a web host and getting started can be difficult to those who never worked with hosting accounts; Squarespace looks expensive and polished, but its ease of use is questionable.

#2 Feature set and flexibility

MotoCMS: When you buy a template from MotoCMS, you get a theme itself and a built-in editor with a collection of widgets that can be enabled anytime. The number and type of widgets can vary depending on the industry the template belongs to. Since recently, MotoCMS started making specialized blogging and eCommerce templates.

The editor lets you inject your own code snippets; it gets syntax highlighting so that you can be sure your code is safe and bugs-free.

MotoCMS dashboard

Wix: Wix has a variety of in-house solutions (such as Wix Commerce or Blogging), as well as a rich gallery of third-party applications known as ‘Wix App Market’. The Market lets you find and add literally any kind of function to your website, regardless of the initial template. You can choose from marketing tools, chatting options, booking tools and many other widgets.

Wix dashboard

Squarespace: Squarespace has a solid core that lets you build literally any kind of website, however, one of its biggest downsides is lack of support for third-party apps and extensions. They do cooperate with some brands, but the choice is much poorer than what we find in its competitors.

Squarespace also has a separate solution for power users – the Developer platform. The platform lets you change everything in your website, from the opening doctype tag to the footer.

Squarespace dashboard

Summary: The three site builders are versatile tools that can help you create any kind of site, be it a wedding site, a portfolio, a shop or a blog. Your choice will mainly depend on such details as supported payment methods and charges for transaction (if you are building a store); integration with photo resources, quality of uploaded imagery (if you are starting a photography portfolio); scheduled posting and commenting systems (for bloggers) etc.

#3 Designs

MotoCMS: MotoCMS has a huge collection of CMS templates in all possible categories, from Agriculture to Dating. While all of them are customizable to an extent, it’s recommended that you choose a template from the appropriate industry, as different templates are better suited for different purposes.

MotoCMS templates

Wix: Wix’s collection impresses with the choice and modern elements in the designs. There are three main types of themes: pre-populated, blank, and landing pages. All themes are fully customizable.

wix templates

Squarespace: Squarespace itself is a beautifully designed product and so are its templates. They are truly professional and polished; most heavily rely on photography. The choice isn’t big, and frankly speaking, somewhat monotonous. If you are not a minimalist design lover, you will be disappointed. Most Squarespace themes are built following the model ‘fullscreen background + hidden menu + minimalist white font’. But that’s not a big problem, if you already have a vision for your future site in your head – you can change that in the editor.

Squarespace templates

Summary: While Squrespace offers stylish, polished templates that are all built following the builders’ brand and overall style, MotoCMS and Wix offer much vivid and varied options for all tastes.

#4 Pricing

MotoCMS: With MotoCMS, you are charged just once, when buying a template, all future updates are free. Because you can take your template to any hosting provider, your future expenses will exclusively depend on your own choice. New MotoCMS templates (including eCommerce themes) cost $199; there are also HTML templates ($139).

motoCMS pricing

Wix: Unlike MotoCMS, Wix is a hosted solution which means you cannot switch hosting provider. The builder only works on Wix servers. Ad-free Wix sites start at $8.25/mo and go up to $19.90/mo.

Wix pricing

Squarespace: Squarespace plans vary depending on the type of site: for Cover pages they charge $5-7/mo; for standard websites $8-26/mo, and for online shops $26-80/mo.

squarespace pricing

Summary: From a long time perspective, MotoCMS seems to be the most reasonable option – you will only pay once for the software, and in the future you will only have to pay your hosting bills (which are comparatively lower than the average site builder’s monthly fee). Wix’s pricing is quite affordable, but Squarespace’s seems to be somewhat high, in particular, their cheapest eCommerce solution is close to the Shopify’s Basic plan.


Why do you need a website? To do business online? To share your experiences with users or to organize a charity fund? You may have dozens of reasons to build a site and this is the most important criterion to choose a website builder.

The wisest decision you can make is to define your needs and then to search for a platform that can fulfill them. Most of them offer free trials so that you can test and clarify everything for yourself without losing money.

Malcolm Thomas

My name is Malcolm, I'm a blogger. I mostly spend my time reviewing website building software and helping others turn their ideas into exceptional websites. I like meeting new people, so feel free to contact me anytime.

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2 Responses

  1. Grover says:

    After reading your post I’m still don’t understand what website builders suits the best for a small e-store?

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