Squarespace, Shopify and Wix are SaaS website builder tools which simplify web design and site creation to a handful of easy steps.
SaaS platforms allow users to use pre-built website templates and drag-and-drop elements to create and modify webpages. Whether you’re experienced running a website or just getting started, SaaS websites can get you online in a fraction of the time.
How do SaaS platforms work?
Website builders are tools that typically allow the construction of websites without knowing how to code. Typically, they require customers to sign up on a monthly basis, or a cheaper annual basis.
The main advantage of a no-code SaaS is that it is quick and easy to use, and often does not require prior experience. All SaaS platforms provide free smartphone apps so you can manage your site from an iPhone or Android. It is simple to download the app and log in to your account to get started.
The main disadvantage of SaaS platforms is that they are less flexible and scalable than a self-hosted CMS.
Which one is best and why?
In our experience, the 80/20 rule applies when it comes to clients and digital requirements - 80% of client requirements will be easily met by a SaaS.
For regular websites, we like Squarespace best. All Squarespace templates are beautifully designed and fully responsive, which means they work perfectly on mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop. After a site is delivered, ongoing Squarespace pricing starts at AU$16/month, and ecommerce starts at AU$25/month.
For ecommerce, Shopify is a ready-made ecommerce platform that allows anyone to set up an online store to sell their products. Shopify pricing starts at US$29/month.
Wix offers "free" websites which are relatively limited. While it is very easy to use, many Wix templates are not responsive which we consider to be a problem in today's mobile-first world. Wix base pricing starts at US$10/month, and ecommerce starts at US$20/month.
Both Squarespace and Wix have ecommerce add-ons, so if you start with one and decided to add ecommerce later it isn't necessary to start over.
If you would like our assistance getting set up, we're happy to provide a quote - please get in touch.
Why would I choose a SaaS website?
Our strategy when working with clients is to first determine the client's goals and target audience, and THEN select the right tools for the job. In some cases, the best solution for a client is an SaaS website.
We've been working with Open Source CMS platforms since 2006 but can quite honestly say - if your needs can be met with a SaaS like Squarespace or Shopify today, it's difficult to argue for a CMS.
Read our CMS v SaaS Platform Comparison.