Despite being the biggest content platform in the world, WordPress isn’t the only option when it comes to getting your website online. There are many different platforms available to choose from, each with different pros and cons.
WordPress is known for its easy accessibility and user-friendliness across its platform, and the fact that users can use the basic features of the site for free explains why it’s so successful and popular.
Squarespace’s recent spurt of commercials all over TV have allowed the world to become more familiar with other content managing platforms that aren’t just WordPress. Since both Squarespace and WordPress give you the opportunity to create professional and beautiful websites, so it can be difficult to decide which to use.
Before we talk about the Squarespace vs. WordPress debate, we must understand that there are two versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress platforms.
In this article, we will be discussing self-hosted WordPress and will be comparing it to the likes of newer platforms such as Squarespace. Understanding the pros and cons of each platform will then allow any users looking into content management to know what will work for them and their business.
WordPress is very versatile, safe and secure and is a trusted platform with millions of users. Squarespace is a newer but growing platform with fewer users. It gives users a lot of flexibility like WordPress.
Keep reading as we break down everything you need to know about the two platforms including their strengths and weaknesses. Learning more and understanding the platform you want to use is essential in your decision-making process.
What is Squarespace?
Without going into too much detail, Squarespace is a paid content management platform that offers hundreds of beautiful templates for its users which are always mobile responsive, so you don’t have to worry about that!
There is no coding required, as websites can be visually customized by any user, which is helpful for all those who love to be creative but don’t know much about the technology behind websites.
If you’re a small ecommerce business, you will benefit from creating a fantastic-looking Squarespace website, as it is known for producing some of the most user-friendly websites out there on the Internet.
What is WordPress?
As mentioned previously, we are considering self-hosted WordPress sites rather than wordpress.com sites. WordPress has a huge number of features available including visual builders for those who aren’t coders as well as a place to put custom CSS and coding styles which can help to make your website more unique and unlike any other WordPress site.
There is a lot of depth to WordPress which means that users can create whatever they want. WordPress is a ready-made platform that is used by millions of people across the world making it hard to compare with.
Squarespace or WordPress?
The main difference between the two platforms is that WordPress is a lot more popular and older than Squarespace. Individuals tend to stick to what they know, which explains why newer platforms like Squarespace aren’t as popular.
The two platforms are similar but offer slightly different features which begs the question, which one is better? Whilst WordPress has been around for longer, Squarespace does have some popular features that WordPress lacks. We’ve analyzed the pros and cons to see who wins in the battle of Squarespace vs WordPress.
When looking at the ease of use for both platforms, we must consider the perspective of users without extensive experience in custom coding and CSS. Squarespace is visual, which opens up more doors for those who aren’t as skilled in coding.
However, WordPress is flexible (possibly the more flexible of the two platforms). It allows for users to change almost anything using custom code which is great for anyone skilled in that area.
Even though WordPress is more flexible than Squarespace, it takes a lot more getting used to. Squarespace is different as it is more of a website builder, so what you see is what you get. However, with WordPress there is so much more you can do. It all depends on your skill set.
Therefore, people who love visual designing and aren’t skilled at coding will prefer Squarespace whereas those who know what they’re doing when it comes to web development may prefer working with WordPress.
For more ease of use, Squarespace also has a drag-and-drop builder which can allow users to drag content onto the website and see it on the page before publishing it.
WordPress is always rolling out updates to its platforms, whether this is to fix bugs or to improve their security, so if you have a website on their platform it will need updating a few times a year.
Individual plugins and themes may need more updates depending on how long they have been around for. If you want your WordPress site to remain compatible with the updates and stay functioning properly then you will have to stay up to date with everything.
However, with Squarespace, all of the updates are pushed to your website automatically whenever they have been tested, which leaves more time for you to focus on other aspects of your website. Whilst this may seem better, some individuals will prefer maintaining all the aspects of their website themselves rather than relying on the platform to do it. However, the automatic updating on Squarespace is a timesaver for busy people.
Squarespace pricing can be broken down into four different pricing plans, starting with a Personal plan with a monthly price plan of $16 going up to an Advanced plan with a monthly price plan of $46.
Users can choose to sign up for a monthly or annual plan which can help some money. Each Squarespace pricing plan offers different features and can be tailored to your unique website.
However, if you want to sell products on your site and have an eCommerce website, then the lowest package available is the basic online store package which costs $26 a month.
WordPress is free to use, but you will still need to pay for a domain name and hosting. It is up to the individual where they buy their domain name and hosting. Hosting can cost from around $7 per month and domain names typically cost between $10 and $15 a year.
Themes are available on WordPress too and can be paid-for or free. Likewise, some plugins cost money. There are also free plugins that users can use, however, the general rule of thumb is that if a product costs more, it will be more reliable.
Therefore, the initial price of a WordPress hosted site can range up to $200 depending on the theme and number of paid plugins. Depending on what design and development work you need on your WordPress website, you may also need to hire a developer/designer.
However, what platform you pay for is a very personal choice. If it comes down to pricing then you will want to think about your budget and compare the different options.
If you’re looking for a less expensive option that is easy to use and doesn’t incur more costs, then Squarespace may be the better option. However, if you want more flexibility (in price and in terms of your website), then you could choose a platform like WordPress.
When you have a website on a platform, it’s almost inevitable that things will go wrong at some point. Perhaps you’ll have an issue with your website not looking the way you want it to, or perhaps some information will go missing in the process of redesigning your website.
Both platforms have user support for anyone who has a website on their platform. When it comes to WordPress, there is a massive community full of endless support with hundreds of tutorials and resources.
Whilst this sounds good and helpful (which it is!), it can mean information overload and users can often find it hard to know what information and advice to take when people are constantly contradicting each other.
However, Squarespace works using a centralized support team, so you can post in their community forum (like you can with WordPress), or you can contact any other support team through email (which takes around an hour), live chat or even workshop videos.
As WordPress is more popular and well-known compared to Squarespace, there is a lot more help in the community for it whereas Squarespace users are more likely to rely on the support team for anything they need.
Design and Features
The real draw of WordPress is its flexibility and the extensive choice of designs. On WordPress, there are thousands of themes (basic website designs), which you can choose to purchase and install on your website. This gives you the ability to control the visual appearance of your website.
Designers can sell their themes on WordPress to users who like them. This means that every day there are more themes being added. It also means that your site is more likely to be unique to everyone else.
Plugins are another key feature of WordPress sites that allow each user to fully customize their website by adding lots of other features to their site. Plugins don’t automatically come with website themes, so it is down to the individual to decide which plugins they want to work with.
Squarespace lacks a lot more in the theme and uniqueness side of website development. There are a limited number of templates that users can choose from and they can only customize the themes using the specialized customizer on the Squarespace website.
It seems that Squarespace only offers a limited number of integration services. Comparing Squarespace to WordPress, it is obvious that the two are very different when it comes to design and features.
Squarespace or WordPress for eCommerce websites?
If you’re thinking of building an online store, then you will need a platform that meets to your needs and gives you a good basis to sell your services or products. Depending on personal preference, you will have a few different options when it comes to eCommerce platforms.
Your budget may be big if you’re a growing eCommerce business. However, it could also be small if you’re just starting out. Think about the main elements of your website and decide which eCommerce platform will be best for you and your business.
WordPress allows the user to integrate any payment method or processor you want including credit/debit cards and PayPal. There are many WordPress plugins that allow users to have use payment methods including Stripe, Skrill, 2Checkout and even Bitcoin. This opens up many doors for your business when it comes to receiving payments.
There are also plugins which can utterly transform your website into an eCommerce store with an endless number of products. There are also affiliate tracking plugins and the opportunity to add affiliate links to other websites if you are a part of any affiliate programs.
Squarespace is totally different and is a lot more limiting than WordPress as users can only use Stripe for payment (which is only available in a few countries). This will eventually restrict your global audience as you will only be able to accept payments from certain countries.
When you’re growing a business from the bottom up, you must ensure you’re doing your best to reach as many people as possible.
There is also a limit to the number of products or services you can sell on the different Squarespace plans. There are two eCommerce plans (personal and professional), and if you want to sell more products, you will have to pay for the better plan, which will cost more money. There is even a limit on the number of products on the highest eCommerce plan.
In terms of the integration of third-party services, there aren’t many external services that you can integrate with Squarespace and even these integrations are limited to the original features that you add. When it comes to eCommerce and having your online store on a platform, WordPress is well head of Squarespace as there are too many limitations for Squarespace to ever be a big eCommerce platform.
Whilst it may work for those who only want to sell a limited number of products, it definitely won’t be great for those who need more products on their website.
Looking carefully at the Squarespace vs. WordPress debate, we can conclude that whilst both are great platforms to use depending on your personal preference, there are obvious differences between the two that may affect whether you use that certain platform.
Squarespace is ideal for smaller sites that need limited functionality, and it also wins in terms of ease of use when writing posts. However, when it comes to design, features, flexibility and value for money it is obvious that WordPress outperforms Squarespace every time.
Squarespace’s pricing isn’t the best but it is cheap, and whilst you may have to pay a little more for your custom WordPress site, you are getting value over anything else.
For those who have a limited budget but understand the limiting features of Squarespace, it might be the best option for you. However, if you’re a skilled coder looking to create your own custom and flexible website that looks unique, then WordPress could be chosen instead.
We do love both platforms, and we understand that sometimes decisions are hard to make especially when you’re unsure of the benefits and weaknesses of the two when they’re compared. Therefore, for bloggers, we feel as though setting up your own Squarespace website may be better than having to go through the extensive process of setting up your own custom WordPress website.
You may have an eye for design, but if you are using WordPress you will need some coding knowledge to customize your site. Anyone who isn’t skilled at coding will find it more difficult to navigate WordPress as supposed to Squarespace which is mainly visually orientated.
We hope that this article has taught you more about the pros and cons of Squarespace vs. WordPress and has helped you in deciding the best one for your needs, budget and experience. Remember though, everyone has a personal preference and whilst some people will like one platform, while you may prefer the other.