WordPress vs Squarespace
While WordPress is, today, the most popular content management system, that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to build a website. Over the years we have seen more beginner-friendly websites join the space like Wix and Squarespace.
Trying to understand the difference between WordPress vs Squarespace? In this article we will look at the pros and cons of WordPress vs. Squarespace, to help you better understand the important differences.
Easy to Customize
WordPress provides an easy-to-use content editor and thousands of free and paid website templates which you can easily customize. You can add your own logo, use your preferred colors, drag-and-drop functions and several other features. The type of website you want to build doesn’t matter. You easily find a template suitable for your business.
Seamless Data Transferability
There are built-in tools to export all your data easily. Besides your images and content, you can also export your plugins, themes and the entire database. This data can then be transferred to another Content Management System. You have the freedom to store your content wherever you want and change hosts at any time.
Great Community Support
WordPress has a powerful community with active contributors from various parts of the world. This gives you the opportunity to attend community events organized by WordPress users (WordCamps) where you get to know each other, share ideas and learn more about WordPress.
Plugins and Integrations
As your website grows, you will find the need to include more features and connect your site to other third-party tools. This is where the genuine power of WordPress comes in. It has a huge plugin ecosystem to help you add plugins and additional features.
There are over 50,000 free WordPress plugins and thousands of premium plugins available from third-party sites. So, whatever feature you think of, you’re most likely to find a WordPress that can do it.
Additionally, all the main SEO tools, lead generation tools, chat software and email marketing services provide smooth integration with WordPress.
There are several tools to help you solve accessibility issues like poor contrast, font size, image alt text and more. These tools allow you to make your website more user-friendly without too much effort.
Complex to Use
Getting started with WordPress does have a small learning curve for beginners. You need to get familiar with WordPress terminology and concepts like categories and tags, posts and pages, plugins and themes. All in all, WordPress seems fairly easy to use.
WordPress is free to get started because of its open-source nature. If you want a more detailed theme or premium plugins, those will require an investment. For example, a premium WordPress theme costs around $39 – $120.
WordPress sites require maintenance such as optimizing content, managing website security and more. You can expect maintenance costs to range between $49 and $200 per month depending on the type of website you have.
Pictured above is the WordCamp Phoenix 2019 organizing team – In deciding between WordPress vs Squarespace, WordPress wins when it comes to community.
You Don’t Have to Worry About Servers
If you need a website for an online store or shopping cart system, you might find Squarespace to be a good option. Since it’s a hosted solution, you don’t need to worry about things like server updates and security (besides taking the normal precautions for passwords).
Cheaper than WordPress
Squarespace has four all-inclusive plans to choose from costing between $12 and $40 per month. All the plans come with templates, hosting and domain registration. However, there are a few external costs that you can miss when computing the cost of your website.
Ready to use designs and templates
Squarespace has ready-to-use templates which are neatly organized into popular website categories. They have professional designs set up to display properly on all types of devices.
Your Content is Not Entirely Yours
While the content you upload to Squarespace is yours, you still give them permission to use it to improve and promote their services. They clearly state this in the fine print of their terms and services.
Poor Data Portability
Unfortunately, transferring your website doesn’t include moving your site hosting to a new provider.
Inadequate Extensibility and Integrations
Squarespace comes nowhere near WordPress regarding plugins. Yes, you can add third-party extensions and integrations, but there are no powerful APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that developers can use to build upon.
The Squarespace community is not as big as WordPress. This means that there are fewer opportunities for meetups, sharing knowledge and learning.
You Still Require the Services of a Developer
Despite its ease of use, you will still likely need a developer for setting up things like Google Analytics and third-party email integration and more. So, if you, as a business owner, don’t have time to learn how to do certain things, you may need to hire a developer to help with some tasks.
There are Several Hidden Costs
The paid plans are quite affordable, but once you reach a level where you need to include additional features, those are normally paid add-ons. Sometimes you may experience hidden costs for additional functionality.
Unlike WordPress that provides plugins to help with accessibility problems, Squarespace provides the tools, but it’s up to you to ensure all the content you upload meets the ADA standards. You may need to get an expert to help you choose the correct color contrasts and run other checks.
WordPress Vs Squarespace: Which One Should You Choose?
If you’re looking to build a simple website quickly and easily and don’t really care about content ownership or flexibility, then Squarespace might be a good option. However, if you are looking for flexibility, functionality, or content ownership, WordPress is the way to go. One other option is to look at the hosted solution available through WordPress.com. It offers much of the functionality of WordPress with many of the perks of the hosted solution that Squarespace has to offer. Either way, there will be a learning curve, but both are viable solutions. The freedom to grow your website as you want is what matters. Whichever website builder you choose, make sure it aligns with your needs.