WordPress VS Squarespace, which platform is best for your business?
WordPress and Squarespace are both website builders that allow you to build a website, create an online store & publish content online.
So, what’s the difference? In a few sentences, Squarespace is the full package and includes everything you need to build a website straight away. It includes everything from hosting to templates, themes and plugins. Whereas, WordPress does not. WordPress is an open-source platform that is free to install but requires you to find your own WordPress host service, download your own plugins and find your own WordPress theme.
Squarespace is a much easier platform to start on if you don’t know much about web design & development because everything is right there for you. However, it is not as customizable as WordPress is. See below the graph explaining the scale of flexibility and ease of learning.
1. THE EDITOR
Squarespace offers a visual block editor that makes it simple and easy to use. It allows you to drag and drop certain elements to place them where you would like them to sit.
Image: Squarespace Editor
Without a plugin install, WordPress does not offer a visual drag and drop editor. WordPress has a page editor in the CMS which doesn’t allow you to visually edit the content on the page itself. You need to constantly refresh and visit the page to see how it is looking. Which can be quite frustrating trying to make your website look appealing.
Image: Elementor Page Builder
While the WordPress page editor may seem overwhelming, it allows for almost unlimited design flexibility. You can achieve pretty much anything when building a website with WordPress!
Squarespace, on the other hand, is a simplistic, minimalistic design that is quite simple to follow when creating a website and although it can be limiting in some areas the websites usually always look amazing.
Squarespace templates are beautiful and there’s no doubt about it! They ritualise minimalism, clean and funky and often outdo WordPress templates. With 110 to choose from, this does not compare to WordPress library of thousands of different templates to choose from – both paid & free.
As stated above the biggest benefit of Squarespace templates are that they are easily customisable. With Squarespace’s visual editor most things are easily manoeuvrable and editable. WordPress requires a slight bit more learning due to the complexity of customising themes or templates. However, with a visual editor installed, this should make the customising process much easier.
Overall, WordPress offer more options for templates and also offer much more flexibility within the web customization. The wide variety of plugins help this matter. Whereas Squarespace offer good quality templates, but they are limited in choice and flexibility.
3. OPEN VS CLOSED SOURCE
Squarespace is a closed source website builder. It has a hand-selected, closed approach. Squarespace chooses who they partner with and who develops plugins/code for their website platform. A developer cannot come along and build a plugin that everyone can use on their Squarespace website. This approach is to ensure everything works the way it should.
WordPress is open source. This means that anyone and everyone can make a plugin. That’s why you can find a plugin for almost EVERYTHING! This is great and allows a lot of flexibility, however, many plugins and themes that are made do not work or cause issues. They have compatibility issues or they get hacked due to lack of updates. This is why it’s important to be educated on what to look out for when choosing a plugin. For example, you might use a plugin that only 5 other people have installed and because this plugin was not as successful as the developer wanted it to be (with limited installs) it has been left and does not get any updates anymore, this might cause your website to break or get hacked. If you installed a plugin with 1 million + installs you a possibly less likely to experience any difficulty with the plugin. It is also helpful to read the ratings when considering using a certain plugin.
Squarespace cannot match the number of plugins WordPress has, but the advantage of Squarespace is that everything works. WordPress however, has lots of plugins that can sometimes cause issues.
4. PERFORMANCE ON MOBILE
All Squarespace templates are made responsive. However, it is important to check your website when you have finished making customisations to ensure that the changes you have made while building your website are responsive across all devices. If you do need to make changes while in mobile view, Squarespace can be hard to manipulate and design while working in this view.
Whereas WordPress is quite manipulative when it comes to editing your website in the different views (mobile, tablet and desktop). It is important to check that your WordPress theme or plugin is responsive first, especially if they are paid themes or plugins.
Both WordPress and Squarespace cost money!
Squarespace offers all-inclusive plans that range from $12USD – $40USD per month. These pricing plans include everything from a custom domain name to hosting. Squarespace has made it really easy for their consumers as they have included essentially everything you need to start up your own website (as mentioned earlier).
Image: Squarespace Pricing
WordPress.org is free, but you need to purchase the following things to get a functioning website:
If you are looking for a recommended hosting service, we use WP engine and are huge advocates for their service & support. Decent hosting can cost anywhere from $20USD upwards (so Squarespace generally is a good deal!)
2. A WordPress Theme
There are free WordPress themes available, however, if you want something better you’re going to need to spend some money! You can expect to pay around $29USD upwards for a nice WordPress theme.
There are also thousands of free plugins available but again, the most functional and best plugins are for sale. Some plugins are a one off-cost and others are a recurring monthly or yearly subscription. Like WordPress themes, plugins have a range of different costs depending on what plugin you are after but can range from as small as $5USD to $100USD +!
Depending on what type of website you are building and how many features you will need, it is hard to say whether WordPress or Squarespace is more expensive.
5. CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Squarespace offers 24/7 email support and a live chat during EST working hours. WordPress on the other hand does not have a direct support system. Some plugins and themes may have customer support from the developer/creator. Also, good hosting systems usually provide great support for WordPress to ensure their customers are happy (WP Engine has a great support chat).
Overall both Squarespace and WordPress have their positives and negatives but are both great platforms to build a website on. Depending on what type of website you are building, one or the other may be more suited towards your website needs. We recommend Squarespace for standard websites & WordPress if you need more features and design flexibility.
If you’re not sure what platform is best suited for your project, get in touch with us today!