Understanding the Pros and Cons of Squarespace and WordPress

Whether you’re in startup mode or ready to take the next step to grow your business with a stronger, more customized and ownable digital brand, you’ve likely debated Squarespace vs WordPress when considering the most popular website builder platforms.

Understanding the Difference Between Squarespace and WordPress

What is the difference between Squarespace and WordPress, and which one is better for your business website? It comes down to cost, comfort and future growth planned for your site. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each website builder.

Ease of Use

Most people starting online with their business do not necessarily have coding experience or much knowledge at all about a website builder. So, many people look to drag and drop web design platforms like Squarespace and WordPress, but there are plenty out there from which to choose. Some promote ease of use, while others focus on features and flexibility. In the end, when it comes to launching a successful site, it comes down to Squarespace vs WordPress.

WordPress

WordPress powers nearly half of all websites in the world. It is very popular among people who wish to start a blog or users who are just starting out with their online business. It comes with a default WYSIWYG editor which is quite easy to use and drag and drop features are built right in. You can customize your WordPress site or theme and add on what seems like an endless list of additional third-party features, functions and services whether you’re running a small business website or enterprise-level e-commerce store. WordPress themes allow you to create beautiful pages filled with rich media and engaging design all running on your own domain name.

Squarespace

Squarespace does not have the same flexibility or as many choices as WordPress, but having fewer choices may make it simpler for beginners to use in some ways. You can add different blocks and customize them pretty easily making Squarespace a simple website builder that is quite attractive to beginners with limited experience. The obvious caveat here is the limitations website owners are faced with. As a closed-source platform, Squarespace users are forced to choose from a fixed set of themes to customize their site. The themes can be customized to a small degree using the editor, but do not offer any opportunity to stray from the pre-built structure. A Squarespace site does not offer the flexibility of a WordPress site.

Price

Price is a natural consideration for most business owners when selecting a platform for your new website. You don’t want to pay exorbitant fees every month and you want the features you choose to include on your website to be worth the investment.

Squarespace

You can purchase a personal plan with Squarespace for $12 per month, which is billed annually, or you can get a $16 plan, which is billed monthly. The personal plan is quite limited and does not include any e-commerce capabilities within the Squarespace site. You may use your own domain name in either option, however.

WordPress

Unlike Squarespace, WordPress’s personal plan is free to use and just about every web host on the planet now has an easy automatic installation guide. WordPress is known for its ease of use and that includes installation as well. Just enter in your domain name and a few other basic pieces of information and your website is set up in a matter of moments.

Features

A Squarespace site has a plethora of built-in features including email marketing, blogging features, social share buttons integration, product quick view, Adobe image editor, Dropbox file synchronization, free Typekit and Google fonts, the ability to install multiple templates, and audio collections.

Apps and Plugins

Different website builders come with several built-in features. You will find that, as your website grows, you will want to add more features or simply gain more control over the features that you already have. The more your business grows and you learn more about the expectations users have for your website, the more you will want to work to refine the content and experience you offer to visitors. Third-party apps and open-source WordPress plugins enable you to add more functionality to your website quickly and easily.

SEO

Every website owner should optimize for SEO. This will make your site more visible to potential users and more likely to appear as a top result on search engines like Google or Yahoo. SEO is not just about keywords anymore either. There are over 200 ranking factors that are considered including speed, user experience and content. All of these aspects are important to users so by optimizing websites for search we’re actually improving and optimizing sites for people. SEO is a fundamental exercise for people with online businesses because most people will likely come across their website through an online search.

Customer support

Squarespace comes with 24/7 customer support that you can access via email or live chat service. WordPress does not offer the same customer support that Squarespace has given it’s an open-source platform, not owned by any person or entity. However, WordPress has a massive online community and an extensive knowledge base brimming with in-depth content where you can easily find answers to your queries from WordPress site installation, WordPress plugins, e-Commerce and best practices to maintain secure WordPress websites. Many web host’s customer support will also include general WordPress website support as part of their hosting service.

eCommerce

Many business owners need to be able to sell their goods and services on their website. Both Squarespace and WordPress offer the capabilities to develop a fully functional eCommerce platform.

Themes and Plugins

WordPress themes and layouts are very useful to those who are not web designers. The templates offered by various drag and drop website builders make it easy to set up a professional-looking site, that you can edit and customize to suit your business. When you consider which platform to use, you want to make sure that you will be met with some useful options for your site.

Multilanguage Support

The advent of online business websites makes it possible for users from all over the world to see your products and services. The obvious consideration here is whether or not users from these different countries will be able to understand what you have written on your website.

Data Portability

If you start your online business with a website builder like Squarespace vs WordPress, you want the peace of mind that you will be able to leave their platform and take your site with you if you are unhappy with their services. You also want to be able to take all of your data, your articles, and site content without any trouble and move your website to another platform.

Final Thoughts on Squarespace vs WordPress

It should be quite clear from this comprehensive Squarespace vs WordPress comparison that although Squarespace offers one of the most easy-to-use website builders with a small learning curve, WordPress comes out on top for most users in the long run. If you are looking for a fast and cheap way to set up your website to get your startup off the ground then you might be tempted to go with Squarespace. However, in the end, your business will be better off with a custom WordPress site as it offers more features and greater customizability. WordPress offers a platform that can grow with your business and adapt to your changing needs and digital marketing goals whether you own a single site or multiple websites.

Parachute Design Group Inc. is a boutique Toronto web design agency specializing in beautiful hand-made website design, custom logo design and branding.