Making a choice between Squarespace vs WordPress can be tough if you're just getting into blogging or ecommerce for the first time or are considering migrating to a new platform.
That said, both platforms are extremely popular and versatile in their own right, so we thought it'd be great to break them down side-by-side in this article.
Why Use WordPress?
Before looking at how WordPress and Squarespace differ from each other, it's important to look at what each CMS is in its own right and what it has to offer to entrepreneurs and aspiring bloggers.
WordPress is an open source content management system. This means that the source code underlying the program is freely available to anyone who wants to use or modify it.
WordPress is also hands down the most popular and widely used CMS out there. Used by 74 million websites in 2015, this CMS enjoys widespread support and a large community of users who can testify to its effectiveness.
There are a few reasons for its wild popularity that continues to this day:
1. It is very easy to use!
2. It comes with thousands of beautiful free themes for users to choose from.
3. It is an exceptional platform for blogging & it is inexpensive.
4. There are thousands of plugins available to users to add custom functionality as needed.
5. It has a long-standing, loyal base of experienced WordPress power users who are more than happy to offer guidance and support to other users and novice bloggers who struggle with common WordPress issues.
Why Use Squarespace?
As opposed to being an open-sourced platform, Squarespace is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform.
This means that use of its software requires a license, which also means that the coding cannot be updated or modified by the end user.
In order to get this license, users must subscribe to the service and allow their sites to be hosted by Squarespace, which enjoys an international customer base in the millions.
It is known for its beautiful, responsive templates, a huge variety of fonts, and great ecommerce functionality.
If you choose one of the available paid plans at $12 or $18, you will get 24/7 access to Squarespace's support team for any issue that you come across. In addition, you can also sign up for a 2-week trial to see if it'll work out in the long run for you or not.
At the same time, however, the degree to which each design can be modified depends upon the one you choose, and its SEO and ecommerce features are limited in a few ways that power users may not like.
For example, Squarespace won't let you upload or update your own sitemap, which can be very useful for Google to large websites and becomes an important consideration for websites that amass hundreds of thousands of pages over time. However, this is fully accessible while using WordPress. For those of you who are more advanced, you can learn how to stop referral spam.
However, for users who are simply looking for a useful and beautiful site to blog and post products on without having to touch any code, deal with updates, or worry about any custom features, it's an outstanding solution so long as they're content with the default tools and options.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]
|What Is WordPress?||What Is Squarespace?|
Is WordPress easy to use?
WordPress has earned itself a reputation as one of the easiest website platforms to use. In fact, it boasts that an inexperienced user can set up a basic functioning website within five minutes.
Of course, developing an entirely custom website will require more time and the support of a web design company.
However, the ease with which even inexperienced people can publish a website or blog through WordPress is unmatched among content management systems.
WordPress boasts an intuitive user interface (requiring little to no interaction with the software's actual code) that makes interacting with and updating your site easy once it is set up. Users can also use premium themes or plugins that offer custom WYSIWYG page builders that'll allow you to click or drag-and-drop ready-to-go webpage elements into place.
The availability of thousands of plugins to help you add custom functionality as well as other features (such as automated page creation) make WordPress a very approachable CMS for even technically inexperienced people.
Granted, you do have to be careful to not add just any plugin you want to use to your WordPress site because they may not meet WordPress coding standards and can present a security risk, but most of not all of the most popular WordPress plugins more than exceed this fundamental requirement.
Is SquareSpace easy to use?
Squarespace, while not possessing the popularity that WordPress does, is still known for being easy to use.
Its main claim to fame in this area is the fact that, because its coding is licensed and not open to modification, users never have to touch a single line of code to perform any critical website or blogging task in Squarespace.
Instead, when creating the actual site, a user can simply click, drag, and drop all the necessary elements into place in a true WYSIWYG fashion, making it easy and painless to see exactly what your site will look like once you're done.
In addition, managing the site after setup is also easy and has a very shallow learning curve.
However, SquareSpace has a fundamental drawback that makes it less ideal for entrepreneurs and business owners: It is not as customizable as is WordPress.
For example, changing your design from one template to another requires an extensive reworking of your entire site from the ground up, whereas WordPress allows users to swap out templates without losing any content. In addition, templates cannot be modified to suit a user's desires for custom features.
As a result, Squarespace can be limiting for businesses and users who really want to push the envelopment and make their website truly their own with the power and ease of a CMS as the core engine.
Creating a website that doesn't only serve the needs of a business but also the business's customers is a critical decision that every aspiring online entrepreneur or business owner must carefully consider.
In many cases, in spite of the inherent advantages that a codeless WYSIWYG platform has to offer, WordPress is simply the better choice for users who wish to build upon their initial efforts and continue to adapt and refine their site to meet the needs of their followers and customers over time.
Squarespace vs WordPress – Which One Is Best For Blogging & Why?
Another critical element for users looking to build a successful website or online business is the ability to blog.
Blogging provides an effective way to reach out to their communities with key information, knowledge, and insight into their industries or areas of expertise. Without blogging, it is much harder time getting its voice heard within the community it wants to serve. As a result, choosing a CMS that helps bloggers do what they do best is important.
So what kind of blogging features and tools do Squarespace and WordPress have to offer?
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Squarespace claims to be blogger-friendly, and its network of bloggers would agree.
First, the templates are beautiful and allow bloggers to achieve an aesthetically pleasing look. Second, Squarespace removes much of the decision making from the process of setting up and managing a blog.
For example, search engine optimization is pretty much automatic within Squarespace, design options are limited, every template is mobile-friendly, and the blog can be hosted alongside the website and ecommerce store (if the blogger has one).
Plus, the ease with which Squarespace can be set up and managed is appealing to many bloggers who want a set-and-forget kind of CMS.
Despite the advantages that Squarespace blogging offers, however, WordPress still provides an overall preferable blogging experience, particularly for small businesses.
Consider all of the positive, blogger-friendly features mentioned above regarding Squarespace: Most of them are also available through WordPress. For example, bundling your blog, e-commerce store, and website into one place, creating beautiful designs, and enjoying an intuitive user interface are all available through WordPress.
In addition, however, WordPress has certain features that make it even friendlier toward bloggers than Squarespace. For example, there are many beautiful WordPress themes that allow users to tweak their own designs (many with a WYSIWYG interface). It allows bloggers to tweak that template to reflect their own individuality and branding.
WordPress does not automatically implement SEO techniques. But, it allows you to implement the best SEO techniques for your business. All you need is a savvy web design company to guide you through the process.
In addition, WordPress allows you to scale your blog to accommodate an influx of traffic once your blog and your small business become successful. For example, you can move your WordPress site to any web host or domain you desire. You can customize your setup to accommodate the addition of web pages or other functionality. The result is a blog that is designed to grow as your business and popularity grows.
When faced with this level of customization and scalability, it becomes clear why WordPress is the go-to platform for bloggers. It provides the ease of use, beauty, and flexibility that bloggers and entrepreneurs need to build a thriving blog for their followers, users, and customers.
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Squarespace vs. WordPress – Which One Is Best For Ecommerce & Why?
Finally, small businesses need a CMS that will support their e-commerce efforts. The ability to sell their products and services online allow small businesses to reach a larger customer base and to earn more sales than they could if they sold through a brick and mortar store alone. Both Squarespace and WordPress offer solid e-commerce services. However, when you look at these services carefully, it becomes clear that WordPress offers a few advantages when it comes to setting up an e-commerce presence on a website. Following are the two biggest e-commerce advantages offered by WordPress.
Array of E-Commerce Themes and Plugins
The amount of choice WordPress provides is one of the reasons it stands out from Squarespace in many areas, and e-commerce is no exception. In Squarespace, you are limited by the licensed software that allows you only a certain number of choices when it comes to setting up functionality on your ecommerce website.
In WordPress, however, you have numerous themes and plugins from which to choose. This means that you can easily set up whatever look or functionality you want on your WordPress e-commerce site. And, as mentioned above, you can bundle this site with your blog if you wish so that both appear in the same place for easy access for consumers.
Perhaps the largest drawback to using Squarespace for your e-commerce site is the fact that Squarespace does not work with PayPal. Since PayPal is one of the largest and most trusted payment gateways out there, Squarespace's inability to work with PayPal could you cost you many, many sales. And, in fact, Squarespace only works with one payment gateway: Stripe. So not only do you lose out on PayPal, but also on any other payment gateway your consumers wish to use.
WordPress, on the other hand, allows you to easily and reliably install a PayPal plugin so you can accept PayPal payments in your e-commerce store. Alternatively, you can also set up other payment gateways such as Stripe, Braintree, PayPal, or . Earning these sales alone should be reason enough to choose WordPress over Squarespace for your e-commerce site.
Of course, these are not the only advantages offered by using WordPress instead of Squarespace as an e-commerce platform. For example, the features mentioned already: Customization and ease of use in particular, also apply to a WordPress e-commerce site. You can not only add and change products at will, but you can also set up and manage your site with minimal effort. These advantages make WordPress preferable to Squarespace by allowing you to achieve the scope, look, and versatility you need to operate a successful e-commerce site for your business.
WordPress Feature Breakdown
In the spirit of fairness, we'll also touch on some of WordPress's faults and weaknesses
Squarespace vs WordPress – Pricing & Ongoing Costs
Can You Use Plugins On SquareSpace?
Squarespace provides its own set of plugins for its customers. There are a little more than 150 plugins available on Squarespace.
While the quality of these plugins tends to be more consistent than those for WordPress, there are not nearly as many Squarespace plugins as there are WordPress plugins.
As a result, you have fewer options for adding functionality to your Squarespace site.
SquareSpace Support vs. WordPress Support
As mentioned above, Squarespace offers round the clock professional support for its products. WordPress does not have professional support but does have a strong community of users who support and troubleshoot for each other. Each form of support has its advantages and disadvantages.
If you want to know which CMS option will work best for you, take all of the features of each into consideration.
If, for example, WordPress meets more of your needs as a small business, you might be willing to forego the professional support, especially if you hire an experienced web design company that can take care of any problems that arise for you anyway. So Which One Should I Choose?
Squarespace and WordPress both offer appealing options for building your website. However, with its greater number of themes, plugins, customization, and open source coding, WordPress offers more options for bloggers and entrepreneur who want to scale and customize their site to meet the needs & demands of their industries.
If you want to enjoy a customized WordPress website for your business, contact us today.
P.S. – Our friend and fellow WP maintenance expert, Rena McDaniel, is running a special contest in which you can win a web maintenance package for a full year!