Looking for a platform where you can create your wonderful website? WordPress and Squarespace are two popular and powerful website building platforms that allow users to build beautiful websites. So, which website builder should you use?
Both WordPress and Squarespace have many features. And when it comes to choosing the one that depends on you, according to your needs. Which type of website you are looking to create, are you going to scale in the future? What kind of features do you want in it, etc?
By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of whether you should invest in WordPress or Squarespace.
Before we dive into a detailed comparison between the two, let’s learn more about these website building platforms.
WordPress is one of the best CMS (Content Management System) platforms for users who want to start their blog or e-commerce or any other type of website. It powers more than 32% of all websites in the world.
WordPress is very easy to use but comes with a very slight learning curve.
It is categorized into two types.
- Hosted WordPress
- Self-hosted WordPress
Let’s learn more about each of these
You can try the Hosted WordPress at WordPress.com, it is similar to Squarespace. You’re going to have to pay a monthly fee to run your website. You can create any type of website you want, start your portfolio, e-commerce, blog or any other. Yet, relative to Squarespace, it has significantly fewer functionality.
However, there are more plugins and themes available for this platform than Squarespace due to large community support.
Self-Hosted WordPress is a piece of software that you need to download from WordPress.org and upload it to your web server. Or you can install it directly from the website of the hosting provider.
It is open-source, which means that you can make any changes to its code according to your needs. You can customize the website a lot, it’s very versatile.
While downloading this software is free, you need a hosting service to install and use it. We’ll talk more about the hosting options and prices in the Costs section below.
Squarespace is another popular website builder platform. It is a hosted platform where you pay a monthly fee to use its services. It comes with quality design templates that you can choose from the various categories. There are many templates available for any type of website.
Squarespace comes with all the key features. This makes it a very valuable tool for creating websites.
Let’s compare both the platforms.
Ease of use
To avoid such things they look for easy to use platforms where they can manage, customize the changes.
Squarespace is designed for beginners. The design of Squarespace is highly intuitive and easy to use.
Creating a website is quite straightforward with Squarespace, and it takes a few minutes. You can start by customizing the design of your website by dragging and dropping the elements. Then choose a domain name and finally publish it. You don’t need to install any plugins, as all the required features are already available with Squarespace.
Editing content, adding, moving and deleting images and sections is very easy. You can customize your fonts, colors and page settings. It comes with its limitations, however.
WordPress, on the other hand, does have a slight learning curve. Creating WordPress websites takes some time, but it’s not that complex. After you have experienced this, it will be easier for you to customize the website as you wish.
It is open-source software that means experts can make changes to its code as they need.
It comes with a lot of options for beginners as well. Rookies can customize the website by dragging and dropping elements just like Squarespace. But they have to install any additional drag and drop builders. And they can see the changes live with the Live Customizer.
You can install any additional plugins to improve the functionality and ease of use of your site.
Plugins and Extensions
Most website platforms come with plugins. Depending on your demand and the latest trends, you may need to add more features, and you can do this by adding new plugins.
Let’s see which website building platform has a better repository.
WordPress has a huge collection of third party plugins. Thanks to it’s larger community. There are over 55,000 plugins available for you to download and install on your WordPress site. Some of these are free and some are paid. Plugins listed in WordPress.org are free to install, but there may be some features you need to pay for.
Using plugins, you can add new features to improve your site’s user experience. If you can think of any issue you want to solve or feature you want to add, there’s a chance that there’ll be a plugin for it.
There are plugins for security, SEO, marketing, analytics, forms, backup, caching, image optimization, live chat, social media, e-commerce, payment gateways, shipping and more.
Also, there are many third-party marketplaces available for WordPress where you can find free and premium plugins for your website. Some of the popular markets are Code Canyon, ZetaMatic, Mojo Marketplace.
I’ve compiled a list of crucial plugins that are very useful and you should install them on your site.
Squarespace has a small extension market. Important features have also already been included, such as Taxes, Payment Gateways, Shipping, Analytics, etc.
In the marketplace there currently 14 extensions available. It’s very small compared to the massive repository of WordPress. However, in case if you need any feature that Squarespace doesn’t offer then you have to work without it.
Themes are one of the most important parts of your website. You need an enticing template to get people’s attention. Both of these platforms have quality themes that you can use on our website.
Let’s learn more about these.
WordPress has a lot of free and paid themes for your website. You will find these on WordPress.org. With these themes, you’ll find a lot of features and customization options. Also, you will be able to filter out the features you want and find perfect themes matching your requirements.
If you want to change the design of your theme, you can do that, but you need some coding skills. Also, there are chances that features and changes are already available in some themes and that no coding needs to be learned.
You should use themes that are responsive, mobile-friendly, SEO optimized, packed with useful features while keeping the size small and easy to customize.
There are other platforms where you can download free themes or buy premium themes. Some of them are Themeforest, Mojo Marketplace, Colorlib. Some themes come with the freemium model, which gives you an option to upgrade to the premium plan.
Squarespace templates are modern, they look stylish. The themes are prepared and organized for different categories.
However, a limited number of themes are available in Squarespace. Customizations are also limited as the features available are limited. You can modify fonts, colors, logos, and other small things. Not as customizable as WordPress themes, though.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is very important. If your website is configured for SEO, it will rank at the top of the search engine page and you’ll get enough traffic organically.
Let’s see which website is the best optimized and has tools for SEO.
Squarespace has SEO built into the platform. You can modify the title tags, the meta description, the URLs. It automatically creates site maps, auto redirects, canonical tags, robot txt, and some other stuff to enhance SEO performance.
You don’t have to touch any code or install an app to make changes to the SEO. Squarespace does all the SEO related stuff on your behalf, and you don’t have to worry about it.
WordPress is more powerful than Squarespace in SEO terms. It gives you more control over making changes to your site’s SEO. You can make changes manually using HTML or SEO plugins that make SEO simple and easy. Even beginners can make changes to it easily.
Security is a major factor for every website. Various website attackers can target your websites if they are not well protected. Both platforms are well equipped with advanced security features to protect your website.
Let us see which platform is well equipped to protect your website.
WordPress is a well-developed website building platform. When you are using the Self-Hosted Platform, the responsibility for security depends on you. It will be more difficult if you do not use any maintenance services or professional help to ensure that your website is covered around the clock.
You can install plugins from well-known developers, install security plugins, avoid downloading plugins or themes from unreliable sources to protect your website from attackers and malware. Also, it’s your job to keep the themes and plugins up to date with the latest versions from time to time.
It is also your responsibility to choose a good, stable and reliable hosting platform to make your website run smoothly without compromising security.
I wrote a blog post, WordPress Security Issues Blog vs 10 Best Security Plugins in which I shared common security issues, and how you can fix them manually and use plugins. Please check it out.
Since Squarespace is a hosted platform all security is being handled by Squarespace itself. They ensure that their system is running smoothly, without any glitches or interruption.
Also, users have far fewer options for installing any extensions and customizing the code, so there are rare chances that Squarespace will be vulnerable.
You’re going to get a free SSL certificate with any of the plans. You can install SSL for WordPress too but you need to take care of that. SSL ensures that your website visitors will be browsing in a secure connection. This also contributes to increasing the trustworthiness of your website.
Pricing is another important factor when you’re buying stuff. And there are different pricing options in both of these platforms.
Let’s compare the costs.
WordPress is free to download, but you must pay for the domain name and hosting service you want. Various types of hosting plans are available. And depending on your needs, you can choose any of them.
The price may vary depending on the hosting provider and the services you use. But because there are a lot of hosting providers available on the market, you’ll find cheaper plans to start your website.
The cost of building a WordPress self-hosted website is very low. That’s one of the reasons why it’s very popular.
Making your simple and beautiful website is free with the hosted WordPress. However, if your demand rises and if you want more features then you can choose from the various plans available.
The pricing starts from $4 to $45. If you’re running a simple blog site, you can start with a free plan. When you start an online store or anything more than just blogging, you can choose any other premium package.
Growing your plan will give you more features, storage space, premium themes, marketing tools, SEO tools and more depending on the plan you choose.
There are four different plans for Squarespace from $14 to a maximum of $40 if you pay each year. Prices change when you change it to a monthly payment starting from $16 to $46.
Such plans have a range of drawbacks. For example, the Personal Plan does not allow you to create an e-commerce website. Because it does not provide features such as uploading products, POS, Check out, Shipping, etc. required by an e-commerce store. So, for starting a basic e-commerce website you need to go with the Basic Commerce plan which starts at $26/month (annually), $30/month (if you pay monthly).
When you start a simple blog site, you can start with a Personal Plan that will cost you $12/month (annually), $16/month (monthly payment). It comes with SSL security, SEO features, free SSL certificate (only on an annual plan) and all the features you need to start your blogging.
Let’s check out which platform gives you more value.
You can start your website for free with the hosted plan being a great option. Most significantly, the two starting plans are cheaper than the Squarespace Personal Plan.
WordPress is good for people who want to start a very low budget website. It’s also good for bloggers, developers, geeks who have coding skills and want to customize the website as they want.
Squarespace is good for people with very little or no code skills. It can be used by photographers, graphic designers, e-commerce owners, business owners, artists, entrepreneurs, etc.
They can easily build a beautiful website by dragging and dropping the items, and they can navigate through all the options without having any difficulty.
Community & Support
This is another aspect you need to think about before choosing a platform. You need to know what kind of support is available if you have any problems. How quickly the problem is being solved.
Luckily, When it comes to community and support, both the platform has the right amount of resources available to get you started or help you with any issues.
Let’s see which platform has the edge.
In terms of community and support WordPress wins the race as it is one of the most popular platforms and has a huge amount of online resources and video and blog tutorials available. However, there is no dedicated support available. You’re going to have to find the answers yourself. And sometimes this may feel exhausting.
If you find a problem with your WordPress website or plugin or theme, you can search online and find a lot of blogs or video tutorials with easy steps on how to fix it. If you still haven’t found any answers, that is very rare, you can email that particular plugin or theme developer directly and they will help you out.
You’ll also find a lot of WordPress groups and forums on various social media channels such as Reddit, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, etc. You can also get support from there.
Squarespace has excellent customer support available 24×7 by email and from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Monday to Friday) Eastern Time by chat. There are also a number of other options available to address your problems, such as the FAQ section, Video tutorials, Forum, and webinars.
You’ll also find community groups on a few social media channels, but that’s fewer than WordPress.
With regard to dedicated support, Squarespace wins the race.
From the above comparison, you can see that both platforms are almost matched. But WordPress is leading in some areas and Squarespace has the edge in some areas.
WordPress is better suited to providing a wide range of Plugins and Extensions, SEO, Themes, Customization, Value, Community, and Support. While Squarespace is better at Ease of Use, Beautiful Templates (limited but the quality is better) and Security.
Both websites have positive and negative. I recommend that you check out both of them and see which one you think will be more suited to your needs and how comfortable you are with them.
Because of its flexibility we use WordPress at ZoneWP. But if you don’t have any coding skills and want to get started fast, Squarespace is perfect for you.
So, what do you think is the best choice if you want to create a website? Which one is the best WordPress or Squarespace platform? Please let us know in the comments below.
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