Hi everyone! I am super excited to write this post! Almost every client or potential client I encounter asks me which platform will work best for them. The truth is, only you can answer that! If you’re trying to decide between Squarespace vs WordPress, you’re in the right place. Today, I’ll compare Squarespace vs. WordPress and list the pros and cons of each. My hope is that after reading the comparison, you can choose which one will work best for your and your needs. WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, but it is not the only option. I’ve broken down the comparison into different sections. We’ll take a look at each section and see which platform offers the most benefit to a beginner level user. It’s important to note that we’re comparing Squarespace vs. self-hosted WordPress (not WordPress.com).
Ease of Use and the Learning Curve
Most beginner level users are not familiar with HTML, CSS, and other code related things. They want a platform that helps them build their websites easily. Let’s see how both WordPress and Squarespace stack up in this category.
Learning on WordPress
WordPress is a hearty platform with a lot of choices. It can be used by a beginner level users as well as advanced level users. It can be used to start a blog or a highly professional website (big name brands using WordPress). While WordPress is fairly intuitive and easy to use, there is definitely a slight learning curve. Beginners will need to familiarize themselves with WordPress terminology and concepts such as difference between posts vs pages,categories vs tags, understanding themes and plugins. Despite the slight learning curve, in my experience most users quickly adapt to it.
Learning on Squarespace
Unlike WordPress, Squarespace does not come with too many choices. However, this lack of choices make it very simple and easy to use. Even the absolute beginners can quickly write content and publish it. Adding images, videos, and audio files is simpler than WordPress. With its drag and drop content editor, creating new pages and posts is extremely easy even for users who have never worked on a website before. Squarespace lets you customize your templates and pages using a visual editor.
Squarespace fares a little better than WordPress in terms of ease of use for absolute beginners. On the other hand, WordPress offers beginners a lot of choices right from the beginning which might be confusing at first, but it is a lot more flexible in the long run. One thing to keep in mind is that Bailey Avenue does offer tutorials with each package; with Squarespace or WordPress.
Knowing how much each platform can cost is important in making a business decision. Let’s look at how much Squarespace cost vs. how much WordPress cost.
What WordPress Costs
WordPress is free as in freedom not as in free beer. You are free to download, use, change, and build upon WordPress. In order to build your website with WordPress, you will need a web hosting provider. Depending on your needs, you can choose a shared hosting plan, a virtual private server, or even a dedicated server. Shared hosting plans work for most small personal and business websites. The cost of web hosting and domain name vary depending on which hosting provider you go with. You are in charge of how much resources you need for your website, and how much you will pay for it. One of the reasons for the immense popularity of WordPress is that the overall cost of building your website with WordPress is very low. Apart from that, you can change your hosting plan as your site grows. This means you only pay for the resources you will be actually using.
What Squarespace Costs
The personal plan for Squarespace starts from $8 per month. That’s almost as affordable as a shared hosting plan for WordPress. However, unlike a shared WordPress hosting plan, this personal plan comes with very limited features. You can only create 20 pages, a blog, and add only two contributors to your site. You can sell only one product and accept donations. The professional plan which costs $16 per month allows you to sell up to 20 products. You can create unlimited pages and enjoy unlimited space and bandwidth. The business plan allows you to sell unlimited products for $24 per month (annually) with unlimited pages, blogs, galleries, space, and bandwidth.
WordPress beats Squarespace with flexible plans available from a variety of web hosts from around the world. The cost depends on how much resources you use, and you are free to use your WordPress site in any way you want.
Are you building an online store? Let’s compare the eCommerce functionality of WordPress vs. Squarespace.
eCommerce on WordPress
WordPress allows you to integrate and use any payment processor or platform you want. There are many WordPress plugins that allow you to easily integrate PayPal, Google Checkout, Stripe, 2Checkout, Payoneer, Skrill, and even Bitcoin. WordPress has plenty of eCommerce plugins that can turn your website into an online store within minutes. There are countless WordPress themes designed specifically for eCommerce websites. There are no limits on how many products you add to your website. You can add as many products as you want.
eCommerce on Squarespace
Commerce is limited on Squarespace. You can only use Stripe for payment processing which is only available in select few countries. There is no other payment system available which restricts your ability to accept payments from a larger global audience. For a growing business, starting with such limitations is not a great idea. Apart from that, there is a limit on how many products you can sell on Personal and Professional plans. Let’s say you want to sell only 22 products, you will still have to pay for the Business plan, and the yearly costs of hosting a site with just 22 products to sell will be way higher than a shared hosting plan or VPSfor WordPress. As for third-party services, there are very few external services that you can integrate with your Squarespace website. Even these integrations are controlled and very limited than the original features of the services you are adding.
WordPress is way ahead of Squarespace when it comes to running an eCommerce website. The limitations of Squarespace are not so good for the growth of an online business.
Design and Features
As your business grows, your website will too. Let’s take a look at how WordPress and Squarespace compare in terms of design and features.
WordPress Features & Designs
The real power of WordPress is in its extensibility. There are thousands of free and paid WordPress plugins which you can use on your site to add new features. Ranging from simple social sharing plugins to robust membership site plugins, you can create almost any kind of website you can imagine with WordPress. Similarly, WordPress has thousands of free and paid themes available which you can install on your website. Themes control the visual appearance of your website. There are WordPress themes for almost every industry, business, or any kind of website that you want to create.
Squarespace Features & Designs
This is one area where Squarespace seriously fall behind. There is a very limited number of templates that you can choose from. You can change only a limited set of features by using the site customizer feature of Squarespace. Same goes for the plugins, you can only use the plugins and features built-in Squarespace. There is no easier way for you to extend the functionality of your website by installing an external plugin. Squarespace does offer limited integration with selected services. But again the options are very few and strictly limited.
WordPress beats Squarespace in terms of extensibility and abundance of design and feature choices.
WordPress is far superior than Squarespace as a web publishing platform for any kind of website. Squarespace can be a good choice for small sites that need limited functionality. Squarespace is also slightly better in ease of use when writing posts. Apart from that, WordPress outperforms Squarespace in every possible usage scenario. I hope this article helped you learn more about WordPress vs Squarespace, their pros and cons and helped you choose which one is better for your needs. If ever you’re ready to build your site, say hello!