Wordpress vs Squarespace: What's right for me?
Choosing between these two awesome platforms is very difficult. Both have great potential for creating beautiful and functional websites, but which one is the best choice for you?
Every entrepreneur is different. Just because Wordpress or Squarespace works for someone, doesn't mean it totally works for you. The only way to really decide is to do a thorough investigation and test each platform. In my experience, I used Wordpress for 3 years before I completely switched to Squarespace and have already built several pages in Squarespace. I feel calm and have unparalleled peace of mind after making that decision. So I want to share my experience with you guys and help you make an educated decision. An important note, what is expressed below are my experiences. I'll try to be as objective as possible.
- By being open source, Wordpress gives us developers total freedom to customize the code and make our page really unique. You can build more complex features such as a member login or a marketplace where your users can sale items.
- Squarespace is not open source, which slows down a lot of people from using it. However, there is the developer mode where developers have access to make changes to the HTML structure and create unique (to some extent) designs and templates.
- In Wordpress there are a number of themes and plugins to include to your page so there are many more options to choose from (if you are willing to use something pre-made). We have to take into account that the authors of the themes can disappear at any time (it happened to me) leaving us with a theme that will not be improved in the future and will not receive support.
- Squarespace only offers you a limited number of templates and making that template unique is up to you. This means that each template was made with great care and first-class code and therefore guarantees better functionality. In addition, they are constantly being updated.
- Wordpress will allow you to scale to any point you want with your website. From a simple shop to a marketplace, there are plugins for almost every web need.
- Squarespace will only let you go so far. There are external plugins that can be included, but in some cases and for more customized features a programmer is required.
Ease of Use
- Wordpress is easy to use after you get used to it. You have to learn new concepts such as plugins, themes, shortcodes, child themes and widgets, and usually learn how each plugin is used.
- Squarespace is extremely simple to use because it is so limited and you can add content using a drag and drop interface (you can add elements by dragging with the mouse) that makes it even easier.
- Wordpress makes revisions and data recovery a very simple job. It works well for teams where several people will be posting content.
- Squarespace does not save post reviews. It has a very simple way to review, approve and publish content, and it's easy to see at a glance which posts are scheduled, waiting or published.
Support and Technology
- Wordpress is built using PHP, and to make custom modifications or features you need to know how it works with Wordpress.
- Because of the wide and varied nature of Wordpress, it does not have a specialized support. There are countless forums and blogs that provide help but sometimes it is difficult to get a correct or quick answer. Also, if you encounter problems with a plugin and the author is not available, it is difficult to find a solution.
- Because of its limited size, Squarespace's support team is more in control and can offer a first class service.
- If you're not very techy (good with technology), starting a page in Wordpress means you need the help of a third party to make updates, change content on your page that are not blogposts and give maintenance to clean spam and other evils that afflict Wordpress.
- In Squarespace, for its ease of use, you can make content structure changes, edit text, change navigation, and even change colors and template subjects without the need for a third party.
- Squarespace presents plans for a variety of needs. It can cost anywhere from $96 to $288 per year and they offer you a free domain name and support. Depending on the package you choose, you may end up paying more than you would pay for a Wordpress page, but you have the support and peace of mind that your website is replicated on four servers and is unlikely to ever crash.
- To add certain features such as emailing or scheduling appointments it requires external services that can be free or cost as little as $5 per month. Usually, Squarespace plugins have a monthly cost and not just a one time payment.
- Hosting Wordpress, in my opinion, although many times cheaper than Squarespace (you can do it for USD$60 perfectly), is a headache. I have tried many hosts (hosting services) and once the site is receiving more traffic or is being equipped with more features, it either starts to crash or starts to respond more slowly which leads us to optimize the installation and scale the hosting plan. This is a time-consuming process that ultimately costs even more than the Squarespace plans.
- A Wordpress theme (the fastest and most efficient way to get started) costs at least USD$30. It's a one-time payment. Also, the plugins needed to achieve the functionality you want can cost from $15 to $300 depending on the application. To that we add the domain that can cost from USD$15 or more.
- If you're not very techie or don't have a lot of time and want to have some control over your site without always having to rely on a third party, I would recommend Squarespace. I use Squarespace for this page and I really have found incredible peace of mind. Within my packages, I offer design for Squarespace, Shopify or Webflow and we use these platforms instead of Wordpress because of how simple, reliable, and agile they are to customize. The benefit of my customers making changes and changing their content easily bought me immediately.
- However, the flexibility that Wordpress allows is perfect for some projects and if my clients' future plans include something that I know Squarespace can't offer them, I recommend using Worpress to avoid being limited when it comes to scaling (Migrating is always an option but something usually stays behind).
- If you are good with coding or have the time to learn, if you are planning to offer memberships on your site or something complex, Wordpress can work for you. It should be noted that Squarespace offers the option to put a password to your pages and with TinyPass you can manage memberships to access private content.
- Choosing a platform is personal and for each person is a different experience. If you have any questions I'd love to help you! Leave a comment below and I will gladly try to give you an objective opinion.
Tell me in the comments: Squarespace or Wordpress?