If you’re looking to build a stunning website, then it’s no surprise you’re choosing between WordPress and Squarespace. Although choosing between the two is a daunting task, you’ll learn about WordPress Vs. Squarespace in this guide and understand which one is best for you.
So, let’s roll our sleeves and get done.
It’s an all-in-one package that includes everything you need right from the box. In Summary, it’s a drag and drop builder with a self-hosting platform, plugins, themes, and more. What’s more, the platform is intuitive user friendly; however, it’s not the most user-friendly compared to Wix or Medium.
Notably, Squarespace is a website builder and not a CMS. Besides, it’s perfect for beginners who don’t have coding skills.
WP is a flexible open-source Content Management System (CMS); meaning, you can customize it to your liking. If you choose this option, you must know how to code since it’s not a drag and drop platform. That notwithstanding, you can use other tools like Elementor, which is a drag and drop tool.
The primary difference between the two platforms is that Squarespace is a drag & drop website builder while WordPress is a CMS.
A content management system always has more functions compared to a website builder. Thus, it gives you the leverage to customize and scale your site.
On the other hand, a website builder takes the complex design functionalities from you; hence you can focus on other aspects of your organization.
Now, let’s get to some of the differentiating factors between the two platforms.
Differences in price
Even before you consider functionality, price is probably one of the factors that will affect your decision the most. And how do the two compare?
Getting an exact estimate of the total cost of setting up your website on WordPress might be a little tricky.
Firstly, you will need the following;
- A domain name.
- Hosting service.
Depending on where you purchase these services, you can start your website for a little as $70.
If you choose to go with WP hosting services, then plans include a 12-months plan for $5.84 per month, a 24-months plan for $4.84 per month, and a 48-month plan for $3.49 per month.
All the plans come with benefits like $9.99 for an SSL Certificate for a lifetime and a supercharge for your website for $5 only for the web’s lifetime with Cloudflare protection.
However, when upgrading to managed web hosting, monthly rates increase. You also have to pay for premium WordPress themes and plug-ins.
the cheapest basic plan at Squarespace goes for $12 per month, billed annually, which you can opt to pay $16 per month, billed monthly. However, this plan has limitations to the pages you can create and a higher eCommerce transaction fee.
Squarespace also has a business plan for $18 per month billed annually or $26 paid monthly.
If you want to include eCommerce on your website, then you can choose from the $26 per month basic plan billed annually, or $30 paid monthly, or the advanced plan going for $40 per month, paid yearly, or $46 billed monthly.
Ease of creating a website
How will your readers interact with your site, or what tools can you use to improve the user interface? How will you present your website to the end-users?
When creating a website on WordPress, you pay for your domain name and hosting services. And once you have a web hosting subscription, you will need to install WordPress, a step you can easily complete with one click.
WordPress comes with a basic outline of a website, which you can customize by adding your preferred themes.
The disadvantage is that some of these themes might be difficult to handle for beginners. But do not worry; WordPress attaches detailed documentation that guides you through the process of developing your site.
Unlike WordPress, you do not need to pay for a domain or web hosting services. You only need to sign up for a Squarespace account and set up your website in just a few seconds.
You can choose the outline of your website from the templates you get from Squarespace, which you can also customize to define your interests and content.
The platform is intuitive and allows you to build your website by answering a few questions on the goals you have for your site.
However, you do not get as many choices, which might be good since you avoid getting lost in the process.
The level of control you get on each platform
The level of control you have on your website defines how much you can do on your end as the website owner.
Making changes to your website could never be more manageable. Thanks to its massive third-party plug-ins, WP makes it simple to adjust your content and themes. You, therefore, get a more considerable depth of control and functionality with tens of thousands of plug-ins.
Whenever you want to add social contacts, there’s a plug-in for that. What about managing your ads? Just install a plug-in, and you have got it all covered.
However, with simplicity also comes a bit of complication. These easier-to-use plug-ins are not so beginner-friendly, which means that rather than one installation, you will need to find every plug-in and install it separately to operate.
If you want to change content, add custom CSS, set up analytics, or adjust your design styles, you can do so from a single interface.
You can choose the social sharing buttons to display and the SEO settings for your pages from the same location.
When you want to create new designs or add features, the drag and drop feature on the interface allows for such.
However, Squarespace does not include any third-party plug-ins, which means you only have limited control over your website.
eCommerce: Which online store is ideal?
If you’re planning to sell products or services online, you can use both platforms. Although the they’re both give you the leverage to build an online store, Squarespace allows you to create an all-in-one store including having the right sales tools at your fingertips. However, WordPress relies on third party plugins like WooCommerce to enable to create a perfect store.
Selling with WP
Like mentioned before, WP is very compatible with plug-ins from other developers. And when it comes to commerce, a single plug-in like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads can turn your website into a fully functioning eCommerce store.
Besides that, you can choose from hundreds of other plug-ins. And do not worry; you never have to worry about transaction fees on WordPress.
Selling with Squarespace
Squarespace also allows for eCommerce integration. The only difference is that you can do this through in-built features, which means you will not need a plug-in.
On the bright side, you get access to your cart recovery emails without needing a third-party plug-in.
On the downside, you can only choose your payment gateway between Stripe, PayPal, and Apple Pay. In addition, you have to pay an additional 2-3% transaction fee to Squarespace on top of what the payment processor charges.
The solution offered is to subscribe to more expensive plans, above $30 per month.
Who controls your data on the platform?
In this context, control refers to the flexibility you have to move your data around if need be, including a new platform.
Since WordPress is an open-source web development platform, you always have control of your data. That means you own it and can export it anytime you want.
There are even features integrated into WordPress to help you export data from your website in a format compatible with most content management systems.
Alternatively, you can download complete files of your data from the database. And do not worry; no one else has access to your information.
Unlike WordPress, you never really own all the content from your website. As a result, you only have a limited option of exportable files. You can export files like text blocks, image blocks, comments, regular pages, and gallery pages.
However, you cannot export product pages, indexes, event, cover, or album pages. Video and audio blocks are also in-exportable, and so are drafts and folders. You also don’t have permission to export data on style changes and custom CSS.
Customer support services
Regardless of the level of expertise you have, you’ll, at some point, need some help from more experienced developers and a support team. You’ll need help resolving an issue you encounter on a platform, especially if the problem is not a result of your action but from the service provider’s end.
WordPress stays true to its internationally known brand. They have a massive customer support system dedicated to handling complaints, requests and answering questions raised by their users.
There are also videos, documentations, and tutorials to help you deal with WordPress themes and plug-ins-related problems.
Although it is not a WordPress dedicated support community, much information regarding WordPress problems and their solutions is readily available on the internet.
On the downside, it can be hard to find the exact solution you are looking for through the million options given.
Compared to WordPress, Squarespace has a dedicated support team made for web builders.
You can talk to the customer support team via live chat, email support, and workshop videos through this community. You also get to interact with other users and library guides.
As a result, you run into fewer issues when trying to find a solution to your problem. Also, you get more immediate attention compared to the web development giants, WordPress.
There’re some perks you get from working with an already established web building platforms like WordPress and some downsides.
Alternatively, there is a lot to explore among upcoming service providers like Squarespace, but they come with some shortcomings.
But we believe that now you can make a more informed choice between the two, based on the information provided above. Make sure that what the platform is offering coincides with your website’s goals and goes for it.