Image showing squarespace vs wordpress

Squarespace

Squarespace is a ‘software as a service’ (‘SaaS’) website builder. This means you pay a monthly charge to use it. But it includes everything you need to construct and maintain your site, including

  • templates
  • a content management system (CMS)
  • hosting
  • e-commerce features
  • support
  • A domain name (if needed).

Squarespace Email Campaigns is a built-in email marketing tool. It was recently introduced to the feature list, emphasizing the ‘all-in-one approach.

Squarespace’s key selling point is that it’s a ‘code-free platform. This platform allows you to build and edit a website without touching any CSS or HTML. But you can add code to a Squarespace site if you want to.

Launched in 2004, the platform now has roughly 2.6 million online websites.

WordPress

WordPress is available in two different versions:

Hosted WordPress

Hosted WordPress is a SaaS website builder like Squarespace. You pay a monthly price and gain access to a wide range of features. These features allow you to construct and maintain a website, like Squarespace.

(A free version of hosted WordPress is also available, but you’ll have adverts on your site if you use it.)

Hosted WordPress is less of an ‘all in one solution than Squarespace. This is because users must use third-party tools. Such as Ecwid, Woocommerce, or Shopify to add e-commerce features. Also, using the most attractive themes incurs an extra fee. 

But, because you can combine it with a lot more apps and buy more themes, it’s a more flexible tool than Squarespace.

Self-Hosted WordPress

Self-hosted WordPress is a piece of software that you install on your web server. It’s open-source, which means the code is freely available and may be easily adjusted.

This means that WordPress sites may be highly customized. It’s a very adaptable technology in the hands of the proper development team or with the installation of a suitable plugin. You can tailor WordPress to match the needs of almost any website design project.

You can install WordPress for free on your server. There are hosting costs, domain name registration fees, and development fees to consider.

According to recent platform use statistics. WordPress is used to build around 20% of all self-hosted websites, or 455 million.

For Whom are Squarespace and WordPress?

Squarespace’s main audience comprises people who don’t know how to code. Anyone can use the platform to create their website without any coding. 

This results in a “walled garden” approach. In this approach, everything is strictly controlled to: 

  • Build an easy-to-use interface 
  • Maintain the quality of the templates 
  • Avoid circumstances where Squarespace users manage to ‘break’ a feature of their site. 

WP, like Squarespace, may cater to users who do not have web programming abilities. It is possible to construct and maintain a WordPress site without coding.

But, usually, more WordPress preparation is required before a website can be published. This set up a WordPress site has a steeper learning curve. 

Because of its open-source nature, WordPress appeals to a different group of people. These are people who want to use the platform to build a customized website with many more features.

Squarespace vs WordPress – Pros and Cons

Because we want to provide the most comprehensive WordPress vs. Squarespace comparison possible, we have divided the post into several categories. We’ll look at each section to discover which platform provides the most value to a novice user.

  • Ease of use and the learning curve
  • Costs
  • Design and templates
  • E-commerce
  • Data portability
  • Languages and internationalization

Ease of Use and The Learning Curve

The majority of users are unfamiliar with HTML, CSS, and other code-related terms. They want a platform that allows them to establish a website quickly and easily, especially without having to hire a developer. 

Let’s take a look at how WordPress and Squarespace compare in this regard. 

WordPress 

WordPress is the most popular platform for individuals who want to establish a blog. Small company owners can also use it to develop their websites. WordPress is used to power over 32% of all websites. 

While WP is pretty simple to use, it does have a learning curve.

Beginners should become acquainted with WordPress terms and ideas. Such as the distinction between posts and pages, categories and tags, and themes and plugins. 

The default content editor in WordPress is simple to use. It includes unique blocks for adding content pieces to your pages. This allows you to create stunning layouts with multimedia content. 

Image showing new editor in WordPress

Despite the minor learning curve, most users rapidly adjust to WP. 

Squarespace 

Squarespace, unlike WordPress, does not offer a large number of options. Due to the lack of options, it is basic and straightforward to use. Even complete beginners may create and publish material.

Image showing Squarespace

Squarespace, like WordPress, employs a block editor. It’s a lot easier to upload images, movies, and audio files than it is with WordPress. The block editor has a lot of content blocks and layout control options. 

Squarespace has a visual editor that allows you to change your layouts and pages. You are but limited to the customization possibilities accessible in the customizer. Because you’re in a restricted setting, your alternatives are limited.

Final Thoughts

For simplicity of use for absolute newbies, Squarespace outperforms WordPress. Its restricted features so, may not be perfect for all business owners. 

WordPress gives newcomers a lot of options straight away. This might be bewildering at first but makes it a lot more adaptable in the long run. 

You may use various WP plugins to create customized web pages using drag and drop.

The Costs

When making a business selection, it’s critical to know how much each platform costs. Let’s compare the price of Squarespace to the price of WordPress. 

WordPress 

WordPress is a completely free platform. WordPress is open-source software that you are free to download, use, and change. It’s free and open-source software. It also has a GPL license that provides you complete control. 

Before you can start building your website using WordPress, you’ll need to register a domain and join up for a hosting web account. 

You can select between shared hosting, VPS hosting and even managed WordPress hosting. Shared hosting services can accommodate most modest personal and corporate websites.

The price of web hosting and a domain name varies depending on which hosting company you use. You decide how many resources your website will use and how much you will spend on them. 

You can run your website for as little as $2.75 per month. This includes your domain name and hosting. We recommend Bluehost or SiteGround) with over 6800 free designs and 54,000 free plugins. 

Making a website with WP is quite affordable, which is one of the reasons for its popularity. 

Aside from that, if your website expands, you can change your hosting package. This means you’ll only pay for the resources you use, making it easy to keep track of your website’s costs.

Squarespace 

Squarespace’s personal plan is $12 per month (paid annually) or $16 per month on a month-to-month basis. That’s a little more than a WordPress shared hosting package. 

Image showing Squarespace's plans

Unlike a shared WP hosting plan yet, this personal plan has a limited set of capabilities. You can only have two contributors on your site at a time, and you can’t sell anything. 

For less than that, you can create an online store with WordPress. 

Squarespace’s business plan is $18 per month (paid annually) or $26 per month on a month-to-month basis. It comes with eCommerce capabilities, although there is a 3% transaction fee. Unlimited contributors, pages, and other advanced capabilities are included in the business plan.

They also have separate programs for online stores. These programs start at $26 per month and include no extra transaction fees. 

Final Thoughts 

With customizable pricing options accessible from a range of site hosting firms, WordPress outperforms Squarespace. 

The price is determined by how many resources you use. Once paid for, you get immediate access to all WordPress features.

Design and Templates

Both WordPress and Squarespace offer pre-built templates. They also have design tools to make creating a bespoke website a breeze. 

Let’s see which one provides you with more options and tools for making attractive sites. 

WordPress 

Thousands of free and paid website layouts are available through WordPress. These templates are configurable. This allows you to add your logo, colors, and photos, among other things. 

Many themes have a variety of layout options, drag-and-drop page builders, and sliders. They also have photo galleries and a variety of other capabilities. 

Hundreds of professionally designed templates are available to create the website you want.

Image showing WordPress templates

Squarespace 

Squarespace provides pre-made website templates that are nicely grouped into categories. There are themes for all the most popular website categories. These categories have professional designs that work on any device. 

image showing squarespace themes

But, this is an important area where Squarespace lags behind. The amount of pre-made templates is restricted. Your design possibilities are likewise limited to the Squarespace customizer’s set of features. 

With each template, there are a limited amount of layout options. Basic colors, fonts, website logos, and other options are still available. But these templates are not as configurable as WordPress themes.

Final Thoughts

For design options, customization options, and versatility, WordPress comes out on top. Squarespace has several beautiful templates, but they are restricted in number and flexibility.

Squarespace vs WordPress: What About eCommerce Capabilities?

Are you putting together an internet store? Let’s examine and contrast the eCommerce capabilities of WordPress and Squarespace. 

WordPress 

You may integrate and use any payment processor or platform you choose with WP. 

Many WordPress plugins make it simple to accept payments online. They do so via Stripe, PayPal, Google Checkout, 2Checkout, Payoneer, Skrill, and even Bitcoin. 

Image showing e commerce with wordpress

WordPress provides some plugins that may transform your website into an online store. WooCommerce, the world’s most popular eCommerce platform, is a WordPress plugin. 

WooCommerce has its ecosystem. It has dozens of WooCommerce ready themes and WooCommerce add-ons.

There are no restrictions on how many products you can add to your website, how they are displayed or sold. You are free to operate your affiliate program. You can use all the techniques to increase your sales.

Squarespace

Squarespace’s e-commerce capabilities are restricted. Payment processing is limited to Stripe and PayPal. These options are only available in a few countries. 

There is no other payment option. This limits your capacity to collect money from a wider international audience. Starting with such limits is not a good strategy for a growing company.

Image showing ecommerce capabilities of squarespace

Aside from that, only the Business and Commerce plans allow you to sell things. 

If you want to sell one thing, you’ll still have to pay for the Business plan. The increases in the annual costs of hosting a site with only one product to sell will be significant. It might even be greater than a shared hosting plan or a VPS for WordPress.

There are very few external services that you can integrate with your website. This impacts how you promote your website and what you may do to increase sales and expand your business. 

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to running an eCommerce website, WP is miles ahead of Squarespace. Squarespace’s constraints are not conducive to the growth of an online business. 

The great thing about WordPress is that you can use it in conjunction with Shopify. Check out our Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison.

Data Portability

There are usually safety clauses when signing a company contract. If you’re not satisfied, for example, you can leave without difficulty. 

Data portability is a concept that applies to both offline and internet enterprises. If you don’t like the platform, you should migrate all your work to another location. 

Let’s see how WordPress and Squarespace stack up for data portability and switchability. 

WordPress 

WordPress has built-in capabilities for exporting all your data. You can back up your text and images and your themes, plugins, and the entire database.

Image showing data portability options in wordpress

You can then move the content to any other Content Management System. You are free to store your content elsewhere and switch web hosts at any time. 

Squarespace 

Squarespace’s export capability, like everything else, is quite limited. In an XML file, you can only export certain elements of your material. This includes all your pages, galleries, and a single blog page that contains all your entries. 

The text, audio, and video blocks on your product pages, album pages, and text blocks will not be exported.

Final Thoughts

You own the content you generate on your site, and you should have the freedom and resources to move it around. WordPress once again outperforms Squarespace in easy-to-use facilities for exporting your full site.

Languages and Internationalization

We live in a global society, and many firms cater to a multilingual clientele in several regions. Let’s see how Squarespace and WP deal with languages, multilingual content, and geographic areas. 

WordPress 

WordPress is available in a variety of languages. Users can select their preferred language from their profile settings on a WP site. 

The majority of WordPress themes are translation-ready. The most popular WordPress plugins are also available in several languages. 

In general, you can create a WordPress website in any language. If your language isn’t yet supported, you can translate WordPress yourself.

WordPress does not come pre-installed with multilingual support. But, there are fantastic plugins for creating multilingual, SEO-friendly, and feature-rich websites. 

Squarespace

Squarespace’s platform is available in six different languages. You can change the language of the site and the timezone/country. 

For your store’s products, you can only use currencies that Stripe or PayPal support. 

Duplicating your pages will allow you to generate multilingual pages. You’ll have to build a site structure or construct individual sites for each language. You will also be billed for each site separately.

Final Thoughts

In languages and localization choices, WordPress is well ahead. Squarespace once again proves to be restrictive and unsuitable for creating multilingual websites.

How Much Control Do You Have Over Your Website’s Functionality?

When it comes to management and functionality, WordPress is the clear winner. This is thanks to its large library of third-party plugins and themes. WordPress offers thousands of plugins that add functionality. While Squarespace only supports a small number of integrations. 

Squarespace 

Squarespace allows you to make adjustments from a single interface. You can also develop your designs using a drag-and-drop interface. This interface is based on content blocks in this interface:

Image showing control over squarespace website

Squarespace gives you more power than many WordPress aficionados give it credit for. 

But, even with it, you still don’t have the same level of control as WordPress. This is because Squarespace is missing one important component: third-party plugins. 

WordPress 

When making updates to your website, WordPress includes all Squarespace’s features and more. In WordPress, you can use thousands of plugins to improve the functioning of your site.

If you like how Squarespace’s page designer allows you to create designs using drag and drop. Install one of the high-quality page builder plugins available for WordPress. This will help you to get the same functionality: 

Image showing wordpress

Do you want to include social sharing buttons? Install a plugin if necessary. Do you need help with advertising management? Installing a plugin is simple. Because of the size of the WordPress community, there is a plugin for almost anything. This means you can add almost any functionality to your site.

Again, the cost of having extra flexibility is that things aren’t as beginner-friendly. Instead of having things in one place, you’ll have to find plugins for the functionality you want. But, for most users, the sacrifice is well worth it. This is due to the significant increase in functionality and flexibility.

How Does Each Platform Handle Ongoing Maintenance?

You don’t have to worry about maintenance because Squarespace is a closed ecosystem. But, because WordPress is an open ecosystem, you’ll have to be more proactive in managing your site. 

Squarespace 

No need to worry about nitty-gritty stuff, like upgrades or upkeep, with Squarespace. Squarespace takes care of everything for you, which makes things a lot easier. But Squarespace leaves you helpless for key maintenance features like backups. It doesn’t appear to provide a mechanism to back up your complete site, which is a major flaw.

WordPress 

When it comes to WordPress, you’re in charge of: 

  • Updates (for software and plugins/themes)
  • Backups
  • Security

This may appear difficult. But the majority of it is straightforward and can be automated using plugins. You can find plugins that take care of security for you, for example. 

image showing security in wordpress

Also, if you choose a managed WordPress host, your host will handle many details for you. Or, you can always engage a WordPress support service.

SEO in Squarespace vs WordPress 

When it comes to search engine optimization, WordPress is the clear winner in this duel. It blasts Squarespace out of the water in a variety of ways. 

Self-hosted WordPress gives you complete control over your technical SEO configuration. This allows you to choose a hosting company that provides the fastest page load speeds. They also ensure that your site will meet Google’s new Core Web Vitals requirements.

You don’t have control over hosting with Squarespace. You’re limited in how you can change technical SEO settings. Also, Squarespace sites currently do not meet Google’s Core Web Vitals standards. 

There are a couple more aspects of SEO that WordPress excels at as well. 

First, alt tags and metadata are referred to by their true names in WordPress. This isn’t the case in Squarespace. In Squarespace, you’re dealing with things like “captions,” “descriptions,” and “extracts.”

Second, WordPress allows you to use a variety of sophisticated SEO plugins. This helps it assess the quality of your on-page SEO efforts and propose adjustments. Squarespace does not have a similar feature. 

Image showing seo in wordpress

Third, you can’t use Squarespace without coding to add rich snippets. Rich snippets are data bits that improve your search results by: 

(1) displaying contextual information like ratings, pricing, and reviewer to search results

(2) allowing search engines to better understand what your page or article is about.

Adding rich snippets in WordPress is a breeze. Many plugins make it simple to add essential material to your web pages with less effort. 

There are certain SEO benefits to Squarespace sites. They do some things that Google appreciates. They use https, generate a sitemap.xml file, and use clean HTML markup. They also load fast and are mobile-friendly (mobile, tablet, and desktop friendly). 

It’s also worth noting that technical SEO is only one aspect of getting a site to rank. Keyword research, quality content, and backlink creation are all equally crucial.

But, Squarespace has to improve in the long run. This ensures that sites on the platform match Google’s new “Core Web Vitals” SEO standards.

Mobile Responsive

Ensuring a template looks good on all devices is a crucial aspect of choosing a template. You don’t want your site to be the ugly duckling of the mobile world, especially after you’ve put so much effort into giving it the wow factor. Mobile-responsive templates ensure that your site appears great on mobile devices. 

Squarespace’s templates are all mobile responsive. Every template design has an automatic mobile view. This ensures that your website looks fantastic on any screen. This includes any emails you send as well.

Image showing mobile responsiveness in squarespace

WordPress is a unique platform. There are different levels of quality because there are so many themes to pick from. Some themes will be older than others, which means they will not be mobile-friendly. You’d be missing out if you choose an out-of-date theme, especially in a world where mobile users account for more than half of all traffic. 

Enabling AMP is one method to provide your mobile consumers a better experience. This creates lighter, simplified versions of your websites. This helps your site to load much more quickly on mobile devices. Not only that, but Google collaborates with AMP. This helps these mobile-friendly pages rank higher in search results.

On both Squarespace and WordPress, you can enable AMP quickly and effortlessly. All Squarespace pages are set up to support AMP by default. With WordPress, all you have to do is install an AMP plugin, and you’re ready to go!

Switching Designs

It would be impossible to choose only one design and stick with it for the rest of your life. Fortunately, you can change your template whenever you want! 

Switching themes on WordPress is a more complicated procedure. Hence it’s a good idea to back up your website first. 

Squarespace offers more design options than WordPress. While WordPress offers more themes than Squarespace. The quality of those themes isn’t as great. Squarespace’s themes are all designer-friendly and mobile-friendly. With Squarespace, switching templates is a breeze. It also promotes best practices in user experience and branding.

Squarespace vs WordPress – Apps and Plugins

Plugins for WordPress 

WordPress is an open-source platform, which means that anyone can use and alter its code. Any WP developer or programmer can use the platform to create their tools. Tools that they can offer for free or sell to other WordPress users. 

There are over 55,000 WordPress plugins available, and the number is growing. This is a fantastic selection! You can enhance your site’s functionality in any way you see fit. With WooCommerce, you can sell through your WordPress site, add contact forms, create comment sections, and use SEO plugins to increase your Google rankings… the possibilities are unlimited.

On WP, there are both free and premium plugins, so there’s something for everyone. Only keep in mind that quality and cost typically go hand in hand. Paid plugins, for example, frequently come with extra support. Another thing is how malfunctioning plugins might make your site prone to hacking. 

Image showing plugins in wordpress

It’s hard to track the quality of all the things being generated and downloaded. Industry experts build some plugins. At the same time, others are made by amateurs who can make mistakes and leave gaps. Hackers can exploit such gaps to get access to your site.

We don’t say this to intimidate you or discourage you! But it’s vital to keep in mind when there are thousands of plugins to pick from. Only select relevant plugins from credible sources. Plugins that supply a service you need. Also, restrict the number of plugins to a bare minimum.

Apps for Squarespace 

Squarespace offers apps that are already linked with your Squarespace website. Such as a blog app, analytics app, note app, and portfolio app. In other words, there’s no need for you to download or update anything. If you need more functionality, Squarespace Extensions is a different software market. There are a few high-quality third-party apps available, but there aren’t many to pick from.  

Image showing apps in squarespace

This means you can be confident that you can rely on these apps. They’ll integrate with your Squarespace site, and you’ll get personal help if you need it.

Final Thoughts

WordPress has a larger plugin library than Squarespace. Squarespace has a lesser selection of in-house apps than WP. You have more options with WordPress. But you must be cautious while making your selection. Squarespace has fewer options, but it also has fewer risks.

Squarespace vs WordPress – Security

The internet is a fantastic resource. It has the potential to be entertaining, exciting, informative, and social. But, it can be frightening. Your website, like the real world, needs security to protect it from intruders. You wouldn’t leave your front door wide open, and neither should your website. 

Squarespace 

It’s like having a bouncer in front of your house with Squarespace. Squarespace takes care of your website’s security for you. The platform must keep your website safe from hackers and keep the system up and running. Squarespace, on the whole, performs a fantastic job!

Also, all Squarespace plans include an SSL certificate. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypts data that is entered into your website. This is critical. An SSL certificate establishes trust with visitors and helps you rank higher. It’s more important if you’re selling on your website. This is because it secures your consumers’ payment information. 

The only disadvantage is that large ships are attractive to pirates. Squarespace has been subjected to DDoS assaults as its popularity has grown. These are attempts to stop normal traffic from accessing a server.

WordPress

WordPress is less vulnerable to DDoS assaults than other platforms. But it all relies on the hosting company you choose. It is your obligation to ensure the security of your WordPress website. This involves obtaining your SSL certificate. You will also have to perform frequent backups and keep your WordPress site up to date. Some plugins can assist you with various aspects of your site’s operation. But in the end, it’s up to you. 

Bluehost offers free SSL certificates, automatic website upgrades, and backups. This helps you maintain the security of your WordPress website.

Another thing you must do is select dependable plugins with caution. We’ve already discussed how outdated plugins might make your site vulnerable. That isn’t all, though. Some plugins may contain malicious code that compromises the security of your website. 

Final Thoughts

Squarespace has a higher level of security than WordPress. Because all its features are in-house, it is less vulnerable than WordPress, resulting in fewer security breaches. Squarespace provides experienced service and takes care of everything. You don’t have to worry about security. You are in charge of everything from SSL certificates onwards.

Squarespace vs WordPress: Which One Should You Choose?

Squarespace is a good choice if you only want to make a simple website and don’t care about customization. That’s exactly what it’s for. But, WordPress would be a better fit for the great majority of webmasters. Yes, WordPress’s openness needs a slightly steeper learning curve. It also has a greater emphasis on security, performance, and upkeep. 

But, the WP core team and community have made significant progress in making it a friendly tool. And only because Squarespace is more user-friendly does not imply that WordPress isn’t. Considering everything, using WordPress will provide you with more:

  • Functionality
  • Flexibility
  • Ownership

What to use instead of Squarespace or WordPress?

This depends on the type of website you’re constructing! WordPress.com is an excellent option for blogs. Shopify is great for online stores, and Wix is great for beautiful designs. Weebly is also a strong contender for small enterprises and portfolios.

Conclusion

Both WordPress and Squarespace have their advantages and disadvantages. 

The goal is to understand them so that you can select the best tool for your website. 

Squarespace is an all-in-one solution that is both intuitive and thoughtful. Everything is in order. 

WordPress provides a lot more functionality and flexibility than Blogger. But it’s not as simple to use. 

As a result, I recommend:

  • Squarespace for traditional websites
  • WordPress for websites with unique requirements.

Click here for watching a video on complete comparison on Squarespace vs WordPress

 

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