Squarespace vs WordPress: The Pros and Cons of Each
Squarespace and WordPress: Which is the right fit for your website? They’re both website building platforms, yet they are unique and distinctive.
I have used Squarespace for two years and just recently switched to WordPress. I have personal experience using both platforms and in-fact love both for their own reasons, and I wanted to share the pros and cons of using each website-building platform to help you choose the right one for you.
Related Blog Post:
What I Learned from Moving My Site from Squarespace to WordPress
Pros of Using Squarespace
○ Squarespace’s User Interface is simple, beautiful, and organized. It was created to be user-friendly, and makes website-building so fast and easy for everybody. Definitely great for beginners, as the learning-curve is not as steep as WordPress.
○ So many beautiful templates available to use.
○ Simple pricing: You pay one price, which includes all of Squarespace’s features. You do not need to buy templates, plugins, or extra features (As you may need to do in WordPress).
○ Do not need to know coding at all (Drag-and-Drop elements to create your website)
○ SEO is built-in: If you don’t want to worry about SEO, Squarespace will handle most of it for you, and they do it very well. I have had several blog posts reach the #1 position on Google, helping me reach so many more readers than I had first imagined.
○ Website maintenance is hardly required.
○ Many tutorials, guides, and forum help is available
○ Mobile-Optimized: Squarespace automatically mobile-optimizes your website. There is an option to further this by enabling AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), but I don’t recommend it due to personal experience. Read the cons if you want to learn more about this.
○ Squarespace does now offer Paypal along with Stripe for eCommerce payment options.
Cons of using Squarespace
○ Can be more expensive over the long-term. (Squarespace costs $12-$20/month; WordPress is free, but a good WordPress host costs approx $3-$6/month)
○ Templates can be restrictive: For example, if a certain template does not include a Sidebar as one of its features, you won’t be able to create a sidebar. Do research behind each template to see which one is the right fit for you.
Click here for a Squarespace Template Comparison Chart
Paige Brunton’s Template Comparison Chart: I like how she also includes a grade on the overall flexibility of that template
○ SEO is built-in: I know, I listed this as a pro, but for some people, this can be a con too. Because SEO is already built-in, there isn’t much you can do to make changes and optimize it yourself. This really became apparent to me as a blogger.
For example, I reached the #1 position on Google for some blog posts, but the meta description oftentimes didn’t make sense or would get cut off and there was nothing I could do to change that. It bothered me because that was the first glimpse people would get of my blog post, and I wanted it to be coherent and attention-grabbing.
○ Can only have one website under the one fee.
○ Plugin use is limited (Yes, you can still use plugins on Squarespace, but you do have to do some research. You can implement plugins using the code element).
○ Can get pretty slow for larger websites. I blogged regularly on my Squarespace website, and as I published more and more content, my site grew slower. I checked my website speed and found out it ranked in the bottom 20-30% of all tested sites. I looked it up in the forums and realized that there were many people facing the same issue. Squarespace does have several guides addressing this issue, but if you just have a lot of content on your website and are already compressing your images, it’s not as easy problem to fix.
○ You do not have control over your content 100%. If you want to move your website, you don’t have the ability to move everything: Only 1 blog page with its posts, regular pages, gallery pages, text, images and embed blocks. E-commerce products, second blog pages, and some other page and media types cannot be exported.
○ AMP: Squarespace sites are already mobile-optimized, but there is an option on Squarespace to enable AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) so that Google will register that your website is optimized for mobile devices. However, I have tried enabling this option and my traffic took a huge drop, from mobile users in-fact. I don’t know if this was specifically for the template I was using (Wexley), but enabling AMP strips down almost every design element of your site. All that was left was text and white space, and thus readers were bouncing because my site didn’t look like a proper website at all on their mobile devices.
The majority of my readers from Google are on their mobile devices. Deactivating AMP is not going to negatively affect the amount of mobile users you receive on your site. In-fact, I’d say otherwise!
Pros of Using WordPress.org
The bare minimum to starting a website costs around $3-$6/month (Anyone can start a website). I recommend using Bluehost for hosting your WordPress site – You get a free domain name plus an SSL certificate (Chrome won’t block your website from potential visitors as an insecure site) all starting at $3.95/month. Plus, it keeps my site running super fast and efficiently (I signed up for the $5.95/month plan)
It is open-source: Anyone can have access to the coding and inner-workings of their website.
There are so many plugins (tens of thousands) to incorporate into your website: Each plugin has a different set of functions it performs, and the developers of each plugin work hard in creating and updating the plugin to perform at its best. They are thoroughly tested and reviewed, so when you use a quality plugin, you know you are getting the best for your website.
You can even erase the need to code all-together with the use of these plugins. They can do it all for you!
There are more WordPress themes available, as many developers are able to develop these themes due to WordPress’s open source software.
WordPress and its plugins are continuously updated to bring you the best performing website. Some people may avoid updating due to their site’s poor code quality, but if you use a great, solid, well-developed Framework (Such as Genesis), updating is simple and worriless.
Related Blog Post:
How to Choose the Perfect WordPress Theme for You
Can create multiple websites for a low price – If you use Bluehost hosting, it is $5.95/month for an unlimited amount of websites.
You have more freedom and options in regards to e-commerce.
With WordPress, you have the capability of hosting images on your own site.
You have the option to upgrade to a premium hosting service such as WP Engine (Not a shared hosting software – so your site is faster and more secure, although it is more expensive than shared hosting services such as Bluehost and Siteground).
In general, you can create just about any kind of site with WordPress. It’s going to be the most flexible option out there for website builders.
WordPress goes a little bit further than Squarespace on SEO: Using Yeost SEO, you can customize your own meta-descriptions, choose focus keywords, and get SEO ratings for your content to help you steer you in the right direction.
There is more support available for WordPress due to its open-sourced nature. There is only so far you can go with Squarespace before you become restricted with your chosen template.
Cons of Using WordPress
Larger learning curve: You will need to learn how to navigate through WordPress’s dashboard, how to use plugins, customize your site, and more. Lots of research is needed!
Dashboard interface is not as organized and user-friendly as Squarespace’s.
The bare-minimum you need to pay for WordPress is hosting; However, if you want premium themes, paid plugins, and other services, these will be extra start-up costs to creating your WordPress website.
Because it is open-source, it is imperative to install a plugin for site security to combat against hackers.
Not all themes and plugins are made top-notch. Make sure to read reviews and check the documentation of each to know that each are created by professional developers so you are getting the best for your website,
Who Would Squarespace Be Best For?
Squarespace is a great website-building site to use if you don’t want to spend a lot of time worrying over the maintenance of your website: If you don’t want to worry about coding, how to create the design of your website, and the overall workings of your website.
Maybe you’re an artist, a photographer, are running an online shop, etc – And you will be creating a more static (smaller, non-changing) site.
In general, if you want to spend more of your time on the other important facets of your business and not on the details of running a website – Squarespace is the best choice for you!
Anyone can quickly create a stunning website with Squarespace.
Who Would WordPress Be Best For?
WordPress is a great website-building software if you have big plans for your website and are planning on monetizing it. I recommend WordPress for bloggers and larger businesses who will have more complicated sites, as WordPress is great for optimizing for the best SEO practices and speed capabilities for larger sites.
There may be a larger learning curve, but you are eager to learn and tackle the obstacles for more full control over your website.
WordPress is a great option for those looking to implement custom coding, although coding is not required with the use of the many plugins available on WordPress – Thus making WordPress a great options for both beginning and advanced users.
There is no one platform that is outright better than the other: It all depends on what you want in your website and which platform will serve you the best. I hope this blog post was able to help you figure out which one is the right fit for you.
If you have not read my blog post on what I learned about moving from Squarespace to WordPress, try giving it a read. Learning more about the process of switching and signing up for WordPress may give you more of an idea of what you should expect if you were to go into WordPress.
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Until next time my lovely readers! xx