Squarespace vs WordPress is a rather tough confrontation. Why? Firstly, because both services are very reputable and have millions of active users. Secondly, because the former is a conventional website builder, while the latter is an open-source platform. It’s like comparing the strength of boxers belonging to different weight categories. Nonetheless, one day you can find yourself deciding between these two services for your next online project. Which one to choose? Read this review to find out the benefits and disadvantages of WordPress and Squarespace.
In this post I’m going to compare Squarespace with WordPress according to the following criteria:
#1 Ease of Use
Squarespace. It’s obvious that website builder is easier to use than WP (which is an open source platform). Being a classical site constructor, Squarespace liberates its customers from the burden of handwritten code. Its editor combines handy WYSIWYG and drag-and-drop principles of editing, which are so simple, that even kids can use them. Surely, in the Squarespace Vs WordPress battle the former platform wins in terms of ease of use. However, compared to other website builders Squarespace doesn’t boast the best CMS.
WordPress can’t boast neither WYSIWYG nor drag-and-drop editing functions (however, the latter is available when working with widgets). You can’t see how your web page will look like when live – to check this you need to click on Preview. As for me, I don’t think it’s a very big nuisance. The major drawback is that it’s really difficult to adjust different things in WP – starting from editing images and finishing with adding plugins. While on Squarespace you can add, modify and delete a widget in a matter of minutes, it can take you hours to accomplish this within WordPress.
Squarespace vs WordPress. Squarespace confidently wins, as it is primarily oriented on newbies.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
Squarespace. In fact, this website builder offers everything you need to build a full-fledged website. It also leaves enough room for customization. However, your website functionality will be limited to their inbuilt toolset, and it will be rather difficult to attach your own tools there. Of course, there is a positive aspect about this – all their in-house widgets/gadgets are tried and tested by the Company, while WP’s plugins often appear to be very buggy and mediocre in their performance.
WordPress. Being an open source platform, WP allows everybody to use and customize its code. On the one hand, this gives users freedom of web design, but on the other hand it results in millions of medium quality plugins, templates and tools.
Squarespace vs WordPress. WP is more flexible, as it enables customers to create and attach any element they wish in order to broaden their website functionality. While on Squarespace you’re limited to the preset set of functions. However, if you’re a newbie, this shouldn’t bother you
Squarespace. This platform offers a range of great templates. The templates are undoubtedly stunning, but the choice could be richer (currently there are up to 20 templates available). However, all of them can be customized with the help of their revolutionary LayoutEngine.
WordPress. There are loads of both free and paid themes for WP on the web. However, it can take you awhile to learn customizing them.
Squarespace vs WordPress. Squarespace designs work seamlessly and don’t need any installation – you just need to click on the template in order to use it for your website. On the other hand, WP offers more customization and greater selection of templates and themes.
#4 Customer Support
Squarespace. Their Team promises to answer any question within 1 hour via email. They also offer live chat, Community Forum and a range of introduction videos.
WordPress. There are thousands of video tutorials, forums and other resources explaining basic principles and offering detailed guidelines on creating and maintaining WP-powered websites.
Squarespace vs WordPress. Because of the information overload it can be rather difficult to find the answer to the simplest question tied to working in WordPress. And on the contrary, Squarespace’s support is more organized (mainly because they have less users).
#5 Pricing Policy
Squarespace. There is no free version on Squarespace (free 14-day trial only). They offer three packages: Standard ($8-$10/monthly), Unlimited ($16-20/monthly) and Business ($24-$30/monthly). The lower price indicates fee you pay when purchasing their yearly subscription, while the higher is billed month-to-month. It’s important to note that their plans come with custom domain name and free hosting.
WordPress. It’s absolutely free. However, you’ll need to pay for hosting and your domain name separately. What’s more – you may have extra expenses (paid templates, plugins, etc). If you have no prior webmastering experience you may also want to hire a developer (at first stage).
Squarespace vs WordPress. Actually, the difference in prices isn’t that great. Sure, WP allows you to save some cash, but the very sum will closely depend on your experience and your needs.
Selecting a platform is a very delicate, personal decision. It will depend on the level of your website building skills and experience. If you’re a pro, you will enjoy the flexibility of WordPress at its finest, while rookies will find it very complicated. Here I must note that in this review I was comparing a hosted version of WP. It’s important to differentiate it from WordPress.com which is a commercial enterprise that works as a SaaS platform.
For those who’re going to build a website for the first time, I recommend using one of the TOP website builders rather than an open source platform. Site constructors are definitely easier. They help you concentrate on the essence of your content, rather than on technical details.