To WordPress or Squarespace, that is the Question
WordPress or Squarespace? While I wouldn’t say that one is better than the other, there are advantages and disadvantages to each platform. Not sure which platform is best for your brand? Let’s take a look at 5 comparison areas. Keep in mind that the most important factor in choosing a platform is which works better to meet your goals.
Usability (set up and learning curve)
The back-end of Squarespace is in drastic contrast to WordPress’ back end which both visually and in usability. Overall, Squarespace provides a cleaner, less complicated interface than WordPress with libraries of site themes and widgets at your fingertips. Bottom line here: less of a learning curve with Squarespace which allows the novice designer to progress more quickly than they would be using the WordPress platform.
I mean who doesn’t love software that allows you to drag and drop? This feature is definitely a crowd pleasure and one that Squarespace has used to its advantage against other platforms like WordPress. You want this image here? Sure, drag it on over. Oh, and then back to there? No problem. Tempting, isn’t it, WordPress users?
When it comes to set up, Squarespace is one-stop shopping for hosting and site maintenance, but keep in mind this could be considered a disadvantage – if Squarespace goes down, your site goes down with it.
Hands down WordPress wins the content management category (duh!) with version control, the option to use HTML or WYSIWYG and the Media Library.
Imagine it and you can probably build it with WordPress, a developer, and some plugins. This level of flexibility is a positive, but novice site builders could easily overload their sites with unnecessary plugins that slow site speed and compromise the user experience trying to achieve their design goals.
So, is more always better?
Squarespace has provided built-in features that cover the basics of what is needed to launch and maintain a site, without all the noise of options for plugins. Most of what you need is provided within Squarespace but limited unless you access the Developers Platform.
Squarespace offers a limited number of templates designed by their in-house team that allow light customization within each template. The template offerings are frequently updated and refreshed, so there is always something new whether it be a template or site feature.
Designer beware: the amount of tweaking to the template that you can do depends on the actual template that you select. Precise styling and customization can be difficult in Squarespace, but this set up is intended to help users not ‘break the site’ unintentionally.
There are endless options for design in the WordPress platform from free themes, to custom designed pre-packaged themes that range in cost from $1k – $10k, to the ability to design from pencil to pixel, with the help of a designer and developer, of course. Sky’s the limit.
WP: hosting, domain registration, plugins, oh my. Also, consider the cost of bringing in a designer and/or developer to help with features and tweaks.
Don’t want to bother with all the ins and outs of hosting and theme configuration – go SS.
Always remember: you get what you pay for. If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, try hiring an amateur.
I like big sites and I cannot lie. Squarespace is intended for flat structured or brochureware sites. Thinking about growing your business offerings or product lines?
Bottom line: there are simply some things that just cannot be done in Squarespace. Know your goals and the features required today and in the near future.
WP: themes, plugins, and widgets all compromise the security of your WP site. This is not as much of a concern with SS since all templates and features are built ‘in-house’ by SS developers.
Some other considerations:
SEO, Site Maintenance, E-commerce
You down with AMP? Yeah, you know me. SS allows you to present accelerated mobile performance with just tick of the box.
SS- restricted data capture – collect data from forms, but you are limited to where you can send that data.
WP: Hellooooo? Anyone there? Nope. No support staff at all.
SS: Its knowledge base has answers for all of the things. You can chat with support and with a community forum.