Building a website is no small task. In the early days of the internet, skilled developers could only develop primitive websites. Nowadays, content management systems (CMS) exist, providing a greater ease for quick and beautiful site deployment.
This makes it much easier to create a website, by first selecting a template and creating the supporting pages. If you’re trying to build a website for your business, then you’re in luck.
There are several CMSs and website builders available to anyone that lacks advancing coding and website design skills. WordPress and Squarespace happen to be two of the best website development tools on the market.
Which one is better: WordPress or Squarespace?
There are a lot of different factors to consider in order to make a decision. Thus, this guide will compare WordPress vs Squarespace to help you make an informed decision for your business.
WordPress was founded back in 2003. In those days, it was increasingly difficult to develop a website if you weren’t a professional. This platform revolutionized the development landscape by introducing a formula known as a CMS.
Basically, WordPress allowed users to select templates, known as themes. Themes served as the design of a WordPress website. Instead of building the design from scratch, users can choose between thousands of themes to create the skeleton of their websites.
Once their theme is created, they can then create supporting pages to complete their websites. WordPress is a beloved website development tool among developers, bloggers, and novices.
In fact, WordPress currently powers more than 30% of the websites on the internet. This includes 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world. There’s a great chance that your competitors are using WordPress for their website management.
If you’re looking for the safest option to build a website, WordPress is the most popular choice.
Much like WordPress, Squarespace is a SaaS product, or basically a software as a service platform. You will have to pay a monthly fee to use Squarespace to manage the website you build on the platform.
When you pay for your subscription, you’ll automatically receive access to:
Squarespace even offers marketing integrations, mainly email marketing capabilities you can use to build an email list and send them stylish correspondences to promote your products and services.
Squarespace was actually founded a year after WordPress in 2004. There are more than two million websites on the internet that were created using Squarespace. The tool is used by beginners to website development as a no-code alternative to other complicated website builders.
If you’re looking to design a basic website for a consultancy or a restaurant, then you can definitely use Squarespace to get the job done. It’s simple-to-use and powerful enough to build a beautiful website that will have the innate potential to rank well online.
Before moving forward, it’s important to make sure you understand the target audience for each platform. That way, you can choose the platform that aligns with the nature of your business.
When WordPress was first introduced in the early 2000s, it soon became a very popular tool among both novice and professional website developers. The reason was very simple.
Stylistically, WordPress was unparalleled for its time. It allowed users to quickly design a fully-functional website. Functionally, users could edit the CSS and HTML of their websites, being that WordPress is an open-source platform.
WordPress’ community grew to millions of people in the following years. Thus, it’s possible for anyone to learn how to use the platform and receive assistance in installing community-made plugins.
In essence, WordPress was designed specifically for novice website developers. If you have a basic understanding of how technology and websites work, you can create your own website.
It’s important to remember that the learning curve in using WordPress is steeper than using Squarespace. If you’re not a tech-savvy individual, then using WordPress may not be for you.
Also, if you don’t have the budget to hire a website developer if you plan on taking on an ambitious project, it may be more suitable to use Squarespace instead.
Squarespace is designed specifically for entrepreneurs and creatives. In fact, Squarespace is known for its user-friendly interface that anyone can use. WordPress is geared towards professionals that want a multi-faceted website.
For example, if you want to sell online products and services, then WordPress is the best platform to choose. On the other hand, if you’re simply looking to display important business information, a website built using Squarespace will suffice.
Squarespace websites aren’t multi-faceted. They’re designed to accomplish usually one task. Entrepreneurs who rely on non-digital areas of business may find that Squarespace is the better option.
Let’s say that you run a chemical plant but require a website to display important announcements, career details, and leadership. In this scenario, Squarespace is the better option since all you need is a standard template.
On the other hand, if you’re running a law firm and want to create several content resources for your clients, using WordPress is a much better option. WordPress, by definition, is a CMS and designed for websites with lots of content.
WordPress can also be used to create eCommerce stores, which is a step-up from Squarespace. To put it simply, Squarespace offers a shorter learning curve but not as much versatility than WordPress.
Before digging any deeper, let’s dispel a common misconception about WordPress. If you want to create a professional website, then you’re going to have to pay a monthly or annual fee to use WordPress.
In addition to these fees, you’ll also need to keep in mind that these factors will influence your final WordPress cost:
With that said, here is how much you can anticipate spending in each category:
If you’re new to using a website builder, then you’ll be pleased to know Squarespace offers simple pricing structures:
Squarespace is significantly more affordable than WordPress. Depending on the plan you choose, the number of features you’ll receive will vary. These features include:
With Squarespace, you’re free to choose any plan except the “Personal” plan. This plan is very restrictive because it doesn’t support eCommerce, doesn’t allow integrations with other apps, and will restrict you from adding custom scripts and CSS to your website.
This means if you’re planning on using Squarespace for your business, you’ll need to pay at least $26/month. As usual, the more you pay for Squarespace, the more potential your website will have.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you pay an annual rate instead of the usual monthly fee, you can receive a free domain name. Though, Squarespace doesn’t offer all types of domain extensions.
As you can see, there are some significant contrasts between WordPress and Squarespace. WordPress is the more powerful option, designed for novice website developers and all kinds of businesses.
Squarespace is more user-friendly and can accommodate users who want to build a basic website for their business.
In order to help to make the perfect selection for your upcoming project, let’s compare the three most important factors of building a website: templates, mobile responsiveness, and ease of use.
Your template will ultimately define the way your website looks. The good news is Squarespace offers exquisite templates for virtually any type of website design. There are currently around 125 themes on Squarespace, which are more than enough for you to choose from.
Compared to WordPress, Squarespace is the more inferior option. WordPress offers thousands of free and premium themes. These themes are open-source, which means that you basically have a near-infinite selection of choices to make.
The themes in Squarespace may be simpler to customize, however. Nonetheless, customizing a WordPress theme isn’t too difficult, especially since you can rely on the documentation for guidance.
It’s also worth mentioning that WordPress themes offer more functionality and imagination. Squarespace currently doesn’t allow users to add a sidebar to their template.
If you’re new to the website development community, then it’s important that you understand what mobile responsiveness is and why it’s important. To be clear, mobile responsiveness is how a website responds to be viewed on a smartphone or tablet.
These devices are much smaller than laptops and desktop computers, meaning that your website has to be adjusted to provide a suitable experience to your website visitors.
Luckily, Squarespace and WordPress both offer mobile-friendly templates. Without a doubt, you can count on Squarespace to provide mobile-friendly templates. The platform is closed-sourced, meaning that all of their templates are created in-house.
WordPress, on the other hand, is an open-source platform. This allows anyone to edit code and create products that can be used by other users. For this reason, you should check to see if your desired template is mobile-friendly before installing.
You can do this by reviewing the theme’s documentation for commentary about it’s mobile responsiveness, as well as snapshots of its view on different platforms. You can also check user reviews to make sure you aren’t taking a risk when installing.
When it comes to user-friendliness, Squarespace is the superior option. It’s extremely simple to plug in features on your website, such as quotes, images, audio, and visual separations to add more dimension.
Squarespace utilizes a drag-and-drop editor. This allows anyone that isn’t particularly tech-savvy to create a fully-functional website without much time and effort. With Squarespace, it’s also easy to create and edit blog content.
Compared to Squarespace, WordPress is a bit more tricky to use. WordPress currently utilizes the “Gutenburg Editor”, which works similarly to Squarespace. Though, if you want to create and edit content, you’ll have to do so from the back end of the platform.
The issue of installing plugins can also be a problem for WordPress users. While you can install a plugin with one click, setting them up can be challenging depending on the upgrade.
You’ll need to refer to the documentation of any plugin you choose to install. If you’re not tech-savvy, then you can spend countless hours trying to create the website you want.
This can ultimately lead to you spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars in hiring a website developer to finish your website. Both platforms are easy to use, but Squarespace gets the nod here due to its drag-and-drop development feature.
Overall, building a website will take several days and months to complete, depending on how much time you have on your hands. There’s also the chance that you may need to hire a professional website development agency.
If you need custom website features and a professional design, hiring a developer may be in your best interest. At DEV.co, we specialize in building top-quality websites for all kinds of businesses.
To learn more about how we can help you create a website, contact us today to speak to a member of our team.
Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations–delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.