WordPress vs. Squarespace

Every business needs a website. That much is obvious. But choosing what content management system to use isn’t always so clear. When it comes to WordPress vs. Squarespace, which option is the right choice for your website?

Before we answer that question, we need to look at each platform’s benefits and limitations, as well as which is best for different types of sites.

How Should You Choose a Website Builder?

Picking a website builder isn’t a quick decision, especially if you’ve never built a site before. Most current website builders are relatively easy to use, but there will always be a learning curve. 

Before you choose a website builder, ask yourself:

  • What’s my website budget?
  • What features do I need to prioritize when building my website?
  • What types of media will I have on my site?
  • Do I need an e-commerce store?
  • What SEO features do I need?
  • What resources and support are available?

Asking these questions will help you determine what kind of site builder is best for you. 

WordPress Pros and Cons

WordPress powers more than 42% of websites worldwide and is a crucial tool for creating on the open web. As a content management system, WordPress has tons of features to help you build the best website for your business.

Benefits of WordPress

WordPress has dominated the world of content management systems for a long time, and for good reason. The reasons it’s so attractive to users are many, including that it’s:

  • Community Driven. WordPress users are a global community with online courses, forums, and even local events. Plugins, themes, and platform updates come from the WordPress user community, which means you don’t rely on just one organization to make the platform work. (Post Status is a community for the business of WordPress too!)
  • Best for Blogging. Search engine optimization is the key to getting your blog posts to show up in online searches. WordPress has plugins designed to help your content get featured as a rich snippet in a Google search and improve your posts’ optimization.
  • Focuses on Site Content. The WordPress editor is there for you to write the content that will appear on your site. Most of the features make content creation easy.
  • More Flexibility and Customization. With themes, page builders, and plugins, WordPress allows you to create a one-of-a-kind website that’s tailored to your needs.
  • Cost-Effective. WordPress is free. All you have to do is purchase a domain and a site hosting plan. Plugins and themes may cost money, but WordPress itself is always free.

Limitations of WordPress

Even though it’s a versatile option, WordPress does have some drawbacks, especially for beginners. Even so, people who love WordPress tend to view these limitations as features.

  • Greater Complexity. WordPress has a higher learning curve than Squarespace, but that’s because it can do so much more.
  • More to Learn to Maximize Use. If you want to use all the features WordPress offers, you may have to hire someone to help you or invest the time and energy in learning how to do it.

Squarespace Pros and Cons

Squarespace is a website builder that many people have heard of through advertisements on podcasts and YouTube videos. But is it as good as the sponsored content makes it seem? 

Pros of Squarespace

Squarespace hosts about four million websites, so it’s clearly the content management system of choice for many people. Here are some factors that contribute to its success:

  • Simple and Straightforward. Squarespace is designed to help you create a website quickly and easily. With Squarespace, you can create a website (albeit a simple one) in minutes.
  • Quick Setup. With Squarespace, you choose a template, the fonts you like, and your color palette. From there, you add the content you need, and your site is ready to go.
  • Built-in E-commerce. E-commerce tools like shipping and customer reviews are a feature of all but the personal Squarespace plans. 
  • Integrated Social Media Tools. With a Squarespace site, you can integrate your social media, so your social content displays on the site or site updates are pushed to your social media.

Cons of Squarespace

Even though you can set up a Squarespace site quickly, there are still some disadvantages to using it for your business. Squarespace’s limitations include:

  • Lack of Community. Squarespace users don’t have an established community the way WordPress does, so there aren’t as many resources or online forums for users to find help.
  • Missing Flexibility. While it’s easy to use, Squarespace doesn’t give you the flexibility to customize a site like WordPress does. Without plugins, you’re limited to the out-of-the-box functionality of Squarespace.
  • Focuses on Site Design. Squarespace is a tool for designing a website, first and foremost. While you can still use it for blogging, a Squarespace site doesn’t have all the blogging tools that a WordPress site would.

No Free Plan. Squarespace requires users to upgrade to higher plans to access all the features you need to run your business.

Comparing Performance and Features for WordPress vs. Squarespace 

Comparing the performance and features of WordPress and Squarespace can help you see which option is best for you. Check out the chart below to see how these content management systems measure up against one another.

SquarespaceWordPress
Squarespace’s drag-and-drop website builder lets you build a website quickly and easily without learning code or hiring anyone.Ease of UseWordPress can have a steep learning curve for beginners, but that’s because it can do so much more than Squarespace.
Squarespace can be pricey, especially if you need more features than the lower-tier options. Running a Squarespace site costs anywhere from $16 to $65 a month.CostWordPress is completely free. You do have to pay for hosting space, the domain name, or any premium plugins you need to run your business, but WordPress itself is free and always will be.
Squarespace has about 100 templates. While designing a Squarespace site may seem easier, you’re stuck with the basic design of the template you choose.DesignThe design options are limitless. WordPress has more than 10,479 free themes and many more paid themes and page builders, which can all be customized to your needs.
All security and updates are managed for you, and Squarespace’s experts deal with any issues you have.SecurityWordPress allows you to determine the level of security you need. You can install plugins, use features offered by your hosting company, or hire security specialists to help you safeguard your site.
Squarespace comes with some SEO features already built-in and managed for you.SEO ToolsWordPress plugins help you optimize your content and secure featured snippets in Google searches. WordPress is the industry standard for bloggers for a reason.
Squarespace has built-in sales features but doesn’t accommodate all payment options. It can handle basic e-commerce, but any business whose main revenue source is products should use another platform.E-commerce FunctionalityPlugins like WooCommerce allow you to build an e-commerce store and customize it to your needs. Plus, there are more plugins to add payment gateways if needed.
All Squarespace tools are already built into the platform.Add-ons and PluginsWordPress allows you to add as many plugins as you’d like, which means you can customize your site as much as you choose.
All Squarespace plans give users unlimited storage, but there are limits to video storage.Backup and StorageWordPress site storage is dependent on the specifics of your web hosting plan.
The more features you need, the more you’ll have to pay Squarespace. Plus, running a second website means paying for a new plan.Scalability and Multiple WebsitesWordPress sites can be customized and scaled to fit your business needs. With most hosting plans, you can run more than one website without paying for another plan.
Squarespace has a dedicated support team. Users can find help through live chat, email, or tutorials.SupportWordPress has a huge community with tons of resources and tutorials. While there isn’t a dedicated team to chat with, you will likely find answers in online forums. 
Squarespace allows customers to leave product reviews on the site.ReviewsWordPress has multiple plugins to enable product reviews or customer testimonials.

When WordPress is the Best Choice

It’s clear that WordPress has features for growing your business and can be customized using plugins. But how do you know if it’s right for your business? Here are some use cases for when WordPress is the best choice:

  • Running Multiple Websites. Most hosting plans allow you to register multiple websites, saving you money over using Squarespace.
  • Needing Room for Future Growth. WordPress is customizable and scales with your business. 
  • Requiring Maximum SEO Capability. WordPress has plugins that ensure you’re creating optimized content.
  • Accessing Freelance Support. WordPress is the industry standard, so tons of freelancers are available to help with your site.
  • Building with Advanced Tools and Plugins. The sky’s the limit with WordPress because there’s a plugin for everything. You can customize your site and enhance its functionality with all the tools and plugins available.
  • Availability of Customizing Code. Because WordPress is freely available and used by so many, you can find custom code quickly and easily.

When Squarespace is Beneficial 

Even though WordPress is the strongest option for your website, there are still some instances when Squarespace might make sense. Here are some use cases for when you should use Squarespace: 

  • Creating a Simple Web Presence. If you need a static site set up quickly with minimal customization or functionality, Squarespace is a great option. 
  • Wanting Fast Setup. Squarespace sites can be set up in minutes, even if you can’t fully customize them.
  • Predicting Insubstantial Growth. Squarespace sites can’t scale the way WordPress sites can, so they’re a good option if you need a web presence that won’t grow.

Ready to Build Your WordPress Site?

In the battle of WordPress vs. Squarespace, WordPress is the best option for a scalable business website. Plus, the worldwide community of users is there when you have questions. If you’d like to become a part of a community for professional WordPress users, join Post Status and never miss important WordPress news and events again.

This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

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