WordPress vs. Squarespace: The Battle of the Website Builders | HostAdvice

WordPress vs. Squarespace: Which Is the Better Platform for Your Website?

Final: WordPress vs SquarespaceWordPress and Squarespace are two website builders to consider if you want to build a website for personal use or business. Their distinct features make them stand out from other content management systems (CMS). Also, WordPress and Squarespace are easy to use, customizable, and cost-friendly.

Hosting for your squarespace website is included in their plans, however with WordPress, you’ll need to purchase a Wordpress Hosting plan.

We researched and compiled a detailed comparison of the two CMS platforms. Keep reading to get the information to help you make an informed choice. You can also check out our Shopify vs. Squarespace comparison.

 

Key Highlights

  • Squarespace does not have as many features as WordPress, which makes it easier to use, especially for beginners. But it is not an excellent choice for intermediate or experienced web developers.
  • WordPress has more themes than Squarespace, and it offers more flexibility. However, Squarespace has more captivating templates.
  • WordPress and Squarespace can be used to create an e-commerce site, but WordPress has more plugins and integrations
  • Both WordPress and Squarespace security is not 100% reliable and requires additional security measures to prevent cyber-attacks and data breaches
  • WordPress is more affordable than Squarespace, and it offers more features, customization, and flexibility

 

Ease of Use

A website builder is best for building websites if you are unfamiliar with or are an expert in HTML, CSS, and other programming languages. This is because CMS platforms like WordPress or Squarespace are easy to use.

WordPress is the most used website builder because it is easy to use and intuitive. However, there’s a slight learning curve, and you must familiarize yourself with the CMS platform’s concepts and terminologies. For example, you must know the difference between categories and tags, themes and plugins, etc.

Squarespace is also easy to use, primarily because it is less feature-packed than WordPress. Developers without experience can build a website with Squarespace. Also, Squarespace’s block editor is similar to WordPress, but it is easier to add videos, images, and audio files on WordPress.

User Interface

WordPress and Squarespace do not offer web developers unlimited design freedom, but both are easy to use. However, WordPress is more complex for beginners because of its many options and functionalities. Squarespace has a more user-friendly interface, although WordPress is more flexible.

Squarespace has limited functionalities and customization options. But its designer templates offer a better user experience. On the other hand, WordPress has more customization options for the user interface. However, you need coding knowledge to make the most of it.

Navigation

WordPress navigation makes a website easy to use, organized, and accessible. It gives a website structure and can be used to add links to pages, blog categories, topics, social media links, etc. Also, you can create a custom navigation menu in WordPress to give your site visitors a seamless experience. The importance of WordPress navigation lies in allowing visitors to find content on your site easily.

Squarespace navigation also makes websites built with the CMS platform easy to use, accessible, and organized. You can change navigation links’ font, color, and size using the navigation menu and edit header settings and pages.

Overall Usability

WordPress remains an easy-to-use platform despite having a slight learning curve. This is because most web developers can easily adapt to it. Conversely, Sqaurespace’s limited features make it user-friendly for beginners and non-web developers. So, ultimately, your level of expertise and how feature-rich you want the website to be determines your choice between the two CMS platforms.

 

Customization Options

There are over 55,000 plugins in WordPress Plugin Directory.

Source: Kinsta.com

Customization options allow you to create personalized experiences for website visitors. By customizing a website, you can give relevant and accurate recommendations to visitors based on their behavior from past visits.

Web developers customize websites using the following:

  • Themes: Website themes are the foundation on which a site is built. It includes typography, headers and footers, color palettes, page layouts, backgrounds, etc.
  • Templates: Website templates are predesigned layouts for arranging content on a web page. Templates make it easy to build a well-designed site, and you can drag and drop photos, logos, etc.
  • Plugins: Website plugins give browsers additional functionality. As an add-on, web browsers use plugins to show content they are not designed to display. Also, websites function independently of plugins, making it possible to update them without making changes to your web hosting platform.
  • Widgets: Website widgets act as stand-alone small functional displayed on a site’s pages. It is easily viewable by visitors and used to post notifications and information.

Final: WordPress vs Squarespace

A. WordPress

This CMS platform has a vast library of free and premium themes, plugins, and widgets for customizing websites. To personalize a WordPress site, you have to use Customizer. The customizer allows you to change the site title and tagline, add widgets to a footer or sidebar, create menus, change homepage settings, etc. Also, WordPress websites can be customized using drag-and-drop builders or by writing code.

B. Squarespace

This website builder has a beginner-friendly drag-and-drop user interface that makes it easy to customize its templates library and blocks. The CMS platform has over 1,000 customizable templates, and you can personalize buttons using custom colors, shapes, fonts, and sizes. Add hover effects, transitions, and animations to make your site buttons stand out. While customization is easy on Squarespace, there are limitations as it is not as flexible as WordPress.

Customization Options Comparison

WordPress has over 31,000 customizable themes, including premium options, while Squarespace has over 1,000. Also, Squarespace has over 100 templates suitable for websites for online stores, portfolio sites, photography, etc., and you can use more than one when designing a website. On the other hand, you can only use one template at a time on a WordPress site.

But there’s no limit to the number of templates a theme can contain. Additionally, WordPress and Squarespace customization features have many benefits and drawbacks. WordPress customizer is free and easy to use but might require coding skills and additional plugins.

Squarespace benefits include its drag-and-drop editor and access to visually appealing templates. On the downside, you might face limitations when customizing templates, and it requires additional plugins. Ultimately, choosing WordPress vs. Squarespace depends on the type of site you want to build and your experience level.

 

Themes and Templates

Website themes are used for the site’s design, while templates are used only for a single page. Themes and templates beautify a website, making it attractive to visitors, and they also make the site easily navigable. As a result, you will have a good website design, functionality, and user experience.

A. WordPress

Again, you can access thousands of free and premium themes on WordPress, which are very customizable. You can add your preferred color, website logo, images, etc. Also, WordPress themes and templates have a drag-and-drop editor, sliders, multiple layout options, photo galleries, etc.

Therefore, you will find numerous professionally designed templates irrespective of the website type. WordPress themes are highly flexible and can also be customized by writing code.

B. Squarespace

The beauty of Squarespace is that it categorizes its ready-to-use templates, and the professional design fits all devices. Using Sqaurespace’s built-in customizer, you modify your theme.

Squarespace themes and templates are limited, and there are few customizer features. This is one area where WordPress beats Squarespace, and the platform also lacks the flexibility that WordPress has.

Themes and Templates Comparison

WordPress themes are easy to set up, have mobile responsive programming, save time and money, and have multiple options. But your WordPress website design may not be very unique, and you might face irregular updates. On the other hand, you can create visually stunning websites with Squarespace, and its templates are very responsive.

However, Squarespace has limited design flexibility. So, ultimately, when you consider the design and customization options, website-building features, number of themes, and flexibility, WordPress is better. But if you want visually appealing themes and are a beginner-level web developer, go with Squarespace.

 

E-Commerce Capabilities

On average, WordPress attracts ten times more unique visitors than Squarespace.

Source: Thrivemyway.com

E-commerce capabilities refer to website features that make it possible to sell and interact with customers online. Businesses with an e-commerce site can reach prospective customers and promote their products and services online.

Also, e-commerce capability makes it possible to process payments and shipping and provide a seamless customer experience. Additionally, it improves the website’s functionality.

A. WordPress

WordPress has several e-commerce capabilities. For instance, WordPress plugins allow you to add payment processors for accepting online payments. The available options are Stripe, PayPal, Payoneer, etc. Also, it has a WooCommerce plug-in, which comes with add-ons and themes.

Furthermore, WordPress for e-commerce is flexible, customizable, and can be scaled based on the user’s needs. A user of WordPress for e-commerce can add as many products as they like and run affiliate programs.

B. Squarespace

Unlike WordPress, Squarespace’s e-commerce features are limited. Although you can add a payment processor, the only options are Stripe and PayPal. Also, WordPress has more customization options and scales better than Squarespace. But Squarespace is easier to set up and add new products because it has built-in e-commerce features, unlike WordPress, which uses plugins.

E-Commerce Capabilities Comparison

WordPress has better plugins and offers several payment processors, and aside from WooCommerce, you can use Shopify with the CMS platform. However, building an e-commerce website with WordPress is more technical than using Squarespace. Squarespace is easier because it already has built-in features.

With WordPress, you can build any e-commerce website, and it is SEO-friendly but has limited support for e-commerce issues. On the other hand, Squarespace is great for social media and has versatile product descriptions, but it is not ideal for those looking to sell internationally. So, if you want an e-commerce website that scales and has a stack of features, use WordPress. If you want something simpler, use Squarespace.

 

 SEO and Marketing

Final: WordPress vs Squarespace

Another difference between WordPress and Squarespace is SEO and marketing.  Search engine optimization involves optimizing a website to rank high on search engines, while marketing is a business’s activities to promote its goods and services.

SEO and marketing are crucial to attracting the right audience and driving traffic to a website. Also, SEO and marketing improve website ranking and social media presence and make email marketing more effective.

A. WordPress

There are various plugins and extensions for SEO optimization, social media integration, and email marketing on WordPress. Some SEO plugins are Yoast SEO, Rank Math, etc. Social media plugins include Shared Counts, Uncanny Automator, etc. Also, WordPress has a lot of flexibility for SEO and marketing, and you can customize and optimize it based on your needs or preferences.

B. Squarespace

Squarespace has built-in SEO tools, including customizable URLs, image alt text, meta descriptions, titles, etc. It also has social media features, and users can connect accounts, load a social media logo, and push posts to social media platforms. However, Squarespace still has SEO issues, like not having a clear place for the image alt text, and it is not as flexible as WordPress.

SEO and Marketing Comparison

Squarespace allows users to create custom URLs and offers Google Analytics with all plans but does not allow integration of SEO apps. WordPress has few configuration options, but it has auto-generated sitemaps that improve search engine visibility.

With WordPress SEO, you have better load times and optimized images. But it blocks search engine crawlers by default, and you must unblock them for the site to rank. Squarespace has many tools for website optimization, but it is only included in the paid plans. Between WordPress vs. Squarespace, WordPress is better for SEO and marketing, but if you prefer built-in functionalities, use Squarespace.

 

Security

WordPress websites are hacked 4.7 million times yearly, with an estimated nine attacks per minute.

Source: Colorlib.com

 

Website security refers to actions taken or applications designed to protect website data from cyber criminals. Security breaches affect website performance, reputation, and user data. Therefore, a CMS platform must have adequate security measures.

A. WordPress

WordPress uses various plugins and extensions for security. This includes a malware scanner, firewall, and two-factor verification. Also, the plugin used and your hosting provider determine how safe your site is.

Some web hosting providers offer SSL certificates, protect your DNS, and automatically update WordPress to improve security. Furthermore, you can customize and optimize the website security based on your needs and preferences.

B. Squarespace

Squarespace constantly checks for malware and protects websites from DDoS attacks. The platform does this in three ways, through SSL certificates, cookies, and writing your privacy policies using built-in editing tools. However, Squarespace security is not very flexible and cannot be customized like WordPress.

Security Comparison

WordPress has several security plugins and extensions, but you must constantly update them to prevent attacks. Also, WordPress security requires no experience and has a dedicated support team and DDoS protection. But it is often attacked with malware and SQL injections.

Squarespace uses built-in security features and secure end-to-end connection. However, a single DDoS attack can affect many websites built with the platform. Ultimately, your security needs and available funds determine whether WordPress or Squarespace security is better for you.

 

Pricing

WordPress and Squarespace have different pricing models, and the features enjoyed depend on the plan subscribed to. However, consider your needs and budget before deciding on a pricing plan. Also, consider the website type, features, plugins, and integrations provided per pricing model.

Final: WordPress vs Squarespace

A. WordPress

The following are different WordPress pricing options and features:

  • Free: WordPress is free, and you can use it to build your website. But first, you must register a domain and create a web hosting account. Under free WordPress, you can access themes, unlimited pages, a built-in newsletter, etc.
  • Personal: The Personal Plan costs $4 monthly/$48 annually. You have a free domain for a year, ads free, email support, extremely fast DNS and SSL, etc.
  • Premium: It costs $8 monthly/$96 annually. You get everything in Personal plus live chat support, premium themes, earn with WordAds, style customization, etc.
  • Business: It costs $25 monthly/$300 annually. You get everything in Premium plus unrestricted bandwidth, plugin installation, themes, web application firewall, etc.
  • Commerce: It costs $45 monthly/$450 yearly. You get everything in Business plus store customization, sales report, inventory management, etc.
  • Enterprise: Enterprise plans are personalized, but pricing starts at $2,000 monthly. The website content also influences the price. WordPress pays attention to monthly anticipated traffic, the number of apps, customer success needs, and service level agreements.

 

B. Squarespace

The following are the pricing plans for Squarespace:

  • Personal: It costs $23 monthly/$192 yearly. You get a free custom domain, templates, mobile-optimized sites, unlimited bandwidth, etc.
  • Business: It costs $33 monthly/$276 yearly. You get everything in the Personal Plan plus a free custom domain, fully integrated e-commerce, advanced website analytics, etc.
  • Commerce: This plan has Basic and Advanced options. Basic costs $36 monthly/$324 yearly, while Advanced costs $65 monthly/$588 yearly. For the Basic Plan, you get everything in Business plus product reviews, customer accounts, point of sale, etc. Then the advanced option offers everything in basic, plus abandoned cart recovery, commerce APIs, advanced shipping, etc.

Pricing Comparison

WordPress has a more affordable pricing plan than Squarespace. It also has more features and a free plan. However, you can try Squarespace for 14 days before choosing a plan, while you must buy a WordPress plan to enjoy additional features. The one you choose between WordPress and Squarespace depends on your budget and the features the website needs.

 

Support and Documentation

Support and documentation are crucial when building websites because they allow you to access information easily and track problems when they arise. You can troubleshoot problems, learn new features, and optimize the website with support and documentation.

Final: WordPress vs Squarespace

A. WordPress

WordPress has its support and documentation team, a community of developers. The support and documentation team manages the HelpHub, handbooks, admin help, inline docs, etc. There is no in-house support team, so the community or forums are the best ways to get answers to problems.

However, you will find answers to your questions from the thousands of relevant articles community members share. Also, you contact WordPress by email using wp-contact@WordPress, and if you use the Premium plan, you can access the Live Chat support. WordPress’s official documentation is on its developer resources page.

B. Squarespace

Both WordPress and Squarespace platforms have free Android and iOS applications to update content using a mobile device.

Source: Thrivemyway.com

Squarespace has a centralized support system available 24/7 via email and Twitter. There’s live chat support available Monday to Friday, free online webinars, and a community forum.

There’s also a library of help guides and workshop videos to help you when building your website. Finally, you can find Sqaurespace’s official documentation on their help center and developer platform.

Support and Documentation Comparison

Squarespace has better support than WordPress. With Squarespace, you can speak to an actual person and get a response to your query. However, WordPress support is built on community forums, and live chat is only for those on the Premium Plan.

So, regarding support and documentation, Squarespace is better if you want a quicker response, as it has multiple customer service channels.WordPress support is for those who don’t mind reviewing forums and documentation to find the answer they want.

 

Conclusion

There are numerous benefits to using WordPress vs. Squarespace, but consider the points discussed in this article before choosing. Also, consider the website user and your technical experience before going for WordPress or Squarespace. For more information on web hosting for WordPress and Squarespace, visit HostAdvice’s resource center.

 

Next Steps: What Now?

 

Further Reading – Useful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Is WordPress easier to use than Squarespace?

It depends on the web developer’s level of expertise and needs. WordPress has more customization features, but it requires the user to have more technical knowledge. Squarespace is more user-friendly, with a simple interface, but has limited customization.

Which platform is better for e-commerce: WordPress or Squarespace?

WordPress and Squarespace have e-commerce capabilities, but WordPress has more plugins and integrations. Squarespace has built-in e-commerce features, is more user-friendly, and is less flexible than WordPress.

Do WordPress and Squarespace offer SEO features?

Yes. WordPress and Squarespace have SEO features like sitemaps, customizable meta tags, and URL structure. But WordPress has more SEO integration and plugins than Squarespace.

Are there any security risks associated with WordPress or Squarespace?

Yes. WordPress and Squarespace often experience security breaches despite their security features. Therefore, secure your site with a strong password, update plugins and themes, and use SSL certificates when using either platform.

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