Congratulations, you've successfully reduced your choices to Squarespace vs WordPress. Which one of these two website builders is best for you, then?
I suppose that's akin to asking what kind of vehicle you ought to drive. It depends, is the succinct response. If you work in the SEO industry, you might know that this answer is received to 80% of questions you ask :D.
We realize that's not exactly helpful, but by the end of this article, hopefully, you'll be able to decide whether to buy a reliable family hatchback that will last for thousands of miles or a flashy convertible with more horsepower but more maintenance requirements (we'll stop here with the car analogy because it's not really relevant).
Squarespace vs WordPress : What’s the difference?
A hosted website builder, Squarespace comes with templates, automatic updates, e-commerce capabilities, and web hosting.
Additionally, it is typically simpler to use and provides the option to enable built-in extras like email marketing, member areas, and appointment scheduling.
WordPress is more flexible and scalable, despite the fact that it almost always needs the use of additional plugins to operate your website fully.
Additionally, it's a better option for bigger websites that need particular features, like support for multiple languages.
First things first: Why would you consider WordPress.org?
Contrary to WordPress.com, which is simpler to set up but only really useful for blogs, 42.9 percent of the top 10 million websites in the world currently use WordPress.org. In other words, it's in capable hands.
The advantages and disadvantages of this content management system have already been discussed, but what you should really know is that WordPress.org is both strong and adaptable.
Simply put, WordPress can be used to create any type of website, to use superlative language. Sadly, there is a cost associated with this.
The primary one is that you will have to set it up on your own domain, which means you are in charge of finding a reputable hosting provider (ideally a specialized WordPress hosting company). We'll go into more detail about the other issues below.
Please take note that the more widely used.org WordPress version, which is the free open-source version, is what is being covered in this article. Please read this article to find out more about WordPress.com.
What about Squarespace?
Squarespace, which debuted more than ten years ago, is one of the industry's heavyweights and is becoming more and more well-known.
With an estimated 1,000 new users signing up for Squarespace accounts every day, it is one of the most popular website builders (especially in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia). However, their user count is not publicly available.
What is the cause of their success? They have succeeded in developing a one-stop shop that makes it incredibly simple for beginners to launch a website in just a few seconds.
Even though it takes more than two minutes, it is still very impressive.
Squarespace handles every aspect of your website, allowing you to select a template and domain name while the service ensures everything runs smoothly for you.
So does it outperform WordPress in every regard? Let's dissect it in more detail:
Ease of Use: How beginner-friendly are they?
Let's start with the basics in this SquareSpace vs WordPress showdown.
The good news is that Squarespace is a very beginner-friendly platform, using a visual drag-and-drop editor that enables you to move content around with your mouse.
If you consider yourself to be a complete n00b when it comes to technology, if you don't even know what a n00b is, or if the word "plugin" sends you running for the hills, then here's the good news:
The only skill you'll need to know to create a new website is how to click your computer mouse, though it's important to note that there are other website builders available that are even simpler to use.
For anyone who is afraid of source code, this is pretty good information.
With the introduction of the Gutenberg update, WordPress recently enhanced its editor and added a building block system akin to Squarespace.
It’s currently available for editing pages and posts (although WordPress aims to roll it out to other parts of the website soon)
You will nevertheless need a foundational level of technical knowledge. Even though some hosting companies offer "one-click solutions" to install WordPress, you will occasionally need to deal with updates.
Here is a quick guide that demonstrates how to set up WordPress on Siteground:
It would also be helpful if you could manually update your plugins, knew how to use FTP to upload files to your website, and maybe even knew how to use databases like MySQL if you wanted to do really advanced things.
In general, WordPress has a much steeper learning curve.
Winner: Squarespace is without a doubt the user-friendliest platform, which should come as no surprise.
Squarespace vs WordPress : Design and flexibility
You're creating a website design, so it's time to compare the design features of Squarespace vs WordPress.
The website templates available on Squarespace are stunning. Additionally, there is a respectable selection to choose from; the most recent Squarespace update added about 110 new templates to the library in addition to the more than 100 already present.
Due to their responsiveness to mobile devices, they all display flawlessly on smaller screens as well.
It's important to note that the templates from the most recent release, 7.1, function slightly differently from the templates from earlier releases.
Thanks to the introduction of pre-built sections that allow you to nix and replace designs, you have more layout flexibility.
Even though you can't change templates once you've chosen them, you'll discover that you have more freedom to change the design if necessary.
However, Squarespace templates also have a significant drawback. They do have a very fashionable appearance when you pick them up, but that is only because they have been expertly designed with large, lovely images.
Your beautiful website might end up looking a little bit cheap if you can't access background images or logos of the same quality.
You can choose from an almost infinite number of paid and free templates with WordPress, and there are practically infinite possibilities for customization.
Additionally, these themes are also mobile-responsive, just like Squarespace's (unless you pick an ancient one). While this is excellent news for those who are very clear about the design they want for their website, it also means two things:
1) It might feel somewhat overwhelming;
2) As previously mentioned, in order to implement all the required style options, it is worthwhile to have a working knowledge of HTML and CSS. However, given the countless options available, it's possible that you won't need to make any adjustments at all. (Sites like themeforest.net offer a wide selection of WordPress themes that look professional.)
Winner: A challenging one. You have virtually limitless options and complete design flexibility with WordPress, but to fully utilize it, you'll need to know how to code. Squarespace's templates are beautiful and much simpler to customize, but you give up some of your customization options. Therefore, let's declare a tie.
Blogs: Who offers the best blogging features?
There's a reason why WordPress is so highly praised by bloggers. The first version of WordPress was created as a blogging platform, and the selection of WordPress blogging tools available today is truly impressive.
So this feature is clearly an edge for WordPress when you compare Squarespace vs WordPress.
You name it, there are plugins for it: membership sites, galleries, grammar checkers, author profiles, translations, and pretty much anything else.
If search traffic is significant to your website, you'll also discover that WordPress provides an unparalleled capacity for you to optimize your site, with plugins like Yoast SEO giving you complete control over specific post settings (more on that below).
WordPress provides you with a respectable selection of blogging tools to get you started, even without any installed plugins.
Most website builders don't even offer features like commenting, post scheduling, RSS, or the ability to save drafts and preview posts.
However, setting up a WordPress blog requires a little extra work (as with WordPress sites in general).
Squarespace is actually one of the top contenders for those who prefer a lower-maintenance option but still want advanced blogging features.
The majority of Squarespace's blogging tools are already integrated into the platform and available for use right away.
These include author biographies, categories, post scheduling, social media sharing, and RSS feeds. With just a few clicks, you can add more complicated elements like galleries and forms, using the in-line blog editor's high level of flexibility.
Advanced features like podcast hosting and the capacity to directly publish to Apple News are also impressive.
Squarespace also offers connections to services like Bandsintown, SoundCloud, Amazon, OpenTable, and others.
Winner: Because both platforms provide a superior blogging tool, we must award Squarespace and WordPress a point each for this round.
Thanks to its enormous selection of adaptable plugins, WordPress is the more powerful of the two, but Squarespace is a fantastic alternative for those looking for a simpler-to-manage solution. So far, we're at 3:2 for Squarespace.
Ecommerce features: Adding a shopping cart
Once more, Squarespace comes pre-loaded with a very useful, effective, and straightforward online shopping platform for your website.
To build an online store and add products to it, you can quickly insert a product page into your website.
Your inventory is under your control. Product variations are an option. You can control shipping choices and coupon policies. Additionally, you can sell subscriptions along with physical and digital goods.
You can even integrate your shopping platform with other services like Xero for accounting and Mailchimp for mailing lists. You can connect it to hundreds of other email services and CRM tools thanks to their integration with Zapier.
Additionally, it provides you with a respectable selection of payment processors, including Square for Point of Sale support, ApplePay, PayPal, ApplePay via Stripe, ApplePay, Afterpay, and credit cards via Stripe.
With Squarespace, e-commerce is already available with the Business plan for $23 per month. However, bear in mind that Squarespace deducts a 3% commission from each sale.
If you anticipate making more than $3,000 annually, we advise you to take into account the Basic Commerce plan ($27/month), at least because there is no sales commission associated with this plan.
Real-time shipping rates are currently only available for the US, which is the main disadvantage. The same is true for automatic taxes, which are accessible through a TaxJar integration that is presently in beta.
Additionally, the top-tier ecommerce plan is the only one that offers abandoned cart recovery emails, a feature that is common in most ecommerce solutions.
The WordPress plugin WooCommerce serves as the industry-standard e-commerce solution. It has even more functionality than a Squarespace online store and is open-source as well.
You can manage your tax settings more effectively and find a ton of other add-ons, like the ability to add more shipping carriers. Please be aware that many of these WooCommerce extensions are fee-based.
But setting up a WooCommerce store requires much more work than it does for any other WordPress website.
To get your store exactly how you want it, be prepared to invest time (or money, if you're hiring a developer) in customizing themes and enabling extensions.
Remember that Shopify exists if you're looking to create a sizable online store.
Winner: Smaller stores can benefit greatly from Squarespace's ecommerce solution. Larger ones are better suited for WooCommerce. Your particular project will determine your individual winner. This round in the Squarespace vs WordPress is tied as a result.
SEO: Will people find me on Google?
You must use the best SEO techniques if you want to differentiate yourself in a highly competitive niche market. Once more, Squarespace makes things simple for you.
You can quickly edit title tags, meta descriptions, custom URLs, and even 301 redirects with this service. Here is more information on Squarespace's SEO choices.
However, you must understand what you are doing in this situation. With its SEO tool, Wix, for instance, takes a more hands-off approach. But once more, learning the fundamentals is preferable to relying solely on a magic device.
We also need to point out that, in comparison to other platforms, Squarespace's templates typically take longer to load because they are frequently content-heavy and demand high-resolution images.
If your site is going to rely on search traffic, it's important to keep in mind that this could have a negative impact on rankings.
Because of all the plugins available, WordPress is quite effective when it comes to SEO. But once more, you'll need to put in a little extra work to finish the job.
You have two choices: you can go straight to the source code and manually modify the HTML, or you can use specialized WordPress plugins that make it simple to quickly fill in fields with your Google-friendly information.
Yoast SEO, a free plugin that offers advanced features like real-time page analysis, image titles, optimization choices, and XML sitemaps, is one example. (You can find a lot more if you simply type "SEO" into the WordPress plugin page.)
Winner: WordPress's extensive library of plugins really puts you in the driver's seat when it comes to optimizing your site, even though Squarespace does SEO better than most website builders. The current score is 4:4.
This SquareSpace vs WordPress showdown is getting hot.
Mobile App: How easily can I edit my site on the go?
Even though we definitely wouldn't advise running your website entirely from a mobile app, it's crucial to be able to quickly edit posts and pages on the go. Let's look at the mobile apps provided for this purpose by Squarespace and WordPress.
The mobile WordPress app is accessible on both iOS and Android devices. You can edit and create posts, upload files, manage comments, and access statistics with ease. It's simple to use.
However, you'll also need to install the Jetpack plugin in order to view statistics and receive notifications on your device.
The Squarespace app, which is accessible on both Android and iOS, takes things a step further. One benefit is that you can view stats and get notifications without installing any additional plugins.
The design of your entire site can actually be managed from the app, which is the most significant feature. You can alter the fonts, colors, animations, page layouts, and section breaks all from your mobile device.
You can modify pages, blogs, and SEO settings in terms of content. Again, we wouldn't advise it for setting up your entire site, but it's helpful to know that if necessary, you can make these changes without a desktop.
If your Squarespace website has an online store, you can use the app to manage orders, inventory, and discounts. Therefore, I believe it is obvious who wins this round!
Winner: Squarespace because you can manage most aspects of your website through this mobile app, which offers a lot more functionality than the competitions. Squarespace is once again in the lead at 5:4.
Uptime & Pagespeed: Technicalities
In keeping with the topic of search engine rankings, here is a crucial factor to consider: the speed of your website. So this aspect of Squarespace vs WordPress is another important one.
Google favors websites that load more quickly and evaluates a website's speed using a variety of factors, such as how responsive the website is and how quickly it loads on a mobile device (if you want to test a website yourself, you can use websites such as Webpagetest.org or Uptime Robot.)
As we already mentioned, Squarespace's outcomes are only fair. Although all of their templates are responsive and mobile-friendly, the page speed tests don't look great and are almost unusable on mobile devices.
It is important to note that all of their servers are located in the US, which might cause delays if you are primarily serving customers from other regions.
The speed of WordPress depends on the web host you choose. Before choosing a WordPress host, be sure to look at our uptime and speed analysis.
After that, you can adjust your template to make it more quick and responsive, either manually or by utilizing those incredibly helpful plugins that allow you to optimize image size and take advantage of browser caching.
Winner: Without a doubt, WordPress. That’s the equalizer, 5:5.
Backups: what if things go wrong?
If you're going to experiment with your site, it's always a plus to have the backup option. For instance, altering fonts, styling, or other design components.
Despite the fact that neither Squarespace nor WordPress have an integrated backup solution, one platform stands out. With WordPress, your web hosting provider typically has your back.
The good ones offer the ability to backup and restore data. For instance, Siteground and Kinsta both offer one without charging extra. Cheaper hosts might levie a small premium.
Additionally, you can use WordPress plugins like Updraft Plus and VaultPress.
Contrarily, Squarespace is a little more challenging in this regard. Your blog posts can be preserved as an XML file. You can import this once more to your Squarespace website.
But keep in mind that moving content to another platform is the feature's primary goal (such as WordPress). As a result, it won't be as practical as a separate backup and restore feature.
There is nothing for content that is not blog-related. Users of Squarespace generally endorse the Site Duplication function, which will duplicate your website.
But once more, this is not really the best answer to our issue. So as you can see, there are some workarounds but neither is perfect.
Winner: clearly WordPress.
Support: Who will help me at 3 am?
This is a huge plus for Squarespace in our Squarespace vs WordPress ultimate bout. They provide live chat and dedicated personal email support for each option they provide. With these guys, you'll never feel alone, so if you require assistance with setup or when attempting to upload cat pictures to your blog, you know exactly who to contact.
In-depth knowledge bases, videos, webinars, forums, and more are available to help you at every stage.
Due to the lack of official support, WordPress websites are a bit of a mixed bag. Yes, you do gain from a sizable user base and extensive documentation and you'll find plenty a WordPress tutorial, but it can get challenging finding a solution to your issue quickly.
However, if you don't know your CSS from your jQuery, conversations can quickly turn into something very geeky and frustrating. You can try your luck in one of the many forum threads.
But if you buy a paid WordPress theme, some creators provide free support, so you can get in touch with them to make any changes you want to the design.
Additionally, there are expensive WordPress hosts that support WordPress, like Kinsta. However, you should budget at least $30 a month.
Winner: Squarespace wins this round because it invests more in the support given that it is a hosted service. At 6:6, we're back to a tie.
Pricing - who’s got the better deal?
The million-dollar question. Which one is cheaper? Well, here again it depends. So let's see how Squarespace vs WordPress compare to each other.
Squarespace offers very transparent pricing plans, and you can easily determine how much it will cost you annually, everything included: $14 per month for a personal website; $23 for a business website; $27 for a simple online store; or $49 for a sophisticated one.
Not incredibly cheap, but simple to calculate.
Keep in mind that extras like email marketing, member areas, and appointment scheduling have a price. If you require these solutions, be sure to include them in your budget as they will raise your monthly expenses by an additional $10 to $70.
When using WordPress, you must incur expenses such as your web hosting plan, the cost of your website theme, and the cost of additional plugins.
If you choose to host your WordPress website on a budget and don't care about speed, you could pay as little as $4 per month. However, if you want your website to display every feature in existence, this could turn into a real money pit.
The hosting from Siteground is generally recommended; it costs $3.95 per month for the first year, rising to $11.95 thereafter. Nevertheless, there are other, more affordable web hosts.
Winner: Given that you can find reasonably priced hosting and don't need a significant number of extra features, WordPress is the more cost-effective option here, despite Squarespace's premium pricing.
System Migration : Will they let me go?
Can't decide what to do? The good news is that you can always switch platforms for your website's content. But realize that things won't exactly go as planned.
As previously mentioned, Squarespace does include an import/export feature. But bringing something in is simpler than sending it out.
For instance, when exporting to WordPress, the CSS (i.e., everything style-related) will be ignored and you will need to manually manage your images.
Additionally, you will need to turn off each WordPress plugin before importing, which could occasionally cause your theme to malfunction and quickly turn into a headache.
You will need to add yet another free plugin called WordPress Importer since WordPress, on their end, does not provide native Squarespace import. You can import static pages, blog posts, and galleries.
Please be aware that neither service will permit the migration of items like audio, video, events pages, or product pages, which can be a major issue for online stores.
Additionally, since you won't be able to copy a website's style, you'll probably need to start from scratch when redesigning it.
Winner: We don't believe either really outperforms the other in this category because neither will allow you to migrate your site perfectly. When the rounds are added up, however, WordPress wins with an impressive 7 points to Squarespace's 6!
Let's find out if it's really a good fit for you now.
If you want to confuse yourself even further you might want to check out or WordPress vs Wix comparison.
Squarespace vs WordPress : Our Final Thoughts
So whose the winner when it comes to SquareSpace vs WordPress
Here's the verdict: rather than simply asking yourself "what kind of website do I want now," you should really ask yourself "what kind of website will I want in a year?" when deciding between WordPress and Squarespace.
What we're trying to say is that Squarespace is probably the best option for you if you only need a basic blogging and e-commerce solution that works right out of the box.
The same is true if you don't mind spending a little more money to avoid writing a single line of code (or deal with web hosting, security and updates).
But if you have ambitious plans for your website, choose WordPress. Yes, it will take some time and effort (and perhaps money as well), but the variety of options is incomparably small compared to the competition.
You won't be able to get features like multilingual support, specific templates, and searchable databases with Squarespace.
Don't forget that there are other website builders available as well, which throws another wrench in the works.
There are many other services that are even more user-friendly for beginners, like Wix, but there are also others that are more appealing to designers, like Webflow.
Squarespace vs WordPress FAQs
Which is better for blogging, WordPress or Squarespace?
Although Squarespace has some excellent built-in blogging tools, WordPress still reigns supreme for blogging platforms. It has a ton of robust blogging tools that are perfect for doing what it was designed to do.
Should you use Squarespace or WordPress to install SEO plugins?
You can use powerful tools like Yoast on WordPress by installing SEO plugins. But Squarespace is a better option if you want built-in features and a lot less work.
How do I transfer my WordPress-based website to Squarespace?
In any case, Squarespace has an integrated import tool for transferring your WordPress site as well as educational guides to help you through each step. Setting up a Squarespace site, selecting a design, and using the advanced import option to move content from your WordPress.org site are all fairly simple steps.
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