WordPress vs. Squarespace: Pros and Cons
When it comes to platforms for building a website, the two leading options are WordPress and Squarespace. These sites both offer beautiful design options, flexibility, security, and diverse functionalities. However, they also differ from each other in some significant ways.
WordPress vs. Squarespace: An Overview
WordPress (More specifically WordPress.org as opposed to the website builder WordPress.com) is an open-source software platform for website design and development. It is free and available for anyone to use and modify. It offers thousands of templates, plugins, and add ons, as well as the ability to create whatever functionality you desire.
Squarespace is a website builder. This means that it offers templates, add ons, updates, hosting, customer support, and more as a total package. You cannot modify or create with Squarespace’s basic packages (though it does have a more advanced developer’s version). You pay a monthly fee to use Squarespace.
WordPress and Squarespace each have their pros and cons. Understanding these is important when choosing which one will work best for you.
WordPress powers about a third of the websites on the Internet. Popular and powerful, it offers many benefits to users.
WordPress is synonymous with customization. For those who do not wish to deal with coding, the platform offers thousands of themes and templates from which to choose. For those who want even greater customization, the platform’s open source code allows you, or your web developer, to modify plugins and templates or create new ones.
Choice is one of the biggest benefits WordPress offers its users. The platform has at least 55,000 plugins from which to choose, as well as thousands of templates and themes. Even if users do not wish to use WordPress to customize their site, they have a huge number of plug and play options available to them.
Setting up an ecommerce store is simple with WordPress. The platform offers a wide range of options to meet your and your customers’ needs. WordPress’ ecommerce platform is a plugin called WooCommerce. This platform allows you to build a customized ecommerce site using its free, open-source code and WordPress plugins. In addition, WordPress allows you to build detailed product pages and integrate with numerous payment methods for a well-rounded ecommerce site.
Because WordPress is open source, you own every aspect of your site. Exporting it elsewhere, switching hosts, and changing content is entirely under your control.
There are some downsides to WordPress. Here are some of the biggest.
WordPress itself is free to use. However, you will accrue costs using this platform. You should expect to pay for the following:
- Domain Name
- Premium Templates
- Premium Themes
- WordPress Developer
- Certain Plugins
Depending upon the features you want, these costs could add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.
WordPress offers extensive customization, if you know how to use it. However, thanks to its open source code, customizing and using WordPress is not necessarily easy for beginners. The interface also lacks some intuitiveness, since you have to edit from a backend that looks different from the front end that users will see.
Security and Quality Concerns
You naturally want your site to be secure, particularly if you run an ecommerce site. WordPress generally offers secure plugins, with many developers regularly updating their programs. However, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring the security and quality of your site. This means running maintenance and checks, implementing updates, and ensuring the security of any plugins you use.
Squarespace also offers customers plenty of benefits. Here are the biggest.
Unlike WordPress, Squarespace is not free. However, its highest monthly cost is only about $46. Included in this cost are hosting services, add ons, and more. In addition, you may not require as much development support because Squarespace is very easy to use.
Easy to Use
As mentioned above, Squarespace is very easy for even beginners to use. For example, its interface is called What You See Is What You Get, which means that as you make changes you see what they look like right away. In addition, Squarespace uses drag and drop design to make it simple to create the look you want, no coding required.
Squarespace also stands out because, as a website builder, it offers services integrated into the package you get with your monthly payment. For example, you receive strong security that is consistent across all the themes and functionality you add. In addition, you receive regular maintenance support, hosting services, and round the clock customer service. These services allow you to spend less time obtaining and maintaining a secure and beautiful site.
As with WordPress, Squarespace does have certain drawbacks. Here are some of the biggest:
Squarespace gives you many options for building a beautiful site. However, it does not allow you to easily create new add ons or functionality outside what is already offered. In addition, it offers fewer options for themes and templates than does WordPress, making it more difficult to develop a site that is uniquely yours.
Less Effective Ecommerce
Squarespace also limits your ecommerce options. For example, the platform only takes three payment options and limits the amount of information you can put on product pages. You will also need to pay a transaction fee (typically 2-3 percent) for every purchase made on your site. As a result, it may not provide you with the robust ecommerce store you need.
Finally, Squarespace suffers from the fact that you do not fully control every aspect of your website. There are certain elements that you can export to other places if you decide to change your site. However, there are other elements that simply cannot go with you. That lack of control can spell big problems if you ever decide to move your site.
WordPress and Squarespace both offer you solid options for building your website. Just be aware, when deciding between them, what the pros and cons of each are. Then reach out to a web developer, like Sequential Tech, for help in choosing and using the right platform for your needs.