Which website builder is best for your needs: Squarespace or WordPress? There is no definite right answer. It totally depends on what is most important to you for your site, your level of technical knowledge, and the features and functionality you want to include.
This article will describe the features and benefits of using Squarespace over WordPress. The WordPress we’ll be discussing is a self-contained WordPress.org platform.
Squarespace Vs WP Overview
WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS). This means that anyone can use or modify the software for free. It is a tool that allows users to manage elements of a website such as content and create a website without being a programmer.
Similar to Wix, Squarespace is an online platform that provides website creation and hosting services. Customers can use pre-built templates and drag and drop elements to create websites.
Compared to many other content management systems, WordPress is relatively easy to use. It sacrifices newbie convenience in exchange for a significantly higher level of control and flexibility in the look and feel of your website. On the other hand, Squarespace emphasizes usability over flexibility and control.
While WordPress is open source, Squarespace is closed source (see comparison). For the average beginner, flexibility and ease of use are important differences.
Ease of use
If your goal is to quickly and easily create a basic website that looks good on any device, and you don’t mind giving up some flexibility, Squarespace is your best bet. Building a WordPress website can also be easy, but not as easy as Squarespace.
Getting Started with Squarespace
- You don’t need to buy a domain or hosting. To get started, just sign up with Squarespace.
- Squarespace will walk you through a startup wizard so it can provide the most appropriate templates based on your responses.
- Select a category, enter it in the “Describe your site” field or click the “SKIP” button. You can answer the questions on the following screens and click NEXT or SKIP to proceed to the next section.
- After selecting a template from the library, you can preview your selection or start using it.
- After choosing a template, create an account with Google, Facebook, Twitter or email.
- Your website is now ready to be customized with text and images to make it yours. It takes only a few minutes.
Getting Started with WordPress
Get started with WordPress
Before you can start building a WordPress website, you must purchase a domain and web hosting package.
You will then need to install the WordPress software before you can proceed. Many hosting companies come with WordPress preinstalled, often in your cPanel under Software> Quick Install. Others let you install it with one click.
While there are additional steps in WordPress, it doesn’t take long. After installing the software, you can get a basic working website by installing a WordPress theme
Control Site Functions
With over 55,000 plugins available, WordPress far surpasses Squarespace in terms of functionality and depth of control.
Squarespace offers a small set of integrations that allow you to:
- edit and modify content
- add your own CSS
- manage basic SEO page settings
- Make some design changes to your site.
- Select the social sharing buttons you want to display.
If you don’t want to use a template, start with a blank page and create your own design by dragging and dropping blocks of content.
You can control many aspects of your website with Squarespace. But the level of control is far from what you get with WordPress.
To compare apples to apples, if you like the Squarespace drag and drop page editor, you can do the same and more in WordPress using a page building plugin like Bold Page Builder
There is a WordPress plugin for almost everything you want to do on your website, for example:
- Manage Ads
- Create a Popup Form
- Social Media Sharing
WordPress has tens of thousands of third-party plugins that you can add to your site to improve its functionality.
Your choice is between the added functionality and flexibility of WordPress or the more beginner-friendly Squarespace platform.
Add Shopping Cart: WordPress vs Squarespace
Squarespace offers a simple, efficient, and practical online shopping platform for your website.
- add a product page and elements to create your store;
- include product variations;
- Sell digital and physical products, including subscriptions
- Manage your inventory.
- Integrate your online store with other services like MailChimp for email marketing.
Payment processing for an ecommerce site on Squarespace is limited when compared to WordPress. Squarespace only accepts PayPal, Square, and Stripe.
If you build your online store on Squarespace, you get a lot of useful features and functionality. Squarespace is a good choice for simple online stores looking to get started quickly.
But there is no question that in terms of control, features and ecommerce features, WordPress wins Squarespace. While it doesn’t have an e-commerce tool built in, there is a wide variety of plugins to add comprehensive online shopping functionality to any WordPress website. The most popular eCommerce plugin is WooCommerce
WooCommerce even has add-ons for additional functionality.
WordPress has tons of themes that integrate seamlessly with WooCommerce, making it easy to set up your online store.
With WordPress, you have no limit on the number of products you want to add, how you sell them, how they are displayed, or how you accept payments.
Use WordPress to create an online store if you want more sophisticated ecommerce features and better control over how your store looks and functions online.
As your online business grows, Squarespace’s limitations can become an issue. And with WordPress, your ecommerce site will scale better as your business grows.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Squarespace allows you to edit meta descriptions and title tags. You can create 301 redirects and custom URLs.
WordPress has more robust SEO features, although they are not as straightforward as Squarespace. WordPress allows you to use SEO plugins (of which there are many) or manually customize HTML.
The most widely used plugin is SEO Yoast, with over five million active installs. Some of the many features include:
- Advanced XML Sitemaps
- Title and Meta Description
- Complete control over breadcrumbs.
- Canonical URL
- Schema Implementation
Final Judgment: WP or Squarespace?
If your website needs are minimal and you need a basic, professional looking solution for building websites, Squarespace is your best bet.
Just ignore your needs today. How do you expect and plan to develop your business in a year? While it will take more time and effort to use WordPress, the number of options available far exceeds what Squarespace has to offer. For example, offer a membership zone, searchable databases, multilingual support, and a robust, scalable e-commerce solution.