Perhaps WordPress is currently the most popular option for a content management system. However, it is certainly not the only option. There are many other platforms that you can use to build and manage your website. Squarespace is one good example. Squarespace is actually among the most popular options, though not as famous as WordPress. Choosing between Squarespace and WordPress can be confusing at first; both options can help you create eye-catching and functional websites. However, they do have different strengths and weaknesses. Understanding them is critical before you make your choice. After all, you certainly don’t want to spend so much time building a website with WordPress only to end up starting from scratch again with Squarespace. Or vice versa. Therefore, read the comparisons below to see how WordPress and Squarespace differ from each other.
WordPress is an open-source platform. Since its codes are open for everybody to use and customize, many developers and programmers have created their own tools in the forms of templates, themes, and plugins. Thus, WordPress has amassed an incredibly large collection of tools that you can use to make the process of building your website easier. With such broad community, WordPress has become very flexible and versatile. Any feature that you can imagine is available either for free or for some purchase. However, such broad community is also a double-edged sword. One problem caused by the community-driven collection of tools is that there is no way to guarantee the quality of the tools. Many are mediocre or downright terrible, including in terms of security. Faulty plugins in WordPress may accidentally or intentionally contain security holes, leading to cracked websites and stolen data. You have to be careful in selecting the plugin to use.
Squarespace, on the other hand, is not an open-source website builder. The platform is gated off so that only its own development team can see and customize the source codes. Hence, only the development team that can produce tools for the users. Even though the collection is nowhere as large as WordPress’s, the tools are ensured in quality and security. Plus, Squarespace has a commitment to answer all questions within one hour – something that WordPress can’t offer.
Comparison: Ease of Use
WordPress is a powerful and flexible platform that enables you to modify all codes and do nearly anything that you want. It is very customizable. However, that statement only applies if you have some coding skill or you have hired a good developer. The learning curve can be quite steep. Plus, the editing mode on WordPress does not show how the website will look like. Adjusting spacing and adding a slideshow can be tricky on WordPress because you will have to code manually or find some plugins.
Squarespace is quite more restrictive in customization, but it has been built to be easy to use by non-technical users. It is a WYSIWYG website builder – what you see is what you get. You can drag and drop pics, text, slideshows directly to the website builder, and it immediately shows how the website will look like. Thus, with the drag-and-drop system, object placement becomes much easier.
If you are new to WordPress, there is one important thing to keep in mind. WordPress continuously updates the platform to improve security and fix bugs. That’s good. But, when this happens, you will also need to update your website. The problem arises if you use a custom theme or multiple plugins. Reputable theme/plugin developers usually update their tools right away. But, if there is a theme or plugin that you use that is not updated, there is a risk that the tool will cause conflicts. Hence, it may affect the performance of your website or make some things not working properly. On the other side, not updating your WordPress platform is not recommended because outdated versions may have security risks. Meanwhile, Squarespace makes life easier by pushing updates for the platform and tools automatically – since all tools are made by the development team, the tools are all tested and ensured to work with the latest platform version.
Squarespace provides four subscription plans, which can be subscribed monthly or annually. The annual plan is cheaper by 13% – 25% than the month-to-month plan. For websites, there are Personal and Business plans. For e-commerce, there are Basic and Advanced plans. All the plans come with a free domain name for the first year, and full 24/7 support.
– The Personal website plan is $16 monthly or $144 annually, providing 20 pages, galleries, and blogs with unlimited bandwidth and storage. It has a mobile-optimized website, analytics tools, and fully integrated e-commerce with a 3% transaction fee if used to sell products and accept donations.
– The Business website plan is $26 monthly or $216 annually, with all the previous features but with unlimited pages, a 2% transaction fee, a professional email service by Google, and $100 Google AdWords credit.
– The Basic e-commerce plan is $30 monthly or $312 annually, allows unlimited products, a mobile-optimized website and checkout, analytics tools, integrated accounting, unlimited storage and bandwidth, label printing, inventory, taxing, orders, discounts, and $100 Google AdWords credit.
– The Advanced e-commerce plan is $46 monthly or $480 annually, with all the previous features in addition to abandoned checkout autorecovery and real-time carrier shipping.
Estimating the expense on WordPress is more difficult because there are several factors that can come to play. First of all, it requires you to purchase your own domain name that is usually around $10 – $12 per year, and also your own hosting which can be about $80 – $100 per year. The prices can vary more, depending on the type of the domain and hosting that you need. Then, you may need to install paid themes and plugins. If you don’t have some programming background, you may need to hire a professional developer. The total expense to build a website using WordPress is at least $200. A custom theme can be as much as $3,000 – $6,000. A custom website can be as much as $6,000 – $15,000.
|- Proprietary, not open-source platform||- Open-source platform|
|- Practical, easy-to-use WYSIWYG interface||- Requires quite a lot of coding and may need some plugins|
|- More restrictive customization options, few but guaranteed tools||- Much more flexible and customizable, lots of tools but the quality is not guaranteed|
|- Four pricing plans that range from $144 to $480 per year||- The total expense may range from $200 to $15,000 depending on various factors|
|- Full 24/7 customer support||- Relatively more difficult to find help|
WordPress can be a good choice if you are quite proficient in the coding required or you have a professional, reliable developer to help. The primary reason to choose WordPress is the great flexibility and customizability. However, it can be quite costly, depending on your needs. Its maintenance is also quite tricky. However, if you prefer a solid customer support, a certain pricing plan, ensured tool compatibility and maintenance, and an easy-to-use interface, Squarespace is the answer.