Both WordPress and Squarespace are impressive platforms which help you create beautiful and fully functional websites. However, both offer very contrasting approaches to creating a website and provide different tools and features, which is why we have created this guide to help explain all things ‘WordPress vs Squarespace’.
Read on to check out how WordPress and Squarespace compare. Specifically, we’ll compare WordPress vs Squarespace on these criteria:
- Ease of Use
- Themes and Templates
- Plugins and Extensions
- Support and Community
So let’s get started with this WordPress vs Squarespace comparison to help you decide which platform is right for your new project…
Note – for this comparison, we’re talking about WordPress.org not WordPress.com. The two are different things.
WordPress vs Squarespace: Features
WordPress is a popular self-hosted content management system that currently powers over 30% of the world’s top ten million websites. Its ease of use, wide assortment of features and tools, and its open source software makes it a great option for beginners and experienced web designers alike. Its extensive customization options also ensure that users can create beautiful and unique websites, designed to their own particular specifications.
Squarespace is an all-in-one web-building platform that prides itself on user-experience. Since launching in 2003, people have created millions of websites on Squarespace. Squarespace is a fully hosted solution and provides its own templates, tools, and WYSIWYG website builder, as well as extensive customer support. These features are all accessible within the Squarespace dashboard, to enable users to quickly and easily design and run stylish and fully functioning websites.
So let’s now have a closer look at the features these two platforms offer, and how they compare against each other…
|Completely free software – always has been, always will be.||Prices start at $12 a month, rising to $40 for the top tier eCommerce package.|
|You will need to purchase your own domain and find a suitable hosting provider.||Squarespace handles hosting for you, and also covers the cost of your domain name for the first year.|
|Out of the two platforms, WordPress has the steeper learning curve. That said, once you have become familiar with the software, WordPress provides an excellent and extremely flexible user-experience.||Squarespace is quick and easy to use and learn, making it a great option for those new to web design. All tools and features are available within the Squarespace dashboard, and users have immediate access to support.|
|WordPress websites are 100% customizable, and there are a range of tools and products that enable this process.||Websites are designed within the Squarespace builder. This tool doesn’t provide the same amount of customization options as WordPress so you won’t have as much control over your website visuals or functionality.|
|Choose from thousands of free and premium themes and plugins to help add any extra features and functionality that you may need.||Squarespace provides a range of templates and impressive built-in features. There are also approved integrations to add extra functionality to your site. Other third-party services can be connected to your site, but no support is offered for these integrations.|
|You will need to take control of security and maintenance for your website. Choose a host with effective security measures and security and maintenance plugins to help keep your site safe and secure.||Squarespace looks after all security and maintenance issues. An SSL certificate for your site is included in your plan, and Squarespace monitors security around the clock with an operation team always on hand to deal with any issues that may arise.|
Now we have an idea of what both WordPress and Squarespace are offering, let’s now look in more detail at these two platforms to help you decide which one is right for your new project. We’ll start with pricing…
WordPress vs Squarespace: Pricing
WordPress and Squarespace are priced very differently, with WordPress often being the cheaper solution in the long term. Let’s take a look…
The WordPress software is totally free to install and use. However, you will still need to pay for a domain name and hosting for your website.
- Domain Name – You can register a domain name with a third-party domain registrar or your host. Domains vary in price, but on average they will cost you around $10 a year. Some hosting providers also offer a free domain in with their service.
- Hosting – There are numerous budget hosting providers available, offering a wide assortment of hosting plans, prices, and features. Bluehost is a reputable hosting service, that provides fast and secure hosting from as little as $3.95 a month.
A well as purchasing hosting and a domain for your website, there may also be some other initial start-up costs. These could include the price of a premium theme (around $70) as well as premium plugins (prices vary from $15 upwards). However, these are optional purchases, and you can find plenty of quality free themes and plugins, as well.
Squarespace offers four plans for its users…
- Personal ($12 a month billed annually) – Perfect for those wanting to create a basic website, this plan provides access to all templates and the Squarespace builder, unlimited bandwidth and storage, 24/7 customer support, and much more.
- Online Stores Basic ($26 a month billed annually) – This plan provides everything you need to get your online store off the ground. Features include no transaction fees, customer accounts, and checkout on your domain.
- Online Store Advanced ($40 a month billed annually) – Upgrade to this package as your business grows, accessing all Squarespace features.
As you can see, over time the cost of Squarespace will soon add up due to its monthly subscription model. However, with WordPress, aside from the hosting and domain charges, you can spend as much or as little as you want to on your website.
WordPress vs Squarespace: Ease of use
Both WordPress and Squarespace are user-friendly products. Squarespace is definitely the easier platform to get started with. However, the tradeoff is that its customization options do not compare with that of WordPress. Let’s take a look…
WordPress ease of use
WordPress does have a bit of a learning curve, and creating a website isn’t a five-minute job. That said, once learned, WordPress has the functionality and tools to enable you to design a website to your exact specifications.
Customization options include…
- Coding – This open source software allows developers and designers to alter every aspect of a WordPress website with written code.
- Drag-and-Drop Builder – If coding isn’t for you, install a drag-and-drop page builder to use visual, drag-and-drop editing to design your site – just like Squarespace. Alter layouts, add, reposition and resize design elements and text to your posts and pages, change colors and backgrounds, and much more.
- Live Customizer – most WordPress themes use the built-in WordPress Customizer for easy, visual editing.
You can also install extra plugins, as well as integrate your website with different services, to further enhance your website.
All of the above options are effective ways to design a website. WordPress allows you to simply pick the method that suits your needs, letting you find your balance between user experience and control over the customization of your site.
Squarespace ease of use
Squarespace is great for beginners, and you can create a basic website in a matter of minutes. Simply select a template, which you can then edit within the drag-and-drop website builder, choose a domain name, and then publish your website.
The website builder is the signature feature from Squarespace. This intuitive tool makes designing a new site quick and easy.
You can add, move, and delete images and sections of a page, or customize settings including fonts, colors, and page configurations. However, the website builder does have its limits, and so those with a clear idea of what they want their website to look like may find Squarespace frustrating.
WordPress vs Squarespace: Themes and templates
Both platforms provide a range of beautiful and responsive themes (WordPress) and templates (Squarespace). So how do these themes and templates compare?
WordPress provides thousands of free and premium themes to select from. You can find free themes in the WordPress.org repository, and you can purchase themes from numerous theme shops like ThemeForest or ours here at ThemeIsle. Whatever your industry or niche, you will find a theme to fit your needs.
Squarespace also provides a range of stylish templates, which are all included in every package. These can all then be customized within the website builder, and work seamlessly with the numerous built-in features that Squarespace offers. However, whereas with WordPress you are choosing from thousands of designs, the Squarespace templates number in the hundreds.
WordPress vs Squarespace: Plugins and integrations
WordPress and Squarespace both offer numerous features and functionality in the forms of plugins, built-in applications, and integrations. These extensions can add extra functionality to your site without the need to code something from scratch.
WordPress, on the other hand, integrates with thousands of plugins, tools, and services. You can download plugins for free from the WordPress repository or purchase them from reputable plugin developers. This enables you to easily add enhanced functionality to your website when needed.
Squarespace built-in features and integrations
Squarespace provides a range of built-in features, alongside a number of third-party integrations that you can connect with your website. This means you won’t need to navigate any marketplaces looking for an app or plugin to fit your needs. However, it also means that if you want any extra features that Squarespace doesn’t offer then, unfortunately, you will have to do without.
WordPress vs Squarespace: Community and support
Squarespace and WordPress both boast impressive support and communities, but these differ in their outlooks.
WordPress community and support
With WordPress, there’s no single support channel for the core software. However, the WordPress community spans the globe and you will find endless blogs, forums, videos, and online courses to help you get started with WordPress and answer any questions you may have.
Plus, if you purchase a premium theme or plugin, these often come with top-notch support, and if you are really struggling there are also thousands of web developers that you can employ.
Squarespace community and support
Squarespace offers in-house support and has built up a strong community around the platform. They provide an extensive and well-organized knowledge base, video tutorials, webinars, and much more. You can also speak directly with a Squarespace customer support team member via live chat or submit an email.
Final thoughts on WordPress vs Squarespace
Both WordPress and Squarespace are great platforms for creating a website and growing a business.
Ultimately, your choice should come down to your needs:
Squarespace offers a slightly simpler approach with fewer worries when it comes to maintenance and making the technology “work”. However, the tradeoff is that it loses a lot of flexibility in doing that.
Ultimately the solution you choose should depend on your own needs – so will you choose WordPress or Squarespace?