WordPress Vs. Squarespace: Which One is Right For You?

05/01/2021 by Mel

When building a website, choosing between WordPress and Squarespace is one of the first big decisions to make.

Both WordPress and Squarespace allow you to easily publish content online. Both platforms let you easily create an effective, attractive, and functional website.

However, WordPress and Squarespace work in different ways. Depending on your needs, one or the other may be the right choice for you.

WordPress: WordPress is a content management system with extensive power and customization options. You can install pre-made templates and plugins, then start publishing content online immediately. Or, you can learn code to customize your website and make it unique.

Squarespace: Squarespace is a website builder that hides most of the technical stuff behind the scenes. Although it’s much less customizable and powerful than WordPress, Squarespace comes with a range of pre-made templates that could make it the right choice for you.

After a decade in the industry, I know the differences between WordPress and Squarespace, including the unique advantages and disadvantages of each platform. Keep reading to discover those differences and what they mean for you.

Pros and Cons of WordPress

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system. Some of the world’s largest and most-visited websites run on WordPress. Whether you’re a small-time online publisher, a medium-sized business, or a large corporation, you can make WordPress work for you.
The pros and cons of WordPress include:

Pros

  • Ideal for anything from small, one-page websites to large websites with thousands of pages
  • Endless number of templates to customize the appearance of your website
  • Free and paid plugins to enhance the functionality of your website and add powerful features
  • Easy
  • Require no coding knowledge
  • Create functional website within minutes

Cons

  • Small learning curve
  • Find your own web hosting
  • Coding useful if you want to extensively customize your website (although most WordPress users have no coding experience whatsoever)

Pros and Cons of Squarespace

You’ll need basic technical skills to create a WordPress website (as long as you can click your left mouse button and follow an online tutorial, you’ll be fine). If you have zero technical skills, however, then Squarespace may be the right option. Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder and hosting platform. All of the technical stuff is hidden behind the scenes, letting you focus on the website.

Pros

  • All-in-one hosting and publishing platform
  • All technical stuff takes place behind the scenes
  • Focus on the website and content instead of maintenance, customization, or bug fixing
  • Ridiculously easy to use
  • Create a website within minutes
  • No coding skills required whatsoever

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Limited customization options
  • Worse search performance and overall site performance
  • Limited plugins and themes available

Ease of Use

WordPress and Squarespace are two of the easiest website platforms available today. Both platforms are ridiculously easy to use.

And, because the two platforms are so popular, you can find plenty of tutorials explaining everything from basic to advanced features. If you can follow online tutorials and have basic technical skills, you’ll have zero issue using WordPress or Squarespace.

WordPress: WordPress is easy to use. You can use WordPress with zero coding skills, design experience, or other hard skills. Installing a template is as easy as clicking a button. You can publish content online in seconds with WordPress’s famously simply What You See Is What You Get (WYSISYG) content publishing platform. Creating posts, adding subpages, and implementing other customization options is easy with WordPress.

Squarespace: Squarespace is extremely easy to use. It’s ideal for those who feel overwhelmed by coding, template design, and customizations. If you just want to create a website quickly and publish content online as quickly as possible, then Squarespace is the easiest way to do so. Ease of use is the main selling feature for Squarespace. Although it comes at the cost of flexibility, Squarespace is easy for anyone to use regardless of their technical skills.

Squarespace is the obvious winner in the ease of use category. Ease of use is the reason you’re paying a premium price tag for Squarespace. However, WordPress is also very easy to use, and lack of technical ability should not scare you away from WordPress. With a little extra work, you can get much more out of WordPress than Squarespace.

Winner: Squarespace


Blogging

If you’re starting a blog, then WordPress and Squarespace are two of the most popular platforms available today. Both platforms are popular, although they support blogging in different ways.

WordPress: WordPress was the content management system that made blogging easier than ever. Today, WordPress continues to be the ultimate content management system for bloggers. It’s easy to upload multimedia-rich posts, publish lengthy blogs, and share your thoughts with the world. Many businesses use WordPress to control the ‘blog’ section of their website. WordPress has thousands of free blog templates that make it easy to customize the appearance of your blog however you like.

Squarespace: Squarespace is designed for all types of websites, including small business sites, blogs, personal websites, and more. Squarespace has several free blogger templates available. You can choose a magazine-style grid, for example, or a straightforward chronological order. Like WordPress, Squarespace lets you tag and categorize blog posts. If you want basic blogging features with limited customization options, then Squarespace does the job adequately.

Winner: WordPress


Integrations and Plugins

You’ve created a basic website. To enhance that website, however, you’ll want integrations and plugins. Both WordPress and Squarespace support the use of plugins. However, the two platforms support integrations and plugins in different ways.

WordPress: WordPress comes with (literally) thousands of free plugins. Many plugins have free and premium versions. For basic websites and blogs, the free versions of plugins are surprisingly robust. For enhanced functionality, however, you may want to splurge on a premium version for a better experience. WordPress’s plugin development community is unlike any other community online. Whether you’re looking for an e-commerce store plugin, an SEO plugin, or any other integration, you’ll easily find what you need through WordPress.

Squarespace: Squarespace also supports integrations and plugins. Your Squarespace website comes with a built-in range of apps for tracking performance, blogging, image uploads, and more. You can download additional extensions through the Squarespace Extensions marketplace, which is open to third party developers.

WordPress is the winner in this category – and it’s not particularly close. While WordPress has over 55,000+ extensions in its online store, Squarespace has fewer than 30. Squarespace Extensions is a small and curated online integration market with a basic range of features, while WordPress is supported by a robust community of developers creating high-quality extensions for a near-endless range of uses.

Winner: WordPress


Final Word

For those willing to put in a little bit of work, WordPress is the clear winner.

If you want your website to look unique, and if you want to customize it with a range of options, themes, plugins, and more, then WordPress is worth beating the small learning curve.

However, if you’d rather have a done-for-you website that hides technical stuff behind the scenes, then Squarespace is a great option – albeit at a higher price tag and with limited customization options.

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