Squarespace vs. WordPress. Which one do you prefer?

Squarespace vs. WordPress

WordPress is, by far, the worlds most popular content management system. However, it’s not the only platform to make websites. Since I’ve been on WordPress years ago, there is a definite rise in website builders like Wix, Squarespace, Bluehost, etc. I want to compare Squarespace and WordPress since these are the two I have the most experience with and offer to my clients for branding.

In general, each platform is trying to balance two opposing factors:

  • Easy to use and accessibility for its users
  • The flexibility to customize websites and add functionality
Squarespace user interface

With Squarespace, you do not have to worry about signing up with hosting or a domain if you do not want to. For a beginner, all you need to do is sign up for a website and choose a template. After that, fill out some basic information and you have a working website. All you would need to do is customize it. The process takes only a few minutes.

Adding a WordPress theme

Unlike Squarespace, you need to sign up for your own web hosting and purchase a domain. Then you would have to install a theme. You can chose their templates but I personally don’t like the style now. The process is a little more involved depending on where you install your WordPress theme from.

Functionality

In 2022, functionality, in my opinion is an important factor in creating a website. With Squarespace, you have a variety of different options:

Drag and drop interface with Squarespace
  • Change of content
  • Tweak design styles
  • Add custom CSS
  • Analytics and SEO
  • Choose where you can display social media buttons
  • You can even create your own designs with a drag and drop interface

I feel like you have more control than WordPress. The only thing Squarespace doesn’t have is third party plug-ins.

WordPress page builder using Elementor

WordPress does have everything Squarespace has. Plug-ins is what WordPress has over Squarespace enhance functionality. Everything you need can be installed as a plug-in. This is a huge gain.

Cost

Squarespace pricing is definitely simpler. Squarespace has clearly defined pricing plans. The cheapest plan starts at $16 per month ($96 per year) and the most expensive eCommerce plan cost $46 per month ($480 per year).

WordPress pricing does not include hosting and your domain. However, you need both before choose a WordPress plan.

  • Domain ($12/year)
  • Hosting ($2.95-$49.95/month)
  • Pre-made themes ($0-$200)
  • Plug-ins ($0-$1,000; some one-off costs, some are ongoing)
  • Security ($50-$500 as a one-off cost, $50+/year ongoing)

E-commerce performance

If you are planning to sell products via your website. You do have more flexibility with WordPress. Personally, it’s more easier using Squarespace.

Squarespace doesn’t support eCommerce and it’s limited in comparison to WordPress. Squarespace allows you to choose from 3 payment gateways:

  • Stripe
  • Paypal
  • Apple Pay

WordPress has a payment plug-in ecosystem having many eCommerce-focused plugins. WordPress uses 2 popular eCommerce stores

  • WooCommerce – for physical products
  • Easy Digital Downloads – help sell digital products

Squarespace charges a 2-3% transaction fee with credit-card processing fees. WordPress doesn’t pay any transaction fees (minus the payment processor fees).

Which one should you choose?

Squarespace is a solid option especially for creating, simplicity and beautiful designing. Webmasters usually are suited using WordPress. You will have more flexibility, functionality and ownership. As a brand design and web designer, I offer my clients Squarespace web design over WordPress. However, for my bloggers who want hosting, I will offer them WordPress.

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