WordPress, the world’s most popular Content Management System (CMS) powers over 40% of the world’s websites. Just because it’s the most popular doesn’t mean it’s the only option. There are many other options and today we’re going to look at Squarespace.
Squarespace vs WordPress
Before we get deep into Squarespace vs WordPress, I want to give a quick overview of each CMS’s approach to building a website.
Both CMS’s try to achieve two things – Ease of use and accessibility to beginners and the flexibility to customize sites and add additional functionality.
While WordPress is very simple to use in comparison to many other CMS’s, it actually sacrifices some beginner-friendly qualities in order to grant a much higher degree of control over how your website can look and function. Squarespace however, does the opposite trying to make things as simple and easy as it can at the expense of flexibility.
There are other differences like WordPress being open source and Squarespace being closed source. But for most users, it’s all about flexibility and simplicity.
How much control do I actually have over my websites functionality?
Without a doubt, WordPress is the very clear winner when it comes to the control over functionality due to the enormous library of 3rd party plugins and themes. According to this article from WPbeginner, at the time of writing (OCT 2019) there were over 54,000 active plugins available. There is almost a plugin for everything you can think of to add to your site ranging from contact forms, ad support, and social media sharing buttons.
Unfortunately with Squarespace, you’re limited to the very small set of integrations that they support.
How easy is it actually to build the website?
If you want the most basic approach to building your website and getting started you should definitely consider going with Squarespace. Whilst that is the case, that does not mean WordPress isn’t easy to create a website.
The Squarespace process can literally take up to a minute to complete.
You don’t need to worry about purchasing a domain name either, you can just sign up for a Squarespace account, after a few moments you’re at the template picker choosing how your site should look.
After another few simple questions, you’ll already have an active website and all that is left is to customize the images and text.
However, with WordPress, you need to sign up for a web hosting service (of course we recommend a Managed WordPress Hosting provider like us!) You’ll also need to register a domain name. A lot of hosts these days have one-click installers for WordPress, however, like us most Managed WordPress providers have WordPress pre-installed. Read more on why you should pick a Managed WordPress provider here.
Once WordPress is installed you actually have a live website like the image below.
This is the default WordPress theme 2021. The good thing is these themes are easily changed via the WordPress theme library. There are 1000s of themes you can choose from.
Squarespace’s pricing seems a bit simpler but that does not mean it is cheaper. Ultimately which is cheaper than the other really depends on the Squarespace plan you choose and what you opt to pay for with WordPress.
The pricing of Squarespace starts at $16 per month and goes up to around $50 per month. Bear in mind there are limitations in place with their cheap plans such as a 20-page limit. There are also additional transaction fees for eCommerce stores.
The pricing of WordPress is a little different as you must have a domain name that can cost anywhere from $10 a year. You can get cheap shared hosting for around $5-$10 a month but you ultimately get what you pay for with a cheap shared host which is cheap unreliable hosting. SequelWP’s hosting plans start at $20 a month which is not the cheapest starting price but the inclusions in the plans like most Managed WordPress hosts are unrivaled.
On top of the base cost of the hosting service, you can also (but don’t need to) pay for premium plugins and themes. These aren’t necessary but can’t be an added boost in functionality to your website.
So what should you choose?
If you’re looking to just create a website as fast and easy as possible you’ll want to consider Squarespace. However, being a Managed WordPress provider, we of course suggest choosing WordPress.
As I mentioned at the start of the article, just because Squarespace may be easier to use does not mean that WordPress is not easy. Using WordPress will allow you to have more flexibility, functionality, and ownership over the website. The great thing about WordPress being open source is that you can take it to any web host instead of being forced to use the one host.
Feel free to contact us for any queries you may have regarding WordPress and our plans and what we can do to get you started!