Nowadays, there are so many website building platforms available that it’s getting harder and harder to decide which one is right for you. Usually, due to their high ratings, people will often pick between WordPress or Squarespace. While both are excellent platforms for web building, they are vastly different. WordPress has two different versions available: hosted and self-hosted. Squarespace is only available as a hosted version. In this post, we’ll be breaking down both WordPress (self-hosted) and Squarespace to help you understand the difference between the two and guide you in choosing which platform is right for you.
WordPress is an open source platform that is completely free to install to any server. It has become one of the most popular open source platforms today and powers more than 30% of the web. It is home to top sites such as The New York Times, CNN, TechCrunch, and many more. Originally, WordPress started out as a blogging system but can now be used to create websites, apps, or almost anything. It is completely customizable.
Squarespace was founded in 2003 and is a SaaS (Software as a Service) web building platform, blogging platform, and commerce platform. Millions of websites have been created and launched on Squarespace. Companies such as Pixar, Lyft Blog, and Airwalk are just a few that have used Squarespace to create either a blog or website. It’s easy to use and a great platform to share your story.
WordPress is a free open source platform so it costs nothing to install. Even though it is free, you will still need to purchase a few things for WordPress to work. First, you will need to purchase your domain. Sites such as GoDaddy, NameCheap, Hover, and Rebel can provide you with one. Next, you will need to purchase a web hosting provider. If you’re not sure who you should go with, WordPress suggests using Bluehost, Dreamhost, and SiteGround due to how well they work with WordPress. Further, depending on your WordPress needs, you may need to buy one of their premium themes and/or premium plugins. Or, you can always use one of the many free themes and plugins available.
Depending on your company’s needs, Squarespace has 4 premium pricing plans:
- Website Personal – $12 per month billed annually or $16 month to month
- Website Business – $18 per month billed annually or $26 month to month
- Online Store Basic – $26 per month billed annually or $30 month to month
- Online Store Advanced – $40 per month billed annually or $46 month to month
Unlike WordPress, Squarespace has everything you could need in each plan. They will provide you with a free custom domain (with annual purchase) and will host your site. The main cost difference between each plan has to do with e-commerce features. Choosing which plan is right for you all depends on what you want your website to be and what resources you will use.
WordPress is highly customizable and can be modified to create any website you could want. There are thousands of free and paid plugins available at your fingertips. You can design a WordPress theme complete from scratch using HTML and CSS, use an existing theme with minor code tweaks, or use a drag and drop builder like Divi without touching code. You can install plugins that help with speed, e-commerce, photo galleries, social media, fonts, and videos. Essentially, there’s a plugin for everything. There are also thousands of themes available. You can find business themes, multipurpose themes, newspaper or magazine themes, and much, much more. All in all, WordPress can be as simple or as complex as you would like it to be.
Squarespace has very pretty, simple, award winning templates available, with one problem..there aren’t as many to choose from. Many of the themes are customizable and easy to use. You can easily change images with the drag & drop feature, move, add or delete pages. Every template also comes with built-in integrations so there isn’t any need for third-party plugins.
Although WordPress doesn’t have an e-commerce tool built-in you can easily install plugins such as Woocommerce and Ecwind that allow you to change your website to an online store within minutes. WordPress can scale from a small local store, all the way to a multinational e-commerce store with thousands of products.
Squarespace provides 2 premium plans that include everything you would need to start an online store. These plans include product merchandising and categorizing, a well designed mobile optimized checkout, and Stripe integration for payments. They also include analytics on your product sales.
At the end of the day, both of these solutions are great ways to get your business online. If you’re looking for a more custom solution, need a site with many pages, have a complex sitemap, or a larger e-commerce store, WordPress will likely be a better solution. If you’re looking to get up and running quickly with a good looking and easy to manage site, Squarespace can help you do so.
Need help deciding between these two or have questions about another platform? Get in touch and our experts will help you find the right solution!