What is the Difference Between Squarespace and WordPress
As you’re about to see, each of these platforms differs in small ways with regards to their ease of use, available plugins, and so forth. They do have a primary difference, however, that could significantly impact your decision on which to use for your website.
Squarespace is an all-in-one solution for someone who wants to build a site without investing a ton of time or coding knowledge. As such, beginners may see it as the better option if they’re seeking a simple drag-and-drop builder to help convert their creative ideas into a fully functioning site.
WordPress.org, on the other hand, is a Content Management System (CMS). It requires more technical knowledge and puts you in complete control of the development and customization process. This makes it more ideal for someone looking to put their coding skills to work.
Before we get started, keep in mind that we’ll be discussing WordPress.org instead of WordPress.com. Unlike WordPress.org, which requires hosting and some technical skills, WordPress.com is hosted for you and works similar to a drag-and-drop website builder.
Squarespace vs. WordPress Comparison
Below is our comparison of Squarespace and WordPress, in terms of which platform is better to build your website upon.
As mentioned, Squarespace is aimed more towards users looking to build a site without a ton of technical skill. As such, you could call it the more user-friendly of the two. No coding skills are necessary with Squarespace, as drag-and-drop editing in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) format is all you need to get to work. It’s worth noting that while Squarespace is easier to use than WordPress.org due to the lack of technical skill required, you may find more user-friendly builders amongst its direct competitors, such as Wix.
To make the most out of WordPress.org, coding skills are recommended, though they are certainly not required. There are really no limits to the types of sites you can build if you are a programmer or with a little practice; you can customize the site to your liking with minimal knowledge. If you require tons of customization or advanced features that you cannot find in a plugin, but you lack coding skills, you could always hire a developer to do the work for you. Beware that they’ll probably charge a premium for their services, which could push you back to Squarespace’s corner.
Although both are user-friendly, you could easily say Squarespace is more beginner-friendly, which gives it the nod here.
There are plenty of website builders on the market. When it comes to design, though, Squarespace is tough to beat, especially if you put a premium on quality. While you’ll only get 60 designer templates to choose from, their look is top-notch, and they’re optimized for mobile. In addition, you also get the ability to easily customize or switch their layouts as well.
If you prefer quantity over quality, WordPress.org is the pick. It has thousands of themes under its umbrella, alongside a host of free and premium third-party themes that can be found all over the Net. ThemeForest and Envato are both great repositories and theme marketplaces. As you’d expect, you can customize WordPress.org themes down to every detail, only it will take more work than with Squarespace. Also, some WordPress themes may not be optimized for mobile, which is a drawback, especially considering that nearly half of all website views come from mobile users.
Read: Best WordPress Themes.
Squarespace makes it easy to build a great-looking website. But it also makes it easy to pack that site with functional, built-in features that eliminate the need to install extra plugins.
It’s super simple to add audio, integrate social media, set up email campaigns, and more with minimal effort.
WordPress.org has built-in features, too, such as various image editing and scheduling tools, comment management, and so forth. But where it really shines is its vast catalog of plugins (which we’ll discuss in a second) that can ensure your site has all the bells and whistles you desire.
As far as features go, if we’re discussing the built-in variety that gives you everything you need out of the box, Squarespace wins.
Apps and Plugins
When using Squarespace, you’ll find that most of the apps you’ll need are already built-in and ready to go. Even better, they’re automatically updated for fuss-free maintenance. Where Squarespace falters, however, is the lack of additional apps you can install, as their marketplace is limited.
On the flip side, WordPress.org has over 55,000 plugins (free and paid) you can use to expand your site’s functionality. The downside here is that you’ll have to install and update those plugins as you go, and some may pose a risk to your site if they are of low quality or become outdated.
Read: Best WordPress Plugins.
All Squarespace plans include SSL certificates to encrypt data entering your site. The platform also handles security for you, which adds some peace of mind to the process. As Squarespace has grown in popularity, however, it has become more of a target for hackers.
With WordPress.org, you’re responsible for security. You’ll need to install SSL, make sure plugins are updated, etc., some of which can be handled by the hosting provider you choose.
Read: Top WordPress Security Tips.
If you seek simplicity with pricing, Squarespace is your pick, as it has four standard plans that range from $12 to $40 monthly. You won’t have to worry about hosting costs, plugins, themes, and other expenses that can be tough to budget for.
WordPress.org, while free, open-source software, will incur additional costs for hosting, premium plugins (if you opt to use them), possibly themes, and more. And if you don’t develop the site yourself, don’t forget about those labor costs, which could be pretty high depending on the complexity of the work involved.
If you want control over your costs, choose WordPress.org, as it lets you pick and choose what you put into your site. But if you seek a more straightforward, done-for-you pricing approach, pick Squarespace.