WordPress vs SquareSpace: What should you use for your website?

29th September 2019

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WordPress or SquareSpace? Which one is better? Which one should you choose to use for your website? It’s a good question and the answer is really that it depends what you need from your website. Let’s take a look at the key differences…

Price

WordPress is a free and open-source blogging platform so if that is all you want it for, then you can install it in 5 minutes, add a theme and away you go. To get the most from it though does require either installing additional plugins to add features or to download a theme with these features bundled in, both of which you will need to pay for.

SquareSpace on the other hand charges a monthly subscription and provides access to it’s content management system to edit your site as well as allow you to choose a theme and change the look and feel with a variety of options. With that in mind, SquareSpace will probably work out cheaper.

Design

The design of your website is dictated by themes on both WordPress and SquareSpace. Themes are basically styles you can install to change the look and feel of your whole website. The main difference is the number of options available. With WordPress, this is almost endless with a massive amount of free themes available for download right within WordPress from third-party developers. Now because they are free, you will inevitably find that some of these themes will be buggy or have a bad build quality so it’s a little trial and error. You also have the option of buying a theme from a marketplace website. These usually include extra features and have a higher build quality. The third option is to get a theme created from scratch from a web developer. This is the best option if you want something completely bespoke to your business and need full control over every part of your website.

With SquareSpace, you are much more limited in terms of the themes you can choose but the build quality of the ones you can select as pretty high because they have all been created in-house with the same standards throughout and of course, you are paying a monthly subscription so the developers are able to spend time keeping these up to date with bug fixes and updates.

Features

As mentioned, WordPress out of the box isn’t very feature rich and requires plugins to add anything that isn’t just basic blogging. The good part is that there are a vast array of plugins available to download and usually once you have purchased these, you can use them again and again with no additional cost. The developers generally keep these updated pretty well too. And because there are so many plugins available, you can basically get WordPress to do anything you want. And if you can’t find a plugin to do what you want to do, you can always get a professional developer to write the code for you.

With SquareSpace, features are very limited and locked down so you can’t really do a lot more than what is provided out of the box. There are a few additional plugins to install at a premium but these are still a far cry from the sheer number of options available with WordPress.

Ease of Use

With WordPress, the ease of use comes down to the quality of the theme. Some themes are built better than others with some developers choosing to use a lot of plugins to offer the functionality required to edit the content of the site whilst others are more stripped back, minimal and easier to use. Generally free themes won’t be amazing whereas if you are getting the theme built from scratch from a professional developer they should only provide you with the plugins necessary and take into account who will be using the CMS, making it as easy as possible.

SquareSpace on the the other hand is super easy to use as it doesn’t matter what theme you install, as it is generally very locked down, the editing functionality will always be the same resulting in a much more consistent experience, especially if you have multiple SquareSpace websites.

Conclusion

As I mentioned at the start of the article, deciding which platform to use comes down to what you want from your website. If you aren’t fussy with the design and can live with simply changing colours and adding a logo and your content, then SquareSpace is very obviously the winner here and most suited to you and your business. But if you decide you want full control over the website features and how everything looks and feels and prefer a bespoke design, then buying a professional theme or even better, working with a professional developer to design and build a theme for you from scratch will be the best option.

SquareSpace
Best for businesses who don’t require bespoke design, a lot of features and are on a limited budget

WordPress
Best for businesses who want greater control over the design want unlimited features and have a bigger budget

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