It can seem overwhelming for individuals and organizations to create their first website, but it doesn’t have to be. Technology has come a long way and has designed hassle-free ways to build websites using available platforms.
However, now you have to choose which website builder is best for you. Out of all the available tools, WordPress and Squarespace are two of the most popular.
In this article, we will compare their featured specs and functionality, and weigh the information on why you might choose one over the other when creating your next website.
If you are still unsure of what WordPress is, you can learn the basics by reading this article and familiarizing yourself with the fundamentals.
It’s important to note that WordPress comes in two versions; self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org) and hosted WordPress (WordPress.com). You can learn more about self-hosted WordPress & hosted WordPress in this detailed comparison of the two. However, we will be focusing on self-hosted WordPress.
Ease of Use
Many people are at a beginner level when it comes to code-related topics. Let’s look at which platform would be easier to create a website, without the added costs of hiring a developer or learning the ins and outs of code.
WordPress focuses on creating a website as easily as possible. Even people without previous web development skills can bring their websites to life from scratch.
Self-hosted WordPress provides an additional option, if you are a developer, to customize your website thanks to its open-source nature. If you’re good with code, this software creates infinite possibilities for you to tweak your website from the start. If you’re not, you can take advantage of the numerous ready to use templates.
Squarespace focuses on helping people set up a website without prior web development experience or knowledge on how to code. Featuring fewer options, Squarespace is beginner-friendly and easy to use.
It also sports a well-sectioned user interface. This will take time to familiarize yourself with but allows for seamless and quick customization once mastered.
For total newbies, WordPress takes a little more time to learn than Squarespace, but it features more customization options that better cater to the needs of as many business owners as possible.
These days, everything comes with a price tag. Let’s look at the costs and any hidden fees you might stumble into when setting up your website.
To start with, the WordPress software itself is free. However, while setting up your website, you will need to purchase a domain name and a web hosting service.
With WordPress, you can choose from multiple hosting options. Some include, shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), cloud hosting and dedicated servers.
The domain name and hosting option you choose determines the overall cost of running your website. You get the choice of only paying for the resources you want to add on and use.
This is useful for cloud hosting and allows you to switch to a more suitable hosting option as your website grows.
Squarespace is a hosted platform, meaning you don’t need to have a separate hosting package. This also means you may not be able to migrate to a different host if you decide to leave.
Once you set up your account and sign-in, you can access all the tools for building your website from scratch. This can be done without any previous web development experience.
Squarespace features two hosting packages; personal plan and business plan. The personal plan does not support eCommerce websites, meaning you can’t buy or sell items on your website. The business plan does. However, it has additional fees.
WordPress inches over Squarespace in terms of price and website flexibility.
Its transparency allows you to pay for the exact resources you use and easily scale your hosting plans up or down.
Also, the WordPress features are available from the beginning, including an eCommerce support, which is restricted to the business plan in Squarespace.
Available Themes and Integration Flexibility
Most website builders come with a collection of features, themes and various tools to help you create a stylish website. Below, we will look at what each platform has to offer.
WordPress features thousands of free and paid themes. You will have access to numerous themes depending on the category your website falls under. You can easily customize these to suit your brand’s needs. Some include a special drag and drop feature to make customization easier.
A major selling point for WordPress is its unrivaled database of over 50,000 plugins on the WordPress.org platform. Many of these plug-ins are customized to suit the needs of any website owner and can combine other third-party platforms as well.
In Squarespace, the templates are well-sectioned into categories for most website options. The number of available templates for your website is limited and customization is restricted to the available design tools.
Also, Squarespace themes are not open-source, so the functionality and appearances are limited to only what’s available. Squarespace allows for the use of some third-party plugins not all themes are compatible.
You can build an eCommerce website with the business plan but there is no room for further expansion. Squarespace lacks customization flexibility and integration potential.
WordPress, in terms of available themes and the number of integration possibilities, inches over Squarespace thanks to its ever-growing plugin library.
The additional open-source options of some WordPress themes give it more flexibility. This allows you to tweak the base code to create whatever you need.
This is an impossibility for Squarespace at the moment.
WordPress and Squarespace are both awesome tools for website creation. They each have their strong points which will help you choose one over the other.
The basic points outlined in this article compare them based on their ease of use, costs, availability of templates, and the flexibility of integration.
WordPress may have a steeper learning curve but makes up for it with its superior website creation flexibility (with major emphasis on eCommerce websites) and impressive plugin library.
Squarespace is limited by its relatively fewer customization features, but it compensates for this with its ease of use. This is especially true for users who are absolute beginners, making their website-creation process seem a breeze.
However, there’s a reason why over 30% of internet websites are run on WordPress.
With new features being added every day, a large support community, and great potential in cloud hosting for scalability and cost-efficiency, WordPress stands as the better website creation tool for prospective website owners.
Guest post by Simon Dwight Keller