WordPress vs. Squarespace – What Your Business Needs to Know
By: Katie Shore
If you are planning to build a new website, it can be overwhelming to navigate all of the options available. “Template” website builders, like Squarespace and Wix, offer easy-to-build sites that can be created without expert assistance – but at what cost to the site’s quality? Websites that involve more technical effort, like those built on WordPress and Drupal, offer more integrations and options – but are they worth the time and effort?
WordPress and Squarespace are two of the most popular platforms for building a new website. To help you pick the best website building platform for your needs, we have evaluated their effectiveness on the following aspects:
User Friendliness: Is the platform easy for your customers to use?
Cost: Is it cost-effective for your needs?
SEO: Do you have control over essential SEO components?
eCommerce: Does the platform have all of your eCommerce requirements?
Scalability: Can this website grow alongside your business?
Squarespace is made to be easy and simple on both the front- and back-ends. It’s no surprise that, used properly, Squarespace can allow your business to create seamless and exceptionally simple user experiences that get customers to their goal quickly. When you look at Squarespace’s popular templates, such as Bedford, you can see that the user would know immediately where to go and what to do.
Hower, to be user friendly does not always mean to be simple. Creating advanced page filters, interactive experiences, dynamic maps, and enhanced eCommerce are some of the features that a platform like WordPress offers to improve user experience. As WordPress is an open-source platform, developers can create plugins that make it easy to implement these features on your website.
Additionally, what may seem like “simple” tasks are often much easier to perform with the customizability of WordPress. Some adjustments, like adding a phone number to the top of your page, may be incredibly difficult or even impossible in the Squarespace platform due to template restrictions.
Winner: In the Eye of the Beholder
If your user is looking for a website that is simple, elegant, and easy to navigate, then a template builder like Squarespace may come with some advantages. However, if your user needs more complex interactions and customizations with your website, WordPress is the clear frontrunner.
When building a new website, cost is always an important contributing factor.
Squarespace features monthly payment plans depending on what type of website you are running. These plans include many features including free hosting. The monthly prices, based on a yearly subscription, are:
Personal Website – $12 USD / month
Business Website – $18 USD / month
Online Store (Basic) – $26 USD / month
Online Store (Advanced) – $40 USD / month
WordPress is technically a free platform. Unlike Squarespace, which groups all additional costs into four pre-built packages, WordPress allows for users to buy the features they need when they need them. Some costs to keep in mind are:
Premium Themes or a Custom Built Theme.
For most businesses, building a website on Squarespace will end up having a lower monthly cost than WordPress. However, this will depend on the specific needs and plugins required for your website.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the main areas where the limitations of Squarespace’s template nature will catch up with you. SEO relies on your ability to control the specific ranking signals that your website sends to Google. While some of this information, such as keyword targeting and header tags, is applied to the front-end of your website, more and more ranking signals are relying on back-end communication through code and more technical aspects like site speed.
WordPress allows you to easily adjust all SEO components through various components and easy access to the back-end components of your site in order to maintain continual SEO control and optimization.
The future of SEO relies on control. Website platforms that give you more control, such as WordPress, will give you better opportunities to improve your organic rankings.
Squarespace’s dedication to simplicity and ease of use extends to their eCommerce applications. With straightforward pricing and setup, Squarespace allows users with simple eCommerce platforms to sell their product fairly easily.
WordPress brings things to a new level with more advanced integrations and plugins for eCommerce websites. Features for customization, cataloging, product add-ons, promotions, and forms are easily available in the WordPress application without user limitation.
If you know that you will always have a limited range of products and a simple business model, Squarespace can work for you. However, if your business is more complex or you are an aspiring industry leader, WordPress will give you the tools you need to succeed.
Your business is growing. When your business grows, adds new products, and enters new markets, you need to ensure that your website is ready to grow with you.
“Template” website builders, like Squarespace, are inherently built with a ceiling. These websites have limited eCommerce integrations, few options for customizing your site from the back end, and their navigation limits you to two levels. It is difficult to maintain a rapidly-growing business’ website without room for growth.
With the ability to custom code your website from the very beginning, a WordPress website sets the foundation for your website to grow. More integrations and plugins are at your disposal than they would be through a Template design, allowing you to shift the structure and complexity of your website with a higher degree of control.
It is best that you review all of your possible future website needs before investing in a Squarespace website. While it may meet all of your needs today, WordPress might be better suited at preparing you for tomorrow.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking to build a website that your business can continue to use and update for years to come, with advanced design and management capabilities, then WordPress is your best choice.
We at Snaptech are experts in WordPress development and know how to create beautiful websites that meet your business goals. Give us a call at 1 (866) 899-4063 to start building your new website today.
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