When you are thinking about building a website, the first question that comes to mind is which would be the best tool for doing so. This question is very similar to which car would you like to drive, the short answer of which is, it depends.
By the end of this blog, you will hopefully have a clear idea about the two most popular tools, WordPress and Squarespace, and how both of them are different from each other.
Let’s begin with the basic questions.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is a SaaS ( software as a service) website creator. To use this, you are required to pay a monthly fee. However, everything that you need to create and maintain your website is part of the package. Such features include a content management system, e-commerce, hosting, templates, and a domain. Recently, ‘Squarespace Email Campaigns’ was added to its feature set as an email marketing tool.
The major convenience Squarespace comes with is the fact that you can create and modify a particular website without having to use CSS or HTML.
Squarespace was initially created in the year 2004. According to the reports of Builtwith.com, today there exists over 2 million live websites powered by Squarespace.
What is WordPress?
First things first, there are two versions of WordPress, and to understand this platform you need to be informed about both: Hosted WordPress and Self-hosted WordPress.
Hosted WordPress, which is available at wordpress.com basically refers to a SaaS tool like Squarespace, where for a monthly fee you can use its broad range of features that help you create and maintain your website.
There is one significant difference though. You need to make use of third-party tools like Shopify or Ecwid to add e-commerce features. Also, unlike Squarespace, here you need to pay an additional fee to use the most attractive themes.
Self-hosted WordPress, on the other hand, is a software that you install on your own web server, and is downloadable from wordpress.org. It is open-source, which means that its code is available for free and can be modified with ease.
It becomes obvious that the websites which you build with WordPress can be customized extensively. If you choose to hire WordPress developers, who know their job, they can help you meet any kind of web project requirements.
You do not need to spend any money on installing WordPress on your server, but you do need to pay domain registration fees. Plugin and development costs are things you should consider though.
According to the recent stats on platform usage, around 455 million websites are powered by either the hosted or self-hosted versions of WordPress.
Let’s look at the points that make WordPress and Squarespace different from each other.
Differences Between Squarespace and WordPress
In this blog, we will mainly focus on the self-hosted version of WordPress. The following are the points which distinguish it from Squarespace.
- User Base
Squarespace is ideal for users who do not possess any web development skills. Anybody can use this platform to create their own website, without having to code.
WordPress, on the other hand, is a platform, in which a more detailed configuration is required before you can create a website. A steeper learning curve is a part of a WordPress site creation, which is why spending money on WordPress development services can prove to be beneficial.
Squarespace is available under four main monthly plans: Personal - $16 per month, Business - $26 per month, Commerce Basic - $30 per month and Commerce Advanced - $46 per month. A two-week free trial is also available.
WordPress, even though initially seems like it is free, actually it is not. There are certain features involved in making it work properly, and those are going to cost you money. Some of those features are hosting, themes, e-commerce integration and plugins. Overall costs also depend upon the scale of the business, you are creating a website for.
Squarespace has an intuitive interface, which allows you to use its style editor feature to change basic design elements like heading, font colours and sizes. Editing content is relatively simple as well. You just need to locate the content you wish to edit, click on an ‘edit’ strip and tweak it accordingly.
WordPress is easy to maintain as well after the site is set up, however, on-page editing is where it differs from Squarespace. In the latter, you can just click and tweak the contents of a page, but in the former, you will have to first edit the page in the backend, preview the page and then publish it, before you can even view the changes.
- Mobile Performance
Squarespace templates are extremely flexible and responsive. They have the ability to adjust themselves automatically to the size of any device you want to view them on. One thing that you will really enjoy about Squarespace’s content presentation on mobile devices is the fact that it is easy to view your blogs in AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) format.
AMP is a Google-based system, which accelerates page-loading in mobile devices by removing certain bits of code. This system is better utilized by WordPress. WordPress allows you to use AMP in viewing all types of pages and is not just limited to blog posts.
Both Squarespace and WordPress have their own sets of strengths and weaknesses.
Even though Squarespace is an intuitive and thoughtful package, which is convenient for beginners, it will never be able to match up to the features and flexibility that WordPress is armed with.
Squarespace is appropriate for people who do not possess technical expertise or coding knowledge. WordPress is more suited to people who know how to code and are ready to manage, update, and protect their own website.
All in all, Squarespace is easier to use than WordPress and is less vulnerable to threats. WordPress, however, is globally renowned for being a powerful platform.