If you want to make an impact online through your website, choosing the right platform is crucial.
The platform you choose to portray your online agenda will significantly influence its success or the opposite. Thus, you should consider all the features, your goals, and your budget before selecting one.
WordPress and Squarespace are two of the most renowned platforms that are uniquely effective. A lot of successful entrepreneurs in the marketplace are using one of these platforms. However, both these platforms offer a multitude of features, flexibility, and pricing plans that will make it hard for you to choose one.
This article will dive deep into some major differences between WordPress and Squarespace. I am sure it will help you decide which platform to choose as a website owner.
The Popularity of WordPress and Squarespace
WordPress, launched in 2003 as a blogging platform, has evolved into a leading content management system, powering 45.8% of all websites globally. Built on PHP and MySQL, this open-source platform offers flawless integration with themes and plugins, enabling customization for a wide range of websites.
Whether you’re running a personal blog or an eCommerce business, WordPress caters to all needs. It also boasts a large active community, ensuring users have access to the latest features, updates, and support.
On the other hand, Squarespace was launched in 2004 and is a user-friendly, all-in-one website builder. It is ideal for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. With 4.2 million subscribers and 3% of the CMS market share, it powers 2.1% of all websites.
This design-centric platform offers smooth drag-and-drop functionality for easy customization. Users can create multimedia components, set color palettes, build layouts, and choose typefaces.
Squarespace also offers blogging, eCommerce, email marketing, social networking, SEO, and analytics features. No separate hosting or domain registration is needed, which simplifies the user experience.
Quick Comparison Between WordPress and Squarespace
Before getting into a detailed feature comparison, let’s look at the differences between WordPress and Squarespace.
Built-in SEO tools & features
Website Building and Customization
Highly customizable and flexible
Customizable but with limitations
Content Management and Blogging
Heavy blogging capabilities
Basic yet strong blogging features
Featureful eCommerce options
Built-in eCommerce features
Variety of SEO plugins
Built in SEO tools & features
Website Performance & Loading Speed
Performance depends on hosting, themes, and plugins
Reliable and managed performance with
Themes, Plugins, and Extensions
Huge library of themes and plugins
Limited templates and extensions
Scalability and Growth
High scalability and growth ratio
Support and Community
Vibrant and active community with lots of support options
Variety of costs related to Hosting, domain, plugin, theme, and more costs
Price plans based on subscriptions
Now, we will explore some major feature comparisons between these two platforms.
Website Building and Customization
I think WordPress is great for large businesses willing to get full control over every aspect of site building and customization. But if you are looking at all the easy-going features alongside ease of use, Squarespace could be a great choice.
To build a website in WordPress, you need to sign up and purchase your web hosting & domain. After getting those, you can install the latest version of WordPress and start using it. The installation & configuration process can be overwhelming for some users, which is comparatively easier in Squarespace.
In terms of customization, you will have to select and activate a basic theme on your site. But you can also select from thousands of available free themes. To extend the functionality of the default WordPress site, you will also get a vast library of plugins. With the combination of themes and plugins, you can make a complete site that meets your objectives.
The latest Gutenberg block editor will give an immersive website-building experience. With that, a page builder plugin like Elementor will make your website creation more fun. But keep in mind that it requires you to go through a learning curve.
In Squarespace, you need to go through a flexible account setup process and start working with it in no time. Then, you will get options to choose a template and shortly get an overview of your website.
Squarespace is already renowned for its highly user-friendly interface. Compared to WordPress, it has a smoother drag-and-drop feature to customize the site. Besides, the themes are simple enough to work with as a starting point.
Compared to WordPress, Squarespace won’t give you massive customization options. However, the templates are well-equipped with the necessary features to engage the audience.
Content Management & Blogging
WordPress was built for blogging at its core, which means it includes all sorts of blogging features for any simple or content-heavy blogs. Squarespace also offers in-built blogging tools, but it just can’t beat WordPress.
WordPress Blogging Capabilities
A blogger needs simple blogging themes and tools that will make content management bliss. WordPress comes with a lot of blogging and portfolio templates that will surely satisfy any blogger or author. Besides, it offers robust blogging features such as categories, comment moderation, tags, and post-scheduling options.
The WYSIWYG editor of WordPress gives a real-time editing option. So, bloggers can quickly customize their blogs as they prefer. However, users can go beyond default editing options and access the HTML because WordPress has that option. As a blogger, one can easily share their posts on social media using plugins.
Moreover, the media and library of WordPress give you more control over your images and documents. Thus, you can find, use, and reuse your content easily without wandering around the dashboard.
Another big thing is users with WordPress accounts can comment on your blog without opening an account. This means your blog will get wider reach, comments, and feedback already within the WordPress ecosystem.
While WordPress requires you to pay for premium blogging tools, Squarespace gives them for free. You will get options to represent your blog post in different formats (Grid, magazine style, and more).
In Squarespace, friends, colleagues, and authors can participate and collaborate in blogging. The permission settings feature is so flexible that you don’t need to worry about external writers having limited access.
Unlike WordPress, you don’t need to install any different plugins to auto-share posts on social media. Plus, you can easily configure your blog for post categorization, publication, and tagging. But Squarespace is still updating its media management features that are not advanced compared to WordPress.
For setting up a large store that is constantly growing with a massive inventory, go for WordPress. But if you are focusing on selling fast with minimized management, then I would personally prefer Squarespace.
WordPress eCommerce Features
To run your eCommerce store with WordPress, you must install the WooCommerce plugin. This means another plugin dependency to run your online store. But the good thing is that you can create a feature-packed online store and customize it exactly according to your brand.
WooCommerce works well with any theme and plugin, and most importantly, it’s open-source and free to use. Some of the aforementioned features are-
Next-level online customizability
Free and paid extensions that are fully compatible
Multiple Payment Gateways with support for over 140 regions
Accepts a wide range of digital and physical products
SEO optimized for better product visibility
Industry-leading security measurement
Overall, WordPress eCommerce functionality will outpace Squarespace in terms of features and customizability. But don’t forget the learning curve might sometimes overwhelm you while working with some unique features.
Squarespace eCommerce Features
Squarespace comes with all-inclusive eCommerce features that you can use for selling products right away. You don’t need to install any separate plugins when you have subscribed to their business plan. But for additional features that do not come with the default Squarespace eCommerce, explore their Extension marketplace and add it to your site.
Here are some of its exceptional eCommerce features:
Eye-catching eCommerce templates with high-resolution multimedia
Easily customizable shop functionalities with mobile management
Allows to sell unlimited digital and physical products
In basic plan, it requires 0% transaction fees
Cart abandonment recovery system
Implementing discounts and coupons
Multiple payment gateways (Apple Pay & Major Credit cards)
Allows selling products directly on social media
In-built merchant tools and analytics
For basic eCommerce features, you can easily move on with the Business plan. However, it takes a small transaction fee on each sale but gives you flexible shop and cart management, email management, and unlimited product selling options. You can move to an eCommerce plan when planning to make a bigger store with advanced eCommerce features.
What I believe is if you are willing to start your eCommerce from scratch and keep your transaction in one currency, Squarespace can be a really smart option. This platform takes less effort and time to create an online shop compared to any other website-building platform out there.
In terms of search engine optimization, WordPress can beat Squarespace in several aspects. Squarespace comes with some in-built SEO features that are solely responsible for your site’s SEO. Whereas WordPress offers superb SEO features with the help of some mentionable plugins such as Yoast SEO, RankMath, and so on.
WordPress SEO Capabilities
WordPress websites do have minimal built-in SEO features that are not enough to compete in the mainstream marketplace. Therefore, it comes with a multitude of SEO plugins that you will get in its plugin repository.
If you are technically skilled, you can configure and even customize these plugins to get the best SEO output. But before even getting any plugin, you need a great hosting provider to ensure a fast-loading site. Fast-loading sites are really essential to meet Google’s core web requirements, which is easily achievable in WordPress.
Plugins like Yoast SEO and RankMath can take your site to a satisfactory position in the search engine result pages. For example, you can make content improvements suggested by these plugins and add specific keywords and rich snippets.
Squarespace SEO Capabilities
Since I conducted my last checkup, Squarespace has massively improved its SEO capabilities. All the SEO settings and tools are integrated into Squarespace, so you don’t need to install anything separately.
However, you have less control over advanced technical SEO settings. The web hosting is controlled by the platform itself, so the page load speed is determined by the platform.
Let’s not be biased and take a look at what this amazing platform has to offer in terms of SEO:
Default SEO page settings that are modifiable
Editable URL, Title & meta description
Customizable Image alt text
Automatic page redirects from changed URLs
Can show or hide a page from search engine
Highlights the keywords generating more traffic
There are many Squarespace sites hitting the first spot in search engine results. To be honest, Squarespace is gradually improving its SEO traits, and some sites are recently meeting Core Web Vitals.
Website Performance & Loading Speed
If you want the platform itself to handle the performance and speed optimization, Squarespace is a great option. Though WordPress is highly customizable, you need some extra effort to get a fast loading speed.
WordPress Performance & Loading Speed
WordPress offers a vast array of themes and plugins, which offers huge flexibility to the users to customize their website to the fullest. If not adequately handled, this flexibility may sometimes result in performance issues.
Website speed can be greatly increased by utilizing performance-boosting plugins. Besides, a reliable hosting company that provides optimized server settings can also enhance performance. Furthermore, speed-boosting techniques such as caching systems, content delivery networks (CDN), and image optimization are often used.
Squarespace Performance & Loading Speed
Squarespace is a closed platform that takes a simplified approach to building websites. Despite having fewer customization choices than WordPress, it guarantees optimal performance. You will get internal hosting management, software upgrades, and security measures.
Squarespace benefits from a standardized and pre-optimized architecture that prioritizes performance and loading speed at its core. The integrated optimization ensures faster loading speed, which also includes responsive design and automated image resizing capability.
Themes & Plugins
WordPress has a colossal repository that includes 11,000+ free themes & 59,000+ free plugins. But Squarespace serves extensions and templates that are served within the platform.
WordPress Themes & Plugins
Anyone with coding experience can create templates, themes, and plugins and submit them to WordPress. When the coding quality and the product meet WordPress’s requirements, the product gets published on the platform. Thus, the platform is enriched with so many plugins and themes made by different developers.
In WordPress, you will get plugins for essential features like:
Contact Form and Lead Generation
WordPress also provides almost any kind of theme to enrich your site’s outlook.
But before selecting any plugin or theme, you should closely check out the user review. Some plugins can cause security and performance issues due to malicious codes.
Squarespace is an all-in-one platform that offers perfectly designed templates and integrated features as extensions. There is no hassle of updating or downloading any plugin separately.
Squarespace offers templates for eCommerce, art & design, photography, CV, events, travel, entertainment and so on. Additionally, there are extensions for eCommerce & online stores, marketing & email campaigns, booking & appointment, analytics & SEO, and more.
You can explore the Squarespace Extension, which is a marketplace for extension. Currently, the platform offers 100+, which is lower compared to WordPress. However, the quality and user-friendliness are surely far better than many other platforms out there.
Scalability & Growth
Due to its unmatched scalability, WordPress is one of the top options for startups, giant corporations, and individuals requiring highly customized solutions.
Squarespace’s simplicity makes it ideal for individuals, small businesses, or those preferring a fast and aesthetic online presence. Yet, It has significant limitations with respect to extended scalability.
WordPress Scalability & Growth
I do praise WordPress for its remarkable flexibility and scalability. The open-source architecture is designed for limitless extension and modification. It is constantly dealing with the increasing demand for features, content, and functionality.
With the help of a sizable collection of themes, plugins, and custom code, WordPress users can customize their websites to meet their changing demands. Getting dedicated hosting solutions and implementing optimization strategies is one solution for ensuring seamless scalability.
Another way is to hire developers to craft custom themes & plugins, optimize code, and deploy scalable solutions.
Squarespace Scalability and Growth
When compared to WordPress, Squarespace’s scalability is more limited. It works well for small to medium-sized websites, but for those that are really complicated or are growing quickly, it can create some difficulties.
The integrated design elements and frequent upgrades of Squarespace support its growth. So, users can easily add additional pages, content, and even eCommerce features as their requirements shift.
The platform manages hosting as well as infrastructure to meet basic scaling needs. However, the platform has some constraints for users who require intricate modifications or specialized features.
Support and Community
Since WordPress is an open-source platform, it boasts a larger and more vibrant community. You will get an abundance of knowledge and information. Comparatively, Squarespace provides dependable and instant customer support.
WordPress Support and Community
The WordPress community consists of millions of active users, developers, designers, business owners, and enthusiasts. Developers are always exchanging information regarding their products in the community where others are engaging, providing feedback, and getting solutions.
Moreover, WordPress users can access massive resources, including WordPress-centric blogs, forums, documentation, and tutorials.
Apart from community-based support, users can also get help from the official support channel. Therefore, users can buy support plans for their website from WordPress.com. Also, they can hire and get professional services from different companies and developers available in the community.
Squarespace Support and Community
Squarespace offers a committed and very responsive customer service team, which is praised by its user base. It offers around-the-clock service via support staff using email and live chat.
In addition, users will get access to webinars, video tutorials, and an extensive knowledge library that covers every facet of utilizing Squarespace.
The Squarespace support community is rapidly expanding with its users, designers, and developers. However, it is not as large as WordPress but is gradually becoming more engaging. Members of the Squarespace Community Forum can interact, exchange ideas, and post inquiries.
Squarespace comes with a higher level of responsibility for ensuring security measures. All the fundamental security features are in-built. But in WordPress, you have to handle the security measures and get help from professionals or hosting providers.
WordPress Security Measures
While using WordPress, you have to take charge of your site’s security measures. Hence, you need to take the following actions:
Choose a hosting plan that ensures strong security
Check and manage your own SSL certificate
Create frequent backups of your site
Authorize user roles on your site
Use trusted themes and plugins
Apply two-factor authentication
I strongly recommend you not rely on any cheap web hosting company to manage your website. Select a hosting provider that will automatically maintain the security, update your site, and provide an SSL certificate.
Squarespace Security Measures
Squarespace minimizes user effort and maintains all the security measures of a website. It scans the entire website and defends it against denial-of-DDoS attacks. This means your site won’t get occupied with traffic, and only real users will get access to your site.
Here are the security measures taken by Squarespace:
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption that protects sensitive information
Regularly maintains security updates to ensure the latest security enhancements
PCI DSS compliant to ensure data security standards for payment gateway
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security
Handles cookies to ensure a safe environment for your website
Squarespace enables you to focus on content creation rather than handling security management. Besides, the extensions are created within the platform, which means less chance of having erroneous code.
WordPress is initially free, but you need to customize it properly to pursue your goals. This is where the premium plan comes in with a variety of options, price plans, and features. Contrarily, Squarespace offers a package with a transparent pricing plan. This will make it easier for you to estimate your budget.
WordPress is a free app, but to host the site on the web, you need to pay for the hosting service and domain name. With the gradual growth of your site, the price tag may change, especially if you want to install an advanced theme or plugins.
Here are some examples of costs related to WordPress:
Hosting: Cost can vary depending on the provider and hosting type. For shared hosting, Bluehost can range between $2.95 – $13.95, and for managed WordPress hosting providers like WP Engine can cost $25 per month.
Domain Name: This also varies, and providers like GoDaddy can cost around $11.99 for the first year.
Themes and Plugins: Free plugin options are available, but premium themes can cost around $10-$150. For example, Yoast SEO costs around $99 per year.
Maintenance Security: This cost varies based on the complexity of the website and the level of service needed. Security plugins such as Wordfence start at $99 per year.
Professional Assistance: Hiring a developer or designer can cost you based on your requirements. WordPress developers generally charge around $20-$100 per hour.
Squarespace is not a free-to-use platform, but you will get a 14-day free trial period to start with. Besides, it offers 4 categories of pricing plans that are given below:
You will save
Personal: This plan is for creating a site with basic functionalities and best for starters.
Business: This plan offers small businesses with simple eCommerce and marketing features.
Commerce Basic: This plan offers features ideal for medium-sized businesses.
CommerceAdvanced: This plan is great for a business that has already grown and includes several robust eCommerce extensions.
Squarespace will give you a hassle-free experience and focus on creating content rather than handling the operational side. Contrarily, WordPress will give you massive customization opportunities, which you can utilize effectively through a learning curve.
However, choosing one platform solely depends on your unique requirements and business or personal objectives. After considering user-friendliness, design flexibility, customization level, and budget, the platform that satisfies all these requirements is what you are looking for.
WordPress is leading the market when it comes to a content management system that offers unmatchable flexibility. Millions of websites around the globe depend on this platform since it offers features to personalize it the way they prefer.
You have had a website built by a design agency. They used WordPress. There are a few things you might change, but overall the website works well. However, a new bug has started occurring, or perhaps WordPress is pressuring you for updates? Maybe an automatic update has broken some functionality. Your design agency is busy or wants to charge you large fees for new work.
Power Your Business
Some of the tools and services to help your business grow.
The text-to-speech tool that uses AI to generate realistic human-like voices.