Both Squarespace and WordPress are website builders that have the potential to create functional and beautiful websites. Many differences exist between these two platforms as outlined below.
WordPress is a type of open source platform, and it’s codes are usually open meaning anybody can use as well as customize. Developers or programmers can therefore use WordPress to create tools like templates, plugins or themes which they can sell to WordPress users or share for free.
You can therefore get many tools and plugins that you can use to improve your website. This however, can be a problem because the quality of tools can either be good or bad. If you end up using some of the bad WordPress plugins, your website may perform poorly, it may crash or you end up having cross-browser conflicts. The good plugins may not be free but must be purchased.
Squarespace on the other hand is not an open source website builder so only the in-house development team is able to produce tools for the users. This will therefore mean that all their tools are of high quality and are also fully integrated in their website builder.
This is an advantage because you will know that all the tools you will use have been thoroughly tested and will therefore work perfectly. The Squarespace team will also be there to assist you in case you run into any problems using their tools. With Squarespace everything is controlled and monitored closely.
2. Ease of Use
WordPress most of the times will require a skilled developer to modify the codes whichever way they want because it is a powerful platform. If you are not a skilled developer, it may be hard to customize WordPress. Whereas with Squarespace, it is easier for a non-tech savvy person to learn how to use it, although it is restrictive when customizing a website.
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When you drag and drop text, picture and slideshows, you will get a glimpse of how the website will look when you are building it if you are using Squarespace. However with WordPress, you will not be able to see how it will look until you preview the page or you publish it.
With Squarespace, you can also easily drag content and position it anywhere on your webpage. You will therefore be able to create any layout you want without needing any external tools to help you do this. But with WordPress you may need to modify codes so that you accomplish this, alternatively you may have to spend many hours looking for the right WordPress plugin.
In terms of support, WordPress has a large amount of tutorials and resources to help you. The information is a lot because anyone can develop tools for WordPress. Squarespace however has a support team that is centralized and dedicated to their own website, they therefore have a library of support articles as well as a community forum that can help.
4. Ongoing Maintenance
WordPress continuously updates its platform in order to improve security and fix bugs. When there are updates you will always need to update your WordPress website. However, the theme and plugins that are developed by other developers when not updated by the developer, will make you run the risk of conflicts and poorly performing websites because the plugins and tools are unable to work properly with the updated version of WordPress. Therefore, WordPress will require more maintenance work so that you keep your website in good shape.
With Squarespace, the updates are all tested and put on your website automatically.
WordPress is free, you are free to download, change ,use as well as build upon WordPress. The software is an open source licensed under GNU GPL. To build your website using WordPress, you will need a provider for web hosting. The overall cost of building your website using WordPress is low.
Squarespace on the other hand has a plan that starts from $8 per month. However this plan comes with very limited features. The more professional plans are purchased for more and come with more features.
WordPress therefore has flexible plans from a number of web hosts as compared to Squarespace.
6. Design and Features
WordPress has extensibility because there are many free and paid plugins which you can use on your website to add new features. These range from simple social sharing to robust membership plugins. You are therefore able to create any type of website you want with WordPress.
In addition WordPress has many paid and free themes which are available to install on your website. Themes are what control how your website appears visually. These themes for WordPress are available for every business, industry or for any type of website that you want to create.
Squarespace on the other hand has a limited number of templates which you can choose from. Plugins are also limited and you can only use those that are in Squarespace.
In terms of eCommerce, WordPress allows you to integrate any platform or payment processor you want. WordPress also has plenty of eCommerce plugins which can turn your site into an online store within minutes. There are also numerous themes that are designed specifically for eCommerce websites. There is also no limit as to how many products you can add to your website.
For Squarespace, eCommerce is limited because you can only use Stripe for payment processing. There is also a limit on the number of products you can sell depending on your Squarespace plan.
WordPress has most of the things you need to write blog posts easily and quickly. The text editor is simple and categorizing posts and tagging is easy. Other options are you can have unlimited authors, view post revisions and schedule posts.
Squarespace on the other hand also makes it easy when it comes to creating posts. You can also add categories, tags and locations but it is not able to grow your blog to a massive size.
Finally, WordPress would be suitable for a person who does not mind spending hours testing out new themes and plugins and who also wants to learn doing some minor or even major coding.
Squarespace is for a person who requires a great looking website that can be made quickly and easily get customized. It is for the people who do not want to worry about plugins or interface changes.