Making a choice between two awesome website builders can be difficult.
So, why not consider making an informed decision, based on what you want your site builder to be like.
The current quarantine situation gave me the opportunity to do extensive research on two popular website builders and grasp the true pros and cons of each.
Let’s begin with WordPress.
WordPress powers almost 37.5% of the total websites on the internet. And there is no denying the fact that it is by far the most popular website builder.
But it doesn’t mean it is the only way of creating an awesome website; there are many other fantastic site builders like Squarespace and Wix in the market.
In this post, I will give you 6 comparisons between Squarespace and WordPress.
Let’s jump right in.
Ease of Use
WordPress can be termed as a user-friendly site builder when compared with platforms like Joomla or Magento.
However, Squarespace easily beats WordPress in this arena. To give maximum control to the developer, WordPress sacrifices its beginner friendliness.
Because WordPress is open-source, you have to purchase a domain name and hosting. Also, it doesn’t offer you a WYSIWYG (What you see is What you Get) environment. You need to check the preview mode to see how your site will appear when it’s live.
Squarespace, on the other hand gives you a complete package, and it’s very user friendly.
Unlike WordPress, Its drag and drop features enable you to see how your site will appear live.
You can simply drag-and-drop stuff, and place it in dedicated empty spaces (called Content Boxes). Squarespace has a lesser learning curve as compared to WordPress, making it a winner in this category.
Flexibility & Control
As mentioned earlier WordPress is open-source – which means that its source code is available (under GPL) for editing.
You can give your website any shape using WordPress. Moreover, several third-party plugins and themes will help you create an awesome website.
On the other hand, Squarespace is a full package and gives you everything you need,
right out of the box. Still, it sacrifices flexibility and gives minimum control to the user.
Moreover, you can’t use any third-party plugin or theme with Squarespace. You can only use the free or paid plugins and themes offered by Squarespace.
Apart from these two major differences
WordPress and Squarespace can also be compared to a few functionality related points.
Like how well they perform when it comes to SEO and security related features. So, let’s find out how these differences pan out and which of these platforms will suit you best.
Whenever you plan to create a website, one of the concerns should be security.
Stats show that there is a hacking attempt every 39 seconds. This essential aspect of website building is often neglected. Most site builders provide in-built features to help secure your site from data breaches and hackers.
When it comes to WordPress security, it entirely depends upon you and the hosting provider.
However, there are various methods you can use to secure your site and there are many WordPress security plugins that you can choose from.
But you have to be careful while using plugins or themes. They may contain malicious code. Also, if you are using an outdated plugin, it becomes easier for a hacker to access your site. Download these plugins from authentic and credible sources.
On the other hand, Squarespace is a self-hosted platform, and it is responsible for the security of your website. They have a dedicated team who handle anything related to security like data backups, updates, SSL certificates etc.
The Squarespace security team is also responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining an information security program. All this means that you need not to worry about the security of your site; it is their headache.
Themes, Plugins & Design
Themes offered by Squarespace are minimal and trendy, and you can customize them easily.
Squarespace offers up to 70 themes, which are simple and attractive. All of these will blend with most types of websites. Fonts, images, action buttons, hover animations; everything works perfectly.
Plugins offered by Squarespace are limited, but you don’t really need them often.
The interface of this platform is very intuitive. The easy to use style editor allows you to conveniently customize the layout of your site.
WordPress, on the other hand, offers countless themes and plugins. There is a plugin for almost everything. You can create a WordPress website on a ready-made theme
There are over 11,000 themes available for WordPress. Most of them are free, but I recommend using paid ones because they are more reliable.
Moreover, you can customize these themes and arrange the elements just as you want them to appear, by digging into the CSS code.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Without optimization for search engines, your site will not appear on the first couple of pages of search results, resulting in no organic traffic.
WordPress is the king when it comes to SEO.
First, WordPress has top of the line plugins for search engine optimization, such as Yoast which checks the quality of on-page SEO efforts and suggests improvements.
When it comes to Squarespace SEO, the platform doesn’t have any such plugin or in-built capability.
Secondly, alt tags and meta-data are referred to by their proper names in WordPress. Squarespace, doesn’t give you an option to mention a value for your image alt attribute.
They are titled as captions, descriptions, and extracts. And they sometimes end up on the page. Having said that, there are few things which Squarespace does that account for good SEO practices.
Squaespace generates a .xml file and uses clean HTML markup. It loads quickly and is quite mobile-friendly. So, you can optimize a site using Squarespace. It will just be a little harder and will take a little more time.
It is true that migrating a website from one platform to another is always a challenge. It is better to make the right decisions in the beginning rather than migrating from one website builder to another.
But if circumstances compel you to change or migrate to a certain platform, it is possible. It comes with certain limitations, but it is nothing that can’t be handled.
Squarespace has an in-built importing tool. Still, it can be challenging to migrate content from Squarespace to WordPress.
Migration is a step by step process, but its complexity depends on the type and size of your website.
You can migrate pages, comments, images, text blocks, galleries etc.
Apart from this, you have a lot more to manage, which is why your first priority should be to choose the right builder in the beginning.
Migrating content from WordPress is easier. If you are using a hosted version, then your hosting provider can handle the migration for you. You can easily transfer pages, blogs, tags, images, comments, and much more.
In the end,
There is so much more to this comparison and I’ve just scratched the surface by covering the major differences between WordPress and Squarespace.
Both platforms have their pros and cons and the most important thing is to choose the one that meets your individual needs.