We get asked about the differences between WordPress and Squarespace a lot. Many people have trouble deciding between the two for their online business or blog because both WordPress and Squarespace are user-friendly, even for beginners.
WordPress and Squarespace both have pros and cons, so what is best for one business may not be the right fit for another. In this article, we’ll take a look at the differences between WordPress and Squarespace, and why you may want to choose one over the other.
Please be aware that we will be referring to the WordPress software available from WordPress.org, and not the hosting from WordPress.com. Although Squarespace and WordPress both offer hosting, this article will go over building your website rather than hosting it.
Is WordPress or Squarespace Easier to Use?
Both WordPress and Squarespace are extremely user-friendly. While Squarespace is probably the easier of the two, due to its drag-and-drop interface, this comes with some noticeable limitations when you want to customize your website down the road. If you are not technologically inclined, have no desire to create a customized website, and need something simple and fast, Squarespace might be for you.
WordPress also has a system you can use that is similar to Squarespace’s drag-and-drop setup, but it offers many more options when it comes time to customize your site, and allows for more advanced techniques that are simply not possible with Squarespace. If you are able to handle occasional software updates and you’re interested in customizing your website, whether by design or with plug-ins, WordPress may be right for your business.
WordPress vs. Squarespace for Templates and Design Capabilities
When it comes to templates and design capabilities, WordPress blows Squarespace out of the water. However, some people may get overwhelmed with a wide range of options, and prefer the simplicity of Squarespace’s options. Squarespace is also much easier for people who are not as familiar with technology and might be looking for a quick, straightforward way to create an online presence. Be sure that you have high-quality photos available when creating a Squarespace website since their layouts are often image-heavy.
WordPress offers nearly limitless customization options, which is a great way to make your business stand out. If you want to create your website fast, there are plenty of templates available, either for free or for a small fee. While having some basic knowledge of HTML is helpful, it’s not necessary. If you want to customize your website at any point, either now or in the future, WordPress is the better option between the two.
Best WordPress Plugins for Design
- Elementor Page Builder – If you want the customizable options that WordPress offers, but the drag-and-drop method from Squarespace appeals to you, Elementor Page Builder is right up your alley. It allows you to create professional web pages, with absolutely no coding involved, yet gives you more options than Squarespace templates allow.
- Envira Gallery – If you need a gallery for photos or videos, Envira Gallery makes it easy to set up an integrated, custom gallery that can link to your social media pages and eCommerce pages in just minutes.
- Floating Social Bar – The Floating Social Bar plugin can be seen used on many websites, and is an easy way to make sure that you are getting the most shares possible on social media.
Does eCommerce Work Better in Squarespace or WordPress?
Squarespace was designed to create eCommerce websites, fast. You can easily add a shopping page, inventory, product variations, and even include digital items, such as a subscription or ebook. However, Squarespace takes 3% of all of your sales, and you will probably need to upgrade your plan (and pay more) in order to create a successful eCommerce site.
WordPress users usually turn to the extremely popular WooCommerce plugin to add a store to their website. WooCommerce, like WordPress, is hugely customizable, which allows you to create the perfect shipping options and aesthetic appearance. WooCommerce is also better for eCommerce sites that expect to grow, since they have the best technical features for larger online retailers.
Best WordPress Plugins for eCommerce
- WooCommerce – WooCommerce is the best plugin for overall ease of use, flexibility, and customization options. While WooCommerce can quickly be set up in minutes, it also has hundreds of optional extensions, making it easy to create a professional, functional ecommerce site.
- Easy Digital Downloads – If you sell digital downloads, such as music, ebooks, photos, or digital artwork, you may want to use a plugin that is geared toward your business model. Easy Digital Downloads makes it easy to create and maintain a digital ecommerce site, offering the features you need, and the customization that will give you complete control while keeping you organized.
- MemberPress – If your site sells memberships, MemberPress is the plugin you need. You can create, track, and sell memberships and digital downloads, keep everything organized, and even make your own coupons, all in just minutes.
Is WordPress or Squarespace Better for SEO?
Both WordPress and Squarespace have integrated options that make maintaining proper practices for search engine optimization a breeze. Squarespace has stayed true to form, keeping your SEO up-to-date by allowing you to quickly add metadata, create custom URLs, and even add 301 redirects. However, also true to form, their SEO abilities are limited by their simplicity. If you prefer easy, bare-bones SEO capabilities, and you aren’t in a competitive market, Squarespace may be able to handle your needs.
While Squarespace makes everything as easy as possible, this comes with inherent inadequacies as soon as you need any sort of customization or specificity. WordPress is a better option for businesses in a competitive market, or for people who are concerned with improving their search engine rankings. You can easily optimize your website manually, or choose a plugin that will make using advanced techniques seem effortless.
Best WordPress Plugins for SEO
- Yoast – Yoast is incredibly popular for a reason. Yoast is a great way for anyone to make sure that their website and content are optimized at all times. Yoast can optimize for keywords, notify you when your important pages have gone too long without an update, show you page previews and more. Yoast offers free and premium versions.
- SEO Squirrly – If you are new to SEO, or if you have multiple writers creating content, SEO Squirrly is a great plugin. It offers keyword suggestions in real-time, and can even analyze content from your competition so that you can get the edge you need to improve your rankings.
- Broken Link Checker – You will get penalized by search engine algorithms if you have broken links on your website. If you have a blog or other content for SEO purposes, you won’t even know when your outgoing links are no longer functional. Broken Link Checker will ensure all of the links on your website are functional, and if it detects a broken link, you can quickly edit or remove it.
How Much Do WordPress and Squarespace cost?
Squarespace, consistent as ever, likes to keep its pricing simple as well. Squarespace plans start at $12 a month for a personal website and $18 a month for a business page. If you want to add eCommerce options, it is $26 a month for a basic online shop, and $40 a month for an advanced shop, with additional features. Squarespace will also take a percentage of your total sales.
WordPress has many more variables when calculating the price per month. You will need to decide on a hosting plan, and decide if you want to pay for themes or plugins. WordPress sites can be as cheap or expensive as you need them to be.
How Do I Know if Squarespace or WordPress is Right for Me?
Our thoughts are, Squarespace might be right for you if you have a lot of trouble with basic technology, and you are not concerned about search engine rankings or customizing the look of your website. Squarespace was designed to be easy and fast, and is great if you don’t necessarily need the most competitive website. It has a consistent, predictable price, and people who are not tech-savvy will feel comfortable setting it up.
WordPress may be right for you if you have basic computer skills (or are willing to learn), and you want a website that is customizable and competitive. WordPress can be more affordable or more expensive than Squarespace, depending on how you choose to set it up. WordPress is the best way to create a professional website that is able to grow with your business.
If you anticipate that you will need to customize your website in the future, WordPress is also a better option, since it can be difficult to migrate your website once you have chosen a platform, and you may have to start nearly from scratch. WordPress is a great option because it allows you to start small and expand, while Squarespace can be quite limiting.
Despite WordPress being the better choice for the majority of users, Squarespace does have its own benefits that make it a good option for certain markets that want something simple, fast, and hands-off.