Squarespace vs WordPress – Who Wins in 2021?

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Do you want to skip the read and get right to my winner? Squarespace is the winner in this Squarespace WordPress battle of site builders.


Introduction: Which Way To Go? Check Out Our Squarespace WordPress Comparison Review

Which web building platform should you root for – Squarespace vs WordPress?

In this platform comparison article, these two big names in the industry go toe-to-toe in terms of features, ease of use, support, and pricing. We'll also evaluate how each performs in terms of eCommerce and SEO support!

If you're a beginner in the site-building arena, choosing the best website builder for small business can be nerve-wracking. Therefore, we aim to take some of that anxiety away by digging deeply into the WordPress versus Squarespace details. Hopefully, you can have a simplified side-by-side comparison of what WordPress or Squarespace can offer.

After each section, we declare a winner between Squarespace WordPress on which platform ticks more boxes.


Overview:

Before we take the plunge in this WordPress vs Squarespace battle of the platforms, here's a brief overview of both:

Squarespace:

Squarespace is a SaaS (Software as a service) product that provides users with everything they need to create and manage a website.

Since it officially launched in 2004, the platform has since evolved to become one of the most reliable website builders.

Here are some impressive Squarespace stats to kick off our Squarespace to WordPress debate.

  • Over 2 million subscribers
  • 1.8 million Squarespace-supported websites
  • #1 most popular website builder in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia
  • Steadily increasing market share since 2017
squarespace-home-page
squarespace-home-page

WordPress:

Compared to Squarespace WordPress takes home the popularity award. It's ahead of it's time when you compare WordPress vs Squarespace for blogging.

But first, a few clarifications are in order. WordPress has 2 versions that you should learn to tell apart:

wordpress-com-home
wordpress-com-home
wordpress-org-home
wordpress-org-home

For this comparison, we're going to focus more on the hosted WordPress.com platform but will continue to include notes for the .org version.

Apart from the fact that it can be used free, WordPress aces flexibility and customisation tools – which explains why it is hugely popular among users.

Below are some interesting WordPress facts to jumpstart our WordPress vs Squarespace derby:

  • Completely free 
  • Powers over 27% of all the websites
  • Claims 76% of content management system (CMS) market share
  • Not owned by anybody!

Pros and Cons for Squarespace WordPress:

To assess major Squarespace WordPress highlights in terms of Pros and Cons for these powerful website builders please click on the following links;


Ease of Use:

When considering whether to use Squarespace or WordPress as your online selling platform, ease of use is a key factor. We will consider this factor and start with our side by side comparisons:

Squarespace:

Squarespace is a self-hosted hosted platform. Therefore, users do not need to install anything.

Consequently, all you need to do is create an account, and you can build your site right away.

Moreover, Squarespace sports a minimalist look for its interface, which explains why it is popular for those who are into design and creative projects.

In this Squarespace WordPress showdown, we find that Squarespace is a better builder for those with minimal to no experience in coding.

WordPress:

Compared to Squarespace WordPress self-hosted sites can be tedious to set up.  If you have little to zero background in site building, you might get lost in translation. WordPress.com version however is an equivalent hosted website builder and so do not need to install anything.

WordPress is very customisable, though. It can be modified to have almost the same “front end” functionality and editing dashboard as Squarespace through the “visual editor tools.”

That said, between WordPress or Squarespace, WordPress isn't impossible to use for a beginner. However, it would take time to get the hang of using the platform, sure. But once you get a feel of it, it gets easier moving forward.

Winner – Squarespace! within this ‘Ease of Use' WordPress vs Squarespace comparison. 

Features and Flexibility:

In terms of features and flexibility when considering Squarespace vs WordPress, the former has the edge. Here’s a few key pointers on both.

Out-of-the-box:

When it comes to features and tools with Squarespace vs WordPress, both come with built-in tools as well as easy integration for third-party software.

Squarespace:

Most of the functionalities and tools with Squarespace are built in-house. For users with high customisation needs, these can get a bit restrictive. However, the growing community using Squarespace also continuously develop third-party codes to enhance these integrations and plugins.

WordPress:

Having been a CMS powerhouse for over a decade and a vast community of users, WordPress wins for built-in features in a WordPress vs Squarespace showdown. The platform comes with an extensive list of tools, functionalities, and features to choose from.

Themes and Templates:

Professional-looking sites start with beautiful themes and templates. So which offer more beauty – WordPress or Squarespace?

Squarespace:

There are 22 exquisite family designs to choose from and can then be modified, giving users almost 60 different choices. When comparing WordPress or Squarespace, the latter offers more aesthetic flair in its template options.

WordPress:

WordPress has thousands of high-quality designs to choose from. Users must be careful in choosing only templates from reputable developers with so many choices as some might contain malicious code.

Customisation Tools:

WordPress vs Squarespace is excellent for starting your website. However, developing these and modifying them for your specific needs requires more tools.

Which can help you better customise you site – WordPress or Squarespace?

Squarespace:

As a hosted site builder, most tools in Squarespace are pre-built. These make them easy to use and available right away. On the downside, customising the site can be a challenge for new users.

Integrating third-party tools are available, however, but would require a bit of developing knowledge and skills.

WordPress:

With WordPress’ massive choices when it comes to tools for functionality, together with its pre-built system, there is almost no limit as to how you can customise a WordPress site. And more and more plugins are being developed each day.

3rd Party Integrations:

Along with customisation tools, WordPress and Squarespace require applications and third-party software to build a fully functional site.

What platform interfaces with more apps – WordPress or Squarespace?

Squarespace:

Squarespace has apps that users can download to manage different parts of their website, including Analytics, Commerce, Blogging, and Portfolio.

WordPress:

WordPress wins this round. The sky is the limit when it comes to WordPress integrations. You can connect to Zapier for access to more than 3,000 apps. Also, you can integrate API to WordPress for better customisation.

Hosting:

This is the online ‘storage’ of everything involved in a website and is critical in Squarespace vs WordPress to build and maintain a site.

Squarespace:

Since Squarespace is a fully-hosted platform, all sites are hosted in the Squarespace server. This means not having to worry about hosting site maintenance.

WordPress:

The wordpress.com is fully hosted. With a self-hosted WordPress.org site, users need to find their hosting provider. Most are compatible with WordPress, but the key is finding a provider with the service offering that fits your needs. WordPress partner hosting companies include Bluehost and Siteground.

Backups:

Pretty much with anything, having a backup is important in building a website too!

Squarespace:

With Squarespace, backups must be done by the user. At the moment, Squarespace doesn’t offer a system for content backup aside from regularly backing up content in the cloud.

WordPress:

Website maintenance, security and backup can be automated.

Migration:

When moving from one site to another or one build to the next, it’s important to have reliable and easy to use migration tools.

Squarespace:

Much like its backup, migrating content in Squarespace requires third party tools and is less straightforward than WordPress.

WordPress:

WordPress comes with various migration tools to choose from.

Winner – Draw! within this ‘Feature and Flexibility' Squarespace vs WordPress comparison. The latter to be a far more scalable option.

eCommerce Tools:

If you're hoping to increase revenue, eCommerce tools are a must-have in the site builder you choose. Check out the eCommerce capabilities for WordPress or Squarespace below:

Squarespace:

With sales, Squarespace offers a standalone product, the Squarespace Commerce. Its fully-integrated eCommerce platform comes with several features such as customised checkout, social media marketing, shopping, and multicurrency support.

For a more detailed analysis, please check out our Squarespace eCommerce review.

WordPress:

For its eCommerce side, WordPress works with WooCommerce, a third-party plugin that allows users to sell on their WordPress sites.

This open-source plugin transforms your site into a highly-functional online store that's capable of checkouts, payments, and selling physical and digital goods. It also offers its own native payment channel WooCommerce Payments.

Winner – Draw! within our ‘eCommerce Tools' WordPress vs Squarespace comparison. Both offer solid solutions to get selling online. 

SEO and Mobility:

In the Squarespace vs WordPress decision stakes the SEO & Mobility features cannot be ignored.

The good news is that both offer advantages for your online presence.

Here are highlights of the Squarespace WordPress SEO & Mobile functionality;

Squarespace:

Here are some of the SEO tools you can get your hands on with Squarespace:

  • Provides an SEO Checklist as a guide to increasing site visibility
  • Autogenerates sitemaps
  • Enables clean HTML markup
  • Generates auto URLs
  • AMP for faster load speeds on mobile devices

When pitted against WordPress Squarespace has less elaborate SEO tools to be sure. However, it has the basic capability to get some Google love.

WordPress:

Did you know that there are rumours going around that Google is biased for WordPress?

Well, don't believe it – it's not true. The fact is, WordPress sites are built to perform better on search engines.

However tweaking your site's pages to be more SEO-friendly is possible given the wealth of SEO plugins the platform offers (for instance, Yoast SEO).

Here are the reasons why WordPress wins in Squarespace vs WordPress SEO battle:

  • Create attractive permalinks
  • Easily manage metadata
  • Optimise images easily
  • Fast load times on all pages (not just blog posts) of WordPress sites
  • Allows “rich snippets” to boost search results
  • Mobile-optimised
  • Social media integration
  • SEO-friendly and attractive themes
  • Interfaces with a host of SEO tools

Therefore, in the SEO category for this WordPress or Squarespace derby, WordPress wins.

Winner – WordPress! within our ‘SEO and Mobility' Squarespace vs WordPress comparison.

Support and Resources:

A WordPress vs Squarespace comparison when it comes to support and resources puts Squarespace in a stronger position.

Squarespace:

Squarespace has a beneficial live chat function and a 24/7 email response team, addressing users’ concerns in an hour.

At the moment, though, it doesn’t offer telephone support.

WordPress:

Finding support for WordPress means browsing the internet for help. It doesn't provide much in the way of support and resource like other providers.

However, there's a vibrant online community of WordPress users that share information, tutorials and how-to's.

Winner – Squarespace! within our ‘Support and Resources' WordPress vs Squarespace comparison.

Pricing:

We've now come to a critical considering in this Squarespace vs WordPress platform comparison – pricing.

Squarespace:

Below are the plans available at Squarespace:

  1. Personal;
  2. Business;
  3. Basic Commerce; and
  4. Advanced Commerce.

squarespace-pricing

We don't advise the cheapest plan for people who are in the market for a business website. It's a barebones offering that doesn't offer many features.

WordPress:

The hosted .com version offers the following plans;

wordpress-com-plans-pricing
wordpress-com-plans-pricing

 

Previously, we hyped that WordPress.org is free and open-source. Well – not exactly.

One needs to cover costs and site requirements. Below are some of the basic expenses when building sites at WordPress.

  • Domain name starts at $15 per year.
  • Reputable hosting service fees start at $25 per year. WordPress partners include Bluehost and Siteground.
  • Premium Themes will also cost you.
  • Most Plugins and WooCommerce add ons are usually free, but since WordPress is a site that offers advanced customisation, working with an experienced developer is recommended too. The developers’ rate varies greatly, as well as acquiring service support with a WordPress professional expert.
Winner – Draw! within our ‘Pricing' category for Squarespace vs WordPress comparison. Pricing will be similar.

Comparison Winner:

BuilderBattle ScoreVisit Official Website
WordPress.org 4 / 6 www.wordpress.org
Squarespace 5 / 6 www.squarespace.com

After careful consideration of each platform's features, and pros and cons, we announce Squarespace as the winner in this Squarespace WordPress battle of site builders.

Bear in mind that your business needs are unique. Therefore, you need a website builder that can respond to your particular requirements.

>> Try Squarespace for Free <<


Conclusion and Recommendation:

To wrap up this Squarespace WordPress derby, each of these platform's will be somebody's cup of tea. For instance, power users and web designers will benefit strongly from WordPress‘ flexibility and customisation. We agree with WordPress is the more all-inclusive platform, but Squarespace is suitable for beginners.

What is WordPress best used for?

  • Great for businesses with complex website needs and features;
  • Suitable for scaling and growth;
  • Good choice for businesses working with a professional designer and developer or an agency handling their website; and
  • Suitable if continuous site improvements are part of your business and site requirements.

What is Squarespace best used for?

  • Individual creators who want to focus more on their products rather than spend time working on the website and prefer a ready-to-use site.
  • Site owners who want a simple website with no complex coding requirements can opt from WordPress to Squarespace.
  • Ideal for users who are not looking to commit to long-term site maintenance and security.

Final Word:

We hope this WordPress or Squarespace review was able to help you know more about WordPress vs Squarespace, as well as see which one best fits your needs.

Indeed, there is no “ultimate” builder that works perfectly with everyone. Eventually, it all comes down to your business and website requirements’ specific needs—also factor in the flexibility you require and the resources, including technical knowledge and skills available.

Take out WordPress or Squarespace for a whirl!

We recommend that you explore Squarespace's 14-day free trial available and WordPress free version to experience first-hand its features and tools!


That’s all for now:

If you've read our Squarespace vs WordPress comparison up to here, we are grateful. Remember to always keep abreast of the latest developments on website builders, eCommerce, and other Squarespace WordPress alternative comparison articles, such as the ones below;

Please share any comments below!


 

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