Web Building: Sqaurespace vs WordPress


Squarespace and WordPress are both capable of creating beautifully functioning webpages. So which one is better? There simply is no black and white answer as to which one is best. Each software has its own strengths and weaknesses. This article will review each one and give an overview of each platform’s performance in the following five categories: Flexibility, Ease of Use, User Support, Ongoing Maintenance, and Pricing.

WordPress  provides users with a website-building platform and is one of the most popular content management systems out there. WordPress offers the user with a lot of choices. Whether you are building a simple blog website or want a highly robust commercial website, WordPress is a suitable option.

Similarly, Squarespace, founded in 2003, is a software service and all-in-one platform for website building. In comparison to WordPress,  it provides a much simpler user experience when it comes to website building. The platform does not offer as many choices as its robust counterpart—however, this often means that it is a lot easier to work with; Squarespace comes with a more gradual learning curve.

1) Flexibility:

Perhaps one of the most important aspects when it comes to website building and design is flexibility. With a growing number of different browsable devices, flexibility has never been more important.

WordPress operates as an “open source” platform. Its source code can be modified and developed by other users and is often freely available. Thus, WordPress is rather popular option for many developers. As a June 2018 Website Builder Expert article explains “there are 44,000+ WordPress plugins which are downloaded more than 1.2 billion times.” Also, WordPress has grown to include over 60m websites accounting for around 23% of websites (2015). One drawback of WordPress, as an open source website builder, is that because anyone can develop tools, not all of them will be of high quality. However, some of the best innovation that we have seen over the years has come from open source platforms. It is hard to choose a winner when it comes to platform flexibility.

Squarespace, on the other hand, does not operate as an open source platform. As explained by a  Website Builder Expert article, Squarespace has “their own in-house development team that can produce tools for users.” This is significant because it means that all or the majority of their tools will be high quality and well-integrated into the platform—the tools offered are guaranteed to work and are closely monitored.

2) Interface and Ease of Use:

WordPress is a highly robust platform; because of its flexibility, the codes can be modified to do a great deal and is, therefore, extremely customizable. However, even though the WordPress software is a lot more flexible that Squarespace, the learning curve is arguably much steeper. WordPress requires the user to be proficient with both coding and web design. So, if they are not, they will probably need to hire a skilled developer.

When it comes to Squarespace, the user/developer is much more limited when it comes to website design. However, it is a much easier software to learn. As explained in a Website Builder Expert article, Squarespace is a “WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website builder.” Meaning that when you add or edit the features to a webpage you will immediately be able to see what it would look like as a live webpage. With WordPress, all of the behind-the -scenes work is not viewable until a website is published.

Thus, when it comes to the ease of use and learning the software, Sqaurespace may be a better option for those looking to advance their web building skills.

3) User Support:

When it comes to any product or service, providing high-quality support is very important—not only to the customer, but for a business. User support services continue to be one of the most important aspects to the growth of a business.

WordPress has a large number of built-in resources and tutorials to help the user—however, because it operates as an open source platform, anyone can add tools for WordPress. Consequently, there is often an overload of information and content is not monitored to the extent that it likely should be. One could spend a good amount of time searching for articles or tutorial videos without finding any relevant help.

Squarespace arguably has a better centralized support team. Committed to user support services, they have a one-hour support email, meaning that any user question or concern is guaranteed to be answered within one hour. Squarespace Customer Care Team has also received a number of awards for their customer service.

When it comes to user support, we think Squarespace is the winner here.

4) Ongoing Maintenance:

Another category worth mentioning is that of ongoing maintenance. How do the respective softwares update?

With Squarespace, users do not have to worry about continuously updating the software. Any and all updates, whether concerning software, hosting, etc., will be automatically applied to the websites. With WordPress, on the other hand, all of the updates need to be manually updated. The upside to this is that it means that WordPress is continuously improving their software, performance, and security.

5) Costs:

Because WordPress is an open source software, users may freely download, change, and build upon sites using WordPress. The costs arise from web hosting providers which are needed to build the website— of which will vary depending on the provider. Costs continue to be another reason why WordPress is so popular in the web building community as the price of building and maintaining a website is relatively low. As explained in the article, WordPress boasts over 2,700 free templates and 3,300 free plugins; As explained by a WP Beginner article, “you can run your website for as low as $3.95 per month (which includes your domain name and hosting).”

Plans for Squarespace begin at $8 per month for the most basic plan—however, the personal plan (at $8/mo) is very limited. There are also professional and business plans ($16 and $24 respectively) that allow the user to create an unlimited amount of pages and have unlimited space.

In conclusion, it is clear that both platforms offer flexible plans for different types of user. What it comes down are the tools and resources you desire. If you want to learn more about web dev read last weeks article about new trends in website development.

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