WordPress vs Squarespace

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WordPress vs Squarespace is a big subject of discussion among entrepreneur who want to bring their business online, do the website themselves and start selling their services as soon as possible. Before I get into this topic I want you to know that I design for WordPress and choose the Genesis Framework mostly.  I can design for anything but the one thing that makes my life easier and gives me more control is WordPress.

I’ve designed websites since we could only use plain HTML.  Today things have changed, I am always learning, looking into new platforms for the new kid in the block. I belong to several women entrepreneur Facebook groups and the new kid on the block for most is Squarespace.  The main thing I noticed my fellow entrepreneur seem to like the most about Squarespace are

  • the themes are pretty
  • they get to have a website up and running without paying for a web designer
  • it’s affordable
  • it’s perfect for a non-techy person

The biggest misconception I observed is that WordPress and Squarespace are always compared is if they are the same. The truth is that they are not the same at all. Squarespace is a drag and drop website builder. WordPress is a content management system. The biggest plus for WordPress is that anything Squarespace can do, WordPress can do it plus wayyyy more. Today I want to share with you the reasons, in my opinion, WordPress will always be better than Squarespace.

Control

With Squarespace, you are renting a website. It comes with a monthly fee. Let’s say for whatever reason Squarespace goes down (remember when Blogger went down? plus read this used to be Squarespace lover nightmare!), your website goes down with it.

With WordPress you own your website and have full control.

Ease of Use & Learning curve

Squarespace is better than WordPress for absolute beginners.  They let you customize your templates via their visual editor but you are still limited to their customizer options.

Today WordPress has themes and plugins that offer complete drag & drop capabilities like Themify and Headway Themes.

Cost

Squarespace plans start at $8 per month (keep in mind you’re renting?) and the business plan at $26/month gives you more options and bandwidth.

WordPress beats them with a variety of choices from around the world.  How much you want to pay for web hosting and domain name, is totally up to you. There are many choices available.  You can start at $3.50/month and change your hosting as your business and website grows. You basically pay for the resources you need.   There are thousands of free templates and free plugins.

eCommerce

eCommerce is very limited on Squarespace. You don’t have PayPal option and can only use Stripe for payment which is not available in certain countries. No other payment system is available to accommodate a larger global audience.  On a business perspective who wants their sales limited?

WordPress surpasses Squarespace when it comes to eCommerce. You can integrate and use the payment processor you want, PayPal, Google Checkout, Stripe, 2Checkout, Payoneer, Skrilll, or Bitcoin. There are many WordPress plugins that allow you to use those payment processors with ease.  There are also many tools available to manage affiliate links and tracking.

Technical Support

Squarespace has in-house developers, they don’t have a community where the public can contribute to their platform. So if you have a problem, they write all of their codes and they know how to solve the problem.  My only objection is that the company spends a lot of money, really millions of dollars on advertising, which attracts a lot of customers, yet they only have 285 employees to support them.

WordPress has a very large community that is simply amazing. You can google your problem and find the solution online.  If you own the Studiopress platform, they have really amazing technical support with developers and more.

What if you want to take your website content with you?

The export feature on Squarespace is also very limited. You can only export some of your content in an XML file but your product pages, album pages, text, audio, and video will not be exported.
WordPress comes with the ability to export all your data.  You also can use a backup solution like BackupBuddy to back up your themes, plugins and your entire database.

You spend hours creating your content, it should be yours and you deserve the freedom to take all of it with you whenever you want.

 

In conclusion, if you want a starter for a short time, you are okay with using only Stripe, you are okay with the eCommerce limitations and support a separate back up for all your data, then Squarespace is right for you. If you want full control of your website with limitless possibilities including the drag & drop feature Squarespace offers, you should seriously consider WordPress.

wordpress vs squarespace


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Comments(23)

  • July 22, 2015, 1:59 pm  Reply

    I use WordPress for my website, but I did have to hire someone to build it and maintain it. I was very reluctant to use WordPress because of this, but I figure down the road, when there’s more time, I can start learning more so I can make changes myself. I was always told that WordPress was the best the option. Would love to know more about the pros and cons of PayPayl vs Stripe!

    • Webly
      July 22, 2015, 7:29 pm

      Will do Lisa on my next blog.

  • July 22, 2015, 2:26 pm  Reply

    We design using WordPress, this way the client “owns” his real estate. We have our own merchant account and use Pay Pal for just a few international clients. Considered Stripe, but haven’t gone past that.

  • July 22, 2015, 2:43 pm  Reply

    The whole limitations thing seems to be a deterrent as does the fact that if their systems go down so does your website. That can hurt a lot. Guess there are some benefits also, just depends on what you are looking for.

    • Webly
      July 22, 2015, 7:27 pm

      I’ve had that happened to me years ago Michael it is not fun. My website was down for 3 days and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

  • July 22, 2015, 6:43 pm  Reply

    I have always used WordPress, not because I am at all capable of designing my own site but because I think it is simply that much more robust. I never liked the idea of someone else “owning” my site but I know for a lot of bloggers like me they don’t really care. I just love how everything is so interconnected and the support is really remarkable. It really is an individual choice but you definitely made an argument for WordPress hands down.

    • Webly
      July 22, 2015, 7:26 pm

      It is really an individual choice Beth. At $8/month if one wants to start their online business, keep it simple and use one of their theme, it’s a place to start. But as you grow it is best to own your real-estate.

  • July 22, 2015, 6:53 pm  Reply

    Thank you SO much for explaining the differences. I’ve been painted into a corner with the wrong website platform.

    • Webly
      July 22, 2015, 7:24 pm

      It’s great that this shed some clarity for you.

  • July 22, 2015, 8:08 pm  Reply

    I use WordPress. As a non-designer, it’s been very easy to use, although I have needed some help with SEO and design. But for the most part, I can do the daily upkeep. I think I’ll keep it.

    • Webly
      July 22, 2015, 8:16 pm

      You made the right choice Carol.

  • July 22, 2015, 8:33 pm  Reply

    Thanks so much for this information! I use WordPress but I’m still trying to learn my way around certain plugins, the learning curve can be a bit frustrating for a busy business owner! LOL!

    • Webly
      July 22, 2015, 8:44 pm

      It can be Vanessa, when it gets too much you can always outsource. If you have any questions, I am happy to help.

  • July 22, 2015, 10:12 pm  Reply

    Squarespace and other drag and drop builder sites like Mr Site have their place, but in my mind are not for the serious entrepreneur that wants to build a business. You need a content management system. There are only three platforms I recommend for business: WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Most people should stick with WordPress. Joomla and Drupal are for when you need something very sophisticated, but with that sophistication comes extra levels of complexity and most small businesses don’t need it. I’m with you Webly – WordPress rocks!

  • Katarina Andersson
    July 22, 2015, 11:17 pm  Reply

    Thanks for the comparison between the two. Still I have a lot to learn, I am only at the blogger level so far…eCommerce is still something I need to learn about. 🙂

    • Webly
      July 22, 2015, 11:42 pm

      If you’re thinking of a website Katarina to sale your products Shopify might be a platform to consider.

  • July 23, 2015, 3:59 pm  Reply

    So happy our web designer/SEO master set us up with wordpress & geness. Over time she taught us how to manage it. My only complaint is that you cannot call a technician to help you out in a jam.

  • July 23, 2015, 6:47 pm  Reply

    I totally agree with you Webly. WordPress is the best option. Thanks for the comparison.

  • July 23, 2015, 9:31 pm  Reply

    Having heard people compare WordPress with other options, WordPress always seems to come out as the clear choice. I’ve also heard that it is much better for SEO. No decision for me either when we switched from my HTML site…we chose a WordPress theme and designed it from there. Thanks Webly, for helping to clarify why choosing WordPress is still the best option.

  • July 28, 2015, 7:11 pm  Reply

    The control issue is a huge factor. I don’t believe in “renting” website space from anyone. I have built all my websites on WordPress and would use nothing else, for all the reasons you enumerate. Good read.

  • July 29, 2015, 1:31 am  Reply

    I just gained a client who has SS, so looks like I will get to know it a little more… but have dealt with GD, Wix, Webs, Weebly and of course WP and I agree.. WP is much better, all around!

  • July 29, 2015, 3:57 am  Reply

    Great article. I’m so tired of people trying to tell me that there is a better platform. Sorry Charlie just because that is the platform you are comfortable with and you don’t move with the times doesn’t mean I have to buy into it. I love WordPress. I hate drag and drops. WordPress does everything I need and more and I can do basic stuff in it without having to pester my Webplumber.

  • Webly
    August 2, 2015, 11:37 pm  Reply

    Erika, a lot of new online entrepreneur are falling in love with it. They change however when it is time to have a membership website.

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