SquareSpace vs. WordPress

When starting a blog, there are a few big decisions that need to be made. One of the biggest is what platform you will choose. This doesn’t impact the content, or it shouldn’t… but it can impact your future opportunities and revenue.

Squarespace is a hosting and software solution all-in-one. So when you purchase a squarespace account you get the hosting and the website all built in. All that is left is selecting a theme, and adding your content!

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Squarespace Ease of Use

This is hands-down the best feature of squarespace. It is a drag and drop interface with limited options. But for most users everything you need is here: photos, links, videos, text, pages and in some cases e-commerce. You drag each module into place and immediately have options to change what it looks like.

The options are limited based on the plan purchased, but the ease of use overcomes the downside.

I would venture to guess that most users are with Squarespace because of its ease of use (and beautiful templates – see below).

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WordPress Ease of Use

WordPress requires a learning curve, training in most cases if you want to get into making the most of the program. It would be similar to an excel spreadsheet – you can probably get the hang of it out of the gate – but to add gorgeous charts, change printing areas and make it look polished you will probably need a course or two.[/col2_last] [/col_wrapper][col_wrapper][col2]

Squarespace Costs

This is not the cheapest of the drag-and-drop website builders. Weebly is free, and Wix starts at $12/month. But plans do start at $16/month which isn’t bad. Because this price includes support AND precludes the necessity of a designer – it can save you thousands.

The beginner plan limits you to 20 pages. The business plan is unlimited.

Ecommerce is available on all paid plans, but are limited to the number of pages you can create. And transaction fees apply unless you go up to the business plans at $26+/month.

But from all accounts I read, the price is worth every penny for the gorgeous templates, features and 24/7 support.[/col2][col2_last]

WordPress Costs

Monthly costs for WP include hosting ($6/mo and up). It isn’t fair to leave out that there will be a time or financial cost to maintenance with WP.

Because it is so robust a platform, you will likely seek help for edits and upgrades, or need to spend some hours learning how to DIY.

Themes and plugins are free – some are premium if you choose that route. I recommend a budget of $40/mo on average for your first year. That would include hosting, domain, theme, training and some maintenance each year.[/col2_last][/col_wrapper][col_wrapper][col2]

Squarespace Support

A feature that beats WordPress hands-down is support. Squarespace offers support 24/7 – included in the monthly fees.[/col2][col2_last]

WordPress Support

WordPress is offered free to download and does not include any support at all. We offer support – as well as thousands of other developers. It is easy to find the support and begins at $40/hr to $200/hr.[/col2_last][/col_wrapper][col_wrapper][col2]

Squarespace Features

The downside to the support, designs and ease of use is the lack of add-ons. Everything that you need is built into the platform. But there is nothing that you can add. [/col2][col2_last]

WordPress Features

One of the best features of WordPress are the unlimited number of plugins available. Not unlimited – but over 45,000+. So anything you can think of, you can find.[/col2_last][/col_wrapper][col_wrapper][col2]

Squarespace Design

One of the best features of Squarespace is the collection of themes. They take a quality over quantity approach – there are 40+ themes that are absolutely beautiful and with a few design tweaks are suitable for any design, photography or image-heavy website. [/col2][col2_last]

WordPress Design

WordPress has nearly unlimited design options – from the free theme repository. (4,003 in the ‘latest’ tab as of today). Some of those free themes offer support and some don’t.  [/col2_last][/col_wrapper]

Conclusion

A lot of bloggers are popping up on Squarespace. I believe this is because of the gorgeous templates and ease of use. If you don’t need customization or to really have an extensible platform, this is for you. I wouldn’t recommend it as WordPress is still your best option for SEO, longevity (it’s open source) and extensibility. However the ‘freedoms’ are offset by the cost.