SquareSpace vs WordPress (What’s the Difference)

I’m going to assume that you’re looking to create a stunning and professional-looking website? If so, that’s why you’re trying to decide between Squarespace and WordPress.

They’re both massive contenders in the website builder market. Squarespace offers unmetered designs and high-quality templates, whilst WordPress.org (which is what we’re reviewing) offers an open-source platform with endless possibilities.

However, how do you choose between them both? Before we dive into our in-depth comparison, let’s take a quick look at what sets these two platforms apart.

WordPress

  • Open-source platform
  • Plenty of plugins
  • Unmatched personalisation and customisation
  • Self-hosted solution
  • Can be quite technical
  • Not ideal for beginners

Squarespace

  • Very easy to use
  • Beautifully designed templates
  • Hosting is included
  • Drag and drop website builder
  • Variety of pricing plans
  • No technical know-how needed

 

We’re going to look at which platform is right for you. Are you more of a free spirit and are looking for extensive customisation options? Or would you prefer an easy-to-use tool that takes time and effort out of the equation, whilst providing stunning results?

Let the battle commence: Squarespace Vs WordPress…

 

#1. Pricing

First up we’re going to look at pricing. WordPress is a self-hosted solution, which means the content management system (CMS) is free to use, but you’ll need to purchase your own domain name and web hosting. This also means you have a wide choice when it comes to which web host you want to sign up to. For example, you could sign up to iPage from as little as £1.50 per month.

WordPress is a 1-click installation feature. Most web hosts offer this free of charge, and those that use cPanel will definitely include Softaculous. However, there are also WordPress web hosts that are slightly different to shared web hosting. To find out exactly what the differences are, head over to our WordPress hosting page here where you can discover the difference between unmanaged and managed WordPress hosting.

Squarespace offers 4 pricing plans. These vary dependant on different features and tools that you might require. Here’s a quick overview of what Squarespace’s pricing looks like (including discounts for paying annually):

Plan Monthly Annual (monthly equivalent) Savings (annually)
Personal £13 £10 £36
Business £21 £15 £72
Basic Commerce £24 £20 £48
Advanced Commerce £37 £30 £84

To get your hands on an exclusive SquareSpace offer code, click here for your discount.

Overall:

There’s quite a few differences between Squarespace and WordPress’s pricing because their structures are so different. Both have their pros and cons which balance out pretty equally in my opinion. WordPress hosting is available from as little as 80p per month with Hostinger, but you’ll need to buy a domain name on top. Squarespace is available from £10 per month, but it already includes a domain name and your hosting is managed for you.

 

#2. Features

Before we begin this section, I thought it would be good to look at an overview of what each platform offers. Both have good and bad points and are really at different ends of the scale to each other. This is a good thing though, as it allows us to look in-depth at what they offer and why one may be more suitable than the other.

Good for Bad for
SquareSpace A wide range of awesome features

All features built-in, so no third-party plugins required

Can only use built-in features
WordPress Basic built-in features

Plenty of free, well designed and developed plugins

Have to use plugins as the built-in features aren’t enough

In terms of a website builder, SquareSpace offers some of the BEST features I’ve come across. Whilst they’re slightly more expensive than their competitors, there’s no denying how awesome their tools and features are. On the other hand, whilst WordPress heavily relies on developer-built plugins, some of them are absolutely genius. They may even knock the socks off the built-in features that a lot of website builders and CMS platforms have on offer.

SquareSpace Features:

SquareSpace has a ton of features. A lot of them come as standard and are really easy to use. There’s no need to install apps or plugins, it’s a case of going to your dashboard and choosing what you want to use:

  • Blogging tools
  • SEO and analytics
  • Beautiful template designs and Fonts
  • Social media integration
  • Email and marketing campaigns
  • Sell digital and physical products
  • Edit your website on the go

 

WordPress Features:

WordPress is well known for being a powerful CMS. Their plugins (both free and paid) make WordPress a jungle of possibility. Aside from their plugins though, they do have some very good built-in features that shouldn’t be overlooked:

  • Publishing and scheduling tools
  • Multiple users and contributors
  • Comments management
  • Pages and posts for blogging
  • Multilingual options
  • Image editing and media galleries

 

Overall:

SquareSpace and WordPress offer something very different in terms of their features. They both boast powerful tools used in different ways. SquareSpace is updated on a regular basis, and as it’s a website builder, they do all the hard work for you. WordPress, on the other hand, relies on you to update and manage your own site.

If the version of WordPress or your plugins is out of date, it could make you vulnerable to attacks. In my opinion, SquareSpace is MUCH easier to use and offers minimal security risks which I believe are important to running a website.

 

#3. Ease of Use

If you’ve never used a website builder or CMS platform before, ease of use will likely be important to you. Sometimes even the most confident of users or developers may still prefer an easy to use system. Before we look at SquareSpace and WordPress individually, I’ll say now that SquareSpace is much easier to use than WordPress, but not the easiest on the market.

Good for Bad for
SquareSpace Beginners as no coding skills are required

Drag and drop editor makes it simple to create a website

Preview changes (WYSIWYG) as you go

Compared to Wix and other website builders, it’s not as easy to use
WordPress Great for advanced users and developers/coders

Can customise to your own abilities and skills

Will likely need some basic code knowledge

Can’t preview during editing, but can when paused

SquareSpace Ease of Use:

SquareSpace is a website builder, meaning it’s generally easier to use than WordPress. You can choose your own template to begin with and customise it as you go. If you have more advanced skills, you can use these to edit CSS directly, but if you don’t, no sweat!

Their drag and drop editor is very simple to use. It’s a case of choosing the element you want (e.g. image, text box, video) and dragging it to where you want it. What you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) makes it easy to see exactly what your website will look like once published.

WordPress Ease of Use:

WordPress, on the other hand, is a whole different ball game. WordPress is open-source, so you use code or the ever-popular plugins available to customise and create your website. There’s an insane amount of plugins available via WordPress, as well as themes that you can install. If you’re not technically minded, this could pose a problem, to begin with.

However, the end result can be very powerful. Whilst a lot of the time you’re creating your website blindly, as you have to click a preview button which opens a separate web page, there’s a lot on offer. WordPress has a website builder-like feature called Gutenburg and another called WordPress Bakery. Both of these are very similar to drag and drop editors where you can build your page, and see what you’re doing as you go.

Overall:

If you’re not keen on coding or hiring a developer to create your website, then WordPress may not be the best option for you. SquareSpace is most definitely more beginner-friendly, however, it’s not as powerful as WordPress.

This one is really down to your own preference. Both offer something completely different. In my personal opinion, I would start with a website builder like SquareSpace to find your feet, then when you’re feeling more confident, test the waters with WordPress.

 

#4. SEO

SEO is an important aspect to your website if you’re wanting people to find your website. For example, if you run a small business and want people to come across your website via a Google search result, SEO is what’s going to help you get there.

If your website doesn’t have very good SEO, or any SEO at all, your website will be buried at the very bottom of the pile. Whilst your average joe or even developers might not be SEO experts, your website builder can help you with this.

SquareSpace SEO:

Thankfully, SquareSpace has built-in SEO tools to help you grow your website. Their tools include site indexing, tagging, robots.txt, redirects, sitemaps, and lots more. Whilst this may not make a lot of sense to you, SquareSpace will ensure your website is set up for SEO and everything will be done for you.

WordPress SEO:

 

When you first create a website with WordPress, you’ll find they already have some handy SEO tools. However, as you may expect by now, WordPress has plenty of SEO plugins that can help boost your website. Yoast SEO is a popular plugin with a five-star rating.

It has over 27,000 reviews and 5+ million active installations. As you create your pages or write your blog posts, Yoast will aid you in ensuring everything is SEO friendly. One word of caution though, when you’re installing plugins, make sure they don’t conflict with each other or do the same things as one another as this can cause issues.

Overall:

This result is very much down to what suits you. Similar to what we’ve discovered already, WordPress has powerful tools available through their plugins. However, if plugins aren’t for you or you just can’t get your head around it, then SquareSpace’s SEO tools are all built-in.

Whichever option you choose, you won’t lose out on your website’s SEO.

 

#5: Security

When you create a website, security must be something that you factor in. Unfortunately, the internet can be a dangerous place. Hackers get a kick out of attacking vulnerable websites, so make sure you aren’t one of them.

Good for Bad for
SquareSpace SquareSpace will manage your website’s security

SSL certificates included in pricing plans

SquareSpace can sometimes be a hacker’s target due to its popularity
WordPress Security is managed by you and you are in control of it

Some plugins can manage and enhance your website’s security

Managing your own security means it’s your responsibility

Plugins that aren’t updated can pose a risk

SSL must be purchased and installed separately (check with your web host)

SquareSpace Security:

When you sign up to SquareSpace, you are essentially paying them to look after your website’s security. Your security is in their control, and they are experts in the field. If you are a beginner or simply don’t want the responsibility of your website’s security, SquareSpace is a great option. I would personally rather someone did the job for me!

SquareSpace’s pricing plans include a free SSL certificate. When a visitor lands on your website, they will see the small padlock icon next to the URL. This indicates to them that your website is secure, building trust with them and ranking you higher on Google. If you plan to sell products on your website, an SSL is essential to protect payment details.

The only downside to SquareSpace is that it’s so popular. This makes it a target for hackers and DDoS attacks. However, in my experience, they do a pretty good job at combatting this and I personally wouldn’t be concerned.

WordPress Security:

With WordPress, it’s down to you to look after your website’s security. You’ll need to ensure you have an SSL certificate and backup your website regularly. However, your web hosting provider may be able to help with this. Many web hosts include SSLs for free as well as taking backups of your website.

Plugins can also be your friend here. There’s a lot of plugins that can help with running your website. However, if you decide to go down this route, please ensure the plugin you install is trustworthy. Check out the plugins’ reviews from other users before installing it on your WordPress website.

Overall:

The big difference between SquareSpace and WordPress in terms of security is who takes responsibility. If you don’t think you’re ready to install your own plugins, I would suggest SquareSpace is a safer bet. However, this isn’t to say WordPress is unsafe. In fact, you can make WordPress just as safe by installing the correct plugins and ensuring your web host can provide you with an SSL.

 

SquareSpace vs WordPress: Conclusion

It’s safe to say that we’ve already established SquareSpace and WordPress are big players in the website builder industry. Whichever you choose, you’ll be able to achieve a professional and awesome looking website.

However, there are clear differences between them. SquareSpace is ideal for people who don’t have much technical experience or simply don’t want the effort of coding their own site. SquareSpace offers high-quality website templates that can be customised to your heart’s content. If you do want to add your personal touch by coding, they give you this option but you don’t have to use it.

WordPress is more suited to someone with technical experience or a desire to learn code. You’ll need to manage your own website’s updates, security and seek your own web hosting. However, the results can be truly powerful, which is why so many websites are powered by WordPress.

In my opinion, SquareSpace is easy to use and suitable for a wider audience. Though WordPress can probably achieve a lot more in the long run but takes more time and effort.

Really, it’s up to you to choose what’s best for you. Both are popular with good reason, but I’d say SquareSpace is an all-rounder which is much easier to access.

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