Wordpress and Squarespace are both blog platform CMS (Content Management Systems) that support the creation and modification of digital content using a common user interface. Neither requires a great deal of expertise. I like to think of Squarespace as The Apple industry, and Wordpress as Microsoft. This is because Microsoft has an open platform, and Apple is closed and proprietary. I love Squarespace, and as long as it continues to offer its great designs and great support, I will never leave. So I am biased, but these are the reasons why I love Squarespace.
Open Source VS Closed Source
Wordpress is an open source platform with a huge community following. This community offers thousands of free and premium paid themes to make your website and blog beautiful. With Wordpress you have many more options to choose from for functionality, design, and creativity than Squarespace. But, this Wordpress open source platform comes with problems not built into Squarespace sites.
Squarespace is a paid service with a closed platform. If you have problems or questions, you can speak to a person at Squarespace through live chat, and over the phone. Whenever I've emailed Squarespace, I have always received a true response in less than an hour. Their customer service is the best out there. I have used BluDomain, and MPO Photographers, and neither has customer service that compares to Squarespace. There is peace of mind in knowing that you have one central location to get all your answers and problems resolved.
Because Wordpress is the leader with thousands of developers who offer free to paid plugins, they are more likely to get targeted for viruses. All that open source code is just tempting hackers on Wordpress sites. Wordpress is known for its security issues, and you will have to update often. What happens when you do an update and your plugins quit working, as in many of them? Who will you call? How will you contact each plugin developer to get help? What incentive does a developer who created your plugin for free have to fix its plugin that no longer works on the latest version of Wordpress? When you use a free plugin, your only customer support is to go online to forums to find a fix for your problem. It could take a long time, and time is not want your clients want to hear.
With Squarespace, you get full security with the updates all being done for you behind the scenes. And did I mention they have legendary customer service?
With Wordpress you need a separate hosting company to hold your database. When problems arise you are beholden to whomever hosts your database. Although there are many hosting companies to choose from with different names, many have been gobbled up by the larger companies. The reason you initially chose one hosting company over the other is now gone, because your company is now the umbrella of a larger one. Think Bluehost or Network Solutions or GoDaddy just to name a few. You may have considered site speed or low rate of downtime based on previous customer reviews when you chose your hosting company, only to find out that your company is now owned by the company you wanted to stay away from.
Squarespace offers fully integrated fully hosted services.
Standard, mobile-combatible websites come with all Squarespace templates.
With Wordpress you may or may not get a theme that is compatible with mobile, which not only hurts your ranking on search engines, but doesn't give the user a friendly mobile experience. You have to research your theme to ensure it's mobile ready.
Ease of Use and Set Up
With Squarespace, the templates are designed, just like Wordpress, for people with little to no programming experience. (I have an undergraduate degree in programming, and I still believe in Squarespace.) I don't feel the need to reinvent the wheel by coding websites manually, as I believe the strong content and quality photos is what sells your service or products. With Squarespace, everything is under one umbrella, and the set up is easy. You don’t need to worry about uptime, upgrades, hosting companies, or customer service. It’s all managed on one easy system.
With Wordpress, you must select a hosting company to manage your database on the back-end. This hosting company is important, because they affect site speed, set up difficulty, time up on the internet, backup procedures, and customer service. Did I mention that Squarespace has legendary great customer service?
Squarespace comes with fully integrated features including inventory tracking, tax, shipping included. With Wordpress, you need to install a plugin if you don't have a premium business package. Did I mention the drawback to plugins?
You need your website to be found. Both Squarespace and Wordpress offer SEO plugins. Squarespace standard templates don’t offer keywords on the main site, but keywords are not influencing search engines like they did in the past. You can implement tags and categories on your blog posts and galleries with Squarespace. Both Squarespace and Wordpress have meta tags for SEO.
(To understand what SEO is, please see my FAQ)
Squarespace offers less creativity than Wordpress to get exactly what you want in design, but good content is what sells your service or products. In fact, I have tested pages where there were no photos or design and they have outsold sold beautifully designed pages with bad copy. Although Wordpress offers thousands of templates with thousands of plugins to take your blog from mediocre to extraordinary, Squarespace is legendary for its beautiful designs. They don't offer thousands, in fact only about 25, but the themes they do offer are clean, simple, functional, and reasonably priced. Squarespace is known for its beautiful web design templates. If you know a little HTML you can modify them to your liking.
If you just want a simple blog without concern for design, go with Wordpress. If you are a business and need to sell your products or service, go with Squarespace. The cost for a business theme, hosting, and premium plugins verses Squarespace is about the same. It’s hard to find good help with Wordpress. So what is the real cost?
You can have a beautiful site with Squarespace, and get it up fast. As long as Squarespace exists, it is my choice for websites.
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