Squarespace vs WordPress: Which Is The Superior Option?


Fiona O’Connell


2020 January 20th

Squarespace vs WordPress

Comparing Squarespace vs WordPress is difficult. On the one hand, Squarespace is an easy-to-use website builder and hosting, and on the other - WordPress is both a powerful open-source content management system and a website builder.

Both provide a means to an end - allows you to build a website. So, in this article, we’re going to look at each platform's highlights and determine what is the best situation to use one of them.

Squarespace - No Hassle Website Builder

Squarespace is similar to Wix and many other website building platforms. They all are software as a service (SaaS) website builders. You pay a monthly fee to use their proprietary software that has everything you need to build and maintain a website. That includes hosting, a content management system, eCommerce, templates, and much more.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Home Page

What makes Squarespace unique, is that they have two versions of the platform: their standard version designed for those without coding skills, as well as web developer version which allows access to the source code.

WordPress - The Two-Headed Web Platform

WordPress is more complex than a regular website builder. First of all, that's because it is separated into two different platforms: WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

WordPress.com (the hosted version) is quite similar to Squarespace - you pay a monthly fee for which you get access to a whole host of features and hosting that enables you to build and maintain a website.

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress Home Page

WordPress.org is a whole different case. It's an open-source platform that can be downloaded and put on a hosting account. It requires more technical knowledge in order to run smoothly and in general, is less suited for beginners. However, if you have the technical skills then there are no real limits.

You can find out more about the differences between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com in the post we wrote previously.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Which Is Easier To Use?

For some people, having a piece of technology that’s intuitive and easy to use is key. And when it comes to simplicity, both of these providers offer a clean, clutter-free, and uncomplicated user interface. You can get a website built fairly quickly, whether you know how to code or not.

Squarespace makes building out web pages incredibly easy with their tools that allow users to add and edit elements anywhere on the page. You can customize, design, publish, and maintain your site all in one place without having to do any technical heavy lifting.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Editing

WordPress.com has a similar design and control features like most other website builders, but it's a bit less intuitive than Squarespace. 

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress Editor

WordPress.org is also an intuitive content management system - but it has more of a learning curve than Squarespace or other website builders.

Even if you don’t know how to code, you can buy a WordPress theme and modify it as you like. As a CMS it definitely takes some time to learn how to navigate and modify components, but that knowledge will be useful in the future.

Squarespace is an easy to use website builder designed for the non-techies in mind, but if you’re no stranger to website creation, you might actually prefer exploring and learning the nuances of WordPress.org.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Templates and Design

Squarespace is often praised for its beautiful library of stylish and modern website templates. But WordPress has more than double the number of templates. So it all depends on the quality of the template and customization.

With Squarespace, all the templates are included in every plan you buy. So you won't need to spend extra money. The builder offers more than 90 website templates from categories like creative services, food & drink, entertainment, and etc.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Templates

After you bought a template, you can customize the color, width, and spacing of most parts of your website. And if you buy the Business plan you can even fully customize CSS and Javascript to create the perfect design.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Templates Editor

If we look at WordPress.com templates selection, we can find that you have 130+ free templates. There are even more premium templates to choose from. You can buy these separately or upgrade to a Premium plan for unlimited selection.

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress Templates

Sadly, most of the customization is hidden behind the Premium plan. There is no or very little customization for free and Personal plan users. Even with Premium, you can only have custom CSS and change colors and backgrounds.

But let's not forget our friend WordPress.org CMS.

Choices for WordPress.org themes are simply endless, with thousands of free and paid themes on the market. But it can take some time to learn how to navigate the theme for further modification and customizing.

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress CMS Templates

Note, that not all of those templates are going to be beautiful and modern looking. And a lot of the best WordPress themes are also going to cost you a bit extra. But you are free to modify whatever you want here.

Overall, it's a matter of preference. Squarespace has better quality and customization. WordPress has the quantity and an option to create your own template.

Squarespace vs WordPress: Pricing

Squarespace plans range from $12-40 per month, with every plan you get unlimited bandwidth and storage space. WordPress, on the other hand, has 5 plans that go from free to $45 a month. While you get unlimited bandwidth, storage space is always limited to the max of 200 GB.

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress Pricing

Both of these providers offer a free domain name for one year, of course, you need to buy their service for at least a year. But if you feel serious about your project it's a great way to save time and money.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Free Domain Name

Squarespace prices depend on the features you need for your website. Since storage space and bandwidth are unlimited, the difference between most plans is the options you get. 

eCommerce on Squarespace starts at $18 a month. But this plan has a 3% transaction fee - so if you're serious about selling, stick to the $26 a month option.

Squarespace vs WordPress - Squarespace Transactions

Squarespace gives you a discount if you choose to pay annually. It also provides a 14-day free trial, which is a great way to test-drive its platform and services.

The WordPress.com platform has a free plan but it's very limited - you only get 3 GB of storage space and a subdomain. It can be a great choice if you just want to create a simple blog, but it also offers 4 premium options if you need more features.

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress Storage Space

Note, that with the free plan you get a mysite.wordpress.com subdomain. Meanwhile, the $45 eCommerce plan gives everything that an online business would need - secure payments, unlimited products, and marketing tools.

But WordPress.com only allows you to buy hosting for a minimum of one year. But it gives you room to test its features with a 30-days money-back guarantee.

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress Yearly Plans

Since price is important, let's compare 2 of the cheapest options with both providers:

WordPress Squarespace
Free Personal Personal Business
Price Free $5 $12 $18
Disk space limit 3GB 6GB Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth limit Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
SSL None None Included Included
Custom CSS No Basic No Yes
Email accounts 0 0 0 One
Website Templates 130+ 300+ 90+ 90+
Money-back guarantee No 30 days 14 days 14 days
Customer Support None 24/7 live chat and email 24/7 live chat and email 24/7 live chat and email
Free Automated Backups No No No No

Now, here's the kicker:

Using WordPress.org, you don't need to pay for the platform, because it's a free CMS. But you'll need to pay for a domain name and find a hosting provider on your own. It doesn't cost you money but it cost you time because you need to learn and manage a lot of technical things.

Squarespace vs WordPress - WordPress CMS

WordPress has cheaper options - it includes a free plan and a free open-source platform, so the price is up to you. Squarespace pricing is much more streamlined - and if you wish to sell online, it's much cheaper to get the same features with Squarespace.

Squarespace vs WordPress: Conclusion

Overall, Squarespace is a simpler option than WordPress. It offers streamlined plans and easy to edit beautiful templates. But WordPress has cheaper pricing and a completely free plan. Also, you can download the open-source version of WordPress.

Both providers offer a money-back guarantee, so there is no risk in trying one, or both of them on your own.

Which provider do you like more? And if you're using one of them, write a comment below why.

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