Squarespace Vs WordPress:
So, you’re ready to embark on your journey to becoming a top blogger, or have yourself an awesome website huh?
Before anything else, the very first thing that you should do is set up your very own blog. Now, it’s easy to get bogged down with options due to the fact that there are a gazillion of them on the internet. In this article, we’ll tackle two of the most well-known blogging platforms and weigh their pros and cons to come up with a better choice.
Squarespace vs WordPress: which blogging platform is the best? Let’s begin.
A quick look at Squarespace
Squarespace is unique from other blogging platforms since it’s presented as a SaaS or “software as a service” website builder.
The platform was founded by a then 21-year-old junior college student by the name of Anthony Casalena, who studied at the University of Maryland from 2001-2004. Casalena had wanted to build his own website, but he found that his options were quite limited and not at all appealing. Due to this, he vowed to make his own hosting platform.
The early beginnings of Squarespace occurred in Casalena’s undergraduate dorm room. He did everything by himself as a one-man-team – he was the coder, the marketing officer, and the customer service representative. This all went on until 2006, when Squarespace finally reached $1 million in revenue. Today, the company employs over 500 people in total.
Pros of Squarespace
Squarespace handles all the technical aspects of owning a blog, which means that you don’t need to care about those things anymore. This frees up a lot of your time that you can use on improving your blog instead. For beginner bloggers, this is very important. There are many beginner bloggers who don’t make it past the initial blogging stages simply because they found the technical side of it confusing or intimidating. This is where Squarespace shines best.
Although WordPress is also relatively easy to use, you still have to handle all the technicalities yourself unless you choose the premium plan. This means that you need to do everything yourself, from setting up your blog, customizing the themes, and even selecting the best plugins available. And even then, it’s up to you to periodically update your blog and configure your own site, something that not all beginner bloggers can handle from the get-go.
Easy to use
When it comes to ease of use, Squarespace is a clear winner. After all, it’s called a ‘website builder’ for a reason. Unlike WordPress, you don’t need to know anything about websites to be able to build your own on Squarespace.
In fact, there’s no need for even the most basic knowledge of web development to create a stunning blog on Squarespace, since the process is as easy as literally dragging and dropping items on a webpage. Basically, with Squarespace, you just have to locate the part that you want to change, edit it with the drag-and-drop builder, and hit save to finalize the changes. This makes it extremely easy to change the layout of your pages, switch around text boxes and images, and customize the look of your blog to your heart’s content.
It’s certainly much easier than WordPress where you have to go through a lot of hassles before you can arrive at the look you want. On WordPress, if you want to change something, you either have to buy a premium theme that allows different options, or you have to come equipped with sufficient CSS or HMTL knowledge. Obviously, for some bloggers, that’s a little too much.
There are two different versions of Squarespace. The standard version is made for those who are only interested in blogging while the developer version, as its name implies, is used by developers who want access to the source code.
If you’re just planning to blog, the standard version is typically enough for you. It’s only when you want to add some additional special features that you should take a look at the developer version.
All -in – 1 -package
If you have an account with Squarespace, you don’t have to go out of the site to search for themes, templates, hosting, domain provider, or whatever it is that you need to establish a reputable blog. Just name it and Squarespace (most likely) has it.
That’s right, everything you need is already on Squarespace. It’s definitely the perfect solution for people who like all-in packages since Squarespace makes sure that you won’t find anything lacking on their own website.
The best thing about this is that you only need to deal with one company, that is, Squarespace, in case something goes wrong. This is unlike WordPress where you have to deal with several individual developers. Say you have a problem with two different plugins on WordPress. You can’t contact WordPress directly and tell them to solve that problem for you. You have to contact two different support teams from two different developers. If a similar incident happened in Squarespace, you would only have to talk with Squarespace directly and they’ll do their best to accommodate you.
Plus, as mentioned above, their templates don’t require any custom knowledge either, as everything is just drag and drop.
Cons of Squarespace
No free version
Unfortunately, while WordPress can be used even by those who are only thinking of getting into blogging as a hobby, Squarespace is a bit more suited for serious bloggers.
That’s because unlike other platforms such as WordPress, there’s no free version of Squarespace. Users are required to pay a monthly fee in order to use the site and the amount of payment depends on the plan selected.
Currently, there are four basic plans available on Squarespace. The cheapest one is called Personal, at $12 a month, which comes with all the features you need for a basic blog like a free domain, SSL security, SEO features, and templates.
Next, there’s Business, at $18 a month. In addition to all the features available on the Personal plan, the Business plan also includes advanced marketing features like website analytics and promotional banners. It also has e-commerce features such as an online store and the ability to accept donations and gift cards.
If you want more comprehensive e-commerce options, you can also choose Commerce Basic or Commerce Advanced which will cost you $26 or $40 a month, respectively.
Although Squarespace’s plans work well for plenty of people, it’s actually not as flexible as WordPress’s plans. The Personal plan, for example, only allows a limited number of pages and doesn’t allow users to add custom CSS and scripts. Many blogging platforms allow at least that much freedom for their paying customers, regardless of how much they’re paying.
The good thing is that if you select at least a year’s worth of plan, Squarespace provides you a free domain to go with your blog. Domains run for at least $10 per year, so at least you get to save some money on that aspect.
A quick look at WordPress
WordPress is one of the, if not the, most popular blogging platforms at the moment. Over 30% of all websites on the world wide web utilize WordPress. It’s fast, it’s simple, it’s intuitive. It comes with many options for both hobbyist bloggers and serious bloggers who are looking forward to stepping up in their chosen career path.
The platform first started out in 2003 as an independent project after a now-defunct blogging software called b2/cafelog was discontinued. Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, two b2/cafelog users decided to build a new platform that would allow the community’s old users to continue their blogs. That new platform turned out to be WordPress.
Nowadays, WordPress is practically the default choice for many people who are starting a blog. In this section of the article, you’ll figure out why you should (or shouldn’t) consider it over Squarespace.
Pros of WordPress
As mentioned above, more than 1 out of every 4 websites you visit uses WordPress. This is mainly because of the fact the company has a long and reputable history as a blogging platform. As mentioned above, it was first founded 17 years ago, which means that for 17 years now, WordPress has constantly been fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of bloggers everywhere. If that doesn’t sound credible to you, who knows what does.
Regardless of whether you’re an amateur blogger who’s thinking of blogging full-time or a businessman who wants to create a website for his existing business, WordPress is a very credible platform that can help you reach your goals.
All WordPress sites can be installed with an SSL certificate that replaces the standard http with the more secure https. By doing so, you’re ensuring your visitors that the connection between your site and their browser is 100% encrypted and secure. It also prevents hackers from hijacking the connection of your visitors just to bypass the login form and hack into your website.
While many platforms nowadays are starting to include SSL into their most basic plans, there are still some that don’t offer this security setting by default. WordPress, on the other hand, has SSL certificates available even for the free plan. That’s something that all platforms should have, honestly.
Unlike in Squarespace where getting a paid subscription means that you’re automatically hosting your blog on their servers, WordPress actually gives you full control over where you want to purchase your domain and hosting.
Bloggers who use free hosting can only use WordPress.com, which adds the .wordpress.com at the end of the site name, while those who use paid hosting, regardless of whether the hosting was availed through WordPress or not, can access WordPress.org, the ‘premium’ version of the platform.
This means a lot of things for WordPress users. For one, it allows users to cut expenses wherever they see fit. For example, if you wanted to go with a cheaper, but less convenient, option, you could actually purchase a domain name from Namecheap and a hosting plan from Bluehost and still be able to use WordPress’s entire platform to build your blog. Win-win!
WordPress offers a whole slew of freebies to those who have paid hosting plans. We’re talking about thousands of themes, tens of thousands of plugins, and hundreds of thousands of high-resolution royalty-free photos that you can instantly add to your posts if need be. No other blogging platform in the world can offer the same amount of goodies as WordPress, even Squarespace.
Don’t believe me? Currently, there are a total of about 3,000 free themes in WordPress’s theme repository, while Squarespace has about 59. That’s 3000 vs 59 options. You could change your theme every single day for the next 5 years and you still wouldn’t have explored more than 60% of your theme options in WordPress. If you tried to do the same thing on Squarespace, you won’t even get to two months.
If you’re the kind of person who wants everything you own to be unique, right down to the most minute detail, then you’re going to love WordPress. Even free themes are customizable, although you’re going to need a premium theme if you really want to customize everything on your website.
Be it the font, the color of the background, the header, the spaces, the margins – whatever it is, it’s probably customizable on WordPress. If it isn’t, don’t worry, you can simply use your own CSS codes to customize it. And if you don’t know how to create or use CSS codes, there’s no need to fret either; there’s probably a plugin out there that could do the job for you anyway.
While Squarespace is really easy to use with its drag-and-drop website builder, this also means that you can’t customize everything to the nitty-gritty details, unlike WordPress with its CSS and HTML editing. It’s a two-edged sword for Squarespace, definitely.
Cons of WordPress
Free version is extremely limited
The biggest con of WordPress also has to do with one of its biggest pros: its free version.
Although I’ve already mentioned above that WordPress has a free version–WordPress.com instead of WordPress.org–it’s extremely limited in terms of several aspects. In fact, I would only recommend the free version if you’re absolutely sure that you don’t want to make money blogging. And even if you’re just a hobbyist, it would still be much better to get a cheap hosting plan just to get over all the downsides of getting the free version.
For one, you can’t have your own domain name if you’re using the free version which means you’re stuck with
.wordpress.com until you upgrade to a paid plan.
Two, you can’t customize your entire blog to your heart’s desire if you’re only on the free plan. Also, although free themes on the free plan are customizable, the degree of customization allowed also depends on the specific theme that you’re going to choose. Some themes don’t even allow you to change the default colors unless you’re going to pay for a premium theme, and you can’t get premium themes without upgrading to a paid hosting plan.
Three, you can’t use plugins when you’re on a free plan, which means that you’re missing out on a lot of the features that most serious bloggers have. Plugins are some of the best things ever about WordPress, because they offer so much value to websites.
This means that to make use of the version of WordPress that we all know and love, you first have to purchase paid hosting for your blog first, whether it’s from WordPress or some other external hosting company.
Paid hosting is more expensive than average
WordPress offers different hosting plans, but they’re a bit more expensive than the average offerings.
The cheapest plan is $3 a month, while the most expensive one is $40 a month. $3 may seem cheap, but I wouldn’t recommend that plan to anyone, honestly. If you choose that option, you’ll have no choice but to use a .blog domain, which isn’t even the standard.
If you want to make use of .com or .net or .org, you have to get the $5 per month plan. At this point, it’s already more expensive than other trusted hosting companies, such as Bluehost, whose cheapest plan is only $2.95 and already comes with a free domain name and all the perks you could possibly think of in WordPress’ $5 per month plan.
Conclusion – Squarespace vs WordPress?
Honestly, there’s no set answer to the question of which is better in the battle of Squarespace vs WordPress as each one has its own pros and cons.
If you ask us, however, we personally like WordPress’s feature-filled platform better than Squarespace’s easy-to-use interface. After all, WordPress is also considered a pioneer in the blogging industry, as many bloggers started out with this reliable blogging service. But if you’re not confident of your blog-customizing skills, you might want to give Squarespace and its drag-and-drop website builder a shot.