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Squarespace or WordPress: Which platform is more suitable for your website?

July 9, 2024

Squarespace and WordPress are two of the most popular website building platforms on the market, and as a website designer of 5+ years, I’ve had the opportunity to use and try both for my clients’ projects.

As with comparing most things, it’s difficult to say whether one of these tools is definitively better than the other because it largely depends on what your personal priorities are as a user or website designer but today we want to help you understand the platforms better.

What is Squarespace?

Squarespace is a popular website builder that allows users to create visually appealing and professional websites without needing to know how to code. 

The main difference between the two is that WordPress is free to use but requires users to find their own hosting, while Squarespace is an all-in-one platform that includes hosting. With Squarespace, users can easily build a website, blog, or online store, all within the same platform.

Image of Sqaurespace website platform

What is WordPress?

WordPress operates in a unique manner compared to Squarespace as it is not a comprehensive platform that provides hosting and additional features. Instead, it is a free, open-source software for creating websites that can be installed on a hosting platform purchased separately from companies like Zume.

Since users are required to handle the setup of hosting, as well as manage security, updates, and backups independently without a support team, WordPress is often labeled as a ‘self-hosted’ platform.

image of WordPress platform

Squarespace vs WordPress: Comparisons

Squarespace vs WordPress: Pricing and costs

The cost of Squarespace 

The cost of Squarespace can be a factor to consider when choosing a blogging platform or building your website. While Squarespace is known for its user-friendly interface and sleek designs, it tends to be pricier than WordPress.  Even though it may feel slightly more expensive the pricing structure is quite straightforward due to the fact that it is an all-in-one platform.

For businesses, the cost ranges from £17 to £43 per month (depending on whether you require e-commerce functionality) for hosting and all essential website features.

When it comes to extra expenses, you will need to buy a domain name (e.g. berlew.co.uk is my domain name) which typically costs around £10 per year. 

The cost to work with a Squarespace designer

Squarespace is designed for business owners to be able to build a site easily themselves however there may be some things you need a website designer or developer to help on. With Squarespace the build is all from templates so if you want to make your brand stand out this is where a developer or designer can step in. Prices for this service can vary depending on a designer’s experience, but for reference, the average is from £2000. 

The cost of WordPress

WordPress is technically a FREE software. But you need to pay for a website hosting service to install this free software on. The best WordPress hosting provider with their servers based in the UK is Zume and plans start from £12 per month.

Alongside your WordPress hosting you will also need to pay for a domain name, along with any specific features and WordPress plugins you need. There are free plugins available but you may need to pay additionally for features. 

How much does it cost to hire a WordPress designer?

Like any other service, the costs for designing a WordPress website can vary depending on the designer’s level of experience. Typically, creating a high-quality, custom WordPress site can vary depending on how much coding and customisation is needed but our WordPress website builds start from £750. You can learn more about our website services and examples here.

Templates and designs to build your website 

Squarespace templates

Squarespace templates are a great option for building a website. There are 50+ pre-made templates designed by Squarespace that you can use, or you can design a website from scratch, and you can also use code to customise Squarespace further if you want to as well!

WordPress templates to help you build your website

WordPress is a powerful platform for building websites, offering a wide range of templates that can help you create a professional and visually appealing site. The difference between WordPress and a Squarespace site lies in the flexibility and control that WordPress provides. While Squarespace may be easier to use for beginners, WordPress offers a steeper learning curve but ultimately more customisation options. If you are considering switching from a Squarespace to WordPress site, there are plugins available to make the transition smoother. Both Squarespace and WordPress allow you to create a beautiful website, but the premium WordPress templates and plugins give you more control over the design and functionality of your site.

SEO options to make your site visible 

Built-in SEO tools for Squarespace

Squarespace offers numerous SEO tools built-in and follows search engine best practices in its structure. The biggest thing with SEO is your SEO titles and meta descriptions and the good thing is you can customise meta titles and descriptions for each page, blog post, and product page, add alt text to images, and more.

Even beginners can easily optimise their Squarespace sites without the need for extra add-ons. 

WordPress tools and customisability for SEO

Due to its open-source nature, WordPress offers a wider range of tools that can be added to your website. There are so many plugins you can add to boost your SEO. From plugins like Yoast and Rank Math that offer free versions that do the job of helping you have a tick list on how to make your SEO better. To tools such as WP Rocket to make your site load quicker than ever. 

However, simply installing plugins like Yoast on your WordPress site does not automatically optimise it. It offers suggestions for editing to improve your SEO, but you still need to put in the effort to make these changes. The effectiveness of any SEO plugins you install depends on your knowledge of how to use them. Additionally, because WordPress is self-hosted, you have more flexibility in choosing your website hosting compared to Squarespace, where hosting is included in the fee with no option to upgrade. Also opting for a dedicated server for WordPress hosting (like Zume) could significantly improve website loading speed and potentially benefit SEO, but its effectiveness depends on how you utilise it.

The Pros & Cons of WordPress

Pros of WordPressCons of WordPress
WordPress is technically free (although you need to pay separately for website hosting and some plugins/themes) but this is minimal.For businesses starting out, it can feel a little confusing on where to host and all the things you may need for your WordPress website.
WordPress has infinite design and feature possibilities to add to and customise your website.The opportunities are endless however some things may need customisations and coding for meaning additional costs for developer support.
WordPress has very powerful SEO options with lots of free and paid plugins.WordPress has a steep learning curve and can feel more complicated vs Squarespace.
WordPress has infinite ecommerce capabilities with tonnes of optional add-ons.WordPress is self-hosted which means you’re responsible for maintenance, security and backups yourself, and you’ll need to regularly update the software.
Mobile responsiveness allows for full customisation meaning you can give a great user experience across all devicesWordPress has no customer support because it is self-hosted.

The Pros & Cons of Squarespace

Pros of SquarespaceCons of Squarespace
Squarespace is an all-in-one platform whose pricing includes everything your website needs.Squarespace is a monthly/annual cost (unlike WordPress which is free itself, where you can find cheaper hosting plans).
Squarespace is easy to use with a drag and drop page editor, meaning anyone can build and use it.Squarespace comes with tonnes of built-in features, but there aren’t as many ‘extra’ functionality plugins or custom themes as WordPress. You can custom code some elements but this means more out lay for website developers.
Squarespace has built-in SEO tools that are usually more than enough for most businesses to need.Squarespace has fewer SEO plugin add-ons available and no dedicated server hosting options.
Easily add ecommerce to any Squarespace website, with all the features most small to medium online stores should need.Not as many ecommerce features as WordPress or Shopify can offer, so may not be the right choice for larger stores.
All Squarespace templates are designed to be perfectly mobile responsive, and it’s easy to edit the mobile version of your designs too.
Squarespace has 24/7 customer support to help you.
Squarespace is low maintenence because it is ‘fully managed’, so they take care of software updates, security and backups for you.

Choosing WordPress or Squarespace

Many WordPress users choose to use WordPress because of the flexibility it offers in terms of creating any kind of website. Whether you want to run a WordPress website, blog, or online store, WordPress can accommodate your needs. However, maintaining your website can be more complex with WordPress compared to Squarespace, as you must handle hosting and updates yourself. Additionally, WordPress users often rely on plugins such as Yoast SEO to optimise their sites for search engines. On the other hand, Squarespace users can make changes to their site directly in the editor without needing plugins like you would with WordPress.

In terms of pricing, WordPress is free, but you may have additional costs for themes, plugins, and hosting. Squarespace offers monthly plans that include hosting, a domain name, and access to their platform. While Squarespace may seem like a more expensive option, it can be more cost-effective in the long run, especially for those looking to build a professional website quickly and easily. 

When deciding between WordPress and Squarespace, it ultimately depends on your needs and technical abilities. If you want full control over your website and are comfortable with self-hosted WordPress, is the best option.  

Need help with your website?

We know it can be tricky to choose and that’s why if you wanna chat about your business and the best options we are happy to help. As much as we are a creative design agency based in Nottingham that offers our clients WordPress websites we also understand this may not be right for you and that’s why we always aim to speak and understand our client’s needs to ensure we and WordPress are the right choice. Book a free enquiry today.

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