Not a week goes by that we don’t see someone asking which is better – WordPress or SquareSpace?
It’s a bit like dog lovers v cat lovers, there are passionate people on both sides of the argument. Like pets we have a preference for website platforms but we think it is always worthwhile to look at the pros and cons of every aspect of business development.
So, let’s compare WordPress and SquareSpace and you can see what will work best for your individual circumstances.
Today we are going to cover the differences in:
- Ease of Use
- Content Management
- Page/ Post Customisation
- Plugins and Expenses
- Designs and Templates
- Forms and collection of data
Ease of Use
Let’s start with ease of use, this is one of the benefits that SquareSpace lovers declare as the reason for their choice. SquareSpace is very simple to use, it’s like buying a dress at Target compared to having a dressmaker custom make you one. You can choose something that is quick and easy or you can choose something that creates the exact image you want to put out.
A SquareSpace website can easily get you online in a short space of time but you may be left thinking “that will do”. With WordPress you can create a custom, bespoke website that feels right in every way and form.
Sure, in order to get to this point you need to either engage a professional web developer and designer (we may know someone awesome there ;)) or spend time learning the ins and outs yourself. But we believe it’s like putting the time into puppy training, in a year or two you will feel relieved and confident in your choice.
WordPress can seem daunting for many but like everything in business you get to have the exact end result you want by choosing to invest time or money. Either one will leave you with a website that helps you send out the right message and grow your business.
We love wordpress for the customisation we can provide during setup but let’s look at the day to day tweaking as well.
For content management purposes there are some things to consider. Firstly content versioning, this is where every version of a specific page and even posts are stored in the system meaning you can go back to an earlier version at any time. WordPress has content versioning but Squarespace chooses to save on hosting costs and fails to give this as an option to users. This means if you decide you want to go back to an older version you will need to rely on your memory.
In regard to media libraries, SquareSpace requires you to upload each image every time you need to insert it anywhere, whereas wordpress keeps a library for you to access. This can be helpful if you want to use an image more than once for example a signature you like to add to the bottom of your blogs or a product shot you want to use on more than one page. It also allows you to edit your images and documents and provides a more sophisticated resource for users.
Page/ Post Customisation
WordPress gives you greater customisation in your pages and blog posts, the ability to change html code really opens up the world of web design. Without the ability to add and change code you are stuck with whatever SquareSpace chooses to give you. You can choose to insert code blocks in SquareSpace however the main HTML behind your content is never accessible. If you decide further down the line that you want to add a unique element that requires custom code, in wordpress you will be able to insert whatever you need without reinventing the whole page.
Plugins and Expenses
WordPress plugins give you the ability to customise most elements of your website quickly and easily. Want to add something new to your website? WordPress probably has a plugin! We will discuss the various uses for plugins below.
In regards to ongoing expenses WordPress generally comes out cheaper in comparison to SquareSpace when you look at the value you are getting for your dollar.
Designs and Templates
What about designs for DIYers? SquareSpace does give you some lovely designs to choose from, but that is it – ‘some’. WordPress will wow you with the number of template options to choose from, the only downside is you may lose yourself for a few days trying to find the right one as there are so many wonderful options.
For an e-commerce site we find wordpress once again wins though SquareSpace does have an e-commerce system built in, unfortunately it is limited. When you look at payment gateways SquareSpace only links to Stripe and PayPal at this point and even this is quite basic. There is also the issue of exporting in the future, once you are with SquareSpace you are stuck there, there is no option to export your products in the future without a fiddly process.
WordPress does not provide its own in built system however through its handy plugins you can find an easy to use and high functionality system that will meet each business’ individual needs and connect to payment gateway that best suits your business.
Forms and collection of data
Forms are another area you may want to look at when comparing the two. Here again, SquareSpace provides what seems to be, at first glance easy to use and simple forms. But you are limited to sending the data to Mailchimp, Google Sheets or an email so the functionality at the end is disappointing.
Plugins come into play with WordPress here again allowing you to integrate with any service you want and providing much better functionality with just a bit of time to set up.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention SEO especially as we understand here at Scruffy Dog Studio how vital it is to the success of small business websites. I have heard people declare that SquareSpace has built in SEO features that mean it will automatically perform well from an SEO perspective.
Unfortunately this just isn’t true, WordPress has been proven by and far to have better SEO capability and it’s one of the big reasons why WordPress is our top choice.
Rich snippets are one of the key points here to consider. Rich snippets are pieces of website data that contribute greatly to search results so they are very important in website development. WordPress, unlike SquareSpace allows rich snippets to be added easily and this greatly improves a website’s visibility. Like other important website elements you can work around this in SquareSpace but it’s fiddly and a bit of a pain.
Still on the SEO aspect WordPress simplifies it even more by calling alt tags and meta data by their correct name, SquareSpace has changed the names of these, making these important SEO elements difficult to find and often overlooked.
Plugins help WordPress again with SEO, there are a vast range of helpful tools that will assist business owners to assess how their website is tracking and make changes to improve SEO.
With the choice of your own hosting and HTML customisation WordPress pages tend to load quicker and this last point also contributes to better SEO. SquareSpace does not give you the choice in regards to hosting so you can not control page speed and improve SEO through this or clever coding.
You can see why we love WordPress and why we recommend it as the choice for our clients as well as anyone wanting to diy.
If you want to create your dream website or overhaul an existing site get in touch here