Squarespace vs Wordpress: The Age Old Debate
So you're unsure of whether to go with Squarespace or Wordpress and a lot of the things you read provide conflicting or biased advice, right?
It's a tough job trying to find the perfect platform straight off the bat especially when making an investment for the perfect website, you want to ensure your business thrives in the right environment.
Squarespace: Squarespace provides the perfect platform for service-based businesses who do not need all the bells and whistles as required by a more in-depth business (we're talking memberships, e-commerce, directories etc).
With the easy user backend, as well as the smooth user experience, Squarespace is fast becoming the go-to platform for businesses of all sizes.
Wordpress: Wordpress is also a great contender for service-based business, however, from experience, the tremendous amount of options (themes, plugins, add-ons etc) available on a WP site can sometimes be quite confusing for the owner to navigate.
To keep a Wordpress site simplistic, often you are faced with themes that contain unnecessary features that are hard to remove for a novice designer. That's not to say it's not a good choice for service-based business as it does have a great amount of freedom due to the open-source nature of the platform.
E-commerce Based Business
Squarespace: Squarespace does have e-commerce functionalities which do work great for those needing a store on the smaller scale. However, in the scenario that the business requires a larger store-front, Squarespace is not my recommended platform due to the lack of features available.
There have been many issues arisen from a SS website over the years; from lack of a smooth inventory management, shipping integrations, product variations, reviews, and even post-purchase marketing, it does lack the core features required for a LARGE successful store.
Wordpress: Wordpress is the god of all things e-commerce and provides an immersive amount of features as well as plugins to truly cater the shopping experience to yours and your users needs. From shipping, upselling, purchase limits, coupons, return handling and so much more, it is paving the way for the most preferred platform for many business owners.
Squarespace: With Squarespace being an all-in-one hosted platform, the platform is extremely tight on security and at the point of writing this, I am not aware of one website hack or malware issue within any of the SS community. This is a HUGE deal for those on platforms such as WP (where security breaches are much more of a daily issue) as it allows the users to not have to worry about the additional requirements of maintaining security and running tests.
Wordpress: With WP being an open-source platform, it raises a lot of security issues and malware and bot attacks pretty much occur on a daily basis. Now, that's not to say it's a haven of viruses or that you should be worried about the security of your website because if done right, you are likely to not have any issues surrounding this.
One way for many WP users to get around security issues is by using third-party providers that provide plugins within their website to scan, prevent and clean the website of any unwanted materials. These do however, often come with additional fees and can cause the cost of your website to increase on a monthly basis.
Integrations & Plugins
Squarespace: Squarespace doesn't provide their users with a specific plugin directory as provided on WP - simply because there is rarely a need for third-party applications. Squarespace comes pre-built with an on-page builder as well as SSL certificates, powerful analytics, SEO, MailChimp and many more and thus reducing the need for additional plugins to make the website perform.
That being said, there are occasions where businesses require additional features as of which, can either be coded into the website or pre-coded 'plugins' and API integrations can be purchased from third-party providers; eliminating the need to move platform.
Wordpress: As mentioned above, WP provides a built-in directory of plugins built by developers that can be used within your website. The range is vast and you are bound to find what you are looking for just through a simple Google or directory search.
However, this does flag some issues in terms of reducing site speed as well as opening your site up to potential threats (it's been known that people have gone through plugins to access website information) so it's something to be aware of when choosing WP based on this alone.
Pricing & Hosting
Squarespace: Squarespace is completely self-hosted and therefore, doesn't require a third-party hosting service to manage your website. The platform is perfect for those wanting to keep everything in one place and removes the need to shop around for the best deal.
Squarespace's hosting prices start at £15 for a business website and although this is initially more than a WP site, there is no cost to build, use a theme or ANY of their built-in features (analytics, SEO etc) which essentially makes this a HUGE saving compared to the amount you'd potentially spend on WP plugins, themes, and integrations.
Wordpress: Wordpress doesn't provide it's own hosting options and instead, this is provided by third-party services such as Siteground, Flywheel, GoDaddy etc. Although hosting is on the cheaper side (starting from as little as £5 a month!) the price soon adds up when taking into consideration the theme, plugins, and third-purchases required to make the website functioning.
What's our verdict?
Squarespace will always be our go-to platform for small to medium-sized business who are looking for a stand-out website for their business. We love that SS can be easy to implement for a novice but also provides full developer functionality for seasoned designers.
We do, however, recommend Wordpress for scenarios where extended functionality is required. This usually includes larger e-commerce stores, multi-functional membership websites, directories and business on a much larger scale.
We hope this helps you to make a more informed decision on the perfect platform for your business!