May 27, 2021

WordPress vs. Squarespace

Would you buy a poorly-explained product, or stay loyal to a brand if they aren’t consistent with the delivery of their services? Neither would we.

In setting up a business, it’s ultimately essential to know what you want and how you’ll achieve it. And one of the best ways to build and grow your brand, is by having your own professional website.

A basic website tells people what your business is about and what products or services you offer. An effective one, on the other hand, appeals and engages your customer’s five senses through your design, visuals, and overall website experience.

When you start creating your website, you were probably also overwhelmed with the sheer amount of possibilities that many website-building platforms offer, and at varying price points. Because of this, many entrepreneurs often get lost in the early stages of creating their business websites -- and they haven’t even started putting out content!

Regardless of what platform you ultimately decide to use, the end goal of your website should be to gain new customers. In this article, we’re comparing WordPress and Squarespace -- two of the most used (and thus most reliable) website-building platforms in the world. 

What is WordPress?

WordPress started in 2003 and quickly became famous for its added features like plug-ins and themes, as well as the ability to custom code your web. This paved the way for business owners to build e-commerce websites and even sell their own online courses. 

Nowadays, WordPress powers 40% of the websites you see on the internet. Even if you have limited knowledge of web programming and development, WordPress’ content management system allows you to easily create and market content on your website. Furthermore, WordPress has two different versions that can empower your business and market growth.

The first one is the Self-hosted WordPress, which most businesses, like Helmi Studios, are using. This is a paid and self-hosted software that you can genuinely own, wherein you can build fully customized sites. Since its open-source platform directs to your own domain, you can easily edit and access the code behind your website. 

The second version is Hosted WordPress, which is free and powered by WordPress itself. By paying a monthly fee, you can access a wide variety of features that let you build and maintain your site. However, you won’t have the same level of freedom as you would if you use Self-hosted WordPress. If you really want your own fully customizable website, choosing Self-Hosted WordPress is the best option.

Should I Use WordPress?

Knowing what website platform to use for your brand is an essential step in building your site. However, without a doubt, there will be advantages and disadvantages when using any software. Carefully examining the advantages and the disadvantages of using WordPress will definitely help you decide what website builder to use.

  • WordPress is a free and open-source software that anyone can use, study, change, and redistribute. Many of its themes and plugins are also accessible under the GPLv2 license. Being open-source software, WordPress programmers can openly share code online.
  • Using an open-source platform is also valuable when working with a third-party partner or agency to develop your WordPress website. You won’t be stuck working with proprietary software that only a small group of developers can work on. There are many different WordPress developers out there that can support your website if you ever need to change partners.
  • WordPress is relatively easy to use for most people—especially for people who lack web coding skills. The site is easy to navigate—you can quickly upload and edit article content and web pages in just a few clicks.
  • Plug-ins are program add-ons that amplify the software’s capabilities. The plug-ins that are developed and made available in WordPress allow you to customize, enhance, and secure your site, as well as ensure that it runs smoothly.
  • WordPress has thousands of themes available—many of which are reliably mobile-responsive. Entrepreneurs can create a mobile-friendly site that can upgrade every user’s experience.
  • If you have coding skills, website customization is effortless. Your ability to code can unlock a fully customized design, which will benefit your brand. This is a major win when using WordPress instead of Squarespace.
  • SEO is vital because it boosts your site’s visibility on search engines. SEO plugins on WordPress can help you optimize content, meta tags, keyword focus, and much more. 
  • New users can take a few months to get used to the content management system and in customizing the website. WordPress has a generally steeper learning curve compared to other website builders.
  • WordPress updates happen often, and installing them requires some work. When installing an update, it’s essential to acquire basic technical knowledge about WordPress to ensure that your website continues running smoothly. Do keep in mind that these updates are vital since they will secure your website from future issues.
  • As an open platform, WordPress is prone to potential hackers when you install the wrong plugin. It could open up your site to security risks, so install plug-ins with caution! 
  • WordPress does allow easy usage and gives you complete control of your webpage, and the website files and data. However, this freedom depends on where you’re hosting your site, and finding support may vary across different providers or may not have one at all. This is why it’s essential to learn more about WordPress to mitigate security risks or coding bugs.
  • Self-hosted WordPress requires you to work with a hosting provider or host your own site. It gives you complete control of the website but also requires some technical knowledge to set up.

What Is Squarespace?

Squarespace is a professional, no-nonsense website builder mainly catered to small business owners or “solopreneurs.” Whether you want to build a personal blog, portfolio, online store, or any form of web presence, Squarespace can help you get the job done. It is a one-stop-shop for everything you need to build an excellent website. It’s so easy to use, and you can launch your new website in just a few minutes.

It’s a platform that helps you create and maintain websites easily, especially if you’re not tech-savvy or skilled in web design. Quick and easy to use, Squarespace gives you the basic features of a domain name, templates, hosting, e-commerce, and the ability to import your own content. Its clean user interface makes it easy to use for beginners and professionals alike.

Since its inception in 2004 in Baltimore, Maryland, Squarespace has become a household name in the website building community. CEO and Founder Anthony Casalena ensured that Squarespace websites are modern, elegant, and built with its users in mind. Your website can look great on whatever device you’re using—smartphone, tablet, or desktop.

Over the past decade, Squarespace has been building tools to make it easy for anyone to create a beautiful and functional website. Currently, the platform has reached 3.79 million subscribers with an annual revenue rate of $754.2 million.

Should I Use Squarespace?

There are several advantages that Squarespace has over other web builders on the market. If you’re still trying to decide whether this platform is good for you or not, take a close look at the web builder’s advantages and disadvantages below.

  • The main advantage of Squarespace over other website-building platforms is that it helps small entrepreneurs create their own websites, even without a technical expert to maintain their website for them. Squarespace handles everything, including hosting and security-related issues.
  • Squarespace offers more than a hundred beautiful themes optimized for desktops, tablets, and smartphones. These templates are also customizable through the Design menu. However, these templates often depend on the images the website builder has already provided. If you replace them, your website’s design may look completely different.
  • If a blog is one of your main website elements, Squarespace is a great way to go. It has several blog-friendly features such as rich commenting, multi-author functionality, AMP support, and post scheduling. You can even host your own podcast using Squarespace!
  • Squarespace offers helpful live chat support that instantly gives you answers to almost all your queries. The support team even offers screencasts to efficiently show users the exact steps to follow.
  • All in one place, the Squarespace app allows you to update your site with ease or even create a new one. With just a few taps on your phone or tablet, you can make any design and share it effortlessly. The mobile application is available on the App Store and Google Play Store.
  • Squarespace has a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) concept that makes it quite impossible for users to edit the code and customize the themes. There’s very little that you can do outside of their pre-made templates from a design and functionality standpoint. Any custom features or plugins that you might want to add to your website will probably not be well-supported by the platform.
  • Incorporating metadata into your website content — which is essential to having good SEO on your website — is more difficult to do in Squarespace.

The Verdict

If you’re thinking about which platform is best, the answer is simple: there is no right or wrong answer. The choice all depends on your priorities as an entrepreneur. Overall, both platforms will allow you to create a professional, high-quality website with relative ease. However, when it comes to hosting your site and designing it, there are some key differences.

On the one hand, WordPress is flexible enough to let you customize its pre-made themes to suit your brand and adapt your site to your needs. On the other, it’s easy to get started with Squarespace because there aren’t too many settings for you to explore, navigate, and understand. It offers templates that make it easy to build your own website, especially for small business owners who lack the necessary skills and time to do so.

With the right software and strategy, we firmly believe that your brand can reach its true potential. We at Helmi Studios would love to help you build the best website for your business — and if you want to make sure your website goes live without a hitch, we’re always ready to help business owners succeed online.

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