As a web designer, I have been asked this question thousands of times: When it comes to building a website: WordPress or Squarespace? My personal preference is not convincing enough to someone who is about to put some serious cash into a new website. To me, it’s like the difference between buying something at Target or Walmart; you may pay less at Walmart for a similar item, but the shopping experience and quality of the item you buy is pretty much guaranteed to be better at Target.
That’s not to say I never shop at Walmart. If I need toilet paper or milk, it’s my go-to. But if I’m shopping for shoes, bedding, housewares, stationary… you can bet I’m going to clear an afternoon to spend at Target.
Remember – there is a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. If you’re looking for something more similar to a Squarespace experience, you’re looking for .com. If you want something more robust and complex, .org is where it’s at.
It’s only “better” if it’s better for you
It’s the same thing with websites. Having a quick-fix website can do you more harm than good. Squarespace websites may look nice on the outside and be easier to use. But if you need a website that grows with your business and allows you to elevate beyond the norm, WordPress is the only real solution.
However not everyone needs something more complex or powerful. Sometimes you just need something simple and straightforward.
Due to my lack of experience with Squarespace and in order to offer a fully formed argument, I asked some friends and even some strangers in the industry to compare WordPress or Squarespace.
I took to one of my favorite Facebook groups and asked some of the members which they liked better…
Squarespace is much easier! The way I usually describe it is Squarespace is perfect for beginners! You can create a gorgeous, professional-looking site yourself. However, there are limitations so if you have an idea that requires a lot of customization/moving parts, WordPress might work better. The learning curve is much steeper though and you will likely need to hire out. – Louise Henry
For me, square space. I had and paid for WP for almost a year and honestly couldn’t understand it. I switched to SS and had my website up in 1 day. It depends on your level of expertise, the time you have, the money you have to invest. I’m perfectly happy with my SS website. – Tyler Justine Nitz
WordPress all the way. Customization options, plugins and control. What if Squarespace shuts down one day? At least self-hosted WP is yours. But, some people really love Squarespace and say it depends on your needs. I personally don’t find it as user-friendly as everyone says. I log into it for a client’s blog and find WP easier, but maybe I’m just used to it. – Marlene Srdic
You can create whatever you want, you’re not limited, and if you’re into plugins, there are a ton of them at your beck and call. – Makeda Mutema-Newton
Depends on what your business is and what you need your site for. Squarespace is pretty & user-friendly. WordPress has great plugins & ideal for an active blog. […] I use both platforms […] and find that WordPress is a touch more intimidating initially. But with a little familiarizing, it’s not too bad! – Serena Waller
I love Squarespace but WordPress has a lot of more features/plugins/ customization capabilities! – Jas Deol
I use WordPress currently for my personal business (always have) and Squarespace for my non-profit. Squarespace is so much easier. Wordpress is great if you have someone who knows how to customize your website or you yourself are really knowledgeable on its interface. – Jaime Nicoll Scott
As a designer, I love WordPress for customization. If you’re DIYing it, Squarespace. – Alyssa J. Gavinski
So this is what I learned…
- You get a uniquely designed site with the available themes. Given that there are only a few Squarespace templates, your site is recognizable as a Squarespace site.
- The SEO features and benefits are noticeably more powerful.
- Because of the SEO, WordPress is better for bloggers who rely on SEO for traffic.
- E-Commerce and selling options are more powerful.
- You can have more control over your site and your hosting since, if Squarespace goes down, your site will disappear.
- Once the site is built, the WordPress backend tools are easier to use.
- You can build more powerful and intuitive websites with plugins.
- You have access to free pre-made templates, and you can also inject code to customize further.
- You don’t have to worry about updating and maintaining plugins and themes.
- With Squarespace, you can purchase a domain name, hosting, and everything else in one place. With WordPress, the process for setup is a lot more complicated.
- The customer service and support for Squarespace has your back, whereas, with WordPress, you’re on your own for troubleshooting.
- There is no need to hire a developer to help you launch your site and you can DIY your site quickly.
Which one do you prefer? Leave it in the comments below!
have wordpress questions?
I work exclusively with WordPress. I just believe it’s a superior product and I can ensure better results with it at the end of the day. If you have a WordPress site and feel overwhelmed by the plethora of options open to you, let’s chat. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation and let’s walk through some of the key basics together!