Supersonic Playground Ltd
WordPress vs Squarespace

WordPress vs Squarespace

Thinking about a new website? Not sure how WordPress and Squarespace compare? In this article, we give an in-depth comparison and summarise the pros and cons of both platforms so that you can make a more informed decision about which is best for your business. 

6 minute read

Looking for more comparisons? Check out some of our others here: 

Squarespace

The 5th most popular CMS on the market, according to WhatCMS, powering 2.27% of the world’s websites.

Similar to WordPress, there are two versions of Squarespace: Squarespace.com and Squarespace for Developers. The biggest difference is that the .com version is for beginners and DIY-ers who want to build their individual or business sites, while the developer version is for techies who want to be able to edit the backend code for further customisation and hosting capabilities. In this piece, we’ll be looking at Squarespace.com. 

Hosting

Squarespace is a hosted platform, which means you don’t need to worry about things like backups or security as they take care of this. However, the downside is that you’ll have no control over how your site is hosted and all the security, speed and scalability options that are available when you choose the hosting provider.

Learn more about hosting.

Usability

Due to its simplistic nature, Squarespace is a relatively easy platform to learn and use. It also has a WYSISYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, which allows you to edit live pages and visually see what impact the change is having on your site. Squarespace.com is a relatively locked-down platform, which means there’s no risk of you making changes that could negatively impact your website or break it. The downside is that it can be quite limiting. 

Customisation

Squarespace has a series of templates and plugins for you to choose from, both free and paid for. While there aren’t as many as WordPress, but the basics are all there. You’ll also have access to CSS and JavaScript editing functionality with the Business, Commerce or Advanced Commerce package. The biggest drawback is that you won’t have advanced editing abilities as it isn’t an open-source platform. This means you won’t be able to change backend code and you’ll be limited to how much front-end work you can achieve. 

Cost

Squarespace is a paid-for service, with plans starting from £13 a month up to £37. You can get up to 30% off if you pay annually. There are four plans: personal, business, commerce and advanced commerce. Up to date pricing information and features can be found via their website.

eCommerce

Squarespace does offer eCommerce functionality. This begins with the Business package with unlimited products and fully integrated eCommerce but will have a 3% transaction fee unless you upgrade to one of the dedicated commerce plans where this drops to 0%. The Advanced Commerce plan also gives you access to a whole host of functionality to get an online store up and running. 

WordPress

WordPress is responsible for 30.05% of all sites tested with WhatCMS, making it the most popular platform on the market for web design and development. 

It’s important to note that there are also two versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Similar to Squarespace, the .com version of WordPress is an online service, whereas the .org version is the best-known variant of the platform and the one we’ll be talking about today. However, if you’d like to learn more about their differences, we carried out an in-depth comparison here.

Hosting

WordPress is a self-hosted platform, which means that if you were to choose it, you would need to source your hosting elsewhere. At Supersonic Playground, we use WP-Engine to host our WordPress websites as it’s one of the best for speed and security. Many hosting companies will also do a setup for you, which takes out much of the complexity.  

Learn more about hosting.

Usability

As one of the most popular platforms available, WordPress is favoured by beginners. It can be complicated to get a site up and running if you’re not working with a developer or agency, but once set up it’s a relatively straightforward and intuitive platform to use. Due to WordPress’ scale, there’s lots of support online, including how-to-guides and helpful forums making it much easier to use. You’ll usually find the answer to any question online. 

Customisation

With WordPress, you’ll have access to all the core files which means the customisation potential is limitless – although you’ll need to be able to code to achieve anything complex. But even for the less techy folk, WordPress has a vast marketplace of plugins and themes allowing you to achieve a professional design and good functionality without any development skills (providing there’s a suitable plugin or theme). 

Cost

WordPress.org is entirely free. The only cost involved is if you choose to use paid plugins or themes, or if you hire an agency or freelancer to design and build your website. However, while WordPress is free, you will need to purchase a domain, SSL certificate and hosting before you can publish your site. 

eCommerce

WordPress doesn’t have any eCommerce functionality out-of-the-box, but WooCommerce is a free plugin that you can install to WordPress – and it’s the leading eCommerce software on the market. With WooCommerce, there are no transaction fees or running costs, and you can add additional plugins to enhance your online shop.

Which is best?

The truth is that no one platform is better than the other. There’s only personal preference. We suggest considering what you want to achieve, your business and digital objectives and how much you’re looking to spend. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve listed some simple scenarios below: 

  • If you’re a DIY-er looking for a cheap solution that you can manage internally – WordPress
  • If you’re a DIY-er looking for a quick solution that doesn’t involve worrying about hosting – Squarespace
  • If you’re looking to work with a development agency – WordPress
  • If you’re looking for long-term scalability – WordPress

We hope this blog has helped you to understand the two platforms and which might be best for your business. Stay up-to-date with the latest insights by joining our mailing list

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