Squarespace vs. WordPress | What’s the difference? (Nov 2018)

November 2, 2018

Launching a new business website?

There can seem like an overwhelming amount of CMS platforms to choose from. Depending on your goals, budget, and desired timeline you might be looking at WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, Duda, or Weebly (to name a few!).

Two of the most commonly used CMS platforms are: WordPress and Squarespace. Surprisingly, they are very different from one another so we decided to compare the two. Please note that we are comparing self-hosted WordPress and Squarespace.

We’d like to preface this article with the fact that BuildThis is a WordPress based web design agency but we tried to keep this article as unbiased as possible!

WordPress vs. Squarespace

  • What is WordPress?

Self-hosted WordPress is an open source website builder. Open source code is included in a software (ie: WordPress) that is actually meant to be modified and customized and shared. In the hands of the right developer, you can infinitely customize a WordPress website.

  • What is Squarespace?

Squarespace is a SaaS website builder but it is NOT open source.

ShivarWeb puts it nicely:

“Using Squarespace is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a really classy development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.”

Is Squarespace easier to set up and use than WordPress?

Quite honestly, this depends on the individual and their website goals and abilities.

Squarespace is a closed ecosystem so initially, the learning curve might be lower than that of WordPress, but the moment that you decide that you want to dive deeper and make more customizations, your hands are often tied within the Squarespace architecture.

Is WordPress cheaper than Squarespace?

Building your custom website, or websites, on WordPress allows for unlimited functionality for less because you can separate the hosting and software. Squarespace (not unlike Weebly or Wix) bundles their hosting and software together for one monthly fee depending on the number of pages you need.

WordPress is FREE but building a website and hosting a website on WordPress is not free. Since WordPress is open source, you have a multitude of 3rd-party integrations at your fingertips (called plugins) that are largely free to use. With Squarespace, 3rd-party integrations are possible but almost always require a developer’s skills to fully implement, keeping you pretty constrained when considering upgrades & additional functionality for your website.

Looking to build a WordPress website? Contact us now!

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