WordPress and Squarespace are two of, if not the, most popular site builders out there right now - and for good reason. WordPress is used by over one third of all websites on the Internet, and Squarespace powers 1.2 million websites. So when they both enter the ring, who comes out on top?
At SMK, we’re team WordPress and here’s why:
WordPress software is open source for use on the web host or server of your choice. It also allows us to custom build functionality to suit your needs. With Squarespace, there are limitations on what you can do with it and you’re stuck with their hosting which is strictly on their servers. So basically, if you’re a commitment-phobe, Squarespace is probably not for you.
The design of your website is crucial and should be, like your business, unique. We design your website and then build it so that it reflects your business and stands out amongst your competitors. Squarespace, on the other hand, only has a set number of themes to choose from (and if your site is an eCommerce site, your choices are further limited to just 8) so it is going to be pretty hard to stand out from your competitors. With Squarespace, due to a lack of customisability, there is a limit to how well you can make changes to speed up your website also.
On Squarespace, any part of your site can be used for advertising, even if that means the content they take is copyrighted. When creating a site with Squarespace you automatically agree to this. The worst part is they don’t even have to tell you. You can opt out, but it’s not an easy one-click option. WordPress has no claim to publish any part of your site for free.
As the world pushes for greater equality and accessibility, it’s important that web design reflects this too. Since we build your site to your requirements, you can have a site that’s accessible to your visitors who are partially sighted and use screen readers to consume the content on your site. Squarespace’s sites can’t be passed as accessible and, since there are strict limitations of what you can modify or build upon the Squarespace platform, your hands are tied. You can read more about why website accessibility is important here.
WordPress has over 57,000 plugins that can help to bring in important functions to your website, whether it’s to add contact forms, improve SEO, create an online store, increase site speed or offer email opt-ins. Whatever your website needs to do can be done with a plugin. With Squarespace, they offer some integrations with some other premium services but you can be sure there is always an additional cost involved.
Squarespace actually does SEO quite well and it’s certainly better than a lot of other site builders in this respect. You can easily edit title tags, meta descriptions, custom URLs, etc, but you do need to have a bit of prior knowledge. However, when it comes to SEO, WordPress is pretty powerful and that, again, is down to the vast amount of plugins available. One of these Plugins is Yoast SEO, which gives you advanced features such as real-time analysis, image titles, optimisation options, and XML sitemaps. Squarespace templates are often content heavy and require high-resolution images which are generally slower to load which could negatively impact on your Google Ranking. So, when it comes to SEO, WordPress comes out trumps again.
A lot of the WordPress plugins out there can add analytics straight into the backend of your site. Some of these plugins provide incredibly comprehensive analytics. For example, you could sign up for Google Analytics and use a WordPress plugin to get them displayed on your dashboard. While Squarespace does offer an analytics feature, it only has basic information that isn’t nearly as detailed as Google Analytics, you can however install Google Analytics to your Squarespace website.
This for many people is a key factor. WordPress is a free platform with many free plugins available. To just use Squarespace, it costs between £10-30 per month. There are also a number of premium subscriptions that integrate with Squarespace which could set you back a further £30-50/month.
Squarespace Pricing Tiers
Lastly, Beyonce Uses WordPress...
Need I say any more? WordPress is used by 41% of the web including many popular high profile companies such as Walt Disney, LinkedIn and PlayStation. Not to mention, Beyoncé, Snoop Dog and Sylvester Stallone. There’s a reason why these big names use WordPress over anything else out there. Look! What Beyonce says goes - we don’t make the rules.
While Squarespace is easy to use and provides you with all the basic features your site will need, it’s limited. If you have big plans for your website going forward, WordPress is the way to go. The cutomisability of Squarespace doesn’t even compare. If you want to generate leads and grow your business online, you want a website that will grow with your business and will allow you to customise the website exactly the way you want it!
Want to know whether WordPress or Squarespace is right for you? Book a call with us and we can chat it through together.