SquareSpace vs WordPress – Which is the best?

SquareSpace or WordPress? What is the best choice for you?

This a question I’m hearing more frequently of late. Whilst both have their own merits and flaws, WordPress is an Open Source content management system with it powering 40% of all websites whilst SquareSpace is a closed source website builder.

How easy is each platform to use?

If you’re looking for a quick website right out the box with minimal knowledge then SquareSpace is a clear winner. It may not be as flexible as WordPress but it’s the easiest “out of the box.”

With SquareSpace you simply sign up, and you are offered various options on look, feel and domain name. WordPress is more complex where you need to purchase a domain and hosting before you can get going with your WordPress site. It’s still an easy process but not as easy as SquareSpace.

Functionality

WordPress is the clear winner here. WordPress has thousands of plugins to extend functionality and if you have a web developer they can create custom plugins to offer whatever level of functionality you need.

Squarespace has some good option such as giving the user the ability to change CSS, basic SEO settings etc.. but ultimately you are limited to the integrations and options Squarespace offers.

Ecommerce

Both platforms support ecommerce but to quite different levels and costs. WordPress you can get your store up and running with no extra costs aside from your hosting and domain fees. WordPress uses WooCommerce and it’s extremely flexible and supports a huge number of payment gateways and shipping options.

SquareSpace does offer eCommerce but it’s very basic and only supports 2 or 3 payment gateways so if you don’t use PayPal, Stripe or Apple Pay it won’t work for you.

The other point of note is SquareSpace charges a 2-3% transaction fee on all sales unless you upgrade to the top eCommerce plan meaning you either risk the transaction fee or upgrade for no fee and the minimum, you’ll pay per year would be over £300.

How much do they cost?

WordPress is Open Source so there is no cost for the content management system itself, your costs will be hosting and domain fees which would be likely under £50 per year.

SquareSpace costs approximately £100 per year for the basic plan, and around £500 for the top plan per year. As mentioned earlier you could end up paying 2-3% on transaction fees if using eccomerce.

So which should I choose?

If you want a basic website with as little effort as possible and flexibility and price isn’t a major concern, then SquareSpace would be a decent choice to get a quick web presence in place. With SquareSpace you can export some data but ultimately SquareSpace controls your data meaning the website is never really “yours.”

If you want more functionality, flexibility, and options to grow your site and keep costs down WordPress is considerably cheaper and will enable your site to grow as you need it without having to upgrade plans. With WordPress your data is completely yours and only you have access to it.

I may have a certainly level of bias as a WordPress developer but the TLDR; version is:

WordPress: Quite fast to setup, More cost effective, more flexible, full ownership

SquareSpace: Very fast to setup, More expensive, less functionality, no ownership

Looking to learn more about WordPress and how it can help your business? I’m a WordPress Consultant and would love to chat! Get in touch.

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