Gone are the days in which building websites was a Herculean trial – a task reserved for only the most intrepid of computer-loving crusaders.
Intuitive DIY builders now abound, enabling business owners with no coding experience to get their business online without incurring the expense of engaging a professional website builder or agency.
I am often asked by business owners: Would you recommend WordPress or Squarespace? These are two of the most high-profile and easy-to-use website building platforms on the market. Whilst both may look like similar offerings from their promotional material, a sustained look under the hood reveals a host of differences, highlighting their different use cases.
Read on to see which website builder is more appropriate for your businesses’ needs.
WordPress is Free. Squarespace is not free. Simple.
Well – not quite so simple. With WordPress, you’ll have to arrange – and pay for – your own hosting (if you’re not familiar with the term, imagine it to be a rental charge for your internet domain). This will typically set you back less than the £10-£30 a month that a Squarespace package will charge.
So – whilst the cost of a WordPress website is more opaque than the cost of a Squarespace site, WordPress is generally the better option for those on a strict budget.
Ease of Use
Benjamin Franklin – one of the founding fathers of America, and a rarely mentioned figure in website builder comparison articles – famously said ‘time is money’. Whilst little evidence exists that suggests he was familiar with the dilemma of whether to use WordPress or Squarespace, his words do frame the second point of comparison.
WordPress is cheaper than Squarespace. It is also a far more complex program to use, and often requires either a modicum of coding skills (or a connection within the digital world) to build a genuinely useful and working website.
Squarespace, conversely, is a doddle to use. Users simply choose a template, customise it with their own words and pictures, then publish online. A Squarespace website can be online within an hour.
Squarespace sites may not have all the bells and whistles of a WordPress website (and its level of customisation is comparatively limited), but they are a viable option for would-be website builders who prioritise the ease and speed of getting their site online over all else.
Customisation and Flexibility
Both WordPress and SquareSpace use templates as the basis for websites. This means that when using either platform to build a site, users must select from a list of pre-selected arrangements of pictures, words and fonts.
It would therefore stand to reason that the platform with the most templates would offer the greatest degree of flexibility. Squarespace has just over 100 templates. WordPress has over 30,000.
Users can further customise each WordPress template in granular detail (provided they have the expertise), whereas what you see is very much what you get with a SquareSpace template.
WordPress is a more appropriate platform for users looking to build a highly-customised, bespoke website – provided they have the expertise to harness and utilise its power.
What Does Everyone Else think?
Squarespace powers between 1.5-2% of the internet. WordPress powers around a third of the internet. Sometimes, figures speak for themselves.
To return to the original question of: ‘Would you recommend WordPress or Squarespace?’, my answer is virtually always WordPress – with a key caveat.
It’s cheaper and it’s more powerful, certainly, but it requires a greater investment of time to truly get to grips with its vast swathes of functions than the more straightforward Squarespace.
Feel free to get in touch if you’d like advice about which platform best suits your next website. We specialise in helping clients who choose WordPress, providing the low-cost expertise of a trusted digital partner.