Wordpress versus Squarespace—the debate is almost as fierce as the one over how to say “GIF.” (For the record, I’m a firm believer in the hard G, not the peanut butter pronunciation.) Wordpressers argue for control and flexibility, while Squarespacians argue for simplicity and ease of use.
Ultimately, it comes down to an open vs. closed source platform. Both Wordpress and Squarespace are the leaders of each space, respectively. Other open platforms include Wix, Joomla, and Drupal. Other closed platforms include Shopify, Weebly, and Adobe Portfolio. Each has its benefits and what may be best for one person may not be the best for someone else.
I had used Wordpress for my website and the majority of my clients’ sites for years, but while re-evaluating my website last year, I decided to make the switch to Squarespace. Here’s why...
1) It’s Simply, Simple
Have you heard of the Flexibility-Usability Trade-off? It’s a design principle that states what you gain in flexibility, you lose in usability (and vice versa). A good example is a remote control. How many times have you been frustrated trying to turn on a TV with a universal remote? Compare that to an Apple TV remote that doesn’t offer as many options but is much easier to use. Wordpress is like a universal remote. It’s almost endlessly customizable, but there is a steep learning curve. Squarespace doesn’t have as many options for customization, but it is much more user-friendly.
2) It’s beautifully designed—on the Front & Back-End
I dabble in some HTML and CSS, but I’m no developer. With Squarespace, no coding is needed because their user interface (UI) is completely intuitive. You can easily drag and drop page elements, click to insert new sections, and see real-time changes through their WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) dashboard. Plus, every template they offer is well-designed so you’d be hard-pressed to create an ugly Squarespace site. 😉
3) You Don’t have to deal with the Technical stuff
Getting started with Wordpress requires that you set up a domain, hosting plan, and database. The process can take up to several hours for those of us that are less technical. I’m sure some people like the ability to select their hosting provider and access their FTP, but I would prefer to never have to think about those things, personally. Fewer decisions = less stress.
4) Set Up Your Site In Record Time
Squarespace is ready to go right out-of-the-box. Pick a template, add your content, and – bam! – you have a website. As the old adage goes, time is money. The faster your site is up and running, the sooner you can start building your brand.
5) Closed Source = better security
Because Wordpress is open source and used by millions of people all over the world, it’s an easy target for hackers. I’ve had my fair share of headaches from sites getting hacked and am more than relieved to never deal with that again!
6) You can set it & forget it
Not that I recommend setting-and-forgetting your website, but you could and it would be like your own little online time capsule. Au contraire, every time Wordpress releases an update, you have to install it (or risk jeopardizing your site’s security) and that often means updating your theme and plugins as well. Plus, there’s always the worry that an update might break something. 😖
7) Pricing is on-point
At $12/month, Squarespace’s pricing is hard to beat. You don’t have to buy themes (some of the better Wordpress themes go for $50+), hosting, or a domain name because Squarespace includes all of that. They even offer coupon codes for their annual plans (see what they’re currently offering here).
Here’s the Gist
Closed platforms like Squarespace are generally best for entrepreneurs and bloggers. The ease of use, quick set-up, and low maintenance is a necessity when you’re the only one running the show. Wordpress is best for developers and larger businesses who need a more robust tool and have the know-how and/or the resources to build and manage a custom website.
I’d love to hear about your experience with Squarespace, Wordpress, or any other website platform in the comments below. What do you use for your website and/or blog and why?