Custom website design and development can be a very long and arduous process. With that being said, there are two major website platforms that businesses compare when creating the website they truly want. Squarespace and WordPress are the top two website builder platforms. Today, SolutionBuilt details the difference between the two platforms.
Squarespace is a ‘What You See Is What You Get’ (WYSIWIG) website builder that is very user-friendly. It is very popular among bloggers and creatives, such as writers, artists and photographers who are DIY’s. The built-in templates are very simple for creating stunning galleries and blog sites. One thing that creatives love is the fact that you don’t need to know coding to use the site fully. Many consumers feel overwhelmed by the many options available with WordPress. Squarespace’s user-friendliness comes at a price though. Because it is not only a site builder, but also a web hosting service, it is a closed platform in which its developers maintain tight control over tools and resources, and limit users’ choices and control over the content they post.
Template Design – When you start a new website with Squarespace, you get to choose a template that fits your business. Most of Squarespace’s appeal is in the fact that they have a huge selection of templates that are professional and appealing. The fonts, images, color schemes, responsiveness, etc. all stay aligned to provide a professional feel. The templates are also highly customizable. Do keep in mind though that the templates often rely on the images used. So once you start changing the pre-made template, your website will start to change and look different.
Blogging – If you are an influencer or online blogger, Squarespace is a great fit for you. Squarespace offers a feature-rich commenting component, multi-author functionality, the ability to schedule posts, AMP support and more. This makes blogging very easy and simple for the user and consumer.
Support – When it comes to getting support, sometimes it can be a nightmare. With Squarespace, the platform offers live chat professionals that can help you almost immediately. They even go as far as recording quick screencasts, giving you exact steps to follow if you need help.
Security – Squarespace also takes care of website security. Anyone trying to hack your website is their responsibility, not yours. This eliminates having to buy and configure security software. They bundle and provide a free SSL certificate for your website.
SEO – When it comes to SEO, Squarespace has built-in tools to help make optimization simple for the consumers. This includes indexed and searchable pages, automatic tagging, canonical tagging, clean URLs, robots.txt, automatic redirects, automatic Google Sitemaps, and more. Minimal input is needed, but this can also be a CON for businesses that need effective SEO.
Pricing – If you compare any Squarespace plan to their competitors, they come out more expensive. The main issue for Squarespace’s pricing versus non-all-inclusive solutions is their limitations. Their plans limit consumers on multiple levels. Their lower-tier plans limit the number of pages and products you can have on your site. All in all, they are simply more expensive.
Limited Navigation – Squarespace is not suitable for larger websites. The bigger the site, the more customizable the site will need to be. Squarespace limits this ability making it hard for consumers to use. This also makes it almost impossible to create multilingual websites. Localization is difficult when limited on functionality.
Page Speed – Page speed is a major factor in 2021. If you have to sit and wait for a page to load, most likely the consumer won’t stick around. Squarespace’s templates score very low on Google’s page speed tool. This leads to poor user experience on mobile, which correlates directly with your search engine ranking.
Hosting – Squarespace hosts the websites built within their service. This cost is included in the monthly price you pay. Squarespace handles all the technical needs of hosting, which includes website speed, which we have found to be slow and not the best for a business website.
SEO – When talking about optimizing, the Squarespace SEO tools are less powerful than those of WordPress. Since the SEO tools are built-in, consumers are really just using what is given to them instead of customizing to better fit their business.
In summary, Squarespace is really only good for hobbyist or a followup to a business card, NOT for Search Engine visibility or a custom website alternative.
WordPress allows you to build your own website, but it’s not a website WYSIWIG builder. It is an open-source, free website creation platform. On a more technical level, WordPress is a content management system (CMS) written in PHP that uses a MySQL database. WordPress aims to give people total freedom to think outside of the box and achieve their vision and goals, rewarding more technically-minded creators with greater functionality and custom design needs.
Freedom – WordPress is free and gives you complete control of your website. You own and control all of your website files and data. You are not tied to a web hosting company and can move your website anywhere you want.
Add-Ons/Plugins – WordPress gives you access to a huge collection of extensions, add-ons and plugins to extend your website. This enormous access to professional applications allows you to make anything you want.
Responsive Design – WordPress is customizable with thousands of website designs and templates to choose from. Each of them comes with different customization options, allowing you to create truly unique websites. Generally, these themes are very reliable when it comes to being responsive. With an increasing amount of internet traffic from mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly site with consistency across all devices is very important to the UX; WordPress does a good job with this.
Open Source – Due to its popularity, almost all popular third-party tools already have integrations available for WordPress. So many popular marketing software, lead generation tool, SEO tools, CRM software and payment gateways will all work with WordPress.
SEO – Since WordPress is fully customizable, the plug-ins that are available provide powerful SEO features. You can fully optimize the webpages for your business.
Responsible – You are in charge of your website. This means you are responsible for security, making backups and installing updates. You can automate all of these tasks, but they would still require regular updates and testing unless you’re using one of the managed WordPress hosting companies.
Complex – WordPress does not come with a built-in drag and drop website builder. For themes that do support WYSIWIG tools it can make your website page speed load much slower than a popular theme like Astra. It takes some time for most beginners to get familiar with and learn the basics.
Coding – You do not need to learn coding to use WordPress. However, some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS will make your website more customized and also display better for your target audience and their devices. Those that are technical may acquire these basic skills as they use WordPress or rely on their Web Developer, like SolutionBuilt.
SEO – The downside to SEO on WordPress is that it is not very beginner friendly. Without a knowledge of SEO of best practices, consumers may have a hard time understanding what is needed to help optimize a website for search engines. WordPress requires a very hands-on approach to SEO.
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