Introduction

In this article, we’re going to look at Squarespace vs WordPress and take an in-depth look at two of the most popular publishing platforms on the web. In reality, either one would make a great choice, but the one question we want to answer is, which one is the absolute best choice for you and your needs.

This comparison of Squarespace vs WordPress is not meant to be a review site, but more of a comparison site that outlines the features of each service. All we do is give you the full details so you can make an informed and educated decision.

For the sake of comparing apples to apples, we’re going to compare the Hostgator Hatchling with the Squarespace Standard plan. These packages are very similar to each other in both cost and features, and will therefore provide a fair comparison for the remainder of this guide.

Cost

In this section, we’re going to compare the different costs associated with each platform. Cost is kind of a big factor, because a website can be kind of a long term investment. Sure, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg every month, but each of us will have a budget, and that will inevitably influence our final decision.

Both Squarespace and WordPress hosting services have several billing options. The more you pay in advance, the lower the monthly price. The prices below are based on the monthly billing cycle and also reflect the cost AFTER available coupons have been applied.

[ws_table id=”6″]

*Note that Hostgator coupons are only good for the FIRST billing cycle. As such, it’s best to use the “1CENT” coupon for the month-to-month plan, and the “25PERCENT” coupon for the 6-month, 1-year or 2-year plans. Squarespace coupons are effective for every consecutive billing cycle, including but not limited to, the month-by-month billing cycle.

Squarespace vs WordPress
WordPress

Feature Set

This section focuses on comparing the features that each platform has to offer. While it may appear that WordPress comes out ahead in this section, Squarespace still offers everything you need if you’re creating a single website. The extravagant feature list offered by Hostgator probably be unnecessary for most. So don’t get caught up in the “more is better” mentality, unless you actually really need it.

[ws_table id=”7″]

Squarespace vs WordPress
WordPress

Technical & Design

When installing and managing a website, there can be many technical requirements; and for some that can be an intimidating factor. And let’s say you can get through all the technical parts, but you’re then faced with having to customize a template or theme. This is where we examine which platform is more user friendly for the average user to build and design their website.

[ws_table id=”8″]

Squarespace vs WordPress
WordPress

Performance

When building a website, one of the biggest concerns for user experience is the amount of time it takes a page to load. This is because it’s been proven that anything over 5 seconds, and the visitor is highly likely to go elsewhere.

So page load times are an extremely important thing to consider when selecting a platform. And that’s why I like to test this metric with one of the most trusted and detailed resources online- WebPageTest.org.

[ws_table id=”9″]

Squarespace vs WordPress
WordPress

Support

Support is perhaps one of the most important things to consider when choosing a platform. Inevitably, at some point in the process, you’re going to have to reach out to someone for support. Will it be available when you need it? Will it be professional and help you resolve your issue quickly? Will it be the type of support you need? These are all questions that need to be answered, and we’ll attempt to do so below.

[ws_table id=”10″]

Squarespace vs WordPress
WordPress

Conclusion For Squarespace vs WordPress

As you can see, Squarespace provides clear benefits to the novice website builder who might need a drag-and-drop editor when going through the initial design stage of their website. It also offers ongoing support, should one need it, for any questions or issues that may arise with the platform. And last, but not least, performance with Squarespace is higher than you’d get with any shared hosting plan.

WordPress is full-featured platform that’s a little more suited to those with some experience. It suites those who feel comfortable digging in code and would rather customize their design via CSS files rather than through an interface. While technical issues with the server are well supported, you would want to feel confident troubleshooting any problems with themes, or plugins that arise.

So that’s all I’ve got. Now I want to know…

Which service would you choose and why? Let us know in the comments below.

Related Posts

Comments

36 Responses

  1. Hi,
    I enjoyed reading your post Squarepace vs WordPress

    I had that exact decision to make and went with Squarespace 6 for the following reasons:
    -I wanted to be able to get support whenever I needed it for my website
    -I wanted my website to look okay on mobile devices without having to worry about it
    -I didn’t want to have to worry about updates, hosting, security
    -Squarespace are reasonably priced overall when everything is taken into account
    -Finally, I didn’t want to learn code.

    After over 6 months on Squarespace 6 I have the following concerns:
    -even though I have my own domain name, squarespace still appears in my domain for some searches. Apparently this will go away eventually (according to Squarespace), but it hasn’t yet.
    – Every time I do a post there are usually issues with adding more than two or so images. I click the text or image button and nothing happens. Eventually, the only way I can get my images or text up is to log out and go back in. I waste a lot of time on these bugs for every post. Grrrrr
    – Sidebars don’t allow different content for each individual page. Whatever goes on the sidebar for one page, appears on the sidebar for all pages – a pet hate.
    -Website images not appearing in google image searches on the website (they are finally starting to appear now thankfully)
    – Lots of little issues that drive me crazy (too numerous to mention here, but most are minor).

    But I do really appreciate having the Squarespace 6 unlimited support. They do answer questions promptly and are usually helpful. Although I must confess that I do sometimes get the ‘ we have to investigate that and can’t give you a timeframe or deadline’.

    I strongly feel Squarespace 6 has the potential to be brilliant. However, they need to strive to make notable improvements which make a difference and do it quickly, plus have reasonable deadlines to fix issues. I am really hoping Squarespace can listen to what customers or ex-customer are saying to them and on the internet (I have experienced most of it) because it is the difference between being people loving their product and being unbearably frustrated by it.

    Overall, I have found a lot to like about Squarespace 6 and I really want to stick with them if they iron out all issues.

    As for WordPress – the biggest problem I see is that there is no support/no unlimited support available for a person who doesn’t know css/html. Guaranteed timely support is an extremely valuable thing to have.

    1. Hi, Tracey.

      Wow! Thanks for leaving such a detailed comment outlining your experiences with Squarespace thus far. There’s so much value in there and I’m sure it’ll be extremely helpful for others trying to make the decision between WordPress and Squarespace.

      I’d say you chose Squarespace for all the right reasons, and for the exact same reasons I would possibly choose it over WordPress.

      When working with the platform myself, I’ve run into a few little annoyances, just as you have. But you have to remember that ANY platform will have it’s own idiosyncrasies that can drive you crazy. And believe it or not, WordPress has them too. 🙂

      I think that both platforms are amazing, and can help you build a website that, in general, meets all of your needs. However, in the end, I think it boils down to one’s ability level and their need for support. And it sounds like that’s ultimately what influenced your decision.

      Thanks so much again for taking the time to share! Your website really does look exceptional, by the way!!

      Good luck in your endeavors.

      Todd

  2. Thanks Todd. 🙂 You hit on the exact issue with choosing a platform when you said ‘any platform will have it’s own idiosyncrasies that can drive you crazy’. I think I need to keep remembering that – but………I still live in hope, that one day somehow somewhere, the perfect platform will appear.

    Cheers,
    Tracey

    1. Ha, ha! I know exactly how you feel, Tracey. I’m still looking for the same thing myself.

      Let me know if you find it, and I’ll do the same for you. 🙂

      Take care,
      Todd

  3. Hello there! First off, I would like to congratulate you for the great article you have written. I came across it when searching for alternatives that could help me building my first website. The website I have in mind will be used for a real estate company I am planning to start up now. I have read quite a few articles which compared solutions such as Squarespace, Weebly, Wix and WordPress. Not only have I read those articles, but also I tested some of the mentioned competitors myself. After all the research, I am still a little insecure about what path should I take. I graduated from the university with a Computer Engineering degree, so programming would not be a real problem for me. Nevertheless, I am not a very experienced web developer. Given the industry where I am inclined to run this next business (real estate field), I believe that what I really needed now would be a visually beautiful website that could enable me to present listings of the apartments which I have for rental/sale. Just for you to have a better picture of what I am trying to describe, this website does pretty much what I wanted mine to do: http://www.luxuryrealestate.com/ Taking everything that I said into account, what do you think would be the best approach for me to build this website? Should I use Squarespace, WordPress or some other CMS? What else would you suggest? Thank you very much in advance.

    1. Hi there Hugo!

      Thanks so much for the compliment. I’m really glad you found the article useful.

      Also, very good questions. I’m glad you took the time to ask it.

      Thank you for including a link to a website that’s similar to the one you want to build. That helps me get a clear picture of what you’re aiming for.

      After looking at the website you referenced, I’d have to say that it’s a highly customized site with a lot of functionality. If you wanted all of the features of a site like that, I’d say it would be pretty difficult, yet not impossible, to build a website like that with WordPress.

      Features such as integration with MLS search, lead capture forms, calculators, photo galleries and maps would take some work. So it might be easier to try to find a CMS that’s specific to the real estate industry.

      Just doing a quick search brought up these:

      http://www.realtysoft.com/
      http://www.intagent.com/
      http://www.zillowpremieragent.com/
      http://www.websitebox.com/

      If you were set on going the WordPress route. You’ll just need to make sure you can find the right plugins to add the functionality you’re looking for. Here are a few I found with a quick search:

      http://wordpress.org/plugins/placester/
      http://wordpress.org/plugins/real-estate-mls-search/
      http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-property/
      http://www.realshout.com/

      I have no idea if any of the above listed websites or plugins are any good, so you’d have to do your homework on them.

      It it were me, I’d probably try to get a free trial for each of the CMS websites and see if I could build something quickly and to my liking. If that didn’t work out, I’d probably go searching for the solution with WordPress.

      I hope that helps out a little. I know you’ll still have a lot of things to think about, so let me know if you come up with any more questions.

      Thanks again for the thoughtful question.

      Todd

      1. Todd, I am so sorry for the late reply! Thank you so much for the great response. You gave me some very helpful insights here. I really appreciated that, indeed. After doing a very time intense but productive research over the internet, I was able to find quite a few WordPress responsive templates which I do think would work beautifully for my website. Summing up and confronting their aesthetics/responsiveness features and real estate related functionalities, I would say that the following templates are probably the ones which rank better from all the alternatives I have seen so far:

        http://preview.ait-themes.com/index.php?bartype=desktop&theme=businessfinder
        http://www.mojo-themes.com/item/rolec-responsive-business-wordpress-theme/demo/?r=themerazzi
        http://demo.woothemes.com/estate/
        http://themeforest.net/item/estatement-powerful-real-estate-management/full_screen_preview/4522669
        http://demo.themesdepot.org/openestate/
        http://wp.properta.byaviators.com/revolution-slider-homepage/
        http://wp.realia.byaviators.com/revolution-slider/
        http://themes.bonfirelab.com/shandora/
        http://themeforest.net/item/real-homes-wordpress-real-estate-theme/full_screen_preview/5373914?ref=SMThemes
        http://themes.contempographicdesign.com/?theme=realestate5
        http://pixelgeeklab.com/wp-realestast/#all
        http://live.btoa.com.au/spotfinder/realestate/

        What I am doing now is trying to analyze which of them would be a better fit for my needs. 🙂

        Thank you very much!

        1. No worries Hugo! Thanks for getting back to us.

          Wow! That’s a great list of real estate themes. That’ll be really helpful for others that come along and read your comment.

          Thanks again for the very useful information. I’m glad you shared.

          Todd

  4. Hi Todd!
    Thanks so much for writing this. I’ve been having headaches about this issue for a while and I think I’ve made my decision =)

  5. Hi Todd,

    Love your site and many thanks for making a complex topic much more understandable. I have a WordPress site now and I’m thinking about setting up another domain with SquareSpace. I believe that you can get a free domain when you use their services. Is it better to purchase a domain on your own before purchasing the rest of the services with SquareSpace? I know they domain map onto existing domains. My concern is that if I want to switch from SquareSpace to WordPress in the future if I would lose access to the domain name.

  6. Hi Deirdre,

    Thank you for your kind words. It’s always encouraging to hear that I’ve helped in some way.

    I love what you’ve done with your website, by the way! It looks like you have a really unique approach to managing stress that helps a lot of people. Keep up the good work!

    In regards to your question about Squarespace and registering a domain name with them… I did a bit of searching and came up with this question from a customer and the follow up answer from a Squarespace employee:

    ————————————————-

    Customer: “If I receive a free domain from Squarespace, who owns the domain?”

    Squarespace: “You own the domain. We will provide you with a transfer key to move it away from Squarespace if you cancel your service with us.

    Other points:

    1. So long as you have a paid account with Squarespace, we will renew your domain free of charge each year.

    2. If you cancel a new account within 30 days, adding a domain name reduces the total credit we can provide you with for an account refund by $10 to cover our registration cost.

    3. You can not transfer your domain within the first 90 days of registering it with Squarespace (registrar imposed restriction).”

    ————————————————–

    So, it looks like you’ll be fine as long as you don’t plan on trying to transfer the domain within the first 90 days.

    I hope that helps answer your question. Let me know if you have any others.

    Take care,

    Todd

    1. Thank you so much Todd – for both your kind words and your time taken to dig into this. I won’t be transferring it within 90 days. I think I was falling into the false thinking that if I register a domain myself that somehow I “own” it a bit more directly. Of course, the WHOIS site states quite prominently that we never “own” a domain, but we can “lease” it as long as we stay current with our registration. It’s a case of trusting SquareSpace to handle the registration. Many thanks!

      1. You bet, Deirdre! Glad I could help.

        You’re right. Even I had forgotten that you don’t actually own a domain, but are actually “leasing” it when you register.

        Transferring a domain is a pretty common practice, and I think as a registrar, Squarespace would have to adhere to certain rules, with this being one of them.

        So, I think you should be able to trust them.

        Good luck!
        Todd

  7. Here’s my one minute skinny on Squarespace. I created a blog/website with Squarespace 5. Then they created Squarespace 6 and made ZERO ability to port or migrate the Spuarespace 5 websites over to Squarespace 6. My website is clunky and by today’s standards hard to use. Squarespace has abandoned Squarespace 5 like a castoff. The new technology in Squarespace 6 is terrific. I think WordPress is still the preferred platform for bloggers and the “W” is most recognized in serious social media circles. However, I think it’s hard and unfriendly to use.

    Thanks for the great comparison review. Still searching for the right platform….

  8. Todd, loved your article and the other information from Hugo and Deirdre. What I am looking to do is put up a DOG website that I could add articles and pictures like a gallery with descriptions of the dogs etc. I also want to put up links or maybe ads to advertise dog products or link to affiliate sites. a The site I have was produced with Godaddy’s Web Builder… However I have since gotten rid of that since I always had issues sizing and uploading the pictures. So given that would like your opinion… I have fooled around with WIX and found that confusing… Squarespace looks interesting and easier than the rest… Have never played with WordPress. I was going to outsource this but I have been told that you should do your own if possible if you intend to change it or make money with it… So your comments would be appreciated… Thanks, Jim

    1. Hi Jim,

      Thanks, I’m really glad this was useful for you!

      I’m so sorry I overlooked your comment somehow, and didn’t approve or respond to it right away. I apologize for the delay. I hope I’m not too late.

      If you don’t have much experience building websites, then you might want to play around with Squarespace a little. They have a free, no credit card,
      14-day trial. That would probably be the simplest solution for you if you’re just getting started.

      WordPress would definitely be a little more of a learning curve. However, my ebook that you can download on my Home page, would walk you through all of that. The main obstacle would be installing and configuring a plugin that would help you create the kind of galleries you need.

      WordPress is free if you already have a GoDaddy account. So you might want to play with that in addition to giving Squarespace a try.

      If you run into any problems or have specific questions along the way, just post them in the forums, and I’d be glad to help out.

      Good luck!

      Todd

  9. Hi Todd,
    Just wondering if you are building simple 3-5 pages websites for local businesses will you use squrespace .Wordpress and Hostgator reseller account combination works well for any web design biz.
    Your comments please.

    Thanks

  10. I’m looking for a new website & you’ve made Squarespace a compelling choice. However, I’ve read their What We Own policy and it seems they would own all my content, photos, etc. Everything “privately posted or publicly transmitted.” Am I reading this wrong?

    “all informational text, software documentation, design of and “look and feel,” layout, photographs, graphics, audio, video, messages, interactive and instant messaging, design and functions, files, documents, images, or other materials, whether publicly posted or privately transmitted as well as all derivative works thereof (collectively, the “Materials”), are owned by us or other parties that have licensed their material or provided services to us, and are protected by copyright, trademark, trade secret and other intellectual property laws.”

    Thanks, you have a wonderfully informative site. MJ Cody

    1. Hi there, MJ!

      Thanks for your comment and great question.

      After reading through the Terms of Service, I noticed that the first sentence makes reference to “The Site” which is defined in a prior paragraph as http://www.squarespace.com.

      So, it seems that they aren’t talking about your the content uploaded to your site, but instead, the content that Squarespace uploads to their site.

      You might want to double-check by contacting Squarespace directly, but that was my interpretation of what I found there.

      Glad to hear you liked the site. Yours looks great and very informative as well.

      Take care,
      Todd

  11. Hi Todd,

    Thanks for the excellent review and free resources you’ve posted on your site. It digs to the heart of the debate when talking about website builders and platforms. I’ve read various other review sites making comparisons of GoDaddy, Weebly, Wix etc, mostly the free website builders and found them far from useful. I was recently offered a new package from Hibu, formerly Yell for a website I help manage http://www.clothingbyjinnie.com but its based on Moonfruit with no way of editing Menu Bar, editing code or other advanced features. I would strongly recommend people not to use Hibu or Yell as their website interface editor is a watered down version of Moonfruit by the looks of it and despite being fairly intuitive it isn’t advanced enough for the learning developer. We are on a package starting at £60 per month, which then drops to £40 after 1st month. The site which has been designed for us is far better than our previous one but their system won’t allow us to make advanced changes.

    I am weighing up redesigning Clothing By Jinnie in SquareSpace or WordPress. I cannot code and don’t know a vast amount about the WordPress platform yet, so my intuition is telling me to go with SqareSpace and then export it at a latter date. Looking at the style of the current site and available pictures what would you recommend Todd?

    Best Wishes
    Lewis

    1. Hi Lewis,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment here. It really helps myself and others to hear of your experience and have some advice to follow.

      Let me start by saying you’ve done a very nice job with the site you built. I’m not sure how easy it would be to improve on what you have now, but you could give it a try and see how it goes.

      It’s hard to say which platform you might want to choose. I think that the Squarespace templates could do well with the site when you redesign it. And to be honest, Squarespace would be the easier platform of the two. The main benefit with WordPress is the ability to extend the functionality of the site. However, your site doesn’t seem very complex, so Squarespace may be just what you’re looking for.

      If I were you, I’d probably give Squarespace a try first and then move to WordPress later if it doesn’t meet your needs. But, at the same time, if you want to learn the WordPress platform, this might be a great opportunity to do just that.

      Either way, you can’t go wrong. Let us know what you decide and how it goes for you.

      Thanks so much for all of your kind words!

      Take care,
      Todd

  12. 1. I was wondering if SquareSpace has the ability to design a site like http://finneylawoffice.com/

    2. I was going to start trying to build my own site with hostgator and wordpress, but I am out of my league.

    3. Can a SquareSpace website be modified after it is created? Like posting blogs, videos, etc.

    4. I really have learned a lot from your website and forum. Bill

    1. Hi Bill,

      Thanks for your comment and kind words.

      I’d say that Squarespace could make a site that looks like that, but since the templates look quite different out of the box, it would take some work to get there.

      You’d probably be better off using Weebly to build such a site. You can check out my other article that compares, Squarespace vs Weebly.

      No matter which platform you decide to go with, you can always modify your design later without affecting your content. So that’s not something you really need to worry about.

      I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Take care,
      Todd

  13. Hello, Todd. Your review was very helpful. I have a wordpress site for my gallery (I own it with partners)that was built by a designer. I can sort of maintain the site, but it is a little frustrating and my designer is having some health problems so she is not easily available to help. We spent so much on that site and worked so hard on it I will leave it with wordpress and hire help when I need it.
    Now I want to build a website for my own jewelry business which is a small business and my needs for a website are very simple. I have a free trial right now with Squarespace and it seems pretty easy and somewhat flexible. I do want to add a shopping cart and hope that Squarespace can support that. I took a short wordpress class but it seemed overwhelming to me. The person who taught the class thinks I should stay with WordPress for my jewelry business site. However, I want to build it myself and maintain it myself. Here is a sample of a site that would fit my needs: http://www.trkd.com except they do not have ecommerce.
    I would love your advice.
    Thanks so much
    Jennifer

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment.

      You have a very good question that a lot of people probably have, and that is, whether to use WordPress or Squarespace to build an ecommerce store.

      My recommendation is, unless you’re a seasoned WordPress developer, it’s best to use Squarespace.

      Now to be fair, I’ve never built an ecommerce site with either platform, but I know for sure that WordPress is much more involved because you have to kind of piece everything together (theme, cart, payment processor).

      Squarespace offers a platform with all of those things integrated from the beginning, and makes it easier to manage your store after you build it.

      As far as I know, the Squarespace trial should also include the ecommerce functionality as well. If not, I would contact them and see if they can give you an account with that included.

      I hope that helps. Please don’t hesitate to ask any other questions you come up with.

      Take care,
      Todd

  14. You’re right, SquareSpace really is the best choice for a novice or someone who wants a hassle free experience. Luckily though (for us WordPress junkies), many SquareSpace specific features are starting to trickle down to the WordPress community to. For example, there’s WP Engine which provides “set it and forget it” hosting for WordPress. Also, there are plugins like the one I helped make which bring drag and drop editors to WordPress: FastLine Page Builder.

  15. Hey Robby,

    You’re right. WordPress is starting to see some of the same features that Squarespace offers. And the plugin you created looks pretty impressive – especially if it works with other themes.

    A drag-and-drop editor for WordPress would eliminate perhaps the largest roadblock for novice users of the platform.

    I’ll have to head over to your site and give FastLine a test drive.

    Thanks for sharing here.

    Todd

  16. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but
    I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would
    never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  17. Hi Todd,
    I really appreciate your site and your in-depth responses to inquiries. I’m a total novice at this and have needed to do a website since my book was published four years ago. For the past year I’ve been going back and forth looking at SquareSpace, WordPress, you name it – and the choice always comes back to SquareSpace. I think for me it’s the ease and the elegance – super modern looking and state-of-the-art – and the best part of all is easy to construct and excellent support. Just last week I made the decision to start a trial with SquareSpace and just two days ago I received an offer from a Hollywood production company to option my book for a movie!! It seems like something magical happened through my action of finally making a decision to go with SquareSpace. Now there is super motivation to get going – and your comments have sealed the deal for me. Many thanks!

    1. Hi Christina,

      Thanks for your kind comment.

      I’m so glad to hear that I was able to help you make the decision to go with Squarespace. I really think it’s a superior platform in many ways, and believe that it’s especially well-suited to building an author’s website.

      That’s exciting news to hear that your book has been optioned for a movie. I’ve looked at it briefly and would love to pick it up and read it myself in the near future.

      Good luck with everything, and please don’t hesitate to let me know if I can help out in any way.

      Todd

  18. Thanks for sharing helpful guide. This post will help out many people who wants to learn about squarespace vs wordpress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About

Todd
Todd has been building his own websites for ten years, and now wants to help others do the same. He believes that anyone can make a website with a little help, and is on a mission to simplify the process for you. More...

Connect

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.