Squarespace vs WordPress – Complete comparison and detailed guide on how to choose the right platform in 2021.
In this article, we will compare Squarespace with WordPress and discuss 10 different points to see which one is the best platform in 2021 to build your website.
Covering design, control, flexibility, scalability, ease of use, ecommerce features, popularity, support, pricing, and much more!
We will start first by general definitions then we will dive deeper in our comparison.
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP. It is maintained by the WordPress Foundation and licensed under GPLv2+.
WordPress has a plugin architecture and a template system that is called inside WordPress by themes.
WordPress is currently the most popular content management system (CMS) on the web taking around 58% of CMS market share. WordPress also powers nearly 35% of the Internet. That is a considerable percentage compared to any other platform out there.
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Squarespace is an American company that provides software as a service for website building and hosting. Its customers use pre-built website templates and drag and drop elements to create webpages.
The Squarespace system is not open-source platform and you need to subscribe to use it. It can be an option for those bloggers and designers who need a managed hosting service for them with built-in tools that help in creating their websites.
Squarespace can be used for blogs, business sites, and even eCommerce shops.
WordPress.org is indeed an open-source content management system. Contributors and developers from all over the world can contribute to it and improve it whether Squarespace is not open source but a proprietary website builder and hosting platform and runs on a subscription service.
Why Open Source Matters?
WordPress wins this round as its open-source and licensed under GPLv2. Any developer can improve on it and modify it for personal or commercial use.
WordPress has thousands of templates that you can choose from. As it is open-source as well, you will be able to customize it freely without limitations. For developers who like to control everything, using an open-source solution is always an advantage.
On the other hand, Squarespace is closed-source, and the customizations are limited to the tools that it provides you. Their templates, though, are professional, clean, and elegant.
WordPress wins this round due to its open-source nature and the vast number of themes available at your disposal.
The degree of flexibility decides how much control you have over your website and content. With WordPress, you have the maximum amount of flexibility and scalability due to its open-source nature and the high number of developed plugins. With WordPress, you can transform your website and add capabilities to it by simply installing the right plugins.
With Squarespace, you also have a reasonable flexibility level due to the list of built-in features. Still, you are always limited to what the company is providing you and restricted based on the plan you choose. Everything is also hosted on their servers, so there is a bit less control over your backend compared to having everything on your own server.
WordPress wins in this round due to its open-source nature and the massive library of free and premium plugins that you can add to it.
Squarespace allows you to make changes to your content by adding HTML or CSS elements. It also offers tools to adjust your design. Your content should be acceptable according to the terms and guidelines of Squarespace, or else your site will be taken down upon violation.
On the other hand, WordPress grants you complete control over your website.You can create backups on remote servers like Dropbox or Google Drive with free WordPress plugins even if it’s hacked or taken down for any reason, you can easily restore your backup on any other hosting on the web, but it’s not the case with Sqaurespace.
WordPress wins this round due to the freedom you have in controlling your website and content on your server.
Squarespace is geared towards those with no time and requires a managed solution to contain their content.
Managing your content with WordPress is easier than building your website with it. There’s a bit of a learning curve for beginners, and it can take some time to get used to the interface. If you want to make a high-quality website, you’ll need some time to acquire the right experience and knowledge.
On the other hand, setting up and running your website with Squarespace is quick and straightforward for anyone. You have built-in tools and an intuitive interface at your disposal. It is much easier for beginners than WordPress.
Squarespace wins in this round as it is a complete managed solution designed to be simple and friendly for beginners. It is good to note though that WordPress can also be very easy to use once you get used to its interface. For people who have time to learn for a bit and investigate around, they will feel comfortable quickly with WordPress. Overall, both of them are generally easy to use and suitable for non-technical people.
Squarespace already comes with all the built-in tools and features you need to get your business website up and running. Some of these include email campaign management and social media integration. The downside is that you are just limited to what they provide you.
Meanwhile, WordPress starts with very basic blogging features but allows you to extend its capabilities to anything you want by installing plugins. There are thousands of free and paid plugins available. You have the freedom to add as many as you need.
Moreover, Squarespace has SEO limitations since you don’t have any access to .htaccess and robots.txt that are critical to SEO for many reasons.
The .htaccess file comes in handy when you want to customize your theme and want to deal with canonical tags. A canonical tag is an HTML element that guides Google to prevent duplicate content issues.
The robots.txt file helps you what to index, and what not to index in search engines. The best use of the robots.txt is to prevent bad bots that crawl your site. You can also hide your backlinks and keywords from Ahrefs Bot, SEMRush Bot and Moz Bot with the help of robots.txt.
Paste the below code in your robotos.txt to prevent Ahrefs to crawl your site:
To stop SEMrush, you need to paste the below code:
And to stop Moz Bot, you need this code:
On WordPress, you can easily edit robots.txt and .htaccess files to have complete control over your website.
It is a tie between Squarespace and WordPress. Squarespace provides you with all the necessary features you need, while WordPress offers you much more with third-party plugins depending on your preference.
Advanced Squarespace plans do have built-in features for eCommerce, and your website will be ideal for showcasing products. The problem is that you’re restricted by your payment options and the features that Squarespace provides.
WordPress doesn’t come with eCommerce functions, but you can scale it up quickly with the free WooCommerce plugin that gives instant e-commerce capabilities to your website.
It has a friendly wizard and many customizations depending on your preferences and needs. There are also hundreds of plugins on Woocommerce that you can choose from to extend your online store beyond what the default plugin is capable of. You can also tune it with any payment gateway.
WordPress wins in this round. Relying solely on Squarespace’s features for your eCommerce business can limit your growth. WordPress’s wide selection of available plugins makes it a more flexible choice for online stores.
Moreover, WordPress enjoys better SEO optimizations, but Squarespace doesn’t offer you complete control over SEO elements like .htaccess and robots.txt.
It is roughly estimated that there are more than 70 million websites around the world using WordPress, and it is the most popular content management system on the web. WordPress has the biggest community of developers and designers compared to any other platform on the web.
Squarespace has good popularity with over a million live websites, but it is community size is small as it is a company rather than an open-source project.
WordPress wins this round by a large margin.
As open-source software, WordPress.org isn’t exactly known for its customer service. It does have a support page with resources, as well as a forum, but there’s no dedicated live chat support. It is good to note, though, that most, if not all, of WordPress products come with support from their developers. There are also plenty of guides available online.
On the other hand, Squarespace has a dedicated customer support team that offers live chat and email support. You can also check out their workshops, webinars, forums, and guides for more information.
It is a tie! Both WordPress and Squarespace offer great support in different ways. Squarespace offers it directly on its site, while WordPress users need to contact the developers of their themes or plugins when they need support, depending on the case. There are also amazing tutorials on both of them online.
Since WordPress is free and open-source while Squarespace is a managed hosting service that requires a subscription starting from $144 to $480 yearly. Although with WordPress, you would still need to pay for hosting starting from $40 to $300 yearly that is cheaper than the monthly subscription fees that Squarespace is offering.
In terms of value, both of them are great. WordPress provides an amazing list of features with its vast library of plugins, while Squarespace offers such features as part of its paid platform.
WordPress wins since it is free, and hosting it is much more affordable than Squarespace.
Here is a summary of all the features and points that we have discussed in this review.
|Flexibility & Scalability|
|Control & Customizations|
|Ease Of Use|
|Popularity & Community Size|
|Value & Pricing|
Based on our (Squarespace vs WordPress) review and evaluation, WordPress wins the battle this year. It is free, open-source, scalable, and trusted by many famous brands and experts.
For absolute beginners who can afford monthly subscriptions and have common needs can certainly consider Squarespace.
Here at Labinator.com, we are open-source advocators. When using an open-source solution, you are in control of everything rather than depending on a third-party platform.
If you agree with our evaluation above, then WordPress is indeed the right platform for you.
Get started the right way with WordPress by checking our WordPress Marketplace that covers all your needs in one affordable package.
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