It can be tricky to know which web development platform is right for you, particularly when there are pros and cons for all of them. Today we look at whether and when you should use WordPress or Squarespace for your website so you can make an informed decision on which is more suitable for you.
Undeniably the most popular web platform, WordPress currently powers a third of all websites on the internet. We make no secret about WordPress being our favourite content management system (CMS). It is an extremely versatile and scalable platform, and with it, the possibilities are practically endless.
Ease of use
WordPress is an open source platform so requires code and third-party plugins in order to customise it. It certainly has a lot of scope for creative control, but it can be quite difficult to preview how the changes look on the frontend.
While WordPress is aimed at coders, you can tailor it to your own abilities. There are a few website builders (such as Advanced Custom Fields) that you can use with WordPress that make it easy for admins to create and edit pages without knowing how to code, however the original build will still require coding knowledge.
As mentioned, WordPress is hugely customisable and, with enough coding knowledge, the options are limitless. If you don’t have that skill-set yourself, it can be fairly cost effective to outsource the build to WordPress developers – particularly if you can design it in-house – and they can make it easy for you to edit and update once it’s built by installing a website builder like Advanced Custom Fields (read more about website builders here).
If you are strapped for time and money, there are thousands of existing templates that you can download and use. These pre-built themes can be a good quick-fix, however if you want a high-quality site with some longevity then always go for a custom build. Some themes will be older than others so watch out for when they were last updated and make sure they are mobile optimised; over 50% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices so it is essential that your site is fully responsive.
In a nutshell, WordPress gives you ultimate control over your end product and you can create pretty much anything with the right skills and knowledge. So, you ask, if WordPress is so great, why would you ever use Squarespace?
Squarespace is a relatively low-budget, beginner-friendly website builder, and pretty much anyone can pop up a Squarespace site quickly and for a small fee.
Ease of use
Unlike with WordPress, what you see is what you get with Squarespace. Drag and drop visual editing tools allow you to see exactly what you are doing and how the page will look. It is certainly possible to create a great, professional-looking website in under an hour, without knowing how to code.
Squarespace is hosted for you so you won’t need to source that yourself, making it simpler than setting up a WordPress site. It is entirely cloud-based so you don’t need to install or update anything however, if Squarespace goes down, so will your site.
Squarespace offers less freedom when it comes to customising your site but still offers a good amount of creativity considering. There are multiple pre-existing templates to choose from which you can customise by adding image galleries, video backgrounds, buttons, and more.
While there is some level of customisation available, it is certainly limited – which isn’t great if you require a lot of features or if you want a site that is unique. For this, WordPress simply cannot be beat.
Squarespace prides itself on its range of high-quality templates, all of which are mobile responsive. It has more than 60 designs for you to choose from, categorised into themes such as ‘portfolio’ and ‘business’. While it doesn’t boast the thousands that WordPress does, all Squarespace templates are made by their in-house team so they are reliable whereas existing WordPress can be made available for purchase by anyone so are more hit-or-miss.
So should I use WordPress or Squarespace?
While Squarespace has its uses, WordPress wins by far in what you can achieve with it. You might consider Squarespace if you are just starting out with little resources, if you want to get an online portfolio up-and-running quickly, and you don’t want to involve developers. For all serious websites, WordPress offers unrivalled customisation, and is hugely adaptable to your requirements. You can spend a little building a WordPress site or you could spend a lot, the point is that WordPress is capable of pretty much anything.
Check out our other blog comparing WordPress and Magento.
Do you need help bringing your ideas to life? We are a team of expert developers, working to NDAs and specialising in WordPress. Get in touch to discuss your project today.