WordPress vs. Squarespace: Which is Better?

Uncategorized May 22, 2020

The better question is, which is better for you? Different situations are different. Truly, this isn't just sales talk. 

Breaking it down, you could ask the WordPress vs. Squarespace in terms of design, cost, special features, and hassle, then put it all together in a calculus blender to come to an answer, but you don't really need to work that hard to get confident on a conclusion. Read on through the short version and maybe the myths section and see if that's not enough to settle things.

First, who are we to say?

What follows is based on experience building, marketing, and supporting sites in both platforms, presented from the perspective of our clients after they’d had some miles on their site. Our credibility and objective position on this subject (in our humble opinion) because we still do both, and we aren’t a typical design house. We started with marketing and added design and development skills. Most designers and developers are just that. Not that and marketing pros. (Good designers that aren’t good marketers will say so and refer marketing to others. This is why we do white label marketing for other design and development companies.)  We believe our marketing-first origins give us (and you) a leg up when it comes to building a site that works (read: makes money) for your business vs. just looking great, and does so right out of the box.

Short version answer:

- Wordpress can do more but is more complex and expensive, both upfront and ongoing.

- Squarespace can do a lot and is less complex and less expensive.

Unless you need unusual functionality, the extra complexity and cost of WordPress aren't usually merited.

Middle version answer:

The short version covers most businesses. Squarespace can do a lot, and what it can do is expanding pretty fast. There are more people who have built sites in WordPress because of its extensive history, including a huge number of really good sites. However, some of the things that are great about WordPress are great for the builders more than the customers and don't all matter to your business. In our view, WordPress is very good and will remain very good, but Squarespace is also very good, sufficient for most, easier, and less expensive.

IF you need something that requires WordPress, truly, then it's better to start there than to learn later that your Squarespace site isn't going to work. This isn't likely for most, but does happen.

WordPress sites can be tweaked and dialed in more than Squarespace for eeking out speed gains. This is important sometimes and requires skills. If you need it, you need it, but most don't.

What are the tiebreakers?

Do you want to add and edit things yourself vs. hiring someone? Both work, but Squarespace is easier.

Do you want to not hear about security patches and updates all the time, or you don't mind? Squarespace.

Myths

“Squarespace isn’t good for SEO” - bzzzz. Generalization fallacy. It’s fine. WordPress has tools and plugins promising to automate, but good SEO (even decent SEO) can’t be automated. So, Squarespace doesn’t have the overpromising tricks but good content, meta, and all the normal things that make good SEO can be done just fine in nearly all modern platforms.

XYZ platform isn’t good for XYZ. Not to put too fine a point to it, but generalizations like these are tribal beliefs that are usually not true anymore, if they ever were.

The long version answer to WordPress vs. Squarespace:

We don't really want to write this, because it's so Ford vs. Chevy and full of myths and really too much to untangle meaningfully in print. There are objective facts in play, but also a lot of lore and beliefs based on things that aren't relevant anymore, and too many variables to write. If you've gotten this far and you're unsure... call us.

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