Differences Between WordPress vs Squarespace
WordPress is a robust, free, and open-source content management system (CMS) based on My SQL and PHP. There are two versions available – “Hosted”, which is available at “wordpress.com” and is a Software as a service (Saas) tool. The second version is “Self-hosted”, a piece of software that can be downloaded from “wordpress.org” and installed on a web server. It is open-source that means the code is freely available and can be modified easily.
Squarespace is a Software as a service (Saas) tool for website building and hosting. It is an American private company that is headquartered in New York City. This tool uses pre-built website templates and “drag and drops” elements to design web pages.
WordPress was released in May 2003. It uses a web template system that further uses a template processor. Various themes can be installed, or a user can switch among different themes. Themes allow a user to change the appearance of a WordPress website without changing the code or content. WordPress comes along with a Theme directory that allows various free Themes. However, premium themes are available for purchase from marketplaces and individual developers. A developer can also create his own Theme called custom Themes.
Squarespace started its journey as a blog hosting service for personal use by Anthony Casalena. It was further developed by adding certain features like e-commerce tools, domain name services, and analytics. It removed the coding backend in favor of drag and drop features. It was launched publicly in April 2003. Squarespace is hosting more than one million websites as of 2016. Users of service build websites using pre-built website templates and a variety of drag and drop widgets for common elements.
WordPress community is vast and growing consistently; WordPress powers about 23% of all websites on the internet as of 2015. Just like Themes, plugins are available in free and premium forms means one needs to purchase them. A developer has access to thousands of different tools and plugins to improve the websites.
There are two versions of Squarespace available in the market. First is the standard version, which is designed for naïve users. One need not have any web development skills to use this version. Another is the developer’s version, which allows access and manipulation of source code, which allows the addition of greater functionality to Squarespace websites and the creation of templates. It is highly suitable for experienced developers.
WordPress is a powerful and flexible platform. Since its open-source, one can modify the source code to do any form of customization. With WordPress, when inserting a piece of information, one cannot see what it really looks like on the page until you preview the page or publish it.
Squarespace is easy for beginners to build websites. One can drag and drop the content wherever one wants, make it much more user-friendly to create a website without spending weeks. Squarespace drag and drop feature is intuitive, with its style editor make the job easier to change the basic template design elements like font colors, heading size, etc. Templates are pretty, easier to customize, and hence easier to operate for newbies.
Head to Head Comparison of WordPress and Squarespace (Infographics)
Below are the top 8 differences between WordPress vs Squarespace:
Key Differences Between WordPress and Squarespace
Let us discuss some of the major differences between WordPress and Squarespace:
- WordPress is an open-source Content Management System tool, whereas Squarespace is not open-source, run by a private company.
- WordPress has thousands of templates, plugins, and themes available, whereas numbers of theme, plugins, and template available with Squarespace are limited compared to WordPress.
- WordPress is open-source, so anyone can modify the source code and have his own set of themes and plugins ready with maintenance work, whereas Squarespace works in a controlled environment with limited flexibility toward plugin and theme modification.
- WordPress comes along with a maintenance nightmare since several thousands of plugin and theme are available free of cost, whereas Squarespace has certain plugins and themes, thus lesser maintenance.
- WordPress has a vast community with tons of documentation available since its open-source, whereas Squarespace has a limited and organized community.
- The learning curve for WordPress can be steep for a beginner since learning code is required, whereas Squarespace requires no coding experience at all; a user can build a website with ease.
- WordPress is a highly flexible and extensible platform because one can modify the code to create almost anything, whereas Squarespace provides little space for flexibility since it a close-knit community.
- The quality of tools available with WordPress can be terrible or great since its community is so large, whereas Squarespace tools are high quality and fully integrated into their website builder since it is a paid tool.
- WordPress comes with built-in tools to export all data easily, including plugins, themes, whereas Squarespace has a limited export feature, with only certain parts of the content, can be exported to an XML file.
- WordPress has flexible plans available from a variety of web hosts around the world, whereas Squarespace is strict and rigid with its available plan and features.
WordPress and Squarespace Comparison Table
Let’s look at the top comparison between WordPress and Squarespace below:
|Basis Of Comparison||WordPress||Squarespace|
|Ease of use||Offers beginner a lot of choices, hence can be confusing at first||It fares a little better than WordPress for absolute beginners|
|Costs||Open source and flexible plans available||Not open-source and different category of plans are available|
|Design||Highly extensible and flexible in terms of design||No easy way to extend the already existing design|
|Features||Thousands of plugins and templates are available||Available plugin and templates are lesser as compared to WordPress|
|E-commerce||Plenty of plugins to turn a website into an online store||Limited plans available for tweaking an online store|
|Support||Big community with resources but not organized||A dedicated team with organized resources|
|Learning||A steep learning curve for a beginner||User-friendly, a website can be built without knowing how to code|
|Maintenance||The developer is responsible for maintaining an aspect of plugins and themes.||Controlled environment, manage and update all maintenance work for a developer.|
Although WordPress is a lot more powerful and flexible than Squarespace, a drawback with WordPress is that it takes more time to dig through the intricacies offered by WordPress. Squarespace being costlier than WordPress involves benefits like ease of use with its drag and drop-like features. All updating and services are managed by the Squarespace team so that one does not have to worry about anything.
So, if one is working alone in a deadline-meet environment, one can choose Squarespace over WordPress since its usage and maintenance nightmare is way too low. But at the same, if one is a tech-savvy person and wishes to build a sophisticated website that goes beyond what Squarespace must offer, then one should definitely go for WordPress. With WordPress, a slew of plugins, themes, and templates are being offered; although time taking still, one can manage to get the most out of thousands of plugins and themes.
At the end of the day, both WordPress vs Squarespace offers the same set of feature and functionality. It finally boils down to the requirement and resources available. Tech-savvy resources with a considerable amount of time available signal toward the usage of WordPress, whereas naïve users, with hovering deadlines, signal toward the Squarespace path.
This has been a guide to the top differences between WordPress vs Squarespace. Here we also discuss the WordPress vs Squarespace key differences with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles –