WordPress or Squarespace?
If you’re reading this post because you need a new website and are trying to figure out whether to go with WordPress or Squarespace, I can help you make the decision an easier one: WordPress wins the head-to-head battle every time. WordPress crushes Squarespace. I know this first-hand because we actually get a fair number of prospective clients who start their website process with Squarespace. They are recruited to Squarespace for all the reasons that give it so much potential – it’s so inexpensive you don’t even need a credit card to get started; it has an intuitive WYSIWYG theme builder; the hosting is fast and reliable; you don’t need to know anything about websites, domain names, or technology to have a nice looking website.
While both WordPress and Squarespace both give you a platform to build a website, they are completely different. WordPress is used by more than 25% of all websites on the internet, while Squarespace powers just 0.5% of all websites on the internet.
This post will give you more than 20 reasons why WordPress is the clear winner over Squarespace.
Reason #1: Free Download
WordPress is free, open source software for anyone to download and use on the web host or server of your choice.
On the other hand, Squarespace isn’t flexible – you are stuck with their hosting, which is strictly on Squarespace’s servers.
Reason #2: Build Upon the Software
WordPress has a GPL 2.0 License. This means that you can improve upon the code and make changes that suit your specific needs, as long as you are willing to share your changes with others as open source.
Squarespace has no such license and actually forbids you from tinkering with their code.
Reason #3: Edit with Code as Much as You Want
You can also edit WordPress plugins and themes as much as you want to extend the capabilities of your website. You aren’t limited to the number of changes you can make. There are also many plugins you can use to add custom code to your website.
Reason #4: WordPress has 49,000 Plugins
WordPress has a huge repository of more than 49,000 plugins to extend the functionality of the core WordPress software. You can find practically any feature imaginable for a website in the plugin repository.
Like the visual editor in Squarespace, what you see is what you get. If a certain feature or functionality you need isn’t available, you’re out of luck and this is where and why many people leave Squarespace and seek out WordPress.
Reason #5: Your Copyrighted Content Can’t Be Used for Free
WordPress has no right to publish any part of your website for free.
On the other hand, Squarespace, according to its Terms of Service, statements 2.2 and 2.3, can use any part of your site for uses such as advertising, even if the content they take is copyrighted. If you want a Squarespace website, you have to agree to this. While you can opt out, it’s not an easy one-click option.
Reason #6: Features aren’t Discontinued without Notice
The WordPress core gets updated regularly with new features and security updates and there’s a system in place to ensure transparency with what goes in, gets fixed and what’s omitted.
Changes are suggested, reviewed and approved before they’re worked on, then later released. Any amendments or omissions are well documented and announced beforehand. In the event that a feature you need is discontinued, you have time to search for or create a plugin to cover the capabilities you want.
Squarespace, on the other hand, can discontinue or remove any features at any time and without notice.
Reason #7: Your Server Resources Aren’t Limited
You can choose to host your own WordPress website unlike Squarespace which requires you to host your site on their servers. This means that you can’t scale it later if it becomes super popular.
Squarespace advertises all plans as having unlimited bandwidth, but the fine print on their pricing page makes it clear that the service is limited to normal usage.
This means your site can get shut down if Squarespace decides you’re getting more than average amounts of traffic – whatever that means – since there isn’t a clear definition (or any at all) for “normal usage.”
Conversely, WordPress gives you the freedom to choose your own hosting so you can find one that’s scalable and works for you.
Reason #8: No High-Resolutions Images? No Problem!
It’s much easier to find a WordPress layout that suits your needs and content. You also have the option to adjust the theme to better fit your images, videos, posts and other content.
Unfortunately Squarespace is heavily biased towards themes with gigantic high resolution images. Most of their 59 themes require huge images and if you don’t have them or need them, your website won’t look great.
Reason #9: Top Companies Trust WordPress
There are many popular, high-profile companies that trust WordPress to power their sites including The New York Times, CNN, PlayStation, LinkedIn, Flickr, Walt Disney, NGINX, Time Inc, cPanel and hundreds more.
Many celebrities also have their sites built on WordPress including Beyoncé, Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, Jane Fonda, Kim Kardashian, The Rolling Stones, Sylvester Stallone, and William Shatner.
Top companies don’t trust Squarespace because of the reasons listed in this blog post.
Reason #10: Better Analytics
There are many WordPress plugins that can add analytics straight into your site’s back end. Often times, you can get incredibly comprehensive analytics.
For example, you could sign up for Google Analytics and use the Google Analytics + plugin to add all the stats to your WordPress dashboard.
Squarespace includes an analytics feature, but it only has basic information that isn’t nearly as detailed as Google Analytics and you aren’t able to connect the two together in the admin area.
When it comes to a head to head comparison of WordPress and Squarespace, there’s no contest. Yes, you can create a great-looking website with Squarespace, but the platform is severely limited when compared to WordPress, which you can use to do practically anything you want.