Squarespace and Wordpress

 
 Squarespace logo
 Wordpress logo
 

WordPress and Squarespace provide ways to build websites but they are are distinct in how they provide this service.

Squarespace is a stand-alone, online tool or website-building platform that you subscribe to use per site. Subscriptions include hosting, theme use, and SSL certficate.  Themes and functionality are developed in-house so therefore fully integrated and tested.

WordPress is an open source platform with software free to download. Wordpress sites are hosted through external hosting providers. Thousands (if not millions) of developers contribute to the available themes and plugin functionality. Without full integration across theme and plugin functionality, programming conflicts can occur.

Comparisons

Squarespace

Wordpress

Hosting and SSL certificates

Standalone fully-hosted website building platform.

SSL certificates integrated with hosting.

Requires third-party hosting.

SSL certificates are purchased in addition to hosting, or part of the hosting service.

Themes/Templates

All Squarespace themes, renowned for their sophisticated design layouts, are included with their monthly or annual payments. Themes are interchangeable: if you want to change to a new theme, this can happen relatively simply. A few styling changes may be necessary but not much more.

Wordpress offer free themes, or paid themes that are more sophisticated in layout or design.

Wordpress themes are interchangeable but problems can arise with some functionality with a change to a new theme.

Flexibility

Less flexibility, but all tools and functions are closely controlled, monitored and tested to ensure they are up 100% of the time.

Very flexible and customizable especially with plugins. However, conflicts can occur with some plugins with some themes.

Ease of use

Beginners can update easily using user-friendly wysiwyg text editor. Easy drag and drop website builder. Easy to edit styling in the CSS editor.

Beginners can update easily with user-friendly wysiwyg text editor. Some themes offer easy basic CSS updates other wise scripting/coding knowledge helps. Coding experience helps for design development.

User Support

Dedicated email-support team with responses within 24 hours. Online tutorials, videos and support pages available.

Big online community offering answers to queries, with resources and tutorials. Theme-related problems are often sorted by paying the theme developers for help. Some Wordpress theme developers offer paid support packs for ongoing help.

Ongoing maintenance

Squarespace is a ‘closed’ environment controlled internally so that all aspects of managing the platform with updates is taken care of. No need for the site owner to do anything.

Requires frequent maintenance especially if the platform, theme or plugins are updated by their developers. You are responsible for maintaining all aspects of your website, including plugin updates, although some hosting companies take care of Wordpress version updates.

Pricing

Four plans available for standard or ecommerce sites ranging from AU$16 per month (standard sites) – AU$54 per month (advanced ecommerce sites).

Variable because of costs for:

— themes (one-off)

— some plugins are free, some are purchased (optional and depending on the functionality you’re after)

— support (ongoing)

— third-party hosting variations.

This information was drawn from a post from Website Builder Expert and verified by Site Content's experience with both Squarespace and Wordpress.

There's a really comprehensive guide available from ThemeGrill.