Squarespace vs. WordPress: The Ongoing Battle

In the ever changing world of website development and website builders, a battle is raging. Raging might be too strong of a word though, considering this is about website builders, but both of these platforms elicit strong responses from their supporters. While WordPress has been around longer, Squarespace is quickly making a name for itself as one of the premier website builders on the market today.

WordPress made it’s initial appearance in 2003, and since then has grown to over 70 million worldwide installations with a blogging platform that is easily a favorite worldwide. On the other hand, Squarespace is a newer website builder with a very rapidly growing base of users and some of the most powerful tools on the market with which you can build a powerful website. The main difference between these two giants is that WordPress remains free for it’s users while Squarespace charges a fee.

The Cost Factor

For many internet users looking to build a great website, cost will always be a factor. Although WordPress is free to use, there are fees associated with running a website built with WordPress.

There will always be a charge for website hosting. Some of the more cost effective hosts can charge a small fee of $5 a month, but this is usually a case of “buyer beware”. Using a host based solely on the cheapest cost usually ends up costing the website owner more time and money.

Squarespace throws in a free domain name with their annual subscription while WordPress requires its users to purchase their own domain name.

When it comes to themes and plugins, WordPress has thousands of free themes and plugins you can choose from, while the purchase of Squarespace includes about 24 templates and a couple of great and fully functional plugins.

The most surprising thing about the cost of these website builders is that the price is essentially the same. When totaled up, the hidden costs of developing with WordPress pretty much equals the price of purchasing Squarespace.

Help For Beginners

Even experienced computer gurus occasionally need support, and Squarespace has an amazing 24 hour support team to call. Like most paid for computer software, help is also provided to answer any questions and help troubleshoot any problems. WordPress does not have a live support team, but there is a help and message board that users can go to. Unfortunately, this is not a lot of help for beginners who have questions about everything. While the chat boards can offer some advice, it is sometimes spotty and confusing.

The Question of Performance

For many internet users looking to build high quality professional websites, it is not a question of cost so much as a question of performance.

Although Squarespace isn’t designed to handle large volumes of suddenly appearing traffic, it can handle a steady volume of traffic consistently. Using the cloud servers helps to keep the website fully functional at a steady and constant speed with almost no downtime or signs of slowing down.

WordPress websites can handle those sudden influxes of traffic if the WordPress host is strong enough, which most times it isn’t. This is where it pays to spend more on a strong web host. To avoid any issues with performance. Self-hosted WordPress users are frequently tweaking caching plugins to help handle the steady streams of information and visitors to the website.

Performance issues for these two website builders depend on what a person needs from his/her website. For larger websites though, WordPress is generally the better of the two especially when it is combined with a strong host.

Less Stress and Headaches

For those who are not great website builders, then purchasing Squarespace is probably the best option. It is extremely easy to use and with great support available at any time, even the most technically challenged can design a great website with the help of Squarespace. WordPress has gotten slightly easier to use in recent years, but for someone who is not familiar with everything involved with building a website, it can be difficult to use and understand.

Flexibility

WordPress offers more flexibility than Squarespace, it is used across millions of blogs and you will find more options when it comes to themes, plugins and other solutions on WordPress. WordPress offers more customization than Squarespace, giving users a lot more options.

Both of these are powerful content management systems, and it simply comes down to a person’s needs when it comes to choosing which platform is best for them and their website.

WordPress is currently the top Content Management System for a reason, but for a beginner or less tech-savvy person, Squarespace might just be the perfect solution.

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