Squarespace vs WordPress | Which Is Better in 2021?

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4.7

out of 5

3.2

out of 5

Looking to create a stunning website? Then it’s no surprise you’re choosing between Squarespace and WordPress.

Squarespace is a website builder with the best template designs on the market. It’s easier to use than WordPress, and takes care of the techy stuff for you. 

WordPress is a content management system that offers tons of power and customization if you’re comfortable with sourcing your own web hosting and learning some code.

After more than a decade of using and comparing the top website building platforms out there, we know the differences between Squarespace and WordPress inside and out. Read on for our full breakdown, and to find out which of these two is best for you!

Who Are Squarespace and WordPress Aimed At?

Which Is Meant For You?

Squarespace is a website builder, while WordPress is a content management system (CMS). Here’s what that means:

  • Website builders are all-in-one tools that include everything you need to create a website, from designer templates to hosting. You don’t have to know anything about code, and your whole site can be managed in one place. This makes Squarespace the more beginner-friendly platform.
  • Content management systems are more advanced software, made for handling larger websites with a lot of data. You can fully customize these websites, but only if you know how to code. You’ll also have to find a hosting provider yourself, but you’ll end up with more storage space and scalability. This makes WordPress the more powerful platform. 
There are actually two versions of WordPress out there! In this comparison, we’re talking about WordPress.org, which is an open source platform and is what most people are referring to when they say “WordPress.” WordPress.org is different from WordPress.com, which is designed more like a website builder, but lacks a lot of power and resources.
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When to Use Squarespace Instead of WordPress

  • You want a stunning website without hassle or fuss
  • You need a site up fairly quickly
  • You need an easy-to-manage site
  • You want transparent, set pricing
  • You’re not confident with code
  • You want all-in-one convenience
  • You want to focus on your goals, rather than on maintenance
  • You like the security of dedicated, 24/7 support

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When to Use WordPress Instead of Squarespace

  • You’re building a fairly large website
  • You want complete customization
  • You take a very hands-on approach to running your site
  • You’re fine with coding, or willing to learn
  • You want really powerful blogging tools
  • You don’t need to get your site live super quickly
  • You’re not put off by technical tasks such as hosting, security, or updates
  •  You like to choose exactly which tools and features your site needs

Squarespace Offer Code
Use Offer Code "WBE" on Checkout for 10% Discount
Save 10% Off Any Squarespace Plan With Code: WBE

We have an exclusive Squarespace offer code for our readers that will save you 10% on the cost of any Squarespace plan! To redeem this discount, simply enter the offer code: WBE at the checkout and enjoy!

Save Money With Squarespace

Enter the code WBE at checkout to save 10% on any Squarespace plan!

Further Information

Ease of Use

Which Is Better for Beginners?
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The Winner

Ease of Use: Squarespace is Better

With Squarespace, you can easily modify your design, while WordPress requires coding. This makes Squarespace much more beginner-friendly, as you can simply drag and drop features onto your pages.
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Squarespace: Easier but Less Flexible

Squarespace is easier to use than WordPress because:

  • It requires no coding skills
  • You can preview changes in real-time as you make them
  • It has a drag-and-drop template editor

User Review: Brittany Herzberg, Brittany Herzberg Massage Therapy

brittany herzberg“I’ve loved how easy Squarespace is to use and modify. It was quite easy for me to pick a template and enter in the information I thought was critical.

When I first got my site going, a friend helped me create it. He suggested Squarespace and a few other options, but Squarespace seemed the most intuitive to me, and it had template options I felt I could be proud of.”

By drag-and-drop, we mean you can move different elements (like text boxes and images) around on the page to customize the layout. Squarespace’s drag-and-drop editor goes by section, so you can move different elements around within a block on the page.

wordpress vs squarespace ease of use editor
Squarespace lets you drag elements around within each section block.

This is called “what you see is what you get” editing. It makes it super easy to make changes, because you’re seeing exactly what visitors will be seeing once your site is live.

Whenever we’ve used Squarespace in the past, we’ve been impressed by its stylish templates and fast setup.

Top Tip: Less flexibility isn’t always a bad thing! Squarespace’s section-based editor makes it nearly impossible to position your text or images at a bad angle, and you’ll get to choose between multiple color palettes that are predesigned to match your theme. Basically, it’s extremely hard to make a design faux pas with Squarespace!

WordPress: Harder but More Customizable

WordPress is harder to use than Squarespace because:

  • Code and third-party plugins are often needed to customize pages
  • You do your editing in the backend, meaning you can’t see your changes as you make them
squarespace vs wordpress editor
When you add and edit elements in WordPress, you can’t see how your changes will look while you make them.

Making changes in the backend is like flipping switches backstage. You can walk around to the front to see which lights you’ve turned on, then go back behind the curtain to change those settings.

This can be really disorienting for a beginner. But the payoff is that WordPress is very customizable, because editing the actual code of your site opens up a whole new world of possibilities – you won’t have to stay within the confines of a premade template.

If you’ve got money rather than coding skills, you can hire a developer to help you at around $100 per hour. This will raise the cost of your website, but reduce the amount of tech you’ll have to deal with yourself.

Design

Which Has Better Templates?
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The Winner

Design: Squarespace is Better

Squarespace templates are consistently higher quality than WordPress templates. And while WordPress offers tons of customization, you’ll have to be pretty comfortable with code in order to really make a WordPress template shine.
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Choosing a Template

If you want a website builder but don’t want to compromise on design, don’t worry: Squarespace has the best quality designs of any website builder on the market. Its designer templates are clean, modern, and professional. You’ve got 113 to choose from, covering a variety of categories from online stores to blogs.

squarespace ecommerce etsy alternative
Squarespace has the best quality designs on the market, giving you a stunning storefront for your products

WordPress has more templates (also called themes) than Squarespace – in fact, it has thousands – but they’re not all as expertly designed as Squarespace’s. In other words, you’ll often have to do a lot more work yourself to make the theme into something stunning!

Top Tip: Anyone can create and upload a WordPress theme, so it’s best to be picky. There’s even a chance you could download a theme with malicious code in it, which would then open up your site to security breaches.

So keep watch for faulty WordPress themes, and make sure any you’re downloading are safe, secure, and reliable.

Customizing Your Template

User Review: Kyle Fleming, Fleming Music Therapy

kyle fleming“What I like about Squarespace is that much of the design process is intuitive. Once I found a template that I liked and decided on an overall layout for my website, it was easy for me – someone who has never designed or created a website before – to plug in and rearrange the elements of my page (photos, text, etc.) in a way that I felt best expressed who I was, and what I wanted people to feel about my practice.”

Squarespace’s drag-and-drop editor lets you easily add galleries, slideshows, video backgrounds, and more with just a few clicks. And if you’re feeling a little more advanced, you can use the built-in custom CSS editor, which lets you apply custom code to your template. With Squarespace, coding is an option, whereas it’s almost mandatory with WordPress.

wordpress unique websites
WordPress lets you create a totally unique website through ultimate customization and flexible designs.

Of course, WordPress has quite rightly made a name for itself in this area, giving you ultimate control over your website. It may not be quite as easy as drag-and-drop, but there are no limits on what you can change in your template.

One of the most important parts of picking a template is making sure it looks great on all devices. When you’ve put so much hard work into giving it that wow factor, you don’t want your site to be the ugly duckling of the mobile world. Mobile responsive templates make sure your website still looks stunning on, you guessed it, mobile devices.

All of Squarespace’s templates are fully mobile optimized. Every template design has a mobile view automatically built in, which makes sure your website looks great on all devices. This even includes any emails you send.

squarespace mobile optimization

WordPress is slightly different. Because there are so many themes to choose from, there are different levels of quality. Some themes will be older than others, meaning they don’t have mobile optimization. In a world where over 50% of traffic comes from mobile users, you’d be missing out by choosing an outdated theme.

One way of ensuring a better experience for your mobile users is to enable AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). This just creates lightweight, simplified versions of your pages, meaning they load much faster on mobile devices. Not only that, Google actually works with AMP to prioritize these mobile-friendly pages in search results.

You can quickly and easily enable AMP on both Squarespace and WordPress. All Squarespace pages are automatically ready for you to enable AMP. With WordPress, you just need to install an AMP plugin, and then you’ll be good to go!

Further Information

Pricing and Value for Money

Which Is More Affordable?
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The Winner

Pricing: WordPress is Better

Squarespace has four pricing plans, ranging from $12 to $40 per month. These prices cover everything you’ll need to get a site live. WordPress itself is free, but you can’t really get a site live without paying for additional services like web hosting. You can pick and choose some of these additional costs, though, which gives WordPress pricing some really nice flexibility.
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Squarespace Pricing

Squarespace offers 4 premium pricing plans, ranging from $12-40 per month (billed yearly).

If you sign up to an annual plan, you can save between 13% and 25% compared to a monthly plan.

Squarespace Pricing Plans Monthly Plan ($/month) Annual Plan ($/month) Savings (%)
Personal $16 $12 25%
Business $26 $18 31%
Basic (ecommerce) $30 $26 13%
Advanced (ecommerce) $46 $40 13%

Here’s what you need to know about each plan:

  • The Personal plan is the cheapest, and gives you everything you need to create a stylish website
  • The Business plan supports basic ecommerce – for example, if you just want to sell a few items on the side – and comes with more marketing features than the personal plan
  • The Basic Commerce plan is specifically aimed at online stores selling more than a few products
  • The Advanced Commerce plan is built for growing an online store, and includes plenty of powerful ecommerce tools
Top Tip: All of Squarespace’s plans come with a 14-day free trial, so you can give it a go before signing up to a premium plan.
Squarespace Offer Code
Use Offer Code "WBE" on Checkout for 10% Discount

Save 10% on Any Squarespace Plan!

We have an exclusive offer code which can save you 10% on your first purchase or upgrade with Squarespace! Just enter WBE at the checkout to save on the cost of any plan.

WordPress Pricing

WordPress is a free platform, but you’ll still need to get your wallet out to help cover other aspects of your site. The most important cost is web hosting. 

WordPress will require you to sort out your own hosting, which generally costs around $7 per month (roughly $84 per year). WordPress recommends using either Bluehost, DreamHost or SiteGround (click to read our reviews of each host). Bluehost is our top-rated WordPress hosting provider, scoring an impressive 4.8/5.

wordpress recommended hosting
You’ll need to pay for your own hosting for your WordPress site. Bluehost, DreamHost and SiteGround are the top three recommended by WordPress.

These are the other common costs to anticipate when starting a WordPress site:

  • Themes: While some themes are free, for top quality, it’s worth thinking about investing in paid themes ($30-$80)
  • Plugins: WordPress plugins can add all kinds of additional features to your website, from email marketing to ecommerce checkout tools ($15-$50)
  • Domain names: Squarespace gives you a free domain for your first year, but with WordPress, you’ll have to purchase your own domain name from a third-party registrar like Domain.com ($10-$12 per year), or pick a hosting provider that offers a free domain for your first year (like Bluehost)
  • Developer costs: If you’re building a large and/or complex website, you may even want to hire a developer, which could end up costing thousands of dollars

Because a WordPress site has so many moving parts, it’s hard to give a definitive answer to how much it really costs. The good news is that this model is very flexible, so you can choose cheaper themes and plugins in order to stay within your budget.

All in all, the estimates we have provided for the cost of setting up a WordPress site are at the lower end.

According to Elegant Themes, a popular WordPress theme developer, setting up and running a WordPress site (without hiring any external help) could cost you anything from $200 to $1,000+.

The main costs are attached to purchasing premium themes and plugins. Premium themes typically range from $50-200 a month, while premium plugins can vary from $15-200.

A standard domain costs roughly $12 per year. Hosting is very dependent on the provider you choose, but on average, hosting prices tend to fall between $10 and $30 a month.

Note that this does not factor in ongoing costs; if you need to hire someone to help you make modifications to your WordPress site or to help troubleshoot, this will inflate the cost even more.

Elegant Themes also estimated that a custom WordPress theme will cost you around $3,000-6,000 (for design and development), while a custom WordPress website will be around $6,000-15,000 (for design and development plus custom plugins).  You can see their estimates here.

Further Information

  • Read our Squarespace Pricing Review for more details on this builder’s plans
  • Read our WordPress Pricing Review to learn more about how to budget for your WordPress site
  • We recommend Bluehost for a great value WordPress host – check out our Bluehost Pricing Review for more details

SEO

Make Sure You Get Found Online
The Winner

SEO: It’s a Tie!

WordPress has more powerful SEO, but Squarespace has more built-in features. By installing SEO plugins on WordPress, you can call on powerful tools like Yoast. But if you want built-in features and much less work, then Squarespace is the better choice.
You’ve perfected your stunning designs. You’ve got the features and apps of your website running like clockwork. Now all you need is an admiring audience to appreciate all that hard work. Time to become an SEO pro!

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and this is what gets you found in Google search results. If your website has bad SEO, it could stay stuck in the 100th results page forever. With amazing SEO, you could get to number one.

But who wakes up one morning ready to be an SEO expert? That’s where your chosen builder can help you.

Squarespace SEO

Squarespace has built-in SEO tools, including:

  • Customizable meta titles and descriptions: These are the title and paragraph that describe a page in Google search results
  • Customizable URLs: You can clean up your URLs to make them more readable to search engines (for example, squarespace.com/pricing is a clean and simple URL!)
  • Image alt text: Alt text just describes what an image is showing, and it makes your website more accessible because anyone using a screen reading tool won’t have to wonder what each image shows. Alt text also helps search engines understand the purpose and relevance of each image.
  • Page redirects: If you change a page’s URL and someone tries to visit the old one, Squarespace will let you automatically send them to the new one!
  • Automatic sitemaps: A sitemap is a list of the different pages on your site, designed to help search engines figure out how they’re all related. Squarespaces generates one of these for you automatically.

All of these tools are totally integrated, meaning you won’t need to download any extra plugins to access them.

squarespace seo
Squarespace provides you with built-in SEO tools to boost your site’s growth and get you found online, for all the right reasons!

WordPress SEO

WordPress websites come with some built-in SEO features, but most of the platform’s impressive power comes from its arsenal of SEO plugins – which you’ll have to install yourself.

User Review: Douglas Liantonio, Gravy

“I like WordPress because there are more plugins to use for SEO, website speed, and other optimizations. If you are technical you can jump into the code real quick, and if there is a cosmetic change to make, you can check the page as a front view and then make those changes. Squarespace is great, but it’s all drag-and-drop, and doesn’t let you technically change things by code.”

wordpress seo plugins
WordPress has highly rated SEO plugins to give your website even better SEO tools and improve your site’s chances of being found in search results

For example, the Yoast SEO plugin has a five star rating from over 25,000 reviews, and has over 5 million active installations. Yoast guides you through the best SEO practices, from creating cornerstone content to adding keywords and meta descriptions.

Further Information

Features

Which Has More Built-In Tools?
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The Winner

Features: Squarespace is Better

Squarespace has high-quality features included in its website editor. WordPress has some useful features built-in, but to make the most of its (very impressive) potential, you’ll have to install more third-party plugins yourself.
Visit Squarespace

Squarespace Features

Squarespace comes with more built-in features than WordPress. These are just a few of the ones we found most useful:

  • Analytics: Track website visits, traffic sources, visitor geography, and more
  • Social accounts: Import content to your site from social platforms like Instagram and Twitter
  • Social feeds: Embed feeds from your social accounts directly onto your site
  • Podcasts: Host a podcast on your Squarespace site, and publish it to Spotify or Apple Podcasts

You don’t have to install extra apps or plugins for any of these features – all you have to do is select them from your dashboard!

WordPress Features

WordPress is known for its powerful tools – the only catch is that you have to install most of them yourself. Still, you’ll get some great stuff included, such as:

  • Customizable designs
  • Publishing tools, such as scheduling
  • Password protected pages
  • Multiple contributors
  • Image editing tools
  • Comments management
  • Multilingual site options (70+ languages)

Beyond this, you’ll want to check out the seemingly endless amount of WordPress plugins to add more features to your site.

wordpress features
WordPress has a powerful set of features to set your website up for success, although it relies more on plugins than built-in tools
It’s not enough to just have loads of features – there needs to be quality as well as quantity. Squarespace updates and introduces new features every few months. This keeps current features from becoming outdated, and gives you new tools to play with when they come out. Everything you need is right there at your fingertips.

WordPress is a little different. Because you’re managing your own site, you need to check for new releases and update your website to keep up. This is really important because an outdated site is more at risk of being hacked. However, hosting providers like Bluehost carry out automatic WordPress updates for you on their tailored WordPress plans, making your life easier and keeping your website secure.

Apps and Plugins

Which Has More Extra Features?
The Winner

Apps: WordPress is Better

WordPress has a virtually limitless selection of plugins. Squarespace’s plugin options are better quality, but there are fewer to choose from.
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How Do They Compare?

Think of Squarespace like a restaurant. Your food is prepared and cooked in-house. Your waiter knows the menu inside out, and is there to answer questions. You can pick and choose what you want, but all the food arrives from the Squarespace kitchen.

WordPress is more like a fancy buffet. It has dishes from different places and different kitchens. You don’t know exactly where most of these dishes were made, and some are better quality than others.

With WordPress, you have to put the dishes together yourself. This is perfect if you know which flavors work best together, but the waiter can’t answer all of your questions, because the food was made somewhere else.

Either way, you can end up with a delicious meal – it’s just a question of how you go about it!

WordPress Plugins

WordPress is an open-source platform, meaning that its codes are open for anyone to use and customize. Developers or programmers can use WordPress to create their own tools (such as templates, themes or plugins) to share for free, or sell to other WordPress users.

stephen twomeyUser Review: Stephen Twomey, Kennected

“I chose WordPress because it seemed like the most flexible option when it came to plugins. These give you the ability to include all sorts of essential features a business may want to utilize, like online shops and membership areas.”

There are tons of WordPress plugins – 55,000 and counting – covering practically every function you can imagine. You can add contact forms, open comment sections, improve your Google rankings with SEO plugins, or even use WooCommerce to sell through your WordPress site… the possibilities are endless. There are both free and paid plugins available.

wordpress plugins
WordPress has over 55,776 plugins to expand your website. You can use the search bar or sort by category.
Top Tip: Read the reviews before choosing a plugin. Because anyone can create plugins for WordPress, some plugins won’t be as top-quality as others. Some less secure plugins may unintentionally leave your site vulnerable to hackers, so it’s good to know what other users have to say about a plugin before downloading it!

Squarespace Extensions

Squarespace comes with a good selection of apps already built into your site, including tools for blogging, tracking performance, and displaying images. In other words, there’s no downloading or updating necessary on your end.

And if you do find that you need additional functionality, Squarespace has a separate app market called Squarespace Extensions. The third party apps available there are high quality, but there are only 24 to choose from.

wordpress vs squarespace extensions
Squarespace has a small, but carefully stocked, extensions store where you can find and add integrations.

Ecommerce

Which Is Better For Selling Online?
The Winner

Ecommerce: Squarespace is Better

Squarespace’s sales features are all built in, so you’ll be ready to start selling right away on any of its ecommerce plans. With WordPress, you’ll have to install a plugin before you start selling, but it can give you a more powerful store than Squarespace.
Visit Squarespace

If you want to sell online, you can! Both Squarespace and WordPress have the tools to let you create a powerful online store. Squarespace lets you create an all-in-one store, with all your sales tools at your fingertips. WordPress relies on plugins like WooCommerce to add ecommerce to your site.

Selling with Squarespace – All-in-One

Squarespace gives you everything you need to start selling online already included, as long as you’re on the Business plan or above. All sales tools are fully integrated, meaning your online store will look totally seamless and professional. For additional shipping and tax functionalities, you can also browse the Squarespace Extensions marketplace.

squarespace ecommerce
Squarespace gives you all the ecommerce tools you need to make your store successful

The Business plan is designed for small stores, and charges a 3% transaction fee on every sale you make. You can create promotional pop-ups, sell unlimited products and accept donations, have a professional email and more.

For serious selling, you’ll need to upgrade to an ecommerce plan – you can choose from the $26 per month Basic plan, or the $40 per month Advanced plan. With these, you unlock a whole range of advanced ecommerce features, including:

  • 0% transaction fees
  • Inventory, orders, tax, and coupons
  • Label printing
  • Product listings on Instagram
  • Gift cards
  • Abandoned cart recovery

All of this is automatically included – you don’t need to install, activate, or update anything to access these features. Just upgrade to the best plan for you and start selling!

Selling with WordPress – Plugins

WooCommerce

You can create a really powerful online store on WordPress using the ecommerce plugin WooCommerce. WooCommerce is specially designed for WordPress users, to help them sell online!

wordpress plugin woocommerce
WooCommerce is an ecommerce plugin built for WordPress, which gives you the tools to build a store which suits you

Because it was built for WordPress, you don’t need to worry about WooCommerce not being compatible with your website or your plugins – it’s easy to install, as well as free!

WooCommerce has every tool in the box, making it a powerful way to kick-start your ecommerce business. Some of those features include:

  • Digital and physical products
  • Payment and shipping options
  • Hundreds of themes
  • Inventory management

One of the main benefits of WooCommerce is that it’s totally customizable – so you can align your branding, sell whatever products you want, and even integrate ecommerce with powerful blogging tools.

Of course, WooCommerce isn’t the only plugin out there, but it is the most popular and most highly recommended. But, other plugins can give you a more tailored service – for example if you need a membership service or only need to sell digital downloads.

A few of these worth checking out include Ecwid and Easy Digital Downloads. You can even use an ecommerce website builder like BigCommerce or Shopify to build your store, then easily integrate it with your WordPress site

Safe to say, you’ve got lots of options!

Squarespace gives you all the tools you need to run a small to medium sized store successfully, for a set price per month. Its high quality designs are easy to customize, which is perfect for branding and really making your products shine. It’s easy to budget for and manage day to day.

WordPress has a range of options for setting up an online store – the most highly recommended is the plugin WooCommerce. This gives you a totally customizable platform to build your store on – this is great as it means you can tailor it to your needs.

WooCommerce will take longer to build from scratch unless you already have a WordPress site, and is harder to budget for because of the range of extra features (such as hosting) that you need to factor in per month.

Good to know…

Bluehost’s WooCommerce hosting plans make the setup process a whole lot easier. With prices for new customers starting at just $13.99 $6.95 per month, you get:

  • WooCommerce auto-install
  • WooCommerce Storefront theme pre-installed
  • Free domain name and SSL certificate
  • 24/7 support from in-house WordPress experts

If you already have a WordPress site, then WooCommerce is the clear choice. If you’re looking to set up an online store from scratch, then Squarespace can give you a professional site in about half the time.

What about selling offline?

Squarespace now offers an integration with Square, meaning you can sell products offline, take card payments, and keep everything synced with your online inventory. WooCommerce also offers an integration with Square, so you’ve got options with either platform – all you need is the Square card reader ($49) and the relevant apps to get started!

Further Information

Blogging

Which Is Better For Bloggers?
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The Winner

Blogging: WordPress is Better

WordPress was built with blogging in mind. Every WordPress site includes commenting abilities, plus helpful plugins that you can add later. Squarespace has solid, built-in blogging tools, but it just can’t beat WordPress in this area.
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A blog is a great way to connect with your audience or simply document your work online. But not all websites are built to display a regularly updated stream of articles. Squarespace and WordPress are both up to the task of supporting a high-quality blog, but they offer slightly different tools to help bloggers create a website.

Squarespace Blogging Tools

One of Squarespace’s best blog-friendly features are its free blogger templates. Users can pick from a variety of modern interfaces that display blog posts on the homepage either in a single reverse chronological feed or in a more compact magazine-style grid of blog posts. Many allow multiple authors to contribute, making it easy to run a blog with friends or coworkers.

Within Squarespace, blog posts can be tagged, categorized, and edited. They can also be excerpted, and a link to each new post can be automatically sent to social media feeds like Facebook and Twitter.

In other words, Squarespace lets you accomplish all the basics needed to easily operate a sleek blog.

WordPress Blogging Tools

Like Squarespace, WordPress has plenty of free templates aimed at bloggers. The service also has built-in features that include all the tagging and categorizing ability a blogger needs, and a variety of plugins to help bloggers connect to social media.

For serious bloggers who want to design their own look, WordPress also lets users access HTML directly — an ability Squarespace doesn’t make available. Granted, you’re unlikely to need to go into the code very often thanks to the plugins the website platform lets you use, but it’s there if you need it.

Another big differentiator is the blogging community that WordPress has to offer. Anyone with a WordPress account can comment on any other WordPress blog, provided that blogger doesn’t disable the ability. Since WordPress already powers nearly a third of the websites on the internet, there are plenty of WordPress accounts that might stumble upon your blog and leave a comment without any of the friction of needing to log into a new commenting account first.

Further Information

Mobile Editor

Can You Work from Your Phone?
The Winner

Mobile: It’s a Tie!

This really comes down to personal preference – Squarespace gives you more options when it comes to mobile apps, while WordPress offers a fuss-free single solution. Both offer apps for iOS and Android that are free to install.

Squarespace: Plenty of Options

Squarespace offers four different mobile apps, all with different key functions:

  • Analytics (iOS and Android) – View key statistics for your website
  • Blog (iOS and Android) – Write, edit, share, and manage blog posts
  • Commerce (iOS and Android) – Manage your store
  • Squarespace App (iOS only) – Update pages, add images to galleries, write and edit blog posts, review pages, and track analytics

For actually editing pages, you’ll need the Squarespace App, which combines certain functions from across the other three mobile apps. The Squarespace App includes functions such as writing blog posts, adding images, and reviewing traffic analytics.

squarespace mobile app
Download the Squarespace apps quickly, easily, and for free in the Apple Store for iOS devices

You can easily download any of these apps for free, from either the Apple Store or Google Play (depending on your device).

WordPress: One App for Everything

For managing your WordPress site on the go, you’ll need WordPress Mobile Apps. There are different versions of this available for iOS, Android, and desktop devices, and it lets you update blog posts, track your site’s stats, keep up with notifications, and more – all from the palm of your hand.

wordpress ios mobile app
The WordPress Mobile App for iOS devices can be downloaded for free in the Apple Store - it can be used for both iPhones and iPads

All you need to do is install the right app for your device (it’s free!) and you’re good to go. Simply connect the app to your website, and say hello to on-the-go management.

Once upon a time, you had to be chained to a computer just to check your emails, but nowadays that’s blissfully not the case. Not only can you send emails, enjoy social media, and surf the web from your phone, with mobile editors you can even manage your website on the go!

This is the freedom mobile editor apps give you.

Mobile apps are especially important if you’re running a business site, because it means your visitors don’t have to wait for replies or new content while you’re out and about. Time is money, and as any blogger will tell you, consistency and frequency are other super important factors for a successful site.

There are lots of benefits to using mobile apps – from managing your content, quickly checking your site’s stats, or even replying to comments, it’s a great way of staying connected to your site and on top of your to do list.

Ongoing Maintenance

How Time Consuming Are Updates?
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The Winner

Maintenance: Squarespace is Better

All of Squarespace’s updates are managed for you, while WordPress updates need to be done manually.
Visit Squarespace

WordPress: Keep Your Eyes Peeled

One important thing you should know is that WordPress is continuously updating its platform to fix bugs and improve security. This means that whenever it rolls out updates – which could be multiple times a year – you may also need to update your WordPress site.

This becomes something of a headache, because not every plugin or theme developer will do you the favor of updating those tools for you. And without the required updates, those tools could potentially:

  • Harm your site’s performance
  • Conflict with the updated version of WordPress
  • Crash your site

Some reputable developers will take care of updates for you, but you can’t count on that being the case, and will have to use your own time to check whether all of your tools are actually up to date.

Basically, when you receive a notification from WordPress to update your version of the site, check for conflicts with other tools and themes first.

Squarespace: Sit Back and Relax

With Squarespace, ongoing maintenance is simple. All updates are tested and then pushed to your website automatically. Squarespace takes care of the process for you, so you can focus on designing your site.

Security

Which Platform Is Safest?
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The Winner

Security: Squarespace is Better

The main difference here is what happens if something goes wrong. If Squarespace is under a DDoS attack, it’ll let you know while its in-house experts sort everything out for you.

But if you install a faulty or malicious plugin to your WordPress site and get hacked, you’ll be putting out those fires on your own.

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Squarespace Security

Squarespace takes care of security for you, checking for malware and protecting against DDoS attacks (DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service, an attack where a website is flooded with traffic to make it unavailable to real users).

It’s important that Squarespace keeps an eye out for this, because while its popularity has risen, it has also become a target for DDoS attacks – indeed, if you disrupt Squarespace’s platform, you can disrupt a lot of websites.

Every Squarespace plan also comes with a free SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer certificate, and it encrypts the data that’s entered into your site. This is incredibly important: not only does an SSL certificate build trust with visitors, but it helps you rank higher in Google. It’s even more essential if you’re selling through your website, because it helps protect customers’ payment details.

WordPress Security

With WordPress, security is your responsibility. This includes sorting out your own SSL certificate, carrying out regular backups, and periodically updating your WordPress site. There are plugins to help with some aspects of running your site, but ultimately it’s down to you.

WordPress isn’t as much of a target for DDoS attacks, but a lot of your security strength will depend on the hosting provider you choose. Some providers, like Bluehost, include free SSL certificates and automatic WordPress updates to help you manage your security.

Top Tip: Choose reliable plugins. We’ve already mentioned how outdated plugins can weaken your site, or even make it crash. But that’s not all – some plugins may even contain harmful code, which can leave your site vulnerable to hackers.

Content Ownership

Do You Own Your Site Content?
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The Winner

Content Ownership: WordPress is Better

Both platforms offer roughly the same (good!) deal. However, WordPress wins because its status as an open source software means you’re completely free from licensing terms – although it’s wise to check if the same is true of your hosting provider.
Visit WordPress

If you create a website through any online platform, it’s a good idea to check up on their content ownership policies: You don’t want to accidentally give up the rights to your own work, after all.

The biggest online companies know that they can’t steal content without a huge backlash, of course, and both Squarespace and WordPress try to keep their customers as happy as possible. Here’s how each company approaches the content ownership issue.

Everything you upload to Squarespace remains your content, and you can take it with you if you leave Squarespace in the future. You don’t own the website template however: technically, it’s just licensed, even if you paid for it, and you won’t be able to keep your site looking exactly the same if you choose to leave.

There’s one catch, too. According to the fine print, everything you upload to a Squarespace website is actually being licensed to the company. You’re giving them a “right and license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works of, communicate, publish, publicly display, publicly perform and distribute User Content for the limited purposes of allowing [Squarespace] to provide, improve, promote and protect the Services.”

It sounds scary, but it’s not actually any worse than the fine print you’ve likely already agreed to for Facebook, Twitter, or another other major online service. The bottom line is that Squarespace won’t use your content, unless it’s to promote or feature your website… and you can even opt out of that if you’d like.

All WordPress.org websites function thanks to the free WordPress.org open source content management system. As with any open source software, all the source code is available to all and can be redistributed and modified at will.
It’s behind WordPress’ strengths, since it means the software is incredibly flexible and adaptable, and it’s also behind its weakness, since the software can be complex and require coding knowledge.

But since it’s meant to be used freely, the company doesn’t impose the same content licensing terms that Squarespace uses. Your content remains yours, and isn’t even licensed.

Granted, there’s still one catch: If you use WordPress, you’re still responsible for your hosting service, and most good hosting services do include the same licensing terms that Squarespace uses. Either way, you’ll still mostly retain control of your content.

Site Migration

How Easily Can You Move?
The Winner

Migration: It’s a Tie!

Both platforms allow you to migrate your site, giving you the freedom to leave if you want.

Yes, you can migrate your website to a new platform, whether you want to move from WordPress to Squarespace or the other way around. That said, it’s usually harder to export content than import it, so migration won’t always be a hassle-free task.

You can’t migrate audio, video, product pages, or the styling of your website. That’s the same with both WordPress and Squarespace, so you’ll need to redesign your site when you migrate.

Migrating from WordPress to Squarespace

So how easy is it? Well, Squarespace has a built-in import tool for moving your WordPress site across, as well as helpful guides to walk you through each step. It’s pretty straightforward – set up a Squarespace site, pick your design, then use the Advanced import option to transfer content from your WordPress.org site.

Make sure you disable any plugins first, and transfer using .xml files.

wordpress to squarespace migration
Squarespace’s migration tool makes it simple to import your WordPress site, and has helpful guides to make it as easy as possible.

Squarespace will import all of your:

  • Blog pages, posts, and authors
  • Comments
  • Categories and tags
  • Images
  • Attachments
  • Site Pages
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Want to Start Off With WordPress?

It’s simple to migrate from WordPress to Squarespace, so if you change your mind later on, you can easily switch!

Migrating from Squarespace to WordPress

Exporting content from Squarespace is a little more tricky. If you don’t already have a WordPress site, you’ll need to set one up (including finding hosting, installing WordPress, and registering or transferring your domain name).

squarespace export guide
Although exporting content from Squarespace is more tricky than importing from WordPress, you still have Squarespace’s in-house help articles to walk you through migration

Once you’ve done this, you can export your Squarespace content. You’re more limited in what you can export from Squarespace – here are the main things you can move across:

  • Regular pages
  • One blog page and all its posts
  • Gallery pages
  • Image blocks
  • Text blocks
  • Comments

So, you’ll have a lot more work to do if you’re moving from Squarespace to WordPress. But Squarespace still gives you step-by-step guides to help you complete your migration. How simple or complicated it is will depend on the content of your site, for example if it’s an online store.

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Want to Start Off With Squarespace?

Squarespace gives you step by step guides on how to export your content, so you’re not stuck on one platform forever!

Help and Support

What's the Customer Service Like?
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The Winner

Support: Squarespace is Better

Squarespace’s in-house support team is available over live chat and email. With WordPress, you’ll have to rely a lot more on the community forum for help.
Visit Squarespace

Squarespace Support

Unlike WordPress, Squarespace has a centralized support team available to help you via:

  • Live chat Monday – Friday
  • Email 24/7
  • Twitter 24/7
squarespace knowledge base
The Squarespace help center is clearly laid out to help you find answers quickly and easily. As well as the search bar and browsing categories, you can also choose from webinars, videos, and email support.

This team has also developed a library of help guides, workshop videos, and a community forum to help you build your website.

WordPress Support

Because WordPress is open source, there is no in-house team that you can contact for official help. Instead, you can browse WordPress forums to see what other users and developers have written about different topics.

squarespace vs wordpress help center
WordPress has a community forum with tons of useful info.

There are tens of thousands of articles, so you’ll almost always find a relevant article for your questions. That said, some answers will be more helpful than others.

If talking to a real person is important to you, and you’re using WordPress, then it’s best to use the support offered by your hosting provider – for example, Bluehost offers 24/7 phone support.

Squarespace vs WordPress: Conclusion

Squarespace and WordPress are both design giants of the website building world. Either will help you create a beautiful and powerful website. But let’s recap the differences we’ve discussed here:

Squarespace vs WordPress Squarespace WordPress
Ease of Use
Winner: Squarespace
A very user-friendly, drag-and- drop website builder. You can build a website without knowing how to code or hiring anyone for help. Steep learning curve, especially if you are a beginner. You need to know how to code and be technically savvy, or hire someone who is.
Design
Winner: Squarespace
Stunning, customizable designer templates built with great user experience in mind. A lot of choice when it comes to themes, but none are quite as state-of-the-art, and you’ll need to have some coding skills to reap the full benefits.
Pricing and Value
Winner: WordPress
4 premium plans, ranging from $12 per month to $40 per month. Much more flexible pricing! WordPress itself is free, but you pay for various factors (hosting, themes, plugins, hiring help, etc.) You can find cheap options, or it could cost as much as $200 – $15,000
SEO
Draw!
SEO features already built-in and managed for you. SEO plugins can add powerful tools and guides to your WordPress site.
Features
Winner: Squarespace
A range of in-built features with impressive quality covering a variety of areas. New features are regularly added and updated. Smaller range of in-built features – more reliant on third party plugins for extra functionality.
Apps and Plugins
Winner: WordPress
The most important apps are all fully integrated into Squarespace already, which means they’re all compatible and updated. Additional apps are high quality, but there aren’t a ton to choose from. Thousands of plugins to choose from to install to your WordPress site. Endless extra functions available. However, this can be risky due to outdated and poor quality plugins.
Ecommerce
Winner:Squarespace
Built-in sales features, including great inventory size, but slightly lacking in apps and payment options. Difficult to navigate and lacking in customer support. But if you can figure it out, it’s a powerful, customizable platform.
Blogging
Winner: WordPress
Good choice of blogging templates and tools to get you off the ground, but simply not as robust as the blogging resources that WordPress has. Tailored for blogging, with a wide supply of plugins and built-in features. Also has a community of bloggers, and lets you leave comments on other WordPress blogs.
Mobile Editor
Draw!
Mobile apps are free and easy to install. You get four different options to choose from, so you can tailor the experience to suit your site’s needs. Also free and easy to install. Only comes with one option for each device – which is ideal if you’re looking for a straightforward solution.
Ongoing Maintenance
Winner: Squarespace
Very little – Squarespace is a “closed” environment, meaning they control all aspects of the platform and manage all the updates and maintenance work for you. 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.
Security
Winner: Squarespace
All security and updates are managed for you. If there is a security issue, Squarespace’s experts will deal with it. You are responsible for managing the security of your website.
Content Ownership
Winner: WordPress
Won’t gain any rights over your content. However, you’ll have to make the effort to opt out of the fine print, which just states that Squarespace can use your content to promote or feature your website. Won’t gain any rights over your content, and has none of the licensing terms that Squarespace does. However, you’ll need to use a hosting provider, which probably will have licensing terms similar to that of Squarespace.
Site Migration
Draw!
Allows you to migrate your site if you want to. Also easy to import from WordPress. Allows you to migrate your site if you want to. Also makes it easy to export content.
Help and Support
Winner: Squarespace
Dedicated support team with organized tutorials. You can also get help through live chat or email. Big community with resources and tutorials, but not well organized. Most users end up paying developers for help.

FAQs

WordPress is better for creating multilingual sites than Squarespace, because you can install specific plugins to translate and globalize your content. You can create create a multilingual site with Squarespace, by duplicating your pages into different languages.
While Squarespace does have some great built-in blogging tools, no platform can really beat WordPress when it comes to blogging! That’s what it was made to do and comes with tons of very powerful blogging tools.

If you want something less tricky to get to grips with, check out Weebly, Wix, or WordPress.com – see how they compare to Squarespace and WordPress.org in our review of the best platforms for building your blog.

No, you can sit back and relax, because Squarespace is fully hosted for you. You don’t need to find your own provider, sign up to a separate plan, or worry about plan limits. All Squarespace plans give you fully managed cloud hosting, as well as unlimited bandwidth and storage.
Squarespace is designed to help anyone create their own website, no matter their technical ability. You don’t need to code – but you can if you want – and it comes packed with built-in features to make your life as easy as possible. It has stunning templates for all the design-lovers out there.
WordPress is aimed at anyone who wants total control over all the nuts and bolts of their website, from security to updates, coding, and beyond. You’ll need to have some technical confidence, or be comfortable learning as you go. WordPress gives you total customization over your site, so you can create whatever you want!
The answer to this question lies in your personal preference. If you’re looking to create a really complex site and would like total flexibility, WordPress will be the better option for you. On the other hand, if you’re a smaller business or a one-person team, Squarespace will be your best option. You can create a smart, elegant website very quickly without needing to know any code.
Squarespace’s monthly pricing plans start at $12 per month. You do have the option to try it out for free for 14 days before you commit to a plan. Check out our pricing review for a deep dive into the true cost of Squarespace, and to find out which plan is best for you.
WordPress is technically a free open source platform. What you’ll need to remember when building a website with WordPress is that you’ll need to pay for a domain name, hosting for your site, and potentially a theme on top of that. You can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $1,000+ to get a WordPress site up and running. Check out the pricing section of this comparison for more detailed information.
You can use Squarespace without needing to know a line of code, which makes it great for the non-technical among us. It’s definitely the easier option compared to WordPress.
With WordPress, you have total control over your website. There’s very low chance of your site being taken down, unless you have conflict with your hosting provider. Squarespace has terms of use policies which your site needs to comply with. You still have control over what you do with your site, but you will need to follow Squarespace’s conditions.
This really depends on what type of website you’re building! For blogs, WordPress.com is a great alternative. For online stores check out Shopify, and for stunning designs take a look at Wix. For small businesses and portfolios, Weebly is a top contender too!

See our in-depth review of the best website builders for a full look at all the top builders.

If you’re a small business, check out our top 9 best small business website builders guide to find which one is right for you.

388 comments

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  • Amos Weisskopf
    Lucy, I tend to agree -- SquareSpace turns out often MUCH more affordable than Wordpress in the long run. The designs on SP are stellar; I like Wordpress, have used it for years but really -- SquareSpace is simply superior for owners of simple websites that just need convertable traffic (rather than fancy shmancy fireworks).
  • Nikki
    This was SUPER helpful, thank you. After reading this I made my decision to move forward with Squarespace. Thank you again.
  • Phil
    Thank you Lucy, a very insightful and helpful review covering all the bases.
  • Dom
    What an amazing review ! Genuinely the most concise and informative I have come across over the years of debating which one to go with .. I can firmly say Squarepace is the one for my business
  • Lyubov Strauss
    It's a great article. I will continue design websites for my clients in Squarespace. Squarespace is a great tool for a graphic designer for building websites. Elegant beautiful professional website design will be the main feature of Squarespace. I used WordPress to manage my client website but I don't like clicking from one page to another to see the webpage layout. WordPress doesn't inspire you by the way the server pages look and updated tools. It is very technical code looking pages. I rather design beautiful websites that national companies e-commerce websites. My client list is limited but my creativity doesn't.
    1 reply
    • Lucy Carney
      Hi Lyubov, Thank you for sharing such an interesting insight on Squarespace and WordPress! I'm so glad you find Squarespace so enjoyable and efficient to use for your business. It certainly is a wonderful platform for creating stunning websites, I hope it continues to inspire your creativity - Thanks for reading, Lucy
  • Sam
    Thank you very much for sharing this informative write-up. There is very much to learn from the blog. This is really very useful.
    1 reply
    • Natasha Willett
      Hi Sam, Welcome to the community. Thank you for your comment, it's great to hear you enjoyed the article. Please do feel free to share with anyone else who you think could benefit from the content also. Thanks, Natasha.
  • Lisa Pecunia
    This seems very biased towards SquareSpace. The true value of Wordpress is being able to 1) have a massive amount of control over your site, and 2) do pretty much anything with it for very low cost, as there are thousands of high-quality plugins available. The fact that there are lots of low quality plugins is simply a reason to be careful about which ones you choose (Wordpress has a great review feature, which exposes the poor quality ones - people are NOT afraid to tell it like it is, especially if they've had a bad experience). Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
    1 reply
    • Charlie Carmichael
      Hi Lisa, Thanks for your comment. The point to make is that with Squarespace, you can be assured of quality as everything is built-in - the same can't be said for WordPress, which can make it a tricky platform to navigate. This review is aimed at helping people with limited-to-no technical experience get online, and for that reason, Squarespace becomes the obvious choice. As you rightly point out though, WordPress has more capabilities and gives you much more control, so it's definitely suited to those who are well-versed in website building. Thanks again and have a lovely day, Charlie
  • Jon Finch
    After three years, I'm leaving Squarespace. What change? I needed to build a website in Wordpress and discovered how much easier it all was. I've looked at my main competitors and each time I see something I like. "Wow, look at those company logos scrolling smoothly from right to left." I message Squarespace, and they tell me three weird "work-arounds" to make my testimonials do that. When you look at it, it's not scrolling smoothly... it's very jerky. And there's no way to make it go on continuous loop. I'm looking forward to having a website that looks as good as my competitors' sites. Good-bye, Squarespace!
    1 reply
    • Lucy Carney
      Hi Jon, Thanks so much for your comment, I'm sorry to hear you've had such problems with Squarespace! It's a shame it wasn't the right website builder for you - Squarespace performed really well in our research but there are lots of other options out there. If you're still looking for an alternative, have a look at our website builder comparison chart. I hope this helps, and best of luck with your website. Thanks for reading, Lucy
  • Patrick
    Great article and good review of both platforms. However, I disagree that you need to know how to code to build a Wordpress website. While it is not a WYSIWYG platform, I have built my website on Wordpress (with the help of some free online tutorial) without ever writing a line of code. My website has a Blog, a Portfolio, a Contact Form and even a PayPal checkout. I am not a software developer and have very limited knowledge in that field.
    1 reply
    • Fred O'Brien
      It's certainly possible to build a site on WordPress without using code, but as you point out even then you need to be a bit of a self-starter. I'm not a software developer either and I use WordPress for my site, so I completely understand where you're coming from. That said, I also know people who prefer WYSIWYG platforms simply because they free up time to focus on other things. In a lot of cases it's a question of convenience rather than of technical knowledge, I think.
  • Mina
    Helpful and very upfront =)