This post was written by our web legend Michael Urquhart. Michael is great at translating web-speak for us mere mortals and builds a mean site, be it simple or complex.
Squarespace is one of the most most popular ‘DIY’ website builders around today. WordPress is the most popular open source website development platform. So what are the fundamental differences between the two?
Side note: There are actually two ‘branches’ of wordpress, WordPress.com and WordPress.org. For the purpose of this article I’m referring to the self hosted WordPress.org version. In addition, as this is a broad comparison, you could substitute Wix with Squarespace, their biggest competitor, as their functions are broadly the same.
Ease of use
One of Squarespace’s biggest selling points is its ease of use/usability. You can, with very little website knowledge, sign up and start building a great looking site. This is not to say that WordPress’ usability is bad, it’s just the time to a completed site is quicker with Squarespace.
Squarespace is what is known as a SaaS (software as a service) solution where WordPress is self hosted. With a SaaS solution you pay a subscription and they take care of everything (hosting, updates & support). Self hosted means you need hosting for the site to ‘sit’ on and you also have to periodically update the site. Broadly speaking, if you are doing the updates yourself, self hosted solutions will be cheaper in the long run. There is however a certain piece of mind that comes with knowing that is all taken care of, as with SaaS.
This is where WordPress comes into its own. Because WordPress is self hosted and open source it means you have full access to the source code so you can customise whatever you like. However most of the time you don’t need to as, thanks to the massive WordPress community, for most problems they’ve already a developed solution. You can still do a lot within Squarespace, it just lacks the ability to mould it to your specific needs.
Basically if all you will ever will need is a basic site, Squarespace is a great solution. If you need, or may need in the future, the site do to a specific thing or look a specific way, WordPress is the go.
There are obviously a whole bunch of other differences between the two but hopefully that gives you a basic rundown.