Squarespace or WordPress ...That is the question. This is an ongoing debate all over the internet with many articles covering pros and cons of both web development platforms. When I first started researching platforms, I wasn't considering Squarespace as an option. As an amateur, I thought WordPress was the best and only option since many blogs I visit only used WordPress. I decided to go with Squarespace after reading so many positive reviews and I am so glad I did! Below are my 5 reasons why.
Easy User Interface
Those familiar with WordPress know there's a learning curve to it. You have to download WordPress, find a hosting service, choose a theme, install plugins AND manually code the pages. WordPress is an open source platform, so the entire site is open for anyone to customize it. This is great if you're a developer. But for me - I’m a designer not a developer. While I do have coding knowledge, I wouldn't have the ability to entirely code the site myself. And while I'm sure I could figure it out, it would take too much of my time and I would be worried I would mess something up, which would take MORE time to fix. This would be incredibly tedious and I decided to avoid these annoyances all together.
Squarespace isn't an open source platform and only their development team can access the meat of the code. Squarespace offers about 40 templates to choose from - all of which can be easily restructured for your needs. Customization is made easy by choosing specific summary blocks. These blocks are easy to manipulate and requires 0 coding knowledge. All you have to do is create separate boxes then drag one next to the other and now you have two columns. I can completely focus on design and content without having to worry as much about coding.
Hands down, my absolute favorite feature is the code block. Because I have basic HTML/CSS knowledge I am able to customize small sections. For example, if I want my text to be a different color or size, all I need to do is add this code block and I can easily add HTML to a small portion or an entire section. In the advanced features, I am able to override some of the standard design with my own code. By navigating to Design > Customization CSS Section, I can add any CSS code I want, and it will be reflected throughout the entire site.
Simple Flexible Design
I like clean simple design. This was extremely important to me when I was choosing a web development platform. Squarespace offers clean, minimalistic and modern templates. They have a polished quality and appear as if a designer devoted months into perfecting them. I love the clean lines and use of white space, as opposed to some WordPress themes which can seem slightly cluttered. Squarespace only offers about 40 templates, unlike WordPress which has an endless array to choose from. While the large selection might be nice, too many choices could make it a little overwhelming.
Have you picked a template and decided in a month you don't like it? No problem! You can simply pick a new template and complete redesign your site. With Squarespace there are no updates and no plugins. They also offer hosting, a domain name and email integration. Squarespace is literally the one-stop-shop!
In this day and age, having a site that is fully responsive is imperative. Every Squarespace template is 100% mobile friendly. With WordPress not every template is mobile friendly, so it is your responsibility to make sure the template you're planning on buying is mobile responsive. Not having to adjust my site for mobile use is a huge plus. This is critical because mobile friendly websites will rank higher in Google searches.
Social, SEO & Analytics Built In
Like I mentioned above, WordPress requires you to install plugins for certain functions. That includes all social media, SEO, Instagram feeds etc. Squarespace offers a customizable social media widget which can be added anywhere on your site. All you have to do is connect your social media accounts in the Settings > Connected Accounts section and voila! You can add social media icons on any page you like and you can automatically post from your blog to your social media accounts.
What's even cooler than that, is all the SEO and Analytics are already built in. You also have the able to create alt tags to images, create page titles/descriptions and change URL's. Squarespace also gives you a sitemap.xml which you can submit to Google to crawl your pages which helps with your Google ranking. On top of that, if you connect your Google Analytics account, Squarespace allows you to track your visitors without having to leave the back-end of your site. This is incredibly useful if you want to get a quick idea of your web traffic.
Squarespace has an experienced team of real people who offer 24/7 support. There are both a chat and email function for any quick questions or concerns you may have. I haven't found myself in need of contacting their support team yet, but it's nice to know that the option is available anytime of day. There is nothing worse than needing help and not being able to talk to an actual human.
Overall I am glad I chose Squarespace, but these are just my personal opinions. Everyone is different. so please do your research. What works best for one person may not necessarily work best for you. Chose the best platform based on your needs. Have you used both platforms and which do you prefer?