WordPress.org vs. Squarespace
Whether you are starting a large or small business, there is one thing you need: a website. It is the modern day business card, the way for people to find out more about you and what services you provide, a way for people to find where your business located, or a means to find your linked social media accounts. Now, more than ever, people want to feel as if they’re connecting with you before they make the decision to buy or use your service. It’s not a surprise then that website building platforms have been popping up all over the place: Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy, and others. While all of these may be great choices we’re going to focus on the two top players that we like the most: Squarespace and WordPress.
We can already hear your wheels spinning. If you’re not tech savvy you’re wondering how you’ll ever make this decision without spending weeks researching. And what if you make the wrong one? First of all, don’t stress too much - you’ll be fine no matter which one you choose. You can always change as your business grows. The most important thing is to get your website up and in front of customers - and don’t get bogged down in the technicalities (unless you geek out over that stuff like we do). Once your website is live you can continue doing what it is you love doing and start earning some money. To help you make the choice between Squarespace and WordPress, though, let’s walk through some of the major differences so that you can feel more comfortable with whichever decision you make.
Ease of Use
WordPress.org is amazing to work with - once you get to know your way around. Since it is an open source platform it has a lot of options for developing tools and design, so if you’re just getting your feet wet it’s a lot like jumping into the deep end. On the other hand, Squarespace is a closed platform, meaning developers for Squarespace have designed templates for their customers to use. This makes it much easier when you first start off. All you need to do is follow the templates and you’ll end up with something pretty nice. Of course a professional will know all the tips and tricks to make your website more polished in less time, but if you want to make your own site, Squarespace is less overwhelming and has everything you need for a typical business site.
Security is not something to take lightly. In fact, it’s probably one of the most important things about a website lately. WordPress is incredibly powerful, of course, but it is an open system - a favorite of hackers. You’re in charge of security, and that’s a pretty daunting task for someone new to coding, or someone who doesn’t remember to go in to update their security plugins. Squarespace, on the other hand, is a self-contained program and security is handled by the team so you don’t have to worry about Viagra ads showing up on your site and you can focus on running your business instead.
An important factor for your website and the business it represents is how responsive is the design. If it looks great on your monitor at home, awesome! Does it look good on your mobile too? How about on a tablet? We’ve all seen sites that are beautiful, but just don’t work on a different sized screen, and it really affects your experience and potentially your opinion of the business. Squarespace has built-in methods for making sure your site looks great no matter where you see it. WordPress has them, but they’re not as consistent an experience, so you (or a professional) have to manually fuss over certain pages on certain screen sizes depending on the template you are using.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is invaluable in making sure your site is getting as many hits as possible (Translation? More business) hence we all want our websites to show up higher in people’s searches. Websites that have quality content, that people spend more time on, rank higher on Google than those that don’t. How do you keep people on your website? With a beautiful, clean website and with content that people enjoy. Squarespace has built-in search engine optimization to make SEO as easy as possible. WordPress has SEO too, but from our experience, it’s not as intuitive. Having a ton of pages and lots of advanced capabilities does not make a noticeable difference anymore. This is great news for people just starting out. Having a beautiful site with lots of options to showcase quality content is more important than ever.
When you’re working on a website you’ll come up with some questions. When you do, you’ll be happy to know Squarespace has 24/7 support. No kidding. They're amazing with an all US-based support. With WordPress you’ll have to look troubleshoot the problem yourself (spending some time on Google) or hire someone to help.
Whether you go with Squarespace or a self-hosted WordPress site, be prepared for some hard work, especially if it’s your first time. Websites are a necessary part of modern business, but they aren’t as easy to make as we would all like. If you’re on a time crunch or want something polished and professional, outsourcing can be the best way to go. A professional can take the hassle out of the process and make something truly stunning, so you can spend your limited time on something more useful to you and your business. Let us know if we can help, and schedule a call with us today.