By: Alex Futo 

Web design is a daunting but necessary task for any business in this digital age. Common website building buzzwords like “CSS,” “HTML,” or “Javascript” can be very intimidating to the novice web designer that doesn’t have any computer coding skills. With no experience in web design or web development, where do you turn to when you want to create a visually stunning, functional website for your business?

Well, if you’re looking to design or completely revamp your business’s website, odds are you’ve either used or stumbled across WordPress and Squarespace as the digital world’s leading content management systems (CMS). In fact, according to W3Techs, WordPress runs 35% of all websites on the internet; it is undisputedly the most popular website building platform on the web. In comparison, Squarespace powers approximately 1.6% of all websites. 

Regardless, both content management systems (CMS) have their pros and cons, and people are entitled to their own opinion and website building preferences. We’re going to break them down for you to see which platform will work best to design your business’s website.

User-Friendliness

using content management system to design a new website

Both WordPress and Squarespace were designed to help the novice web designer build a website with little to no coding background. Squarespace takes this idea a step further by curating a drag-and-drop web design experience that is more visually and creatively driven with its style editor. WordPress, on the other hand, can be more technical, requiring more of a learning curve; but with practice, you should be able to design a fully functional, customizable website that fits your business’s vision to a T. 

To put it simply: Squarespace is more user-friendly, with drag-and-drop features that make it easy to visually conceptualize your website, while WordPress is more technical with extensive custom options that can be overwhelming to beginners – this also means that you can create virtually any unique web design you want, so keep that in mind. 

Template, Theme & Plugin Options

WordPress offers thousands of templates, themes, and plugins for free – and thousands more at a price – to help you design the perfect website for your business. They are also highly customizable to help you integrate your brand into the template or theme, making it your own; they can come with multiple layout choices, drag and drop page builders, sliders, and many other features to choose from. Plus, if you do have coding experience, you can integrate your own code and software into your chosen template or theme.

There’s no doubt that Squarespace has attractive web design template options that are very user-friendly – and for some users, this is enough – but it simply pales in comparison to WordPress’s impressive template, theme, and plugin library. Squarespace has limited template options, so what you see is what you get. Its style editor also isn’t as flexible with outside coding. But some say that Squarespace’s intuitive and reliable website building style can overcome issues of limited customization

Content Management & Blogging

blogging using content management system like WordPress or Squarespace graphic

WordPress was originally designed as a blogging platform, so it makes sense that it edges out Squarespace in this category. For example, the latter doesn’t have a media library – meaning your images won’t save after you upload them – and there is no autosave feature when you’re writing content. In addition to these features, WordPress keeps track of content versioning, storing old pages and posts that you can revisit at any time; it also comes with a text editor where you can strip a post to its barebone HTML elements that lets you add in-line styling, list, class, and ID elements to your post. 

This isn’t to say Squarespace can’t effectively be used as a blogging tool. It does help optimize your blog posts for SEO, link your content to your social media, and share your content with ease. 

Ecommerce

Squarespace comes with a built-in ecommerce system that can be great for your business. A lot of users report that its functionality works perfectly for their business needs. According to Style Factory, it does have its drawbacks: 

  • It doesn’t run multi-currency payments
  • You’re limited to using payment gateways Paypal and Stripe
  • Basic sales reporting

WordPress doesn’t have a built-in ecommerce system, but its diverse plugin library makes it easy to incorporate a functional online retail system into your website. Some choices include Ecwid, Woocommerce, and Bigcommerce

So, if you’re only interested in basic ecommerce, Squarespace works just fine; if you want to expand on your ecommerce system, you may want to consider WordPress.

Cost

Squarespace offers different subscription plans on their website’s price plan page, starting at around $12 a month. As of right now, they do not offer a free subscription. 

In theory, WordPress is free; you can download it and use it at no expense. However, you need to consider the costs of web hosting and registering a domain name, as well as if you’re interested in paying for more web design and plugin options. 

Are You Ready for a New Website?

A solid web design and web development strategy are important if you want to build a successful business website. If you are ready for a professionally built website for your business or upgrade your current website, then Blue Ridge Media Company in Cleveland, OH is here to help. We’ll be happy to help you plan an affordable web design solution. Check out our website calculator to get started or call us at (888) 535-2762!