Wordpress vs Squarespace: What they don’t tell you

So, let’s start with my advice first. Should you use Wordpress or Squarespace to build your business website? My answer is: It depends.

Neither platform is inherently bad, both are quite good and can work beautifully to help you grow your business.

So why is it that when you ask around there’s quite a bit of strong criticism either way?

Why people hate their website

Here are some common reasons why people become frustrated with their website, even if they loved it when it was first built:

  • Slow page load
  • Hard to update the content
  • Hard to change the design or stay consistent with the current one
  • Spontaneous design breakage and functionality bugs
  • Confusing editing interface
  • Hard to add new features
  • Too much effort to make it look pretty
  • Hard to figure out how to make it legally compliant

When someone tells you to stay away from Wordpress or Squarespace because their own experience has been terrible, here’s what you should ask: When was the website built and how often do you have it maintained?

Why can’t websites just stay nice?

Just like your smart phone, a website can get ‘old’ and start to malfunction, especially if you don’t keep up with the software updates. This is true for Wordpress websites as well as Squarespace websites.

What are Squarespace updates?

In the past ten years, Squarespace has had major releases to its platform. If a website is running on an older version (currently the version is 7.1), the editing interface won’t automatically update to include the newest features. At a certain point, older versions will become obsolete, meaning Squarespace as a company will stop supporting older versions. This can be an issue if your website was built several years ago and you haven’t updated.

What are Wordpress updates?

Wordpress is even more complex. Wordpress websites require regular maintenance of the Wordpress core code, as well as the template and all of the plugins that have been added to the site. Not all plugins and their latest releases are compatible which requires some testing before making updates.

If you have a website that’s built in the latest version of Wordpress or Squarespace, none of the issues mentioned above that typically cause people to struggle with their website should be an issue. As with any website platform though, plan on investing in the maintenance of your website to avoid issues in the future.

So if both platforms are pretty good, how do you decide which platform you need for your business? Below is a quick guideline:

Wordpress

  • You’re redesigning a website with many custom layouts and upwards of 50 pages
  • You depend heavily on Google search results to send you future customers and clients
  • You’re building a moderately complex eCommerce store with product variants and advanced filtering needs
  • You need your website to be translated into different languages
  • You need a lot of custom coding or integrations
  • You need to manage a lot of assets like images and video
  • You need features like a directory, events or courses

Squarespace

  • You don’t have the ability to invest in ongoing website maintenance. Wordpress is a bit more hands-on and requires a Wordpress expert to update the website at least a few times a year. Squarespace is a much more cost effective option for this reason if you don’t have a budget for website maintenance. Squarespace requires no ongoing maintenance. However, every few years you may need to redesign the site on the latest version to take advantage of Squarespace’s latest features.
  • You’re launching a new website with few pages
  • You rely on word of mouth to find new clients or in general don’t expect your website to be the hub of your online marketing
  • You want to quickly build a simple website with easy-to-use tools to create a beautiful design

There are tons of great platforms out there other than these two. If you’re unsure which platform is right for you, reach out to us for a free consultation.

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