A Brief Guide To Squarespace & WordPress
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Choosing the right platform is essential to get the most out of your website. Depending on your needs, Squarespace and WordPress are both efficient platforms for creating great websites. Each platform has their unique benefits and features that make them better suited for particular types of websites. If you’re new to learning about all of this, it can be tricky to figure out exactly what you need, so I’ve put together a brief guide of the pros and cons of both platforms, to help you make the best decision.
What is Squarespace?
Amongst many things, Squarespace is a popular website builder that you can use to host and build your website. It essentially contains everything you need to maintain a website all in one place. You’ll need to pay an annual or monthly fee for the website itself, and possibly also for a domain if you buy a one through Squarespace. Their packages start from around £10 ($12) a month, which gives you access to many features including all of their fully responsive templates and 24/7 customer support.
Pros of Squarespace
EASY TO USE
For those who just want to get their website up with minimal hassle, Squarespace is a great choice. Its interface is extremely easy to use, and content blocks feature makes adding content to a website a breeze. There are tons of very useful tutorials that Squarespace have created which you can use if you ever get stuck on how to do something.
Unlike WordPress which is infamous for its gazillion plug in options, Squarespace provides loads of features in the form of tweaks, which provide specific functionalities depending on the template you’ve chosen. They’ve also sorted out some of the more technical aspects of SEO into all templates to get you started, which means that even if you’re an absolute beginner, your website still has a SEO foundation to build from. Another great thing to mention is that your website is way less likely to be compromised by unsafe plugins, allowing you to feel more relaxed about your website’s security.
One of the best features about Squarespace is their 24/7 customer service support. You won’t usually have to contact support about the basic stuff, because as I mentioned before, Squarespace has a number of great guides, covering most topics. However, if for any reason you have a pressing issue, for example if your site went down, customer support are quick to respond and are extremely adept at helping you find a solution.
All of Squarespace’s templates are fully responsive, meaning that the content on your website will be sized according to the dimensions of the device your website is viewed on. This means that your website will look it’s best at all times, making for an overall better website experience for the user. Not only does it help the user functionally, but also looks way more professional!
Cons of Squarespace
Although the quality of Squarespace templates is unmatched compared to other website builders, there are some limits for what each template can do. Customisations can usually be made with a bit of code, however if you’re not techy this can be an issue. In comparison to WordPress, Squarespace has a smaller amount of templates to choose from. They have updated their options with their new drag and drop fluid engine which allows you to create a more flexible layout however, code may still be required for certain designs.
CAN BE COSTLY
Squarespace has set packages, with both personal and business plans starting at £10 ($12) a month. If you’re only looking for a basic website which won’t be updated regularly, these plans can prove to be costly in the long term. Depending what you want your website for, it might be better to use WordPress.
LIMITING FOR LARGER SITES
If you’re looking to build a very large website or a site that is likely to grow large, Squarespace might not be the best option. If you need features specific to larger websites like multiple or multi-level navigations, WordPress allows you to do so easily with the use of Plugins.
What is WordPress.Org?
WordPress.Org (different from WordPress.com) is one of the most efficient platforms you can use to build a website. It’s a widely used option, with more than 20% of websites on the internet being hosted on WordPress. In terms of cost, using WordPress is 100% free however requires self-hosting. This basically means that you’ll need to buy a domain (for example www.hello.com) and some space to store your website through a web hosting company. These costs vary according to what hosting company you choose. WordPress is highly flexible, with a large selection of plugins to help you tailor your website to exactly what you want.
Pros Of WordPress
If you want unlimited options for the way your website can look, WordPress has got you covered. Unlike Squarespace, the templates on offer aren’t limited, and you can find templates that have functions that you wouldn’t get on Squarespace without adding custom code. Even if you do find a template that hasn’t got the features you want, you can easily sort this out with a plugin. This makes WordPress an ideal choice for many types of website, ranging from blogs to online shops and everything in between.
GREAT FOR SEO
A great benefit of having access to so many plugins means that you can easily optimise your website for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). With plugins like the popular Yoast, you can get suggestions of how to make your website more visible to search engines, which in the long run will result in more traffic to your site.
Want a horizontal slider of a certain size? Want three navigation bars? WordPress has you covered. WordPress is winning when it comes to functional possibilities. They really are endless. WordPress allows you to be creative in the way your website displays, meaning that you can create a unique website that stands out.
Cons Of WordPress
CAN BE DIFFICULT TO USE
Compared to the back end of Squarespace, WordPress is definitely more difficult. It can be a bit confusing to navigate and to know what goes where. It can take some practice to get used to, especially if you’re not good with tech. There are however some options, you can download page builder plugins that will add a simple interface, making it easier to update your website.
SOME PLUGINS & TEMPLATES ARE UNREGULATED
Despite the obvious advantages to WordPress templates and plugins, one huge down side is that they are not all checked and regulated. This leaves room for bugs and viruses which can compromise the security of your website. If you’re not hiring a web developer, then you’ll be in charge of maintaining your site’s security. When using plugins or installing templates, make sure you double check by doing a quick google to see what other user’s experiences have been. It’s also worth checking if the creator of the template provides support, which can be a lifesaver if anything goes wrong.
CAN BE HIGH MAINTENANCE
With Squarespace, you don’t really need to worry about back-end maintenance because they sort this out for you. On WordPress however, you’ll not only need to manage your content, but everything in regards to the back-end of your website. If there’s a problem, this can be frustrating as you’re pretty much on your own. Having said that, there are numerous online WordPress communities where you should be able to find solutions to any issue you may face. If you just want to get on with running your blog or business, and not have to deal with the stress of maintaining your website, Squarespace might be a better choice.
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