Content management systems (CMS) have made it possible for you to build websites without much prior knowledge of web development. CMS platforms give you the ability to design, develop and create websites without the need to code.

Website updates are easy to undertake with CMS platforms; site owners can carry out as many updates as they desire. You don’t need programming skills to conduct fundamental administrative tasks such as text updates, user management and page addition. However, you need to learn how to carry out these tasks.

An expert web developer can use his or her web development skills to customize and extend an existing basic WordPress website to a powerful and outstanding business solution. When it comes to CMS platforms, there are many to select from, spanning Drupal and WordPress to Squarespace and Wix.

So, WordPress Website or Squarespace CMS?

With over 60 million active websites, ranging from top magazines and personal blogs to new companies such as the BBC, the New Yorker and TechCrunch, WordPress is the world’s leading CMS. Started as a platform for blogging, WordPress has grown into a framework with great features to support website design.

The platform’s high customizability is what makes it a popular web-publishing CMS. Its compatibility with various widgets, plugins and themes is what makes WordPress a perfect e-commerce, blog hosting and multimedia gallery solution.

WordPress comes in two versions: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The former platform offers free basic web hosting and maintenance services for blogs. The latter platform enables you to download the CMS for free. When discussing WordPress in this article, reference is made to the downloadable version, unless stated otherwise.

Unlike WordPress, Squarespace is newer in the web-publishing market. It comes with the benefit of ease-of-use, but lacks the ability to truly customize it for your needs. 

WordPress Website versus Squarespace Platforms

Customizability

WordPress is compatible with many commercial or custom themes and plugins. Themes, also known as ‘skins’, are file collections that give websites their presentation and look, without tampering with their content or code. Themes can integrate CSSs, codes, template files and image files. However, this is based on a theme’s complexity.

Themes are designed to fulfill different functions; whereas some are developed for use in online stores and publications, others find usage in company pages, among other uses.

Plugins, on the other hand, give websites additional functionality. Rotating image galleries, tools for social sharing like ‘Share to Facebook’, and e-commerce-based payment systems are examples of plugins available in the market.

WordPress themes and plugins vary in quality and functionality. Unlike free versions, commercial plugins and themes provide support on a continuous basis. This is an essential element when it comes to WordPress website updates (upgrade).

Unlike WordPress, Squarespace has limited themes and plugins. You have access to dozens of unique templates to select from. Just like in the case of WordPress themes and, Squarespace templates change a website’s presentation without interfering with its code or content.

Every template designed for use on this platform is divided into ‘portfolio,’ ‘restaurant,’ ‘business,’ and ‘wedding’ categories. Each type of website has a template designed for it. The platform’s design team is responsible for developing its high-quality and responsive templates in-house.

WordPress is more powerful than Squarespace, with unmatched performance or functionality. Despite the existence of commercial plugins in the market, Squarespace limits certain functionalities. If your website is heavily commercial and founded on memberships with the need to use payment processors, WordPress is your ideal CMS.

Installation and Ease-of-Use

You can develop a website on the Squarespace platform fairly quickly, if you are tech-savy. This is one attribute that sets the CMS apart from its counterparts. The Squarespace CMS, is totally cloud-based. This means that no download or installation is required to use Squarespace.

A visit to the platform’s official website is what it takes to begin web development. Choose a template and customize it using the drag-and-drop feature inbuilt into the CMS. As you make changes, the Squarespace editor allows you to view how your website will look, making it an ideal option if you like visuals, but don’t have coding skills.

If you lack the resources and expertise needed to host and maintain a website, opt for Squarespace CMS as it offers both services.

WordPress, on the other hand, requires some work to begin an installation. First, download WordPress (the latest version) from the WordPress.org website, find a company that offers reliable hosting services, and come up with a domain name for your website. Although premium plugins, custom domain names and themes come at an extra cost, WordPress.com provides personal blogs free hosting services.

Choose, set up and customize a theme of choice upon successful installation of WordPress. Theme installation can take more work (depends on intended functionality) from your end, unless you’re using default settings. The kind of support a theme comes with depends on its author, with comprehensive and basic documentation.

Adding content to WordPress is quite involving, and the platform’s customizability is one-of-a-kind. Although you need to familiarize yourself with creating pages in WordPress, it comes with an option for making previews. Available in developer and visual views, the WordPress post editor is easy to use.

However, managing other content types can pose obstacles that you can overcome as you learn how to add posts and manage content within the platform’s media library. On the down side, you need some basic knowledge of CSS and HTML to comfortably use WordPress.

How Do They Compare in Search Engine Optimization?

Because Squarespace is limiting on how much you can customize the website, it is not our first choice for people who want their website to do well in the search engines.  Natively, Squarespace offers the basic website search engine optimization features (page titles, descriptions, sitemap, etc.)  However, because it is a cloud-based solution, you are limited in the extra tools and plugins that many professionals use when working to optimize a site for the search engines.

WordPress allows a web developer complete control over how they optimize a site for the search engines.  If needed, a developer can modify the original code of the content management system or even add extra code as needed. There are also plugins (such as Google Analytics) that will display website information right on the dashboard of the website so you can see exactly what your web developer sees.  Wordpress is the preferred content management system of Unofficial for optimum search engine optimization.

The Pick

A website’s simplicity and flexibility depends on what your goals are with the website. Although WordPress is highly flexible and scalable, you need sufficient resources and time to exploit it to the fullest.  Or, you can hire a web development company like Unofficial to help manage that for you.

Squarespace, on the contrary, is designed to enable you create a functional and aesthetic website. Consider the type of website you’re developing, your budget, your business needs and what the website is supposed to do for your business.

Definitely, our pick is WordPress website as the better option; it meets all our needs for web development.

Contact us today to discuss your website design needs.