And to be honest, I would love to summarise it more succinctly, but that would not do justice to the reality. And both products are not a one-off purchase, but a relatively long-term choice. So let's take a deep breath and walk through it together. n
One of the first things people look at when comparing Squarespace and WordPress is price. WordPress itself is free and open source. This means you can download and install the software for free on your own web hosting. However, it is important to note that there may be other costs, such as hosting and domain registration.
When using WordPress on a self-hosted website, you need to choose a hosting provider. The cost of this varies, depending on the chosen provider and hosting package. You also need to register a domain name, which is usually an annual cost. However, some hosting providers offer free domain registration when you take out a hosting package.
At Squarespace, hosting and a domain name are included in the monthly or annual subscription plan. This makes it easy and convenient as you don't have to find a separate hosting provider or pay domain fees. However, keep in mind that if you want to use a custom domain instead of a standard Squarespace domain, there may be additional costs for registering and managing that domain.
Apart from hosting and domain, there are also costs associated with email services. If you want to have an e-mail address linked to your domain name, you can choose to use an external e-mail provider such as Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). This service has a monthly cost per user. With Squarespace, you can integrate email services from Google Workspace directly into your website, but there are additional charges for this.
For self-hosted WordPress sites, you can also integrate email services through your hosting provider. Some hosting packages offer free email accounts as part of the hosting package, while other hosting providers may charge extra for email services.
It is important to consider these additional costs for domain registration and email when comparing the total cost of Squarespace and WordPress.
As there are multiple pricing plans, it is difficult to give an exact breakdown of costs but you probably want to have a rough estimate. Squarespace with email comes out to plus minus 200 euros per year with usually a discount in the first year.
A simple WordPress website with a hosting provider comes to plus minus 100 euros per year, but with more work and maintenance.
Maintenance and technical aspects
Another aspect to consider is the maintenance and technical side of your website. WordPress requires more commitment in this area. You are responsible for maintaining and updating the software, themes and plugins you use yourself. This may require extra time and technical knowledge. However, if you like having full control over your website and like tinkering with the technical aspects, this can actually be an advantage.
Squarespace, on the other hand, takes care of the technical aspects of your website. They take care of hosting, software updates and security, so you can focus on creating content and designing your website. This makes Squarespace a good choice for people who have no technical background or prefer not to deal with technical maintenance.
Extensions and functionalities
Adding extra functionalities to your website is often an important aspect when choosing a platform. WordPress has an extensive ecosystem of themes and plugins that you can use to extend your website. Many of these themes and plugins are affordable or even free. This gives you the flexibility to customise your website to your specific needs.
Squarespace also offers some extensions to extend the functionalities of your website, but the range is generally more limited. Moreover, the prices of these extensions can be higher. What sets Squarespace apart, however, is the integration and compatibility of the available functionalities.
Because everything is built within the platform itself, Squarespace ensures a consistent user experience without having to worry about incompatible plugins or themes.
Complexity and purpose of the website
The complexity and purpose of your website also play a role in choosing between Squarespace and WordPress. If you want to set up a simple, brochure-style website with limited complexity, Squarespace can be a good choice. It offers intuitive tools and templates that allow you to quickly create a professional-looking website even without much technical knowledge.
On the other hand, if you want more complexity and customisation options, and if you have access to time and expertise, WordPress may be more suitable. With WordPress, you can dive deep into the code, create custom themes and plugins, and fully customise your website. This makes it a powerful platform for people with specific requirements and deep technical knowledge.
If you are looking for a user-friendly platform with less technical hassle and want to set up a simple website quickly, Squarespace may be the best option for you. It offers integrated functionalities and takes care of technical maintenance.
On the other hand, if you want more control and customisation options, and you have the time and expertise to invest in managing and maintaining your website, WordPress is probably the better choice. It offers extensive opportunities to customise your website to your liking.
But remember, there is no definitive right answer. It's all about your specific needs and what best suits your goals and capabilities. Do your research, possibly try out both platforms and make an informed decision that suits you and your website.
If you are interested in getting help choosing the right platform, you can also contact me.
Read more: I also compared WordPress to Ghost for blogging.