At one point in time, building a website used to be a daunting and expensive task. You had to approach a good web developer and designer, spend hours with them to make them understand your needs and once the site was ready after a significant stretch of time, you would still need to go through a long process for making any changes in the future. The things have changed now. You can now easily create your own website without almost zero external help using Content Management Systems. CMS, as they are generally called, allow you to use an easy interface and quick steps to create your own website without going through coding or scripting. Thus, even a non-technical client can create his own website., There are a number of CMS available in the market. Two such CMS are – All-ubiquitous WordPress and the easy SquareSpace. This article offers an honest comparison between both of them to decide which one fares better on different aspects.
Let us start:
WordPress: While WordPress offers you a reliable and free platform to design your website or blog, you need to pay if you want to go live. You would need to buy a suitable hosting plan to make your site accessible across the globe. There are different plans to choose from- Shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated server. Shared hosting is suitable for the beginners who have just started out and have limited technical knowledge / budget. It is cheap, offers comfortable scalability with unlimited resources (bandwidth and disk space) and is largely managed by the service provider. If your needs are more specific then you can go for VPS or dedicated hosting. These plans are more expensive as they offer privacy, higher security, and dedicated resource availability. Besides, you would need to manage several aspects on your own. Besides, you need pay for the domain name in order to buy a memorable domain name for your website. Hence, while it is free to create your website using WordPress, you will need to pay for the resources if you want to make it live and accessible.
SquareSpace: SquareSpace offers you a personal plan with all the essential features required to go online. Apart from infrastructure it also includes the resources needed to make your site live. The plans start at $ 8 that may not sound a big difference when compared to the hosting plans you need to while creating a website using the WordPress CMS. However, there is a catch when it comes to the resources. The $ 8 Plan- Personal Plan- allows you to add only up to 20 pages, 1 blog, and 2 contributors that can interfere with the economic objectives of the site owner. What's more disappointing is that you will be able to sell just a single item in a personal plan. Is there no hope then? – You might ask! Yes, there is a hope but that hope comes at a price- namely Premium pack priced at $ 16. You can add up to 20 products in this plan and enjoy the unlimited space, bandwidth and pages. If you need full freedom then spend $ 24 and sell unlimited products along with enjoying unlimited resources.
The service quality, support, and infrastructure largely differ for different hosting providers. Understandably, you would want to exercise the personal preference when it comes to hosting and domain. Here, the WordPress allows you to choose your own hosting and domain provider.
Changing the CMS
WordPress: The WordPress offers you the freedom to move your content without any hassles. The easily manageable export tools offered by WordPress are light years ahead of SquareSpace and allow you to export entire site easily. The built-in tools of WordPress allow you to export the essential data quite easily. Apart from your text and visual content you can also backup your plug-ins themes and entire data solution using WordPress backup solutions. Once backed up you can easily export the content to other content management systems. So, you retain the power to change the service CMS at any moment you like.
SquareSpace: In SquareSpace, you can only export a few parts of your content in the form of an XML file. Here you can save your galleries blogs and the pages. That means if you don't like the service of SquareSpace or need to change to another CMS, you will have to go through a long process and ask the support from SquareSpace to back up entire data in a format that could be exported. Due to this restricted appeal, SquareSpace clearly lags behind.
WordPress: Though WordPress started out as a bloggers'-first CMS, of late it has appreciably expanded its approach to adequately support corporate and e-commerce sites too. There is a huge repertoire of e-commerce plug-ins that WordPress offers you. Besides, there are a number of WordPress themes they are specially designed to promote e-commerce. Hence, you can combine the simplicity of WordPress with the advanced functionality and features required by an e-commerce site that is like getting best of both the worlds.
SquareSpace: SquareSpace again disappoints when it comes to e-commerce. You can integrate only very few external services to promote e-commerce operations on your SquareSpace site. Besides, during the integration processes some of the original qualities and capabilities of these external applications are lost. Also, you can set only a single service for payments – Shrill and it is not available across the globe but is limited to a few countries only. If you don't like Shrill or Shrill is unavailable in the country where you want to sell-you have no hope other than changing your platform. Apart from limiting your reach, it can also halt your future journey of globalization.
If you are starting from point zero and need a quick infrastructure solution for claiming your online space then SquareSpace is the best choice for you. While you will enjoy the complete pampering and guided journey, you should be ready to sacrifice a good portion of freedom. You would need to walk a path that is already carved and you have a very little opportunity to carve your own path or even take another route to the destination.
While it is good for the websites with non-commercial objectives or limited scope, you should be cautious while using SquareSpace if you need to create an e-commerce site or complex corporate site with impressive characteristics and specific demands.
Though there is some learning involved while working with WordPress, it offers you much more flexibility and you are able to decide different aspects of your website. A better design power is the major benefit of WordPress CMS. When it comes to posting and publishing commands WordPress clearly fares much better than SquareSpace. It allows you a multitude of features and functionalities tools themes and add-ons to manage your site in the most efficient manner.