Squarepsace or Wordpress? Ease, themes and pricing covered

squarespace vs wordpress

When it comes to choosing which platform to start your site on, a few years ago it was a choice between Wordpress and Blogging Platforms...OR pay someone to make an expensive bespoke site for you. When I started out I used Wordpress A LOT but then a friend recommended Squarespace. So I thought I'd give it a go. Now that I've used both quite a lot I wanted to try to help you guys chose the right platform for you.

There were a few things I was look out for when chosing a platform:

Ease and Simplicity: 

When I started, as a pretty new blogger with a big fat 0 understanding of any coding my main concern was Ease and Simplicity around usage.

Wordpress 4/10:

When I first started playing around with Wordpress it took me a very long time to understand how to do things. I don't have a great amount of patience so reading tutorials and watching videos was a bit of a chore, however I eventually got the hang of things like how to post and what basic plugins you needed. The main problem I had with Wordpress was whenever I couldn't figure out how to do something it took me hours and hours of reading through forums to get a fix and even then it usually meant some form of modification to the code, again something which I have already confessed to knowing nothing about. If you are someone with a little bit of coding knowledge no doubt you would be OK with this but for me it got frustrating very quickly.

Squarespace 8/10:

As mentioned a friend suggested Squarespace to me. She said it had beautiful templates and apparently was easy to use so I thought I would have a look. When you first get to Squarespace.com you are greeted with a simple and clean design and an offer of 14 days to try before you buy. I quickly signed up and begin to play around with the template and features. It was all so easy, simple features that were clear to get your head around and quick tutorials, that were easy to find, if you get stuck. Don't get me wrong, the number of users on Squarespace compared to Wordpress are still low therefore I couldn't find answers to all my problems but either way the ease of the platform had won me over.

Update since writing this post: Squarespace's customer service has won awards for help. Since writing this post the support for Squarespace has really improved and I personally think its great.

Themes and Templates:

Wordpress: 10/10

Type in "Wordpress themes" into any search engine and you will find page after page of free and paid for themes. Top Themes for Bloggers, Top Themes for ecommerce, Top Themes for 2015, the list goes on. You can also pick them directly from your Wordpress Dashboard and chop and change themes as you wish. Aesthetics wise, there are some stunning designs out there and most with the option to pick and chose features within the theme.  For most of my initial sites I chose free templates from Wordpress and they worked just fine however if I'm honest the free ones just didn't look right to me. Therefore for my final Wordpress site I chose a theme from Themeforest called Newspaper. I loved the look and feel of the design and it had some features that made is pretty easy to use, like the blocks, which allow you to construct your page in the layouts you like. I spent a lot of time figuring out that theme and had I not have been recommended and tried Squarespace I probably would still be using it on Wordpress.  

Squarespace 7/10

The latest version of Squarespace (7) has at last count about 33 templates. They all have slightly varying features and as with Wordpress, you can find ones catered towards ecommerce, portfolios, businesses and even weddings to name a few. I personally think each template is stunning, they all have a very modern feel and are all visually focused. The template I use is Galapagos and even though it was designed as an ecommerce template I find the blog feature really clean and simple to use. I do also have a shop section on the site but haven't utilised the ecommerce feature yet (one thing at a time). I love the look and feel of this theme, I think its very elegant and looks like a site I would want to visit and spend time on. I know a few others who use Squarespace and they all comment on the stylish templates. Even though the numbers are limited I think what it lack in quantity it makes up with quality. Watch this space, im pretty there will be more and more templates coming soon.

Price:

Wordpress:

There are 2 different accounts you can have with Wordpress, .com and .org, the latter is a free offering however doesn't give you all the control over your site. The .org platform is great if you don't have a lot of money but I always opted for the .com platform. One of the reasons was to get rid of "wordpress" from my url. When signing up for a .com site you have to consider things like hosting costs (I used Hostgator) and buying a domain (I used Namecheap), then there are other possible costs with themes and plugins. It can all get a bit expensive if you don't opt for the free offerings.

Squarespace:

Squarespace pricing moto is "Simple Pricing . No Surprises". As mentioned they offer a 14 day free trial where no credit card is required or 3 paid packages:

1: Personal for $8 a month, if billed annually or $12 a month. 

  • 20 Pages, Galleries, and Blogs with Unlimited Bandwidth and Storage, and 2 Contributors

  • Fully Integrated E-Commerce

  • Sell 1 Product & Accept Donations

  • Mobile Website and Store

  • Custom Domain

  • 24/7 Customer Support

2: Business for $18 a month, if billed annually or $26 a month:

  • Unlimited Pages, Galleries, and Blogs, with Unlimited Storage, Bandwidth, and Contributors

  • Fully Integrated E-Commerce

  • Sell up to 20 Products

  • Developer Platform

  • Professional Email from Google - June only. Limited time offer.

  • $100 Google AdWords Credit

  • Mobile Website and Store

  • Custom Domain

3: Commerce for $26 a month, if billed annually or $36 a month

  • Unlimited Pages, Galleries, and Blogs, with Unlimited Storage, Bandwidth, and Contributors

  • Fully Integrated E-Commerce

  • Sell Unlimited Products

  • Real-Time Carrier Shipping

  • Label Printing via ShipStation

  • Integrated Accounting by Xero

  • Developer Platform

  • Professional Email from Google - June only. Limited time offer.

  • $100 Google AdWords Credit

  • Mobile Website and Store

  • Custom Domain

  • 24/7 Customer Support

  • Commerce is currently available in the U.S., the U.K., Canada & Ireland

Summary:

So there you have it. My 3 main points when looking for a place to set up shop. Yes, there are loads of other things to think about and loads of other platforms to chose from but overall for me Squarespace is a winner. Even though it doesn't have as many features and functions as Wordpress it has everything I needed to start Magpie Hut. The sleek look and feel, the ease of use and the simple pricing points took me away from Wordpress and onto Squarespace.

Do you use either? Which do you prefer?

Thanks

Nisha x