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Squarespace vs WordPress: Which Blogging Platform is Better?

Trying to decide which blogging platform is for you is the first decision you have to make when starting a blog. WordPress has been around for a really long time and because of that, it comes with a lot of benefits and functionality. For this reason, tons of websites are run on WordPress. This includes my personal finance site Less Debt More Wine. However, newbies like Squarespace are disrupting the blogging world by offering all in one solution that addresses many of WordPress’ pain points.

It’s not necessarily that one is better than the other, kind of like android and apple. It’s more that some people may find one easier to use than the other. While they each offer similar options they both also differ in what you can accomplish with them.

WordPress is the Bread and Butter of the Blogging World

As I already mentioned, WordPress has been around a long time. It offers the greatest amount of flexibility in part because of how long it has existed. There are years worth of improvements and creation of plugins to let you do pretty much whatever you want with your site.

Infinite Possibilities

WordPress is just the foundation of the site. There are endless possibilities for themes that impact the functionality and design of the site.

There are both free themes and paid themes. Each of which can be customized to suit your needs, ensuring that not every website looks like a copy of another site. Then on top of the endless possibilities of themes, there are plugins.

Plugins Galore

There is a plugin for pretty much anything you could want to do with your WordPress site. For example, collecting emails, doing a find and replace throughout your site, or even just making your site run faster.

Though you want to be careful with how many plugins you use and which ones. They don’t all play nicely together and could impact how well your site works.

Related: 8 WordPress Plugins That Make it Easier to Blog

If you can do so much with WordPress why would you choose another option?

It’s true you can do a ton with a WordPress site. However, before you get to that point there is a steep learning curve. Even if you don’t do anything to learn about coding it still takes a while to get the hang of WordPress. Having been running a site on WordPress for a few years now I definitely have the hang. Though even after a few years I’m sitll learning something new related to WordPress on a regular basis.

Honestly, sometimes I don’t have the energy to figure out what is going on when I have a problem with my WordPress site. I’ve since learned to get help. I and pretty much everyone I know uses iMarkInteractive.

Grayson Bell who runs the business is fantastic at helping, with reasonable rates. If you are considering starting a WordPress site and want to skip all the mistakes I made I would highly recommend Grayson’s free WordPress course that helps you learn what’s what and how to use the platform.

Squarespace is Becoming More Well Known

While there are tons of other platforms out there Squarespace is making the biggest dent by providing solutions to WordPress’ pain points. First, Squarespace is an all in one solution. Squarespace includes hosting and everything you need to build your website. Second, unlike in WordPress, in Squarespace what you see on the back end is what you get on the front end of the site.

Squarespace is a Drag & Drop Website Builder

In WordPress when you tweak something, you tweak it then preview it, then maybe have to go back and tweak some more (unless you have a Thrive Themes Membership). Squarespace is all drag and drop as you see it on the back end. Want a little more space here and there? No problem, just add a spacing block. Want an image to resize? Just drag the sizing box, no need to deal with pixel numbers. 

Unlike on WordPress, Squarespace offers a limited number of themes known as templates. However, they all have great functionality. Using My Head has a great chart comparing all of them to help you decide which is best for you.

Easier to Learn

While it still takes a bit of time to adjust to using Squarespace, it is much more intuitive. Overall, it takes less time than it does to learn WordPress. The only thing I wish it had was a page dedicated to explaining what each of the designer blocks do, some are obvious, other less so.

Why do People use WordPress when Squarespace is available?

Because Squarespace is an all in one platform, there are fewer integration options. You may be thinking, if it is an all in one website platform why would you need to integrate with anything? Well, there is a lot more to running a website as a business than just having the website. You may want to collect email addresses or let clients schedule appointments through your site. 

Squarespace is Very Limited in it’s Integrations

These functions aren’t necessarily built into Squarespace, sure you can set up forms and get email addresses. However, wouldn’t you want them to automatically show up in your email marketing service account? You can connect your email marketing service account or Acuity account to set those options up on your site. However, if there is something you wish your site could do and it’s not part of integration offered, it usually takes a bit of work to figure out a workaround.

For example, Convertkit the email marketing service I use does not yet integrate with Squarespace. Meaning anytime I want to have a form on my site I have to do it through an HTML block, where I copy the form code and paste into my site. Anytime I make changes to the form I have to once again copy and paste the code. It’s not particularly hard but it is extra work and not something I have to worry about with my WordPress site.

Why I Had One WordPress Site and One Squarespace Site

As you may have figured out by now I’ve had both a WordPress Site, Less Debt More Wine, and a Squarespace site, ElizabethStapleton.com (now on WordPress). Why did I have both? Well, I didn’t hear about Squarespace until after I’d already started my WordPress site.

However, when I decided to start pursuing freelance writing and needed a separate site, I decided to give Squarespace a try. I figured that as Squarespace grew more popular there may be sites in the future that I could write for, where having some experience with Squarespace would help. 

Any New Blogging Platform is Hard at the Start

In total honesty coming from WordPress to Squarespace was hard and I took a course to help familiarize myself with the platform. Megan Minns has some excellent tutorials and a free course on WordPress. I also purchased what is now called Square Your Site which allowed me to get my site up and running pretty quickly. 

I’ve since changed themes and come up with a new design but the course helped me to learn the platform. It also helped when I did my redesign before I made the move to WordPress.

So Which Blogging Platform is Better?

One of the benefits of Squarespace is the free trial that allows you to play around and set up your site before having to spend any money. With WordPress, you can set up a free site with WordPress.com. However, depending what themes or plugins you want to use, you may not be able to use them on the free version of WordPress, which means putting up some cash to get started. 

Related: SS vs WP Which is easiest to start with?

Beyond the cost it takes to get started on either platform, it’s a matter of your current knowledge when it comes to blogging/running a website. If you have run a website before it was likely on WordPress and you may find it easier to go ahead with WordPress even if at first it can be more work.

On the other hand, if you struggled with WordPress and Squarespace offers the functionality you need than the drag and drop interface would probably suit you better.

The Right Blogging Platform Is Going to Depend on You

As annoying as it is, which blogging platform is better, Squarespace or WordPress, depends on you. I’ve had my Squarespace site for a little over a year and am really happy with how it looks and what I’m able to do with it. 

On the other hand, I’ve had my WordPress site for nearly three years and just now having recently switched to a Thrive Themes Membership do I really love what my site looks like and what I can do. Admittedly had I not had all that trial and error and learning with WordPress, I may not have known what I wanted with my Squarespace site.

Which do you use? What makes you think it is better? Let me know in the comments!

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