Squarespace vs WordPress: Which Is Right for Your Business?

As more small business owners dive into the world of custom website design, they generally wonder if a DIY website option like Squarespace, WordPress, Showit, Wix, or Shopify would be cheaper than paying a website designer. If this is you, you probably also want to know if using a website builder is as good as creating a custom site.  

For entrepreneurs with time on their hands, going with one of these top website builders may seem like a good choice for cost savings. In terms of quality, however, the value of each option will depend highly on your goals for your site’s design and use. 

In this head-to-head comparison, we take a look at Squarespace vs WordPress pros and cons so you can make the right choice for your new or rebuilt website. 

So You Want To Build a Website

As a business owner, you probably realize that having a company website really isn’t optional anymore. Websites help companies build credibility, create brand awareness and recognition, and manage digital marketing. They’re indispensable as tools for customer service, creating leads, and building community. 

Given the drive that got you where you are, you’re probably used to putting in extra time and work to create something on your own. It’s this curious spirit and the desire to minimize expenses that may have you comparing WordPress and Squarespace. As designers and developers with over 20 years of experience, we’re here to give you the pros and cons of both platforms in terms of design, pricing, customer service, SEO, and blogging. 

Both Squarespace and WordPress are beginner-friendly platforms. They’re in the category of SaaS, or software as a service. Squarespace is a closed-source platform, meaning Squarespace controls all aspects of the system and users cannot add anything to their site outside Squarespace’s offerings. WordPress is open source, which means users worldwide can develop options for templates, plugins, and specialized tools in more of a free-market system.

WordPress vs Squarespace

WordPress: If you want complete control over virtually every aspect of your site and don’t mind doing a little extra work to figure out functionality, WordPress is your best bet.

Squarespace: If you want a simpler system and are okay with giving up some control (and remembering to back your work up manually), Squarespace is your tool.  

Ease of Use

Most users report Squarespace is easier to use than WordPress, especially if you have no knowledge of coding and no desire to learn any basics. Both offer a drag-and-drop editor, but many find the Squarespace version more intuitive. 


If you’ve never logged into the backend of a website before, launching a new website using Squarespace may be a good way to learn. They have a dedicated customer service team and a library of how-to articles to provide support for any questions or issues you encounter. Because Squarespace is a closed-source system, everything you need to build a website is directly available within the content management system (CMS) according to each pricing tier. 

Generally speaking, this closed-source design makes Squarespace more user-friendly, as you won’t have as many options to choose from or features to learn. However, you may need to move up in a pricing tier to get certain aspects of your site to look or work how you want. If you have more complex needs, you could run into issues where certain functionalities aren’t an option, especially if you want to sell items or services through your site. 


WordPress has a steeper learning curve, so it may be better for those with some coding knowledge or the time and interest to learn. The free plan (more on pricing below) does not offer support beyond setup tutorials, but email and chat support are available depending on your plan. WordPress is also the most popular CMS in the world, and its massive community of users regularly answers questions and offers support via WordPress forums and other online sites. 

Like Squarespace, WordPress offers drag-and-drop building. Unlike Squarespace, it automatically saves your work as you go (Squarespace users must remember to save periodically or face losing their efforts). Because WordPress is an open-source system, its features and functionality are virtually endless, but that may mean more time spent researching and learning. This can also affect the price, as many users will need to purchase plug-ins to be able to do everything they want. Learning to use WordPress to sell items also takes time and requires a plugin like WooCommerce, but if you can figure it out, it’s a powerful and customizable tool.

Squarespace vs WordPress for Blogging

WordPress: WordPress has its roots in blogging, so you’ll see that it’s easy to use and offers plenty of advanced options for more complex posts. If you have multiple writers, you can assign each unique roles and permissions. You can even keep posts password-protected if they’re part of members-only benefits. 

Squarespace: If you’re interested in using Squarespace for blogging, you’ll find it’s easy to add and manage posts. As with this website builder as a whole, however, you’ll find it is limited in terms of customization. You’ll also need to remember to save your work, as there’s no auto-save function.

Templates & Functionality 

Template availability and advanced functionality are probably the biggest aspects to consider when deciding on WordPress or Squarespace. While Squarespace is generally easier to learn to use, the flipside of that is substantially fewer template designs and plugins, and much less ability to customize. WordPress, on the other hand, has virtually limitless options, but they require more investigation and effort to use. 

In terms of Squarespace vs WordPress SEO features, both programs have customizable meta titles, descriptions, URLs, and image alt text. They also offer page redirects, automatic site maps, and more. But unless you already know the latest on how to use and optimize these things, you’ll need to invest time toward learning so you can make them useful for growing organic traffic. 


Squarespace offers hundreds of great templates ready for you to choose from and start building. This may help you avoid decision fatigue, but it also means you’re more limited in customization. They offer a few dozen plugins, and everything within their selection of official integration has been vetted. If you have some coding knowledge, you may be able to do a bit more to your site using code-based customizations. Since these are not part of the closed-source system, they fall outside Squarespace’s realm of support.   

If you want an online store for your products or services, you may want to spend time understanding its ecommerce features before committing. Selling is only available on upper-tier plans, and even those might not have the apps and payment options you’re after. Some tiers also charge service fees as a percentage of your sales. 

Other built-in features offered by Squarespace include analytics, social media accounts and feeds, podcast creation and management, AI tools, and a CRM (customer relationship management) system. They offer unlimited storage (though they do make size recommendations to ensure functionality), but remember, saving and backing up your site are manual processes. You’ll also need a separate image editor to compress and optimize images. Without this, you risk building a site with poor load time, which will negatively impact your site’s ranking.


WordPress has thousands of templates, but since they are not owned and operated by the CMS, they’re not all good or safe from hacking. They also may or may not be free. That said, the sheer number of options available gives you endless control and functionality. Overall, WordPress offers you more customization, including highly specialized blogging tools. 

Generally speaking, you’ll need a variety of plugins to build the site you’re after. While there are tens of thousands of plugins available, they’re not all equal in terms of quality and safety. WordPress’s online community can help you find good options, but you’ll need to commit time and energy to investigate each tool. Since over 40% of sites are built using WordPress (vs 2% using Squarespace), their community of users can act as a huge resource.

WordPress has excellent plugins like The SEO Framework, which are powerful guiding tools for basic SEO functionality, including on-page and technical aspects. However, you need to remember to keep your plugins updated to keep your site safe. Though some plugins offer automatic updates, we don’t recommend this option, as plugin updates can sometimes inadvertently break a site. We always recommend taking a backup of your site before any major updates — or better yet, using a reliable WordPress maintenance and support service to handle your updates, backups, and security for you.

WordPress also has password-protected members-only pages, allowing multiple authors and admins to post and perform maintenance. They have image editing tools, comments management, and multilingual options (70+ languages), but storage space depends on your plan.

WordPress vs Squarespace for SEO

WordPress: For WordPress SEO optimization, you can use both the system’s back end and specific SEO plugins. Additional premium plugins will cost money, but they’ll go a long way in improving your site’s on-page and technical SEO. 

Squarespace: SEO features included in the Squarespace platform are fairly basic. To fully optimize a Squarespace site, you’ll be better off if you have some familiarity with SEO best practices. 


Squarespace has four different pricing tiers, each with its own set of features. They offer a 14-day free trial; if you like it, you can pay monthly or yearly. WordPress is essentially free, but you’ll pay a la carte for the plugins you add and any specialty themes or features you select. 


Squarespace uses a tiered monthly pricing model with options regarding templates, site management, and plugins. The first year’s domain fee and lifetime hosting are included. 

Again, Squarespace is almost exclusively a closed system, so you can only choose from what they have. While they continue to add features and apps, it’s still not nearly as customizable as WordPress. However, some users prefer fewer options and find it easier to manage a single monthly fee. Remember that you’ll likely end up in one of the top tiers if you plan to sell through your site.


Like its design and functionality capacities, WordPress pricing is more customizable. Getting started with WordPress is free, but a free WordPress site will have ads to help cover costs. As you increase features and add-on choices, you can choose from the handful of pricing tiers available. You will want to plan to pay outside your tier for certain themes and plugins, making WordPress more of an a la carte system where cost depends on the design and functionality you need.  

Because of the freedom to pick and choose the features you need, you may end up paying less for a WordPress website than one with Squarespace. Remember, though, customizable pricing is more to manage than a flat fee. 

Squarespace vs WordPress for Small Businesses

Deciding between Squarespace or WordPress means coming to terms with the pros and cons of each. Squarespace is generally considered easier to use than WordPress, and many customers appreciate its flat-fee pricing. WordPress, on the other hand, offers virtually limitless customization, and you only pay for the features you need. The user rates for WordPress are over 20x that of Squarespace, but learning WordPress will take more time and effort.

As a business owner, your drive and curiosity are key personality traits that got you where you are. If you’re also smart, you know you didn’t get there alone. Operating a successful business is a team effort, and if you want to build a website that drives traffic and helps your business grow, it’s a project better left to the experts.

Spigot Design builds custom WordPress websites. We create unique themes and designs, incorporating plugins vetted for safety and efficacy. By partnering with us, you gain back the months that can easily turn into years of trying to build a site on your own. In return, you get a gorgeous site, excellent user experience, and optimized on-page and technical SEO. We even offer WordPress hosting and maintenance through our sister company Cinch Web Services and ongoing SEO copywriting and editorial planning.

To learn more about the benefits of a well-designed website for your small business, take a look at From Click to Customer: The ROI of Website Design in Utah.


Q. Do I need to find hosting for my Squarespace site?

No, web hosting is included in every Squarespace plan.

Q. How much control do I have over my site’s content?

Generally speaking, you have full control over your site’s content, no matter which program you use to build a website. Depending on whether you use WordPress or Squarespace, however, design, layout, and functionality may not be in your full control.  

Q. Is Squarespace as good as WordPress for SEO?

It depends. While Squarespace has many user-friendly SEO features, their efficacy will be impacted by your SEO knowledge. That’s also true with WordPress, but SEO is typically better with WordPress due to the platform’s extensive customization abilities. 

Q. Is there a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

Yes! WordPress.com is what most DIY website builders will use. One big difference is that WordPress.com includes hosting, whereas WordPress.org does not. Beyond that, WordPress.org offers greater technical freedom for custom web developers, with complex custom coding that may not be possible on the .com version.

Q. How scalable are website builders?

Scalability is limited with website builders. Squarespace is more limited than WordPress.com, but only WordPress.org is truly scalable since a developer can create custom code to accommodate almost any business request. 

Q. Are there any benefits to using a website builder like Squarespace for my business?

It depends. Website builders can be a great tool for getting started, but they are limited in design and functionality. Even so-called all-in-one website builders are only as effective for SEO and website ranking as those handling these aspects of the ongoing process. In fact, a poorly designed website can even hurt your business, as website architecture is a huge part of how search engines find and evaluate your site

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