Do you want a small business website that works, but you don’t have a lot of time or money to spend on it?
Wondering what the best platform is for you to reach your clients & build relationships with them?
Where I am coming from . . . I coded websites from scratch in HTML back in the early days of the web & I have used several content management systems over the years. The last several years, I have been an advocate of WordPress. The easy website builders were pretty terrible about playing nicely with Google, so I did not recommend any of them until things improved & Squarespace got some love from SEO guru Rand Fishkin January 2014.
It is nice to have options!
Here is my quick summary of the most important advantages with Squarespace vs WordPress for small business websites:
Yes, Squarespace tends to be easier & cheaper. With WordPress, the sky is the limit, but it can take you a lot of work to get there.
A couple important points that can be confusing & people don’t discuss enough . . .
1) Costs – WordPress is technically free (open source), but to do it well, you do have to learn a bunch of things or pay someone to help you. And you might want a premium theme or plugin. Also, we are talking about the self-hosted WordPress option here not WordPress.com, so you need to pay for hosting. (Bluehost starts at $3/month.) On the other hand, Squarespace starts at $12/month and you still might want some help to get started, but ongoing you will undoubtedly need less help with Squarespace than you would for WordPress.
2) Updates – WordPress is constantly changing & there are updates to the various pieces all the time (WordPress, themes, plugins). Things go wonky every so often. Incompatibilities crop up & ongoing maintenance is important to play nicely with Google & serve your clients well. Small biz owners tend to underestimate this & tend to get behind here, so this is another area you might want ongoing help with WordPress. Squarespace does a lot of the technical stuff for you so that you can focus on your content.
3) There are three pieces to a small business website you don’t want to lose sight of & these are handled differently with WordPress & Squarespace:
- Hosting – if you use Squarespace, they host the files for you & if you use WordPress, you would sign up for hosting through someone like Bluehost.
- Domain name – you might get this through a service such as Godaddy or you could do it through Bluehost or Squarespace
- Email – comes with hosting from Bluehost & you have choices of client software to use such as Outlook & Thunderbird. Squarespace doesn’t do email, but the easiest solution is that they connect to G Suite (formerly Google Apps) if you are happy to use a Gmail type interface (for an extra cost). There are other third party options that are possible such as Zoho mail.
A couple specific points that might matter to you . . . if you go with Squarespace, you probably want to opt out of their use of your content for free. Accessibility is also a concern for Squarespace. (See #7 for use of content and #19 for accessibility in 27 Reasons Why WordPress Crushes Squarespace Every Time.)
In summary, for some small businesses, Squarespace really is an OK choice. Easier & cheaper is very attractive! If you are a solopreneur & you want to keep it simple, Squarespace could be the right choice, especially if you don’t need a lot of customization or focus on speed or SEO or fancy features such as advanced ecommerce or membership sites.
More Resources on Squarespace vs WordPress
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