January 27, 2022
Woman on a laptop with the title Should I Switch from Squarespace to WordPress?

Squarespace is a SaaS (software as a service) site builder that includes templates, ecommerce, hosting, and automatic updates. It’s generally simple to use and gives numerous options for users who want to start their website.

But it’s not your only option — there’s also WordPress, for example.

What is WordPress? It’s a CMS (content management system) that gives you lots of possibilities to customize and manage your website or online store.

Keep reading to learn more about their differences, advantages, and get an answer to your question — should I switch from Squarespace to WordPress?

Squarespace vs. WordPress: An Overview

1. Ease of Use

Both of them are convenient, but Squarespace is still a bit easier to use, especially when it comes to setting the site up. It’s a pretty intuitive and user-friendly solution where you don’t need to have any coding skills. Also, it’s possible to preview changes at the moment you’re making them, which is a great advantage.

This platform has a drag-and-drop template editor which means that a user can move elements such as images, videos, forms, and text boxes all around the page. This is actually the “what you see is what you get” type of editing. As you change and customize the layout, you’re seeing what your visitors will see once your site is on.

Squarespace to WordPress migration, on the other hand, requires some learning. WordPress is easy to use if you’re creating a basic site. Still, if you want to make your business bigger and go to an advanced level, the learning curve can become steeper. You may need to adjust CSS or HTML at some point. Still, there are many WordPress resources, handy page builders, and even store builders that can help you too.

If you’re using WordPress for the first time, it might be a bit harder for you to navigate its menu system. One of the downsides is not being able to see the page in the context of the entire website, which means you’ll have to hit Preview every time you want to check how your page really looks.

2. Flexibility

Should I switch from Squarespace to WordPress, you may ask? It depends on what you’re looking for. Squarespace might be easier, but it’s definitely less flexible than WordPress.

Once you start learning to operate this platform, the possibilities are endless. This is how it usually works — anyone can use simple software, while the more powerful one always comes with a steeper learning curve.

WordPress provides many more options:

  • WordPress is open source. That means a user can simply open up the codebase and do whatever they want with their website. WordPress developers and the broader community can create and use whatever plugins or functionality they desire on WordPress. It’s one of the major benefits of WordPress.

Related reading: Why Use an Open Source Ecommerce Platform?

  • It’s possible to configure the server the way you prefer. Maybe you want to operate with a specific CDN? You can’t do it with Squarespace, but WordPress opens many possibilities to get what you really want.
  • Customize the theme of your website however you want. True, you need to be comfortable with code to do that, but it’s still something you can’t do with Squarespace.

Related reading: How to Customize a WordPress Theme >>

  • Create your own blocks.  With WordPress, you can make things easier by building your own custom blocks.

With this in mind, switching from Squarespace to WordPress certainly requires some time where you learn how to operate the platform. However, once you get used to it, you get more options to customize your site the way you want it with WordPress.

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3. Templates

Squarespace has themes that are included in each of its plans. No matter which one you choose, you’ll get a website that will look pretty good without too much effort. They’re easy to customize too. For instance, if you want to change colors on your website, simply edit Color Palette, which then automatically applies across the whole website. However, with Squarespace you are limited to around 100 themes to choose from.

If you decide to convert Squarespace to WordPress you get to browse a theme marketplace such as Theme Forest with about 11,000 themes for sale

There are also 4,000 free themes on WordPress.org. Some of them don’t have features you might need, so you’ll need to upgrade them and install plugins. Customizer, which is the WordPress-style editor, can sometimes be inconsistent. In other words, you may not be able to change each and every theme in the way you’ve imagined.

However, there are so many WordPress themes out there, you’ll almost certainly find one that suits you perfectly. If not, you can always hire a developer to make a custom theme specifically for you — which is not something you can do with Squarespace.

4. Plugins

With WordPress, you gain access to more than 11,000 plugins that will help you improve your website in every possible way. Some are paid, while the others are free, but each adds some new functionality to your site.

Check out some of the examples:

  • Buddypress: This one can help you turn your site into a mini social network.
  • Elementor: This plugin makes WordPress editor more like Squarespace. It means you get a pretty visual page builder where you edit pages in a drag-and-drop way.
  • Advanced Custom Fields: This plugin will allow you to form a CMS with preferred custom fields.

Squarespace has no such plugins. It has a small number of extensions though, but they are mainly for ecommerce.

5. Cost

Should I switch from Squarespace to WordPress in terms of price?

Both platforms cost money, but you’ll have to pay in different ways. With Squarespace, you get four all-inclusive plans costing up to $40 per month. Each of these plans covers domain registration (purchased annually), hosting, and templates. If you pay more, you’ll get ecommerce too.

WordPress is free, but you’ll have to pay for additional things such as premium themes and plugins, if you choose ones that aren’t free. There are numerous free plugins and themes, but if you choose a paid one, you get the rights to that theme/plugin for life.

Also, you need to host your website somewhere — and you’ll pay approximately the same for good WordPress hosting as you’d pay for a Squarespace website plan.

Whether you move a website from Squarespace to WordPress or not, the total price will depend on plugins, additional features, and the individual configuration of your site.

6. SEO

Good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps your website to rank better in search engine results. Both WordPress and Squarespace include the basics of SEO for ecommerce in their plans, which means neither is going to “ruin” your reputation on Google.

However, WordPress opens more possibilities to get into more advanced SEO requirements.

Let’s say you’d like to add rich data markup for reviews — WordPress definitely has a better setup for that. Also, it helps you speed up your WordPress site.

Another cool feature you get with WordPress is the industry-standard Yoast tool. It’s great for analyzing the content you post and, based on findings, this tool suggests which things you can improve to boost your SEO.

Overall, switching from Squarespace to WordPress generally gives you more control over the technical aspects of SEO.

7. Support

Squarespace comes with customer support to answer your questions. WordPress is an open source solution, which means it doesn’t include customer support — although certain paid plugins and themes come with support from the creator.

However, if you decide to migrate Squarespace to WordPress and choose an adequate WordPress hosting company, don’t worry. You’ll get 24/7/355 customer support specialized in all potential issues and specifics related to WordPress.

8. Owning Your Own Data

Squarespace is a closed source proprietary system. Because of this, Squarespace owns your data. If you want to leave Squarespace, you don’t get to take your data with you. If you outgrow Squarespace, you have to start your website all over again.

On the other hand, if you decide to go with WordPress, you get to own and control your own data. You can take it wherever you want to go — which future-proofs your store. You don’t have to start all over again from zero if you change platforms.

9. Ecommerce

Both of these options support ecommerce. Squarespace offers design variations within the ecommerce website builder, together with a pretty good inventory system and analytical tools. It also has built-in cart recovery emails. That’s a follow-up message you get if you leave a site without buying the items you “placed” in your online shopping cart. You can get that on WordPress too, but through a plugin.

Still, a Squarespace to WordPress migration gives you more options when it comes to developing your own online business. It offers different plugins to make an effective and fully functioning ecommerce store out of your WordPress website.

Related reading: Making the Leap From WordPress to Ecommerce >>

WooCommerce is among the most popular ecommerce plugins for WordPress — it’s especially great if you have physical products, although you can use it to sell digital items too.

Which Option Should You Choose?

We may be a bit biased, but WordPress is the clear winner in our books. Why WordPress?

WordPress provides full flexibility and customization with the power of open source technology. You can use it if you have no web development skills. WordPress offers more options to technically support your business and give it space to grow.

It provides a wide variety of useful features, plugins, and additions to make the most out of your website. WordPress offers more flexibility, additional plugins, and powerful WooCommerce tools in general.

Make the Switch

So, should I switch from Squarespace to WordPress then? It depends on what you want, but WordPress is the clear winner when it comes to flexibility and customization.

WordPress is highly customizable and scalable, which means you can upgrade it as your business grows. It includes numerous plugins, additional features, an option of creating reusable blocks, and so much more.

It’s especially suitable for those who want to build an awesome online store, because of WooCommerce, the ecommerce plugin specifically created for WordPress users.

If you decide to convert Squarespace to WordPress, Nexcess can help! All fully managed WordPress plans from Nexcess get you unparalleled speed, security, and award-winning 24/7 support.

Nexcess can create a new online store for you too with Managed WooCommerce, which is the fastest and easiest way to make an ecommerce store on WordPress. And it all comes backed with our fully managed WordPress hosting.

Check out our Managed WooCommerce plans today.

Aaron Binders
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