What problems does Squarespace solve? How does it compare to WordPress and Wix, two commonly considered competitors? Jen Kramer explains.
- [Instructor] Squarespace is a tool that anyone can use to build simple elegant websites which work on phones, tablets, and desktops without knowing any HTML or CSS. Squarespace is an ideal solution for smaller websites. The bowling league, the Girl Scout troop, a startup business, the local bakery or restaurant, schools, your wedding, and so much more. Squarespace websites can look highly professional and polished with the right photos, content, and message. You might be comparing Squarespace with other products.
Many people who are looking at website solutions for these smaller websites are comparing Squarespace with Wix or WordPress. First, let's compare Squarespace with Wix. Wix and Squarespace are both website building tools that can be used to create professional-looking websites. However, there are some notable differences. Wix has a free plan available. You will get advertising on your website if you choose this option. However, if you truly have no budget to build a site, this might work for you.
Wix is one of the most popular website builders currently available, probably because of their free option. Squarespace has no long-term free options, although they do have a free 14-day trial. There's never any advertising on your Squarespace site even when it's in trial mode. However, Squarespace is gaining market share rapidly despite its price because of its several advantages over Wix. First, Squarespace templates and themes or the way the website looks are all responsive.
That means they work on phones, tablets, and desktop computers. Wix's themes can be responsive, but they typically take some tweaking to make them work, adding to the amount of time spent building a website. You probably don't want to build a site for just one platform these days. You want your site to work on all kinds of devices. So having an easily configured responsive site is pretty important. With Squarespace, you can choose a new theme quickly without losing all of the content and photos for your site.
With Wix, you have to start over building a new site every time you change your theme. Both Squarespace and Wix come with customer support so you can get help with your issues and problems as you're working. What's even better, they both have regular updates to their interface and security without you having to do a thing. Your site is less likely to be hacked, and if it is, Squarespace or Wix should be able to help you fix it. Finally, we hope your business or organization grows and is very successful requiring a larger more powerful website in the future.
That is not where either Squarespace or Wix excels. So you'll need to move your site to a different platform like WordPress if that need arises. Squarespace offers a content export tool to WordPress making it easier to move to that new platform. Wix doesn't offer this tool, meaning that you'll have to rebuild your site with a lot of copying and pasting. With that thought in mind, you might be wondering, why not just build my site in WordPress right from the start? WordPress is indeed free in that it's free software that you can download and install on your web hosting which likely comes with a fee.
WordPress must be updated by a human on a regular basis to keep the site up to date with the latest security and features. Without these updates, your WordPress site is open to hackers. So this is very important. An annual Squarespace subscription and a year of WordPress hosting and maintenance, I find cost about the same. So you're not saving any money going with WordPress. One of WordPress' greatest features is that it's incredibly flexible. You can add just about any type of functionality you want to make WordPress do just about anything you want.
However, it's flexibility is also one of its main drawbacks. It has a ridiculous number of options and possibilities and that can be confusing for someone who's not a developer, who wants to just build a simple website. Squarespace is limited in its functionality compared to WordPress. It comes with several common features that people want like a calendar, eCommerce capability, blogging, image carousels and galleries, social media and mailing list integration, and so much more.
However, if you want a feature that's not a part of Squarespace, or if you want to change the way a given feature looks or works, you're mostly out of luck with Squarespace. Some minor changes are possible, but for the most part, there's no way to expand Squarespace or make a major change to the way that it looks or functions as you can with WordPress. So in general, if you're starting a new website for your business, non-profit, or volunteer group, and you don't have a ton of money or technical expertise, give Squarespace a try.
- What is Squarespace?
- Planning your website
- Choosing a template
- Laying out a homepage for your website
- Adding banner photos
- Configuring the header and navigation
- Working with images in text
- Integrating email newsletter signup with MailChimp or Google Drive
- Configuring and styling an image gallery
- Launching your site
- Examining analytics