This weekend I built a Squarespace site. Yes, you read that correct. The woman who has been a WordPress devotee for eight years set up a site on a different CMS – one that she paid for.
To be fair, I’ve never been blindly loyal to WordPress. I just haven’t found anything that comes close. Until maybe now.
This doesn’t mean I’m giving up on WordPress. I’m just acknowledging that Squarespace is a strong alternative. Let’s look a little deeper.
The set-up process for was a little easier, but in a way longer. WordPress has a five-minute installation promise. Technically it’s true but I allow several hours to add and configure plug-ins. If I wasn’t writing new content, I could have been up and running with the Squarespace account within an hour. I did leave the stock placeholder images, which saved some time.
Hosting and thus cost is another big difference. Well, maybe not. The cheapest Squarespace option is $12 per month – comparable to Blue Host or another hosting. SSL certificates are included as standard.
My biggest concern was SEO. I had heard negative things about Squarespace’s SEO, but I’m not sure it’s founded. I got to set the URL structures, even though there was little else I could control. Unfortunately, the analytics are nowhere near as extensive as Google Analytics. It’s probably therapeutic for me not to be able to access them as easily (shush, I do get a little obsessive). This is also my folio site, so really I don’t need that much information. I started getting traffic to this site immediately. I wish MassConsternation.com grew that quickly.
WordPress wins over Squarespace on functionality. There are ecomm options, and you can pay more for more functions, like label printing and more analytics. However, unless you want a blog, basic online store, or a portfolio, you’re out of luck.
Who Should Use Squarespace?
I am just using Squarespace for my folio, and it works very well for that. It was a lot easier and faster to set up than a WordPress install and costs about the same.
However, there are many situations where WordPress is a better choice. I’m not sure I’d use it for a blog. I have a few plug-ins on Tap Dancing Spiders to set the formatting for books reviews, etc. I can’t do that with Squarespace. However, there’s a site I’m working on for a house under construction. Starting over, I’d probably consider Squarespace. I also haven’t tested the ecomm functions, so they are worth exploring.
Which do you use for a CMS? Do you prefer Squarespace?