For about two years I swore by Squarespace, but as time went on, I started to see how much it was actually lacking in comparison to its price. When I left and switched to self hosted WordPress (with no coding knowledge,) I was surprised to find my web design game increased ten-fold and a whole new world opened itself up before my eyes. Almost three years later, I have never looked back and hope to help others see the light as well. Below, you’ll find a few worthy reasons and examples of why I will always choose WordPress over anything else and I hope it aids you in your decision making. (P.S. Don’t miss the 9-page comparison chart freebie for even more information at the end of this post!)
(It’s important to note that when I say “WordPress” I mean a self hosted website or WordPress.org not WordPress.com. You can read about the differences between the two and learn more about everything you need to set up your self hosted website through my last post here.)
7 Reasons Why You Should Choose WordPress over Squarespace (& Wix!)
1. #1 Content Management System (CMS) in the World
About 30% of all websites run on WordPress, making it the #1 CMS in the world. (And the numbers speak for themselves, data via W3 Tech.) Even top businesses like TechCrunch, BBC America, Vogue, and many others use WordPress. Knowing that it is the leading system for building websites, why would you choose to go elsewhere? As the platform’s user base continues to grow, updates are continuously being made (almost monthly) to make sure to keep this free open-source system secure while still allowing users the freedom of building anything they can imagine.
• Related Reading: Debunking the 8 Biggest WordPress Myths on the Internet
2. Highly Customizable
Since WordPress is a free open-source software, it means that you have the capacity to tweak every aspect of your website. So when I say you have the ability to create anything you can imagine, I mean it. The software allows for more freedom to customize your website to your business’ needs and dreams. Not only are you able to completely customize the desktop view, but mobile and tablet responsiveness as well. You aren’t restricted to the confinements of the platform, because there aren’t any. Building can even become easier with a drag and drop builder (which feels like the Squarespace & Wix design interface) with a premium theme like Divi. No coding knowledge required.
• Related Reading: Everything You Need to Setup a Self Hosted WordPress Website
Another huge factor in the decision of why you should not choose building platforms like Squarespace or Wix is website ownership. These are third-party services that include proprietary software which means that you’re building your website on rented space and the platforms have specific limits & terms on how you can use them. If you look into the Terms of Service for either of those platforms and search keywords like, “delete,” “remove,” or “disable,” you’ll find multiple instances where they can shut down your website and remove your content without warning. Read the Squarespace ToS or Wix ToS yourself. (Please note, you DO NOT have to be doing something illegal for your website to be shut down. They can change their terms without your knowledge and remove your website if they so choose.) Conversely, with self hosted WordPress, you own the entirety of your website and never have to worry about losing content or being shut down without notice.
Not only do you not have full control & own your website with these platforms, but you also give them a
“non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable, transferable right and license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works of (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that User Content works better with the Services), communicate, publish, publicly display, publicly perform and distribute User Content for the limited purposes of allowing us to provide, improve, promote and protect the Services.” – Squarespace ToS
In other words, you own your content, but you give the platforms a royalty-free license to use it however they wish and without credit to you which is incredibly worrisome.
To go along with the point of losing content unexpectedly, you never have to worry about this as your page & post content creates saved revisions and your website will be automatically backed up as well. Your host will (this is true if you host with Siteground) perform automatic updates of your website where you can easily restore it if some kind of error or mistake occurs. On top of this, you can perform your own regular backups with a few simple clicks with plugins like Updraft. On Squarespace, you cannot revert back to previous revisions for a post or page and the only way to backup your site is to duplicate it and export the files. Wix does have a restore feature, but does not seem to have a feature for full website restore from a manual backup.
Here’s a video I created to show you just how easy it is to backup and keep your WordPress website maintained!
5. Better Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Getting organic traffic and being found naturally in search engines is an important aspect of a business. While all 3 of these platforms offer the ability to optimize your content, WordPress blows the competition out of the water with the Yoast Plugin. With Yoast installed, you’re able to easily see what areas you should be adding your specific keywords to. It also provides you with helpful tips on how to improve your content and possibly increase your visibility on Google. You’re even able to customize how your shared content appears on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
What does it mean when 30% of all websites on the internet use WordPress? Well, it means that there is a huge community filled with extensive knowledge, experts, and people willing to help you grow further and offer their expertise. Never have I seen communities as large and helpful as those centered around WordPress with multiple individuals willing to assist others in finding creative solutions and solving problems in web design & development. For example, take a look at the Squarespace Support Forum where you’ll find there are more questions left unanswered for days, weeks, and even years! With WordPress, hop in the support forum or even one of the Facebook groups with tens of thousands of members, and you’re bound to find the answer you need. Of course there will be a few individuals shamelessly plugging their services, but most often then not, you’ll find the perfect solution to carry out on your own.
(The single theme I use alone has over 9,000 helpful members per group!)
7. Cost Friendly
Probably the most important factor to business owners is cost. We all want to make sure we’re getting the best “bang for our buck” and there’s no question that when you go self hosted, you most definitely are. There are many who argue that the costs of WordPress can quickly surpass those of the “easy web building platforms,” but when you compare what you’re receiving, it turns out to be much more cost friendly. For a total of a little over $200/year (and 67% off your first year!) you could pay for quality hosting (Siteground $143.40/year) and a premium theme (Divi $89/year) which is cheaper than the VIP Wix plan ($300/year) and Advanced Squarespace plan ($480/year,) and you would still receive more out of the platform’s customizability.
You’ll receive 24/7 chat support, free custom domain email accounts, free SSL, free analytics, free eCommerce, free email opt-ins, unlimited users, no ads, unlimited customization options, and the list goes on. You could even opt-in for the one-time fee, rather than yearly for your theme, and cut costs even further. Or, hop online and find a free or lower cost theme yourself.
So, there you have it. My top 7 reasons why you should choose WordPress over Squarespace (& Wix!) I hope I provided enough explanation as to why I (and 30% of the internet) choose to work in WordPress to create professional websites for businesses. As a previous Squarespace user, I cannot deny that it is a beautiful platform making it easy for DIY websites. But, with the lack of features, added costs, and the fact that you don’t actually own your site, it likely isn’t the best choice for your business’ needs.
What do you think about Squarespace & Wix? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!