Insights, Web Development

WordPress vs Squarespace Platform Comparison Review [2023]

Which platform is better for your next project?

WordPress and Squarespace are two of the most popular platforms that have everything you need to build a custom professional fully-functional website. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at both solutions and compare them based on unique features, pros and cons, SEO tools, CMS tools, ease of use, extensions, integrations, eCommerce functionality, and pricing. The purpose of this WordPress vs Squarespace comparison review is to help you decide which platform is right for you in 2023.

WordPress vs Squarespace Review 2022: Table of Contents

1. Overview

Before we make an in-depth comparison between WordPress and Squarespace, let’s first go through some quick introductions, statistics, and what makes them similar.

Comparison of the usage statistics of WordPress vs Squarespace for websites by W3Techs. These reports are updated daily.

WordPress is a CMS

To start off, WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that makes it a more advanced software tool for building websites. It’s also an open-source solution that can handle any type of website, no matter if you’re looking for building a blog, a business website, a professional portfolio, or eCommerce stores. This power of flexibility comes from WordPress’gimmick to rely on extensions and get full control over the design and functionality of your website.

  • WordPress is open-source full-service CMS.
  • The platform is extremely flexible in terms of customization, and suitable for every web project.
  • It requires installation.
  • The platform caters to users of all technical backgrounds and for all budgets.
Official WordPress Statistics 2022
  • Two (2) out of every five (5) websites use WordPress. According to the latest data by W3Techs, 43.2% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress in 2022, in comparison to 39.5% in 2021.
  • WordPress CMS powers 64.2% of all the websites that use CMS, followed by Shopify with 6.6%; Wix with 2.8%, Squarespace with 2.7%, and Joomla with 2.6%.
  • The share of WordPress sites on the market has increased by 30% in the last ten years.
Visit WordPress

Squarespace is a website builder

Squarespace is a SaaS (Software as a Service) website builder that packs everything you need in order to build and maintain a website, including templates, a domain name, automatic updates, eCommerce features, and web hosting. The platform focuses on becoming an AIO solution so it doesn’t really rely on extensions too much.

  • Squarespace is a hosted beginner-friendly solution with powerful business tools.
  • It has an extremely clean interface and offers the cleanest selection of modern customizable themes.
  • A great solution for startups and small businesses with zero experience with code.
  • Perfect for artists, designers, and photographers.
  • Squarespace is not open-source and its core data is controlled by its developing team.
Official Squarespace Statistics 2022
  • Squarespace is used by 3.0% of all the websites with CMS, which makes it 2.0% of all websites in total.
  • The share of sites that use the Squarespace site builder has increased by 0.7% in the last ten years.
  • 100K websites powered by Squarespace use commerce tools.
Visit Squarespace

Main Similarities Between WordPress and Squarespace

Both platforms allow users to build websites using the provided templates and tools with little to no coding experience.

  • Easy to use ✔️: Both WordPress and Squarespace are easy to use and beginner-friendly.
  • Pre-made customizable themes ✔️: You can select a pre-made theme to work with.
  • Drag-and-Drop editing ✔️: The option to use a visual editor
  • Performance optimization ✔️Controls and features that will help you optimize your website’s performance.
  • SEO optimization ✔️: WordPress and Squarespace both cover the basics of SEO but if you want a higher level of control over your SEO markup, indexing rules, redirects, etc, WordPress is better.
  • eCommerce ✔️: Both platforms are suitable for eCommerce websites and offer the necessary eCommerce features to run a store.
  • Blogging✔️: Both platforms are easy to set up and start blogging.
  • Business Websites ✔️: Both platforms offer tools suited for marketing.


2. There are 4 Main Differences

2.1. Different Software Solution Types

The first big difference between WordPress and Squarespace is the software solution type: SaaS or open source.

WordPress is an open-source platform

WordPress is an open-source platform, where you install the software on your own hosting server and maintain it manually.  You have full access to the core code of WordPress and you can modify it, as long as you have experience of course.

Squarespace is a closed-source SaaS application

Squarespace is a SaaS application (Software as a Service) that handles the hosting and maintenance of your websites, including taking care of security. However, the core of the platform is not open, so you don’t have full access, and your website is yours as long as your subscription lasts.

2.2. Different Audiences

Both platforms aim at users, who want to build websites, however, there’s a little difference in the user’s priorities.

WordPress is better for users who want more control

WordPress doesn’t focus on a particular group of users but rather targets the entire range. You can surely create a maintain a WordPress website with no design or coding skills, but if you decide to take advantage of the platform’s full capacity and get your hands dirty with some code, you can create everything. Unlike out-of-the-box website builders, WordPress gives you the freedom to build content-heavy websites with any functionality you want and the advanced CMS tools to manage all that content.

Squarespace targets users who lack web development skills

The platform makes it easy for everyone to create a beautiful website fairly quickly. In addition, Squarespace’s pricing plan is so transparent, that you will know exactly how much your project will cost you in advance.

2.3. Hosting

The biggest difference when it comes to WordPress and Squarespace.

WordPress is a self-hosted solution is a self-hosted solution. You will need to take care of hosting, maintaining, and installing updates. On the other hand, this gives you the freedom to choose any hosting service you like and make your WordPress website unhackable.

Squarespace is a hosted solution

Squarespace, on the other hand, is a hosted solution. Just like Shopify and Webflow, you won’t need to worry about finding a hosting or taking care of maintaining and updating your software. Squarespace’s subscription comes with the site, security, hosting, and redundancies.

2.4. Code Standards

Having a clean code is crucial for your website’s performance. Both platforms approach the code differently.

The potential downside of WP plugins

Initially, WordPress generates clean code, however, this can quickly change if you’re not careful or picky enough with your plugins. Depending on who codes or updates specific WordPress plugins, or how compatible they are with your theme, they can result in a messy code or even make your website crash.

Squarespace prioritizes clean code

Thanks to the fact that all tools are built-in, and being built by Squarespace, each component generates clean code. The same goes for any of the small numbers of plugins from Squarespace’s extension store.


3. Unique Features

Each of the two platforms offers features that are not only unique to it but also the selling point. We’ll discuss them in this section.

What is unique about WordPress?

The thing that makes WordPress so popular and often the selling point of the platform before others, is the full control and the capability to build anything and add any functionality you can think of.

Plugins for everything

Customization options, management options, analytics, SEO, eCommerce functionalities, integrations, literally anything. The WordPress Plugin Directory only has 55,000+ plugins available with many more that are not even published there. This means there is a plugin for almost anything you can think of. Just be aware that every new plugin added affects the performance of the website.

Customizable design

You have absolute control over what your website will look like if you know how to code. With WordPress, there are basically no limitations on the look or the functionality of the website. Any website design is suitable for WordPress.


WordPress is your better option in terms of SEO. You can create your custom attractive and informative permalinks,  manage your metadata; optimize images for SEO; page speed; optimization for mobile; Social Media integration; etc.  You can also use specific SEO-friendly themes and install some powerful SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO, Google XML Site Maps, and Google Analytics by Monster Insights.

Powerful CMS and Media management.

One of the main advantages WordPress has is the flexibility of its CMS capabilities and media management. You can basically build the CMS to suit your exact needs. You can either do that with a plugin for custom fields like ACF or as a website builder using Elementor, Divi, or another tool.  The CMS capabilities spread not only for the website content management but also for users, media, etc.


Although does not have customer support you can reach over the phone or through a live chat,  it has a huge community, including thousands of tutorials, articles, guides, and forums. On top of that hosting of your choice might already provide support for WordPress and servers that are optimized for the platform.

What is unique about Squarespace?

Squarespace, on the other hand, doesn’t give you that much control. However, it prioritizes modern professional design that you simply can’t go wrong with, as well as some capabilities that are unique to the platform.

Menu Content Block

Restaurant menus are one of the most challenging formats to style. Usually, restaurants choose to play safe and simply attach a PDF menu. Squarespace, however, has a Menu Content Block that gives you a ready-to-go formatted menu with a handful of customization options.

Podcast Syndication

This is a very valuable feature for businesses with podcast practices. You can create and manage podcasts and actually syndicate them, thanks to the built-in RSS feed that lets you publish directly to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other subscription services. In the meantime, your listeners can easily browse through archived episodes and find more information about the podcast.

Donation System

For non-profit organizations, Squarespace gives you the option to add a Donation Block. The feature appears as a Donate button that redirects to a page where users can donate.

You can customize the blocks, and add custom forms, receipts, contribution suggestions, and checkouts. This feature is also useful for wedding websites if you need to ass a customized cash gift registry.


4. SEO Features

The more people see your website, the more your online traffic increases alongside the number of people receiving your services. Both WordPress and Squarespace offer tools to optimize your visibility online.

🔎 WordPress for SEO

WordPress is considered to be one of the best content management systems for SEO. The platform’s flexibility allows you to configure your website’s technical SEO set up exactly the way you want.


The fact that WordPress is a self-hosted solution allows you to host your website on any server you want. Some servers are faster than others so you have the advantage to get crazy page speed. In terms of SEO, this itself will get you preferential treatment from Google. Speaking of speed, you can also install plugins such as WP Super Cache for website speed optimization that can make your WordPress website even faster.

Automatic Alerts to Google

Each time you update anything on your website, WordPress alerts Google automatically. This means your updated page gets treated as recent and moves up the ranks as such.

SEO-Ready Themes

WordPress offers themes for everything, including ones specifically built for SEO. If you combine such themes with SEO plugins, you’ll get even better results.

Optimization Controls

You can customize each page for SEO with unique tags, custom URLs, and meta descriptions, and also add custom excerpts or SEO plugins.

Familiar Structure

Search engines are familiar with the simple framework and link structure of WordPress, so they can easily find, index, and rank your pages.

🔎 Squarespace for SEO

Is Squarespace good for SEO? Yes. In fact, SEO performance is higher than many might think. It offers all its SEO tools integrated, so you won’t need to install any extra plugins.

Page redirects

If you change the URL of a page you already published, and users try to visit the old one, this feature will automatically send them to the new one.

Automatic sitemaps

We mentioned earlier that Google’s search engines easily recognize, index, and rank websites with familiar structures. Same as WordPress, Squarespace generates automatic sitemaps of the different pages on your website, making it easy for the Google crawlers to understand how they’re related.

Hide a page from Google

You have the option to hide any page you want from showing up on search engines until you decide otherwise.

Select preview image for social media shares

You can choose the exact image that will appear alongside your content when it gets shared on a social media platform.

Other built-in SEO tools:
  • Customizable meta titles and descriptions
  • Customizable URLs
  • Image alt text

However,  Squarespace requires you to invest some time in getting familiar with the tools. You might even need to add code yourself in order to boost your website’s ranking. Other than that, the platform also doesn’t offer SEO plugins.


5. CMS Tools

We mentioned earlier that one of the essential differences between the two platforms is that WordPress is an advanced CMS while Squarespace is a website builder. This means they approach content management differently.

🖥️ WordPress CMS Tools

WordPress was initially built for blogging, so it’s no surprise it offers advanced CMS tools.


WordPress gives you an intuitive and straightforward dashboard to work with so you can create a professionally-looking custom website for your project. However, keep in mind that full customization will require some code.

Two Editors

WordPress has two different editors, each of them equally intuitive and easy to work with, depending on your preferences and what you’re building: the old classic editor and the Gutenberg block editor.

The old editor for creating content in WordPress that we all know from the inside out was a text formatting editor with buttons, very similar to Microsoft Word. It’s best for blogging.

Gutenberg, on the other hand, uses blocks as content elements: paragraphs, images, video, galleries, embeds, audio, columns, lists, spacing, etc. You can add these blocks to the screen and create content layouts. This option is better for building pages and it allows you to drag and drop items.

Manage Unlimited Pages Directly from your Dashboard

You can add as many pages as you like, there are no limits to the size of your website.

Collaboration Tools

You can add users and assign roles and permissions: admin, editor, author, contributor, and subscriber.


WordPress also has revision history functionality allowing you to review older versions of your pages and roll back to any of them at any time.

🖥️ Squarespace CMS Tools

Squarespace is minimalistic and clean, making it very easy to build and edit content.

Drag-and-drop website builder

You can add content blocks such as text, images, forms, and videos and move them up and down the page, as well as into columns.

Keep in mind, that, unlike classic drag-and-drop website builders, Squarespace is section-based. You can move different elements around the page to customize your layout within a block on the page.

This means much less flexibility. However, it is also good news for beginners with zero experience in web design. The section-based editor makes it impossible to make a design mistake such as positioning elements at a bad angle.

Visual Editing

The “what you see is what you get” editor handles the big portion of the content editing, making it super easy to make changes. You can modify your content without using HTML and see exactly what visitors will be seeing once your site is live. The editor offers formatting options similar to any text-editing software, as well as inserting images, videos, check and redo/undo.

This means you don’t need to work in the back-end and hit preview every time you make a change just to see how it will look once you publish your page.

All Templates in 1

The new Squarespace version 7.1 gives you the option to use sections from different templates. If your site is on version 7.1, it has the same features and style options as all other 7.1 sites. All version 7.1 sites are part of the same template family.


6. Extensions

Now, let’s talk about the themes and add-ons both platforms offer.

➕ WordPress Extensions

WordPress has an enormous library of over 14K official themes and over 60K official plugins for any type of customization and functionality.


With more than 4.2K free and 10K premium themes, WordPress is an absolute winner in terms of template choices. However, since the platform is open-source with much less moderation, quantity doesn’t always mean quality. There are stunning professional themes with clean code, but there are also really low-quality ones that require much more work once you start editing them. Make sure to download a safe, secure, and reliable theme.


Currently, there are over  59K official WordPress plugins available for free, as well as thousands of premium ones. These plugins cover everything you can think of to help you expand your capabilities to manage your websites or add more functionalities. There are popular WordPress plugins for SEO, security, eCommerce, forms, social media integration, and more.

It’s important to note not to exceed 20 plugins per site. On one hand, this might result in messy code, not to mention too many HTTP requests, which means higher loading times.


One of WordPress’s biggest advantages is the ability to connect to specific services of your choice and access them from your dashboard. There are plugins for any integration you can think of.

➕ Squarespace Extensions

Squarespace is ideal for artists, designers, and photographers who want to showcase and sell their artwork and want their website to match their artistic preferences. The platform prioritizes presentation as the most crucial factor.


Squarespace sports a limited, but highest-quality collection of customizable templates with a clean and modern look. Most templates heavily rely on photography which makes them easier to customize.

Currently, Squarespace offers 113 templates to choose from in different categories such as gaming, magazine, education, restaurants, technology, eCommerce, and more. You can easily edit the colors and add more pages on the go. In addition, the drag-and-drop editor allows you to add cool tweaks such as image galleries, slideshows, and video backgrounds. Of course, if you love to experiment with code, you have the option to use the custom CSS editor as well.


Squarespace already comes with a nice selection of powerful in-built tools. However, you can also add third-party extensions to help you manage, optimize and expand the functionality of your website. Once again, quality comes before quantity, as Squarespace offers a small but high-quality collection of 31 apps.


7. Ease of Use

Another important factor when choosing the right platform is the learning curve. Without further ado, Squarespace is much easier to use than WordPress but less flexible.

📓 Getting Started with WordPress

WordPress is very versatile and suitable for users from any technical background. Beginners with zero experience with code can easily build a website by themselves, while advanced users can access the site’s front- and back-end.

  • Hosting: You need web hosting to install the WordPress software. The good news is, that most hosting services offer tools for installing and configuring WordPress with a few clicks.
  • Choose a theme to start with: You can change it anytime in the future without losing content. To make things easier, simply install a drag-and-drop visual editor plugin.

In all, WordPress is harder to use than Squarespace since you’ll have to install plugins for most of the tools you need for customizing your pages, and you’ll be editing in the back-end with no real-time preview.

📓 Getting Started with Squarespace

Being a SaaS application, Squarespace requires a subscription that includes everything: hosting, layouts, support, and access to the platform. When you start building your website, it comes with a free two-week trial period where you can test and experiment.

  • Sign up and start the trial: You can choose from a range of billing plans whether you’re starting with a domain or an eCommerce business. If you’re not ready to build a full site, you can start with a domain and parking page.
  • Select a template: all templates have demo content in order to showcase the site’s design and features. You can edit or remove content, add images and change colors and fonts.
  • Choose from curated font and color themes to quickly update styles across your entire site.
  • Add pages and sections: Add new pages from the Pages panel in the Home menu, then add new sections and rearrange them as you see fit.

Squarespace is easier to use than WordPress because it offers a modern and minimalistic intuitive experience, requires no coding skills, offers a built-in drag-and-drop editor, and allows you to preview your changes in real-time instead of switching between the editor and the preview page.


8. Pricing

Squarespace is a SaaS platform with paid plans that offer the essentials already built-in, while  WordPress is a free open-source platform that needs hosting and relies on plugins, some of which are premium.

🏷️ WordPress Pricing

WordPress is a very affordable option since it’s initially free and all you need to do is pay for hosting.  In fact, you can have a fully functional website or web store just on free features and free extensions. However, if you want a truly modern professional website, keep in mind that premium themes are premium for a reason, and so are some premium plugins that you’ll need at some point.

With that being said, when you build a WordPress website for your business, always consider the possibility of additional expenses.

🏷️ Squarespace Pricing

Unfortunately, there is no free plan, however, all plans offer a 14-day free trial to test and see if you and Squarespace are a match.

What’s great about Squarespace’s plans is that they’re really simple and transparent, allowing you to plan your expenses in advance.

  • Personal Plan/ $14 per month: Free Custom Domain; Unlimited Bandwidth; Video Storage;  SEO Features for Site Visibility
  • Business Plan/ $23 per month: Free Custom Domain; Video Storage; Premium Integrations and Blocks; Professional Email from Google; Fully Integrated E-Commerce.
  • Basic Commerce Plan/ $27 per month: Free Custom Domain; Video Storage; No Commerce Transaction Fees: Checkout on Your Domain; Customer Accounts.
  • Advanced Commerce Plan/ $49 per month: Free Custom Domain; Video Storage; Abandoned Cart Recovery;  Gift Cards; Sell Subscriptions.


9. Strengths and Weaknesses

To sum up, let’s have a final comparison based on the pros and cons we already discussed during this review. Your choice should comply solely with your preference, web design requirements, and level of control and flexibility.

WordPress is ideal for unconventional websites that need features you can’t imagine a typical small business website to need.

👍 WordPress Advantages:
  • Free to use.
  • Full control over the code.
  • Thousands of plugins to expand the functionality of your website.
  • Thousands of integrations available for WordPress
  • Great for SEO
  • Gutenberg allows you to drag and drop items into a post or page.
  • Huge variety of content management options.
  • Optimized for content without the need to write blog articles elsewhere.
👎 WordPress Disadvantages:
  • Complete customization requires coding skills/ or hiring a developer
  • You need to source the hosting, security and domain name yourself, as well as take care of the maintenance.
  • No direct customer support ( but you can always rely on the community).
  • Using themes and plugins may result in creating messy code in the back-end which could result in slowing down your website.
  • Using too many WordPress plugins can lead to many conflicts, site speed issues, and high maintenance costs.

On the other hand,  Squarespace is easy to use, closed, and curated platform with everything you need for small conventional websites: blogs, portfolios, small business websites, and restaurant websites.

👍 Squarespace Advantages:
  • Limited, top-quality templates. Most templates heavily rely on photography which makes them easier to customize.
  • All websites made by Squarespace are responsive.
  • The platform has analytic tools built-in.
  • Hosted solution
  • Intuitive admin panel navigation.
  • WYSIWYG editor with drag&drop.
  • Blogging feature with everything you could think of, from rich commenting capabilities to scheduling posts, AMP support and etc.
👎 Squarespace Disadvantages:
  • Basic built-in functionalities.
  • Creating multilingual websites can be challenging.
  • Only one sub-navigation which makes it not suitable for bigger businesses with larger eCommerce websites.
  • Squarespace templates score low ratings by Google’s Page Speed Tool.
  • The platform doesn’t provide backup solutions. You can only export product and blog data.
  • No free plan.
  • There are no advanced marketing tools.
  • No autosave.


Still can’t decide?

Already have a project in mind but can’t decide which platform is the best fit?

We’d love to start a conversation with you and discuss your vision. Let’s see if we’ll be a good match.



To sum up, WordPress is the number one choice for building pages for all kinds of unconventional websites, thanks to the platform’s flexibility, level of control, and limitless customization and functionality options in the form of extensions.

However, coding experience will be quite necessary in the long run.

Squarespace is a trusted brand that focuses on the modern and beautiful look of websites. The platform is perfect for artists, designers, or photographers who require their online business site to match their work. Additionally, it’s also a great choice for beginners as it’s a hosted AIO solution that requires zero coding skills and offers a fairly intuitive back-end.

However, Squarespace isn’t suited for larger and growing businesses that require constant and specific functionalities, more complex navigation, and powerful SEO.

In the meantime, you may also be interested in some of these related articles:

Subscribe for our newsletter

We hate boring. Our newsletters are relevant and on point. Excited? Let’s do this!