An introduction to Squarespace and WordPress
As discussed, both Squarespace and WordPress are what are known as Content Management Systems or CMS’s for short.
These are web-based interfaces that allow you to publish content on a website without the need for a code editor.
Both offer easy-to-use interfaces accessed by username and password.
Once you are logged in, you will find many options that will allow you to publish content on your website, as well as change the look of the website, how many pages it has, and so on.
Additional functions can also be added with widgets or plugins such as contact forms.
Both systems will ultimately deliver an attractive and fully functional website.
The main differences are how easy it is to do and the flexibility each system offers in terms of design and functionality.
Let’s take a look at how to get started with these platforms.
How to start
This is all! You have decided to build your own website and are looking forward to getting started.
But before we dive into the topic, we have to consider two very important elements of building a website.
The design (or theme) and the hosting .
A theme is a website framework that controls the appearance of your website.
Strictly speaking, if you built a website from scratch (for example
wrote all the code) you wouldn’t use a theme, but for us less coder mortals, a website theme is a pre-built code package that sets the design foundation for our website quickly and easily.
Topics can save us literally tens, if not hundreds of hours, compared to starting from scratch.
Themes can be customized so that the website looks the way you want it, but only within predefined parameters.
Think of an issue like the body of the car.
The main frame has been put in place (the bodywork), but you are free to make the car any color you like.
You can choose what upholstery you want to have and whether or not you want to tint the windows.
By adjusting these options you can end up with a car (or website!) That looks quite unique.
Themes are not 100% customizable.
If you have chosen a four-door sedan as your design theme and now want to change the design to a two-door roadster, this is not so easy to do.
In all likelihood, you would have to change the theme you use to achieve this totally different design.
Your website is at your heart, a very large collection of files.
These files consist of code and images.
The instructions in the code dictate how your website will be displayed.
For example, where the images will appear and what color the font is.
All these files need to live somewhere and that place is called a server.
A server is just a glorified computer typically housed in a massive data center somewhere in the world.
These servers are always on and connected to the Internet.
When someone goes to your website address (or domain name), the server uploads all the files that pertain to your website, allowing the user to view and use your website.
Website hosting is provided by web hosting companies that rent or own space on one of these servers from which your website will be served.
There are thousands of hosts available to choose from, some better than others! In essence, however, they all do the same; provide storage space for your website files so that they can be accessed by website users.
Now that we know what a theme is and have an idea of how Web Hosting works, we can take a look at the initial steps you will need to take with both Squarespace and WordPress to get your website off the ground.
The first is the first…. Go to squarespace.com and press the »Start» button at the top right of the screen.
You will be taken to a Templates page where you can choose from a wide range of pre-built website designs.
Select the one you like the most and then continue with the registration process (it’s free to register and test the platform, so give it a spin!).
Squarespace charges a monthly fee for its service ranging from $ 12 / month to $ 40 / month for its advanced plan.
All plans include two very important things … a theme and a Web Hosting.
This makes creating your first website a breeze.
When you are fully registered, you will be presented with a page showing your website template and, on the left, a menu of options.
Setting up your Squarespace website is a quick and easy process from now on.
Assuming you were happy with the color scheme and template layout, you could theoretically launch a live website from this stage in a few minutes.
Setting up your WordPress website presents a few more challenges than Squarespace and here lies one of the biggest differences between the two platforms.
To start using WordPress you will have to choose a web host and then you will have to choose a theme to install.
There are thousands of themes, many of which can be found in the WordPress themes directory.
Third-party themes can also be purchased from theme stores like Themeforest.
Creating your website requires a bit more technical knowledge.
If you are using a dedicated WordPress host, the WordPress core system is already pre-installed.
Setting up the theme is a relatively easy process, but no less complex than Squarespace.
Once the theme is installed, you will have several options to customize it based on the theme you have installed.
Customizing Your Website: Squarespace vs WordPress
Now that we’ve worked out the initial setup, we can move on to the exciting task of customizing your website.
The process differs depending on whether you are using Squarespace or WordPress.
Let’s take a quick look at how this can happen.
The first thing to do is head over to the Design tab on the left side.
Click on this and then on ‘Styles’.
You will be presented with a menu offering a number of customization options for the core style elements of your website.
This includes colors, font backgrounds, site padding and spacing, header layout, and more.
You will see your website update in real time on the right so you can see what these changes will look like in practice.
Exiting this menu and returning to the main menu gives you the option to edit the pages of your website.
The theme you selected has a number of predefined pages to get you started, but they may not suit your needs.
You are free to delete these pages and add your own.
If you only need one page, that’s fine.
If you need 100 pages, then click!
With your site’s page settings and styles in place, you can now click on an individual page and start adding text and changing the layout to suit your needs.
Squarespace uses blocks that allow you to quickly add different sections to your page.
These sections can be dragged across the screen to achieve the layout you want.
When you’re done, go back to the menu, select your rate, pay for it, and you’re ready to go with your website.
If you want to make additional changes, you can always log into your Squarespace account and update your website accordingly.
Once you have signed up for a hosting account, you will have to rotate your website.
This is usually easy to do.
Just click the ‘New’ button from within the Dashboard and you will be presented with a pop-up window asking you for some simple details about your website.
Fill out this form and then sit down.
In a couple of minutes you will receive an email with all the details of your new website.
Login to your website and you will see the WordPress admin.
At this point you will need to install a theme.
A great starting theme is called Divi and it is built by Elegant Themes.
This article is not going to go into how to set up the theme, but you can watch a helpful video tutorial on the process on the Elegant Themes website.
Once you have installed the theme, you will be presented with an interface that offers a number of options in the style of the website.
From here you can change fonts, colors, and much more.
Add new pages via the WordPress pages tab, then customize page layouts using the Divi drag-and-drop editor.
Although the mechanics are slightly different, the process is very similar to Squarespace.
Divi also offers a wide range of pre-built website designs that can give you a great looking website very quickly.
Once your site is built it is a simple case of pointing to your domain name and you are ready to go live!
Website functionality: Squarespace vs WordPress
With your neat layout and published website, you can now look for ways to extend the functionality of your website.
Squarespace offers a limited amount of additional functionality beyond the core elements that you would expect to be included on a website.
This enhanced functionality is provided by the advanced blocks available in and out of the business plan, including, for example, the OpenTable block for restaurants, which allows customers to make reservations in your restaurant.
Pop-ups are also available to collect emails along with notification banners.
These additional levels of functionality are nifty and work well, but they are quite limited.
Thanks to an amazing thing called ‘Plugin’ you can add an incredible variety of different functions to your website.
WordPress provides a ‘Plugin Repository’ where you can search and install plugins that do anything from allowing you to embed a Contact Form on your site to plugins that can add a forum or membership system.
Most likely, if you want to do something, then someone has already built a plugin to achieve it.
Website Portability: Squarespace vs WordPress
So what if you want to upload a copy of your website and move it to another location?
Generally speaking, you are locked into the Squarespace platform.
Your uploaded images, text, and other assets are yours, but you can’t download your entire website as one and move it elsewhere.
If you want your Squarespace website to continue working, you have no choice but to stay on the Squarespace platform.
Previously, it has been possible to download an XML file that will help you move some of your core Squarespace content (ex.
text) in an alternative format (for example WordPress) but we note that the latest version of Squarespace (7.1) no longer supports it.
With the self-hosted version of WordPress, your data is really yours.
You can move your WordPress site from one web server to another and are free to extract your data in any way you see fit, giving you maximum flexibility.
Pricing: Squarespace vs WordPress
While Squarespace offers a subscription pricing plan, WordPress is technically free but with a few caveats.
Squarespace offers 4 different pricing plans with more expensive plans that provide more features like advanced blocks or ecommerce functionality.
Accommodation is included in all plans.
You can pay monthly or save by buying an annual plan.
Note – if you cancel your plan, your website will be removed.
WordPress itself as a CMS can be downloaded and used for free.
However, you need a web host and also a theme.
Web hosting can vary massively in terms of cost, but a managed WordPress host will charge around $ 21 per month for a single site hosting plan.
If you need to host more than 1 website, then bulk plans are available, which brings the cost of hosting per website down significantly to around $ 10 per site or less.
Themes come in all shapes and sizes and many are free to use.
Some premium themes like Divi cost around $ 90 to buy.
What is the best? WordPress or Squarespace?
So, after our Squarespace vs WordPress head-to-head, taking a look at all the options the CMS should choose from? Squarespace or WordPress? The answer may not be as clear as you would like.
Both systems have advantages and disadvantages, making it difficult to definitively say that one is better than the other.
Squarespace offers a great option for people who have limited time and / or limited technical ability.
It’s very easy to create a site that looks quite attractive with relatively little effort.
- Fast and easy to use.
- Very little technical capacity is required.
- It works ‘straight out of the box’.
- You are limited in how much you can customize the design of your website.
- You will lose your website if you unsubscribe from Squarespace.
- Functionality is restricted to features built into the Squarespace platform.
WordPress is an incredibly good all-rounder.
The learning curve is definitely a bit steeper than with Squarespace, but there are endless resources available to help you get started.
We’re a bit biased, but if you can take a few hours to familiarize yourself with the basics of using WordPress, you will end up with a website that can continue to grow to meet your needs.
In our opinion, WordPress is definitely the best choice.
If You want to create a website then Contact through this WordPress Development Service in Lahore .
- Total flexibility with your design.
- Incredible levels of functionality available thanks to plugins.
- You own your website and can do whatever you want with it.
- Slightly steeper learning curve.