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Squarespace vs. WordPress: What’s Best for Ecommerce

10 min read

If you’re looking for the best ecommerce platform to host your company’s online store, you’re definitely not alone. Choosing the right platform is no small decision, nor is it easy. There’s a lot of things to consider, from layout to price. Squarespace and WordPress are both powerhouses in the age of digital marketing, both making the top five list (CMS) as of 2022, with WordPress coming in at first place.

CMS technologies Web Usage Distribution on the Entire Internet

Distribution for websites using CMS technologies. Data source.

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The Brief History of WordPress

If you’re anything like us, you remember when WordPress started back in 2003. Back then, they were marketed as a blog website. If you remember that, you’re a dinosaur like us. However, it is no longer strictly a blog website! It is now a multi-purpose CMS that powers more than 45% of all websites, not just blogs.

WordPress- market-share

WordPress Yearly Market Share 2010–2022 (Sources: W3techs)

The Brief History of Squarespace

Squarespace market share: 4%

Websites in the world: 2.9+ mln

Squarespace launched back in 2004, one year after the birth of WordPress. Created in the dorms of the University of Maryland, Squarespace started as a sort of “do it yourself” drag and drop website. It saw major growth after its initial launch, even being able to secure Super Bowl advertising spots from 2014 to 2018. Fun fact, Squarespace’s 2017 commercial won an Emmy for Outstanding Commercial.

Squarespace-market-share

Squarespace Yearly Market Share 2011–2022 (Sources: W3techs)

There ya have it, a brief history of Squarespace you can drop at your next dinner party!

WordPress vs. Squarespace Round One: Cost

Let’s break down the major pros and cons of each of these platforms. First, money. Cost is a major factor when considering which ecommerce platform is the best fit for your website.

Squarespace is a paid service; but, to their benefit, their pricing is extremely straightforward and easy to understand. They do not offer a free plan. However, they do offer a free 14-day trial. After the 14 days, should you choose to continue with a paid plan, each premium plan comes with a custom domain (which is free for one year), an SSL security certificate, unlimited bandwidth and storage, 24/7 customer support, and basic website metrics. There are different plans you can pay for: personal, business, basic commerce, and advanced commerce. These all come with different advantages best suited for different sizes of business.

WordPress, on the other hand, is free. However, you will likely still run into costs associated with running an ecommerce website. It’s important to consider the pricing of things such as hosting, choosing a web domain, themes, plugins, and development. However, because WordPress is so heavily reliant on third-party plugins, there is a very solid chance you will not have to pay for the development (and many plugins on WordPress are free).

Who do you think the winner is? To us, it all depends on how you play your cards. Regardless, we think the winner is WordPress due to their plugin options—as we think it will give you more value for your money.

Squarespace vs. WordPress Round Two: Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important way to get your business out in the web-o-verse. Search engine optimization doesn’t take a long time to learn. However, there are tools to help you better optimize your business.

Both Squarespace and WordPress come with built-in SEO tools. However, they both offer different things. Squarespace offers meta title and description customization, custom URLs, alt text editing abilities for photos on your website, page redirects, and automatic sitemaps. WordPress, on the other hand, is a bit more customizable due to their plugin capabilities (Yoast is a very popular plugin to use).

After going head-to-head, who do you think the winner is? We’re considering round two a tie; both Squarespace and WordPress offer equally awesome (but very different) capabilities.

Squarespace vs. WordPress Round Three: Mobile Experience

Around a decade ago, the norm was to have a cell phone for texting and calling, and having some way to access the Internet at your house, whether it was through a laptop or a desktop. Nowadays, most of us use our phones for everything from calling our best friends to browsing for groceries. Because of this cultural shift, it’s become almost a necessity that ecommerce sites provide us with smooth mobile experiences.

Thankfully, both SquareSpace and WordPress offer mobile apps for store owners! However, their capabilities vary greatly. SquareSpace’s mobile app offers a vast array of capabilities. Their app allows you to edit your brand’s website on the go, add new images, and even write and edit blog posts! Their app also allows you to view your website’s analytics. WordPress’ mobile app is sufficient; however, when compared to SquareSpace, it doesn’t really hold up. WordPress offers blog writing and editing, lists new products, processes orders, and watches your real-time analytics. However, due to layout, their app is best for editing and maintaining a blog while on the go.

After finishing the third round, we have to say that Squarespace takes the battle. Their store maintenance capabilities are better for the ecommerce action, in our humble opinion.

Squarespace vs. WordPress Final Round: Overall Ecommerce Experience

For our fourth and final round, our heavyweight champions will be going head to head for the title of Ecwid’s Pick for Best Ecommerce Site. Who will win? The anticipation must be killing you, so we’ll get right to the point.

Reflect on the packages we discussed earlier for Squarespace. From the business plan and onward, you will have access to amazing sales tools. You are able to choose from a number of excellently designed store templates. Other amenities include a user-friendly shopping cart experience with multiple ways to pay, no transaction fees, access to automatic abandoned cart recovery emails, gift cards, discount codes, built-in tax tools, the ability to imbed media, product catalogs, inventory management, scheduling, and shipping options.

Squarespace also allows for a range of monetization options. WordPress, on the other hand, has no built-in ecommerce capabilities. Instead, the user relies on plugins such as Ecwid. Ecwid allows you to sell your products, subscriptions, or merch. They make it possible to operate your store right from your dashboard. The best part is, a lot of plugins (including Ecwid) are free!

Our winner for the final round is WordPress. WordPress does not put a limit on ways to pay, whereas users of Squarespace are limited to Stripe, PayPal, and Square. So, while it may be ok for a small store, it doesn’t allow for growth the way WordPress (with Ecwid) does.

Pros of Squarespace

Squarespace comes with many distinct advantages. Their editor is easy to use, and they offer a plethora of built-in features and gorgeous templates to make your shop aesthetically appealing. They give you access to unlimited storage and bandwidth, and they offer easy-to-understand, transparent pricing. Finally, Squarespace offers wonderful image editing and you will not have to worry about security updates.

Pros of WordPress

WordPress offers very flexible CMS for any size website and store. Their basic framework is free to download and run, and you have complete control over what you spend your money on. They have a massive support network; you can switch themes whenever you want; and, when you use plugins such as Ecwid, you have access to powerful ecommerce websites.

FAQs

Is Squarespace free?

No, Squarespace is not free. However, they do offer a 14-day free trial and transparent pricing options.

Is WordPress safe?

Yes, WordPress is safe. They have good security practices and measures.

Overall

Overall, we consider WordPress to be the better fit for those who want maximum customization for their websites.

With their expansive amount of plugins, they simply offer more than Squarespace can. If you feel confident with your abilities to design and customize without a lot of experience, WordPress is the best way to go. However, if you are looking for ease of use without having to worry about much, you may want to go with Squarespace.

Do you want to learn more about selling online with Squarespace?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

Ecommerce that has your back

So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
I’m so impressed I’ve recommended it to my website clients and am now using it for my own store along with four others for which I webmaster. Beautiful coding, excellent top-notch support, great documentation, fantastic how-to videos. Thank you so much Ecwid, you rock!
I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

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