A lot of blog writers have been offering opinions regarding Squarespace vs WordPress, something that I think is a bit of bad advice. In my opinion, these two Content Management Systems should not be compared, as they really operate in very different capacities. And based on my experience here at Suits & Sandals, there are definitely good uses for both.
You might find it odd for a company that specializes in modern web design to be recommending Squarespace. And it is. But I personally believe there is a time and place for everything - including WYSIWYG built websites. As with any web technology, there are limitations to Squarespace (in this case lots, but we'll get into that). But there are also merits, and certain businesses can be successful with a Squarespace website (at least for a short time).
- Squarespace puts out pretty decent code. Most WYSIWYG editors put out fat code. And as with most things overweight, it tends to run pretty slow.
- The template designs aren’t half bad...
- ...BUT lots of people use the default templates, which are easily recognizable and can be a turnoff to many users.
- Squarespace isn’t scalable for most businesses - there are too many limitations to technology, the CMS functionality and UX/UI
- It has inaccurate traffic analytics - we've compared the analytics data from Squarespace with Google Analytics on the same website and Squarespace's data was both very limited and wildly inaccurate.
- Limited control over web performance - want to make sure your website loads lightning fast? Well, Squarespace makes that pretty difficult (especially if you include a lot of large images on your site, or have other embedded media)
- Perfectly fine for small businesses with a very tight budget. Especially if you just need a simple portfolio of work.
- Great for proof of concept for new businesses. If you're looking to have something clean, simple, and just get a web presence out there until you're ready to build out a full website, this is the perfect move.
- An extremely robust CMS platform BUT
- way more work than it’s worth to try building a WordPress site without in depth knowledge of PHP.
- Lots of pre-made templates to choose from BUT
- often cumbersome and time consuming to set up and customize - plus there's almost always lots of limitations in functionality.
WordPress is an extremely powerful tool for managing content, especially when customized by excellent developers (eg. Zack Brady, our Director of Technology and WordPress hacker extraordinaire). That’s why I recommend working with a digital agency with CMS customization experience if you’re thinking about building a WordPress website.
What Matters Most
Regardless of which CMS you use, it is extremely important to remember that, at the end of the day, what matters most is the content. Without a content strategy that will effectively deliver the right message to the user, and a search marketing strategy that will help new users find that content, any website is basically just going to lay dormant.
So if you’re interested in getting started with a digital presence for your business, devoting your budget to working with an agency to build brand awareness through SEO and content strategies is a smart move. When the revenue starts coming in and your business is ready to scale up, that’s the perfect time to move to a more robust CMS like WordPress and have the website professionally designed and developed.
If you’re thinking of getting started with either a Squarespace or WordPress website, give us a shout! We’re available to help with everything from digital marketing consulting to a full CMS development build out. Either call us at 914-215-1587 or contact us here. Your web presence will thank you.