So you want– maybe to show off your portfolio while , to share information with wedding guests or to support your business (especially now that so many events have been postponed due to pandemic). The only problem is that you do not know where to start. List site building services WordPress.com and Squarespace, two solid options to quickly get you from an idea to a live website.
Both WordPress.com and Squarespace are web hosting platforms that provide you with tools and templates to create a personal website on your own domain without any coding experience. While the end results from each site may be the same, their user interface and pricing are very different.
Here̵7;s everything you need to know to determine if WordPress.com or Squarespace is the better website building platform for you.
If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, you’ve probably heard of Squarespace ads. It is an all-in-one hosting platform that differs from others in the market with its design flair, founder and CEO Anthony Casalena told CNET.
“We strive to create the most seamless overall experience within our platform,” said Casalena. “There is no software to upgrade or plug-ins to maintain. Everything you need – from domains to email marketing to e-commerce tools – is built into Squarespace.”
Squarespace makes it easy to integrate functionality for portfolios, blogs and trading websites into one package, instead of having to patch it up on your own, Casalena said. It also offers trading sites the opportunity to sell products online and in person with a sales system and sell services, accept donations and book appointments. Online businesses can also take advantage of third-party add-ons like QuickBooks Online.
Start building a Squarespace website with a 14-day free trial, no credit card required. You can skip any of these steps, but I found them helpful. First, search through the “what your site is about” options to find some ideas and examples, from a personal resume site to training to fitness. Then choose your main goals, such as selling products, marketing yourself or your company or having meetings. Then tell the site where you are in the process, such as “gather inspiration” or “grow an existing business.” From there, you will see several different templates available to get you started.
You get a short tutorial on how to create, edit and design pages. The interface is simple and easy to use – just click on an area of your site that you want to edit and do it right away. You can click on an icon to switch between the desktop version and a mobile preview of your site. Built-in SEO tools can help your website gain more traction in web searches.
Squarespace’s beautiful templates can be especially appealing to photographers and visual artists. Its affinity for style and its all-in-one platform are also very appealing to small business owners and entrepreneurs, as it saves them from having to hire a designer, consultant or e-commerce expert to create and run an attractive and functional website.
“Squarespace allowed me to get started without prior knowledge of development and create a professional website,” said Julia Goldstein, who runs JLFG Communications. “I can quickly and easily update content, add pages and more. The templates work seamlessly to create a consistent look and function. Features such as a mobile-friendly website and analytics are built into the platform and it integrates well with third-party apps. I spend not much time to find out how I can deal with site issues. ”
If you already have your own domain name (like YourName.com), you can transfer it to Squarespace, so that the same address is hosted on its platform.
Pay monthly or save money with an annual Squarespace subscription. Here’s how much a Squarespace site costs:
- Personal: $ 12 per month, billed annually at $ 144 (or $ 16 per month billed monthly)
- Business: $ 18 per month, billed annually at $ 216 (or $ 26 per month billed monthly)
- Commerce Basic: $ 26 per month, billed annually at $ 312 (or $ 30 per month billed monthly)
- Commerce Advanced: $ 40 per month, billed annually at $ 360 (or $ 46 per month, billed monthly)
WordPress is the world’s most popular open source web publishing platform and operates more than 35% of all websites on the internet, including websites for The Walt Disney Company, Quartz and Mercedes-Benz. It’s a little confusing, but WordPress.com is a hosted website building service built on WordPress. While WordPress requires you to buy a domain name through another website and do more practical work of creating your website, WordPress.com does everything for you – making it easier to work with, but more limited in functionality.
Create a free test website to test WordPress.com and choose the type of website you want to create: blog, business, professional or online store. I chose the professional category. Getting a basic version of the site was easy and only required a username, password, my name and the site name. You can then go to Design> Customize to do things like add a logo or widget (like audio, a Facebook plug-in, or a follow button).
WordPress.com is a little less intuitive than Squarespace, and it takes a bit of trial and error to figure out what you’re doing – although each section you click on includes a mini-tutorial to help. But you can play with it for free and upgrade to a paid account if you like the results. You can also see a preview of your site on your computer.
“The biggest thing we see with other website builders is that they can work well for a person in the short term, but because they are not open ecosystems like WordPress, people are quickly starting to feel limited or locked in when it comes to expanding or adapting based on their growing business needs, says Mark Armstrong, editor of WordPress.com’s parent company Automattic, to CNET. “WordPress has the single largest ecosystem of plug-ins, services and developers and designer expertise, working hand in hand with the software.”
To expand and customize your website, WordPress offers a number of plug-ins that attract users, including Yoast SEO (for SEO assistance), Jetpack by WordPress.com (for website security and performance management) and WPForms (for creating a contact form).
“Depending on your customer’s needs, WordPress can be highly customized with plug-ins and has a flexibility that simply cannot be matched with other template websites,” says Basil Larios, SEO content creator for Falcon Marketing. “When we encounter barriers with design, it’s usually because customers first build their websites on a template base. When they start to see growth and want to make more concrete changes, the template site becomes more restrictive than they originally expected.”
As with Squarespace, if you already have a domain name, you can upload it to WordPress.com, so that the same address is hosted on its platform.
You can create a basic website for free if you are okay with the domain being “YourSite.wordpress.com.” Or you can register a domain like “sitename.com” which you pay for.
Here’s how much a WordPress.com site costs:
- Personal (best for personal use): $ 4 per month, billed annually at $ 48 (includes custom domain name and 24-hour support)
- Premium (best for freelancers): $ 8 per month, billed annually at $ 9 (includes advanced design tools, custom CSS and Google Analytics support)
- Business (best for small businesses): $ 25 per month, billed annually at $ 300 (includes custom plug-ins and themes, 200 GB storage and live support)
- e-commerce (best for online stores): $ 45 per month, billed annually at $ 540 (includes a more powerful, flexible platform designed to grow as your business does)
As with almost any online platform, the best web design and hosting service for you depends on your individual needs. If you are a true beginner to creating a website and want a simple, intuitive platform with beautiful, sophisticated templates, I would recommend Squarespace. But if you have some experience creating websites under your belt and want a highly customizable platform, I would go with WordPress.com.
The good news is that you can try both WordPress.com and Squarespace for free to get a feel for what works best for you. With the free version of WordPress.com, you can create a workable website with a wordpress.com domain. With Squarespace, the free version of your site is set to private by default – while you can flip it live, it will be hidden from search engines and only available with URL.
Pricing between Squarespace and WordPress.com differs: The WordPress option for a personal website costs less ($ 48 per year for WordPress.com versus $ 144 per year for Squarespace), but its e-commerce option costs more ($ 540 per year for WordPress.com against $ 360 each year for Squarespace).