Wordpress or Squarespace for your small business: Which platform should you choose?

Wordpress or Squarespace for your Small Business?

One of the questions our clients ask us at Delilah most often is which web platform they should use for their small business website, and why. We’ve summarized the pros and cons for you below, but we’d also like to provide a tl:dr version for you to cut right to the quick:

Use Squarespace if… You need a gorgeous, professional-looking website quickly, and have a simple business model where you don’t need custom functionality or tonnes of bells and whistles on your site.

Use Wordpress if… You have a more complex business model where you will need some degree of custom functionality, and if you want your website to be able to scale as you grow your business.

Pros of using Squarespace

  • Easy to set up something which looks like a professionally-build website quickly
  • Drag and drop interface – no coding required
  • No need to mess around with separate hosting or maintenance – it’s self-hosted
  • Gorgeous templates
  • Designed and best-suited for small businesses or simple business models
  • Particularly great for minimalistic, simple websites like blogs and portfolios
  • Free 24/7 support
  • Costs are predictable and you can factor them into your business plan
  • E-Commerce sites are supported out of the box (however you are limited in terms of only being able to accept Stripe payments). Check out which countries Stripe supports here

Cons of using Squarespace

  • You do not directly OWN your own website – you rely on Squarespace to keep going in order for your website to survive.
  • You can’t add third party apps or plugins
  • If you want an e-commerce site, you have to use Stripe to process payments
  • Your website is limited by what Squarespace provides in terms of tools and services
  • Not as many developers are skilled in building and customizing Squarespace sites.
  • Squarespace has made huge leaps and bounds in the past couple of years when it comes to improving SEO (and even gets the seal of approval from "King of SEO", Moz Founder, Rand Fishkin), but it still can't compete with a fully-optimized Wordpress site. That "fully-optimized" is the part we'd stress though - if you put the basic version of Wordpress against Squarespace, there might not be much to pick apart between them.

Pros of using Wordpress

  • Wordpress is an open source tool – you can use the software for free and fully own your site yourself. It is currently used by more than 70 million+ websites, so it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
  • There are a huge variety of free and paid Wordpress themes available
  • There are a large number of free and paid Wordpress plugins to add functionality to your site. New Wordpress plugins are continually being launched.
  • Wordpress can be infinitely tweaked and expanded upon to add different functionality as your business grows. It is endlessly flexible.
  • Wordpress is great for complex sites and business models.
  • Wordpress is awesome for content-based sites as the ability to optimize for SEO based on customizations to your site (as well as the great content you’ll be creating!) is very high.
  • You can create complex e-commerce sites via the integration of WooCommerce, Wordpress’s open-source e-commerce platform.

Cons of using Wordpress

  • Wordpress setup can be tricky and time-consuming for non-developers
  • A Wordpress site will need to be regularly maintained to update as Wordpress continually launches new versions, and to keep plugins updated. This really needs the support of an experienced Wordpress developer (like us!).
  • Some Wordpress plugins can be of poor quality, or only work optimally when you purchase their premium version, which adds unexpected costs to your bottom line.
  • If you let your Wordpress site get out of date, don’t maintain it properly, or use an untrustworthy developer, you can end up needing to rebuild again.
  • There is not much free support available for beginner users, and what there is (a massive support forum) can be confusing and outdated.
  • The costs of running a Wordpress site are less predictable if you don't pay for a hosting and maintenance package (at Delilah we offer a great hosting and maintenance package to allow you to budget properly). 
  • WooCommerce, Wordpress’s open source e-commerce platform usually requires the skills of a developer to integrate with your site.

At Delilah, we create beautiful, fabulously functional sites for startups and small businesses using both Wordpress and Squarespace, and can make an individual recommendation for which platform would be most suitable, based on your business model. Just drop us a line at hello@delilahcreative.com to find out what we’d recommend!