Squarespace vs. Wordpress: Which Platform is Best for Your Wellness Business? Part II
This is Part II of our series on Squarespace vs. WordPress. We recommend that you start with Part I here.
If you are new to online business, one of the first choices you will need to make is choosing a platform for your new website. You have a few choices - the two most popular options being Squarespace and Wordpress.
Last week we covered the basics of which platform works for you based on your business needs and knowledge of technology. This week, we are discussing the most common questions posed when choosing between the two platforms.
1. What is the cost?
Squarespace: Squarespace hosting plans start at $12/month annually and go up from there (based on additional features such as unlimited pages, ecommerce, and more). The monthly fee includes your website template and hosting. Most wellness businesses can operate with ease at the $12/month plan.
WordPress: WordPress itself is free, but you will need to pay for hosting (as well as a premium theme and some plugins) which ranges from $4/month up to $99/month depending on the hosting provider you choose. Some hosts allow for multiple sites to be hosted within an account at little to no additional cost. (By the way, we always recommend WordPress.org NOT WordPress.com for the same reasons articulated here.)
2. Which platform is easier to set up?
Squarespace: Hands down, Squarespace. If you have your branding in place, you can have your wellness site up and running within a day. Seriously.
WordPress: If you are a bit more techie, and are already familiar with the WordPress platform, you could possibly have your site up and running within a day, but more likely than not, it will take more than a day. There is a little bit more of a learning curve, installing various plugins, learning the way around a new theme and testing out the mobile responsiveness of your site.
3. I’m a stickler for design, which platform will make my site look better?
The answer is both.
Squarespace: Squarespace offers beautifully designed templates that work across multiple wellness industries such as yoga, fitness, coaching, and more.
WordPress: There are literally thousands of themes to choose from (free and premium) for wellness professionals. From Divi, to Genesis, to X theme and more. The most important thing to look for when choosing a theme for your WordPress site is to make certain that the theme developer has an active support group.
4. Can I customize the design/layout of my site without knowing how to code?
Squarespace: Yes. You can customize your site without knowing any code at all.
WordPress: This depends on the theme that you have chosen to use for your site. Many themes will require some knowledge of coding to fully customize. If your knowledge of code is limited to none, consider using a theme like Divi or X Theme that offer pre-designed site layouts as part of the purchase.
5. Which platform is better at SEO?
Contrary to many internet debates, BOTH platforms perform well in terms of SEO. Search Engine Optimization really comes down to website content, inbound links, social shares, page load time, etc.
6. What about security? I have heard horror stories of sites getting hacked.
Squarespace: With Squarespace, your site is always safe. I have never heard of a Squarespace site being hacked. The platform is a controlled hosting environment aka “not open source”.
WordPress: You need to be on top of maintaining your site with platform updates, theme upgrades, and plugin updates, etc. And still, your site could be hacked. I don’t say this to alarm you but to inform you. You are responsible for keeping your site safe and secure. You can manage these maintenance issues on your own or you can hire someone to inexpensively handle the task for you.
7. What are plugins and do I need them for both platforms?
Plugins are add-ons or additions to a site that improve functionality. Plugins offered range from social media, to contact forms, to SEO, to security and more. The list is endless.
Squarespace: You do not need plugins to improve the functionality of a Squarespace site.
WordPress: Yes, you will need to use various plugins on your Wordpress site to improve functionality and security. Most plugins offer a free version and a premium version and they can actually be kind of fun to play around with!
As you can see, each platform has its advantages, based on what your needs are for your wellness business. And don’t worry if you are concerned that you may choose the wrong platform...You can always switch platforms later!