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Should You Move Your Site from Squarespace to WordPress?

If you’re looking to create a high-impact website that will bring you more traffic, you need a powerful website builder. And if you’re currently wondering whether you should move your site from Squarespace to WordPress, this blog is for you.

Both Squarespace and WordPress can help you create an eye-catching site that will help you attract and convert visitors. However, the platforms aren’t exactly the same.

When you’re considering website migration, there are a number of factors to take into consideration. In this review, we will outline some of the most important considerations, ensuring you can make a more informed decision.

Moving from Squarespace to WordPress – The Basics

Let’s look at some of the basic differences between these two platforms.

Squarespace Explained

Squarespace is a SaaS website builder that’s available at a monthly fee. This monthly fee includes everything you need to create and maintain your website, including hosting, templates, a domain and general support. There are also a number of extra features such as email marketing that users can take advantage of.

The builder was designed to be a code-free platform, which means you can create and edit a website without worrying about HTML or CSS.

WordPress Explained

WordPress is also a website builder but there are two different options. The hosted version of WordPress is very similar to Squarespace in the sense that you pay a monthly fee to build a website with specific features.

The self-hosted version of WordPress is open source, which means you have a lot more versatility when designing and maintaining a website. These kinds of modifications do require some coding knowledge though.

Squarespace vs WordPress – How They Compare

Users

In a nutshell, Squarespace is for anyone who has a creative eye and wants to build a site but doesn’t necessarily have any coding knowledge. It’s also for those who don’t have the time to learn to code.

This is not to say that WordPress requires you to be a coder by day either – it just has more of a learning curve given you can ultimately do far more with the system.

WordPress is one of the most popular and versatile website building platforms around today. Whether you just want to create a blog, build an online store, create a membership site, or even a full marketplace, WordPress is capable of doing all of this and more. WordPress still makes it easy to create a site, it just offers more options because it’s an open-source platform.

Ease of Use & Design

Most users need some time to get acquainted with how WordPress works but once you know your way around, making changes is not complex. To customise a WordPress site, you can choose from thousands of plugins. If you want to get very specific, you can make changes directly to the code. Plus, most WordPress themes come with drag-and-drop functionality, which makes building pages incredibly simple.

Squarespace also breaks content into blocks, which makes it very easy to construct each page for your site. You can also use apps to add functionality to your site – all apps are developed in-house. Unfortunately, customisation options are far more limited, which is one of the primary reasons why people choose to move over to WordPress.

Both platforms have a wide selection of templates available, so creating a beautiful site isn’t the issue. It’s more about what you want the site to offer visitors in terms of functionality. The more unique you want to be (which is essential when you’re competing with other brands online), the more you’re going to need to delve into the code of a site.

If you’re concerned about mobile-responsiveness, know that almost every WordPress and Squarespace template is mobile-friendly. Any template that isn’t shouldn’t be used in the first place.

eCommerce

Both Squarespace and WordPress make it possible to sell online. One of the ways that eCommerce differs between these two platforms though, is the cost.

If you’re choosing to sell on Squarespace, you need to be on their Business plan or higher. You will also be charged a small fee for every transaction. If you want to forgo the transaction fees, you’re going to need to pay more every month.

If you choose to sell on WordPress, WooCommerce is the way to go. Not only does this plugin give you everything you need to create and run an online store, but it’s absolutely free too. Since it’s completely customisable, it will look exactly like your brand.

The only time that you would attract any fees via WooCommerce is when you link your store to a payment gateway. There are several options available, each of which has different transaction fees.

As a side note, here’s what you consider when choosing eCommerce hosting.

Maintenance

Next, let’s look at what it takes to keep a website on each platform up and running. While Squarespace requires very little maintenance, it’s not updated as regularly as WordPress is.

If there’s one thing that WordPress does really well, it’s making sure that users are protected from bugs and hackers. They’re always making small and more advanced updates. If you are using a custom theme and several plugins, however, updates can get a little complicated. Problems can also arise if one of your plugins is outdated. Plugins that aren’t compatible with the latest version of WordPress can end up breaking your site.

Squarespace automatically pushes updates to your site, so there isn’t really anything you need to do on your end. You can also set WordPress to update automatically but it’s recommended that you install the updates manually. This way, you are aware of any bugs or functionality problems as they happen.

Updates aren’t difficult to implement but if you’re not tech-savvy, you can get a WordPress expert to assist you with monthly maintenance.

Content Ownership

When you spend time building and growing a website, you don’t want to lose ownership of your content.

Both Squarespace and WordPress website owners retain ownership of their content. Squarespace does have the right to store and reproduce your content though.

With this being said, even if you do set up a WordPress site, it’s important to look at your hosting provider’s content ownership policies.

Overall, Squarespace does impose more restrictions in terms of what you own if you choose to leave the platform. When it comes to WordPress, hosting providers are usually the ones that impose more restrictions. Basically you should have much more control over your content on a WordPress site than a Squarespace site.

Website Migration

Now, for the most important consideration – how easily can you move your site from Squarespace to WordPress.

While it’s not complicated to move your Squarespace site to WordPress, you may want to seek out assistance if you’re not familiar with the WordPress platform.

Once you’ve exported your Squarespace files, you will need to have WordPress installed before you can import your site.

The WordPress theme that you choose will make a difference to how seamlessly your website switches over. If your website templates are similar, your basic pages will look more or less the same but some adjustments will need to be made. Product and events pages may need some extra attention to get them looking like they should

Plugins can be used to simplify certain steps in this process, importing images being one of them. There are also several settings you will need to change to ensure your site is working correctly, changing the permalinks is an example.

The Verdict

If you want to increase your online exposure, both Squarespace and WordPress are good options. However, WordPress is a website building giant for a reason with over 35% of the Website marketplace compare to around 1% for Squarespace.

If you want more rights to your content and the ability to customise your site in ways that suit your brand, WordPress is definitely for you. It’s also the better choice if you want to build an online store – especially if you want to save on transaction fees and have more integration options.

With the right help and the willingness to get to know a new platform, you can build something truly amazing with WordPress.