Y'all, this comes up A LOT and I promise you that every developer worth their weight in gold would have the same opinion that I do and that's that WordPress will ALWAYS trump Squarespace.
After you read this post, here are some actionable steps you can take right now to build your own website with WordPress.
HOW IS YOUR SITE BUILT/HOSTED?
If you’re using Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, Shopify, GoDaddy builder, etc, you’re doing your business a disservice by not making the most of your website. I whole-heartedly recommend using WordPress + being Self-hosted for SO many reasons and I don’t recommend this so you’ll hire me to design it for you, I recommend it because it’s just better and safer. You can totally use a pre-made theme to help you out if you’re not ready for a designer (although I do understand it’s more complicated/techy than the drag and drop editors).
Here’s why self-hosted (WordPress software) will always trump drag and drop editor builders or DIY options:
• Full control of what your site does and how it works. With WP you (or your designer/developer) can make it do ANYTHING you want it to do. You want testimonials, a store, a membership community and you want to allow others to create accounts? Totally doable on WordPress, not on the other sites though.
• You own all of your content. Guys, this SHOULD make every business owner run far far away from builder sites (but it doesn’t), you DO NOT own your content when you build your site on a platform like Squarespace or any of the others I listed above. You cannot access your code files, you can’t get to your main files that make your site run, you can’t back anything up and keep it. With WordPress, you have access to every single file that makes your site run, you can back everything up (down to the design and content) in case of any future issues and you OWN your content. I’m going to elaborate even more here because it’s SO VERY important; if Squarespace had a glitch (or shut down), they could lose years worth of your photos and/or blog posts and content and have NO WAY to get it back up, they’d say “sorry” and go on about their way because you agree to that possibility when you sign up. If your host has a glitch and/or shuts down, so what, with WordPress/self-hosted, you’ve (hopefully) got a backup fi le sitting on your desktop that can be uploaded to a new host and have your site and all of your content back up in a matter of minutes.
• The Design is better. This is coming from a designer, you can just design so much better and with much more precision and freedom with WordPress. I build all of my sites from scratch, so there’s no template or premade yucky to deal with.
• Your site looks different. Alright, this sort of plays on the last point but when you use any of the builder sites to DIY your site, you are using a template that thousands of other people have/are going to use so your site will, more than likely, look alot like everybody else’s. With WP, this doesn't have to be the case, you can use a premade template and have THOUSANDS to choose from (instead of the few that Squarespace has to offer) OR you can have a designer build a completely custom site for you.
• Cost. I am actually amazed at the people who choose to spend $8-20/month on a builder site like Squarespace, what?!? WordPress is free, the only fee you HAVE to have is for your hosting account (which is usually around $6/month). Even if you pay a designer to design your site, you’re still not stuck with a monthly bill to run your site. So, in essence, you’re paying a higher price point for a website that’s going to A) Look like everybody else’s, B) Not be able to do anything above making a sale of a basic product and adding content and C) is NOT owned by you!
I’m going to reiterate a bit by quoting something directly from Pretty Cute Designs, because Lindsay said it really well and I often refer people to her blog post instead of rewriting it because she’s spot on:
“You won’t see CNN, People magazine, The New York Times or any Fortune 500 companies currently using WP switching to SquareSpace anytime soon. Because, you do not own your SquareSpace website. Remember when Facebook was ad free? And you had control over what you saw in your news feed? One day they decided to change that, and you couldn’t do a darn thing about it because you do not own your Facebook. Think about that. Bonus Point: Who wants to rent and have to ask permission to paint the walls, when you could own and remodel your kitchen for free? You’re never limited with WordPress. If you decide you want to completely transform your site one day, you have millions of WordPress themes in every price point (including, some for free.) online to search through instead of the limited amount SquareSpace has to choose from.”
If you want to watch the video that goes with this content, here ya go!