You have decided you are done with Blogger, Blogspot or WordPress.com and want a blog with your own domain, and you are now trying to figure out your options. Sounds about right? Then you have come to the right space.
To have your own blog with a domain such as “www.yourname.com” you have two options. Either you go with an all-in-one like SquareSpace or you get a self-hosted WordPress.org blog.
I am going to try and narrow down the advantages and disadvantages with each of the CMS platforms for you.
Squarespace vs WordPress Website Pricing in india
Let’s start with the most important when it comes to deciding which platform to use; the cost. This plays a huge part in the decision making. Don’t sweat it though, having your own website will cost you less a month than going to the movie, or eating out.
Squarespace Pricing in india
Squarespace has four different plans, a standard, an unlimited, Business and an Advanced.
- Standard – $12/mo
- unlimited – $18/mo
- Business – $26/mo
- Advanced – $40/mo
For most people looking to make a personal blog the Standard plan will be enough. It gives you Unlimited bandwidth and storage. You can have 2 contributors (different logins) and a free domain name is included!
The unlimited plan is for those who are moving an already successful blog with a lot of traffic or feel they need a lot of space.You can always jump between plans, so if you start with a Standard and feel it is not enough you can always upgrade.
Business is for making a shopping cart to sell items.
Remember, SquareSpace is an all-in-one service – there won’t be any additional charges for themes or plugins. They have all their themes available for you at no cost and you can switch whenever you want.
If you want a cheaper monthly price you can get another 10% off any bi-annual plan with the coupon code but you need to findout at the time of purchase.
To sum up your yearly cost:
Yearly cost for platform: $12 x 12 = $144
Yearly cost for hosting: $0(included)
Yearly cost for domain: $0 (included)
Total yearly cost: $144
Hosting on WordPress Pricing in india
You might have heard people say: “Just go with WordPress, it’s free.”That is a truth with modifications. Yes, the CMS platform itself is 100% GPL open source and free, but you still need to pay for other things.I have many different WordPress blogs and websites and I have always used Siteground. Siteground run about $3.95/mo on average. Your domain name is not included so that will run you an additional $10. Additionally, if you want to compete with SquareSpace you will have to purchase a nicer theme. The prices vary, but at least $30. I like U-design theme, which costs $55, for instance. You might pay for some plugins, but I am not going to take that into consideration as it is optional and very individual.So lets just sum up the yearly cost, without adding in the $30 for a theme which is a one-time fee.
To sum up your yearly cost:
Yearly cost for platform: $0 (Free open source)
Yearlo cost for hosting: $48
Yearly cost for domain: $10
Total yearly cost: $58
When purchasing something, the second most important thing after price is what you are actually getting for your money. I call this performance. When making a website, things like load-times and up-time are important. It is also important to have a real person to give you a hand when you need it, instead of endless hours on Google. Let’s have a look.
Squarespace Hosting Speed
Squarespace hosting network has been the same since 2004. It’s very solid and can handle large amounts of traffic. They boast a 99.98% uptime. And since you are a paying customer and their best way to keep you as a customer is to make you happy they deliver.
- Page Load Times
I tested a regular blog with a tool at Google Speed Test. The server responded quickly and loaded content quickly.
They have an amazingly fast ticketing system – 30 minutes, 24 hours a day. Submit a ticket and 30 minutes later you will have a response.
Here are a few of the ways you have support:
- Support Ticket System
- Live Chat
- Knowledge Base Articles
- Support Forum
- Live Workshops
This is the best part – you don’t have to worry at all about maintenance and upgrades. The little SquareSpace-fairies do it all while you’re asleep.
Squarespace has been the same hosting network for their own site since 2004. It’s very robust and can handle any amount of traffic thrown at it. They boast a 99.98% up-time, and I’m pretty sure that’s what they deliver.
Wordpress Hosting Speed
HostGator is pretty solid, and you usually don’t notice when they work, but I have had my websites down a few times due to maintenance. They offer a money back guarantee with their claim of 99.9% up-time, which it is pretty good.
- Page Load Times
I tested a regular blog with the same tool from Google Speed Test. The pages took a little longer to load, slightly worse than SquareSpace, but not bad.
You will have support for your host, but there will be no guaranteed support for WordPress. There are forums, but most questions remain unanswered. Chances are you will have the same problem as someone else and you can find the answer to their question. If not, well, then you are on your own.
This is the scary part about WordPress. There are constantly new updates, versions and patches and it is up to you to make sure you install them. It is not all that hard to do from the interface, but they do ask you to back up your database before, in case things get all egg shaped. As a beginner I always dreaded updating because my plugins would be outdated or my theme would get screwed up. But if you don’t upgrade there are usually security risks.
Design is incredibly important when it comes to making a website or a blog. A lot of people have a hard time reading cluttered or unpleasant looking blogs, I am one of them. A well designed blog or website with a nice layout keeps me coming back for more. Out of the blogs I decide to visit daily, almost all of them are pleasant to the eye. You can get far with good content, but when i see a well maintained blog i know it is someone who takes care of their blog and it’s content.
Squarespace Design and Templates
At the time of this post, Squarespace offers 23 different themes created by their award-winning team of designers. They are simple and beautiful and highly customizable. They are grouped into photography, business, illustration and blogging. All themes are free and you can change your layouts whenever you want.It is easy to customize through their revolutionary LayoutEngine. Just drag-and-drop text, images or blocks that you want to use on each page.You also have Aviary – A neat photo editor that allows you to make adjustments to photos after you upload them to your site. You can apply filters, crop, sharpen or remove blemishes or red-eye.I have a personal blog with around 400 visitors a day and 40% of them read my blog on a mobile device. Thankfully, all the SquareSpace templates are optimized for mobile.
Wordpress Design and Templates
This is where WordPress has the upper hand. There are gazillions of free templates and themes out there. Most of them are crap or outdated, but there are some true gems.If you are willing to pay there are thousands of nice premium themes. You can turn your WordPress blog into almost anything, whether it is a web-shop or a newspaper, as long as you are willing to pay for the themes and plugins to do so.
Squarespace User Interface
The look and easy-of-use of the interface will determine how often you blog or update your page.
The usability of the Squarespace editor is amazing. You can create stunning galleries, blogs and web pages very easily. It does not take much to get used to their user-friendly and elegant interface. SquareSpace provides you with a nice collection of tutorials, videos and workshops on their site.
You will be up and running in no-time.
There are apps for you to post from your mobile device (phone or tablet).
Wordpress User Interface
WordPress interface is pretty decent too, but not as elegant as SquareSpace. With WordPress you have the ability to install and modify everything you want on your blog. You can go deep into your PHP files and modify a specific line of code. But if you do not know a 100% what you are doing, you could also screw up and lose access to your blog. WordPress also has apps for your to post form your mobile device.
To be able to improve your website it is very important to know more about your visitors. Without Google Analytics I would not know that 40% of my readers are on Mobile devices, for instance. With such a high number it is important to make it appealing to read on a cell phone or pad. You want to know where they are coming from, what they are searching for, etc.
SquareSpace Traffic statistics
With Squarespace, you have your own elegant built-in Traffic dashboard similar to JetPack. But you can also add your Google Analytics code to have detailed information.
Wordpress Traffic statistics
With WordPress you can add any traffic statistics codes you want (i.e. Google Analytics, my favorite, Quantcast, Alexa, etc.)Just add a plugin that manages all of your codes and you’re done.
Squarespace Advertisement and Banners
Some of us blog for fun, but most of the people who are looking to invest a little bit of money in their own website/blog with their own domain probably have some kind of monetary interest in it. Quite a few of us have banners or ads to earn a little bit of extra income.
With Squarespace you can easily add banners and even Adsense code to your blog via 3 options:
- Sidebar Widget (Same as WordPress)
- Content (using a SquareSpace form)
- Design (You modify your website’s design to add a banner)
As long as you can add links and images you are set to add banners, because that is all they are. An <img>-tag with a <a href>-tag around it.
Wordpress Advertisement and Banners
With WordPress, you can add plugins to take care of your banners or just add them manually. You have the same options:
- Sidebar Widget
Squarespace is very SEO-friendly. It’s built on valid XHTML code. You have control over your page titles, alt tags and article links.Squarespace will suit all but the most hardcore SEOs.
WordPress: Very optimized. It was design with SEO in mind. Everything from XHTML markup to optimized URL’s to meta information. You can get themes and plugins to make it even better.
Summary and Conclusion
There are a lot of draws here, and I still think both platforms are great.
The bottom line is…
- Chose Squarespace if you are fairly new to designing your own website and you want good quality support and are not planning to make anything out of the ordinary with your website.
- Chose WordPress if you feel you have great technical and design skills, have spare time and see it as fun and challenging to develop your own site.