The great CMS battle continues ...
We were recently asked by a prospect about our choices on platforms for content management. Our discussions reached a fork between two awesome systems, WordPress and Squarespace.
We often find ourselves comparing specific CMS features in terms of support, design examples available and ease of use/maintenance.
We do unashamedly use WordPress as our platform of choice here at Debunc, but also appreciate the nuances of each system. Ultimately the preference should be based on a solid business case:
- Is the developer/agency comfortable with the platform for initial build and future updates?
- Is the CMS interface easy for my content marketers to manage?
* I’ll declare from the outset – this article considers the stance of a business using a developer or agency to manage website design and build.
Keeping things secure
There are a number of advantages to using WordPress vs Squarespace, one being that you will not be on your own out there. Currently there are 24.2% of websites powered by WordPress.
With both systems, a number of security updates are released frequently to handle vulnerabilities and to expand and create additional features. As you can imagine though, with WordPress having such a large market share over Squarespace, there are more and more updates getting released, as there are a greater number of people to spot vulnerabilities. This making day by day, WordPress a very secure and safe Content Management System.
Where's my support?
The support base for both platforms varies hugely. With Squarespace you get a dedicated support channel which is provided by Squarespace. With WordPress you get an ocean of users who can share their knowledge from all around the world, adding to the flexibility.
With such a large user base, who are always keen to help each other out. The WordPress family is one of the most inviting. Almost every WordPress developer out there has had an issue at some point or another, the collaboration between the whole WordPress family and all the developers out there, always finds a fix to the issue at hand.
Are you tech-savvy?
One huge advantage to both WordPress and Squarespace is that their platforms are extremely easy to use for non-tech users. Creating simple content using a familiar WYSIWYG editor is considered best practice in many cases.
As an agency, we have our own thoughts on form-based vs WYSIWYG editing. We have developed a customised platform that marries the best of WordPress with a framework boasts Enterprise-ready features and a simpler content management approach when compared to other CMS’s.
So the conclusion is, if you are not really too techy and don’t have the desire to work with a creative agency, then Squarespace is definitely for you. Otherwise give WordPress a go and let your creative agency make it work for you.
Let's get creative
Now dependent on your creative requirements, either platform could work for you.
For quicker builds where an existing template may deliver the majority of your needs, then Squarespace makes an admirable choice.
If you’re looking for a more so customised design, then WordPress is your more than perfect partner. With absolute freedom over HTML markup and design, you have a layer of creative freedom that is hard to find.
We will make mention here, that to get a unique design with a user experience that works for your audience, you’d benefit from working with an experienced design team who can bring your business goals and ideas to life.
A killer feature set
Getting bang for your buck is a major requirement for many a company. It is often about who can pack in the most features – sometimes at the cost of feature quality.
Our experience in using Squarespace does show a large feature set of of the box. However in many cases, these features offer a lowest common denominator approach, as opposed to a best-in-class approach for blogging, e-commerce etc.
Whilst with WordPress there may be less unique features provided as standard, its framework is supported by a community of free and paid plugins to deliver enterprise ready functionality that engages and organises your site visitors. With an agency on board, the task of finding the right plugins to deliver value is simpler and more effective.
Being a great host
In many cases for clients, it doesn’t matter.
But it should…
A number of hosting providers are able to provide cheap solutions to serve a simple purpose. To host your site. However it is not as simple as this. There are many key features to a hosting provider. For example:
- daily backups
- support agreements
- installed hardware
Now with Squarespace, the hosting is all sorted out with you and you have no control at all. However with WordPress you have an open market of hosting providers and can install the platform on a server that best suits your needs.
Usually your digital agency will help you make a decision based on your needs that should offer the best in terms of speed, security, scalability and support.
Remember, you should always consider the total cost of ownership for your platform and site, not just the initial costs. Are you going to have high costs throughout the lifespan of your site for updates, new features and functionality?
It is fair to say that these are two popular and powerful platforms that can cover the majority of basic needs for businesses. Even so, make sure you spend the appropriate time mapping the features you envisage using in your site and investigate what is right for you both today and in the future.
Are you in the process of choosing the right CMS for your web project? Speak to our team for a no-obligation walkthrough of our enterprise framework. Used by the likes of 3M, The Keen Group, Parafix and more our suite of add-ons and extensions will empower your to build effective sites that engage users, track interactions and support your business strategy.