When putting together the website for your business, there’s a lot to consider. You want to make sure your site is aesthetically pleasing and that the content is well written, so that it will represent your company well. You also want your site to be structured in such a way that it is both easy for visitors to navigate and easy for search engine crawlers to read. And, of course, you want to make sure you’ve optimized your site with the right SEO keywords so that when the crawlers do read it, they will understand what it’s about and position it accordingly in the search results.
Before you worry about any of that, though, your first concern is: where are you going to build your site? There are a lot of great website development services out there, and in this article we’ll look at two of the most popular: WordPress and SquareSpace. Which is right for you?
The first difference setting these two platforms apart is associated costs. A SquareSpace account costs anywhere from $12-$40 per month, depending on how many of the site’s features you register for. WordPress accounts, on the other hand, run between $4-$25 per month. Not only that, WordPress offers the option of a free account (albeit with only a few of the service’s main features). SquareSpace does not offer this option.
Ease of Use
SquareSpace is the much more user friendly option, featuring a what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editing structure and a drag and drop tool that allows site builders to quite literally construct their page out of the desired elements. Unless you know how to code, WordPress will be more of a challenge. Third party plug-ins can ease your way, but you will have to research and install those plug-ins on your own—they’re not part of the service. So if coding isn’t something you’re comfortable with, you may find yourself out of your depth.
The features of SquareSpace are many, and they are useful. However, you are going to find yourself limited if you use SquareSpace to build your site. For some people, this is fine. Many business owners don’t have a clear vision of what they want their site to look like—they just want something reasonable and functional. SquareSpace will work just fine for that.
But when it comes to realizing vision, WordPress is the clear way to go. If you have in your imagination a picture of what your website should look like, and if you know how to code or have a coder at your disposal, you will be able to achieve your vision on WordPress. Where SquareSpace limits users to certain templates and building blocks, WordPress is an open sandbox for those who can code.
As you incorporate SEO elements onto your page, you’ll be looking for certain familiar terms like “alt tags” and “meta data.” If you are not familiar with these elements, it’s a good idea to seek out an SEO specialist, like the team at Firestarter SEO, to help you incorporate them into your site.
In its attempt to be user friendly, SquareSpace overshoots the mark a little and refers to these terms by different names. It also lacks a valuable tool WordPress has: access to SEO plugins like Yoast that can help asses your page’s current SEO quality and even suggest improvements that you might make.
In the end, you have to choose the best service for you based on your unique needs. No matter what you select, it’s a good idea to have as much information at your disposal as possible before you begin building your website.