Squarespace

Content Management System

Updated September 21, 2017

7 updates


SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

22/25

Cost

22/25

Differentiation

15/25

Effectiveness

8/25

Pros

  • Easy way to quickly build a website
  • No need for a developer
  • Clean design and templates

Cons

  • Without a developer there is limited customization
  • No easy way to integrate donation collection
  • Does not have the WordPress community

Squarespace is a website building tool for the non-developer who has an eye for design. Over the past few years, Squarespace has become the go to service for individuals looking for a quick and easy way to launch a website that looks pretty, with an easy to use backend and professional looking templates. Without a strong developer community, Squarespace does suffer from a lack of customization.

WordPress vs. Squarespace

Both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses. Fundamentally, these boil down to different product philosophies. Squarespace believes in top-down control and an emphasis on seamless design and integration. WordPress believes in the power of the crowd.

From this starting place, WordPress has a massive amount customization and plugins. Its developer community is vast. Due to its massive reach, WordPress is considered the market leader for blogging and content management.

Despite a much smaller reach, SquareSpace is objectively easier to use with a dedicated support team. WordPress has a steep learning curve as its admin interface is infamously complex. As well, the open-source plugin community is “buyer beware” and its form of customer service is self-help.

Pricing

Squarespace is a self-serve solution that is completely managed in-house, while WordPress is an open-source technology (it requires hosting on a third-party service). Compared to WordPress, Squarespace is theoretically cheaper because of its limited customization options and a closed environment (third party plugins for WordPress can run up a bill). Squarespace has four premium plans ranging in price from $12 to $40 a month. The cost of a WordPress site varies dramatically based upon custom development costs.

Made for blogs, not campaigns

As a “one size fits all” website building tool, Squarespace does lack in a few key areas for campaigns and advocacy organizations. While it does have the ability to create a form for email collection, it lacks the flexibility and opportunity to optimize these activities. In addition, Squarespace does not have an easy way to accept donations. These limitations make Squarespace a less attractive option for political and advocacy groups.

Short-term alternative

We recommend Squarespace for organizations looking for a fast and cheap way to host information online who are design savvy and don’t like WordPress. While not a permanent solution and having a much smaller developer community than WordPress, Squarespace can be a short-term alternative to having a more robust online presence. If a major objective of your organization is to build an audience and fundraise from the audience, Squarespace may not be the right fit.


Screenshots

SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

22/25

Cost

22/25

Differentiation

15/25

Effectiveness

8/25

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