Squarespace

Content Management System


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.

Our Rating

Scored out of 100

67

SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

22/25

Cost

22/25

Differentiation

15/25

Effectiveness

8/25

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