Having an eCommerce website without the right CMS can greatly hinder your business operations. The competition is already sky-high in the eCommerce market, meaning that online entrepreneurs who don’t have an efficient and easy-to-use content management system will be forced to rely on third-party developers or agencies to do the heavy lifting, costing your company valuable time and money.
The answer is simple: you need to use the best CMS for eCommerce.
A CMS lets you control and manage virtually all aspects of your website, including writing copy for pages, blogging, analytics, content management and everything else in between. There are many CMS platforms available but two of the most popular CMS for eCommerce are Squarespace and WordPress. Both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages to consider.
What is the best CMS for eCommerce?
You shouldn’t just pick one of the top CMS platforms for eCommerce unless you first understand your business requirements. Before selecting a CMS platform, evaluate if it will fulfill all your eCommerce business needs. Let’s take a closer look at two of the most popular CMS for eCommerce, Squarespace and WordPress, to see which one of them is the best CMS for eCommerce for your own online store.
Squarespace vs WordPress for eCommerce
Squarespace and WordPress are the two top CMS platforms for eCommerce. Each has their own distinct strengths and weaknesses that can impact how your website operates and is seen by potential customers.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is simple and quick to set up and it also allows you to control virtually all aspects of your site. From template creation to domain names to posting new content on your website, Squarespace does it all. All it takes is signing up and following some simple instructions to get your website online.
There are currently two different versions of Squarespace, one is the standard version designed for users with little to no development and technical knowledge and the second is the developer's version, aimed at web developers and more tech-savvy users. In the developer's version, you can work with the source code to allow for greater control over the website’s features.
Advantages and disadvantages of Squarespace
- Using Squarespace is very simple to use and doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge. The CMS guides the user through the setup process quickly and intuitively, making it ideal for users with limited technical and coding knowledge who are simply looking to establish a basic website quickly.
- The templates are professionally-designed and look stylish and beautiful.
- Adding shopping and payment options is very easy as well. You can add mailing lists product pages and payment options with just a few simple clicks.
- Squarespace has limited customization options for templates. Though very pleasing aesthetically, additional images are needed to make your site truly unique.
- Squarespace, in perhaps its biggest drawback, doesn’t have PayPal support.
Squarespace offers two kinds of categories: one is for websites and the other is for web stores. The website has two plans, one for personal users and the other for business.
The personal website plan costs $12 per month if billed annually and $16 if billed monthly. Similarly, the business plan costs $18 per month if billed annually and $26 if billed monthly.
The web store option has two plans as well, with the Basic plan costing $26 per month if billed annually and $30 if billed monthly. The Advanced plan costs $40 per month if billed annually and $46 if billed monthly.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source CMS platform which is free to use. Established in May 2003, it’s based on PHP and MySql and is more popular for blogging and creating online stores but can be used for other forms of web content. WordPress is currently the most popular content management system and being open-source, many features are added from time to time by developers.
WordPress Advantages and Disadvantages
- Users can access a virtually unlimited number of templates and designs for their websites. Templates for every business are available in a wide variety of designs.
- WordPress sites offer perhaps the most extensive customization options of any major CMS platform currently available.
- WordPress gives you better control over your website than just about any other CMS, with a wide array of useful plug-ins being available at any time.
- Almost every kind of payment method can be integrated with WordPress, including PayPal, Bitcoin, Strip and Google Checkout.
- WordPress is generally not as simple to use compared to Squarespace and other CMS platforms, especially for users who aren’t especially tech-savvy. Setting up a WordPress website is a bit more complex than setting up a Squarespace site, as basic technical knowledge is needed.
- You’ll have to purchase your own hosting separately, as WordPress doesn’t allow for this.
Downloading and installing WordPress is free. You can also blog for free on WordPress but for a separate domain, payments are required.
Currently, there are five plans that WordPress offers, and all are charged on a monthly basis. Its Blogger plan costs $3 per month, Personal website plan costs $5 per month, Premium plan for websites costs $8 per month, Business website plan costs $25 per month and eCommerce plan costs $45 per month.
Squarespace vs WordPress: What is the best CMS for eCommerce?
Both are very good platforms and have their own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the best one for your largely depends on your own business plan and goals, though each should be compared carefully before a final decision is made.
- With Squarespace, you don’t have to worry about buying a hosting and domain name on your own, as one can be made available simply by signing up. For WordPress, though, you must buy a domain name separately.
- Another key difference between the two platforms is how they differ in the ability to customize users’ websites. Squarespace lets you make changes to the design and template, basic SEO settings and analytics. However, you can’t really control anything else beyond that, as there are no plug-ins for Squarespace.
- WordPress, on the other hand, is famous for its extensive and ever-growing plug-in library. It’s also an open-source CMS so most of the plug-ins are added by different developers using WordPress, allowing for extensive website customization.
- When it comes to eCommerce, WordPress is generally more flexible, making it easier to handle different aspects of an online business. Squarespace also offers good support but can’t match WordPress.
- Squarespace, notably, doesn’t support PayPal, which puts limitations on entrepreneurs looking to sell internationally.
- If you compare the cost of each platform for personal websites and blogs, WordPress gives you very affordable rates in contrast to Squarespace. The eCommerce and business plans are approximately the same, however.
- As far as hosting is concerned, you don’t have to worry about getting a domain name or hosting if you’re using Squarespace. Entrepreneurs using WordPress, however, will have to buy their domain name and hosting services on their own.
- Squarespace offers beautiful and professional template designs, though its variety of choices is considerably less than WordPress.
WordPress and Squarespace are two very popular CMS platforms that let you build your website and eCommerce store in a matter of minutes. Picking one of the two depends on the kind of website you want, how much your budget is and how much personal control you want over your website. Technical knowledge is another key consideration to keep in mind.
Ultimately, both Squarespace and WordPress offer a great degree of flexibility, professionalism and ease of use, making the decision largely dependent on your own personal eCommerce needs and goals.
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