Several clients have asked our SEO team what the differences are between WordPress and Squarespace with regards to SEO.
Squarespace, along with many other drag and drop site builders such as Weebly and Wix have become extremely popular with business owners because they simplify the process of creating a professional-looking website. In many cases, this means that a developer will not even need to be hired when platforms like these are used.
When the time comes for optimising your company’s website for SEO, it’s important to know that Squarespace does have a few limitations regarding how you will be able to optimise your website content to rank as effectively as possible in Google. Some of the differences will be discussed below.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source and free publishing platform that is used to create websites. It has the ability to be easily customised to suit several applications, while also being a highly effective content management platform. In fact, if you have an idea for a website you’d like to design; you will be able to do so by using WordPress.
If you are just getting started with WordPress, there is a large number of free themes that can be used or alternatively, you can purchase a premium theme. If you cannot find anything you’re happy with, you can even hire a developer to design a custom theme for your business.
Depending on the theme you select for your WordPress site, some enable you to change or even customise specific features of the layout relatively easily. Some themes can be somewhat more technical to work with though. Several business owners are deterred from using WordPress because it has more of a learning curve than other platforms. However, if you’re willing to put in a little extra time and effort, you will reap substantial rewards SEO-wise.
What is Squarespace?
This is a subscription-based site builder that enables users to set up a website in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is drag and drop the content you want into it and you’re all set. Squarespace has become extremely popular with many business owners who simply cannot afford the cost of hiring a developer. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this platform can be relatively limiting, depending on just how much customisation you’re trying to achieve.
This platform is highly recommended by digital marketers as top notch when it comes to being able to optimise your company’s website for SEO purposes.
In most cases, WordPress has several SEO-related features that have already been incorporated into its platform. However, it may still be necessary to install some additional plugins such as Yoast SEO that will enable you to analyse your site’s on-page SEO and provide suggestions regarding areas where improvements can be made. With Yoast, it is also possible to compile custom meta descriptions and titles, generate sitemaps and therefore control how your website will be indexed and crawled by the various search engines.
Another distinct advantage that WordPress provides is that it provides you with far more control when it comes to page speed and overall website loading times. Squarespace users have to rely on shared hosting options, whereas WordPress users will always have the option to upgrade their sites to faster hosting providers or even dedicated servers.
WordPress users also have the ability to edit their site’s coding so that it is fully compliant with the Google PageSpeed recommendations. Although it is not impossible to get your site ranked with Squarespace, it is recommended that you work with WordPress to get the best possible results from your SEO campaigns. In fact, if your existing site is on Squarespace, we have an experienced team of developers who will be able to perform a seamless transition of it over to WordPress for you.
When signing up on Squarespace, you will be told that your site has already been SEO optimised. While this sounds fantastic in theory, it’s important to know what it actually means.
Squarespace states that their sites make use of clean HTML mark-up that enables pages to be easily indexed by Google as well as other search engines. Other features they boast include auto-generated sitemaps and an ability to customise descriptions and page titles. Their themes have also been optimised for viewing on mobile devices, which is a crucial ranking factor these days.
The Squarespace platform makes it far more difficult to add rich snippets to your website. Rich snippets are used to provide search engines with additional information such as pricing, ratings and online reviews to search results. Although a workaround is available, it is quite challenging to implement.
Other SEO features not currently available to Squarespace users include the use of breadcrumbs, having the ability to organise related content into dedicated content silos and being able to make custom changes to link anchor text.
If you would like to see your business grow online, contact our dedicated team of developers today. We are always ready to assist you.