Squarespace vs. WordPress and why it matters for photographers.
It’s tough to choose a platform when you’re first building your photography business website. Or maybe you’ve already built your website and you want to know if you should stay where you are or switch.
I’m going to share my thoughts on the topic and what YOU, as a photographer, should take into consideration when making this decision.
Ease of Use
This is everything. How quickly can you build your new website? How easily can you make changes once it’s built? Some of you may be interested in hiring a website designer while others may want to go down the DIY route.
Either way, you want to be able to make changes to your site at any stage of the process.
Since I am well versed in both Squarespace and WordPress, this is a conversation I have with all of my new clients when we’re first getting started. How likely are they to make updates to their website in the future? For photographers, their answer is “all the time.”
You need to update your blog, your galleries, and even your homepage on a somewhat regular basis. And you probably don’t want to be hiring someone by the hour every time you need to make a change.
Squarespace wins this category hands down. Not to say WordPress isn’t user friendly, it just takes a little more getting used to and that’s time a lot of you might not want to spend.
Squarespace comes with templates that look great out of the box. No fiddling with theme features or copying and pasting code snippets. Everything is click, drag and drop.
WordPress has thousands of themes to choose from but they are all purchased from third party companies who don’t always have a strong support community. You have to read reviews and make sure that you are using a quality free or paid theme.
Sometimes these themes are easy to set up and others you have to follow quite a bit of instructions to get everything looking “just right.”
Squarespace may have fewer template options but they are ideal for photographers because of the focus on imagery. Most of the templates have a minimalist feel that allows your work to shine.
Squarespace allows you to purchase your domain, email hosting, and website hosting all from the same place.
With WordPress, you have to buy it all separately and there are hundreds of services to choose from. As with third party WordPress themes, you have to be careful you are signing up for a good service with solid support. You then have to connect all of your services together.
Your domain needs to link to your web host and to your email account. It’s not a big deal if you know what your doing, but it can be a pain if tech isn’t your forte.
WordPress has a slight edge here. If you want tons of bells and whistles on your site there is probably a WordPress solution out there made for exactly what you have in mind.
Squarespace prides itself on being simple and elegant. It’s everything you need (and nothing you don’t) to build a beautiful website.
Squarespace has also added additional features over the years like ecommerce options, landing (cover) pages, and popup announcements. Everything you need is built-in instead of having to look elsewhere.
SEO for Photographers
You’ve probably heard that when it comes to SEO, WordPress is king, but it’s not necessarily true.
Yes, WordPress has some great plugins that can help with SEO, but Squarespace has all the features you need to rank at the top of any search results.
The only problem with Squarespace is it’s easy to make some super basic SEO mistakes. Certain templates they offer aren’t the best for creating content that search engines love.
Google is platform agnostic, which means that it’s looking for how you are optimizing your website rather than what platform it’s built on.
If you learn the ropes of Squarespace and brush up on your SEO skills, you will be leaving your competition in the dust.