Squarespace vs. WordPress: Which is Better for Coaches in 2024?

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The Life Coach's Tech Roadmap

The only 5 pieces of tech a coach needs to set up an online business without overwhelm.

5 simple website fixes to get more coaching clients

Five sure-fire ways to increase the number of clients you sign from your coaching website.

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Hey there

It’s Jennie Lakenan, certified life coach & consultant for your web design strategy needs. Over the last handful of years I’ve designed dozens of websites for coaches. My mission is to get more coaching into the world and help elevate the quality of life of humans at large by delivering expert custom website design and strategy to coaches.

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The Life Coach's Tech Roadmap

The only 5 pieces of tech a coach needs to set up an online business without overwhelm.

5 simple website fixes to get more coaching clients

Five sure-fire ways to increase the number of clients you sign from your coaching website.

One question I hear a lot from coaches is, “Ok, I know I need a website to grow my business and have a credible online presence. But which builder is better? Squarespace or WordPress?”

You want to set your coaching business up for success and know that your website platform will expand with you as your business grows. Doing a basic search of website builder options generally digs up two clear winners, and it’s typically WordPress vs. Squarespace.

But which of these website builders should you choose for your coaching website?

As a web designer who’s built and consulted on hundreds of coach websites, I can tell you that the platform to choose really depends on which one matches your vision for your business.

Do you only need a simple website with a few features? Or do you need something that will grow well and make it easy to add on features later? Trust me, having to migrate all of your content from one platform to another is not a level of frustration you want to experience if you can avoid it.

Keep reading for a professional’s breakdown of Squarespace vs. WordPress.

Squarespace vs. WordPress: A Quick Recap of Each Web Building Platform

There are some similarities as well as pretty big differences between Squarespace and WordPress for your coaching business. Here’s how the two web builders stack up against each other:

Design Knowledge NeededEasy to use drag-and-drop editor, mobile friendly, comes with templates. Less flexible for customizing – you’re somewhat tied to the template designs.Somewhat more technical to build with, but you have much more flexibility in the design customizations you can make. Drag-and-drop page builders include oodles of templates that are straightforward to implement.
SEO ToolsIncludes the ability to add basic meta data to webpages, integrates with Google Analytics, speed and performance become an issue with larger websites.Gives you access to much more advanced SEO tools to help you rank higher on Google, including image optimization and keyword tracking tools.
Maintenance & SecuritySimple maintenance and security with automatic updates, built-in security certificates, DDoS protection, daily backups, and secure hosting. But you don’t necessarily own the platform.WordPress.org self-hosted sites require more security maintenance, but it’s possible to automate most of it with regular updates, security plugins, and automated backups. Plus, you own the content and files.
Customer SupportCustomer support is available through email, social media, or live chat, though there’s no phone support option. Some review sites give their support a bad rating.Customer support for self-hosted WordPress websites comes primarily from the web host you choose. Most hosts have email and live chat to help you solve any problems.
PricingFree for a trial period of 2 weeks (14 days), then $11-$36 per month depending on the plan you choose.WordPress itself is free, though you’ll want to budget $5-$25 per month for your web hosting plan. So, lower cost than Squarespace.

To clarify, I am referencing WordPress.org and not WordPress.com. WordPress.com is not a self-hosted option, and it limits your site functionality, so I’d avoid it. However, WordPress.org and Squarespace are both popular choices for coaches looking to build and manage their websites. So let’s dig deeper into the pros and cons of each builder.

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WordPress vs. Squarespace for Coaches: The Necessary Design Knowledge

How easy to use are Squarespace and WordPress for those who aren’t great at design? The good news is that both platforms have easy drag-and-drop editing features with plenty of templates to help you create good-looking website layouts without needing to know how to code.

That said, some Squarespace users complain about the lack of formatting and design flexibility. Not to mention that with Squarespace, you can’t do basic things like host a podcast and a blog archive on the same site.

There’s a reason why WordPress powers over 40% of websites on the internet.

WordPress has more flexibility with the types of layouts you can create. This means you can do anything from a design and functionality standpoint. It is slightly more technical to put together, but the upside is that your coaching business isn’t likely to outgrow WordPress. Even my 7 and 8-figure clients use it.

If you have direction like my Website Kit for Coaches course or are working with a professional designer, then WordPress is always the more flexible design option.

How They Stack Up When It Comes to Pricing

Squarespace has simple pricing options ranging from $11 to $36 per month for access to their tools and services. This fee includes both website hosting and maintenance.

On the other hand, self-hosted WordPress is free to use but requires a domain name and a hosting plan, costing roughly $60 annually if you go with the most budget-friendly options.

Keep in mind that you’ll also need to maintain the site with WordPress, in addition to these domain and hosting costs. You can either pay with your time and DIY your website care or you can invest in a maintenance plan with a professional. Someone keen to catch any fixes, no matter the size.

So, with Squarespace, you pay one price for everything at a higher cost. With WordPress, you’ll pay a smaller cost for domain and hosting, and then invest in website care with your time or with a professional.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Anyone with a digital presence will need to be familiar with Search Engine Optimization or SEO. SEO is the practice of enhancing your website to improve its visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).

This is relevant to digital businesses because when people search for your coaching services, you want your site to appear as high as possible in the search results. Higher visibility typically leads to more traffic and potential clients.

SEO is an ongoing process for digital businesses, with a lot of nuances to master. But it’s an important one, regardless of how intimidating it might appear to be. A few of the most important reasons why online businesses will want to master SEO are:

  • SEO practices often enhance the user experience by making your site faster, easier to navigate, and more informative.
  • Compared to paid advertising, SEO is a cost-effective way to bring in organic traffic in the long term.
  • Effective SEO can give you a competitive edge by positioning your business prominently in search results, potentially attracting customers away from competitors.

Investing in SEO helps ensure that your digital presence is strong, relevant, and easily discoverable by your target audience, which is extremely helpful for the growth and success of your digital business.

WordPress vs. Squarespace | Which is Better for SEO

Squarespace has a range of basic built-in SEO features. For example, it allows users to edit meta titles and descriptions for each page, which improves click-through rates from search engine results pages.

The Squarespace interface also lets you add alt text to images and create sitemaps, which helps in indexing by search engines. While these features are useful, they are somewhat limited. These limitations can leave business owners confined to the built-in options without much wiggle room when it comes to customization or advanced optimization techniques.

In contrast, WordPress provides a lot more flexibility and access to advanced SEO tools with additional bits of software you can install called plugins.

One of my favorite plugins, especially for beginners, is Yoast SEO. It has a lot of features to help optimize your content, meta tags, and readability.

Yoast SEO also makes it easy to manage XML sitemaps, integrate social media, and set advanced options for canonical URLs, all of which can increase your search engine visibility.

As a web designer, I find the customization options incredibly useful. I always use Yoast SEO to make sure my clients’ websites are fully optimized for search engines.

Leveraging the SEO tools of WordPress beats out what Squarespace offers, without a doubt.

Maintenance and Security Measures

Squarespace is very secure because it’s a closed-source platform. This means that only the people who work at Squarespace can change or update the code that makes the websites work.

Since no one else can add to or change the code, it keeps the security vulnerabilities to a minimum, keeping websites safe from hackers and other problems. Squarespace also takes care of all the technical stuff for you, like updates and security. This is great for business owners who don’t consider themselves very technical and just need something simple.

With Squarespace, however, you have to back up your content by yourself, and it can be pretty hard to do. These are some of the basic hassles you would have to endure to back up your website with Squarespace:

  • Duplicate your website
  • Keep extra copies of your existing content
  • Download your XML file
  • Save all of your images
  • Export your product offerings to a .CSV file
  • Download your JSON file(s)
  • Copy all of your code injections and CSS

There’s no automatic way to back up your website on Squarespace like you can on WordPress. If something goes wrong or you accidentally delete something, it’s a big hassle to recreate or import the content.

WordPress is open source, which means anyone can contribute to its code. This can lead to more potential security issues, but the trade-off is that digital businesses get a lot more flexibility.

Thanks to the many plugins and add-ons available, most of which are free to install, you can customize your website in almost any way you want. When you work with me and my team to build your site, we only use trusted plugins that have stood the test of time to make sure your site stays secure.

Customer Support

When comparing the two web builders’ customer support options, there continue to be more than a few differences.

For example, WordPress offers loads of forums to help you better help yourself when stuck on an issue. Plus, if you sign up for a quality hosting plan, your web host is on hand to help with anything that might go wrong.

And if you’re one of my clients on a WordPress care plan, you don’t even have to log in to your site or bother with your web host if you don’t want to. Just reach out to me, and I’ll look into any tech issues for you!

In contrast, Squarespace has a lot of helpful documents you can read when you need support. They also have a support team you can contact.

However, some people on TrustPilot have complained that Squarespace’s customer support isn’t great. I haven’t dealt with it myself, so I can’t give a personal verdict, but it does make me question how supportive their customer service is.

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Stop Thinking of WordPress vs. Squarespace and Consider This Instead

Anyone can Google search for “the best web builder for coaching” and compare the results, but the reality of which builder to pick depends on what you need.

So instead of pitting the two platforms against one another, WordPress vs. Squarespace, consider asking yourself: Where do I see my coaching business in the next 5 to 10 years?

If you want my professional opinion on which web builder is better for building your coaching website, here’s my honest answer:

Squarespace is easier to use but has limited features. WordPress is a bit more technical if you’re DIYing it with no solid direction, but it’s much more flexible and scalable.

Read More: How to choose a domain name for your coaching website

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