At many points many initial bloggers and site owners come to me asking for a simple website, and eventually we move forward to then explore differences between a website builder platform and WordPress.
Squarespace is a do-it-yourself website builder, with a $12-$18 monthly charge, providing pretty easy templates and ways to build an elegant site easily.
Self hosted WordPress on the other hand is highly customizable, tricky to configure, and benefits from an enormous ecosystem of plugins, themes, platforms and tools. Most shared hosting environments run between $4-12 a month, depending on how powerful of a server you plan to run.
One offers quick elegant sites, the other a highly customizable direction. So how does a budding entrepreneur or site owner decide?
Here’s my take.
Personally I think WordPress is really meant for systematic displays of content for massive content creators, and tends to be highly awkward for small sites, because it doesn’t allow the creator to micromanage aesthetics to their liking without having a developer get involved. Yes there are plugins that allow some degree of custom layouts (like Beaver Builder and Visual Composer), but they are a band-aid to what WordPress was built to do.
If you plan on creating so much content that you will develop rich forms of categorization, tagging, and points of connection between posts. There’s a reason why the Huffington Post, Techcrunch, & the New York Times choose WordPress as their tool of choice to manage their vast content displays.
As mentioned earlier, WordPress is a beautiful system when you want to systematically shape the way a website with hundreds of posts/pages looks and feels, without having to do real changes to the content.
Unless you are considering to be a full-time blogger, I actually recommend most people move to a platform like Squarespace to build a simple, easy to manage one-page brochure site. Personally, I’ve found users to a natural sense for color and style, and I think they can independently build something quite beautiful.
If you are still unsure, I would suggest the following:
If all the content you want to display can exist within a well designed printed brochure, then use a drag and drop website builder like SquareSpace, Weebly, or the Grid.