Squarespace vs. WordPress – The Best Website Platform For Your Beauty Business

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Most consumers search for local businesses online before booking an appointment and it’s no different when a person is looking for beauty services. A well-designed website not only increases your credibility but also enables you to show up in search engine results. As much as 97% of consumers use search engines to find a local business. Having an online storefront will improve your SEO so that potential clients will discover you.

However, if you’re just starting out and have a limited budget, you may wonder which website builder to use so you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on building and maintaining a website. Squarespace and WordPress are two popular platforms among small businesses. Which one is the better choice for a beauty business owner who wants a website that’s beautiful, functional, and easy to manage?

Let’s compare the two platforms based on the features and functionalities most relevant to spa owners and estheticians.

Simplicity

I have helped hundreds of beauty industry professionals build their websites and the number one question is, “Will it be easy for me to edit afterward?” An easy-to-use backend allows you more control over your content and marketing schedule since you don’t have to depend on your “web guy/gal” every time you need to make an update.

Squarespace makes it incredibly easy to edit your website content. I always tell my clients, “If you know how to edit a Word document, you can update your website.” It has a fully responsive platform so any changes will be reflected in the mobile-friendly version of the site. You don’t need to know anything about HTML or coding to update your content.

WordPress has a ton of editing options and allows for complete customization. However, the complexity means that most spa owners would need to hire help every time they need to make changes, many of which require coding skills. This can be costly and time-consuming while limiting your flexibility.

Our recommendation: Squarespace

Mobile Optimization

More and more local searches are conducted on mobile devices and 82 percent of smartphone users do “near me” searches. Meanwhile, Google’s mobile-first indexing means mobile-optimized websites get ranked higher in search results. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile user experience, you could be missing out on the opportunity to attract more customers to your business.

Squarespace offers templates that automatically adjust the content so it looks good on any mobile device without any additional work.

WordPress also has many mobile-friendly templates available but the process may involve some extensive testing across multiple devices to ensure that the layout and functionalities are working as intended.

Our recommendation: Squarespace

Customer Support

The last thing you want is to get into panic mode because something is wrong with your website and you have no idea how to fix it! Great customer support helps ensure that your site is functioning properly all the time – after all, who needs the extra stress?

Squarespace offers 24-hour customer service via email and live chat support on weekdays between 8 am and 5 pm ET. Their customer service is attentive, patient, and can provide answers to most common questions.

WordPress doesn’t offer any customer service so you’d be left Googling every question you have and praying that someone has written a blog post or posted a YouTube video on the topic (and in plain English!) This can be very frustrating and time-consuming, especially if you have little experience working with website builders.

Our recommendation: Squarespace

E-Commerce Capabilities

Retail can be a reliable source of income for many beauty businesses. Making it easy for clients to purchase homecare items from you between treatments will not only augment the client experience but also increase your revenue. A platform with built-in e-commerce functionalities can help you easily tap into this income stream with minimum work.

Squarespace offers a built-in e-commerce system on its platform, making it super easy to add skincare retail to your website. When you’re ready to open your online store, you can be up and running in a snap.

WordPress doesn’t have a built-in e-commerce system. You’ll need to do the legwork and find the best plugin that fits your needs. Plus, you’ll have to install the plugin and make sure everything is set up correctly (e.g., payment processing) – which can take some time and effort.

Our recommendation: Squarespace

One-Stop Shop

You already have enough on your plate so the fewer vendors you need to deal with, the easier your life will be! Use a website platform that has everything you need in one place so you don’t have to cobble together a bunch of services.

Squarespace has all features and functionalities you need for your beauty business built right into its platform:

  • Hosting plan that can be billed monthly or annually with the option to purchase your domain on its platform or connect one you have already bought from another provider.

  • Built-in analytics that gives you insights into browsing behaviors, traffic sources, device usage, and more.

  • Option for integrating Google Analytics – all you need to do is to copy-and-paste your Google tracking ID.

  • Customizable meta-titles and meta-descriptions for all the pages to improve your SEO without any additional plugin.

  • A beautiful and intuitive built-in e-commerce platform with a ton of video tutorials to show you how to get the most of this feature.

WordPress requires you to do the legwork to pull together all the pieces you need for your website:

  • Purchase a domain from a third-party company such as GoDaddy or NameCheap and get hosting from a provider such as GoDaddy or BlueHost.

  • Set up Google Analytics and install the right plugin(s) so you can get accurate data on your website traffic.

  • Install a separate plugin, such as Yoast, for managing SEO.

  • Install and set up a shopping cart plugin, such as WooCommerce, if you want to sell products on your website.

  • Update all the plugins regularly to ensure they’re compatible with the latest software. If you happen to have an outdated plugin, it could create conflicts that “break” the site!

Our recommendation: Squarespace

Bottom Line: Choosing the Right Website Platform For Your Beauty Business

Although WordPress offers more customization options, it’s too robust and complex for most estheticians and spa owners. The amount of time and resources you need to invest in setting up the website is often not worth the extra functionalities you “may need someday.”

As a designer, I haven’t been hindered by Squarespace’s design capabilities and feel that they look just as professional (if not more) than a WordPress site when you work with a designer who understands the industry and your brand.

In fact, Squarespace can meet the needs of most beauty businesses 99.9% of the time without sacrificing either the appearance or functionalities. Not to mention, it’ll be a lot easier and much less expensive to manage!

Ready to set up your Squarespace website? Together, we can build a solid foundation for your online presence. Get in touch to see how we can help!

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