Squarespace vs. Bluehost – Which Website Builder For You?

Squarespace and Bluehost are two of probably the most well-known manufacturers (and oldest) within the web site constructing trade. They’re each helpful in their very own methods. However in case you are evaluating Bluehost vs Squarespace – which is one of the best match on your undertaking?

Earlier than we have a look at completely different tradeoffs between Bluehost and Squarespace we now have to outline precisely what Bluehost and Squarespace are.

Squarespace is an all-in-one “hosted web site platform.” A hosted web site platform is the place all the parts wanted for a web site are available in a single bundle with a single month-to-month value. It’s additionally know as a “web site builder“.


Squarespace supplies the software program to handle your web site content material; they supply the designs and all performance.

They supply add-ons & extensions for distinctive performance. And most significantly, additionally they present the internet hosting (aka the server the place your web site information reside) & safety multi functional value. There is no such thing as a option to self-host Squarespace by yourself server – that might defeat their principal level of most comfort (though you’ll be able to have e mail and customized area title elsewhere) See Squarespace plans right here.

Bluehost is a website hosting supplier. As an internet host, their core service is offering an area on a server so that you can construct your web site with an meeting of different merchandise & providers. They bundle loads of free software program and instruments (reminiscent of WordPress) with internet hosting options to make it simpler to construct your website. It’s a bit extra inconvenient however you’ve most management.

However right here’s an analogy that works –

Think about you’re in search of a spot to reside.

Squarespace is like shopping for a condominium. You personal every thing inside your rental. You are able to do no matter you need inside. The rental affiliation takes care of the water, electrical energy, safety and structural points. They even have furnished unit choices. Nonetheless, you additionally should abide by rental affiliation guidelines. You might be restricted by their construction and you must pay additional HOA charges.

Bluehost is like shopping for a home. You are able to do something you need. So long as you’re paying the mortgage, it’s your land. There’s no guidelines or limitations. However you must handle every thing (or rent somebody to handle it). It’s additionally as low-cost or as costly as you need it to be.

Internet hostingBundledIncluded
AreaBundledIncluded w/ promo, however often third occasion
Electronic mailAdd-On by way of GoogleIncluded w/ internet hosting
Website Software programBundledFree choices (like WordPress)
Website DesignBundledFree choices to customized choices
Website OptionsBundled w/ extensionsFree choices to customized choices
AssistChat & Electronic mailCellphone, e mail, chat w/ internet hosting issues
SafetyBundledthird occasion choices
Studying CurveQuick & GuidedDIY with some onboarding help
Future-ProofingSome Export ChoicesWhole Knowledge Management & Full Export Choices

Hosted Platform vs. Internet hosting Firm

To have a look at Bluehost vs. Squarespace immediately – we’re going to have a look at what I believe are the first issues for many new web site homeowners. We’ll have a look at Bluehost and Squarespace in every part.

Keep in mind that the main tradeoff will probably be management / comfort. To get the handy expertise, there’s a tradeoff with management & options (since a hosted platform like Squarespace has to manage the surroundings to supply one of the best expertise).

If both Squarespace doesn’t have a function or design you need, you’ll be able to’t simply add it. If you wish to migrate to a brand new platform – you’ll be able to’t simply choose up, go away and begin elsewhere along with your very same web site.

Whenever you run your web site on Bluehost – you can do each these issues. Nonetheless, it’s additionally not as handy as a hosted platform, since you’re the one establishing and working the software program.

That’s the core tradeoff to recollect. However like I’ve talked about in different web site builder evaluations, my web site setup information and my ecommerce platform evaluations – it’s not the solely tradeoff (which is what we’re gonna speak about).


Bluehost vs Squarespace Pricing

Squarespace has 4 paid plans. You possibly can try their plans right here – although most of their plans are primarily differentiated by ecommerce & e mail options.

Needless to say with Squarespace – your premium plan contains internet hosting, buyer help, designs, free area, and many others for a single web site.


Bluehost permits a spread of web site software program to be put in on all their plans, that are priced by the quantity of assets allotted. Self hosted WordPress by far and away the preferred web site software program. It’s 100% free software program you could set up on any server (together with Bluehost). Like Squarespace, they supply a free area and free SSL certificates.

PlanPrimaryPlusAlternative PlusProfessional
Value (USD)$2.95/mo.$5.45/mo.$5.45/mo.$13.95/mo.
Web sites1limitlesslimitlesslimitless
Storage50 GBlimitlesslimitlesslimitless
Free Area Identify1 12 months1 12 months1 12 months1 12 months
Free SSLsuresuresuresure
Devoted IPsure
Day by day Backupssuresure
Pricing requires a 36-month time period

With self hosted WordPress software program, you’re not solely getting a less expensive value month to month (utilizing a shared internet hosting plan), you’re additionally getting the power to have limitless options, limitless design choices, limitless bandwidth, and *limitless web sites* on most plans.

When you’ve got two, three or extra web site concepts, you’ll be able to put all of them on the identical Bluehost account with out paying extra. With Squarespace (and direct rivals like Wix and Weebly & – every new website is a brand new month-to-month value.

Word how there’s no actual value comparability between Squarespace & Bluehost. Take a look at the customization & e mail strains – it’s a lot cheaper to make use of Bluehost + WordPress. Even factoring in Squarespace’s limitless storage, and many others – it’s simply straight cheaper to self-host a single web site on Bluehost. And’s that’s even together with must-have plugins.

However these WordPress plugin wants are precisely why evaluating pricing between Bluehost and Squarespace is like evaluating apples and oranges. The massive pricing asterisk with Bluehost is that there are a lot of belongings you aren’t paying for – however are nonetheless answerable for.

For pricing with Squarespace will usually be higher for many customers who simply wish to purchase a web site subscription and be executed with all of it.

Nonetheless, for anybody attempting to determine probably the most cost-effective and greatest long-term deal to get a web site, buying a internet hosting plan and constructing your web site with WordPress (which Bluehost will routinely setup) represents a a lot better monetary deal.

But it surely’s not all the time about numbers. Let’s transfer to the following set of issues.

Onboarding & Person Expertise

Onboarding ” describes the method of shifting a model new buyer from signup to energetic consumer.

In different phrases it’s serving to new buyer determine your software program. No person likes to buy one thing and instantly hate it just because they will’t determine it out.Sponsored Hyperlinks

Like I discussed in my Squarespace evaluate, Squarespace not solely has a lot improved strong onboarding, additionally they have a reasonably intuitive interface with a easy drag and drop setup.

Squarespace has a spread of pre-loaded designs for various web site sorts (ie, music, enterprise lead-gen, portfolio, and many others). To enhance and customise the location, it nonetheless takes a little bit of experimentation. However they’ve buyer help on name to reply any questions.

Bluehost has a few of the greatest onboarding of any internet hosting firm, particularly if you happen to plan on utilizing WordPress. Bluehost’s goal market is newbie’s, bloggers, and first time web site homeowners, so that they attempt to streamline the setup course of as a lot as potential somewhat than simply supplying you with your account password and leaving you to it.

That mentioned, it nonetheless is nowhere close to so simple as Bluehost, as a result of *you* nonetheless should determine on every thing. For instance, you continue to should work out connecting your area to the suitable set up.

WordPress Setup Connect DNS

You possibly can e mail help for particular questions, however there’s no apparent “do that, then that” course of after you put in WordPress.

For a extra typical web site, Squarespace may be a greater match if you happen to use one in all their templates. From buy to launch, Bluehost can’t actually compete with Squarespace for ease of setup. Nonetheless, if you happen to don’t thoughts a brief studying curve, Bluehost offers you extra choices and management over your web site, even when the onboarding isn’t as simple.Sponsored Hyperlinks

Design Choices

A typical delusion in web site constructing is {that a} “WordPress web site” or “Squarespace web site” or “Shopify website” is a particular internet design or look. Too many shoppers select or rule out a platform as a result of they “don’t just like the look.”

Right here’s the factor – simply because a software program makes use of “themes” or “templates” as a base doesn’t imply you could’t have no matter design you need.

The look of a webpage is created with HTML/CSS. Any software program that permits you to edit CSS is software program that may generate almost any design you’ll be able to think about.

Whenever you use Bluehost, you’ll be able to edit something you need, together with HTML / CSS as a result of you’ve direct entry to the precise information on the server.

Nonetheless, Squarespace doesn’t permit HTML/CSS enhancing besides of their Skilled plan. It’s important to make all modifications with their software program, which, in equity, creates some fairly wonderful designs.

This distinction places Bluehost forward on design choices. So let’s have a look at the three questions that I often ask with platform’s designs.

The principle three questions are –

  1. How accessible are their “plug & play” designs?
  2. What’s the number of their premium “plug & play” designs?
  3. How far can an expert developer/designer go along with the design?

On query #1 – each have nice, accessible plug & play designs. Squarespace has a wide range of pre-loaded designs primarily based on web site kind (actual property, music, portfolio, and many others). Some are a bit dated, however others are fairly good.

For Bluehost, there are literally thousands of free WordPress designs that you just choose within the Look menu.

WordPress Themes

On query #2 – each have a reasonably nice number of designs with Bluehost + WordPress offering probably the most choices. For years now, skilled designers/builders have created premium “off the shelf” WordPress theme choices for WordPress to construct any kind of web site.

There may be solely a small third occasion market for Squarespace templates.

For query #3 – each permit for designers (not builders) to do their factor with self hosted WordPress providing the best freedom (for higher and for worse).

Squarespace is extra designer / developer pleasant than different hosted web site builders (see HTML/CSS). There are many professionals who will work with a Squarespace template, however (though they may be HTML/CSS ninjas) they’re extra specialists with Squarespace than HTML/CSS when working with Squarespace. In different phrases, when you have an incredible internet designer, he/she may not be pretty much as good when constructing a web site for Squarespace – since Squarespace requires Squarespace-specific design information. Squarespace has a market the place you will discover a Squarespace professional.

For design choices, each have good choices with completely different “flavors.”

Squarespace has freedom inside their very own design setup. When you like their system, then that’s the place it begins and ends.

Self hosted WordPress gives limitless alternative & management, which is nice, however can create issues of its personal with high quality management, safety and/or code conflicts.

Technical & Customization Options

The technical function set illustrates the management/comfort tradeoff spectrum higher than something with these three choices.

Squarespace holds the best quantity of management (scripts solely on some plans and FTP / SSH by way of the developer platform) but in addition has probably the most handy setup. It has built-in options (like Scheduling) that merely work. And the options that the majority customers want/need are there. You may make modifications and tweak many technical settings – however solely these accredited by Squarespace.

Squarespace Content Types

That mentioned, the Squarespace system ensures that the options that they do have work – they usually work properly; no crashing or conflicts.

Bluehost permits limitless technical & customization options. It’s additionally pretty handy for learners so as to add new performance if you happen to use Bluehost’s web site builder / WordPress. Self hosted WordPress permits “plugins” that are little mini-apps you could add to your WordPress set up with the clicking of a button.

Whether or not it’s for higher search engine optimisation performance, establishing an ecommerce website, including appointments, bulk importing data, including a social community, running a blog platform or actually something you’ll be able to consider – you are able to do it with a self hosted WordPress web site on a Bluehost account.

On the draw back, it’s additionally potential to create a code battle in Bluehost and crash your web site. It’s not widespread if you happen to follow well-supported plugins, however it’s one thing that may occur.

It’s identical to proudly owning a home – you’ll be able to construct a deck or add shutters if you wish to. Issues will most likely be effective, however if you happen to by accident harm your home – it’s on you to repair.

On this consideration – there’s no actual total winner. It’s all about what’s greatest for you.

search engine optimisation & Advertising and marketing

Advertising and marketing & search engine optimisation issues are similar to the technical issues.

Each WordPress and self hosted are “good” for advertising & search engine optimisation in that they generate well-coded, crawlable, HTML & CSS .

As outlined in my Squarespace evaluate, Squarespace does properly with built-in advertising instruments. Their pages are crawlable. However from my skilled expertise, Squarespace web site are usually not as best search engine optimisation or social advertising functions in case you are working a really massive content material or ecommerce website. If search engine optimisation & social are usually not your main advertising means or in case you are working a smaller (lower than 200 pages) website, this consideration could not matter a lot.

In actual fact, there are many different caveats.

Squarespace has a rising assortment of in-house advertising “extensions” which are simple to put in and sync with different enterprise instruments. They even have an in-house search engine optimisation software. However even with Squarespace’s extensions you’ll be able to’t do all of the search engine optimisation or technical advertising work. On the upside, for a lot of newbie / small web sites, implementing tags & technical fixes are usually not (and mustn’t) be excessive precedence.

The perfect factor you are able to do is publish high quality content material that will get linked to and shared by numerous folks (and won’t crash beneath sudden huge recognition). In that case, Squarespace each let you try this.

If you wish to do all the advertising issues – a Bluehost web site will permit even learners to implement extremely superior ways starting from implementing tags, monitoring information to superior search engine optimisation modifications to working e mail opt-ins, schema , a/b assessments and something you possibly can probably wish to do.

So once more, with advertising options the “winner” actually will depend on your precedence. In case your precedence is easy, user-friendly publishing then Squarespace try this properly.

If you would like/want a whole technical advertising toolset – then you definitely’ll want a self hosted WordPress web site on Bluehost.

Buyer Assist & Service

Regardless of who you’re or what you’re constructing – you’ll seemingly want buyer help.

Squarespace gives extra conventional buyer help by way of help tickets. Additionally they provide e mail, chat and information base help.

Whenever you run a web site on a internet hosting firm’s servers, you go to your internet hosting firm for technical points and Google/boards for different points. I’ve reviewed a bunch of internet hosting corporations and repair ranges/approaches range wildly. Bluehost usually has strong newbie help by way of numerous completely different channels.

That mentioned, even when you have wonderful internet hosting help, your self hosted WordPress website is inherently distinctive.

Since Squarespace operates a hosted platforms – their customer support has fewer variables to work with. They know you could solely customise your website a lot, thus potential issues are restricted.

When you’ve got a extremely personalized self hosted WordPress web site with numerous plugins and theme edits, you’ll have to undergo a troubleshooting process regardless of how good Bluehost’s help is.

In case you are comfy problem-solving and troubleshooting, a Bluehost website with a extensively adopted software program like WordPress would be the greatest match.

In any other case, Squarespace may have a greater setup due the mixing of service with their product.

Velocity, Backups, Safety & Upkeep

Associated to buyer help are the problems of pace, safety, and upkeep.

In case you are utilizing Squarespace – these are usually not your issues. They handle all three as a part of the bundled deal.

In case you are utilizing Bluehost, you’ll have to frequently replace your WordPress set up and plugins. Moreover, you’ll want to put in a fundamental safety plugin and perceive what makes your website quick/gradual.

None of those subjects require a developer or deep technical information, however they’re subjects that you just want to pay attention to.

Going again to the home analogy – it’s like altering the air filter month-to-month and setting a safety system. They aren’t sophisticated, however they’re your accountability. My put up on important plugins for WordPress is an efficient useful resource.

Bluehost vs Squarespace Conclusion

Bluehost and Squarespace are well-known manufacturers for good causes. They’ve each made getting a web site a lot simpler than it was once.

They’re each good selections for sure tasks. When you worth management over comfort and you’ve got the time for the educational curve – then go along with Bluehost + WordPress. Use my web site setup information right here.

When you worth comfort and desire a extra normal objective web site with conventional help and drag/drop design – then I’d go along with Squarespace. View their plans & pricing right here.

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