On the surface, it seems so. But not so fast, Pendergrass!

I helped someone install and configure Squarespace and at one point she said, “Well, it’s not cheap.” No, it’s not. But let’s look at what you get.

If you use their own Squarespace coupon to save 10%, Squarespace comes down to roughly $11 per month. Let’s do a way-oversimplified WordPress cost analysis.

  • $11 (Squarespace hosting)
  • $4 (Google mail)
  • $15 Total per Month

But WordPress is free!?

Sure, the software is free, but you need a domain and hosting and, if you’re smart, you’ll want not-really-optional services such as backup, virus protection and spam killers.

Here are the bare minimum costs:

I think they even give you a free domain. There you go! A dollar and then it’s something like $7 per month thereafter. Let’s talk about that reality.

You need to install, configure and design WordPress. If you know how to do all that, go for it. Yes, GoDaddy will make this easier. Yes, you can truly have a WP site up and running for $1/month for the first year.

WordPress Reality

But then what? Then it’s up to $7/month and that also doesn’t include email. The GoDaddy includes backups, but not much in terms of virus or (comment) spam protection. Let’s add those:

  • $10: Sucuri: Hacking, virus protection. Expensive, but a “better safe than sorry” option that is unfortunately recommended.
  • $1: Akismet: Comment spam. Comment spam is so widespread that you basically need this tool. You are allowed to choose free, but let’s say you’re friendly and want to give them $1
  • $9: Elegant Themes: Sure, there are lots of free (and beautiful) themes out there. But you’ve come this far, you’re going to skimp on the design of your site? We recommend DIVI and little else.
  • $20 Total per Month

Want to use a free theme, $0 for comment spam and forget the anti-hacking stuff? OK, then we’re back to $7 per month. Fine, if you shop, maybe $4, but don’t think it’s going to be fast, reliable, backed up or protected.

So now you saved $7 per month ($11 SS – $4 WP = $7/month) for the barest-of-bones WordPress site. Yes, it’s possible. It’s also possible to use water instead of milk in your Mac ‘n Cheese mix. But is it really worth it?

I was a WordPress guy for 10+ years, since the beginning. But today if someone asks me what to use for a beautiful site that they can manage themselves, I recommend Squarespace.