Soul Stirring Branding Episode 7 – WordPress vs Squarespace vs Shopify — A Deep Dive!

Podcast episode 7 - Wordpress vs squarespace vs Shopify - a deep dive

Listen to the episode now!

With the rising popularity of Squarespace, ShowIt, Wix and other all-inclusive, closed website platforms over the years, I’ve been hearing in my circles more and more recently a lot of preconceived notions business owners have on WordPress being “too complex” or risky to use for your website.

It’s become a rather contentious but important topic so I want to help clear things up.

As a branding designer, I work in Photoshop so I’m somewhat fluid towards which website builders and hosting my clients choose. This is largely because I focus on the design components and bring in developers to complete the build of a website. 

Even so, I still find WordPress receives my golden recommendation most often.

👉 My only exception to this rule is specifically for eCommerce businesses. 

Shopify is very much the leading website platform if you have a product-based, online business. Though you can get these features with WordPress, Squarespace and other platforms, the built-in back-end functionality with Shopify is second to none for everything that comes with running an online store, from managing inventory to syncing shipping information, in my opinion.

For all other businesses?

I personally prefer and recommend WordPress for its design flexibility.

You should understand, I’m a designer first – not a website developer. 

Designers are most averse to fiddly programs that aren’t visually appealing or are clunky to manage with poor user functionality. 

So that’s saying something that even I learned how and actually like using WordPress to manage my website.

And, I’m clearly not a lone unicorn in this opinion! 🦄

64.3% of ALL websites are built on WordPress. 🤯

It’s the most widely used website platform in the world. 

Second to this, is Shopify for 6.2% and Squarespace with 3% of websites.

Sure, they’re growing in popularity but they don’t hold a candle to WordPress. 

So why is there so much distaste floating around towards WordPress? 

Let’s unpack two of the biggest myths. 👇

Myth #1 – WordPress is unsafe and a cybersecurity risk.

Simply put, the issue here is misinformation. 

With Squarespace and other closed platforms, the fee you pay each month covers the platform to manage everything for you. This includes maintenance and security.

WordPress isn’t inherently unsafe. The platform itself is designed to be customisable and adaptable. The actual platform is free and you get to choose who hosts your website and which plug-ins you use from page builders to cybersecurity.

Think of it like you’re building a house. 🏠 

Squarespace/ShowIt/Wix and similar are like buying a land and home package, flicking through the model showhome brochure from one company and going ‘Yep, I want that one!’ 

While it’s all more or less handled for you, it means you have little to no choice over the contractors, fixtures, and other details. 🤷‍♀️

Building your website with WordPress is like getting a custom home build. ❤️‍🔥

You get to choose which contractors, get quotes, and make more customisations.

For your website, you can shop around to find the right hosting plan for you. 

There’s a whole world of options – and that’s actually what leads people to overwhelm or choosing the wrong one.

Luckily for you, I’ll be guiding you through the process in Aligned & Embodied.

You can choose a good host who will handle website updates, security and taking backups for you, so you don’t have to worry about these things. As long as you choose a quality host, you can be almost as hands-off as you would be with Squarespace, Wix or Shopify, while ensuring your website is safe and secure. 

Not all hosts offer this level of support, which is why it’s important to pick one you can be hands off with (if that’s what you want). Otherwise, doing the maintenance and security yourself is not that challenging once you have some guidance.

So really, the cybersecurity vulnerability only comes from choosing the wrong low-quality plug-ins, a lack thereof security at all, or not keeping up with updates.

Thankfully, even better than a custom home build, with Aligned & Embodied 2024, you’re sitting down with the architect (me) who’s going to guide you with what choices to make to build your dream website and keep it secure.

Inside my program, I’ll teach you everything you need to know on how to build your dream website in WordPress, from start to finish. We use a customisable WordPress template I have designed and developed to make things even easier.

I won’t leave you floundering to figure out your website hosting, which website builder to use or how to keep your website cyber-secure. I have tried and true solutions and plug-ins I personally use for myself and my clients that I’ll walk you through how to use. ✨

We’ll also work with my developer Lillie who offers website hosting as a potential option for you. She’ll be available to answer questions too if you get stuck with the technical details, as well as do the initial process with setting up your website with the Sacred & Soulful template. 

All you’ll have to do is get in there and start customising it! (The fun part 😉)

Myth #2 – WordPress is hard to use.

WordPress itself is like the bones, muscles, organs and veins in your body – it deals with all the moving parts behind the scenes without you needing to think about it. 🫀

On the outside, it’s a simple, straightforward user experience that gives your website a home.

The ease of functionality with your website design, mostly comes down to which theme/page builder you choose to build out how your website looks. 🎨

Similar to how you would choose what clothes you wear, how you style your hair – anything you change on the surface to suit your style and preferences. The theme/page builder you use is how you customise your look. 💄

Now I can’t speak for every theme/page builder, but I am most experienced in and favour using one called “Divi.” 

I mostly build 1:1 client’s sites in WordPress (with Divi) and guide my students to use Divi, within my Aligned & Embodied program, to build our websites. It’s one of the most widely used WordPress themes on the planet and much loved by many, for good reason! 👇

✔️ It’s an easy to use drag and drop editor

✔️ It’s totally visual – which as a designer and creative, I love!

✔️ Everything can be customised – from colours and fonts to backgrounds, photos and more!

✔️ The cost is minimal in comparison to many options. It’s $89/year or there’s a lifetime payment option of $249. (or free if you’re a 1:1 client) 

Remember, using WordPress itself is free so the out-of-pocket website costs to consider would only be for any paid plug-ins, your theme/page builder (like Divi) and hosting. This is similar, if not cheaper, than Squarespace/ShowIt/Wix but with more customisable functionalities – and without the need for custom coding.

Plus, if you’re building your WordPress website with my guidance in Aligned & Embodied 2024, you’ll also get the benefit of:

✔️ Every single image set up in a Canva template. I have set up all the sizing options needed for the template we use so there’s no guesswork or fiddling on your end. Everything just slots into place! 🖼️

✔️ Tech support from myself and my website developer Lillie, in case you get stuck you don’t have to worry about watching endless tutorials or troubleshooting online. 🤝

✔️ Totally mobile responsive! My Sacred & Soulful WordPress template has already been designed to be mobile responsive, so this is one less thing you need to worry about. 📱

✔️ My developer, Lillie, will deal with all the nitty-gritty parts for you. She’ll do the initial set-up WordPress, Divi and the template page files into your hosting so you can jump in and add your text and images easily. 👩‍💻



Hi, I’m Emma Brownson

For the last decade, I have helped hundreds of business owners clarify their essence and translate it into a bespoke brand identity system and website layered with authenticity, depth, beauty and care.

Free Meditation

Get to the heart of your brand guided meditation

Explore categories

Personal Brand Strategy

Visual Branding

Web Design & Development

Web Design & Development


Convey your expertise
Brand your business with authenticity
Be supported from start to finish