Do you want complex design functionality but don’t want to spend time coding or, do you enjoy coding and want complete design freedom? ie. Squarespace v. Wordpress.
Back in the day…
Once upon a time, in 2005, I used Blogger and from there, I moved to Typepad and found it very restrictive and a bit outdated. Later, I moved my blog to wordpress.com (self hosted). Whilst migrating from Typepad, I regretfully had to let go of a few years worth of posts due to incompatibility issues but I was desperate to use a platform that could give me the freedom I was needing including extra bandwidth, tech and design choices etc.
The Wordpress Story
I ended up using Wordpress for a few years and initially felt totally out of my depth. I remember seeing the back-end dashboard for the first time and nearly cried. I had wanted freedom but this was too much, almost. It was jarring to say the least but I persevered and bit by bit I began to cobble my site together.
I soon came across the almighty, plugins and felt like a kid in a candy shop - there was everything there and more. Pretty soon I was happily installing plugins all over the place. I had plugins for colour, fonts, my newsletter, SEO, comments, spam, content calendar and so many more.
At the same time though, I was spending a tremendous amount of effort learning to man-handle the platform just to get it to present my website in a way that looked good and represented who I was as a business owner.
Problems mushroomed quite early on and pretty soon I was sometimes spending half of my work week figuring out various issues! That’s a nightmare (goes without saying) for any small business owner.
I did become fairly knowledgeable about css, html although that hadn’t been my goal - I was a creative! Things began to unravel quickly when I decided I wanted to teach online after having taught several local workshops - I was really excited to offer online art classes. I tried various options within Wordpress and just gave up in the end. I had lost a lot of money, time and my sanity!
Squarespace, I love you
It was time to change things around and how glad I was when I discovered Squarespace. Don’t get me wrong, Wordpress was limitless and is ideal if you require total creative freedom and you can code, or you’re happy for someone else to manage your site with the cost and logistics involved but I wasn’t that person.
I felt I had no choice and left Wordpress behind just over two years ago for Squarespace, read the transition. Right away, I had a good feeling about it and once I had migrated my content safely (with some hitches), I happily made the transition permanently.
The Squarespace Love Affair, Continues
There is a learning curve for Squaresapce but a much bigger learning curve with Wordpress. Saying that, if you can hire a website developer to do the coding/design work for you, you hopefully won’t have to navigate the technical issues that I had to contend with. There is no getting away from it, Wordpress is amazing and very powerful. In the right hands, there is complete design and technical freedom.
In closing, I’m really happy with Squarespace and haven’t had any regrets or reasons to move back to Wordpress at all. I love their drag and drop feature, the stunning template designs and reliability. I love that I don’t have to worry about anything crashing, conflicting or feel ashamed of sending someone to my site and being a creative, I love how darn pretty you can make a site!
In Brief Comparison - Squarespace vs. Wordpress
CMS Content Management System
Coding needing or need to hire someone with those skills
Open source platform
Not all plugins are well built and you can be exposed to security hazards
Developers don’t have to give you any assistance
Wordpress has a massive forum and it can be difficult to get the help you need
You need to pay for some plugins
Costs are unpredictable with most likely, a higher financial commitment overall
Drag and Drop Website Builder
Complex design functionality is taken care of for you
No coding skills needed
Great for creatives who love beautiful design
Not an open source platform - only built by Squarespace developers, so no conflicts
Excellent customer care
Updates are managed for you and are heavily tested before being launched
Costs are predictable and transparent
Fully hosted - no need to worry about extra costs
Unlimited bandwidth and storage