Why I Use Squarespace Instead of WordPress as a Web Designer
I have read so many articles from both sides touting the strengths of their Content Management Systems (CMS), and the obvious, deal breaking flaws of the other. The crazy thing is, as passionate and opposed as each side’s view is, they are both right. When I first starting researching which to use, I made the mistake of setting out to find a definitive answer as to which was better, and soon found that was not going to happen.
There is no perfect CMS, so there will always be weaknesses for the other side to highlight. The only way to pick the platform that is right for you is to figure out what your needs are and what you are willing to give up.
Below are the reasons I decided to dedicate my web design practice to Squarespace as opposed to WordPress, and I hope that they might help you in coming to a decision about your website as well!
1. Ease Of Use
My clients are small business owners that want to focus on running their business, not learning the ins-and-outs of a complicated platform. This was first and foremost in my mind when choosing a CMS. The WordPress dashboard, while not complicated, is not nearly as user friendly as Squarespace and it makes updating content a little messy.
On the other hand, as a "what you see is what you get" editor, Squarespace is far easier for my clients to update on their own once I hand over the site. They simply go to the text box they want to change, and make it.
Not only is updating content easier, but keeping the site functioning once I hand it over does not take any work on their part. Where WordPress needs to be constantly updated, there are no updates that need to be pushed, and no plugins that could potentially break the site.
The endless plugins are touted as one of WordPress's biggest advantages, but imagine spending tons of money on a premium theme, or hiring a developer to create a custom theme, and then downloading a plugin you need and breaking your site.
You then have to rehire the developer to fix the theme, costing hundreds more dollars. As more updates are required, more fixes are required as well and it can quickly add up.
That is why I love that Squarespace automatically pushes updates to their sites, and has their plugins built into the platform. While there are far less plugins available, you can be certain they will never break your site.
In my research I found that WordPress websites have a tendency to get hacked, and hacked alot. As a small business owner, getting hacked can compromise your bottom line and can have a lasting effect of your web presence:
- You lose your web presence for however long your site is down (imagine your physical location being flooded and having to deal with that instead of seeing clients). It can be very costly to your business.
- Your SEO is affected: If google discovers that your site is hacked, it can have long term search ranking penalties even after your site has been restored. Imagine being on the first page of search results and driving tons of business through organic search, and then being hacked and losing all of that traffic.
Because Squarespace manages everything, from the hosting to the themes their sites are built on, they are far less likely to get hacked because there are no vulnerabilities introduced through third party code. In the case that your site does get hacked, you can reach out to support and THEY will fix it.
Not only can you position elements anywhere on the page with its drag and drop editor, but access to custom CSS styling gives even more control over the look of your site. This is a huge bonus for me and was ultimately what tipped me over the edge towards Squarespace. As an advanced CSS coder, I can make Squarespace's default themes look like completely custom website templates.
Squarespace is $18/month for hosting and you get a domain name free for your first year. After that your domain name will be $20/year to renew. So all in all, your paying about $20 a month to have a website that will likely generate tons of revenue for your business.
Hiring a designer like myself is also far cheaper than hiring a WordPress designer and developer. Because I have a great template foundation to work from, I don't have to code the theme before customizing it and am able to skip a very costly and time consuming step in the web design process. The cost and time savings is ultimately passed along to the client, and I am able to charge far less than most custom WordPress theme developers for virtually the same product.
Because Squarespace is so easy to manage, you will also not have to hire a webmaster to run your site like you would with WordPress, or continue to hire a developer to fix and update your theme when it breaks.
While the $20/month is more expensive than self hosted options such as WordPress, for all the reasons I have mentioned above it is far cheaper.
- You will save time editing and running your website
- You will save money hiring a professional to build your site
- You will not have to hire someone to manage your site
- Your website will be protected from hackers
My goal is to design clients a site and have them feel confident using it. Your website should be a business tool, not something you don't understand and are afraid of breaking, and therefore never touch.
If you are interested in a professional, custom website for your small business, please reach out to me and I would be happy to speak with you about your website project!