Squarespace vs Wordpress :: Not a debate
I love Wordpress. But I'm with Squarespace now. It's not you, it's me.
I was (and still am, actually) a Wordpress website developer for many years. I started out in Blogspot when I was just 14, and have continued designing and building websites in Wordpress, and now in Squarespace.
So many developers are so intense about this debate, because I know that Wordpress is great. It's flexible, has all the functionality in the world you'll ever need, it's cheap and you can move mountains with it. You really can. And Squarespace? It's just Wordpress' little brother. You are limited with what you can do with it, and you may not get all the bells and whistles that come with Wordpress, as hundreds of thousands of plugin developers add to its functionality daily.
Believe me, I have fought this. There is some sort of snobbery that comes with being a "website developer" that most people don't want to admit, but exists. Somehow, the better and smarter web developers choose Wordpress, while the other less-smart wannabes go with the limiting Squarespace (the debates all become this after a while, on the Facebook groups).
So... Why am I on Squarespace, having said all that?
Because for me, it really isn't a debate. I don't want to spend (or waste) time arguing with someone that I can code in Wordpress and how it is more superior. I get it. Everyone gets it. Wordpress has great flexibility and functionality. No one is disputing that. Yet more and more people switch to Squarespace everyday, as I've observed over the last two years.
Reason #1: Because it's just simpler
And simple is my thing in 2017. I just want to get things done. Because we spend far, far too much time trying to choose the best platform, trying to plan for the future "growth" and debating with people about what is the "right" thing to use or do. Bleh. Doesn't sound one bit like what I want to do with my online business.
True, Wordpress has all the bells and whistles. With the right developer, your options are limitless with Wordpress. But I have to ask you just one thing... Do you actually need all the bells and whistles, or are you just happy they're there?
For the most of us online businesses, we don't need the limitless functionality. There is a limited purpose for our website that quite frankly, Squarespace does and does well enough. So yes, in 2017 in my book, sometimes limiting our options can be better than having it all.
For example: You can sign up for Marie Forleo's B-School for $1999 (not an affiliate, launch period's over). You can also sign up for many, many months of membership on Skillshare. Both platforms are great. Both platforms teach you things. But B-School only teaches you one main thing. On Skillshare, you can learn almost anything you would want to.
But how many of us actually go ahead and learn everything we can on Skillshare, vs learning something really useful for ourselves with B-School?
For many of us, learning something meaningful and tangible in B-School trumped having the many months of Skillshare membership we never touched.
With Squarespace, I no longer have to worry about my hosting my website (though I still host my domain elsewhere) and transferring things here and there. I only need to login to Squarespace and manage everything right here. I don't need to worry about an update breaking my site (most of the time, anyway) or new security leaks from one of the 10 plugins I use on my site.
And for many of my clients, they want simple. They want to be able to make edits without running for the developer every time. They want to change something out without being afraid of breaking the entire site. They want to be comfortable with their website. They want their website to work for them, not the other way around.
Reason #2: There is always a better way to do things for someone
We all work in different ways. Different things work for different businesses. That's the beauty of running one! There is no one-size-fits-all and there shouldn't be. So for some businesses, Squarespace fits the bill. For others, Wordpress does a great job. We really shouldn't get caught up with which is "right" or "better".
New software and systems get invented every day for that very reason. Different people need different things.
I love that many landing page creation systems are being used right now (like ConvertKit, LeadPages, InstaPages and the like). Similarly, there are many course-running systems/software that are getting increasingly popular. Yep, you guessed it. You could create it with Wordpress, too. For pretty much free if you could do it by yourself or with a cheap plugin.
So why then do these systems/software exist? Because there is always a better way for someone to do things. Some people prefer spending a monthly fee on Teachable, for example, to get their courses set up and easy to use, because then they wouldn't have to worry about video hosting, payment issues, or designing a professional-looking course page. Others prefer spending a few thousand dollars on a great backend on Wordpress, custom designed and coded by a great Wordpress developer.
Is any of them wrong? Not at all! Different things work for different people. Squarespace is merely a better way for many of us to get our websites up and running well.
Reason #3: I get things done faster
I used to be paralyzed with perfectionism when I wanted to launch something new on Wordpress. Because you could spend hours researching the best, new plugin for SEO, for speed optimization, for opt-in forms, for quizzes, for anything you could think of under the (digital) sun!
And guess what? I never launched. I stuck with my old website (which was outdated and needed refreshing) for a long time because I didn't want to go through all that trouble again. Sure, I had all the control and flexibility, but I also had a lot more work on my plate.
Everything was my issue. Mobile-friendliness. Security Updates. Plugin Updates. Wordpress Updates. Theme Updates. SEO. Speed. And it's not like I couldn't deal with them. I just didn't want to, anymore. My clients didn't, either. In fact, most clients don't even know or understand the amount of work we put in the backend of developing a Wordpress site so that it has all the functionality they need (cue custom code or new plugin I spent hours finding, researching and styling). They don't bother, yet I'm spending sweaty hours on something that doesn't necessarily bring them more joy.
With Squarespace, I don't need to worry about tech support anymore. Squarespace has pretty great customer service, and everything else is pretty much built-in. I follow their guidelines so my site is optimized, but that's about it. I launch my beautiful, user-friendly website with half the stress it would've taken me to launch a custom Wordpress one. I still enjoy designing around and with the templates that come with Squarespace, and I make far less edits. Clients are generally happier with the system, too!
Spending less time fussing over the website and finishing website builds faster (I brand and build websites in 12 working days, y'all!) also frees me more time to do the other things in business that bring me joy and that matter to me, i.e. my coaching services and honing my branding and designing skills. Win win!
So there you have it. My top three reasons on why I switched to Squarespace. The fact that many talented brand and website designers also stand by it for years have helped me take the leap, too. While this may not be my ultimate destination (as I said, I still love Wordpress!), for this season, Squarespace works for me.
It is just what I need, nothing more, nothing less. :)
And as with everything on the internet, take what you need and leave the rest. You can run your business (and your life) much simpler and with more joy this way.