Why I Switched from WordPress to Squarespace
Hello lovelies, happy Monday to you! So last week, I broke the news that I switched platforms for my website. It was a bittersweet moment, and one I plan to share with you in a two part series this week.
First on the list is the why. Why I choose to switch from WordPress to Squarespace. I’ve been a die-hard WordPress fan from the beginning of time. I loved that it was an easy to use open source platform that could be customized to any design need my clients needed. I loved that it was inexpensive, and unlimited in its number of pages, posts and plugins.
But, that was before my website crashed… twice… in one month. The first time was with the latest update of Wordpress 4.3.1. I updated, and some of my code didn’t jive. Talk about stress! It does not look good for a web designer’s website to be down.
So I fixed it, and all was well, for a while. But, again with the latest update, I started to run into problems. Some of my plugins were no longer compatible with the latest version, and thus not working. And so I had to go on a hunt for new plugins to work with the latest WordPress version, a real time-suck.
This is where catastrophe #2 hit. One of the plugins I downloaded opened me up for a hacker. Their sneaky little elves snuck into my FTP files and left some malicious code on my website. Google red flagged my site, and blocked users from accessing it with a big do not enter sign that said this site is a Reported Attack Page, eek!
Now, I know code, and I know how to seek out the unfamiliar that was inserted into my website, remove it, and get off Google’s naughty list. Besides being thoroughly annoyed at the major amount of time I’d recently spent repairing my website, I started to think about my clients best interest. The reason they hire me is to do all the behind the scenes coding and customization, because they don’t know how to do it themselves.
So if this happened to one of my clients, they would be freaking out! That’s when I knew I had to look for a different solution.
I had tried Squarespace years ago when it first started becoming popular. I signed up for a free trial and gave it a go. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed. It was just too… basic. I dinked around with it with no real rhyme or reason, and ultimately decided Wordpress was better.
So this time, I decided to give it an honest effort. I used my Toggl timer to see how long it would take for me to build a brand new website, as close to my current WordPress website as possible (with a few tweaks of course.) The result? I finished the basic layout within a few days, and this was in-between client work and a couple late nights.
Ultimately, I’m very impressed with Squarespace for a few major reasons, and let me tell you why.
Squarespace has a handful of gorgeous themes to start off on the right foot. This makes my job easier when it comes to design, because I can develop and customize the theme to match my clients branding to a T. All of the themes are beautiful and mobile responsive, so they look good on any device. And let’s face it, more and more people are on their smart phones as opposed to computers these days.
Simplicity (aka, time = money)
As much as I love the ability to customize every little detail of WordPress, it can take up a whole lot of time and brain power. With Squarespace, everything is already built in.
No more searching for and updating plugins, optimizing SEO for every blog post or researching your analytics and metrics. It’s all right there. Plus my favourite, the Squarespace CSS customizations show in real time before you hit save, so there is no guessing if the tweaks are effective or not.
Speed + Security
One thing it did dislike about WordPress is that having all those “necessary” plugins for SEO, caching, Pin-it buttons, etc. is that it can really slow your site down. I’m a fairly patient person, but if a website takes more than 10 seconds to load, I’m on to the next one.
Add in the security issue that I faced, and it was a no-brainer. Squarespace takes care of all these issues because they host your website on their own servers. This means that your website is less vulnerable to hackers and down time. And, if something is to go wrong, they will be the ones to fix it, not me (or you.)
It’s User Friendly
Once I finish designing and developing a website for a client, it is 100% managed by them. For anyone not familiar with WordPress, there can be a little bit (or a lot) of a learning curve.
Squarespace is extremely user friendly, and makes for an easier transition for a new user so they can jump right into their new website, adding posts and editing page details. There’s no need to spend hours researching, testing, or even worse, crashing your site if you click the wrong thing.
Plus, Squarespace offers amazing 24/7 email support for any server and/or theme issues that may arise, and a wealth of resources on their knowledge base pages, filled with tools, tips and tricks.
So you see, all those years hating on Squarespace, and now we’re BFFs. When it comes down to it, I’d rather spend less time maintain and managing my website, and spend more time writing awesome blog posts like this for you guys. I know I made the right choice switching from WordPress to Squarespace, and I know my clients are going to love it too!
Have you thought about switching or have already made the move to Squarespace? Did you run into any similar issues as I did? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Fire away!