4 Reasons Why I Chose Squarespace Over Wordpress
For over a year I was all set with Wordpress. I’m talking line in the sand, etched in stone, I was going to be using Wordpress for my site. I’d heard it was the professional way to go, so I shopped around for templates, themes, and researched all the plugins, strategies, and more. But when push came to shove, and tons of time and money later… I ended up in the arms of an old friend - Squarespace. I came back to the original platform that I used when I needed to just “throw up a site real quick” as a photographer straight out of college. It was a winding road to get back to this point of origin, almost like a grand hero’s quest (except with lots of coffee and stress and forgetting to go outside) but I want to share with you how I arrived here so that I can hopefully help you avoid the same pitfalls I fell into. So if you’re in the market for a new website, blog, or online shop and trying to decide which way to turn, this post is for you.
I’ll Be Honest, I Fell In Love with Wordpress
I really loved everything about it. It seemed to be a platform all the pros used. And it wasn’t straightforward, I had to learn a lot, but I love to learn. I loved the dashboard, the backend, the difficult ‘let’s see if this works’ functionality, because when something would work I’d get this digital geek dopamine kick. It felt very similar to being in a dress shop and trying everything on and both buying it ALL and at the same time getting home and realizing none of it quite worked out just right. The quest was the fun part. I loved the quest that was my experience with Wordpress. So even now, there’s no hard feelings, I still have all the warm fuzzies when I think about it. But on this platform, I found that I was putting out fires left and right before I even launched my site.
I would launch, and then tweak problems, and then relaunch, and then tweak some more, and then launch again. Part of this was just my trepidation on getting out there, but another huge reason was that Wordpress was kinda slowing me down. Finally, it came to a tipping point. I had my site, it was looking great, I felt confident in myself, and I was finally ready to roll, and one day I went to log in and I was locked out by a lovely error page, yet one more fire I would have to put out.
I couldn’t get into my site at all! And according to this error page I wouldn’t be able to unless I got into the source files and tweaked the lines of code listed there. Yeah, and how long was that gonna take?
Now, I rarely back down from a technical challenge. I’m usually the one my friends and family call when they’re having issues with their computers, browsers, email, or websites. I used to manually track down and remove viruses in my old Windows computer and had fun doing it. I used to build and edit newsletters at a former web production job by getting into the raw code. When stuff goes haywire, I pull my boots on and get in there and fix it.
So by the time I received this error page, I knew that with a good attitude, a little research, and some elbow grease I could dive in and fix the problem, but the only thing was that I had finally got to the tipping point where I was like... enough is enough.
That was the day I jumped to Squarespace.
I ran to the platform with open arms. I canned everything. Every Wordpress theme I’d bought, everything I’d worked on for nearly a year, I shoved it all aside, moved all the files off of my desktop and said, “Ok, let’s start over.”
There was a part of me that really resisted the Squarespace move for the platform just being too easy. I know that sounds strange! But the part of me that really wanted the challenge and wanted Wordpress to work was still there with a quiet protest. But I sat back and realized that I wanted to move forward. And Squarespace had everything I needed to remove those blocks to do that.
In short, the platform works, it’s beautiful, it’s fun, and most importantly it’s incredibly freeing.
I’ll share with you 4 of the reasons why I find this platform to be so useful and hopefully this will help you out if you’re in the same boat with building a website as well.
4 Reasons Why I Love Squarespace
#1) On-Point Functionality
The developers of Squarespace understand modern business owners. They created blocks and sections that you can add to your website for things like locations, scheduling and contact forms that feature some seamless 3rd party integrations (hello MailChimp & Acuity Scheduling) and are both no-nonsense and easy to use. The page creation tabs and live editing make setting up your site such an intuitive and clean process. It’s just easy. And the changes you make on your site are immediate. No waiting for a cache to clear or having to reset your browser history to see your changes. It’s fast. Creating with Squarespace vs Wordpress to me feels like having your hands free to dive into the sand and use all these different tools to form things yourself really, really quickly, versus having to maybe only to use one bucket and one shovel to build your entire sandcastle. It’s the most intuitive building process ever. And the templates offer amazing design points to start with, and it’s really easy and fun to branch off and create something that is completely your own. The on-point functionality and ease of building is one of the main draws that pull people to Squarespace.
#2) Seamless 3rd Party Integrations
Like I mentioned above, Squarespace seamlessly integrates with many essential business components, such as GSuite, MailChimp, Acuity Scheduling (it even offers a free subscription with Acutiy if you have a business account), and social media accounts. There are newsletter blocks, scheduling blocks, and things like an Instagram block that displays your feed for you. Everything, including your hosting, is all in one place. With Wordpress, you have to track down different plugins for different features, and if one goes down or isn't updated correctly, that whole feature might break on your site. With Squarespace it’s all just part of it. No headache, no fires to put out. Just seamless integration with the other tools you use to run your life and your business, and everything is all in one place. Hell yeah.
#3) Readily Available Support
Because Squarespace handles the hosting, templates, and account information all in one place, they have a reeeaaalllly great support team that is available like 24/7 to help you out should you ever need it. Also, their support forums are chock full of helpful articles and videos that are just a goldmine of amazing information. For a first-time business owner, website builder, or blogger - this is invaluable. With a self-hosted Wordpress site, there are tons of how-to articles online, but they’re all scattered in different places. And having a support system is something you only really ever receive from your hosting provider and possibly your theme developer, but other than that, you’re on your own. So with Squarespace, having that system of support just feels like you have a whole tech team behind you, and if you’re a fledgling business owner that is such a great feeling. Even if you’re a veteran in the web world, support is still support, and knowing it’s right there whenever you need it is very comforting.
#4) It Puts the Focus On What Matters
All of the functionality, integrations, and support you receive from Squarespace are amazing, but the best part is that the time you save with all of those things frees you up to focus on your content, your service, and your people, which is the whole reason you started your blog or business in the first place. Like I said, this platform understands business owners. They want to spend less time building and researching and more time with their work, with their people, with their audiences, and with their tribe. At the end of that day, that’s all that truly matters. That’s all it’s really about. It’s about connecting to others and helping them out in the unique way that only you can. That’s it. And cracking that code was the shift I needed to let go of the details of my website and let it practically design itself. That’s when everything fell into place.
The way I expected things to play out was not how they ultimately ended up. And I think that’s a good thing. I was moved down a meandering path and ultimately led right back to the platform I started on, but at the end of that journey I’m really happy with how things turned out. Now I use my experiences to help others find their way as they begin to make moves, come out of the intuitive, entrepreneurial, or blogging closet, live their purpose, and start their businesses online. I’m now a member of Squarespace Circle, so feel free to comment below or message me with any Squarespace questions you might have!
If you liked this post, be sure to share it with a friend who needs it and definitely subscribe below! But I also want to hear from you. Do you use Squarespace or Wordpress? Which do you like better and why?