Ah, the age ol’ debate. Ever since Squarespace launched and started gaining popularity, bloggers have been making the decision of which platform to start with or which to move to. Even though we’re obviously WordPress lovers here, we’ve both done our fair share of playing around with Squarespace. We won’t lie.. it’s a great platform. However, just like WordPress, it’s not the right platform for every blogger or business owner.
In case you’re trying to decide which platform you should be on so you can start your blog or make the move to WordPress this year, we’re going to break down 4 reasons you’d pick WordPress over Squarespace today!
1. More advanced features
One of the most amazing things about WordPress is that there are these little things called plugins that you can install on your site. I recently told one of our clients that plugins are like apps – there’s one for virtually anything you can think of, and most of them are free. That means that you can easily add more advanced features to your site without having to spend a ton of money or buy code from a developer to learn how to do it on your Squarespace site.
A perfect example of this is if you wanted to create a membership site. Depending on all of the content that you want to display to your members and what you want them to be able to do on the site, you’re a lot more limited with that capability, even if you use something like MemberPress.
Also, I’ll go on ahead and throw out here that I’ve seen a few business owners on the Squarespace platform protect paid content with TinyPress. I hate to tell you this, but anyone who knows even a little bit about coding can bypass the TinyPass login screen to access your content; this means your subject to people essentially stealing access to content or products that you worked so hard to create. With WordPress, it’s a lot easier to lock people out and keep them out unless they’ve paid for access to whatever you’re selling.
2. Ability to customize more freely
This is a big one! The really cool thing about WordPress that we love so much is that you can do virtually anything to your design as long as you (or a developer) knows how or is interested in learning. That means you can easily have a super custom design for your blog or business.
While we know that there’s quite a bit of customization that you can accomplish on Squarespace, the problem is that you now have to have a Business plan to be able to customize your site beyond a certain extent. That’s a huge bummer because it means spending more money per month to have a site that doesn’t look like everyone else. As long as you’re bringing in money through your blog or business that may not be a big deal, but if you’re just blogging for fun that added cost per month could really start to eat away at your budget.
Another thing to add here is that if you’re on Squarespace and looking for those customizations, you’re not only going to have to pay for the ability to do it, but you’re likely also going to have to pay a hefty amount for a much more customized template or for someone to create a more custom website design. Where our most extensive themes cost $99, we’ve seen Squarespace templates for upwards of $300. If you’re just starting out, that’s a huge investment on top of your monthly or yearly fees for Squarespace!
3. Less concern over downtime and security
Lastly, this is one that we know a lot of Squarespace users would argue with us about, and we would argue right back. 🙂 In the last year alone, we can’t count the times that Squarespace has been down for all or a majority of its users due to hackers attacking the system. When this happens, users with their sites on the platform are at the mercy of Squarespace waiting for them to fix things so their site will be live again. This may sound dramatic, but as a business owner this could cost you clients and money depending on the length of the time that Squarespace is down.
Don’t get us wrong, you will certainly still face downtime at one point or another on WordPress, but you have somewhat more control over it by making sure that you’re utilizing and well-respected hosting company. Just think… when was the last time you heard those with sites hosted on Siteground or Flywheel being down?
The flip side of this that we’re sure you’re thinking about is security. With Squarespace, you don’t have to worry so much because it’s their responsibility to make sure that their system isn’t compromised and your site doesn’t get hacked. Whereas on WordPress, it’s up to you to protect your site, and that sounds scary. But it comes down to a few things:
- Utilizing a security plugin like iThemes or Loginizer Security to protect against hackers
- Utilizing a backup plugin like Updraft to keep your site backed up
- Keeping WordPress and your plugins up to date
That may sound like a lot, but it’s really not much and not hard to do once you get your security and backup plugins installed. All you have to do after that is make sure things stay updated, which doesn’t take much time.
So, which platform do you pick?
Ultimately we tell our clients that it really depends on their goals, what they know how to do, and what amount of time they want to dedicate to their site. If they’re just getting started, don’t know any CSS and don’t care to learn it, and don’t want to worry about dedicating time to their site other than publishing new posts, Squarespace is absolutely the right choice for them.
But if you’re looking to have some more advanced features on your site, you know at least a little CSS, and you’re willing to take care of maintenance, then WordPress is right for you.
P.s. Good news! If you’re so over Squarespace and ready to make the move to WordPress, we currently offer migrations. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us! We’ll get you a quote and a timeline, and get you moved over to WordPress before you know it!