Have you been contemplating Wordpress versus Squarespace? Last year I took the leap and decided that the best choice for my online interior design business was to move my Wordpress website to Squarespace. I used to be a hard core Wordpress advocate, but after a bit of research, a lot of plugin overwhelm, and several dollars spent on trying to find a Wordpress theme that gave me everything I wanted, I realized that Squarespace was really the solution. So if you’re thinking about making the move to Squarespace or are just in the early stages of designing your website, check out my website before and after video and the five reasons I moved my Wordpress Website to Squarespace.
*Note: Websites are not a static object that should never be designed and left alone. I believe they are a living document that need to change with the times and your business' offerings, message, and analytics. So the site you'll see in the "after" part of the video isn't exactly what my website looks like right now, but I'm still on Squarespace and still loving it!
Maybe sometime soon I'll walk you through some quick changes I've made since this video to make the site even more of a conversion machine, so stay tuned!
Wordpress Versus Squarespace: Simplicity
What most people love about Wordpress is its vast capabilities. There’s basically nothing you can’t do because of the large amount of plugins, themes, and developers out there. And the fact that it’s open source (meaning you can dig deep into the code) means you can really customize and get exactly what you’re looking for.
But the more that is possible, the more I was sucked into a rabbit hole of trying to incorporate all the plugins into my website. It was overwhelming.
I felt like I was constantly trying to improve my site. This sucked up my time and distracted me from doing what really mattered, like actually launching my site, creating my signature design process, marketing my services, and making money.
I originally started using Wordpress when there was no drag and drop builders, but even when those were incorporated, I was having a really hard time getting everything to look modern and clean like I envisioned.
I couldn’t get opt-in boxes or buttons into my header without a huge hassel.
I couldn’t edit my CSS while looking at the site to make sure the style changes looked correct without a workaround.
What was once my favorite platform for building websites became a huge frustration.
I was extremely hesitant when I first saw Squarespace because I knew I wouldn’t have complete control over every aspect of my site. But at some point, I just needed to get my site up and running in a beautiful, easy to navigate way.
And I was noticing that several of the sites that I admired were built on Squarespace, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Switching my site from Wordpress to Squarespace has changed my life!
I’m able to build beautiful, clean websites in just hours.
While some see Squarespace’s closed source coding as a hindrance, I see it as a weight off of my shoulders. I no longer have to worry about all the shiny plugins that I can test out on my site.
Being limited to the content blocks and themes that Squarespace has created has saved me so much time!
And if there is something super special that I want to do with my site, I have my coder Beatriz from Thirty Eight Visuals make me something special to jazz up a page that is super heavy.
Like this little beauty…
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The one thing I do miss about Wordpress is the Yoast plugin, that helped optimize pages for search engines. But since I used the plugin so many times on the old site, I now know the basic formula for making sure pages are optimized, and I use it to help others as part of my signature service, The Beyond Basic Brand Experience!
And as for losing my Google rankings from moving my site from Wordpress to Squarespace, something that people say will always happen, this is a complete myth.
I haven’t lost any of my SEO, or my Google Glitter as I like to call it. I’m still ranking numero uno!
Wordpress Versus Squarespace: Customer Support
One of my biggest frustrations with Wordpress was the lack of a centralized customer support.
Each theme is made by independent developers, and sometimes those developers don’t update their templates or respond to emails asking for support.
And don’t get me started with plugins.
Just when you think you find the perfect plugin to help fix all of your design dilemmas, it would have a bug, or not be updated, or have a developer in some country that doesn’t speak my language or never emails back.
So mother effin frustrating!
Squarespace is the complete opposite.
Most problems I’ve had I was able to problem solve using their tutorials and how-to articles.
But any time there is a problem with my site that I can’t find an answer to, I’m able to just hop on their customer support and chat with a real person.
For instance, my blog post images weren’t validating as Rich Pins on Pinterest, so I hopped on support and Squarespace realized that they were have trouble communicating data with Pinterest.
Yes, it took awhile for them to fix the glitch that was effecting many users, but they did eventually fix it. If this had happened with an independent Wordpress theme developer, I seriously doubt anything would have been done, unless of course you are spending a pretty penny on a super professional web designer that really knows their stuff!
Wordpress Versus Squarespace: Money
Which leads me to the money.
When you look at a quick overview of domain name and hosting, you’re not really saving any money with either Wordpress or Squarespace.
It’s all the extras with Wordpress that I’m saving on.
With Wordpress, you either need to have a web developer custom make a theme for you or you need to purchase a damn good theme from a developer that really knows their stuff and will give you customer support.
And as for plugins, the best are always at a premium.
I loved the look and customization of the Social Warfare sharing plugin- so I bought it.
I couldn’t figure out which theme I liked best- so I bought several.
At some point, I only have so much to spend on my business, and I didn’t want my website to be a continual money suck.
When you use Squarespace, the templates are at no additional charge. Boom- done! You can experiment with whatever templates you like until you find the one that is right for you without any additional fees.
You can incorporate Sumo for social sharing for free.
Yes, I do pay for my code developer to make super special code blocks for me, but she and I collaborate so she makes exactly what I’m looking for. Money well spent!
Wordpress Versus Squarespace: A Modern Look
I was having a really hard time with getting my Wordpress site to have full width banners.
There was just too much whitespace. It was looking too blocky.
What really sold me on Squarespace was the ability to create index pages that either alternate in color, to visually break up the space into logical segments, or have a banner image with graphics, images, and text as an overlay.
I couldn’t do that with the final theme I was using on Wordpress, and I was out of energy and brainpower to continue all the fiddling with my Wordpress site.
So if you’re stuck with way too much white space around your text and images on your website (which is starting too look super dated, BTW) I highly recommend either finding a Wordpress theme that has full width banner capability, or switch to Squarespace and select a template that allows for index pages.
Wordpress Versus Squarespace: Multiple Headers
One of the things that I really didn’t care for on my original Wordpress site was that I had to have the same header image and lead magnet opt-in box on every page.
Now I know what some of you may be saying- there’s a plugin for that!
Yes, I know, but the particular theme I had forced you to have your logo in the middle of the header and the exact same opt-in for all pages if I didn’t want to go down the coding black hole of doom.
Using index pages in Squarespace allows me to have much more flexibility with the pages I create. And while I relaunched Paper Moon Interiors with the same header on every page, I have the capability to change it as is needed and as my business develops.
If you take a look around this site, you’ll see the multiple header banners in action.
Some promote Your Brand Launch Plan free offer, some introduce me to readers, some headline my services.
It’s completely flexible!
I’m sure I could have figured this out on Wordpress, but with client work, the day job, time with my family and sleeping, I really needed to streamline my web design process and take back my time to work on more productive and profitable activities.