As an entrepreneur, your website is one of the most parts about your business. You need a website that looks good, and functions well. The best websites are the ones that are always up-to-date, because no one likes to visit a website with old prices, old phone numbers, and a website that looks like it was built 10 years ago. Choosing a platform that you are comfortable updating, looks good and functions well can be tricky.
In the entrepreneur world, the two most popular platforms for websites are Wordpress and Squarespace. Other platforms like Wix and Weebly are also semi-popular, but not as widely used as Wordpress and Squarespace – mostly due to their lack of usability and lack of SEO benefits. With the recent announcement of the Google and Wix fiasco, entrepreneurs were questioning the status of their website.
This announcement also brought another wave of Wordpress vs. Squarespace arguments. Some would even call it the Wordpress cult vs. Squarespace cult. In Facebook group after Facebook group, users of each platform shout their love of their respective platform.
And then, web designers step into the conversation.
Wordpress is the golden solution for everyone!
Squarespace is great for newbies!
If you want to own your site, use Wordpress!
Squarespace is so much easier!
It's easy to see what platform a web designer sides with, as many are passionate about why their platform is better than the other. Often times, these arguments can get a little bit heated. The debate goes from talking about cost, usability and functionality, to bashing other web designers choices.
I think it's time for the bashing to end.
And here's why.
Each client's needs and skills are different.
As a web designer myself, I actually work with both platforms. Why? Because I work with a variety of clients, and each one has different needs, and different skill sets. Some just need a simple site. Some need a more robust site with membership capabilities. Some want to be able to easily set up ecommerce.
I have had countless clients to me frustrated and confused by Wordpress. I've had clients come to me who hadn't been able to update their website in five years because they couldn't figure it out. Some people are just not tech-savvy – even with website training.
Design choices should be made based on the client's needs, not the designer's. I'm not saying that every web designer needs to offer services both platforms. What I am saying, is people should stop bashing Squarespace users. (I've never seen someone criticize someone for using Wordpress, so yes, I'm singling out those who bash on Squarespace users.) If the client is going to have a beautiful website, that they can keep up-to-date, and attract more clients, then let them use Squarespace.
If you think Wordpress is the end-all solution for your client's websites, great. You (should) know your clients better than anyone else. This blog post is NOT to try and convince all web designers to offer Squarespace design in addition to Wordpress.
Both platforms have advantages.
Wordpress and Squarespace are widely used because they both have advantages. Here's a look at some of the advantages of both platforms.
Wordpress: More functionality options with the use of plug-ins, more theme options, open source = more tutorials/help.
Squarespace: Easy to update design and content, beautiful, mobile-responsive themes, easy learning curve, incredible customer support.
Both platforms have disadvantages.
Though they are both popular, Wordpress and Squarespace each also have their disadvantages.
Wordpress: Harder to learn how to use, always having to update plug-ins or themes (which can sometimes cause compatibility issues), may have to hire someone to fix issues.
Squarespace: Limitations on what's possible (no "real" plug-ins), pay more if you need more pages or products, only limited number of themes to choose from.
This argument is weak.
Those who are against Squarespace often use the argument that Squarespace users don't own their content, so if Squarespace shuts down tomorrow, they would have to restart and move to Wordpress anyway. They often also use the analogy that Squarespace users are only "renting" their website, while Wordpress users own it.
- The chances of Squarespace just shutting down overnight? Slim. Major companies/service providers are pretty good about giving their users a few weeks to get their content anyway.
- A web hosting company (like GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator) could shut down just as easily as Squarespace.
- You CAN export your Squarespace site, just like you can on Wordpress. So, if it does shut down, you can export and move. Users content isn't going to just "poof" and disappear.
Another argument that is weak: Squarespace SEO is bad. I use Squarespace and I show up fourth on the first page of Google for my keywords. Obviously it can't be THAT bad.
I'll admit, this blog post is a little biased towards Squarespace – but like I mentioned earlier, I haven't ever heard of someone bashing Wordpress users. When it comes down to it, whatever option will best serve your client is the best option.