Why I Switched from WordPress to Squarespace
This year, I decided to focus on helping creatives and entrepreneurs streamline their businesses, so I started by taking a look at my own brand. I had been blogging on WordPress for over ten years, but I decided that in order to simplify my online business, it was best for me to part ways with WordPress and switch to Squarespace.
Why did I do it? In short, I wanted to save time and money and keep things simple. Squarespace seemed like the best all-in-one blogging and online business solution for the direction my online blog and brand. Below, I’ve outlined the top five reasons why I switched from WordPress to Squarespace.
I Switched to Squarespace to Save Time
The top reason why I switched to Squarespace was to save time. It takes a fair amount of time to set up, run, and maintain a WordPress site. I found myself spending more time constantly tweaking my blog than actually working on my business.
When I started my first site years ago, I tried many different blogging platforms before settling on WordPress.com, then switching to a self-hosted WordPress site. At the time, it worked for me because I was primarily blogging as a hobby.
Over the years, I started several niche blogs on WordPress sites successfully, but each time, I spent a significant amount of time managing my site. The blogging “experts” will tell you that WordPress is easier and has more features, but many of these people spend a lot of money paying developers to manage the tech side of their WordPress sites.
My Squarespace site was easy to set up and customize. I just picked a template and customized it. All I need to do moving forward is log in and add blog posts. I can focus on creating content instead of worrying about updating WordPress, updating themes, updating plug-ins, and researching the never-ending changes with WordPress.
When I had a problem with a component of my WordPress site, I had to spend hours searching forums for an answer. It was difficult to determine which part of my site was malfunctioning and only some of the plug-ins had support, which required putting in a ticket and waiting for days for a response. Squarespace includes 24/7 online support so I can get help with my site and get back to business.
I Switched to Squarespace to Save Money
It is astounding to me that so many bloggers claim that it is cheaper to host and run a WordPress site than it is to run a site on Squarespace. In my experience, the costs of purchasing a WordPress theme, WordPress hosting, and premium WordPress plug-ins add up to more than the cost of hosting a site on Squarespace.
Most of the bloggers compare the cheapest WordPress site hosting to the business plans on Squarespace. In reality, most bloggers are not using the cheapest blog hosting plans. WordPress bloggers who make money from their blogs are either using managed WordPress hosting for a higher fee or they host their own servers.
The least expensive Squarespace plan is $12, which is about what most people pay for basic WordPress hosting. Before I made the switch, I was hosting my WordPress blog on Flywheel hosting, on a plan that costs $30.00/month. My Squarespace plan is about $30.00 with tax, also. So, my hosting is the same. However, I save money because I no longer have to invest money in premium WordPress themes or plugins.
There are many free WordPress plug-ins, but those free plug-ins are not often updated. They can cause problems with or crash your site and there is no support available to help. I no longer have to worry about site security or the cost of themes, plug-ins, or the increases in the cost of my WordPress hosting plan.
Squarespace Has More Built-in Features Than WordPress
Squarespace includes more built-in features in the core of its software than WordPress. The self-hosted WordPress software referred to was “Wordpress.org” is built to be a blogging platform. The primary focus id writing blog posts.
WordPress in itself is a basic open-source content management system. What makes it powerful is the ability to add on features through themes, plug-ins and widgets. Squarespace is a platform that has many built-in features that allow sites to be used for blogging and for business. You can check out the full list of features for Squarespace plans here.
The features that I want to highlight are the included site security certificate, free premium templates, 24/7 support, full integrated eCommerce, website metrics, a site announcement bar, customer accounts, and the ability to link products on Instagram.
I no longer have to look for a plug-in each time I want to add a feature. More than likely, Squarespace has it built in. Everything from sharing buttons to SEO optimization and even a new email marketing feature are all built in. You can change your fonts and drag and drop to design without a single line of code.
When I was blogging on WordPress, what happened to me time and time again is that I would invest in a premium theme only to find out that I had to actually add plug-ins or coding to make the site look like the demo. With Squarespace, you don’t need any plug-ins to set your site up the way the demo looks. But, you still have the freedom to add custom coding if you choose to.
Squarespace Has Fully Integrated eCommerce
Squarespace has an integrated eCommerce feature that allows show owners to sell digital and physical products directly from a Squarespace website. WordPress does not include this functionality. In order to sell products on your WordPress site, you must use a third-party plugin like WooCommerce.
Some of the available plugins are free with limited functionality, or they cost an additional fee. Even paid plugins have limited support. I like having the option to sell products directly from my site if I choose to do so. This upcoming year, I plan to develop digital products to sell.
You still have the option to use Squarespace for a website and a blog and then use another platform to sell, but many creators use Squarespace for everything. I tested out the eCommerce feature and it was very easy to add a product. You can accept payments on Squarespace using Stripe, and recently Paypal integration was also added. When you shift from blogger to business owner, it’s beneficial to have the eCommerce option.
I Did Not Like the WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg Update
The final straw that helped me decide to transition from WordPress to Squarespace was the Gutenberg update that came with WordPress 5.0. Gutenberg is the code name for a project that transformed the WordPress editor into blocks. It fundamentally changed the way WordPress functions.
I tried Gutenberg when it was in beta and I simply did not like it. Before, I liked the simplicity of the WordPress blogging interface, but that has completely changed. Not only that, the changes with Gutenberg were not compatible with many of the WordPress themes and plug-ins. Some people’s sites broke when they installed the update.
When I installed the Gutenberg plug-in in beta before it became part of the core software, I found it to be very inconvenient to use. Instead of being able to type uninterrupted as I normally did any word processing software, in Gutenberg each paragraph was chunked into blocks, and many of my editing shortcuts disappeared.
As a WordPress loyalist for over ten years, I could have stuck it out. But, I really didn’t like the response from WordPress to the overwhelmingly negative user feedback. I went on the WordPress forums, and it seemed like the user feedback was either disregarded or met with snarky comments from moderators. It feels like the WordPress community that once made the platform so great is no more.
I used and adored WordPress for many years, but it was time for me to move on. I’m excited to start my new journey with Squarespace. So far, I have found the platform to be very easy to use. I enjoyed customizing my template and exploring all of the features.
Before I close, you may be wondering why, if Squarespace is so great, do so many bloggers promote WordPress as the best platform for blogging? Well, perhaps when some of those bloggers started, it was. But, technology continues to develop and change.
Also, to be perfectly honest, many bloggers make a living from affiliate earnings from recommending WordPress affiliated products. Those bloggers are understandably loyal to WordPress, but you have to determine which platform is best for you. For me, that’s Squarespace.