It was becoming a familiar problem: over the weekend, a client would call or text us because their website wasn’t functioning properly. From plug-ins that no longer displayed correctly, to attempted hacking, to just crashing completely, the websites we were building and diligently maintaining on WordPress were experiencing numerous issues. And we knew that Social Linus was not alone in experiencing this.
We spent an extensive amount of time on support calls, in forums with other website developers, and meeting one-on-one with others in our industry trying to understand why this was happening. In a nutshell, because WordPress is an open-source platform, websites built on it were needing more and more work to keep them functional.
The small one to two-person businesses have enough on their plates without having to worry about websites breaking, updates destroying the design, being hacked, or not functioning on different mobile devices. In order to serve our clients (small businesses without marketing teams or non-profits) better, we knew we needed another platform to offer. And no, we didn’t get paid for this endorsement (though we totally should!)
Here are 5 reasons why we switched to Squarespace from WordPress:
(for certain clients)
In all businesses, time is money. And the more time it takes to build the website and get it up and running, the more expensive it becomes. We’re not just talking about the price you pay to the designer or developers, we’re also talking about the business you lost out on because you didn’t have a functional website.
In our experience, when we are building a client’s brand they are typically focused on the time investment. Small businesses, solopreneurs, and non-profits place a lot of value on time because time is the one thing you can never get back. So their websites need to look great, function well, be able to be easily scaled up – and it needs to happen as quickly as possible.
Squarespace allows us to build websites in a fraction of the time it takes on WordPress because it doesn’t require the extensive coding and troubleshooting WordPress sites require. Beyond that, on Squarespace, the website is automatically mobile-optimized, whereas WordPress sites require you to design essentially a second, mobile-friendly website, which is even more time-consuming.
Anyone can build a fast website that looks terrible. The key is building it quickly, and making sure it still looks great! We chose a platform that does not require a lot of customization (though has plenty of options to make the website look beautiful and unique), and has built-in limitations to keep things from going off the rails. When we get asked about Squarespace versus Wix, this is really important because Wix allows you to put anything, anywhere. But that means it’s easy for your website to become a mess, pretty quickly. We know that on Squarespace it will look beautiful, and when we turn it over to the client to maintain themselves, it will be easy for them to maintain the professional high-end look and feel. Which brings us to…
When we ask our clients about how much they know about web design or websites, the answers are all over the board and are generally fearful. Maintaining websites can be confusing, time-consuming, and tedious. We want our clients to be able to do simple tasks like adding new photos or copy or adding a blog post, without breaking the entire site. With Squarespace we can add a 1-hour lesson on how to maintain the site, knowing that we’re saving our clients time and money by empowering them to do it themselves.
This always brings us back to the reason for having a website: to share information about the business, to be a resource, to be a point of contact, to build credibility, and also to be the marketing hub for a brand. If a client can’t easily add information to support these goals, then the website isn’t serving its purpose.
Squarespace is a closed-source platform that is maintained only by Squarespace. They use rigorous security protocols to prevent hacks and malware that are standard and automatic with all of their websites. We have been building websites for our small business and non-profit clients on Squarespace for 4 years now, and not once have we had to deal with a security issue or a crashing issue due to a security breach. Again, if we think about how to make life easier for small business owners or non-profit volunteers, then calming their minds about website security is a big deal.
Finally, the most important purpose of a website is to help build and develop a business or organization. Squarespace has a growing library of integrations that allows a brand to communicate and generate leads, including landing pages, newsletter sign-up forms, appointment scheduling, e-commerce plug-ins, integrated digital ads, analytics tracking, and more. All of these plug-ins are simple to install and easy to maintain. Business owners who have limited time and resources can still use high-end and effective marketing materials through this platform, instead of paying extra for multiple plug-ins, landing pages, integrations, and add-ons through WordPress.
Owning a small business is challenging enough without having to worry about building and maintaining a great website. By switching to the Squarespace platform we’ve been able to quickly build beautiful, secure, functional, and affordable websites that allow our clients to focus on the most important thing: their business.
We have recently teamed with a new service partner to be able to offer website and content maintenance plans. Our ability to serve web clients with a full suite of updates, scans, and consulting allows us to offer more value and help our clients get better campaign outcomes.