As a microbusiness owner, you probably know your website is an important part of your business. Do you also know why your platform matters? Without the right platform, your website can be less useful at best and completely destroyed at worst.
When you’re setting up your website, you think about things like your domain name, a logo, the colors you want to use and the message you’re trying to get to your tribe. One of the things you might not think about (but it’s really important) is the platform you use for your website.
What is a website platform?
If you need clarity on what a platform is, here is my explanation…
Think of your website as your mobile tiny house (Had to use that example. I am so in love with tiny houses!). Your message and content is stored inside the tiny house but you need a space to park the house. You’ll want to update it from time to time and you’ll want to have a means of having guests over and so on. Let’s say you have two options for parking the tiny house; one is in a tiny house community park and the other is to buy a piece of land, creating a foundation and putting your tiny house there. Those two options – the tiny house park and the vacant land – are like your platforms.
Wordpress versus Squarespace
Two of the most popular platforms out there right now are Wordpress and Squarespace. So let’s talk about those two platforms…
Wordpress is a popular, free option and one that has many fans. Squarespace is a paid option that seems to be growing in praise and popularity.
Before I get into which one I recommend and why, let me say that I am NOT an affiliate for either platform and I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts on either of these platforms. My motivation in this is to give you relevant and helpful information that supports you in growing your business.
So which one do I recommend? Squarespace, without a doubt.
Squarespace offers excellent technical support
Wordpress is free and that sounds great at first glance, but in some cases you really do get what you pay for. Wordpress offers no dedicated customer service or technical support. Squarespace offers customer service and technical support. With Squarespace, any support ticket I’ve ever initiated was responded to in 24 hours or less. With Wordpress you can take your chances with asking for the advice of other users in Wordpress forums, but again, sometimes you get what you pay for.
In the time I used Wordpress, I saw my hard work torn apart and hacked on more than one occasion. I am mindful of creating strong passwords and addressing vulnerabilities and I still got hacked. Let me tell you, it is a bitter thing when you realize that Google can de-list you based on someone else adding malware to your website and making it look like you did it. I have never had one issue with spam, malware or hacking after moving to the Squarespace platform.
No Need for Constant Updating
Wordpress requires that you update to newer and newer versions of Wordpress. These frequent updates supposedly reduce chances of hacking and fix issues that may arise. Wordpress uses plug-ins to extend the functionality of the platform and you also have to update the versions of all the plug-ins you use. For example, you might use one plug-in for a contact form and another for SEO and yet another for Pinterest and so forth. Each of those plugins will need maintaining. If you fail to do so, you expose yourself to a higher risk of being hacked and the plug-in might stop working in the way you want it to work. Squarespace handles any needed updating. I do not have to so much as click the mouse in that direction, and I must say I love that.
Beautiful Aesthetic with No Extra Coding Required
I can make a decent looking Wordpress website but I have a pretty firm grasp of design, html and some knowledge of CSS. For someone who does not design or code, and has no desire to learn about that, a designer would likely be needed to make a visually appealing and professional looking Wordpress website. You might invest anywhere from $120 for a pre-made theme to thousands of dollars for something more customized. Also consider if you will be financially dependent on that designer or coder to carry out any website changes you want to make in the future. With Squarespace, many visually stunning, clean looking themes are provided. Much of the setup is just a matter of arranging things as you want them and dropping the various options into place. You can make a truly amazing looking website with little or no coding involved.
So there you have it, four reasons that I recommend Squarespace over Wordpress. Wordpress is not a terrible option if it fits your needs and you’re okay with the updating and risks of being hacked. For me, it’s Squarespace, hands down.
2-Minute Takeaway (Journal Prompt): What are the top 3 functions I want my website to serve?