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SquareSpace is the new platform in town that many are looking at. I investigated it because I want our clients to be informed and if there happened to be a better blogging platform other than WordPress out there, I wanted to know all about it. Here’s what I found.
Just like Weebly, Wix and GoDaddy’s Website Builder, it promises to be so simple you can create a website quickly. This is very attractive to small business owners as we are always trying to keep our costs down. But while trying to keep financial costs down it could be costing you in other ways. What ways? Well, it may promise to save you time, but what happens when you run up against an error or worse, that moment you realize they don’t have a feature you were used to and loved on your previous website platform. Switching platforms can cost you in terms of traffic to your site. Yes, when you switch platforms you lose your hard earned search rankings and all that SEO work you did! Lastly, it could cost you in terms of branding. Many of these platforms offer a limited number of templates forcing your site to look like thousands of others on the web. Let’s look at these items in more depth, shall we?
SquareSpace is new and with any new platform out there, there is going to bugs that you are going to run up against. I haven’t used SquareSpace so I can’t say I have found bugs myself, but heck even Microsoft would release software prematurely and have it’s users find the issues. Do you really want to spend your precious time opening up tickets and reporting bugs? Last time you looked at your name tag did it say “Quality Assurance and Bug Zapper”?
While researching SquareSpace I stumbled across this post where the user asked SquareSpace to fix a feature. It took three weeks to fix it and it broke again 2 days later.
Search Engine Optimization and Traffic
Moving to a new platform means losing a lot of Google love. Yes, your whole website coding will change and Google will have to figure out the new coding for your content (I could get geekier here but I’m sparing you), reindex your site, and then add your new pages and posts to it’s database. Now, it’s not just Google that will have to do this, it’s every search engine. Do you have the time to go into every search engine and request it to resubmit your site? And what’s worse is you may lose some of your original urls to your posts and pages due to the new platform, meaning your existing links on your newsletters, social media, guest blog posts, and in the search results that haven’t been refreshed yet will result in your visitor seeing a nasty 404 error such as “Sorry, what you are looking for no longer exists”. How frustrating.
WordPress has been around for over 10 years. Over the years it has developed a loyal and strong community of developers and users. The users have told the WordPress community what it needed to run businesses such as the ability to sell products and services and get paid for them via shopping carts and payment gateways, the ability to sell their content via courses and membership sites, and more. This resulted in over 38,000 free plugins on WordPress’ Plugin directory and thousands of premium plugins and themes. Using these plugins and themes allows you to customize your site and user experience, making your WordPress site unique and helping you build your unique brand. SquareSpace does offer templates, but not nearly as many as WordPress and so you could end up with a site that looks like your competitors’. Really? You are too unique for that and your business deserves better.
If your site is built on WordPress save yourself the hassle and headaches of moving to a new platform. If you are about to build a new site consider how you want your site to function and look now, but also consider how much you want your site and your business to grow in the future. If you are a creative entrepreneur who likes to be creative then WordPress is the best choice for you as it will give you the flexibility and uniqueness you are after.