Why switch from Wordpress to Squarespace?
To begin, I feel a short disclaimer is in order. I am not a website designer; I am not a coding nerd; I am not a Wordpress expert. I am a hobby photographer who has had a WordPress blog running since early February 2014, so everything in this post is my own personal opinion based on my somewhat limited blogging experience.
There must be at least 101 reasons to switch from Wordpress to Squarespace for your blog or website. The only thing is I haven't thought of all 101 reasons yet, so I can't list them here.
However here are half a dozen reasons, not in any particular order of importance, why I ditched Wordpress and moved my blog to Squarespace.
Cost of Squarespace
I have long been a proponent of using local service providers - primarily for my web hosting. One of the upsides to having my personal blog hosted in New Zealand is that my site loads faster for my (intended) primary audience. A second benefit is that the Help Desk is available during my waking hours. More about speed and help later in this post.
There a quite a few downsides as well - the main one being cost - or more specifically value-for-money.
New Zealand web hosting companies cost considerably more for much less web storage space than overseas hosting companies. So for an image-focussed site such as mine, it's not long before you start to run out of room.
With Squarespace there are no space limitations (fair useage of course), and the monthly cost of my new Squarespace account is marginally less than total cost of my current setup which comprises:
- monthly hosting fees;
- cost of a premium WordPress theme (and ongoing annual support costs);
- cost of extra storage space for display/sharing of photographs - in this case SmugMug (yes I know Google Photos is free...but!);
- domain name cost.
Ease of Use of Squarespace
After trialling Squarespace for almost a month before making the final changeover (yes - you can extend the standard 14 day free trial) I have reached the conclusion that Squarespace is much easier to use overall than Wordpress. Squarespace just seems to be more intuitively user friendly.
There are so many things that Squarespace does "out of the box" that require plugins to do the same, or similar, things in Wordpress. Two thing that that spring to mind are posting straight to Instagram and Facebook.
Another dead-easy action is the setting up of a navigation menu. It's as easy as drag-and-drop.
Speed of Squarespace
As I mentioned above I used to have my blog hosted in New Zealand to try to keep page load speeds for my (local) audience snappy. As well as that I had to use a caching plugin for Wordpress, and had to use Cloudflare (I was too tight to pay for full-blown CDN) to make sure things ran as fast as I could get them to go.
With Squarespace it just seems to happen. My blog pages - and images in particular - load a lot faster than they ever have before, thanks in part to Squarespace using a global CDN (content distribution network) for images.
And while on the subject of speed - I can get into the back-end of my website to make changes a lot quicker than I could ever get into the Wordpress Dashboard. - and any changes I make in the back-end happen quicker too.
The Look Of Squarespace
Yes I know there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of free themes for Wordpress; and probably many hundreds more premium themes too.
However, to my eye, the templates available to choose from in Squarespace, while limited in numbers, are all really great looking, and again I'll use the term "straight out of the box".
The Style Editor makes it easy to personalise your site to a limited degree, just as a working knowledge of CSS will allow you to change the appearance even more.
But for my money - I love the clean look of those Squarespace templates.
And did I mention plugins? While there are specialist companies creating and selling plugins (and templates) for Squarespace I'm sure the majority of users will never need any such add-ons.
Squarespace Is Great On Mobile Devices
Again I hear Wordpress devotees saying - " Wordpress themes are responsive too...", but Squarespace, in my opinion based on my own blog, does it better than any Wordpress theme I have used to date - and I have had several different themes on the same website down through the years.
A Squarespace Blog Saves Time
Yep - it sure does save time. Squarespace is quicker and easier to use and I found it quicker and easier to implement than Wordpress.
I reached the stage where every time I logged into the dashboard of my Wordpress site there was this to update, that to update, new versions of plugins to find and install. There is none of that with Squarespace as it is a fully managed platform.
And when creating new pages, new posts or galleries, the drag-and-drop features are quicker, uploading/inserting images is quicker, and overall everything is slicker and quicker.
So there you have it - 6 out of a potential 101 (I just made that up) reasons to switch from Wordpress to Squarespace.
Oops - I nearly missed out commenting on the Help system for Squarespace - reason number 7 to switch.
I really like the fact that all support comes from the one place, and as much as I have tested the support system by email since first starting my trial, I have found the on line support to be top notch. Response times have been good and the actual help has too. With my Wordpress site, my web host Help Desk couldn't (wouldn't?) help with any Wordpress issues; and the Wordpress Help system couldn't (wouldn't?) help with any web hosting issues.
For all you die-hard Wordpress fans I bet you can come up with 102 reasons or more to not switch. I'm not saying that Squarespace is perfect, but it does what I want it to do much better than any Wordpress version I have had of this blog.