Every business owner knows about WordPress. And the entire web development industry loves WordPress. The problem is that WordPress is just terrible for small businesses. It's complicated to set up, it's expensive to maintain, and it's a huge headache to keep worrying about.
Over half of my clients come to me after they've lived through the nightmare of working with WordPress. They're ready for a change, but not really sure if there is a better option. Fortunately, I've worked with over 600 businesses creating a new website, and the ones that have gone with Squarespace have ended up being the happiest, most successful and most productive with their website and with their business. Instead of worrying about code, maintenance and getting hacked, business owners can focus on marketing, sales and growing their company.
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For this reason, 3 years ago I decided I would no longer work with WordPress. I now only design and maintain Squarespace websites for my clients. I believe it is the right thing to do for small and medium-sized businesses. It's just good for business. And here is why:
WordPress Developers will drive you down a dark path of coding & customization
Wordpress people love code and researching and all the crazy things you can do with a website. The problem is that you run a business, not a technology experiment. WordPress Developers will make your project too complicated, take too long, and cost too much money.
WordPress is too expensive to manage
Once you get your website up in WordPress, get ready for a world of hurt. WordPress sites often break down every 3 months or so. They need to be constantly fixed and updated as online technology changes. Be prepared to hire multiple WordPress developers over the next two years to fix up your site until you get to the point where you're so burnt out, you hate the idea of having a website altogether.
You won't be able to edit on your own without a ton of training
I'm a website designer & developer, and even I get frustrated and confused with WordPress. That's because it was not designed with Clients or Business people in mind. It was made for coders. The backend of WordPress is so confusing, so annoying and frustrating, that all my clients refuse to attempt to edit it on their own after their first few attempts. WordPress is not user-friendly to Clients, no matter what any WordPress developer claims. WordPress might be fun to play around with for coders, but it is not fun for business owners.
WordPress breaks down too frequently
WordPress is designed so loosely, that all the pieces, plugins and technology fall apart constantly. You'll need to hire a WordPress developer on a roughly 1-3 month basis just to make sure it's all still working properly. And this can often cost anywhere between $300 and $1000 per 3 months just to make sure all is working well. And that's not including any website changes, improvements or modifications as your business grows. WordPress is not cost-effective for small businesses when your gross revenue is less than $200,000 per year. Spend that money elsewhere on advertising, or other ways to automated and improve your business internally.
Hackers get into WordPress too easily
If your website is not being managed and updated on a monthly basis, get ready for someone from Russia to hack your website. Coders and hackers love to mess with WordPress to try and break your site to use it for their own purposes. For this reason alone, WordPress is a nightmare to deal with.
WordPress is not the only platform that works well with SEO
A lot of WordPress developers claim that only WordPress works well with SEO. This may have been true 5 years ago, but it simply is not true anymore. Just about any web platform works well with SEO, and that is because Google prioritizes quality design, good blog posts, and helpful information higher than any sneaky tricks or techniques. Don't let a WordPress developer convince you otherwise. SEO is about good, quality blog posting and content creation - it's no longer about sneaky, weird coding hacks that only developers can figure out.
It's just bad for small business
For every reason mentioned above, and so much more, WordPress is bad for small business. It takes up your precious time, money and resources to make sure your site just does the bare minimum. So many of my clients come to me after 2 years of a WordPress site, desperate for a change, but unsure if something better is possible. Your website is the most important marketing tool for your business, so don't leave it in the hands of an unreliable and expensive CMS platform. Instead, you need a website which can stay online, without getting hacked, that looks beautiful, and is easy for you to manage and grow, so that it builds over time and becomes an invaluable asset to your business.
Here's Why You Should Use Squarespace Instead
My clients love using Squarespace. It's not the only platform that works well, but it is definitely one of the best ones. I've designed over 400 websites with Squarespace - and my clients are amazed at how much easier it is to use than WordPress. My clients use Squarespace to blog on their own, make minor text edits and changes to images without having to contact me for every little change. Here are 5 reasons why Squarespace is superior over WordPress for small businesses:
- It's so easy to make minor text edits, photo changes & adding new blog posts - my clients love being able to use their website as a real business asset rather than a marketing tool that just sits on the internet, never to be updated without extensive help from a web developer
- Squarespace takes care of all the technology updates, so you don't have to worry about making sure it doesn't get hacked or making sure all of your plugins are constantly up to date
- The costs of maintaining and improving your Squarespace website are much lower in the long run than WordPress
- While Squarespace has fewer customization options than WordPress, the simplicity of the platform helps you to focus on what really matters
- SEO works just as well on Squarespace as any other platform
There are two reasons why you should do WordPress for your business, though. First, if you a large company that can afford complex customizations that run in the $20,000+ per year range, WordPress is a better option for you. Second, if you are a technology company which requires lots of customization for ecommerce, blogging, databases, or other complex functions, then WordPress is necessary. That's about it.
For small businesses, stick with Squarespace.