Should you use Squarespace, Shopify or WordPress for your website?

I've been designing websites for clients professionally since 2010, and over 600 websites in my entire career. I have tried just about every platform their is.  In 2010, the big thing that all my Clients wanted to have was an "Adobe Flash" website - but just a few months later, Apple announced they were no longer going to support Flash. So I knew I needed to start looking for another way to build sites. 

WordPress has always been a platform known by people, even those who aren't tech-savvy have heard the term. I spent about 6 months trying to learn WordPress, but got burnt out by the endless amount of learning needed, so I outsourced to a WordPress developer.

WordPress is a nightmare for anyone that is not obsessed with coding. Personally, I like design. I like start businesses, and doing marketing and coming up with ideas. But learning WordPress sucks up all your time. 

After 2 years of doing WordPress for countless clients, I would get emails and phone calls from my Clients saying they were frustrated with trying to make small edits on their own, or that their site crashed, or was hacked, or some other major frustration. With such a low, long-term success rate with WordPress, I was reluctant to keep working with it.

In my opinion, Shopify isn't any better. It's still a do-it-yourself web developer kit that requires coding, a lot of focus, and a huge time investment. 

In 2013, I finally tried out Squarespace. Over the past 4 years, they've very slowly made improvements to the site to add more features. Squarespace claims that their tools are easy to use. And in terms of doing quality Website design work, I think they do have the easiest-to-use platform. But there is still so much to learn with Web Design, no one who doesn't do this full-time can learn it all, unless they get some serious help from a professional web designer.

But 5 years later, I have clients who have Squarespace websites that are still using it to this day. They can edit their blog on their own, change out text and images, and make other basic alterations without having to sit down and make it this huge all-day process. 

Every web developer has their opinions, and you'll get advertising and marketing advise from all sorts of people who will say WordPress is best for this, or Shopify is best for that. 

But, in short, if you have less than $100,000 to spend on your website, and you are a small business, and need to manage your website on your own, or have an employee manage it for you, and you don't have the time or money to hire a huge web coding firm to do it all for you, then I highly recommend Squarespace as your website platform. 

This is coming from years of experience, working with hundreds of small, medium and large businesses, and seeing websites and businesses crash and burn, or greatly succeed. 

In 95% of the cases, I recommend you go with Squarespace if you are Small Business with a limited budget. Don't waste your money and time on other platforms that have thousands of tools, but will burn through your capital and test your patience. 

I hope this information is helpful as a staring point, but feel free to write me or leave a comment for more information.

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