I've been using Wordpress for my website for almost two years. Prior to that, I was responsible for a wealth management firm's website, and used Wordpress for that too. In fall 2017, I decided to take a look at alternatives; my Wordpress website for Apto Marketing was sleek, professional in look and feel but ultimately not that easy to use when I wanted to integrate marketing automation and create more dynamic content. I had installed plugins for marketing automation but the path to implementation seemed too laborious for what I wanted to achieve. After much research, I settled on Squarespace. These are my reasons for switching:
- Efficiency is important to me. Squarespace and other WYSIWYG website builders have highly intuitive UIs (user interfaces) and offer a truly effective way of creating websites that look clean, professional and which help us brand ourselves and generate leads. You can build what you wish to achieve without HTML coding knowledge.
- Effective Support. Wordpress does require a bit of a learning curve and is much less intuitive. Even if you get someone to set up the site for you, serious glitches need to be fixed by them (e.g. my entire website didn't load because of a problem with a plugin update). If your web developer is a busy one, you may have to wait to fix glitches (and pay for it to boot!). Wordpress has an impressive community where you can get guidance but you may not always get the guidance you need, when you need it. I like that Squarespace has an award-winning customer service team that supports me 24/7. Thus far, every question I've had has been answered to my satisfaction, and promptly. Its Live Chat hasn't let me down thus far.
- Cost. The cost of plugins and paying a web developer for what I could achieve on DIY sites such as Squarespace was also a factor in converting me. I also had to pay separately for my site to be hosted when I used Wordpress; another addition to the debit side of my cash flow.
- Centralization and ease of integration. I wanted to host my site on a service that freed me from having too many moving parts to attend to (and the vendors to match). I wanted back-ups and updates and security to be taken care of, rather than to have to monitor these crucial requirements constantly and separately. And I didn't want to buy another e-mail automation service and tag that on top of my Wordpress site.
- Tried and tested. In both my personal and professional life, I go for brands that have a solid track record. I lean towards value over affordability. I also pick providers that have ironed out all the little hiccups that can make life challenging for their users. Squarespace has thousands of customers and it's survived the competition. I now know why.
I'm not recommending that you switch to Squarespace or Wix, but it's important to always start with fundamentals - if you don't need all the bells and whistles, and the ones you need areaffordable, easier to use, and present your brand well, then these "DIY" platforms are worth considering. Wordpress remains a solid choice for those who need separate plugins and tools that allow for complex campaigns, tracking and deep-dive analytics. Ultimately, you'll have to weigh the pros and cons of each service provider, and be very clear about what matters most to you. Or rather, which challenges you are willing to live with.
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