Why I Moved from Wordpress to Squarespace
Honesty time. When it comes to website platforms, I thought that I would be the LAST person to ever think about migrating over to Squarespace from Wordpress. I mean, as a designer, I'm somewhat biased on the wonderfulness that is having a custom website design represent your brand. But here we are, living inside of a (heavily customized) Squarespace template ... and I'm fine with it. What gives?
Well, as you can imagine, I've put a lot of thought into this migration and ultimately, decided that the pros outweighed the cons. At least for me, that is. And because I know that some of you may be considering a switch to Squarespace as well, I thought I'd share some of the reasons why I finally caved in.
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EASE OF USE: First things first, Squarespace is extremely easy to use. There's obviously a bit of a learning curve when you first sign up, but it doesn't take long to understand the ins and outs of how things works. Their built in drag and drop feature is especially nice for our clients, since most of them aren't AS familiar with managing and / or updating websites as people within the design and web space, like us, are.
Plus, I'll admit ... the templates Squarespace offers are lovely out of the box. Sure, I do quite a bit of customization on my end to help make each template look unique, but at least they've made it easy for anyone to have a good looking website from the get go without paying an arm and a leg to get there. But more on that in a sec. ;)
SCALABILITY: This was a biggie for me, especially as I consider how Rowan Made will grow in the future. You see, I've wanted to organize our brand into one part design and one part education (classes, blog, etc.) for some time now, but knew I needed to restructure our website in order to do so.
At first, I didn't even consider Squarespace. Instead, I found myself in Illustrator, as usual, attempting to design something custom that would eventually be handed over to a developer in Wordpress. The problem, however, was that I wasn't quite ready to launch any classes and didn't know how to build those into the site, ahead of time.
Sure, I could have designed a classes page later on and re-hired our developer to bring everything up to speed within Wordpress. But I knew, deep down, that this particular (big) addition could turn into a domino effect of change and become expensive, fast.
This realization led me to Squarespaec, where I promptly signed up for a trial and played around for a few weeks. During this time, I realized that A) I can do more than I thought, visually speaking, thanks to CSS and B) This platform would allow me to make significant changes (like adding new classes, pages, layout styles, etc.), without having to go through the development process all over again.
Simply put, having more control over stylistic changes, whether big or small, helped seal the deal on my end.
BUDGET FRIENDLY: Because I work within the design field, I know first hand how much of an investment custom website design a development can be. I mean, don't get me wrong ... I LOVE designing custom websites and am still very much an advocate of going that route whenever it makes sense for our clients. That said, I'm also practical, and realize that Squarespace is a great option for those who don't necessarily need something 100% custom, or can't justify the cost of it.
FAMILIARITY: The last reason I became enamored with Squarespace was because recently, I've experienced an uptick in clients choosing this particular platform over Wordpress. In fact, for awhile, I was turning away website work because I wasn't technically offering any Squarespace services, and that's what everyone seemed to want.
Once I decided to give Squarespace a chance, I realized that I now had the opportunity to familiarize myself within the platform so that I could offer template customization services to our clients. This way, if they aren't interested in getting something completely custom with Wordpress, we don't have to say goodbye to our branding clients right away, but can instead offer an alternative option. Win win win!
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It's been six months since I migrated to Squarespace behind the scenes, and so far, so good. The only caveat is that I'm fairly well versed in CSS and wrote over 1,000 lines of it in order to get this template looking the way I wanted it to.
Had I not been able to do that, I probably never would have moved over in the first place. I am a designer, after all, and am (outrageously) picky about getting things to look the way that I want them to. So thank you, custom css, for letting me strong arm this template (Rally, by the way) into something a bit more unique. I know this isn't a big deal for some people, but I wanted to make sure that I was being totally transparent in my story of why we moved.
So there you have it! If you have any questions, counter points, etc., let me know in the comments section below! The world of web is constantly changing, after all, and I'm always down to chat about it. ;)