WordPress Wednesday is sponsored by Zoing.ly
In this episode of WordPress Wednesday, we discuss the main differences between WordPress and Squarespace with Sean Smith.
Sean is the Co-Founder of SimpleTiger, an SEO and Content Marketing Agency based in Sarasota Florida, with clients all over the world.
He is also the Co-Founder of Cleancanvas.co building simple Squarespace sites for businesses, which is why he is here with us today. He also writes for popular online publications such as Medium, TheNextWeb, The Huffington Post, Adobe’s 99U, Moz, Copyblogger, CrazyEgg, & Crew. You can learn more about Sean at snsmth.com or Tweet @snsmth to connect after the show.
Had a fun chat with my buddy @RayTirado about the diverging benefits between @WordPress and @squarespace here: https://t.co/DyBODyGi94— Sean Smith (@snsmth) April 28, 2016
Reasons why Sean uses SquareSpace
“Squarespace is coming into its own as a real contender in the CMS market.”
- Very SEO-friendly out of the gate
- Easy to set up a site quickly and effectively
- All-in-one payment plans
- Focus on simplicity but with deep potential underneath
WordPress is the most popular CMS, but there are a lot of variable due to its open source nature. In this episode we will look at…
- The problems this presents – What to look for when picking your CMS and how to deal with the built in flaws of WordPress and other open source project.
- Picking the right plugins and dealing with infinite variables
- Flexibility vs cost of each platform and why free never really means free.
- Stability and security vs speed and efficiency – Where to sacrifice and what to expect with each platform.
Topics we discuss in this episode
- SEO & Marketing – How each platform matches up
- Non-developers – How front end friendly are each of these tools.
- For-developers – What kind of scalability is built into each platform.
- Content production – How easy is it to create and publish content on each of the platforms.
- Social integrations – What kind of off the wall integrations come with each platform.
- Design – How hard is it to make things look good?
- Management – We discuss a bit about the nature of each platform and what is involved in keeping the site up over time.
Sites built on Squarespace:
- Out of the gate very well technically optimized
- Easy to start blogging and producing quality content in bulk
- Easy to apply meta tags, redirects, and go very deep into technical SEO if you need it
- Automatically sets up sitemap.xml’s and other things that normal business owners would miss on WordPress without further insight
- Cloud hosting already set up
- Cheap to set up and maintain
- Easy to configure WSYWYG style editor
- Great design resources out of the gate with Typekit integrations
- Consistent quality of plugins and integrations
- All-in-one solution
- Heavily integrated social sharing
- Full developer mode for diving deep (templates built using JSON, built on Java) with huge developer support (https://developers.squarespace.com/)
- Easy management through an integrated analytics dashboard
- Easy to manage website updates to the live site without taking the site down
- Easy to preview other templates and full site redesigns without breaking the current site
- Squarespace is constantly putting out new well-developed templates that look fantastic, keeping up with modern design trends
- Easy e-commerce setup for cheaper than any other platform on the web
- Makes people think they don’t really need to worry about SEO by selling it as “SEO friendly” – becomes an afterthought
- Harder to segment things out if you want a more a-la-carte feel
- SaaS payment model can be both a pro and a con
- Analytics doesn’t show everything, need to add Google Analytics or a tool like Kissmetrics too
- Social sharing isn’t extremely customizable and can sometimes leave some to be desired
- Less known programming language in Java than is in PHP which means it can be more difficult to find development resources.
- Custom CSS can be a little bit buggy sometimes
Notable brands who are using WordPress –
- The New Yorker
- BBC America
- Sony Music
- Ebay Inc
- Facebook – Their non FB websites
- Best Buy
- Fortune Magazine
- Time Inc
- The New York Times Company
- Google Ventures
- Lot’s of quality plugins and developers all around the world
- Infinitely variable and customizeable
- Free to use – But not necessarily free – we discuss the implications of this in this episode.
- Open Source – Lot’s of people to help and tons of online resources
- The community
- Ability to create without having to know code
- Speed and ability to get up and running – Tools to easily replicate the backbone of your web architecture.
- It started out as a blogging platform and the content creation process is part of its core
- You own it. WordPress is not a SaaS model which locks you into pricing for services, although there are still associated costs like hosting, marketing etc.
- Bulky code and redundant functions
- Plugin conflicts and other technical miscues
- System configuration or Plugin/Theme conflicts
- Everything a-la-carte in WordPress. This means lots of places to make mistakes
- Can break easily and leave you wondering what to do
- Hosting can be confusing
- Not consistent quality of themes and plugins
- Sites can start to feel the same
- Constant updates can be confusing and tricky for non technical users
- Learning curve is more steep – The software might be more flexible, but it takes longer to get to what you want right out of the box
WordPress is working towards to address some of the major concerns, and recently raised 160 million dollars in venture funding.
This is a major round of funding for the worlds largest content management system but that does not mean that the other content management systems are not trying to keep up, or taking in money themselves.
“Automattic’s competitors have certainly been investing, noted Mullenweg. In their last rounds, Weebly raised $35 million, Squarespace $40 million and Medium $25 million. In addition, Wix is currently valued at around $730 million, raising $127 million, in an IPO.”
More resources on the subject
Webnology.co – Pros and cons of WordPress
Website Builder experts – SquareSpace vs WordPress
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