I decided to move my website away from Squarespace.
When I started my blog on February 23rd, 2016, it was on a total whim. In 48 hours I created the logo, bought the domain, designed the site, and wrote four blog posts. I was an emotional woman on a mission. I felt confident in my Squarespace skills, and while I had used WordPress many times over the years, I never loved the interface and how easily things could break. While I knew enough about coding to get by, I wanted to get TCM up and running and didn't want to deal with finding a host, template, coding, and all that jazz. I wanted to drag and drop my vision onto a white screen and have it up and running in minutes, which Squarespace provided me with. Squarespace rarely had any down time, was always secure, and… well it was simply put: easy.
I know the great debate in the blogging world is WordPress vs. Squarespace, too which I always rolled my eyes.
- Silly WPers, Squarespace has great built in SEO! My site in 7 months began ranking around 70,000 in the U.S. and 500,000 in the world. While note exactly where I wanted it to be, in 7 months it was pretty good without ever spending a penny on ads.
- And sure, I can't customize my Squarespace site like you can your WordPress site, but I had found a nifty hack where I simply created pages for my categories to look just how I wanted it too…
But then it happened, I got the notification that I could not create another page without upgrading my account… So I deleted a page and re-tried. Again the notification that I had too many pages and needed to upgrade my account… I deleted 5 more pages and tried again… Only to receive the same notification.
Hurriedly I counted my pages, I had around 30. Squarespace's basic plan allowed up to 20 pages for $96 per year (normally $120 per year, but I signed up with my student account to get a little extra discount). The upgraded account would cost me $18-26 per month. At that time, I thought it was insane to spend basically $200 a year just to host my site since I always see people in Facebook groups talking about hosting for $3 per month and with Squarespace there was a significant time investment per post for me formatting each post to look just right since they weren't really a part of the template.
What I didn't realize, was just how expensive hosting would be to match the security level and size of Squarespace… and that in time, I will likely be paying more than $20 per month for hosting and other services that were simply included with Squarespace (seriously, I cannot believe how many plugins cost money and that stuff was simply free on Squarespace!). But, that's in time, and right now it's definitely cheaper to be on WordPress than Squarespace.
Also, a little back story, a month or so prior I had made the decision to fade out my career coaching services. I am simply put, not passionate about it anymore. I work with some amazing career coaches and can gladly still make referrals, but it doesn't light me up the way it once did. So if you all heard me talking about a mini-rebrand coming to the blog at the end of the year, I was referring to phasing out rachelritlop.com, revamping my services, and bringing those contents in-house to TCM. I certainly did not expect to move my site to WordPress, design a new logo and site, and well have a panic attack the week before Thanksgiving.
But here we are, with a new site, which I have grown to love and I hope you will love too. In the last two weeks, I spent 16 hours a day working, researching, and trying to fix things… and breaking a few things.
While breaking those things and feeling like I was in a digital sea of confusion and desperation – I got to a point of “F* it! I am just going to revamp my Squarespace site, screw this!”
SO HOW AM I STILL SUCH A HUGE SQUARESPACE FAN AND NOW ON WORDPRESS?
I came across this blog post, which basically says Squarespace can terminate services and leave you high and dry without notice or penalty. Pretty scary if your blog is a major source of income for you like it is for me.
For that fact alone, I feel better about my decision to move. While I still strongly recommend Squarespace to new digital entrepreneurs and bloggers, because the likelihood they will just shut down or shut you down is pretty slim, it simply wasn't for me anymore as I grow my site.
And the switch to WordPress from Squarespace was SO easy – it was only complicated because I didn't love the template and was hacking the look of my site together with funky root url's, gallery boxes, and grids to get it to look just right – which led to a lot of clean up and all of my comments not auto-populating from Disqus right now! GRRR – if anyone knows how to fix this let me know! All of the comments are on my Disqus channel, but just aren't showing up in the posts here! How frustrating! Also for some reason, the font I uploaded still doesn't seem to be sticking all the time. So if you are seeing any serif font, that's not actually part of my final design. But I know I need to take some deep breaths because the design and comment kinks will work themselves out soon!
If you guys notice anything is broken, wonky, or simply have tips or suggestions, feel free to drop me a comment or e-mail me!