Squarespace vs. WordPress

Is $2000 too much for a website?

Squarespace is great for starting out and popular with my clients. If it doesn’t do everything you want, I build addons for my Squarespace clients, like I built SMS capabilities into TextBestThing.com Squarespace is going to try adding as many new features as fast as they can, but everybody needs something different. That’s how I stay in business. People come to me with their unique ideas and problems. For example, maybe they want a chart to look a certain way and they don’t know CSS well enough to do it themselves with Squarespace.

Then again, Squarespace does take time and if you don’t want to learn Squarespace, it’s faster to hire someone like me to build your website. If you do love designing Squarespace websites, congratulations–you can call yourself a “web designer” and charge people $2000 for websites. I know people that do that, and when Squarespace doesn’t do what they need for the client, they call me and I add that extra capability to Squarespace. $2000 is really not that much if you consider it’s only 40 hours x $50/hour. Statistically, only developers in 3rd-world countries work for $50/hour–that’s considered very low. The cheapest freelance developers in the US start at $60/hour.

Also you have to figure in the cost of hosting. You’re paying for the datacenter, good redundant connections, servers, power, physical security, offsite backups, system administration, insurance, taxes, fire suppression, backup generators, server maintenance, ddos protection, tech support, technical expertise to keep the software working, database administration–they are necessary costs whether you’re paying Squarespace or paying a lump sum to a web developer.

No matter what platform you start with, eventually you will want a self-hosted WordPress, which has the largest community, the most themes, the most plugins, it supports the most traffic, and you won’t be limited by Squarespace terms of service, and you won’t have to worry about losing your business if Squarespace changes something beyond your control. Because WordPress is open source and has all kinds of backup options, you’re never stuck in a “vendor lockin” situation. Remember Frontpage? That was the Squarespace of the 90s. Yes, lots of people used it successfully, they designed their own website, but because Frontpage wasn’t based on open standards, those websites no longer work. I’ve seen it happen 100 times, all these companies come and go, and for all kinds of reasons, it’s a volatile business.

$2000 for WordPress hosting is a great deal if you’re making $200,000 from your blog. If you’re not willing to spend 5-10% of your profit on your technical infrastructure, then you’re never going to grow your business. (Imagine if Starbucks never expanded beyond one store.) You need extra server capacity managed by experts in order to grow, because Google is not going to open the floodgates to crash your server with new business if you can’t handle additional business growth.

Fortunately, you can get started with WordPress for less than $2000 :-) Connect with me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/pjbrunet if you have any questions, thanks.