Squarespace vs. WordPress

Is $2000 too much for a website?

Squarespace is great for starting a new business, and it’s popular with a few of my clients. If it doesn’t do everything you want, I build addons for Squarespace. 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.

Remember, 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 into Squarespace. $2000 is not that much if you consider it’s only 40 hours x $50/hour. And developers in 3rd-world countries work for $50/hour, that’s considered low.

Also you have to figure in the cost of hosting. You’re paying for the datacenter, fast Internet connections to that data center, the servers, electricity, cooling, physical security, offsite backups, system administration, database administration, insurance, taxes, fire suppression, backup generators, maintenance, ddos protection, and tech support. These are necessary costs whether you’re paying Squarespace or paying 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. WordPress supports more traffic, and you won’t be limited by Squarespace terms of service. 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 didn’t last very long.

Here’s another perspective. $2000/month for WordPress hosting is cheap if you’re making $200,000/month from your blog. As a rule of thumb, you should be willing to spend up to 10% of your profit on your technical infrastructure, if you want your business to grow. (Imagine if Starbucks never expanded beyond one store.) You need server capacity managed by an expert in order to grow. Google is not going to open the floodgates to crash your server if you can’t handle all the extra business.

Fortunately, you can get started with WordPress for less than $2000. Let’s discuss what you need. Contact me.