The creation of this website was a transition from another blog. I was familiar with the front page of creating a page, post, and uploading media on WordPress.com. However, the backend of selecting the right plugin to make the site unique, was foreign, and I needed a lot of research into what to do and what not to do. At the time, I decided to start blogging on the Squarespace platform. I’ve now been with WordPress for a little over a year and wouldn’t think of going back.
Knowing that my days of site programming was far in my past, I have a 2-year degree in computer programming, I needed a host that would allow me to quickly sign in and do what I needed without the knowledge of plugins and programming. Although Squarespace at the time, was a perfect match for design and launch, I was not able to do some of the functions I was used to doing without the use of other programs and paid subscriptions.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is an all in one website building and hosting platform. As mentioned prior, the use of drag and drop elements allow a person without website building experience to create webpages and blogs.
It’s been two years since I’ve transitioned from Squarespace, so I don’t have screenshots of my site at the time. Here is a good post that provides the different layouts of creating a website and the breakdown of the various pages and their purpose. If you are using the template for the site’s design, the only options you may have is to add a logo and change colors.
Although easy on the eyes and user friendly, Squarespace is affordable in comparison to cost to WordPress plans. According to Squarespace.com, the most common idea to choose is business. Using a business plan from the beginning, allows you to create your site with the hope of selling items later on. However, if in time, you don’t have an interest in selling products or a service, your analytics may reset when downgrading to another plan.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source template system. In comparison to Squarespace, it is not an all in one platform. To have access to functions, you will need to pay into some things like a reliable host, domain, theme, and plugins. It can become costly, but there are some free options until you can invest in your website. There are also differences between having a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org.
According to TechDifferences, wordpress.com is a hosted platform that provides full maintenance, analytics, plugins, setup, upgrades, backups, security, and hundreds of themes. On .wordpress.org is a hosted platform where you can customize your website from scratch with the need of programming and network security knowledge.
When I transitioned from Squarespace to WordPress, I opted to use Site Ground web hosting and a simple transition from SquareSpace to WordPress. Disclaimer: If you choose to also go with Site Ground, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. And you will receive a discount if you purchase Site Ground as your web hosting provider company. They provide a reputable and decent web hosting to launch a website.
Webhosting, or a web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to view on the internet. Without having a host, your website or blog is just like having a journal stored under your mattress; no one will see it.
Types of Web Hosting Services
- Website Builders – a “type of hosting service that caters to beginners who need to host a website, but lack the technical skills and knowledge to build one.” Website.com
- Shared Hosting – sharing the physical server and the software applications within the server.
- Dedicated Hosting – you have the entire web server to yourself. Dedicated Hosting, allows for faster performance, because you have all the server’s resources entirely, without sharing with other website owners.
- Collocating Hosting – purchase your “server and have it housed at a web host’s facilities. You will be responsible for the server itself.” Website.com
A domain is the name of your site. Each computer name on the internet has an IP number (address). Instead of remembering each number, we have names to research and find quickly. Each search on the web looks through a database of figures linked to a text name resulting in your site appearing.
Unless you are not interested in creating a brand and business, you are not obligated to purchasing a domain, $1.33/month ($15.95/year). What does this mean? It is the difference between /simplykatricia.wordpress.com and /simplykatricia.com. The cost to having and keeping the privacy of my site, is basically an ‘add on’ service to protect my data and keep it hidden from the rest of the world, is worth the $2/month ($24/year).
The cost of an all in one service versus paying for a host, privacy, and domains, depends on what it is you want or need from your website. Simple plans = simple costs. For Squarespace plans, you want to pay for the core and marketing perks, which usually comes with a business plan, if you don’t care too much for marketing, then select personal. WordPress plans, provides the necessary components to setting up your site as well.
- Personal – $12/month (25% off annually)
- Business – $18/month (30% off annually) Most popular
- There are two additional plans; however, I didn’t look into these since blogging does not need such an expensive and elaborate procedure.
Site Ground Costs
- Startup – $6.99/month (discounted from $14.99) Made for newbies
- Grow Big – $9.99/month (discounted from $24.99) Made for growth
- Go Geek – $14.99/month (discounted from $39.99) Made for experts
The cost of selecting Site Ground and all the features that come along with it, gives an annual cost that outweighs the simplicity of using Squarespace for my website. Although, I wouldn’t mind paying those introductory fees I paid last year than the updated prices of today.