You guys might notice something a little different around here this morning–yes, I finally launched my brand new site! (Well, it actually launched yesterday, but we had some hiccups–so it may have shown up for some of you, and not others. But we made it through–PHEW!)
I hinted at it here and there, but let me tell you, it’s a lot more work than I thought it was going to be behind the scenes.
I switched over from Squarespace to WordPress, and I cannot believe it took me this long to do it, but I’m so glad it’s over! (Actually, there’s so much more I need to check off my to-do list, but I decided to put my obsessiveness aside and get this launched in it’s simplest form.) If I waited until it was perfect, who knows how long that would’ve taken?
First and foremost, I wanted to say THANK YOU to my talented designer friend Blair for designing such a pretty pre-made template for me to use (that part was super easy!) and for putting up with my pestering technical questions, Kelly, for helping me as a WordPress newbie (she just relaunched her site too, it looks amazing!), as well as my friend Diana who is a tech whiz and helped me with coding details I couldn’t figure out (as well as helped me keep my head on straight when I was in pre-technological meltdown mode.)
Some new features you’ll notice aside from the new design tweaks? The biggest one is majorly improved navigation. You can now browse my content with the drop-down menus, which help you find exactly what you’re looking for. There’s also a popular post module on the side bar (which is going to take time to populate correctly, so bear with me!) There will be a lot more features coming soon, so be on the lookout! (Also, if you have suggestions on things you’d like to see, please let me know!)
Based on my Ask Jess reader questions, I know a lot of you are pondering which blog platform to use, or considering making the switch. Here are a few things to keep in mind that might help sway you one way or the other.
Squarespace is hands down the easiest platform to get started on TODAY. If you’re one of those people that needs to launch something RIGHT NOW or you never know when you’ll get around to it, this is a really great option for you. It offers hosting, domain purchasing, etc ALL IN ONE. (Amazing.) They also have great online tech support who will go above and beyond to help you.
Also, if you’re blogging for your business, and you never intend to make money through ads or sponsors, I would also suggest going with this option. The biggest beef I have with Squarespace is that it truly does not support ads. (Have you ever landed on my site and had it overtaken by ads? Yeah, that’s what happens.)
Additionally, Squarespace does not have some of the amazing plugins that WordPress offers (like Yoast SEO, which holy crap–has changed my life.) Also, Squarespace templates are fairly limited, vs the probably millions of templates that are out there for WordPress.
And my final, biggest issue with Squarespace? If you ever want to switch platforms, your content will not transfer. It looks like it will, but it won’t. Right now, the majority of the images you see on my blog are still hosted on Squarespace. That means I’m going to have to MANUALLY go through and upload every. Single. Image. Back onto my WordPress site. Until then, I have to pay for Squarespace as well as what it costs to keep my WordPress site running so my images don’t disappear into cyberspace.
(So that really effing blows.)
If you’re a newbie who doesn’t have ANY technical friends, and can’t pay someone to at least help you out when you get stuck, I’m not going to lie, it’s not going to be easy. You are not going to be able to launch a WordPress website in 2 hours like you can on Squarespace.
That being said, it’s TOTALLY WORTH IT. If you’re one of those people that would rather take the extra time to actually do it right the first time around, absolutely go with WordPress right off the bat. It is more SEO friendly.
There are tons of great pre-made templates out there, and if you get stuck, excessive googling can usually help. Otherwise, e-lance is a great resource, where you can hire someone to help you with coding on the cheap.
There is a reason 90% of bloggers out there go with WordPress. It really is the best option that gives you the most flexibility and customization. That being said, I really don’t think it’s a must for everyone. If your needs are basic, Squarespace is still a really amazing option, and it’s not nearly as overwhelming as WordPress is.
All in all, there are WAY more improvements coming with GG soon, but hopefully you’ll already have a better site experience! Thanks for sticking with me 🙂
P.S. If you have blogging questions you’d like to ask me, be sure to sign up for Ask Jess over here!