Why I Moved My Blog to Squarespace
Spoiler: It was the best decision I made for this little space on the Internet.
Let's backtrack. When I first created affecionada, I used Blogger and purchased a custom domain, which required little to no investment. But affecionada was something I wanted to invest in. So, shortly thereafter, I looked into self-hosting. Funny enough, at the time, A mentioned Squarespace as a potential platform he had heard of through the podcasts he subscribes to. If I had listened to him, I would have saved myself quite a bit of headache and money. I dismissed it, as I knew Wordpress to be the blogger favorite, and migrated to Wordpress (.org) hosted by Bluehost.
I can understand why Wordpress is the favorite--as a blogging platform, it is user-friendly. There are an array of designers and developers who work with Wordpress, and an array of plugins you can install for different functions and features. If you can afford the design and development and manage the frequent plugin updates (assuming the plugin creator provides updates), or if you are experienced in frontend and backend, you're set!
Yes, there is a slight note of sarcasm, but I can understand why some would choose Wordpress and why it works for them. Using Wordpress shaped my vision for affecionada, and for that, I value my experience.
With Bluehost, on the other hand, I was chronically dissatisfied. My site would take ages to load, was not efficient, and never functioned as it should. At times, it would go down because Bluehost was down. Whenever and whichever way I contacted support, I was put on l o n g holds and rarely provided with resolutions, about which the representatives didn't seem to care. So, I exhaustively researched my options.
Enter Squarespace's 14-day free trial, i.e., fourteen days of me obsessively building the new affecionada.
Why it was the best decision I made
Squarespace manages most everything so I can focus on building my site and creating content. This includes hosting, custom domain, SEO, integration with G Suite, frontend, and backend. Most anything else, I contact support for a friendly and in-depth response within a short response time (this has been consistent during and post-trial).
I have access to a selection of templates which I can customize with built-in functions and features that I can add, delete, and drag and drop, which I can preview before applying the changes to my site. The selection of templates is limited compared to, again, all that's out there for Wordpress, but each template is clearly thoughtfully and intentionally created (I'm using Montauk). Fewer, better. I can also use the style editor and inject custom CSS and insert code blocks to style and brand my site. These apply to each page of my site as well as to individual blog posts. If you've ever tried to format the images and copy in a blog post on Wordpress, you'll know this is m a j o r!
Migrating to Squarespace from Wordpress and importing content were fairly simple and quick. Some tedious steps, however, include reformatting posts (standard for any migration) and, if needed, creating URL redirects. An inconvenient feature of Squarespace is uploading only one image at a time, though this causes me to be more thoughtful and intentional when selecting image content. Final point, though Squarespace includes integration with Disqus, comments cannot be imported when migrating; so, all of your sweet and lovely comments are no longer featured on affecionada. I hope this will encourage you to leave new sweet and lovely comments!
In all, moving my blog to Squarespace has given me more freedom within my capabilities and brought me closer to my vision for affecionada. I'm excited to launch new content and features this summer, including a newsletter and possibly video! Stay tuned. x