After months of wondering what the best decision would be, my husband (who runs the backend of decor8) and I decided to move decor8 from WordPress (WP) to Squarespace and try something completely new. This isn’t purely about aesthetics, following trends, or even because we’re bored with WordPress. It’s actually none of that. Our reasoning is based on more of what’s happening behind-the-scenes that you never see or hear about. The stuff that kills creativity.
Before I detail why we’re moving to Squarespace, let’s talk about blog platforms in general. If you’ve been wondering about which blogging platform is best for you, I encourage you to think about your needs and do a lot of research. Ask around for help from people with a tech background, but also talk to bloggers who are using these platforms each day. Also read through our 6 points below and see if anything feels familiar to you. Every platform out there serves different needs and people. You have to find what works best for you.
Like me, maybe you’ve been battling with whether to try Squarespace or not. When I started blogging, it was easy. I used Blogger.com and a boring polka-dot template because that was one of the only templates I thought was cute. Back then, nothing was happening yet with blogs (2005) so you took what you could get. Things have gladly changed in incredible ways. That’s why in 2009, I dropped blogger and hired a template designer and moved over to WordPress. It was a smart decision at the time and I’m glad I did it.
Now, it’s time to move on! Next month, decor8 will have a new look and feel and move over to Squarespace. It will be very stream-lined and basic, as I really want my blog to look and feel like a blog and not a news or media website. I know I’ll write on it more frequently and feel more excited to write regularly if I have some of the tech stress removed from my work life. I’ll detail those current stresses below.
Here are our top 6 reasons for changing platforms:
1. Security. Our site has been under permanent attack for the past several years, from brute force attacks (password guess attempts) to DDoS (denial of service). The attacks require our constant attention and prevention. This is expensive and time-consuming, taking us away from doing more interesting work.
2. Server cost. We are currently hosting WP on our own VPS (virtual private server), with considerable cost, which is needed to keep the site running smoothly under WP. While there are more affordable hosting options none proved resource sufficient enough for a site of our size (visitor wise).
3. Server maintenance. We do all our own server maintenance. While our server comes with basic tech support we still need to maintain several site critical aspects ourselves. Again, time-consuming and costly on our end because this takes us away from doing work that could be much more exciting for us and for all of you.
4. Non standardized framework. While WP can be easily extended with plugins, most of which are open source, many of these plugins may contain security risks. Plugins also often cease to be maintained by their developers, unless they are commercial, posing further security risks. They can also add considerable resource load on the sever, risking the site going down. Plugins are generally needed to go beyond the rather basic options available with vanilla Worpdress, e.g. there is no built-in ecommerce functionality.
5. Adaptable design. To this day, WordPress still does not ship with a flexible, fully visually customization template. Such templates need to be purchased from external vendors, adding cost and uncertainty (see plugins above).
6. No support. Any issues that arise with a local install of WordPress are on us to deal with. While there is a WP support forum it has proven non helpful with most issues we faced over the years.
We are both happy to make this change, and ready! We will keep running Blogging Your Way on WordPress and my personal expat blog, Hausmaus, on Blogger, decor8 will be best served on Squarespace. I may eventually run them all on one platform, but first I want to see how the big move goes for decor8 and to give it time on the new platform.
If you’d like to give Squarespace a go, you can sign up for 14 days risk free to check it out – no credit card required. When you’re ready to subscribe, just enter code DECOR8 to get 10% off your first domain or website purchase.
Time to run to the airport to catch my flight to Barcelona, bye!!!
(Photography: Holly Becker)
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Squarespace. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep decor8 blogging for over 11 years. :)