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Why Shell Out For A WordPress Website When I Can Just Create One Myself on Squarespace?

This is a common question these days, increasingly so as platforms like Squarespace have become more and more capable.

At the end of the day however, the way that builders like SquareSpace make their platform so user friendly for non-developers, is through limited customization.

By putting guardrails in place at every turn, Wix and similar website builders are able to empower non-technical individuals to create and manage websites with relative ease. 

We think this is an elegant solution, and are happy to encourage certain prospects and clients to take advantage of the opportunity when we feel it’s the best option for their circumstances.

Sometimes a Shopify store is the best solution for small and/or fledgling businesses. Your business may not have enough cash to invest in a custom site, or you may not foresee enough ROI potential from the investment in the first place.

But if you do actually have significant growth goals, or are facing strong competition, a custom-built WordPress website will pay dividends that self-serve options can’t compete with.

Let’s take a look at the finer details of the most common and important questions we field in this arena.


To Self-Manage or Outsource

The first and most important question to answer is whether or not it makes sense to manage your own website.

We often speak with business owners who have either built their own websites, or asked a friend or family member to do their best. But to be honest, we don’t usually need to ask to know.

Outdated or overly simplified designs, poor mobile-usability, and a lack of focus are the most common side signs that a website isn’t being managed by a professional. Of course, there are many other issues like security, loading times, URL structure, etc, but let’s not get too bogged down in the details.

The point is, if you choose to manage your own website, be mindful of the tradeoffs when you make this decision.

Everything costs something. Owning a business website can cost either your time, or your money. 

If your business has positive cash flow and you’re ready to invest financially in a website, but are busy managing the other aspects of your business (which we’d advocate is ideal), outsourcing is likely the best choice.

If you have an abundance of time, and limited resources, it may make sense to start with something self-managed like SquareSpace. If you choose this path, know that you will need to put in the time and effort to set it up correctly at the outset, and be aware of the limitations of whichever platform you choose with respect to customizability and scalability.

There is after all a reason that more than half of the websites out there are built on WordPress after all. Let’s dig into that now specifically.


WordPress vs. Squarespace, Wix, etc.

Another key consideration when you’re planning to own a website will be what Content Management System (CMS) you or your outsourced agency/team will use to build and manage the website.

WordPress is technically the gold standard. Roughly 43% of all websites are on WordPress, a remarkable statistic in and of itself.

WordPress is an extremely customizable platform, with excellent support for a nearly endless number of integrations, plug-ins and the like.

That said, it generally will require development expertise to both setup and manage. So unless you have web design, web development, and/or IT experience, it’s best left to the professionals. You’ll save yourself a whole lot of headaches.

On the flip-side, builders like Squarespace and Wix, offer incredibly easy-to-use interfaces that allow non-technical individuals to own and manage websites. As we mentioned before, the customization may be limited, but you wouldn’t run into the same issues that you would trying to self-manage a WP site if you don’t have any development skills.

Ultimately only you (the business owner) will know which CMS will be most appropriate for your needs, though good advice can be found readily if you’re still not sure!


Can I Set It and Forget It?

Hate to break it to you, but this is generally a bad idea.

On convenient builders like SquareSpace, the downside to leaving your site alone, is limited primarily to lost SEO opportunities. As you may or may not be aware, Google does indeed “prefer” websites that have fresh and topically relevant content being regularly added to them.

That said, the downsides to leaving a WP site alone are potentially more dangerous. SquareSpace will continually be updating their security standards, and at least currently, is able to do so without any input from the individual managing the website.

Because of the customizability of WP, that’s not possible. Plug-in developers and the WP team themselves are always adding security improvements and the like, but they must be manually managed by the site administrator because they all have the potential to create compatibility issues depending on how the site is built.

For WordPress site owners, I cannot stress enough how important it is that these security updates be handled routinely however. There are bad actors out there, and hacking attempts are frequent.

If you own a WordPress site, it’s safe to assume that someone somewhere has attempted to breach your WordPress site’s backend. It’s been estimated that upwards of 13,000 WordPress sites are hacked every day (source).

Don’t take these warnings to mean you should steer clear of WordPress. Far from it, we’re big fans of the platform. But the warning is intended to showcase that WordPress is not a safe platform to take advantage of its benefits, and ignore its risks (must be actively maintained by knowledgeable professionals).



Ultimately, this decision will be a personal one for business owners. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, or true right or wrong.

There are pros and cons to self-managing, pros and cons to WordPress and site builders alike, so on and so forth.

I hope this resource has helped inform you how to make this most important decision. If you need further advice, our team of professionals would be happy to learn about your circumstances and provide you with a recommendation based on your circumstances.

Sam Warren
Sam Warren is CEO of RankPay, a digital marketing agency that pioneered early advances in Search Engine Optimization in 2007. Now overseeing a growing team of talented individuals, his experience has been largely shaped by personally partnering and working with over 100 businesses, ranging from small startups and local businesses, to national B2B enterprises.
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