WEBSITES: the good, the bad and the ugly for small businesses

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We launched our newly updated website last year, if you haven’t taken a look around, please do: After several years in business ourselves, helping all types of small businesses, we have found that the statistics are true. Over one quarter (29%) of small businesses do not have a website and if they do, it was created years ago. Having an outdated website can almost be worse, because you give the impression to potential customers that you are no longer in business.

We built our first website in WordPress. It was tough. WordPress requires frequent maintenance especially if the platform, theme or plugins are updated by their developers. You are responsible (or paying someone) for maintaining all aspects of your website. From experience, we know that it’s hard to find good help with WordPress, unless you want to pay thousands of dollars for upkeep.  There isn’t a live chat function or someone that you can email and get an answer within an hour. When we were learning how to use WordPress, we can attest that it takes hours of research to just fix one issue. Imagine if you have multiple issues. Of course, you can always hire a Wordpress developer to help you make customizations and troubleshoot, but that’s a hit and miss approach too.  We hired some contractors and quickly learned, there are good ones and there are not so good ones. It’s also hard to ascertain whether the contractor is good or not until you actually pay them to work for you. To us, this is the real cost of using WordPress. It was stressful and a hassle.

We started getting more requests from clients to build or update their website. So we researched and researched. We contacted our Wordpress developer partners and all of them wanted upwards of $5K for a new website. Plus, they want you to pay them to manage the site and there are additional fees such as hosting, purchase of a domain name, and sometimes, a theme template. Very expensive and in our opinion, not necessary. Small businesses do not have that type of cash to invest in a website, $5K can be an entire year’s marketing budget. Then, we found Squarespace!

We like Squarespace because it has a sophisticated sort of elegance about it, if you have an eye for beauty and design, like us, then it’s perfect for you! It offers hundreds of beautiful, professional looking templates that can be customized! Squarespace also allows users to change elements of their website’s code directly. What does this mean? It opens up a whole new level of web design that just isn’t available on most platforms.

Compared to Wordpress, it’s less expensive,  the monthly hosting is included and it’s a thinner platform, which means it loads faster on desktop, tablet or mobile devices. It’s a completely managed environment for creating and maintaining a website, and is used worldwide by all types of industries - from business owners and photographers (which means it can handle a large number of high res. images) to retailers and doctors. In fact, its flexible platform can power sites of all sizes including e-commerce (buying and selling transactions) if you wanted that in the future.

Squarespace has all the same tools and functions and are closely controlled, monitored and tested to ensure they are up 100% of the time.  The last thing you want is for your website to be down. With Squarespace, you get 24/7 help which in our opinion, is worth the investment. We have partnered with a local and very trusted Squarespace authorized specialist who also understands small businesses with small(er) budgets and guides us through any problems we encounter! What's more, Squarespace gives you total control over your content and site customization.

In our minds, cost, time and reliability are the 3 key critical considerations small businesses should weigh in your website decision-making process.  Squarespace = has the same features as WordPress, less maintenance and saves you money in the long run. And Keanu Reeves as the spokesman doesn’t hurt 😁

Check out some of our websites:

Disclaimer: The Social Crew is not affiliated with, or endorsed by Squarespace. All logos and trademarks remain property of Squarespace.

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