which is better, wordpress or squarespace

Squarespace and the Future of Web Design Companies

As Bruce Springsteen would say…”Big Man, I got a problem.” No, it’s not about a girl named Mona. It’s about the future of web design and where companies like Altera Web fit in.

We started as a one-person company back in 1999, officially launched Altera Web in 2005 and have survived/excelled in the 12 years since.

How? We have always adapted to the progressive and ever-changing nature of the web. Back in the early 2000’s, we hand-coded every website in HTML, CSS and JavaScript (with a little PHP/ASP thrown in at times). And we had to adjust our code for both Internet Explorer and Netscape, who tended to display your code in very different (and frustrating) ways.

When Flash came along and promised to be the next big thing, we jumped on board the train and built several completely Flash websites. Considering most people were still on a dial-up internet connection, it posed quite the challenge to build something that was effective, yet still quick to load.

Then we moved along to content management systems, started with Joomla, and eventually settled with WordPress as our CMS of choice (the right call by the way).

Next came responsive design, making sure every site was optimally viewed on all devices.

All of the items above have one thing in common: The client needed Altera Web (or one of our many wonderful competitors) to do the actual work. They did not have the design skills, the technical skills, nor the time to created their own website.

Enter Squarespace (or Wix or Weebly…though Squarespace stands above the crowd), a do-it-yourself website builder. Now companies like Go Daddy and Network Solutions have had their own proprietary website builders in the past, but they were clunky, produced below average websites and were not remotely user-friendly. So when Squarespace came out, our original reaction was muted.

Looking back, this was most likely not the best reaction for our business. Squarespace has shaken the web industry up. Although we have personally used it and don’t find it as intuitive as expected, you cannot argue with the results. They currently have 3 locations (NYC, Portland and Dublin) and claim their system has been used to create millions of websites. That’s millions of websites that once would have had to be outsourced or built from scratch internally.

Has this put a dent in our business? Yes
Are we throwing our hats into the ring and calling it a good run? Yes. Just kidding…heck no.

This is not a WordPress vs Squarespace battle. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on the customer’s needs.

This is more of a what do we do now, moving forward?

The response, like always, is we adapt to the changing times. While Altera Web will still remain as is, helping clients who need our skills and require much more than Squarespace can offer, we will also be launching a new service in the coming months that offers a solution that falls between “do-it-yourself” and “do-it-for-me”.

That solution is called 3 Page Plus.

We’re calling it a hybrid, but it goes much deeper than that. It puts the customer in control of his or her own website, but they are not on their own. We will partner with them every step of the way, from building the site, launching it, helping them market it, assisting in SEO and keeping everything running smoothly. And seeing that you only pay for what you want to use, it is a very cost-friendly solution.

We can’t share more than that at this time, but suffice it to say, we are beyond excited about it. If you’d like to be kept up to date, please just leave your email address here and we’ll send you the occasional email as to our progress and launch date.

Here’s to the future!

wordpress vs squarespace