PoP 123 | Website Roundtable, Website Platforms WordPress, Wix, and Square Space with Joe Sanok, Perry Rosenbloom, and Aaron Carpenter

WEBSITE ROUNDTABLE SOCIAL MEDIA

Welcome to Day 3 Website Platforms WordPress, Wix, and Square Space

Well welcome back! It’s Day 3. 

So today we are talking all about platforms. So WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, maybe there are ones out there I haven’t heard of, but why don’t’ we just start with WordPress.

Don’t forget, you can hear all five days and download the whole book, transcripts, and walk through over at www.WebsiteRoundtable.com

Website Roundtable Bios

Joseph R. Sanok

consultant headshot JoeJoe is a private practice consultant and the owner of Mental Wellness Counseling in Traverse City, MI. He has had terrible website and great websites!

Aaron Carpenter

aaron-carpenter-traverse-cityAaron Carpenter owns Legendary Lion Web Design. They’re based out of Traverse City, Michigan and  do custom web development.  They try to give people the most value for their coin on making custom website applications. 

Perry Rosenbloom

perry-rosenbloomPerry Rosenbloom is the founder of Brighter Vision. Brighter Vision is an all-in-one website solution for therapists so they build therapists’ websites that look like they’ve spent a few thousand dollars but in fact only cost them $59 a month. They do a fully custom website for you, with support and all of your SEO, for just a low monthly cost.

If you want the full transcripts, screenshots, and checklists to help you start building your counseling website, click the image below and we’ll email you the 50 page e-book for free!


Scroll Below for Today’s How to Start a Website Transcript

DAY 3 Website Platforms WordPress, Wix, and Square Space

Well welcome back! It’s Chapter 3. 

So today we are talking all about platforms. So WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, maybe there are ones out there I haven’t heard of, but why don’t’ we just start with WordPress.

Why WordPress?

We’ve all ended on WordPress. Let’s talk a little bit about the advantages of Squarespace, Wix, and some of the other platforms. Perry, why don’t you kick us off with Squarespace? What is it about Squarespace that people love or like or put up with?

SquareSpace

You know the things that we hear from clients that they like about Squarespace specifically is:

Primarily the cost.

All in one platform.

They have their themes, they have support, they have hosting all under one roof all under the Squarespace platform.

Their themes are really modern and really clean and a lot of them are like you know, I really love design-wise and a lot of developers and designers utilize Squarespace designs for inspiration very often.

They’ve done a really good job at building a clean design platform and content management solution for you to have your website put on. They’re all under one roof so you log into Squarespace.

Low cost E-commerce store or a store where you can purchase things on your website.

In terms of all overall functionality you know, I’m a WordPress guy through and through. I think that WordPress is still hands down, the best platform out there but Squarespace does have some advantages like I touched upon semi-well there.

Wix

I did a little bit of research on this before we brought up the topic because just as Perry said, we’re WordPress developers by trade so that’s kind of like we’re on the edge of that and the other platforms are evolving daily so with the best of my knowledge from my chair plus the small amount of research I did, I can tell you that:

Wix is definitely more popular than Squarespace, but both of them provide what you see is what you get editors.

You basically edit your webpage while looking at it without needing to know any code. And so they provide a way for you to basically jump right in without needing to do any training. So for that purpose, they’re both excellent choices.

They both have modern themes. They’re both photography-based themes of design so they’ve big, big, high resolution pictures that are like full screen experiences that show different cool images and overlaying text on the top of that is a pretty modern trend for both of those builders.

They both allow you to do some basic SEO so if you want to start changing the key phrases and keyword terms that are associated with each page, you can do that with both of them, but they both share a monthly cost and that’s sort of wrapped into it.

WordPress

We’ve also mentioned WordPress. WordPress is similar to each of this but different in that without a plugin or extension you can’t edit the page as you are looking at it, so it works a little bit differently, I suppose is the best way to put it.

How does it work when someone wants to switch their website from Wix to WordPress or Squarespace to WordPress?

I guess how does that migration happen? Like what do they lose in SEO or do they lose things in SEO?

So in terms of search engine optimization, SEO if you move from a Wix or a Squarespace to WordPress, provided that the developer or the company you hire to do the migration knows what they’re doing, your SEO will stay the same. It should not be impacted.

The problem is a lot of people out there just don’t really know what they’re doing. You’re in good hands here with Brighter Vision and with Legendary Lion that we really do a lot of migrations. We know what we’re doing in terms of how to get those done properly, but in terms of design, yeah, you’re going to lose everything.

Make sure that you can ask them, “Hey. Will you set up 301 redirects on a page-by-page basis”? That’s a really good. Now what that means is if you’re on like a Wix platform and you’re traversecitycounseling.com/services on Wix and then it’s traversecitycounseling.com/counselingservices on WordPress, well are they going to make it so that the old site/services automatically goes and points to /counselingservices on a new site? Such a really important detail that can often be overlooked.

You also want to ask them, “What will you do to help my SEO? Will you write custom titles and descriptions for me”? That’s a really important one.

If we use the house analogy again or in this case, maybe a better one might be a car analogy, so I’m going to go with that actually. If we think about the website like a car, then WordPress is like its engine. And with Squarespace and Wix, the whole engine is locked in. It’s all welded in and you can’t get at it as a developer.

There are just certain things that you can’t do with those platforms. When it comes to SEO or designing something or building something, it’s just not the greatest platform. So if you choose one of these, you may, if you intend to make your website do more things down the road, you may want to take another look at whether or not you should use that or WordPress. WordPress is highly extendable because as Perry said, it’s open source which means as a digital mechanic, I can get right in there. I can get down to anything that I need to touch as a digital developer and extend that for you as a client.

If you plan on doing something into the future with more functionality or want less limitations as to what you can do with it, WordPress is great because there’s nothing that’s off-limits.

Practically what that looks like for a counselor is whatever is the next Pinterest, if I want site-wide to be able to pin it on every single picture, I don’t have to wait for Squarespace or Wix to say “Yes.”

In WordPress, some developer’s going to write that code the day the new Pinterest comes out and then there’s going to be a plug-in that I can install on my website to do that.

The punch line to the whole conversation to put it quickly is that with WordPress you can do more things with it.

When you use a website builder like Wix or Squarespace if you ever end up in a scenario where you need professional help for development or design, just know that they’re already kind of handcuffed if they need to work in that platform.

This is because they’re limited in the amount of things that they can do. A lot of us are very creative in finding ways around those things. It’s part of the fun of this job. But yeah, it still can be problematic in the long term.

And WordPress is free.

WordPress Security

A lot of small businesses aren’t even aware of is what kind of security will I have with my new website?

One thing that’s really great about Wix and Squarespace is that their security is built-in. it’s not open source which is something we touched upon on a different episode meaning that it’s all closed off. It’s all their proprietary. Wix’s websites are Wix’s proprietary tools. Squarespace is Squarespace’s proprietary tools.

WordPress is open to everyone. What that also means is that it’s open to a lot of security vulnerabilities and you want to make sure whoever moves from a Wix or a Squarespace or if you’re just getting started on your WordPress website yourself, make sure you have the right security tools in place to prevent your site from getting hacked by unscrupulous hackers out there because there are a lot of people out there who target WordPress websites and it’s not a problem if you put the right security tools and right maintenance tools in place. But you’ll want to make sure that whoever designs and develops your new website puts those security tools in place or if you’re doing it yourself, you put those tools in yourself.

Top Security Tools for WordPress

What might be some plugins that if someone’s bootstrapping building a WordPress website like what are some of those tools to make sure that that’s a part of your site?

Wordfence: I can’t hardly recommend that one enough right off the bat. Wordfence, you can install that plugin. It will continually search both the WordPress core which is like the engine that makes the website work and your theme if it’s in their directory, and your plugins, and just make sure that there’s nothing in there that looks malicious. If it is or if doesn’t belong there, it will flag it then tell you and you can remove it or quarantine it. Or if it’s something that you don’t feel comfortable handling, you can then in turn contact that host that you have, talk to their support team and let them know that you found something and they will almost always help you with that because it’s also in their best interest not to have that on their servers.

Themes

If you’re bootstrapping, helping you build a great website and maintain your website can be tough. A theme is basically the “skin” or “bones” of your website.

What’s great is you can always change your theme in WordPress without having to reformat your website.

You have so many options available to you to really build a great website. And since WordPress is the most commonly used platform for building websites these days, you do not have to throw everything away if you want your website redone.

With Squarespace and Wix you’re going to be starting from scratch in terms of having a new website done if you want to move to WordPress. Whereas, if you start in WordPress and you build it yourself, if you decide a year later you want to hire a company to rebuild your website for you, the bones are all there. The engine’s all there for them and so they can just work within WordPress to build you a new theme or to customize an existing theme.

There are just so many great – you just have so much power at your fingertips to do whatever you want or hire whomever you want to help you accomplish that.

And I think that’s one of the best parts of WordPress that I like and I want to just kind of say it in just a super like newbie phrase. Like if your website looks a certain way and you want to make it look completely different, you can repaint it. Just using that car analogy, you can repaint it. You can make it go from a Buick to a Chevy do a Mercedes by just changing the theme.

A couple of years ago, when practiceofthepractice.com and mentalwellnesscounseling.com were really ugly because I’d done it myself. It had some functionality, and then I hired Aaron to help me update it, you know we found themes that I really liked. Like there’s this one kind of magazine that I liked the way their website looked. All it took was him installing a new theme and then working through.

Well what are the kind of buggy things that happened when we switched that theme and we discovered little things that happened in that migration but it wasn’t – or I don’t think really it can be called a migration change. So right away I went from this ugly website to a great-looking website just by changing the theme.

At Brighter Vision we build exclusively on WordPress and we have our own themes that we’ve built and they’re all built on what’s called the Genesis Framework. You can learn more about them at studiopress.com and what that means is it’s taking the basis of the Genesis – so if you look and take the house analogy again, Genesis is like one of the more popular home builders in the country.

So you know you’re going to get a really well-built home with really great construction, secure foundation, everything involved in that. But then how you design that Genesis theme is going to be up to the interior designer or a local company to help you with that. We use Genesis as the foundation for all of our themes and then work from there because we know that’s a really solid framework that’s tested extensively to make sure it works and it’s very secure.

Now there are lots of other themes you can purchase that are built on different frameworks and a commonly used resource is ThemeForest to purchase themes off of.

In the next chapter, we’re going to be diving into blogging and attracting clients. Then in Chapter 5, start to finish, we’re going to take you through step-by-step exactly how to bootstrap you own website.

 

 

Leave a Reply