Sunday, June 22, 2014

Why I moved from Blogger to Squarespace and back again

Some of my readers might remember that I moved my blogging platform from Blogger to Squarespace back in April. Well, I've moved it back.

For years, I blogged using Squarespace, and absolutely loved their platform. It does cost to have a Squarespace blog, but found it to be worth it. Their customer service was-- and still is-- second to none. If you email tech support with a question, they get back to you very quickly, and are very helpful.

The last time I had used Squarespace was a couple of years ago, and I had decided a few months ago that I missed some of the advantages they offered-- for example, very easy blog customization, and the ability to see who's visiting your site, where they came from, and exactly what they are looking at/doing.

Well, since then, Squarespace has come out with Version 6, which is quite a radical change from Version 5.

Annnnd, as it turns out, I absolutely hate Version 6. It seems to be much more geared towards online business than personal blogs.

First, I found it very user-unfriendly and confusing. I basically had to relearn everything as far as posting and designing, and while there are some things that are simpler/better, I found it generally much more difficult to use even after I got used to it.

Second, the templates that they've created for V6, while pretty, are far less customizable. With V5, you could tweak every aspect of your blog-- number and location of navigation bars, blog post details, fonts for blog post details and captions. With V6, many aspect of the templates are no longer able to be changed-- at least not without being knowledgable in CSS. The whole point of Squarespace used to be that you could easily customize your blog without having to know coding/web design. Even if you do try to use code, Squarespace has a "use code at your own risk" policy-- if you botch your CSS coding, tech support will not guarantee that they'll be able to help you, and you may be on your own.

Apparently what coding you use depends on what template you're using-- and if you want to change templates, you pretty much have to start all over with customizing it.

Third, they've actually taken away a lot of what you used to be able to see as far as visitor details-- you can't see most search terms people have used to find your blog, for example.

Bottom line: if a blog is going to cost, then I want to be able to customize it the way I want it. I'm not spending money to use a blogging platform that has, sadly, gotten rid of many features that made it worth paying for.

So after a frustrating afternoon and evening yesterday, I have, today, finally gotten my DNS set up properly and pointed to the url (I am not the most technologically-savvy person in the world).

My Blogger blog might not be quite a professional-looking as the one on Squarespace, but I can deal, and I'm sure readers can too.

This was me last night