I first started blogging with Blogspot back in about 2004 and made the move to Typepad in 2005. At the time, Typepad seemed more active in terms of development and kept adding new features. Over the years, I tried Tumbler, and Posterous too, but the Typepad blog has been my main home (such that it was).
The Blogspot blog is still there, updated once a year or so. Tumbler I just don’t get, but Posterous is looking good for bookmarking and Twitter posts. I might keep that.
Until last week, my main blog remained with Typepad. I haven’t made too many demands on it over the years, and it’s served me well. However, lately I’ve been wanting to modify the theme a bit and add some widgets. What I could do on the site I found confusing and not all that intuitive. I wanted to do more, and in order to do that, I would have to move to a higher priced plan. So I started evaluating the service and what other options I had.
In the end, I moved to Squarespace, and here’s why.
1. Ease of use
Or perhaps it was familiarity? I first tried Squarespace when working with the Surrey Board of Trade. It took me a couple of days to replicate the entire, active Joomla site they had. Everything just clicked into place, and I liked that. I kept that site up for the Board over a couple of years and anytime I had any questions, help was there in less than an hour. On the other hand, I’ve always found the Typepad backend somewhat confusing. Not sure why.
2. Apparent lack of development at Typepad
When I was first at Typepad, there seemed to be lots of new stuff going on. A while ago, the company was bought by Say Media. Now Say Media is probably a very good media company, but they don’t seem to be paying as much attention to Typepad these days. Perhaps I was missing something, but Typepad just seemed to be getting old. I couldn’t even find a widget to include my Flickr feed on the site. At Squarespace, new stuff or improvements seem to appear on a regular basis, and I like that. The company seems growing and active.
3. A hosted service
I could have moved to a WordPress site like many others have done. That would have meant learning a whole new backend and deciding whether to use a hosted or self-hosted blog. I knew Squarespace, so the hosted option of WordPress just didn’t make much sense to me.
I also don’t want to deal with software maintenance. I like to tinker as much as the next guy, but I’m not a coder or that fond of maintenance. If I tinker, it’s usually to add something new or to get around an problem, not to keep something running and secure. I just find maintenance a time sink that I don’t need at this point in my life, so Squarespace it was.
The help system for Squarespace is amazing. Got a problem, they’ve got an article for that. Perhaps there’s even a video, and if not, the online help is really responsive. ‘nuf said on that. Sure there are some things you can’t do, but for 99% of what I need, they’ve got me covered.
So how did the move go? Smooth as silk. All I had to do is export the blog at Typepad, import it into Squarespace using their import tool, do a couple of edits and the blog was up. A quick trip to my domain registrar and I’m back in business as donsca.ca.