Renting vs Owning Your website
I get a lot of questions about the differences in website builders (SasS – Software as a Service) platforms – and my platform of choice, WordPress. [web builder examples are: Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, Shopify…]
A website is like a home for a business and the site’s hosting is it’s neighborhood. The neighborhood affects a website’s performance, security and reliability.
SaaS platforms are proprietary and combine the home and the neighborhood. Sass can be compared to renting a home.
Because WordPress is open source (anyone can access the code), like owning your own home, you can select your neighborhood (hosting) to build your home (your WP site).
If you don’t like your host, you can move your WordPress website intact. If your site is on a SaaS platform, because you are renting your site, you can’t move it.
So what’s the big deal? Why do I care if I can’t move my site you ask….
Well you may think that big SaaS companies don’t go under or make big changes but consider this:
In 2018 Adobe announced they were shutting down their Business Catalyst website service. It had been around since 2004 and overtime had over 100,000 websites on the platform. They gave their customers 2 years to move off the platform before deleting all of the data. Two yrs is not a lot of time to rebuild an enterprise level website.
When Squarespace has a software upgrade they ask their clients to upgrade their websites. At this time, Squarespace does not have an easy conversion tool to upgrade to their new software versions. When they have a major upgrade each website page has to be rebuilt. Their old software will continue to work for a while, but because they are developing and supporting their new software version, the old software gets slow overtime and is eventually discontinued.