A lot of the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis advertise for Squarespace, a website builder that claims to allow anyone to quickly build a fantastic looking website.
Squarespace versus WordPress
I was listening to the Nerdist podcast today while, coincidentally enough, working on a WordPress website. As I was listening to host Chris Hardwick talk about the many benefits of Squarespace, I wondered if he uses Squarespace. If Squarespace is so awesome, surely Chris Hardwick uses it to make the Nerdist website, right?
I went to Nerdist.com and took a look at the source code:
Having a folder named wp-content in a website’s root directory means it’s a WordPress joint, not Squarespace. All in One SEO Pack is a WordPress plugin. Chris Hardwick is using WordPress, even though he’s a paid shill for Squarespace.
I don’t understand. If Squarespace is so great, if it allows anyone to create a fantastic looking website, why is Chris Hardwick using WordPress?
Chris Hardwick, more like Chris Hypocrite.
Truth in advertising
I think it’s pretty disingenuous for someone to take money to advertise a product they themselves don’t use. If Chris Hardwick had any integrity, he’d move his website over to Squarespace. It would also be nice if Squarespace would only approach content creators to advertise their product with content creators who actually use Squarespace.
Considering how great Squarespace is, I’m sure there are lots content creators they can chose from. Right?
WordPress allows users to rate themes and plugins. The rating system is based on users leaving one to five stars, one being awful and five being great. Users can also explain why they love or hate a theme or a plugin. Other WordPress users can then see the overall review and read these reviews. They can use this information to make informed decisions on the themes and plugins they choose for their site.
This system is great, but it doesn’t go far enough. WordPress should also allow users to rate hosting providers.
WordPress pushed a security patch for version 4.7 on January 11 and encouraged users to update sites immediately. GoDaddy did not immediately install this update. It took them over a week to do it. Contrary to what GoDaddy is claiming on social media, security is not paramount.
I contacted GoDaddy support as soon as I realized they weren’t installing the update. Instead of trying to talk GoDaddy into doing what they said they would do, manage the WordPress installation, I asked that they change my hosting account to a regular cPanel account. That way, I could manage everything myself. I wouldn’t need to wait for GoDaddy to install a critical security patch. The support agent told me they couldn’t change my account. The support agent told me I would need to buy another hosting account and then move my blog to the new hosting account.
GoDaddy was using a problem they created as an opportunity to sell me something else. The more GoDaddy changes, the more they stay the same.
If I were going to buy another hosting account, why on earth would I choose GoDaddy? The reason for needing a new hosting account is because of GoDaddy. They were refusing to install an important security update.
WordPress has a list of recommended hosting providers. Thousands of hosting providers sell WordPress hosting accounts. WordPress only recommends four.
WordPress founder and Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg decides which hosting providers make this list. It’s not clear why a hosting provider makes or doesn’t make the list. There’s a written survey submitted by the hosting provider. Matt Mullenweg reportedly uses these surveys along with other pieces of information when determining who makes the list and who doesn’t.
Recommending a WordPress hosting provider should be something customers do, not the creator of WordPress. Even if Matt Mullenweg is going out and buying WordPress hosting like a regular person, I doubt a hosting provider would treat him like they would treat everyone else. For example, would it take a hosting provider eight days to respond to a complaint tweeted by Matt Mullenweg?
I doubt it.
Hosting has always been WordPress’ Achilles heel. It doesn’t matter how great the WordPress software is if your website is hosted with a bad hosting provider. This is a problem Squarespace customers never have to deal with. With Squarespace, hosting takes place entirely on the Squarespace cloud. Squarespace is in full control of the hosting. WordPress has no control over the quality of the hosting.
With the number of WordPress hosting providers numbering in the thousands, it stands to reason at least some of them are quite terrible. I know from personal experience that some WordPress hosting providers are so bad, they’re toxic.
It’s a shame WordPress doesn’t provide a way for users to rate hosting providers. It would be a tremendous benefit to everyone if they did.
The idea of managed hosting appealed to me. GoDaddy would automatically take care of all WordPress updates and they promised to back up the site on a daily basis.
As it turns out, their managed WordPress hosting product is terrible. They’re awful at managing WordPress. What’s even worse is they won’t allow me to manage WordPress either.
When WordPress rolled out version 4.7, my blog was running WordPress version 4.61 for two weeks. With a GoDaddy managed WordPress account, GoDaddy removes the ability to run updates to WordPress. You have to wait for their WordPress experts to decide if the update is “safe and stable” before they allow the update to go through.
GoDaddy will not update my blog’s version of WordPress. What this means is that my blog is susceptible to these eight security issues until GoDaddy gets around to running the update.
Realizing that if my blog was hosted using GoDaddy’s cPanel hosting, I could immediately update WordPress to version 4.71. I contacted GoDaddy support via chat requesting they switch my account from managed WordPress to cPanel hosting. I was told they couldn’t do that. If I wanted to switch from managed WordPress hosting to cPanel hosting, I would need to purchase a new hosting plan.
This is insane. GoDaddy is failing to properly manage my blog’s WordPress installation. If I want to take over and maintain my blog’s WordPress installation, it’s going to cost me extra.
GoDaddy is web hosting Hell. Hosting providers like GoDaddy are why Squarespace is becoming so popular. With WordPress, you have to deal with a hosting provider that may or may not be up to snuff. GoDaddy’s managed WordPress hosting is not up to snuff. With Squarespace, all hosting is performed by Squarespace. Users aren’t required to sift through a neverending list of hosting providers and decide which one will suck less than the others.