For years now, I’ve been doing a couple of volunteer websites in SquareSpace 5. This was the obvious choice for me back in the day for two reasons: unlimited file storage, and individual user accounts.
I no longer use the unlimited file storage. I just link to Google Docs folders instead. It’s uglier, but way easier to maintain and will make it much easier if I move to a different hosting solution.
But the sticky wicket that has kept me on SS 5 is the individual user accounts. The current version of SS does not have this feature.
What would you suggest? I’m a little leery about WordPress, because it seems you can always tell when a website was done in WordPress, and there’s too many stories of sites getting hacked when self-hosted versions don’t get updated all the time. I do have a little experience with Weebly.
WordPress is only risky if you’re not careful. Use a Web Application Firewall like Wordfence (freemium) to actively protect your installation. Use Jetpack to automatically keep your installation, plugins, and themes updated. If your host offers malware scanning (like SiteGround does), spring for it. It’s almost always really cheap and worth it. Make sure you have dependable backups so you can roll back at a moment’s notice. Make sure you use non-standard login names, table prefixes, and 2FA. If you just install WordPress, start tossing in a bunch of plugins and themes without taking care of basic security measures – like, sadly, a lot of people do – then of course it’s not going to be secure.
As for the design, you can make a WordPress install look and behave any way you like. It doesn’t have to look like an out-of-the-box blog. If HTML, CSS, and PHP aren’t your thing, you can surely find something amazing that does what you need from ThemeForest.