Squarespace 101: What is Squarespace?
By a landslide, the top question I get asked is some sort of variation of “What is Squarespace?”, and then followed by, “…ok, so why should I choose Squarespace over all of the other options out there?”
As a Squarespace web designer, you know that I’m a leetle biased towards Squarespace, but…it’s for good reason, I promise.
So let’s go ahead and get down to it.....
What is Squarespace?
In simple terms, Squarespace is a website building platform. You can buy a domain, build a website, and easily manage the website when you sign up for Squarespace. Everything is provided for you in your subscription: beautifully designed templates, security, site analytics, customer support, etc.
Squarespace is loved by many for its all-in-one quality. No piecing together themes, plugins, security add-ons, etc. (*cough cough* Wordpress *cough*) You don’t need to have any coding ability to build or manage a basic Squarespace site. For those with coding skills, there is a “developer mode” option, and you can use custom CSS to get more creative with your site.
Why should I choose Squarespace?
Of course, the better question is, “Is Squarespace the right choice for me/my business?” The answer depends on what features and functions you need in your website!
I’ll be honest – Squarespace won’t be a good fit for everyone, so it’s important to spend some time figuring out what features you want as part of your website. Squarespace is a great fit for businesses of all sizes, creative entrepreneurs, photographers, musicians, artists, etc.
The top 5 reasons why I
(and millions of users) chose Squarespace:
1 - Modern & Responsive Design
Squarespace is well-known in the design community for having clean, modern templates. As someone who loves that modern, minimalist look, Squarespace was an easy choice for me when I built my first website. I remember researching all of the other options (Wordpress, Wix, Weebly, etc.) and wanting desperately to avoid that cluttered, unprofessional look! Templates are built into your subscription, so you don’t need to pay extra to get a great base template.
All Squarespace sites are also built to be 'responsive', meaning your site will look great on mobile devices & tablets, and will still be easy to navigate on your phone. In 2017, 63% of website traffic came from a mobile device. (Source)
2 - Easy to Use
One of the reasons I build on Squarespace is that it's highly intuitive, so it's easy for me to hand over the website management to my clients at the end of our design project. While I might use some custom coding for particular features or formatting, my clients are easily able to update/make edits to their own site.
3 - Security
Squarespace handles all security for your site, top to bottom. From servers to your site's code, this means you won't have to do any security updates, or worry about hackers. If any issues do arise (and I've never had any issues come up), they will handle/fix the issue for you. No need to purchase any security software, or any 'add-ons'. Squarespace is an all-inclusive platform, so you won't have to worry about hackers, security updates, etc. This was big for me, especially when I was starting out!
4 - Speed & SEO
SEO = Search Engine Optimization (i.e. how 'find-able' you are on Google)
Squarespace sites typically load fast and have built-in SEO features (vs. the many web hosts which require installing SEO plugins); of course, you'll need to make sure you input your info into the right fields in order to make sure your site is find-able by Google. More on this in an upcoming blog post!
5 - Customer Service
The Squarespace team has 24/7 support if you ever have any questions or issues with your site. I've found them to be a friendly, super helpful, and highly responsive. Of course, if you’re a client, I'll always be on call to answer questions, but it's always good to know that your web host has your back!
The top 2 reasons why people
don't choose Squarespace:
Squarespace uses templates, meaning that no, you won’t be able to build your website from scratch. If you’re a coder or have a super-specific design in mind, you might find this frustrating. The caveat: You can definitely still code within Squarespace (just turn on developer mode) and I often use CSS to make tweaks to my designs or customize my client’s site. Squarespace might not be a good fit if you have a large business that needs complex features on your site (like individual user logins, complex booking systems, customized software, etc).
Up-front, Squarespace is more expensive than some other website builders. Plan subscriptions range from $144/yr - $216/yr. You can also sign up for the monthly option if the annual plan is too big of a chunk of change for you (this is how I started out). However, considering their all-inclusive service (no paying for misc. plugins, security software, time spent updating plugins, ease of use, great design, etc.), I still think it's worth it! When I looked at the cost of purchasing a Wordpress theme, buying plugins, security services, and some integrations that I wanted...it was going to come out to about the same. I would much rather have everything in one place, and not have to sweat things like security or updating plugins, so I was happy to go with Squarespace!
Squarespace Pros & Cons:
- Easy to manage
- Clean, modern design
- Don’t have to worry about security
- Site Speed & SEO
- Customer Service
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