Is Squarespace for me?
When you decide to build a website you have a range of platforms to choose from. At the more complex end of the scale is Wordpress, an open system endless possibilities, if you can imagine it you can build it on Wordpress. Endless possibilities also mean endless things to learn. At the other end of the scale is is something like Weebly, which I hear is very easy to use, a simple drag and drop interface.
Squarespace seems to be somewhere between these two. With Squarespace there is quite a lot to learn, but it’s beautifully intuitive and ’simple’. Best of all it allows you to build beautifully aesthetic, professional looking, websites without needing to know any code.
Pros and Cons of Squarespace
Obviously I’m building sites on Squarespace so it’s my number one choice, and I confess I’ve rather fallen in love with it’s Zen aesthetic. Both in terms of what you can create and the elegance of it's ‘backend’!. But that said, I don’t think Squarespace is for everyone.
Is Squarespace for you? See which of the following statements is are true for you and find out whether Squarespace is your perfect match or whether you’d be better looking elsewhere -
“I want to be able to edit the site myself” vs ”I’d rather not touch it, I’ll be paying someone else to do edits”
For me the real joy of building sites on Squarespace is that when I’m finished we’ll have a training session where I show you how to edit the site yourself. I can teach you how to add blog posts and products, to edit text or add images. So from the moment your site goes live, you’ll be able to keep it alive, adding new content and continually refining your message.
You’ll get to know Squarespace’s elegant, intuitive, interface. Teach yourself what you want to know with their comprehensive library of tutorials. As well as having excellent support from Squarespace, via direct message or email, where they’ll help you figure out anything tricky. Of course you still have the option of paying someone to make bigger changes to your site, but not the annoyance of having to pay a web designer to do every little edit.
All this Squarespace support is included in their price, along with your hosting. Squarespace isn’t the cheapest option on the market, so, it’s worth bearing in mind that if you are intending to pay your developer to do all your changes and edits for you then you won’t really benefit from the full Squarespace service that you are paying for.
If you want to be able to edit your site yourself, Squarespace could be a good option for you.
“I’ll use all the standard features” vs “I need custom designed features”
The reason Squarespace is relatively easy to use is that it is limited. I see this as a plus. You have certain design and functionality perimeters to work within which helps your finished site to have this clean Zen feel. But it also means that you cannot have anything you want (also very zen). If you want a custom designed complex booking system then you’d be better off paying someone to build it for you from scratch on a platform like Wordpress.
Having said that the list of Squarespace features is pretty long. In fact I was hard pressed to think about what you can’t do on Squarespace!
The same goes for design. You have a vast number of style options, but they are not endless, there are limitations. For example you choose a selection of fonts for your site, normal text, headings 1,2 and 3, and a quote text. You can transform the weight, height, style of each giving you a nice set of fonts to work with, but that’s it, you have to work within that set. I think these limitations are helpful, they give a cohesiveness to your site and help with creating better design. But if it’s important to you to have complete design freedom then you might be better with something else.
If you don’t need custom built functionality and you prefer simplicity to endless options, then Squarespace may well be for you.
“I don’t want to learn code” vs “I want to write my own code”
You don’t need to even know what the word ‘code’ means in order to make or edit a website on Squarespace. That said, there are options for adding your own code. I sometimes use little bits of code to tweak things. But if you go too far down this route you get away from the beauty of Squarespace’s simplicity. And, importantly, if you add too much custom code to your site Squarespace will no longer be able to offer support as they are supporting you to build on their platform, not to rebuild their platform!
If you want to be able to work on your own site without learning to code, Squarespace is perfect for you.
Squarespace is not for you if you want…
A site in multiple languages.
If you want upwards of 50 pages and multiple layers of navigation.
If you offer a large library of files for download (easy to upload and download, but not so easy to organise).
Squarespace is growing in features every month, but at the moment these are some limitations.
Squarespace is for you if you want…
A beautiful and professional looking website on an elegant platform.
You want the back up of excellent support and tutorials.
You want an all-in-one solution, that is a platform but also provides hosting, domain names, updates and support.
If you want to start simple and have the room to build something more complex, with a vast number of possible features.
Do some research before you make a decision
Squarespace is not the cheapest option on the market, in fact it is more at the expensive end of the scale. So it’s good to be sure you are in a position to take advantage of everything it offers, if you are, then in my opinion, it’s worth every penny.
But don’t take my word for it, go online and read some compassion articles, just start to type ’Squarespace vs… ‘ into your search engine and you’ll find numerous articles comparing Squarespace to Weebly, Wordpress and many more options.
If you want an idea of what is possible on Squarespace then check out this Design Bombs article to see some of the best sites built on Squarespace.
Feel free to get in touch if you are still wondering if Squarespace is for you. We can schedule a call and talk over your particular needs.