As a business owner, it’s essential to have a digital home where people can stop by, get to know you, and hire you for services or purchase your products. But amidst all the options for which platform to use, who should host your site, which template to choose, and more, how do you know what works best for you?
When I started my business, I knew I needed a platform that would offer ease of use without sacrificing design or breaking the bank. That’s where Squarespace comes in! (Cue the “Hallelujah” chorus.) You guys, I seriously love this platform, and no, Squarespace isn’t paying me to tell you that I love them. This is genuine appreciation for a platform that makes this aspect of running my business so stinkin’ easy. As a matter of fact, I even listed is as one of my top 11 tools I use to run my design business! All the time I see people asking about the pros and cons of WordPress versus Squarespace, and I see the benefits for each. However, Squarespace won me over, and here are 15 reasons why:
1 | Two week trial period.
For anyone who’s unsure about choosing Squarespace as their platform, they make it a lot easier to feel good about your investment by allowing a free two week trial period. It gives you the opportunity to explore different templates, get a good feel for how to design different pages, add elements like galleries and social blocks, and see how the space could be customized to be your online home.
If you’re a designer working on creating a website for a client, the two week trial definitely comes in handy for you, too. You can create a trial site under your account and give your client access to the site to see how it’s shaping up before launching and handing the reins over to them.
2 | Affordable.
When I was just starting my business, I knew that a website would definitely be a necessary investment. However, that doesn’t mean it needs to eat up your whole budget! By going with Squarespace as your platform, you don’t have to pay the hefty price tag of a custom made site, or pay a bunch of separate fees and extra costs of hosting, purchasing a template, using different plug-ins etc. Each Squarespace plan offers different levels, but whatever your needs they’re all very affordable. Plus, you can claim the cost on your taxes!
3 | Easy and intuitive interface.
My number one priority when creating a website (besides the design aspect) was my ability to be completely self-sufficient straight from the get-go. I wanted to be able to design the site myself, makes changes as my business grew, and easily maintain the working parts involved in a website without having to invest a ton of time into learning how to code or navigate a confusing back end. The intuitive set up and process for building pages and adding elements makes Squarespace so simple to learn, and the two week trial period allows more than adequate time to familiarize yourself with the platform. I didn’t want to have to pay for someone to design my site and then continually pay extra to have it maintained and updated.
I’ve worked with with clients who have had to wait on updating their site until their web designer/developer was available. This is a huge pain point for small business owners! When I design sites for clients, I use Squarespace so they can avoid that type of situation. I get the site designed, fitted with their branding, and organized in a way that’s easy to navigate, meets their goals, and is welcoming to their visitors. Then I teach them how to do updates as their business grows so they can makes changes as soon as they need to.
4 | No coding required.
Squarespace requires no coding experience, however they do have a developer end you can go into if your heart desires! For this lady with no coding experience, that is a definite bonus. But it also means that people who want to tweak the code or change the CSS have the option to do so. It's a win-win for everyone!
5 | Responsive design.
The beauty of Squarespace templates (besides the sleek design) is the fact that they are all responsive. This means that your site will look great no matter what device your visitor is using. Not to mention that responsive sites rank higher on Google!
When you’re designing your site you can switch views from desktop, to tablet, to mobile to see exactly how everything translates from device to device. Pretty handy!
6 | Plug-ins are optional.
Although there are plug-ins available for Squarespace, it’s certainly not a necessity. A lot of features added to WordPress sites with plug-ins are already built into Squarespace’s capabilities. Because of this, there are less worries about needing to update plug-ins and putting your site at risk for getting hacked. However, if you're wanting to give your Squarespace a unique flair or give a boost to a certain feature, then looking into plug-ins would be a great option for you!
7 | Easy to connect social accounts.
Connecting your social accounts is as simple as going into your settings, selecting which accounts you want to connect, and then logging in. Once you’re connected, the icons will show up wherever you’ve decided to include social links, like in the footer of your site, or in your blog side bar. You can also then include blocks that show various social feeds, like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Squarespace also makes it easy to up your Pinterest game. Within your settings, you can add a “Pin It” button to your site’s images, and Squarespace works with Pinterest to create rich pins. Rich pins = more clicks to your site.
8 | Simple-to-read analytics.
Within the “Metrics” panel found in the back end of a Squarespace site, you can find out all kinds of helpful analytics. You can see how many people are visiting your site, number of page views, your most popular posts, top referrers, etc. If you want even more insights about your website’s analytics, it’s really simple to connect your site to Google Analytics.
9 | Excellent customer service.
Run into a problem? There are a ton of resources, guides, tips, etc. with their “Help” section. However, if you can’t find the answer there, you can ask their super helpful customer service or ask other users in the “Answers” section.
10 | Hosting.
When I signed up for Squarespace, hosting was a breeze, especially since I didn’t have a pre-existing site. Hosting costs are included in the annual fee, and your domain gets renewed automatically each year. But don’t worry! Moving a site from a different platform is pretty straightforward, and Squarespace provides thorough instructions on how to reroute your domain.
11 | Easily connect to Mailchimp.
If you’re trying to grow your mailing list by getting people to sign up for your newsletter through a form on your site or opting in for a sweet freebie, you’ll be happy to know that Squarespace is incredibly easy to integrate with MailChimp. You simply create a form, connect the email storage to MailChimp, and select which list you want the email addresses to feed into. From that point on, it's getting everything ready with MailChimp's automation.
12 | Beautiful templates for a beautiful site.
Every single one of Squarespace’s templates promise the outcome of a beautiful and professional-looking website, which is a great start to creating a welcoming online home for your business!
Take the time upfront to look for a template that’s just right by reading through the feature index and viewing other sites made with a particular template. If there are things you want for sure, like a sidebar on your blog, make sure the template you select allows that. Once you commit to a template, you can certainly change it. However, be aware that all the design settings, like fonts and colors, you’ve created will be reset once you change over to a new template.
13 | Flexible design that will grow with you and set you apart.
I hear a lot of people say the reason why they’re torn between WordPress and Squarespace is that the former allows for a totally customized site. And I get that! Some people place a high priority on having a site that is unlike anyone else’s and has a bunch of fun bells and whistles. However, there are a lot of other business owners who are just starting out, or simply want a site that looks clean and will be easy to update as they grow. This is the hope I have for my Squarespace site.
Sure, a lot people are probably using the same template as me (which is Avenue, in case you were wondering), but I’m not at all worried about my site looking the same as someone else’s. As a matter of fact, in a business Facebook group I’m in, there was a discussion going on about who uses Squarespace sites. I found out that someone else in the group uses the same template as me, and you know what? They looks completely different!
Over the last year since launching my site, I’ve put a lot of time into evaluating what works best for my site, what I need to change, how I can make it more interesting or engaging, and how I can apply my unique branding to it. All of those things and the attention to detail will set your website apart from others, even if they may have the same template as you. And just because you don't have a custom site, that doesn't mean you'll have to sacrifice quality and design. You might be surprised by some big names who use Squarespace!
14 | Option for e-commerce.
For anyone who is a product-based business, Squarespace has the option to run an e-commerce site! Though I haven’t personally used it, I imagine that it would be very straightforward to use, just like every other aspect of the platform.
15 | Blogging made easy.
One of the reasons why decided to launch a website, besides serving as a portfolio and a way to grow my freelance business, was to write a blog full of content for creativepreneurs. Squarespace made my introduction to the world of blogging incredibly simple. Writing, publishing, and scheduling posts is very straightforward, and super quick once your content is ready to go. I draft my posts in Pages, design my post graphic in InDesign, gather any other visuals, and then plug all the information into a new draft. Once it’s ready to go, I schedule when I want it to be published. Plus, under the "Social" panel in the draft window, you can select the option to post on different social media channels as soon as you hit publish.