Disney vs. Dreamworks.
Ben & Jerry’s vs. Häagen-Dazs.
GIFs vs. “JIFs”.
We love our comparisons, don’t we?
Several folks have asked why I design my clients’ websites in Squarespace rather than using Wordpress or even custom coding it myself. While in this post I won’t be diving into a comparison of Squarespace versus any of the other notable platforms that are out there, I will be sharing the reasons why (for now) I’m exclusively a Squarespace gal.
If you prefer Wordpress, Showit, or any other platforms (or custom design), I’d love to hear your perspective in the comments!
Also, please note that even though I’m gushing over Squarespace like my fifteen-year-old self at a Jonas Brothers concert, this is not a sponsored post—just 100% my own opinions.
1. Easy handoff to clients.
My #1 reason for designing in Squarespace is how easy the interface is for even the most novice users!
My goal is to make the branding process easy for my clients—not to nickel-and-dime them. If I can hand them a beautiful website that they can make small edits to, such as text edits or uploading new images to a gallery, without having to pay me to do those edits for them, that’s a win in my book.
When designing a website in Squarespace, I’m confident that after a quick training session my client can handle any future upkeep such as billing details or minor edits.
2. Beautiful templates that are highly customizable.
Squarespace’s wide gallery of templates are truly beautiful, modern, yet simple enough to be highly customizable.
While Squarespace often gets knocked by Wordpress enthusiasts as being less customizable—which is likely true—I personally don’t see this as a major concern. In fact, I’ve gotten overwhelmed with just how many templates are available for a Wordpress design, and I think the beauty of Squarespace is just because there are fewer options (while I’ve never felt there aren’t enough).
The reason for this is because I use Squarespace’s templates as more of a wireframe upon which I build a custom-branded site instead of trying to find a specific design that somebody else has created. I look for a template that will provide the structure I need, and I rely on choosing colors and typefaces myself in addition to the use of on-brand images or graphics to carry the weight of the design.
Further, Squarespace’s templates can provide complicated features that only an experienced back-end developer could quickly implement, such as parallax scrolling.
However, if there’s anything that I need to customize even further, I’m easily able to do this through custom CSS editing, and have done so extensively—even on my own site.
3. Competitive pricing.
I started using Squarespace years ago when I realized its pricing was comparable to hosting a custom website through most other reputable platforms.
I had coded my college portfolio myself and was paying about the same price for a domain and host...and I was having to update and load new HTML files any time I needed to add new content to my site. (Actually—I never did add new content because of this complicated process.)
Coding and hosting a website myself wasn’t the “cheaper” option; it was more costly in time, if not also in money.
(Side note: I highly support talented web designers who custom code amazing websites for their clients! If you are in the need of such services, please don’t hesitate to find someone great to do this work for you. While I do know how to code, it isn’t an area of business I prefer to specialize in; further, most of my clients aren’t needing a full custom website—just something simple and easy-to-use to get them started.)
All within the Squarespace platform, I can purchase a custom domain name, pay the annual fee, and host my website for an additional, low monthly fee.
Only a less-secure-for-your-data host or a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get drag and drop builder) that does not allow for a custom domain name can beat that! Which leads me to my next point….
4. Easy to get a custom domain name.
While Squarespace does easily allow you to loop in a domain name you’ve already purchased from someone else, it’s incredibly easy to purchase your own custom domain name directly in the platform without all those extra steps!
Purchasing a domain name isn’t required; however, you’d be left with the unprofessional-looking “yourname.squarespace.com” URL. Which is what you’re left with on many other leading WYSIWYGs such as Weebly or Wix.
For just $20/year, you can drop the “.squarespace” and simply end your domain at “.com”. It’s worth it. Seriously.
5. Vast industry acceptance.
Finally—a big selling point in Squarespace’s favor is how highly it is regarded and recommended by the creative industry as a whole. Many other designers use it for their clients...and even Pixar uses it! (It’s listed on Squarespace’s website as a famous client of theirs.) I came to start using Squarespace when I saw it regularly used by a prestigious mentor of mine and have heard nothing but good things about it since from many others.
As far as web-hosting platforms go, Squarespace, Wordpress, and Showit are the three big names I hear about in the creative industry (with Showit being a newcomer on the scene and less used than the first two).
Because of Squarespace’s vast acceptance and widespread use, most major third parties from as ecommerce payment platforms to email list hosts have plug-ins specifically designed for Squarespace (Wordpress also enjoys this fame as well)—making it easy to do virtually anything on this platform.