10 reasons I use Squarespace for website design
I am a graphic designer, and after much deliberation and research, I have decided to use Squarespace for all my clients as well as my own website.
Curious about Squarespace for you, your business, or your clients? Check out my 10 reasons that I use this platform below (and I’m not even an affiliate! I just like it that much!)
1. It saves me time and my clients money.
In case you’re not already familiar with Squarespace, they are a website building company - providing templates that you can edit to make your own website. As a graphic designer I could code a website for my clients using Dreamweaver (an Adobe product made just for that) or using Wordpress. Both of those options do come with a little more choice and flexibility, but they also come with much more time. Time to write the code, time to test the code, time to make the site responsive on a mobile, time to fix bugs which are always present when coding. Time time time. And what does time mean for my clients? Money. Using a template builder (with still heaps of cool functions - we are only at #1 after all!) means that I can be done faster, and this means my clients save lots of money. Win win.
2. It has oodles of online support and very fast customer service
Squarespace support is simply fantastic. I have contacted them quite a few times now, and they always get back to me within the day. Or I can chat online to someone straight away. And there is a ton of online tutorial video’s, FAQs and a whole community of support.
Wordpress or basic coding, however, is broken up in it’s support. If I needed help with a line of code I could try Dreamweaver, or searching forums where coders explain what I need help with. Or if something is broken with my Wordpress site I can talk to Wordpress, but because each developer is responsible for their own plugin (think of it like a little mini program running within the larger website) then I might need to contact them, or try more forum searching. While it is not impossible, it is certainly not as easy and not as fast as the streamlined support from Squarespace.
3. It is secure and requires no updating by me
As Squarespace is all in-house, they provide all the security and updating. With Wordpress I would have to update all the plugins, and often this needs to be done frequently. With Squarespace this is taken care of without any work by me (again less time = less cost to clients). Plus each website with Squarespace is automatically a HTTPS site (the “s” basically being for secure) instead of HTTP (unlike Wordpress - which needs the “s” to be added manually). The difference, according to this article, is that a HTTP site is “insecure and is subject to eavesdropping attacks, which can let attackers gain access to sensitive information of a website whilst HTTPS is designed to withstand and secure against such attacks”.
Wordpress and Dreamweaver (and many other code-heavy sites) require me to manually change the site over, which is not impossible or that hard, but again more time. Plus if things on the internet change in terms of creating a HTTPS site, Squarespace will just do those changes for me.
And now with Google starting to rank HTTPS sites more favourably, this is becoming even more important.
4. It is easy for my clients to use after I’ve finished designing it
Wordpress can be awesome, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying it’s a bad way to go - but it does have features that I find a disadvantage compared to Squarespace, and one of the big ones is usability. I really do aim to keep my customers costs low, because in the end this keeps them happy, which makes me happy, and also means long run I probably get more work, because happy customers means more word of mouth! Yay! Winning! For everyone :)
Squarespace is easy. Ok it might still take some really non-savvy people a little bit to get the hang of, but it is all live. So they can update text, add a picture, or move something around, and see the effect immediately. Plus customers can easily make a test page to get everything looking great, before releasing it online.
5. It automatically transforms the site for a beautiful mobile experience
Squarespace automatically has mobile optimisation built in, straight away. So from the very first page you create, it already looks beautiful on a mobile screen.
Out of all the time we spend online, about 50% of that time is done through mobile use. Plus about 60% of US citizens and 70% of Australian’s use mobile only. The rest of us use a combination of both. Mobile usability is really important. It is also so important that now Google will also down rank your site if it does not work on a mobile properly.
Dreamweaver (and code building sites) will allow you to create a mobile version, but again this is more time. It can sometimes be like designing a whole new site to work on the mobile. Totally doable, but again, time = money. Wordpress does have some plugins that work wonderfully on mobile, but some don’t. This can mean having to change plugins, re-code them and fuss and fiddle. Squarespace does it all by itself, and I can even make mobile specific tweaks if I want. Lovely :)
6. It can still be customised to make every site look unique
Firstly, all the templates Squarespace offers are already beautiful and clean designs. So we start with something great. But then we can change pages around, change colours and fonts, and move everything where we want it to go.
Need more? We can add custom coding to make it even more unique. That template doesn’t allow buttons to change colour when you hover on them? No worries, I can do that for you. When you open up the already vast number of modifications you can do with a standard template, and then add custom coding, the options become limitless.
7. It’s affordable
If you want to have your website online it is going to cost you money somewhere along the line. Unless you have a free Facebook page only, which I don’t recommend, read here to find out why.
Heaps of wordpress templates are free, but the really lovely templates often cost money. And while this may be a one off cost (as opposed to a subscription) there can be updates that you might need to pay for. Also if you want widgets like an e-commerce feature then this is often a monthly cost. Not huge all up, but you are paying for it.
Plus if you aren’t paying for a subscription cost then you at least need to pay hosting, which can be anywhere from $5 a month for really basic features and not great security, up to $20 or more depending on what you need (how many pages you might have, storage for your site etc).
Squarespace plans start from just $16USD a month. And that includes hosting, a free domain (.com), security, 24 hour support and unlimited pages! So if you add up all those features it is really worth it.
8. It has easy SEO
Squarespace has really easy to use SEO (search engine optimisation) built in. For example all your headings and paragraphs are tagged as such, so google knows how to find them - you don’t need to add anything special to “tell” google about them yourself. It automatically generates <alt> and <title> tags for your images, which google uses to index you and find you. And it has built in mobile optimisation as well as site mapping. All of these things allow google and other search engines to find you better.
9. It has built in e-commerce
Almost all Squarespace plans (except the “personal” plan) have built in e-commerce. You don’t need to search for widgets, add extra security or worry about extra payments, it’s all taken care of as part of your plan.
And with Squarespace, if you upgrade to an online store plan you get even more, like the ability to see how many people had abandoned shopping carts, have increased metrics on sales, no transaction fees on sales and have integration with Xero accounting software.
10. I’m a designer
Out of all those awesome reasons to use Squarespace, the number 1 reason I use it is because I am designer. I am not a coder.
I do not find joy in staring at lines of code, I don’t like programming and I don’t want to spend hours just making something work. I enjoy making things look beautiful. I am passionate about understanding what consumers need, what they are looking for, and helping businesses deliver that to them. I want to design something special. I completely understand the need for functionality in a website, but making that happen is not my bag. That is why I use Squarespace. It takes care of all the functionality I could need, and I take care of the design. It’s a perfect match :) Plus as an added bonus, it saves me time, and my clients money. This reason alone is enough for me, but every reason above is a wonderful bonus!