July 13, 2023
A great website is a must-have for every business. This means selecting a website host is a very important task! As a web designer who has worked on many websites using many platforms, all of them have their pros and cons. With that being said, Squarespace is definitely a top option in my book.
I LOVE how user-friendly Squarespace is. Once the design is set up, my clients can easily manage their own updates OR we do it for them with no sweat. Squarespace has recently launched a new version with an editor they’re calling ‘fluid engine,’ which is super flexible. Squarespace also facilitates the transfer of domains to its platform so that customers can manage a single billing source for their website. This means no separate GoDaddy payments needed after they transfer.
Additionally, their back-end is the simplest by far. This is great news for both the average business owner and web designers – I manage about 8 sites currently and can access each one with a click or two from my dashboard.
Of course, there are constraints. Without the help of additional custom code, images are bound within their sections. That means that without some extra know-how, you will not be able to have any images overlap a section above or below it. However, they’re making updates so rapidly that this kink may have been worked out by the time you’re reading this post! (Fingers crossed!)
Another major personal vendetta I have with Squarespace is that in order to move to their incredibly wonderful 7.1 version with fluid engine, you have to RECREATE your site. That’s right – there’s no button to click to automatically update from 7.0 to 7.1. In order to upgrade, you have to start a new subscription on a new site and copy everything over. This is, of course, NOT ideal. Someone please message me on instagram when this is not the case!
Squarespace pros & cons
You cannot mess up a Squarespace site unless you absolutely go rogue and try to make it something it’s not. With eye-catching photography, clear headlines, messaging and body text, as well as simple navigation, anyone can manage a site and anyone can use a site. There are areas where I’ve been confused in the settings and have needed to search for answers, but the platform has support and a lot of users are willing to share helpful tips. This type of ease definitely deserves the #1 spot on the pros list!
2. Delightfully rigid typography settings
Squarespace suggests only two fonts, one for headers and one for body text. I often reach for a third font to add interest to areas that need them. But you’ll be surprised by how cohesive a site can look as a result of this feature. As compared to Wix, where it’s enticing to select lots of fonts on a single page, Squarespace makes this somewhat challenging and you’re welcome 🙂
I LOVE using video on the homepage of Squarespace sites. It just works! There can be a delay on mobile, but a fallback image does the trick.
1. Too simple
When it came to deciding where I wanted to design my own website, I actually steered away from Squarespace. For what I needed, which was to impress my customers with custom design, I knew that Squarespace was going to be too simple. In the end, I brought in a lot of simplicity to the platform I used, but there were just a few areas, like typography, that I needed to be able to customize more.
2. Begs for great, stand out photos
Since the layout can lean minimal, photography is essential. Good photography will help your site stand out and connect with customers. If you do not have images from a recent shoot or your own product photography, it’s time to get creative with Unsplash.com and paint the picture as best you can. For example, a new massage therapist may be ready to open their doors before they have a custom photo shoot. In this case, grab images of essential oils, spa rocks, a comforting linen massage table and launch with those!
3. Newsletter forms can be confusing
I’ve received calls from clients desperate to find out where their new entries were going from their email newsletter form. This can be tricky! Emails are actually kept in a list that can be used with Squarespace’s email marketing service or exported for Mailchimp, Flodesk, or wherever you need.
I’ve worked on about 20 Squarespace sites, and I’ve really enjoyed each one. Here are a couple of my recent favorites:
Allen Home Organizers
This was actually a fluke. We started on WordPress and landed on Squarespace after encountering an error. The client loved the platform, so we stayed. I love this project, it’s gorgeous!
Bubble Love was ready to show off their gorgeous new video they had made by a local video production team. We were both so excited about how Squarespace would feature the video on desktop AND mobile – it was a no brainer!
Squarespace is great for businesses that want to feature videos on their homepage feature area and that have basic commerce needs. This means both service industries and restaurants are great for Squarespace. With the many website builder and website hosting options available to businesses, Squarespace is a great choice. Reach out if you’re looking to create your website on Squarespace – we’d love to help!