Why I Choose to Design Websites on Squarespace
As many of you know, my own site, along with all of my clients’ sites are created with Squarespace. During calls with new clients, they ALWAYS ask me why I choose Squarespace over all of the other hosting platforms out there. I wanted to answer that question here and really delve in into the ins-and-outs of Squarespace and why I continue to use it, even with my previous experience in Wordpress.
I’d like to start by a wonderful quote I found on ShivarWeb.
“Using Squarespace is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a really classy development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise- but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct trade off between convenience and control.”
SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK!
Alright, back to business.
1. I have been using Squarespace for over five years.
Why not start with the basics? I have been using Squarespace since my very first project in my very first web design class back in 2013. I studied up the platforms, chose what I thought would be the best for what I wanted, and I have used it since.
While I have cheated on Squarespace a few times (and I am so sorry) with Wordpress and other hosting sites, I will always go back to Squarespace.
Practice makes perfect. And I have been practicing web design on Squarespace and have worked with, customized, and (when needed) coded every template there is to offer so there’s not much, if anything, I have to say no to when a client asks. I truly know the ins-and-outs of the platform.
And, because of all the websites I’ve been able to design using this interface, I am a Squarespace Circle Member, meaning you get 20% off your hosting fees by working with me. What’s not to love?
2. All the templates are RESPONSIVE, and not just mobile-friendly.
This is one of my big “whys” for choosing Squarespace. It is 2018, the age where on average, OVER half of your website traffic is coming from mobile devices.
According to SimilarWeb roughly 56 percent of consumer traffic to the leading US websites is now from mobile devices. Mobile traffic in Q4 was roughly 49 percent, on average, for these top sites.
What’s the difference, you ask?
Having a responsive site means it adapts and changes- and well, responds- to every single screen size it is viewed on. So your website will look beautiful regardless of what it is actually being viewed on- regardless if that is a desktop, a tablet, or a phone, your viewers will not be shy-ed away from all the wacky things that happen when a website is not responsive. (You know the ones.)
This means you no longer have to worry about staying in between certain lines, or resizing photos, or completely remaking a mobile friendly site- Squarespace automatically takes care of allllll of these things for us!
3. The templates are just starting points.
One of the number one complaints I hear about Squarespace is that you are “limited” in design because of the number of template options.
First of all, quality over quantity. Second of all, templates are just starting points.
You can take a template because of a few of the features you like about it (the way the blog is set-up, or the call-to-actions on the banners of each page) and then totally customize it and make it yours.
And, regardless, the templates are all made by Squarespace designers for consistency. That means that you always know the quality you will get with the site. The consistency is beautiful, instead of having to install a ton of different plug-ins and navigate a site that you don’t understand since so many on other platforms are made by different people.
AND, the designers made the sites with people like you and me in mind: creative entrepreneurs. That means you can find all the features you need in Squarespace for your business, whether it’s booking with Acuity, or even taking reservations if you’re a restaurant owner through Open Table!
Don’t believe me? Checkout the variety of websites designed on Squarespace.
All right, time for the boring (but extremely important stuff!) Squarespace is EXTREMELY secure. You won’t run into the security problems you have with Wordpress, and all of the apps and widgets that Squarespace offers are completely controlled and managed by Squarespace. You can rest assured your site is safe.
The reason it can be more secure than Wordpress is because with Wordpress, developers or programmers can create their own themes, templates and plugins and share for free (or for sale) and then when something happens to one of those… it can be extremely hard to fix. (Keep in mind- they’re not obligated to help if the plugin is free, and it’s hard to pinpoint which plugin causes your initial problem if you have multiple installed. Yikes.)
5. It’s user-friendly.
I see so many people on a regular basis who have custom CMS sites made and then don’t know how to make a simple change. I don’t do that to my clients. I want to make sure that my clients understand how to get on, add a blog when they want, edit their photos, continue to optimize their site with SEO through the ever-changing trends, and manage all the day-to-day updates with a breeze.
DIFFICULT DOES NOT MEAN BETTER.
It’s a drag-and-drop interface, and you know why I became a designer? Because I am good at seeing things and moving them around until they feel right. I can’t do that if it’s a guessing game. My work is better because I am able to move things around and layout a page to be as beautiful and functional as it deserves to be.
6. SEO and analytics.
Squarespace automatically helps optimize your URLs from your page titles that automatically produces URLS with keywords in them. It also automatically creates a sitemap for your site so Google knows how to index it.
Basically, Squarespace does all the dirty work. I have personally been able to get websites to rank first in Google (and others just on the first page) by using Squarespace in a combination with my other marketing efforts.
Along with that, there is a built in analytics feature giving you top-notch data on page visits, unique visitors, referral sources, duration on the page, and so much more- all available at your fingertips just from logging in.
7. Award-winning customer support.
Squarespace’s support team is AMAZING! I hardly ever have to use them, but when I do, the live chat gives me a promptly response almost immediately. You don’t have to wait days for an answer, if you have a question about a template they send you a how-to video with them working directly on your site, and they are all REAL people you can actually talk to! They have award-winning support, and it shows.
8. You can buy and manage your domain through Squarespace.
You don’t realize how important this is until it’s too late (trust me, learn from my mistakes). There is nothing better than being able to search for, purchase, and manage your domain all in the same place that your website is being hosted. You don’t have to worry about DNS codes or integration or logging into a gazillion websites- it is all right there at your fingertips.
Oh, and your site comes with a free domain for your first year. It doesn’t get better than that.
Interested in getting a custom-built Squarespace site? Contact me!
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