Whether you’re looking to build a new website, or you already have one and are looking to improve it, there are a few key reasons we recommend Squarespace sites for most personal and small business situations.
Quick note before we begin: Five Design Co. is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Squarespace (they probably don’t even know we exist!). We’ve just found their platform to be the best option for what we do: helping small business owners and bloggers create beautiful and effective websites that a) can be practically maintained by the average non-web-developer human, and b) don’t break the bank.
We receive no compensation for promoting Squarespace services. We do, however, belong to Squarespace Circle, a community of independent Squarespace designers. As part of this community are able to offer our clients 20% off your first year of Squarespace (woohoo!).
Here are a few reasons we recommend Squarespace for small businesses, bloggers and freelancers:
It’s simple & easy to maintain
A beautiful website isn’t very useful if it’s not updated and maintained to meet its purpose: telling your story, showcasing your work, helping customers contact you.
Websites aren’t static “build ‘em and let ‘em sit” creations. They’re dynamic places that change over time with your up-to-date information, stories, products, services, etc.
So, it’s very important that your website be regularly updated and maintained. (This also helps your SEO!)
Most of our clients are small businesses and freelancers who don’t have budget for an in-house web guru. So, our role is to build beautiful websites on a platform that is simple and practical to keep updated on your own.
Squarespace uses a drag-and-drop editing interface in which you can make simple updates without requiring a web designer to break into any heavy duty code. This makes it quick and easy to write blog posts (which, in most cases, you should totally do!), add new photos to galleries, update information, etc.
All your things in one place
Though it’s possible to purchase your domain elsewhere (and it can be a little cheaper too), we think it’s worth the few extra bucks (for most websites, we’re talkin’ $10ish/year) to purchase your domain through Squarespace and have it managed there.
Not only does it make sense to keep your domain name living where your website content is also housed, but Squarespace’s back-end is much simpler to deal with than other web hosting providers tend to be. So, if you ever need to make changes to it (say, update the credit card on file when it expires), it’s a lot simpler and easier to get into—no extra login information required.
A note about why this is important: Domain names are typically purchased on an annual subscription basis, which means they expire at the end of their “term.” Thus, it’s mega-important to have your domain registered to an email address you check regularly so you can be sure to renew the domain before it expires, or update billing information when the credit card on file expires. Neglecting to do this would result in your domain name expiring and your website going dark. You would then have to buy back the domain name from the registrar—sometimes at a much higher price than you originally paid for it!
Have you ever set your website aside for a few months and come back to find that something’s broken because you forgot to update the plugin you were using for that functionality? If you have, you know what a pain it can be. (And if you haven’t, we don’t recommend trying it!)
One of the things we like about Squarespace is that you don’t have to worry about what’s making the site function behind the scenes. (If you want to worry about that, more power to you! There are other great website building tools out there, such as Wordpress, that can introduce you to the back-end a little more.)
But most business owners we know don’t have extra time to keep an eye on the back-end of their site, making sure everything will keep working smoothly—lots of other things to do instead!
So, one of the reasons we recommend Squarespace is that any behind-the-scenes futzing and fixing that needs to happen is handled by Squarespace itself—and happens without you even knowing or having to think about it.
Squarespace sites are structured with an eye for simple, clean design. They’re also well-built for image-heavy sites and functionality like galleries, product pages and scrolling layouts. This makes them particularly useful for creative industries.
But just because they can handle a lot of imagery doesn’t mean they have to. The clean design is also a great choice for text-heavy sites too.
Squarespace sites support common integrations: MailChimp, ConvertKit, Google Drive, G Suite, Acuity Scheduling, OpenTable to name a few. This means these services can easily be linked to operate your favorite business tools via your Squarespace website.
Squarespace also offers a super-helpful integration with Unsplash, allowing you to source beautiful, professional photography for your website, directly inside the editing interface.
Though it’s certainly not the most robust e-commerce platform (Shopify takes the cake on that one), Squarespace does offer e-commerce capability, and tends to be one of the more nicely designed e-commerce platforms. We have another post that describes the different commerce functionality in each of Squarespace’s pricing plans.
Squarespace offers a great e-commerce solution for many industry and business types—though it’s probably best for smaller-inventory stores (as in, businesses without a gazillion different products), or for businesses in which the store/commerce capacity is just one part of the overall website.
Built-in email marketing
Squarespace recently rolled out their new email marketing functionality, allowing you to send email campaigns directly from the back-end of your website platform. This is convenient in that you don’t need another service to facilitate email marketing (thus it could replace another service like MailChimp), and your email design would be much more unified with the branding of your site. You can also easily important content from your website (blog posts, products, etc.) for quick and easy set-up.
Though the much-more-powerful Google Analytics can easily be synced with your Squarespace website, Squarespace also has its own analytics reporting, which offers clean and easy-to-understand snapshots of your site performance—page views, conversion rates, referral sources, etc.
For small businesses or entrepreneurs just starting out, Squarespace’s dashboards are much easier to understand and interpret than the more-involved Google Analytics reports—and they’re already all set up for you.
Squarespace Mobile app
Make updates, write blog posts and add images from the surprisingly functional and useful Squarespace mobile app. This perk is incredibly helpful for having access to your site when you’re not near your desktop.
Maybe someone alerts you to a typo in a blog post that just went live, or you want to work on a blog post while on-the-go—the free mobile app can come in quite handy!
So what’s not to like?
So, are there any cons to using Squarespace? Sure there are! Drag-and-drop means there’s already a lot of coding you have to contend with when customizing. Currently they’re not well integrated with Zapier, which can be a pain if you’re trying to sync your website with another tool they don’t have a formal integration with.
But, all in all, we think Squarespace is a great website platform for getting the best combination of design, functionality, ease of use and affordability.
And they’re a great option, in particular, for small businesses, freelancers, bloggers and entrepreneurs who want a beautiful and professional website you can easily use and maintain yourself.
Have a website you’d like to switch to Squarespace? We can help:
Create a beautiful, functional & professional website to grow your business
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