You probably know by now that I'm a huge Squarespace fan. I live it, I breathe it, and I run my business here the beautiful, fabulous Cleveland, Ohio off designing websites on it for creative professionals and small businesses.
When I received my degree in Web Content Development, I was taught how to code a website from scratch, how to organize a website from top to bottom, SEO, and copywriting best practices. At the time, many of the platforms that are commonly used for DIY website building didn't exist. Business owners wanting to go the DIY route had to use places like Geocities, AOL, and Angelfire to get their business represented in the newly popular online world.
There are tons and tons of places to have your website hosted these days. Squarespace, Wordpress, Weebly and Wix are a few of the major players in the market right now, especially for small businesses. Most of these platforms are fairly cheap right out of the box, offer templates of some sort, and even offer integrations to bring in other parts of your business, like social media and mailing lists.
In this post, I want you to learn why I fell in love with Squarespace and why I've chosen it over all other platforms to design my customers' websites. Keep in mind, I do have experience in each of the platforms listed above, so it's definitely helped me to get some perspective from all sides!
REASON 1 | Pricing
You can't beat the pricing with Squarespace. Prices start at $12/month and offer tons of features, like a blog, e-commerce store, and tons of in-house integrations. This is something that is definitely worth the investment, given the features they provide and the security their platform offers. While many people love Wordpress due to the bells and whistles of plug-ins, Squarespace offers secure in-house integrations with Mailchimp for newsletters, live Instagram and Twitter feeds for social media, and Stripe for e-commerce payments.
REASON 2 | E-Commerce
Speaking of Stripe, Squarespace offers e-commerce for all of their plans. While I may not use it currently for Home Sweet Hyatt, it offers me the option of having it and not having to change plans! I even designed a few sites in the last few weeks that have been designed with e-commerce stores. These ladies are INCREDIBLE: The Market Haus Shoppe | Petite Petal Co. | BuckWHAT! Foods
REASON 3 | Responsive Design
At my last check of my analytics for Home Sweet Hyatt, I actually had 58% of my customers accessing my website from mobile devices. It's crazy to think, as a designer, that many people function solely off their mobile phones and tablets. But, I would likely be the same way if I wasn't a website designer! That being said, always, always, always go with a website hosting platform that allows for responsive design. This means, if I'm on a mobile device, the site converts to a mobile version of that SAME site. Don't give yourself a headache of managing two websites, just to accommodate mobile sites. Squarespace offers the responsiveness of their sites to have you manage a single site, but it converts down to whatever device someone is using. Oh, and Google really likes this, too, for SEO purposes!
REASON 4 | Customer Service
The customer service at Squarespace cannot be beat. They're SO friendly and helpful. They're available via live chat during specific days/hours and email 24/7. I couldn't tell you how many times I first reached out to them when using the platform. I still reach out to them here and there to double check my logic on design work for my clients. I LOVE that when I'm finished with a design for my clients that they can also reach out to Squarespace, if they have any questions weeks or months down the road!
REASON 5 | Site Security
The number one issue I had with Wordpress when I used to design in it years ago was the security. One of my clients had their website hacked three separate times, all in a matter of two years. Completely wiped out. Now, there were various reasons why their website became vulnerable; constantly adding in new plug-ins (that looked a bit sketchy) and they didn't update Wordpress as often as they should have. However, with Squarespace, there's nothing to update! And, plug-ins aren't needed. Squarespace has multiple partnerships (Mailchimp, Amazon, Google Apps, etc.) to allow additional features to be right at your fingertips.
Sold yet? If not, go ahead and start a free two-week trial! You'll see just how incredible and versitle this platform really is. My clients absolutely love it for their businesses and so do I!