7 Reasons I Design With SquareSpace
1. The templates are beautiful.
And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like nice things? SquareSpace templates are designed to make your work look fantastic, whatever it may be.
Are you a photographer? SquareSpace sites are made to display your huge, awesome images. Do you have a restaurant? There are templates made with you and your yummy food in mind.
SquareSpace keeps up with modern design trends so you and your company won’t ever look out of style.
I say these things a bit frivolously, but I actually believe that beauty is a hugely important part of the design process. And in today’s mobile, internet-based economy, your site is an important investment in your company. Maybe the most important. If you’re going to pay for a website, you want to love the way it looks.
You might find yourself intimidated by the large, sweeping images that fit together seamlessly in template demo pages. Don’t worry, you can still make your site look any way you want.
The way SquareSpace uses imagery just reflects the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. People respond to photos (particularly of other people), so it’s worth taking some great photos for your site, searching for stock photos that work, or hiring a professional photographer.
I love SquareSpace because it’s beauty made simple.
2. It’s easy for clients to own.
My clients are bright people. They just don’t have time to sit down and fiddle with a website all the time, much less design one.
That being said, there are a lot of aspects of website maintenance and upkeep that many designers and developers take for granted. SquareSpace understands this and has made things as easy as possible, given that they also want to provide great design flexibility.
All content is entered using blocks that are easy to move around the site. Want to change a little bit of text? No problem. Need to add more blog posts and calendar events? Easy as the press of a button.
With SquareSpace, I feel confident that my clients will walk away knowing how to use and maintain their sites after a minimal amount of training with me.
True story: I had a client who, several years ago, hired me to move her site away from SquareSpace into a WordPress template that more suited her style at the time. Honestly, that experience is partly what convinced me that SquareSpace was the platform for me!
Why? No matter how many times I hear someone say that using WordPress is easy, I have to disagree, unless your definition of easy is “spend a huge amount of time reading zillions of articles and searching for widgets that look good, work well, and are secure and updated frequently.” And for a non-tech-savvy user, WordPress can be nightmare.
Although the site did look sharp, it proved to be a bit difficult for my client to maintain, so I suggested that she might be ready for a redesign a couple of years later. Guess what? We moved her back to SquareSpace, she’s thrilled with her new site, others are complimenting her on it, and she’s able to do things with it she couldn’t do with WordPress.
3. It’s a jack-of-all-trades platform.
No more worries about which hosting company to use, or which widgets are the best, or how to make sure your site is secure. SquareSpace hosts your site and your domain, all the while keeping everything locked down so you don’t have to worry about being hacked. And content blocks replace the need for widgets.
A lot of people (myself included) compare using SquareSpace to having an iPhone versus an Android phone. Honestly? I have an Android phone. I love it. I don’t want an iPhone. But I have an Apple computer, and I don’t design using anything other than SquareSpace.
Want a professional email address to go with your shiny new site? You can sign up for Google’s G Suite directly through your SquareSpace site.
And, FYI, you really do need an email address that goes with your site (like, I have firstname.lastname@example.org) rather than just a free Gmail or Hotmail account. Why? That’s a topic for another post, but the short answer is that if you collect email addresses and send out newsletters via a service such as MailChimp, your free email account will be much more likely to be tagged as spam and your emails won’t be as likely to go through.
4. Their customer support is amazing.
SquareSpace isn’t paying me to say any of this. No, really! But I have to say that I am continually blown away by their customer service when I’ve had any issues with my sites or with client accounts.
They are prompt, thorough, and frankly you probably won’t ever need to talk to them anyway, because their online support guide is so exhaustive. They provide videos and written guides for just about any question you can possibly ask.
Another true story: I created a SquareSpace site for a client who already owned a domain and hosting account through another company. She wanted these transferred to SquareSpace, which is pretty easy to do using SquareSpace’s extremely detailed guides.
Unfortunately, there was a hitch with her account, and the other company kept telling her stuff like she had to re-purchase a hosting account after she’d canceled it. The biggest problem was that it would take weeks for them to respond to our questions.
SquareSpace responded immediately to all of our questions about her account, so she was able to see first-hand the different in customer support.
5. SquareSpace sites are automatically mobile-friendly and SEO-optimized.
I’m sure you’ve heard that more people actually view websites on their phones now than on a desktop. Thus, it does you absolutely no good if your super-cool new site looks great on a desktop and terrible on a phone (who wants to look at those tiny pictures and try to zoom in to read things?).
Once again, SquareSpace has you covered. Their templates are automatically mobile-friendly, and a number of them now actually allow users to customize the look of the mobile site (apart from the desktop site).
When you’re making site updates, it’s easy to view what your site will look like on a mobile device using the arrows at the top of the screen (see the photo below).
Worried that your site won’t ever get to the top of the search engine rankings? Worried that you don’t even know what SEO is (search engine optimization), or that it seems like some mysterious, magical process that you’ll never understand?
SquareSpace makes it easy for you to do just a few things to improve your SEO. If you still need some help, check out these resources: the Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO and Kerstin Martin’s SquareSpace SEO mini course.
6. SquareSpace is always getting better.
I’ve always liked the platform ever since I began using it, but it has grown by leaps and bounds in the past several years. If there’s something a SquareSpace site can’t do, they’ve already thought of it and are working on a solution.
Here’s just a couple of examples of recent improvements: five new ways to display images, and the ability to display pop-ups.
That being said, SquareSpace is up front about the types of sites that won’t work on their platform (such as anything that needs a member login or recurring payments/subscriptions). Even for sites that need something SquareSpace doesn’t offer, there might be a coding solution.
7. SquareSpace makes me a better designer. And it’s fun!
There is so much freedom in designing a SquareSpace site. The templates have a lot of flexibility (or I can always change to a different one), so I can experiment with tons of different looks.
I’m a member of SquareSpace Circle, which is a forum for SquareSpace designers. It’s a great place to see what others are doing with their sites, pick up tips and ideas, and meet other designers.
I’ve enjoyed growing and developing as a designer since I started using SquareSpace, and there’s always more to learn.
Another perk of using SquareSpace Circle is that my clients get a 20% discount off their first year’s hosting cost. That incentive makes me feel valued by SquareSpace as a designer and allows me to pass savings on to my clients. It’s a win for all of us!
If you’re ready to try SquareSpace and in need a new site, let me know! I’d love to hear your story.