The “Fors and Againsts” of Squarespace…
What is Squarespace?
You may have heard of one of the latest trends in websites – Squarespace. Having been featured in TV ads by famous actor Keanu Reeves, it is touted as the cheap and easy answer to all your website problems. But how good is it really? We examine the pros and cons…
Pros of Squarespace:
1. Lots of options
It’s got lots of features, including the capability for MailChimp and PayPal. When properly built, it can look really good and has 84 options to do so. You can try it free for two weeks and prices start at $12 a month, with hosting, including one year of free domain registration, if you’re set up on an annual payment system.
Squarespace hosts the websites built using their software and templates, and the cost of hosting is included in the monthly price meaning Squarespace handles all the technical needs of hosting. This is of benefit to anyone who doesn’t have any knowledge of setting up a server. The downside of this they don’t offer an option to self-host on your own server.
Squarespace takes care of all your security need on your behalf. This means that if anyone tries to hack your it is the responsibility of Squarespace and not the customers.
So far, so good…
Cons of Squarespace:
Like all self-builds, there is a downside and this isn’t always clear when you browse that particular website. Some hidden issues lurk beneath the surface.
1. DIYing it
In reality, it can be difficult to build a professional looking website, promote, write great content, SEO optimise and market your website, all by yourself. That’s why web design agencies employ specialists in all these fields.
2. Template design
You will end up with a template that hundreds or even thousands of other websites are using. This will affect the “originality” of your website. This also means that you won’t be able to customise it to any great effect. The fact that the website is a template can lead to a lot of “bloated code” that can affect website performance.
3. Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is vital for people to find your website online, but you will only have limited options for this on a self-build, as this is a specialised skill set. Without SEO, you will be invisible online. The Squarespace template model of business also makes it difficult to implement effective SEO techniques.
You don’t own your website or template but merely rent it, which means that you don’t have final say on what happens to your website, or if it even disappears offline.
This is the big one and the one we hear the most complaints about from people who switch to our services after using Squarespace.
When you factor in the ongoing costs for something that you don’t even own, the price can add up quickly. Lots of little extras become necessary to make your website effective. Anything beyond a very basic package could cost you at least $500 per year.
However.. your website should be as professional as you can afford and should “showcase” your products/services. A properly built website will pay for itself in no time. When it is original in content, properly optimised for SEO and marketed correctly, your professionally built website will attract and get you paying customers.