Is Squarespace Right for my Business?
Creating a website is an exciting milestone for your business, event, non-profit or personal brand, but knowing how to go about it can be tricky and confusing.
To minimize the work, time and cost associated with building a website, many people seek out platforms with premade themes or templates. A newer platform growing in popularity, Squarespace markets itself as a great do-it-yourself option with well-designed and easy-to-use templates. The low cost of using Squarespace makes it super appealing to use on one’s own, without the help of a web designer.
But, like with many things in life, the easier option is not always the best option. Squarespace can be a great platform, but it may not be right for your business. Even if Squarespace offers the functionality your website needs, going the DIY route means you’ll be missing out on the expertise of a web designer to take your website to the next level.
In this blog, we’ll explain:
When Squarespace is a good fit
How a web designer uses Squarespace differently than a DIYer
When to Use Squarespace
Squarespace is usually the right choice when:
We’re building a website for small businesses and organizations who need a basic brochure site. A brochure site is a website that provides much of the same information as a brochure (about, basic listing of services, contact information, etc.).
It fits with the functionality required for a client’s website. Functionality is the practical elements of your website’s purpose. For example, if the purpose of your website is to sell your product online, then your website will require ecommerce functionality.
Clients want to be able to change their site easily on their own once it’s up and running (but we’re always available for support if needed).
These qualities typically fit with websites for small business or organizations, restaurants and small online shops.
DIY vs. Designer
A DIYer might limit the functionality of their website to stay within the scope of what Squarespace can handle. They may decide to use Squarespace before defining the full purpose of their website instead of the other way around. This can lead to a DIYer getting stuck when using Squarespace if they need features Squarespace isn’t currently built to support, such as integration of PayPal or some third-party apps and platforms.
A designer, on the other hand, will ensure your website is working for you rather than limiting you. We’ll start by building a sitemap that lists all the pages on your website. Creating a sitemap is more than creating a checklist of pages we need to add to your website—it’s the first step in identifying and including the type of functionality required to meet your organization's needs. Functionality is a major factor in proper web design: A beautiful website isn’t worth much if it’s not user-friendly and suited to your audience. Web designers use their knowledge and expertise to achieve the right balance of functionality, intuitive user experience, and visual appeal.
There are times when a website’s purpose aligns with the functionality offered by Squarespace, but the design vision does not. In this case, we might choose an option other than Squarespace to make sure we can fulfill our vision.
A DIYer, on the other hand, might let a template guide their vision. The end result might look good, but losing focus on a design vision can compromise company branding and a website’s effectiveness.
How to Use Squarespace
Once we have a sitemap of the pages on your website, we will develop a custom design based on a Squarespace template. We don’t focus too much on what the template looks like since we’ll already have our own design vision in mind; instead, we select a template based on the functionality it offers. For example, a Squarespace template was used to build a website for Engine Compression Solutions. The finished product looks completely different from the template, but the functionality offered by the template supported the company’s needs.
We also consider these factors when developing your website:
Responsiveness: How the website looks and behaves on multiple devices (smartphone, tablet, etc.). Squarespace templates are usually designed to be responsive to multiple devices, but the default design might not be optimal for your user experience.
Search Engine Optimization: How searchable your website is. When someone is searching for a specific business or service, they enter key terms and phrases into a search engine. Users usually visit the first or second business that is generated by their search, so we optimize your website to ensure it appears high on the list of search results.
Scannability: How easily information can be understood from a quick scan of the webpage.
We will also provide you with some guidance on writing and content curation for your website, in case you ever need to update or add content on your own after we’ve completed the project.
In a Nutshell
Squarespace is usually a good option for brochure-style websites that don’t require complex functionality.
Web designers use Squarespace because it’s a cost-effective platform for clients that provides some of the base elements for a website, allowing the designer to focus on the details.
Designers use their expertise to integrate your dreams and brand into a website that works hard for you.
A well-designed website can help attract more business. Hiring a designer instead of taking the DIY route is a worthy investment into your business and yourself.
Building a website can seem like a daunting and expensive task. Making room for a web designer in your budget will pay off exponentially, giving you peace of mind that your website is working for you.
If you want to learn more about how we can make your website vision a reality, feel free to reach out to us!