I use Squarespace to create all my websites because of its clean design and simple user interface, meaning it's easy for my clients to manage and make edits themselves. Below are some of the most important reasons why I believe it to be the best website platform for the types of small businesses I work with:
+ PEACE OF MIND
Squarespace a is fully managed platform. This means there’s never any need to update software, plugins, or widgets, patch security vulnerabilities; or worry that changing one component might break something else.
+ SIMPLE USER INTERFACE
The back-end of Squarespace's platform is extremely intuitive and simple to use, even for complete technophobes! This means it's super easy to make edits yourself without having to get a developer/designer involved to help with small tweaks.
+ Mobile RESPONSIVE DESIGN
Squarespace templates are beautifully designed and include unique mobile experiences that matches the overall style of your website, so content will look great on every device, every time.
+ Free SSL certificates
All Squarespace websites are given free SSL certificates, which means everyone can enjoy a secure connection throughout your whole website. This is a necessity in 2018, when some browsers are starting to mark non-secure websites as a threat to users! Google also shows a preference to secure sites in rankings.
+ BUILT-IN SEO
Search engine optimisation (ie. how your website ranks on Google) depends on many factors, but with Squarespace you don't need to worry about the technical stuff as it's built-in for you! Read more about their SEO features.
+ AWARD-WINNING 24/7 SUPPORT
Squarespace has a fantastic library of step-by-step guides and video tutorials for if you get stuck, but their 24/7 free live chat and email support are second-to-none. I've had nothing but great experiences with them throughout over 20 website builds.
+ SIMPLE PRICING STRUCTURE
Squarespace's pricing is transparent and simple; you can pay monthly or yearly (from £10 per month up to £30 per month for large online stores) which includes absolutely everything you need - no extra costs!
+ *BONUS* BYROSANNA IS A SQUARESPACE CIRCLE MEMBER
I've been working with Squarespace for years and created over 50 sites, which has given me access to be a 'Squarespace Circle Member'. This means that all sites I create benefit from 20% off annual plans, AND 6 month trial periods (rather than just 14 days!).
Comparing Squarespace to Wordpress & Wix
If you've been doing research about designing a website, and have come across the several different platforms available, you may be wondering which one is right for you. It really does depend on the size of your business, your technical ability and the functional needs of your site, but hopefully my below comparisons can help a little too!
ease of use
Wordpress: One of the main reasons I stopped designing Wordpress sites is because my clients were finding it too difficult to use. The back-end isn't very intuitive and definitely requires some getting used to. Some templates include 'drag and drop visual editors' for you to edit pages, but many don't, which makes it more complicated.
Wix: Most people find Wix easy to use, and it has a drag and drop visual editor so that pages are very easy to make edits to and change.
Squarespace: Again, most people find Squarespace very intuitive. They have almost an 'Apple-esque' back-end design which means everything is very clean and minimal, while the drag and drop visual editor is very easy too.
Templates & Mobile responsiveness
Wordpress: Because Wordpress is 'open source', it means anyone can create templates for it or design from scratch using code. This means there are hundreds of thousands of templates (ranging from £15 to £150) available to buy on the web, BUT there is no standard for quality, and it is common to buy templates with lots of bugs or poorly written code. Many are not mobile responsive either, and even those that say they are often are poorly thought out.
Wix: Wix have over 500 templates available to choose from, and people can design from scratch with code as well. However, the main downfall with Wix's templates is that once you have chosen your template and created your website, you can't change the template without losing your website content - a nightmare for redesigns/rebrands! Not all of
Squarespace: While Squarespace have a limited choice of around 50 templates, each one is carefully designed and developed by the Squarespace team, and each one has been designed with mobile responsiveness in mind as well, so looks great on any device. It is also easy to change templates if you want to switch up your design, and your content will remain in tact.
Wordpress: Because Wordpress is self-hosted, it means YOU are the support for your site. If something happens with your hosting package (eg. server downtime), your hosting company support can help you, or if something happens with your domain, your domain provider support can help BUT if any errors happens within your website due to plugin errors, dodgy template code causing your website to crash, or security issues, there is no customer support for you to ask for help. You can hire developers to help you, or browse forums and Facebook groups for free advice.
Wix: Wix have a Support/Help center with articles and info, a forum where you can post questions for other users to help you, or email and phone support from 6am to 5pm PST.
Squarespace: Squarespace definitely have the best support offering, with a 24/7 email support team, live chat from 3am til 8pm EST Mon to Fri, as well as their user forums and Help center with articles.
Wordpress: Technically, Wordpress itself is FREE because it is an open source, self-hosted platform. However, you do need to pay for hosting to install Wordpress on, which can cost anywhere between £3 per month to £50 per month for most small businesses depending on the size and requirements of your site. You also need to pay for a domain, which is usually around £15 a year. On top of this, you'll need to purchase a template (anywhere between £15 to £150 usually). For extra functionality you'll need to install plugins; many are free but some are monthly subscriptions too.
Wix: As a 'managed-hosting' platform, Wix has the largest range of pricing plans, but the cheaper ones are limited in terms of how many pages you can have (bandwidth) and how much storage you're allowed (images, files etc.). Their best plan is the £16 per month option, which includes everything (hosting, templates, ecommerce, support, 1 year free domain, core plugins). I always suggest getting your domain elsewhere than your hosting company though to spread risk, and they are cheaper elsewhere anyway once your free year is up.
Squarespace: Squarespace has 4 different plans; their best one in my opinion and the one most often used by my clients is the Business plan (£15 per month). Again, this includes absolutely everything (hosting, templates, ecommerce, support, 1 year free domain, core plugins, SSL certificate etc). I always suggest getting your domain elsewhere than your hosting company though to spread risk, and they are cheaper elsewhere anyway once your free year is up. Their most expensive plan is £30 per month for more complex online stores.
Wordpress: Again, because Wordpress is open source, anyone can create a plugin. This means there are hundreds of thousands available (some are free but many are subscription based) but the quality is not standardised, and some plugins can clash with others or some templates due to it not being possible to test with everything that's out there. You install them at your own risk, but try and make sure they are regularly updated so that they at least work with the latest version of Wordpress!
Wix: It is also possible for third parties to create plugins for Wix, which again means there are more available but it is hard to comment on the quality of all of these, and some may not work well with certain templates because again it's hard to test against that many variables.
Squarespace: The only plugins available on Squarespace are the built-in ones created by Squarespace themselves, so they are compatible with every template and aren't going to clash with anything or be buggy. They have most features you'd ever need, but currently don't offer booking/appointment systems or membership/community site functionality. There are third party companies that have come up with solutions for these though, and you can easily embed simple booking/appointment systems into any Squarespace website with a bit of code.