Why I Chose to Use Squarespace for My Website
My senior year of college, I was in my graphic design capstone class. The day had come and although I already had a portfolio site, I wasn’t comfortable using it. So I bit the bullet and ended up choosing Squarespace.
Why Not Wordpress?
I have experience using Wordpress and although it does have a ton of capabilities, I thought it wasn’t the right fit for what I was looking for. Wordpress.com is great for bloggers and people looking for a simple to-do site. While Wordpress.org is great for websites, ecommerce, and other platforms.
Wordpress is a beast, but in my opinion, it isn’t always easy to update as you need or get everything exactly perfect.
You can add on a bunch of plug-ins to get exactly what you’re looking for, but then you also have to remember to update those widgets or find an alternative if the developer stops updating it.
You can customize it with over a thousand themes, themes to boggle your mind, but I’m one of those persons who will spend forever picking out a theme.
Simplicity is Key
I wanted something that would be really easy to maintain and manage over the years. Something that would look and feel professional effortlessly.
So when I dove into Squarespace I enjoyed it for all the reasons that I don’t enjoy Wordpress.
Firstly, it doesn’t have over a 100 themes to choose from. Although it does have a lot, the themes are varied enough to get what you’re looking for without spending too much time. Plus, some themes are better for certain things than others, but generally you’re able to customize them closely to other themes.
I talked about why I chose Aubrey as my first theme and the ones I’ve looked at switching to in this blog post.
Secondly, I can host and buy my domain name directly through Squarespace without having to worry about linking everything to a host site like Host Gator or Blue host. I always find that to be pain on other sites sometimes, so this was a breeze for me.
Thirdly, it doesn’t cost a lot to host and run my site. I pay between $13-25 a month for my site and then $20 a year for my domain. To me, it’s a lot less than other sites I’ve seen and I can manage it all through one place.
Finally, I have found that Squarespace is easy to maintain my portfolio without having to worry about lots of code or other things. It’s easy in that I can move around items and add in lots of different features.
Best of Wix and Wordpress
Previous to using Squarespace, I actually had hosted my portfolio on Wix. I loved the drag and drop features of it, and all the different options for widgets.
But I didn’t think it would be maintainable for the future. Wix is great for those who have no website experience but can get confusing quickly.
Like Wordpress, they have the option to host your site through places like GoDaddy and get your domain from somewhere else. I think their prices were reasonable for hooking those up.
And like Squarespace, Wix gives you a limited amount of options ( last I looked) for themes. But theirs are not related to each other like Squarespace’s is and I think you don’t need a template on Wix to get started.
What I love about Wordpress though is the vast amount of options even if it’s easy to get bogged down in them. Customizable is king for Wordpress.
And in the past, I’ve enjoyed hosting a blog on the .com version and following other bloggers felt like using Blogger again.
So when I was looking at Squarespace, I enjoyed that they have the drag and drop option and the ability to customize your themes.
Squarespace feels more maintainable to me as it doesn’t have the option for every theme and plug in on the planet.
I’ve already mentioned the lack of plug ins and the blocks had better options.
I wish that their themes could overall be more customizable. For example, some theme families allow for sidebars automatically and others don’t. Or some are better built for bloggers while others are not.
I can appreciate this as it makes choosing a theme a lot easier once you know the differences. And you can check out some graphs here on these blogs or check out the Squarespace help resources.
Although Squarespace has lots of resources out there for customizing your site and the ability to make a custom theme just for your needs, it is not as easy to transfer over.
I believe Wordpress gives you the option to completely own your site which is one of the best reasons to use it for websites.
Its easy ish to change your site to other themes, download the data, make a custom theme, and you don’t have to worry about the host going out of business.
For example, if something awful was to happen, and Squarespace went out of business, I would probably lose my site and have to start from scratch again somewhere else.
Which is also why you should always back up your files in multiple places. All your words, images, and other content should be backed up regardless of where you are hosting your site.
My favorite places to back up files is Dropbox, Onedrive, Google Drive, a flash drive, and an external hard drive.
When it comes to customizing my site, I do wish they had more options for plug-ins and other service options.
So far for E-commerce I’ve just seen Paypal and Stripe and while both those options aren’t bad, I wish I could use my Square account.
I really enjoy using my Square for having people buy services and items from me, and I think it is a widely used service.
Especially among small business owners. Almost every small business in Des Moines seems to use an Ipad and Square.
Editing my posts isn’t very hard and there is a lot of good options but I also wish their blocks were more varied and had better options to show files such as PDFs. But I’ve found that you can do some customization with CSS which is nice.
My final grip with it is a lack of a digital library. Wix and Wordpress both have a storage space for documents and pictures.
This would be really nice for Squarespace to add on.
At least I know where I can find my documents and pictures anywhere on my computer if I ever needed to redo a page or something.
Overall, I’m happy with Squarespace
As a web and graphic designer, I think that Squarespace is really nice to use. While I might consider switching to Wordpress at some point in time, I currently really enjoy using this platform.
It looks nice without me having to do a lot of extra work to it.
Most importantly, it’s easy to update as I need and I don’t have to pay an arm and leg for it. If you ever have any questions about Squarespace, feel free to reach out, I’d love to answer them!