Lately I've heard a lot of flak that if you design a site using a Squarespace template it will "look like everyone else's" or it "won't be unique." I beg to differ ...
I started designing websites in 2000 using Dreamweaver when it was still owned by Macromedia. But since I'm not a coder/developer/programmer I was constantly frustrated and felt constricted using tables trying to create my designs. I will say Dreamweaver has greatly improved since Adobe acquired it but back then it was CLUNKY.
So I moved onto Wordpress a robust free open-source CMS (content management system). With limitless capabilities especially if you know how to code.
The thing is, I don't code, develop, or program. I'm a designer. So I'd spend countless hours searching different sites trying to find the perfect template and/or plugin but never finding exactly what I wanted. Then I'd have to spend more hours searching for bits of code to piece together some sort of site. I was spending more time searching out "fixes" than designing.
But the biggest issue was that it wasn't working for my client-base. The backend felt intimidating to my "non-techie" clients because they just wanted to login, do some minor edits, upload a blog post, and move on.
So a decision had to be made. If I wanted to offer website design services I either had to outsource to a Wordpress expert OR find another solution.
That's when I found Squarespace and it changed my business.
Squarespace enabled me to offer website design services in my packages without having to know how to code. I was able to design + delivery high-quality, mobile across all platforms sites within 2 weeks.
There are many reasons why I choose Squarespace but here are some of the big ones:
1. Squarespace templates are customizable and look good too!
Just by implementing your brand, colors, fonts, graphics, and images you already have a site that is uniquely yours and looks different from anyone else's.
That being said, Squarespace also gives you the option of implement custom code. If you want to go one step deeper you can use the Developer Platform and modify the underlying code of your site's template or create templates from scratch.
I no longer have to search days on end to find good looking templates to work from. Squarespace's gallery of templates have something for everyone and again, they are customizable.
2. Squarespace is not an open source platform and it's gated off by in-house developers.
All the tools they design and develop are high quality and already integrated into the platform. So you never have to update them on your own. What does this mean?
Let's talk plugins. I have nothing against Wordpress I used it in the beginning days of my business. it's a great platform and has the chops to build complicated websites.
But Wordpress is an open source platform which means their codes are open to everybody to use, create, and customize. There's no quality control and my experience was that there were more bad plugins than good. I like to do things myself but I'm no programmer. So this meant I constantly had to seek out bits of code in an abyss of 44k+ developers just to be able to Frankenstein together a site which never turned out the way I wanted.
Yes, I could have outsourced to a Wordpress expert but that's one more thing to manage and I'd lose out on that income.
3. Squarespace is a drop and drag system easy for "non-techie" people to learn and use and has 24/7 tech support.
I offer every client a 1 hour screen sharing session where I teach them how to login and edit their site, upload blog posts, swap out photos, update products or whatever it is they need to do. They can ask me anything and because of the easy-to-use drop and drag system they feel confident taking over their site within 15 minutes of the tutorial.
The other GREAT thing about Squarespace is the 24/7 tech support to their customers. If I can't figure something out they're right there to help me.
4. Circles Member Program
Because I'm a Squarespace Circle Member I can offer my clients:
- Six-month trial periods - For new websites
- 20% off new website and online store subscriptions - Discount for the first payment on annual plans
"The program is designed to support, inspire, and engage the community of creatives, developers, and designers who use Squarespace to build beautiful websites for themselves and their clients."
Which means I'm in the know about new products and services which keeps me up to date with what's happening with Squarespace.
So, if you're on the fence about using a Squarespace template because you're afraid of "looking like everyone else" or that your site "won't be unique" please know that isn't true!
A good designer will be able to design a site that is on brand and uniquely yours even using a template.