Squarespace is quite possibly one of the easiest to use, all-in-one content management systems (CMS). For those wanting to set up a business and develop an online presence, this could be the host you’ve been looking for. This article will delve into the pros and cons of Squarespace, which will hopefully help you to make an informed decision to go for it, or go elsewhere.
5 Useful Pros That Would Make You Choose Squarespace.
Let’s start with the big one. The part of Squarespace that makes it so attractive is its 100+ templates. The graphics are gorgeous and set out in a magazine-style. These templates will look great on desktop, tablets and smartphones. That’s really important when you consider where your audience will be reading your page. It’s got to look good on any platform, anytime, anywhere.
Squarespace can host your chosen domain, and offers a competitive rate for hosting a business email address.
2. Easy to Use.
Its user-friendly nature means you won’t need to install any other software to build your website, due to its all-in-one features. Page sections are pre-built, and can be added to with very few clicks. Once a template has been chosen and added to a section, simply click on the bit you’d like to change. You’ll have options on a control panel to edit text, font, images and colours. These can be moved around using a grid system. This is otherwise known as the Squarespace fluid editor.
Another massive plus is that you can create a website without prior experience or design knowledge. Users have found it really easy-going, and it’s been likened to Microsoft Powerpoint. Even with basic knowledge, a fully-functioning website with working links can be created. For those non-technical people – who are experts in their own business, but not web design – will stand a great chance of producing something worthy.
Being able to track and measure what is successful, and what isn’t, is an absolute must for a successful business. Squarespace has its own analytics for basic reporting. You can easily link to Google Analytics if it’s more in-depth data that you’re looking for. But if all you need to know are views, popular pages, and that all important, revenue, this information is put on a plate for you within the site.
4. Blogging and Portfolios.
Blogs come with commenting features and post scheduling. Great for receiving feedback, and giving consistency to your audience. You can even host your own podcasts. Squarespace does not place any limits on how many visitors your blog can receive.
In portfolios, once again, there are several templates to choose from, and each example used can have its own style. The templates can be easily customised, excusing the need for additional plug-ins.
The attached SEO is very useful for appearing in search engines. Again, plug-ins aren’t required.
Theoretically, it can hold up to 1000 pages, but it’s recommended to stay below 400 to ensure that it performs smoothly.
Tools for e-commerce are built-in. Business owners can sell physical, subscriptions and digital memberships. It’s ideal for those who want an easy, simple website, with basic e-commerce capabilities. Online payments, bookings and scheduling can also be included. A great example for a business in need of these features would be a restaurant.
5 cons that will make you reconsider using Squarespace?
Subjectively, the user can argue for and against each of the subjects listed in this article. Starting again with a big one, is it just too simple? For example, not needing plug-ins is a pull for some users, whilst others complain that there aren’t any.
Simply put, simplicity can be a turn off. It can feel quite restrictive for those wanting a much more in-depth, detailed site. You won’t find complexity, but then that’s not meant to be the feature of this website builder.
Although it can be argued that the SEO features are enough, it lacks in advanced features when compared with rivals such as WordPress, which has hundreds of tools available. Without plug-ins, Squarespace can only rely on its own in-built tools and functions.
The worry here is that your site won’t have those unique properties, as everyone else using Squarespace has the same limited features to choose from.
Although this also appears in the pro section above, it depends on what you need from this area of the site. The features of this may be too basic for your needs. You can only sell in one currency at a time. The only point of sale hardware you can use is a card reader, and it doesn’t let you accept payment through Google Pay.
3. No Autosave.
This is one of the major criticisms pointed at Squarespace. Imagine you have edited a whole load of your site, taking hours of your time. The site crashes. Or your WiFi drops unexpectedly. All of that hard work disappears. Keep manually saving your work as you go. It’s also difficult to roll back to earlier versions of your website.
4. Customer Services.
While some don’t like speaking to customer service advisors, others do in order to resolve problems. However, it’s very useful to know that there is no way to speak to an advisor over the phone. IT support is 24/7 and completed via live chat or email.
5. Slow Loading Speeds.
Due to the heavy code load required for Squarespaces easy to use block building system, pages can tend to load rather slowly. At surface level, this isn’t overly important. But for SEO this can make a huge difference as page speed is a ranking factor for Google, effectively meaning pages won’t rank as highly. There are also no concrete solutions for this other than compressing image size and keeping as low a page load as possible.
Slow loading pages on Squarespace is nothing new but over time it has slowly been improved upon, with Squarespace adding features such as allowing AMP for blog posts and image component, which enables the image component for improved image loading performance for Squarespace Circle members.
Squarespace is definitely aimed at the more creative types, who are perhaps new to web design. It’s ideal for hosting your portfolio or blog, and for running a small business needing basic e-commerce capabilities.
As simple as it is to use, this can also be seen as a downside, particularly for those wanting something bigger and more complex. An alternative could be WordPress, with over 60,000 plug-ins to choose from.
Squarespace holds its own as a standout performer. Endorsements from celebrities such as Idris Elba and Keanu Reeves don’t do it any harm at all. Reeves in particular has used it for his own Arch Motorcycle company, and promoted it in a three part campaign. Squarespace also ran adverts at five consecutive Super Bowls.
Overall, pros and cons are certainly viewed subjectively, and it ultimately depends on what your needs are, and how you want it to look and perform.