If you listen to podcasts or watch any major television event, you've seen or heard Squarespace's ads by now. With John Malkovich's clothing line and Keanu Reeves' motorcycle company, Squarespace wants you to know their platform will work for your business.
But will it?
We've built a lot of Squarespace websites for our customers, and we also often recommend full, custom WordPress builds.
How do we know when it's the right time to use Squarespace (or, say Wix) and when it's the right time to use WordPress (or another custom web development solution)?
Pros of Squarespace
The pros for Squarespace are easy to identify:
- Ease of use — Without being a professional designer or developer, you can set up an attractive and functional Squarespace website.
- Quality design — Because Squarespace is responsive (works on mobile) right out of the box, and because their templates are professionally designed, your website will look good and work well.
- Affordability — Squarespace is also affordable. For under $30/month you can have an attractive, functional website and custom domain name.
Cons of Squarespace
But where there are pros, there are cons:
- Restrictions — Because Squarespace websites are templated, if you want a very customized look and feel, you'll need to bring in a developer and designer to help you fully customize your website.
- No/Limited Database — While Squarespace can integrate with platforms like Mailchimp and Google Drive, if your website needs to contain a customer database or if it needs to include custom-coded tools, Squarespace is likely insufficient.
How to choose
The best way to know whether a Squarespace website is right for you is by digging into your Desires and Goals for your project. If your desire is to have a professional web presence for your project, and your subsequent goal is to have a simple, easy-to-use website that you can update yourself, Squarespace is probably right for you.
If your Desire is to have a global community around your brand, and your goals include a way for your customers to store information, share files, or participate in a forum, or if you're hosting thousands of pages and posts, you'll likely want custom development.
The important thing is knowing what success looks like and working back from there based on the resources and timeline at your disposal. In many cases, a Squarespace site will be the right fit.
Example uses for Squarespace
Not sure if Squarespace (or another hosted platform like Wix.com) is right for your project? Here are some ways we've helped our customers use Squarespace recently:
- Annual Report/Corporate Report Card
- Customized homepage for a platform over which the client has little control
- Ecommerce platform for a small retailer
- Full website for a food & beverage business
- Homepage/hub for a social media campaign
On one end of the spectrum, Squarespace can be used when you already have a website, but you have content (like an annual report card) that doesn't have its own home.
On the other end, you can use Squarespace when you have a business (like a restaurant or service provider) that needs a whole website to help promote itself.
Better In-house Marketing
By choosing the right tools based on your Desires and Goals, you can make sure you're using your budget effectively, meeting your deadlines, and keeping more profit in-house.
If you're ready to take control of your marketing and start doing more in-house, with the team and resources you already have, consider a Marketing Guidebook.