Recently, I had a new client request a Squarespace site. He was already paying for it, so he figured why not continue using it?
Old me would have probably nudged him pretty heavily in the direction of WordPress instead, but I’ve honestly been losing some of my zest for WordPress over the last year or so and so I decided to roll with his Squarespace idea.
And—maybe it’s just me—but 2019 Squarespace feels a heck of a lot different than the Squarespace of four or five years ago; the last time I really gave it a solid go. It feels less buggy. Like there are more options. Like it’s pretty darn easy to use. And sometimes projects call for just that: simple and straightforward.
After diving in and building out a site in a matter of days, here’s what I’m loving and appreciating about Squarespace.
#1 – You don’t have to worry about hosting
And by “you,” I most certainly mean “me.” I’ve dealt with my fair share of terrible hosting providers, and clients who just wouldn’t budge on making the move or upgrading to something better. I’ve also messed up myself and made some less than awesome recommendations to clients in the (very far) past: if you’re a past client reading this and I got you on the cheapest shared hosting account possible, I’m truly sorry.
Squarespace deals with all of the behind-the-scenes hosting stuff and that’s that. I don’t know what their uptime stats look like right off the bat, but I’m almost positive it’s more reliable than that $5/month HostMonster plan you might be eyeing.
#2 – There’s NOT a plugin for everything under the sun
A big part of my past pitches for WordPress always included the promise of “endless options!” Need event registration? There’s a plugin for that! Need a Facebook feed? There’s a plugin for that, too!
While there are undoubtedly GREAT WordPress plugins out there that really do enhance WordPress websites when used appropriately and in moderation, they are also very often misused and abused. I’ve had WordPress website maintenance requests where there were over 20 plugins installed, doing God only knows what. This sort of plugin misuse undoubtedly leads to site speed issues—not to mention the security concerns when folks decide to not update anything for months or years.
With Squarespace, there are no plugins: what it comes with is what you get (which now includes things like ecommerce capabilities). And a lot of times, for smaller businesses just trying to get a web presence, this is plenty and more than they’ll ever really need.
#3 – What updates?
Something a lot of people fail to realize is that WordPress isn’t just a “set it and forget it” solution. There are WordPress core updates, plugin updates, and theme updates happening regularly. Miss a few here and there, and things can start to get dicey: security issues, compatibility issues, and speed issues just to name a few.
Squarespace just handles this stuff: if you’re wanting a site that likely won’t be tinkered with much after launch, Squarespace is a good way to go. You can let your site chill out on the interwebs for over a year without so much as a second glance, and it should be 100% a-okay when you return.
#4 – Squarespace templates look pretty darn nice out of the box
Lord knows I’m not trying to diminish the vital work of the UX designer, web designer, or graphic designer. But if you’re someone trying to DIY a website on the cheap, these can be great starting points to represent your business professionally on the web.
And for designers and developers, it’s easy to customize whatever you want within Squarespace’s options (and jazz things up with some custom CSS). Or you can get totally crazy and get your hands dirty in some code using their developer platform. The options are endless no matter your skill level.
#5 – They stay on top of the ever-changing web
When SSLs started becoming the norm for websites, making sure every WordPress site had one implemented was a total roll of the dice: super easy and automatic on some hosting platforms, a total pain on others. With Squarespace, an SSL is now automatically included and implemented for you right out of the gate.
The same goes for other technologies like a CDN, ecommerce capabilities, opt-in tool, and more. Where you’d need to likely install a plugin and do some configurations that could potentially get pretty time consuming/confusing in WordPress, when Squarespace decides to add in a new functionality, it becomes packaged right in with their platform—all ready to go.
So, there you have it: just a few reasons why Squarespace has won me over recently. While I won’t be using the platform exclusively going forward, this recent experience has taught me that there’s more out there than just WordPress and I’m excited to explore possibilities on this platform with other clients in the future!