Is Squarespace the Right Choice for Your Business Website?

Natasha Shaw
|
September 29, 2021

If there was one perfect platform to build websites on, we'd all be using it....but there isn't.⠀⠀⠀⠀

It feels like every day I read comments like "X is the best option for your website, don't use X it's 💩". or "X is bad for SEO, don't use it".

It's never-ending. Not to mention very confusing, when you are trying to work out which tool to use for your business website.

My journey to Squarespace

In 2020 after one too many issues with plugin conflicts, my website just 'breaking' randomly, culminating in my website being hacked, I switched my website from WordPress to Squarespace.

I re-built my entire website in a matter of 2 weeks, (custom code and all), whilst juggling a small child and some serious limits on my time available.

I'd been building client sites on Squarespace already and enjoyed using the platform but I'd been with WordPress for my own website for about 8 years.

I like WordPress and whilst I do think it is a great platform, I really hated the hassle it ended up being for me personally. I didn’t have time or patience to worry about my website breaking or working properly...no business owner needs that in their lives.

Using Squarespace has allowed me to not worry that my website will be randomly offline in the morning and to concentrate on growing my business and doing work I enjoy…the really important stuff!

So is Squarespace a good option for your business?

Here are some pros and cons that I have found so far with Squarespace!

The pros of using Squarespace

It's really easy to use

Like any platform, it has its little quirks, but it really is very easy to get around and work out where everything is. You can seriously have a basic website up and running in a matter of hours or days. Personally, I'd recommend spending a bit more time on it, to be honest! But still, if you need something up that looks good with minimal effort, and fast, then Squarespace is your friend.

It's easily customisable

With Squarespace, it's easy to get a professional-looking website up and running even if you are not very technical. If you know a bit of code, then you can really push the boundaries on Squarespace and make sites look pretty far-removed from the templates for that extra wow-factor! Adding HTML, CSS and Javascript is all possible if that is your bag and I love that.

It's an all-in-one platform

Now, in all honesty, this can be a pro and a con, but from a pro point of view, having your hosting, domain, email, members area, e-commerce options all available within one platform, could make life so much easier. No time wasting a completely new platform for different areas of your business!

24/7 support

If anything goes a little funky or you just have some questions, then Squarespace has in-depth resources on their website and you can speak to a human being too.

SEO

Squarespace being rubbish for SEO is an old, tired myth. SEO is about so much more than a platform, and it’s an ever-constant beast that needs feeding. Squarespace makes optimising your site on a basic, yet-essential level pretty easy, with no extra plugins required!

The cons of using Squarespace

To build a more bespoke site you need to know a little CSS

You can build a perfectly OK website without knowing how to code or have design skills on Squarespace. However, to build something really bespoke, you will need to have some coding skills or find someone that does. The beauty in the simplicity of Squarespace means it can be restricting from a design point of view. This is the main reason that in 2022 I decided to build my own business website again but on Webflow....and wow, the creative freedom is amazing! So depending on your priorities, a platform like Webflow might be a better fit.

E-commerce for selling products has limitations

From my experience, Squarespace is not geared up for a true e-commerce experience compared to something like Shopify.

If you are selling to customers in your home country only, then the option Squarespace offers may be enough for your needs in general. If you sell to customers all over the world, however, you will have to set up things like VAT, individual country taxes and shipping manually. To avoid this you can always try to integrate with Shopify Lite, so essentially customers check out through Shopify, but this is another subscription to another company and questionable knock-on effects to SEO.

You can't move sections between pages

Say you decide you want a particular section to appear on more than one page, or you want to move things around...you just can't move or copy and paste (unlike you can on WordPress with Elementor for example). This can be a real headache and lead to re-designing pages and re-doing your hard work!

Version 7.0 to 7.1 'upgrade' is not an option

This one has annoyed a lot of people! Squarespace version 7.1 was launched in early 2020 and to be fair has got some key differences to 7.0, so a straight 'upgrade' probably isn't that easy.

Essentially, with 7.0 there are a lot of different template 'families' which are slightly different from each other, yet with 7.1 there is just one 'base' template to build from.

In many ways, I prefer 7.1 overall as I feel it’s easier for the clients to manage in the end. However, there are aspects from 7.0 that I miss, such as more granular control over mobile layouts. I can use CSS so it's not a big deal, but for a platform like Squarespace, some things should just be built-in and not require code to alter (in my opinion).

So is Squarespace right for you?

Ultimately, the right website platform comes down to you and your business goals.⠀⠀⠀

👉 I've seen businesses that have great SEO results and their site is built on Wix.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

👉 I've seen businesses that have had bloated WordPress themes leading to poor site speed and poor SEO results (me included!).⠀⠀⠀⠀

👉 I've seen Squarespace sites that are really slow because they are overloaded with plugins/scripts/un-optimized images.

I make a point of NEVER saying Squarespace is the best option for someone, without knowing much more about them and their business needs.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

If Squarespace isn't the best fit for a particular business, I'll be honest about the limitations and if necessary point them elsewhere.

Because of the limits with Squarespace with their e-commerce, email, and members area offerings, I always advise people to check out other third-party options first before committing.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Building a good website is really not about the tools at the end of the day, it starts with the strategy, who you’re trying to reach and putting a bit of your heart into it.

written by
Natasha Shaw
I focus primarily on UX and UI design to help impact-driven businesses grow, with a healthy side dish of yoga and hot chilli sauce 🧡