Squarespace has enjoyed an impressive growth in popularity recently, especially in the online business community. It’s easy to see why Squarespace is doing so well. The platform offers amazing ease-of-use for its clients and beautiful site templates that don’t require much customization.
Add to that the included hosting package and good customer support, and it looks like Squarespace is a no-brainer for non-techy people who need a website. It also looks like a designer’s paradise. You don’t have to worry about coding anything, and you get to avoid the tech side of websites completely.
Don’t let that fool you, though. Despite its ease-of-use and lovely templates, Squarespace isn’t always the right choice for your design clients for two main reasons.
No Advanced Features
Unlike WordPress, Squarespace is limited in terms of additional site features. If your client wants to host a robust membership site, you’ll likely need to suggest that they look into a different platform for that site. If your client sells products online and wants to incorporate a customized ecommerce shop into their site, you may not be able to accommodate that request on Squarespace.
Along with limited features, Squarespace sites lack access to the 47,000 plus plugins that are available with WordPress websites. There’s a plugin for almost everything imaginable in WordPress, so it’s not difficult to add advanced features to your clients’ site.
However, when you have a Squarespace website, what you see is what you get. If there’s a specific function that your clients wants included on their website, but it doesn’t come standard with Squarespace, you may have to do without it. There are some workarounds with Squarespace, but for the most part, it’s not as flexible as WordPress is when it comes to adding advanced features.
When discussing advanced features, it’s impossible not to mention the SEO limitations that Squarespace has. Helpful SEO plugins aren’t available on Squarespace, and there are more limited options for optimizing specific sections of your client’s site. While it is possible to get a good search engine ranking for a Squarespace site, it’s not quite as easy to do as it is with WordPress.
From a design perspective, Squarespace is much more restrictive than WordPress. Because a Squarespace website already comes with pre-designed templates, you’re not able to show your clients what you’re really capable of.
You are able to make some custom tweaks to the main template, but it’s not the same as designing your own unique work. You’re not starting from scratch when you build a Squarespace site. You’re basing your design off of a pre-set theme created by someone else.
With limited customization comes the problem of clients wanting a design feature or website layout that’s just impossible on Squarespace. Clients don’t always understand which websites are built using which platforms, so they may believe that whatever is possible with WordPress is possible with Squarespace.
If your client comes to you after seeing a WordPress site they’ve fallen in love with and wants you to design a similar site on Squarespace, you’ll likely run into trouble. Try explaining that Squarespace offers limited customization, and you won’t be able to effectively design the website they’re asking for because of the pre-set templates.
Another issue with Squarepace’s limited design options is it removes your ability to incorporate some aspects of website strategy into your design. When you use a pre-set template, there are only so many changes you can make, especially considering that you won’t have an extensive library of plugins at your fingertips.
Squarespace does allow for landing pages and subscription pop-up boxes, depending on which email service provider your client uses, but you’re ultimately limited to what you can do on your website because of the pre-selected template.
What If Squarespace Isn’t Right for a Client?
If you’ve considered your client’s design requests and found that Squarespace doesn’t fit well with them, you can still take on the project. Consider using the WordPress platform to give your client ultimate flexibility. You’ll get great design freedom, and you’ll be able to create a strategic website that functions the way your client wants.
If thinking about working with WordPress makes you break out into a cold sweat, you’re not alone. Many designers avoid WordPress for fear of having to get into the website’s code. There’s good news, though! You can still work with WordPress and give your client the site they want without having to dive into coding, extra plugins, or the tech side of things.
To turn a WordPress coding nightmare into a tech-free design paradise, partner with a website developer. Ideally, as a designer, you should know a developer or two that you can work with for more complicated projects.
When you work with a developer, you don’t have to worry about touching a line of code, and you can still achieve the design and functionality that your client wants. The developer will handle the coding, tech requirements, and client training. You’ll be left to do what you do best – design breathtaking, strategic websites.
Don’t Let Squarespace Limit You
Squarespace can be a great choice for clients who want a simple, no-fuss website with limited customization. However, you’ll likely run into clients who want a more robust website. When that happens, don’t be afraid to suggest a different platform.
Squarespace shouldn’t be the only choice you give your clients. WordPress has an impressive library of plugins, complete design freedom, and greater potential for future business growth than Squarespace.
If your client opts for a WordPress website, don’t stress about having to get into the coding and tech side of things. Find a developer to partner with and focus on designing a stunning website.