Today I’m going to be talking all about website platforms and covering some Squarespace myths that you might be buying into if you have just been reading blog posts online or getting your information from people who haven’t’ used Squarespace.
The reason I want to cover these topics is because not every website platform is going to be the best option for every business. While I work solely in Squarespace, there are potential clients who come to me who might be better served by a different platform.
I’m going to be going over some of the most popular website platforms, including who each is best for, the average cost, and some pros and cons of each. There are lots of other platforms out there, but I don’t cover all of them.
Popular Website Platforms:
- Best For: Creatives and small business owners who want a great looking, flexible website that doesn’t require coding knowledge.
- Cost: $12-$26/month for personal & business websites, $26-$46/month for eCommerce extra benefits
- Pros: 24/7 customer service, variety of templates included, drag-and-drop builder for easy updates, no coding required, can grow with your business, great security – no plug-ins, no additional monthly costs, one-stop show for domain, hosting, email (G Suite), blog, and eCommerce
- Cons: less flexible than WordPress in design and functionality, templates focus on imagery
- Best For: Those who want a lot of flexibility in design and larger online retailers
- Cost: Free to use, with plug-ins and hosting paid separately
- Pros: flexible in design and development, can easily back-up website, thousands of plug-ins for variety of functionality
- Cons: coding knowledge may be needed, no security through WordPress, some plug-ins aren’t safe or updated regularly, basic content management system can be hard to use
- Best For: business owners who want a pre-made design
- Cost: free- $25/month
- Pros: drag-and-drop website builder, collection of professional templates
- Cons: can’t change templates without completely starting over, limited design updates depending on template
- Best For: More advanced business owners with lots of images who want control over everything
- Cost: $19-$34/month
- Pros: Drag-and-drop platform that requires no code, can customize every part of the design, can be unique to your style – doesn’t look like a template, great customer service,
- Cons: no blog included - must set up on WordPress, no eCommerce
Squarespace isn’t good for SEO
Squarespace is simple to use, but it plays well with Google. They make it easy to link with Google Analytics and include an automatic sitemap. You also have control over your image names, URL names, and built-in SEO. They also make it easy for your content to be SEO-friendly through pre-set heading types.
Check out my post about Squarespace SEO tricks you should be using.
You can’t upload more than one image at once
Many photographers stay away from Squarespace because they can’t upload all their images to their blog or gallery at once. While the Image Block does require you to upload images one at a time, there are ways to upload many images at once. You can create a gallery – either in a blog post or as a separate page – and put it on any page of your website.
You are limited to only using Stripe for payment processing
Squarespace originally only offer payments through Stripe, but now supports PayPal.
You don’t own your content
Domain – you can purchase a domain through Squarespace or connect your website to a domain you already own. Either way, you can always transfer it. You can also export your content as an .xml file, but you will lose the CSS that controls how the content is styled. What you don’t own is the template – if you transfer away from Squarespace, you can’t upload your site as-is to another host.
There isn’t a way to back up your website
There is not one simple back-up button, but you can export all your blog content, design style, CSS, and website. It is easy to then add to a new SS website or update a site you want to restore, but to transfer to WordPress, you would have to update the layout.
There are limited or no integrations with the other programs I use in my business
The next episodes is going to be all about Squarespace integrations, including what is already set up through Squarespace and other integrations you can create on your own. Squarespace integrations include G Suite, Xero, MailChimp, Acuity Scheduling, and YouTube. Many of these integrations have their own blocks, making it even easier to place on your website.
You don’t have enough control of ecommerce
You can set shipping rules with flat-rate shipping, depending on weight, or allow shipping to be calculated by FedEx, UPS, or USPS. You can also connect Squarespace to ShipStation to make shipping products easier.
A recent update to the eCommerce side of Squarespace now allows you to create tax rules by county, state/province, and specific Zip Codes.
5 Updates for a Higher Converting Website
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