So, you're wondering whether to set up your business website on Squarespace or WordPress? Maybe you even have a third platform in mind (but for God's sake please don't say Wix!). There's considerable reasons why you should use Squarespace, and why myself and my clients already do!
To give you a bit of a backstory: I was an O.G. blogger back in 2008 when Blogger (Blogspot) was the only "hip" blogging platform and WordPress self-hosting was on the rise! After years and years of experience blogging, I switched to WordPress self-hosting because I thought that's what you "had to do" to be a blogger. Their widgets looked inventive and the ability for a custom design superseded all else.
However, I quickly learned that the pains of self-hosting weren't worth the attractive visual, and the hosting I received through Bluehost absolutely sucked. Their customer service team was unaware of things a moderate skill level blogger would be well aware of and us bloggers need a team that can support us in our journey! For being the top recommended host service by WordPress itself, I was not impressed. I quickly transitioned to GoDaddy, the registrar I had the most positive experiences with for past blogs and never looked back.
In the process, I took a step back and evaluated the amount of fees associated with self-hosting vs. Squarespace. Now, I pay about $16/mo for this blog, in addition to about $10-15/yr to GoDaddy for my domain name, as well as $5/mo for G Suites email services. For a grand total of ~$31-36/mo at the highest, but a likely average of ~$21/mo. When all was said and done, I was paying nearly $50/mo for hosting and WordPress fees alone.
Not to mention (and this isn't anyone's fault but my own), I'm the kind of gal who gets bored easily and likes to switch up my overall aesthetic and design of blog templates. While I swear by Station Seven's Square Kits, most all of Squarespace design is FREE. Absolutely FREE and 100% customizable. This alone would be a reason to switch.
Over the past two years of using Squarespace, I seriously couldn't be happier. Here's the 10 reasons I recommend it to everyone I meet and their mothers (c'mon Squarespace: give me an affiliate link, already!):
1. Affordable Pricing Plans
Not only is Squarespace gorgeous and user-friendly, it's also very affordable! With plans starting at $12/mo, you will save a fortune using Squarespace over its popular competitor, WordPress.org, among others.
2. Complimentary Domain
For every annual plan you purchase (as low as $144/year), you get a FREE domain (.com, .org, etc.) included! Squarespace manages everything to avoid dealing with a third party host (such as a GoDaddy account). This can be incredibly helpful for those who aren't well-versed in domain hosting and managing/transferring.
3. Flexibility in Design
Instead of having to purchase a new template every time you'd like to upgrade your look, all of Squarespace's templates are entirely built-in, optimized to allow full customization and creativity. I ADORE Squarespace templates.
4. Stellar (and Fast) Customer Support
Squarespace's customer support is incredible. During normal business hours from 3 a.m.-8 p.m. EST, they offer a LIVE online chat for instant assistance, and after hours, they still have a full staff working around the clock available via email. They will work until they find you a solution or some fabulous resources via links.
Plus: all their customer support agents are real, friendly people working at their headquarters in New York, Portland and Dublin.
5. Built-In MailChimp Integration
If you're using MailChimp for your email list, BONUS! Squarespace allows full integration to MailChimp with the click of a button. When you set up a page or a blog post, you can add their "Newsletter" block and sign in from MailChimp right away!
6. Acuity SCHEDULING
If you're a tutor, a hair stylist or anyone else needing to manage and book clients, Acuity Scheduling will be your new best friend (and it's FREE with your Squarespace plan with a total of $100 value!). Along with its other perks, Squarespace offers Acuity Scheduling integration to allow your clients to book right away from your website.
Acuity allows you to manage your full schedule, manually add in appointments and send out appointment reminders to clients. You can even accept payments directly into your account!
7. Amazing E-Commerce Solutions
Included free in every plan, Squarespace offers unprecedented e-commerce solutions for your perfect online store. While they do charge a processing fee if you do not subscribe to one of their e-commerce plans, e-commerce ability comes with every plan.
If your goal is to sell product online, I'd suggest going with one of their online store plans, which removes the processing fee. Designed to work seamlessly with Stripe or PayPal, you may choose your preference to make payments super easy.
8. OpenTable Reservations + Seamless Menus
If you're a restaurant owner, you're in luck! Not only does Squarespace have Acuity Scheduling integrated, they also include OpenTable for reservation bookings. Put in your restaurant details and you're in business!
In addition, Squarespace offers seamless menu templates optimized for restaurants, allowing you to present your delicious menu line-up in a creative, professional manner.
9. User-Intuitive Platform
Squarespace is a very intuitive platform, designed for users that lack web design experience. This uniquely enables my clients to control their website after I'm finished designing, if I'm not their main web manager. Self-hosting requires a certain level of adequacy and I sure as heck don't blame you for not wanting to learn!
10. Modern Aesthetic (A Focus on the Visual)
Okay, I'm not gonna lie: above all, my favorite trait of a Squarespace website is the modern look, showcasing large imagery and crisp, clean text on a white background. Patterned page backgrounds and tiny, blocky images are a thing of the past, 90s lovers!
If you're really hip, consider adding a video to your homepage. The second your visitors land on your website, they will see a moving video as the backdrop to your navigation and main content!
What's your biggest struggle with your current website?
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BLOGGER: KATHRYN COFFMAN
Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating from The Evergreen State College (Washington) in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to all of life's problems + that all women should strive to embrace a #girlboss mantra.