Building a website can be quite a chore if you’ve never done it before, and Squarespace is designed to make the process easier. It takes the same sort of elements as the big name platforms like Blogger and WordPress, and makes them run even more smoothly, and also holds your hand through the process so you don’t waste time incessantly learning how to do things. The end result is a pretty sharp looking website, but is it worth paying a monthly fee for?
Few can say that it’s not tricky to make a good looking website, and quickly. It’s easy enough for the average user to start blogging, as it’s just about as simple as registering for an email account, and as intuitive as sending an email. But adding enough functionality so that your site looks professional, and having people take it seriously is another matter. Squarespace says it can do this for you, for a nominal monthly fee, of course.
They say they have everything you need to build an amazing website. There aren’t many other claims, they don’t promise to help your website become popular, or help you to come up with a website idea. They basically keep it pretty simple, and let their software do the talking. Signing up for the free 2 week trial will give you everything you need to know to make the decision to keep on with it. Therefore, they don’t need to pitch you too hard on making a sale.
They do say that you can build a website or create a blog 10X faster on their comprehensive platform, but it is unclear how they are gauging this.
There are different price points, depending on what you want your site to do, and what you’ll be using it for. If you go month to month, and just want a personal website it’s just $13.33 per month. They say the Advanced option is their most popular at $22.22 paid month to month, and their Business plan is $40 per month and includes all the bells and whistles.
Although they try to make their user interface as friendly as possible, it is still something new that you will have to get used to, and play around with a bit before you get comfortable enough with it to make it a breeze. Also, they make it easy to import your blog, but not much is said about exporting your Squarespace blog if you decide to quit the service, so you could be committing to using it indefinitely, or to a bumpy transition if you choose to cancel after a long time.
Of course the biggest competition Squarespace has is with the plenty of free website and blogging systems out there, namely WordPress. With thousands of plugins, and a strong support system, as well as countless free themes that make a site look good, they’ve got their work cut out for them. Since they include hosting, they are also competing with hosting companies, like HostGator.
They definitely don’t lie, and you don’t need a credit card to get started. We had our test up and running in just a minute. It’s very similar to WordPress, but it functions more in a tutorial mode, with everything editable having a little edit link next to it so that you don’t have to figure out how to make changes, you can just change things as you go.
They also have checklists to help you get started, so you can simply follow their steps and you’ll have a basic website completed in no time. They also have built in statistics, so you can immediately see how many people are coming to your site. A lot of their features do function better than the standard plugins you get from the WordPress community, like their photo gallery, mobile apps, and social integration. They just look and run more smoothly, right out of the box.
When you take into consideration that this includes the hosting, it’s not too much a bad deal. You can think of it as getting a free website creation studio for the price of hosting, or free hosting included with your website management software.
Final Squarespace Review
Squarespace definitely works and delivers on their promises, the only question is whether or not it is worth the monthly price. It definitely represents some time savings, as you don’t have to search in vain trying to get your site to do the things you want it to do. And since you’re paying for their service, they’re obligated to provide you with customer service, so you know you’ll get an answer to your problem from someone who knows, and it won’t be the blind leading the blind like it can sometimes be when using a free alternative.
It’s hard to imagine someone setting up a personal blog with Squarespace, rather than using Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Perhaps a company might find it helpful to start their corporate site with Squarespace, but eventually you’ll want to have your own hosting, and be able to make changes to your site that Squarespace can’t accommodate.
If you are in a very creative industry, this may be a great service to promote your work, without having to get too technical, or spend time learning how to code, or how to tinker with plugins that don’t quite do what you want them too. If you are a photographer, or a videographer, you can probably make a really good looking site in no time with Squarespace.