Being a designer and ex-front end developer I have to say choosing Squarespace as the platform to run my portfolio, blog and business on is probably the best move I have ever made.
(Also, I say ex-front end developer as I have just recently decided to take the plunge and concentrate on designing rather then developing. Ekkk… #happyDays)
In the past, I have had a portfolio - on it's own, and I have had a blog on it's own too. And at one time, I also had both on the same site. Back then I used Wordpress.
I designed the portfolio and hand coded every aspect (HTML+CSS). Then I added the blog. Again I designed the pages and custom coded the wordpress site from scratch. The whole shaabang was designed and built by yours truely. It took me the best part of 6 months (on and off) as I was so particular and wanted it to be perfect. (that's the fussy designer in me!)
Soon after I deceided to scrap the blog, and only recently realised that was a mistake so I started looking at creating a blog and portfolio site again.
It didn't take me long to realise that Squarespace is a REALLY good option. So good that that is the platform I have chosen to use for my site (this one) and also totally recommend it to all my business friends and my clients.
Put it this way in 2 weeks I was up and running with a portfolio and blog. Here's the quick breakdown.
- Day 1 - I started my research and reading up on the different platforms
- Day 2 - Still reading and doing research
- Day 3 - Look at signing up to google for email purposes for the business
- Day 4 - Sign up to Sqaurespace trial and poke at the different templates available. Read a few articles about google integration and the offer they had on at the time.
- Day 5 - Fall in love with Squarespace
- Day 6 + 7 - Time off, and away from the laptop!
- Day 1 - Set up the basics on Squarespace and pick a template to start working on - populating it with my portfolio.
- Day 2 - Not sure on current template so switch templates and start beautifying it again!
- Day 3 - Still not sure on templates so put it on hold and look at templates again but with the view to make the blog more prominent. Pick my original template and realise I was happy with that from the beginning.
- Day 4 - Continue populating the initial template and set up the blog, and write my first post
- Day 5 - Finish setting up the blog, and finalise payment aspect for Squarespace.
- Day 6 - Website and portfolio with blog is all live and post my first article!
Custom domain, and email address (via google), and annual payment (which is cheaper than paying monthly) all with a blog, and the whole site is tablet and mobile friendly! It took me 2 weeks all in all.
Well in actual fact, it took me 2 solid days to make everything live and working if you take out the nitty gritty research and learning aspect out.
Having my content - images and text - ready also helped massively!! But still.…. 2 days….that's amazing compared to 6 months!!
Can't believe I didn't do it sooner. Thats the only thing I think every-time I look back now!
So to summarise, here are:
10 reasons to why I choose squarespace:
1 | It's easy to set up
Because I knew what I wanted from my website - primarily a portfolio and blog, and to set up as a business, I had a clear goal. And within minutes of poking around I was "set up". The all inclusive custom domain and google email integration made it easy. I didn't need to find a hosting company, work out how to have a company email address. Nothing. Its all part of Squarespace.
2 | It's tablet and mobile friendly
This means you don't have to worry about a broken website, with regards to layout. In this day and age, whether you have a simple website, a portfolio, an online shop, or a blog, you still want your users, your customers, your readers, to reach you and have a beautiful experience on your site. With Squarespace you don't need to worry about that. Every template is compatible cross platform. This means it will look fantastic on mobile, tablets and desktops alike. All round "tick tick TICK!".
3 | It's beautiful
The templates really are stunning. They are designed well and present information, photos, products, and more, very well. You also have the option of adding your own code so if you wanted to make a bespoke page/section, it's not out of reach. All you have to do is find the right template for you and your businesses needs - that could be the hard part! Choosing can be a tricky task but it can also be lots of fun.
4 | It's affordable
Paying annually is cheaper than paying monthly. There are 3 packages and its easy to upgrade if you need to. I started on the personal package but realised I needed to upgrade to the business package as my portfolio and blog took up quite a few pages, but that didn't deter me. The cheapest (personal) package is £5.20/$8 per month (if billed annually), then the most popular package (business) is £11.70/$18 per month (if billed annually), and the third (commerce) package is £16.89/$26 per month (if billed annually). Obviously the package details are different depending on price, but they all offer 20+ pages and galleries, 2+ contributors, fully integrated commerce, 2+GB storage, mobile and tablet compatibility, free custom domain and 24/7 customer support. You really do get a lot for your money!
5 | It's user friendly
Being a designer at heart, then a developer, I have the knowledge to understand how to code. Thats what makes this so good. I didn't really need that knowledge. Squarespace has a drag and drop feature to build the pages, so you don't have to be technically inclined. Posts are easy to publish, images are easy to add, pages are simple to set up. The layout is really intuitive as well, so you don't have to spend AGES trying to work out how to do "stuff". It just makes sense.
6 | It's easy to maintain
You don't have to worry about "plugins" or any background "hard core development stuff". Making simples changes are done at the click of a button. One of the great things about it is that you can see the changes you are making, visually, so you can sanity check it and then when you are happy, press the "Save" button and its done. Change made. Obviously, if you are into the background development stuff then you can also get nitty gritty with that as well. The good thing about Squarespace is that it will do as much or as little as you want it to. It works with you, for you - if that makes sense!
7 | It's flexible
Although I totally recommend knowing and understanding the what you want from your website, Sqaurespace is great at being flexible in terms of templates. Like I explained earlier, I was in two minds which template to go for, what look I wanted to create and develop. Because I was so indecisive I did waste a bit of time, but I also learnt how flexible Squarespace is. I didn't take me months, it took me DAYS - and that's in-between doing other things - blog writing, research, etc. So it's not the be all and end all if you start with one template and realise it's not doing the right "job" for you. You can change, and it's easy peasy
8 | It's got great support
So far I haven't actually hit a spot where I think "OMG, I need some serious help here!" - I think thats probably because of all the reasons above really. However saying that, I have had queries and questions and been "stuck" occasionally. In that situation I've easily found answers! Squarespace have a great library of resources - articles, videos, live chat, forums, a community, and I have found that more often then not someone else has already asked the question I need the answer to, so its been really straight forward in trying to resolve my issue. (HOORAY!)
9 | It's social integration is awesome
You don't have to be on ALL the different social media platforms out there, but I imagine you are on at least 1 - Facebook! With Squarespace you have an easy way of integrating all your social media links on your site. The widget is customisable to suit your needs and is so straight forward to link them together. I've added my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Dribbble, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and my email!
10 | It's secure
I didn't realise how secure it was until I sat down to write this post! In the past with when I hosted my blog on Wordpress I always had issues with spam bot. I would have literally hundreds and hundreds of spam comments. With Sqaurespace I haven't had a single spammy comment (hope I don't jinx it now!). I haven't noticed how good the security is because its all just "handled". Nothing has come up for me to notice that the security is weak. So it's peace of mind knowing that this platform is doing a fab job of keeping my content secure and I haven't had to do anything "extra" for it! Thanks Squarespace!
I think it's fair to say I am a big fan of Squarespace, that is why I recommend it to my clients. Are you interested in setting up a Squarespace site for yourself, your small business or your startup? Well luckily for you, I offer a design and development service to give you peace of mind and ease. Why not head over to my work with me page to check out the packages I offer?
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave me a comment with your feedback! I would love to hear from you.