Episode 036: Show Notes
Today we’re talking about one of our favorite systems, Squarespace. We’re discussing why it is our favorite web platform, chatting about all of our favorite features, and why we have adamantly insisted on staying on Squarespace despite having had the option to leave multiple times at this point. Now, if you are using another platform, we are not here to shame or judge you for that, and we are certainly not going to tell you that WordPress is wrong and that it will ruin your life. So if you are happy where you are and you are getting great results, then maybe this episode is not for you.
However, if you are frustrated with where you are right now and are thinking about leaving, or if you haven’t even started your website yet, then this might break down some options for you and let you know where we stand. This will be our judgement free zone and, although we are completely biased, we will not shame you. That is not our objective. So if you are curious about how we started out on Squarespace and why it might be right for you, then stay tuned!
How We Got Started With Squarespace
For us, we loved Squarespace right from the start because it was just beautiful out of the box. It is intuitive and geared more towards creatives, and was really compatible with Abby’s background in design. We both hated WordPress equally and it just wasn’t something that I felt like we were using to its fullest advantage. So when we joined forces, we just decided to piggyback off of what already existed and what was already working, and stayed with Squarespace. As our business grew, we knew we needed a platform that could scale with us and we definitely had our doubts about Squarespace as we hit our multiple six figure mark. However, once you scale to a point where you need more custom features, you can hire a designer and a developer and they can develop a custom website for you.
The Benefit of Great Usability and Versatility of Squarespace
The ease of use of Squarespace is amazing. It is compatible with all devices, without needing to have extra code created. It will work on Chrome, Safari, Apple, PC, you name it. If it looks right on your page, it’s going to look the same everywhere else. One of the most helpful features of Squarespace, especially for non-designers who still have a creative eye, is that everything is drag and drop. The drag and drop works so well because it has live editing, so you can immediately see what the change you made will look like on your site. It is also really easily integrated with social media, and they really thought through what a small business needs to be successful and made it look amazing.
Open Source Versus Self-Controlled
Similarly to Apple, Squarespace is a self-controlled platform, whereas WordPress is open source. An open source platform allows anyone to develop apps or plugins for it, which opens it up to security control problems. The problem that comes in is that, although it looks like all these plugins are meant to beautifully enhance whatever it is you’re working on, some of them add loopholes to the security of your site and can allow for hackers to come in and basically do whatever they want. This is exactly what happened to Abby! Believe it or not, a website she managed was hacked by someone hosting a drug ring through the back end of the site, illegally selling pharmaceutical drugs. What?! Yes. This was literally because there was a loophole in one of the plugins and they were creating pages without her even knowing they existed.
Selling Directly From Squarespace
The other really awesome feature is that you can sell directly on Squarespace — it links to Stripe, and they recently also added a PayPal integration too. Those are the two major players in the checkout world right now, so why not run your business all in one place instead of having your eCommerce hosted on a separate platform? This is an especially great option for those just starting out because other options, like Shopify, can be quite expensive if you are not yet making a lot of sales. So you will get a lot more bang for your buck by keeping it on Squarespace, building your audience, creating that blogging foundation and then potentially moving over to a place like Shopify once your sales have increased.
Manage Your Website on Your Phone with Squarespace
You guys, Squarespace actually has an app that allows you to edit blog posts and check analytics right from your phone, and we love this feature! Obviously it is not as ideal as working from your computer, but if you are in a pinch or you cannot make it to your computer at that very moment — because, life! — then it is super handy to have that direct access. Another great part is tracking your analytics. It literally updates right there on the app without you having to log into your site and track it from there. This is also great, especially for eCommerce sites, because they have a separate app just for that as well to help you keep on top of your sales and all of the data right there, from your phone.
Our Best Tips For Blogging On Squarespace
Blogging on Squarespace is seriously the best feature! We have a rich blog archive, and it is just so easy. When we blog, we always type it out on separate document just in case the draft does not save, which has definitely happened a few times due to user error on our part. Then we copy and paste everything in, do our editing, and schedule our posts in advance. We do this all the time, months ahead, so that we can just sit back and not have to worry about it for a while. Your blog is a huge asset to your business, and building that rich content archive is going to continue to help you into the future.
Hear how we got started on Squarespace and how we were still able to scale our business without moving to a new platform. [0:02:58.2]
Discover how versatile and easy to use the Squarespace platform is, even to non-designers. [0:11:36.7]
Understand what the difference is between open source and self-controlled, closed source platforms. [0:15:28.7]
Hear the story of how someone hacked a site that Abby managed, and started an illegal business on the back end. [0:16:29.2]
Learn how you can easily run an eCommerce based site directly from Squarespace. [0:23:27.9]
Find out how to use the Squarespace apps to edit your blog and track analytics from your phone. [0:26:23.1]
Discover our best tips for blogging on Squarespace and building a rich content archive. [0:27:45.7]
A: “I don’t have a website at all and I am interested in Squarespace.”
- First, identify what you will be using your website for, and pick a theme that fits your requirements.
- Pick your plan, start small, and take it easy.
- Tell everyone where your website is so they can go see it and love on it and have a launch party about it.
B: “I have a website but unfortunately it’s not Squarespace and I want to switch to Squarespace.”
- Read our article on how to switch platforms.
- Pick a template that fits the purpose of your website.
- Have a launch party for your new website.