When I first built my website back in January, I used a platform called Weebly. I chose it because it was affordable and seemed like a simple place to start. It had a drag-and-drop builder that was easy to use and intuitive.
After using the platform for several months, I made the decision to switch to Squarespace. I wasn’t disappointed in my experience with Weebly, and in-fact it is a great place to start if you’re just getting into the website arena. However, I decided it was time for me to move on to something bigger and better—Squarespace—and here's why.
1 | Squarespace is easily customizable.
The platform is designed to offer a unique and custom website for each user. The creators really thought of every option and design choice the user would need. It’s easy to navigate and logical.
In Weebly I found myself often frustrated with wanting a certain design feature that wasn’t an option. I had to do a lot of research and find ways to custom code my design preferences.
Squarespace is one step ahead. As a designer, I often have very particular design wishes. Squarespace makes designing a site to my standards simple and easy. I can typically solve my design problems right inside the style or page editor tools. And I can easily get the other results I'm looking for by designing a graphic and plopping it in as a photo.
They’ve thought of almost everything and it’s refreshing to limit my time in the custom CSS window.
Here’s a look behind the scenes into the style and page editors…
In the rare cases I have had to tweak something using code, I have found plenty of helpful forums and blog posts out there. Squarespace is a popular platform, so I’m typically not the first person to have a particular question about customization. Needless to say, the answers have been readily available when I’ve needed them.
2 | The blogging platform is robust.
Weebly wasn’t created for blogging. Squarespace is known for being home to frequent bloggers. And while I’m not a professional blogger, using my blog to drive traffic to my site is a huge part of my marketing strategy. It’s the page everyone goes to first when they follow a link to my site.
I wanted my blog to be clean and simple, but also provide all the capabilities my readers would need.
The Blog Sidebar
The blog sidebar in Squarespace offered many more options than in Weebly. Certain features—like categories and archives—were offered in both platforms, however Squarespace offered more customizable design options for these features.
The Search Bar
Having a search bar within my blog was very important. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited another blogger’s site to look for a very specific topic. If in the rare case they don’t have a search bar, I find myself frustrated and leave the site unsatisfied.
Weebly offered a search bar if you upgraded to the more expensive account. Squarespace offers search bars on your site and in your blog sidebar in all of their plan subscriptions.
Creating new blog posts is simple.
I typically write my blog posts in google docs first, and then transfer them over to my site once they’re ready to be published.
Drafting a new blog post in Weebly was a headache. It took me almost as much time to set it up on the site as it did to write it in the first place. I found myself frustrated with how complicated it was.
Each time I wanted an image to be in the midst of my text, I had to create a text box, then an image box, then a text box, then an image box and so on. It took too much time.
Then I switched to Squarespace and it’s fantastic.
It takes no time at all to transfer my post —graphics, images and text—into Squarespace.
I can literally copy and paste all my text and simply drop in images and graphics where I want them. It’s a breeze.
Here's a look at the post editing windows in Squarespace.
3 | Squarespace integrates well with social media.
I wanted to make sure my viewers stay plugged in through social media. I had the typical social icons on my old site, but I really liked the idea of having my Instagram feed across the bottom of each page and in my blog sidebar.
This wasn’t an option in Weebly without going through a third-party widget. Using the widget wouldn’t take you straight to Instagram, it instead would reroute you to the widget’s website.
With Squarespace, it’s really simple to insert an Instagram feed on each page and in your blog sidebar.
Here's an example of the Instagram feed at the bottom of one of my site pages.
You can also view the feed by clicking through each page of my site.
Here's an example of the Instagram feed in my blog sidebar.
You can also view this on the right side of this post.
Squarespace also allows you to alter the color of your social icons to match your branding colors.
You can view the icons at the bottom of each page of my site.
4 | It gives my business room for growth.
With Weebly, I had to custom code several things, and I knew moving forward I may have to do the same for more complicated features as my business expands. Squarespace makes it so much easier to add pages or custom features right within their style and page editors.
In the future, I may offer webinars, podcasts, online courses, and products. I felt that Squarespace was better equipped to handle these types of offerings.
In the case I do end up selling products on my site, Weebly’s e-commerce features are limited unless you upgrade to more expensive accounts. Squarespace, however, offers unlimited products with all of their subscription plans.
It’s great for client integration.
I add a custom page to my site for each client project I work on. The page serves as a home base for each of my clients to reference throughout the branding process.
The subscription plan I have with Squarespace offers unlimited pages, so I’ll never worry about running out of space for future clients. As I begin offering more services and products, having unlimited pages will also allow me to utilize my website for all my offerings and keep my viewers coming back to my site again and again.
It’s easy to add password-protected pages or galleries for clients as well.
To view a full list of Squarespace features, click here.
5 | The templates are well-designed.
There’s no denying Squarespace templates are some of the most beautiful website designs around. They all have a clean aesthetic and each template offers unique qualities.
I love how every single template is designed thoughtfully with the user in mind. They present information efficiently, showcase beautiful photography, and use clean lines to avoid clutter. It makes choosing a template quite the challenge since there really is no wrong choice.
Although each template is beautifully designed, Squarespace makes sure to differentiate each template just enough to provide for each individual need of their customer. They offer distinct features to provide a template for every kind of business or situation.
Ultimately, I have been very satisfied with my switch from Weebly to Squarespace. I plan to remain a Squarespace user and advocate for many years to come and would love hear your thoughts on the platform!
What questions do you have about Squarespace? What do you love about Squarespace?