Squarespace is a SaaS-based content management system offering a website builder, blogging platform, and hosting service.
From a $30,000 college dorm endeavor to a multimillion dollar international powerhouse, Squarespace has seen its value and importance rise over the past 13 years. A drag and drop website designer that makes the effort to look sleeker and more stylish than the competition, it has the feel of being more complex without alienating first time website owners/builders.
|Enhanced presentation with a wide variety of templates to use.||Bugs and glitches abound for some users.|
|Near unlimited customization for your site.||Customer support is lackluster.|
|eCommerce options are exceptional.|
As a company, Squarespace is completely behind its product, so much so that the Squarespace product is what their employees use to work. With this being fact, the product they use would need to be exceptional to run the company. On this basis, you can expect the software you get with a subscription to be of the highest quality.
Squarespace, unlike other similar services, does not offer a free option. Instead they offer two paid options, one for personal users and one for business users.
|$16 monthly subscription (month to month)|
|$12 monthly subscription (billed yearly)|
|Custom domain for free (one year)|
|Ability to accept donations|
|Unlimited product placement|
|Integrated eCommerce abilities|
|20 total pages, galleries, blogs|
|Two contributors at most|
|Transaction fee of 3%|
|Unlimited storage and bandwidth|
|$26 monthly subscription (month to month)|
|$18 monthly subscription (billed yearly)|
|Everything from the Personal Plan|
|$100 credit for Google Adwords|
|Professional email through Google|
|Unlimited pages, galleries, blogs|
|Transaction fee of 2%|
With only two real options available to choose from, Squarespace is limited in the subscription area. However, these two options bypass some of the issues that plague other website builders. For instance, you don’t have to worry about limited storage space or limited space for your online store.
Squarespace has a lot of features that give you greater control over the final product. The amount of editing power you have is only mitigated by your ability to grasp the software (or your ability to code if you want a more in depth level of manipulation). Both beginners and advanced level designers will feel at home with the configuration provided by Squarespace.
The available templates can be altered to suit your specifications. There is a set of premade templates for certain industry feels (weddings or restaurants for instance) but they are not exclusive and can be changed.
For the more technical users, Squarespace offer features that cater to the modern internet browser (software and human alike). Images you use on your site are automatically scaled when viewing them on smaller screens like tablets and smartphones.
Keeping with this trend Squarespace also offers device view, a feature that allows you to see what your full website looks like on mobile devices. This can be immensely helpful to people who believe there will be a high volume of usage on tablets and smartphones.
In order to keep your website from slowing down for certain users, Squarespace implements a process of progressive image loading. This allows for images to load sooner if they appear at the top of your page, keeping the viewing experience fast and responsive for the majority of viewers.
Squarespace makes creating and running a website a simple matter with their presentation and plethora of features and offerings. With the ability to utilize templates and drag and drop technology, novices will feel at home with their capabilities. For the more advanced, Squarespace’s Developer Tool allows coding on a more in depth level. This provides a near endless level of customization to your development process.
As with other services, Squarespace allows for site add ons in the form of apps. This is the most limited feature when using Squarespace to create your website. A lack of third party support might sour the experience to some. However, there is Squarefront, a resource that can teach you useful methods of implementing other outside functions and applications, such as Google Apps or payment processors.
Due to this practice, Squarespace offers only one form of payment processing in the form of Stripe. Stripe itself is a reputable payments company and is in no way a bad choice. But being the only choice being made available to customers does little to speak towards any other potential payment options.
Unfortunately, some of the seamless nature of Squarespace is lost due to the numerous negative aspects that have been reported by their clients. This we will cover in the next section and it may have a profound effect on your decision making.
Squarespace’s customer service is where the company truly falls flat. Most customer complaints come in the form of lackluster customer service performance. Despite claiming they offer 24/7 email support, you might be hardpressed to receive a response about a problem should you have one.
A quick check with Trustpilot will show you that multiple people have issues with Squarespace. The percentage of one-star reviews almost reaches the amount of 4 and 5-star reviews. Some of the negative reviews are based on payments that have been taken without permission, extremely long customer service wait times, and interface issues.
There has been praise, however, for the community site. Frequently asked questions are answered on this forum-styled site by other users. Outside of this offering, it would seem that Squarespace’s customer service is subpar at best.