Wordpress saturation - time to move to Squarespace
Squarespace is what Xero is to MYOB. It is the next generation website builder; sexier, easier, more intuitive and offers a very pleasing working environment. Wordpress is dated, difficult and messy.
Web developers don’t like Squarespace because it is super simple and I imagine beneath their dignity to use. I recommend it to clients who don’t especially require customised functionality and who want the freedom to edit the site readily themselves.
Anthony Casalena is the founder and CEO of Squarespace, which of course he started from his dorm room in 2003. They are based in New York. They are young and switched on. Their whole thing is to make beautiful, intelligent websites that are easy for anyone to build and maintain.
The dog’s breakfast of Wordpress plugins, widgets and manual site updates is no longer required. Squarespace has 99% of what you need, an excellent help desk and an incredible ‘how to’ library.
The backend is drag and drop, it is easy to find your way around, intelligently organised and really quite elegant. There is a cool device viewer so you can check how your site renders on smartphone, ipad and desktop. You can set-up shop, change templates, buy Getty images, edit your images, integrate a whole heap of third party services and all this from $12 USD per month.
I am not saying build the whole thing yourself. Squarespace is not a silver bullet. For your site to look any good you need to be reasonably gifted at design, colour, space and flow. You also need the ability to articulate who you are and what you do succinctly and jargon-free.
You will still need every part of 40 hours to complete an average 15 page site. My site at the moment is super brief; arguably too brief. It more reflects my mood than strategy :-) and the general sentiment that less is more.
And then there is the art of picking the best template...to marry with your requirements and technical abilities. Just get someone else to build it for you (like Big Whoop) and include a crash course at handover in how to update it.
My big thing with websites it not to over-capitalise. Why, because things move so fast your website’s look and functionality will date inside 12-18 months when new devices, capabilities and aesthetic trends enter the market. Why also, because a set and forget website is represents a listless brand. Online freshness and life is essential to demonstrate brand progression, evolution, success and growth.
When I say over-capitalise, I mean if you have a fairly straight forward message to get across absolutely don’t spend between more than $2,000 and $6,000 on a site. If on the other hand you need an e-commerce site with 30+ products, logins, accounts etc, then you are looking at $8,000 to $20,000 depending on the functionality, number of products etc.
Spend the money on great graphics, attractive and professional product imagery, SEO, user experience and water tight copy. Spend the money on original content and interesting ways to communicate your message. Don’t spend it on from scratch development work or an unnecessarily complicated build, and certainly don’t spend it on updates that you could make with your bare hands in half the time.
Squarespace has swanky templates that do the job very nicely and allow you to differentiate to your own style. As a service provider, they are a very professional and impressive outfit. Highly recommended!
If you are due for a brand refresh and a new website, please feel welcome to contact Big Whoop today.