We feel like we’ve been writing love ballads about Squarespace lately, and while we think it’s the most feature laden price point CMS and a great solution for local mom-and-pop shops, single-location restaurants, promoting events and providing information,
Squarespace is not the Cinderella slipper for everyone.
In a previous article, we listed what we loved about Squarespace, so here we are on the opposite side of the coin, giving you the skinny on a few factors that make this CMS less than ideal for others.
1. Limited customization
Especially, when compared to a WordPress or custom coded site, there are only so many ways to get creative with their templates. Even though we love the how Squarespace has made responsive web design standard in every one of their templates, there’s a finite number of ways to manipulate each. So if you’re looking to build out a website with complex, robust features, and be completely unique, this is not the platform to do it on.
2. Ecommerce fees are high and finite payment gateway options
Another feature we raved about was how Squarespace is a one-stop-shop to maintain your site, and that includes providing the SSL certificate and your payment gateway. If you want more control over these entities, you’re going to want to seek out a better solution. Also, it should be noted that while Squarespace doesn’t have transaction fees, credit card fees still apply.
3. Security and uptime
Paying for hosting is like paying rent on your website, which is essentially virtual real estate…and like most things, you get what you pay for. If we had to liken Squarespace hosting to a residence, you’d be packed in a metropolitan shoebox stacked a hundred floors high with countless other tenants. Now imagine if one apartment gets bugs or a fire breaks out; chances are neighbors are affected. In fact, all of Squarespace and its sites went dark on Oct 21, 2016 (https://www.hackread.com/ddos-attack-dns-sites-suffer-outage/). And on Dec 16, 2013 (http://kentanakalovesyou.blogspot.com/2013/12/squarespace-ddos-attack.html). And again on Nov 12 2010 (https://twitter.com/squarespace/status/3227045567922176)
4. No version control
Perhaps one of the biggest turnoffs with Squarespace is the inability to restore previous versions of each web page. Let’s play out a scenario to illustrate how dangerous this can be (and why we only recommend building sites under a dozen pages):
Team Rica designs and launches a kickass website for a flower shop called Flo’s Floristas. Upon completion, we Rica turns the site over to Flo and her crew to manage. One day while a shop employee is updating some information, they accidentally delete an entire page and save it. It breaks our hearts to break it to you, but that page will have to be recreated from scratch.
With other CMSs, like WordPress, not only are we able to restore the page to its previous glory, we’re able to keep backups, so if the entire site would one-day crash, burn and disappear, we could put it back together like new. With Squarespace, there simply isn’t such an option.
5. Squarespace user platform is entirely web-based and can be glitchy.
Here’s another cold hard fact about Squarespace, if you don’t save your progress and your computer takes a massive data fart, you’re S.O.L. It’s easy to get on a roll and forget to click the save button after every change. In fact, it’s rather tedious and annoying, but the alternative is far worse Let’s say you’re in the middle of designing a new page or tweaking an existing one and one of the following happens:
1. Your internet drops
2. Your computer freezes
3. Squarespace hiccups
You can’t remember what you saved last. Sound reminiscent of the early days of Microsoft Word? If it’s your first time, you’ll initially experience feelings of confusion, followed by despair and hopelessness, then a wave of heat generated by pure unadulterated rage surges over every fiber of your being.
After the first time, you immediately break into a cold sweat…then straight into a pure unadulterated rage. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. The time you spend doing and redoing a web page can be maddening. Save your brain cells and your time. Let the pros at Rica Web handle.
If you’re shopping for a new website and trying to weigh all your options, give us a shout and we’ll be happy to lend our expertise and help you figure it all out.