Why I'm Using Squarespace

 
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For anyone who wants to practice Tarot as a self-employed professional, having one’s own website is practically a must.

Yet, designing & running a website can definitely be a headache. My previous site, (www.fateweavertarot.com ; now inactive) was made using Wordpress, and while there is much that I adore about the platform (open-source, freedom of customization) it often became a jumbled hassle in dealing with it.

I decided to redesign the website a few years ago, but wanted to take time and deliberate on it. Once I had the vision of what I was going for, I decided to take a chance on Squarespace, and I’m glad I did.

So before I get started about why I dig Squarespace, y’all should know that I’m not a marketing affiliate with them, or receiving any kind of compensation for publishing such a post.

Besides, it’s not perfect. There are definitely some things I would change if I could, but they’re minor in contrast to the benefits.

The Good

It’s easy

Building a site on Squarespace is easier than anything else I’ve used, including some of the best “drag-and-drop” block-based themes you can get for Wordpress.

The interface is clearly laid out and intuitive. It has its own learning curve, of course, but it’s very thorough & forthcoming in explaining how everything works.

Simply put, you don’t have to be a freelance web designer to make an attractive website through Squarespace. If you spend a couple hours on it a week, you’ll have a website up & running in no time.

It Looks Great

As a platform, Squarespace does a lot of the heavy lifting to make sure your site looks good on whatever device happens to be viewing it.

While the design is not as flexible in its customization as Wordpress, the visual style editor is awesome and helps create an attractive continuity throughout the site.

There are a lot of great options with the typography, since it includes both Google Fonts & Adobe Typekit—so you have an enormous range of choices. Galleries, blog summaries, and other handy drag-and-drop widgets all feel great and are easily customizable.

It’s stable & secure

Squarespace itself is a really stable platform that takes a lot of work out of doing back-end maintenance. With Wordpress, every time I would update, a good portion of my plugins would stop working and show error messages. Because Squarespace basically handles their own plugins, it’s a much more stable platform.

Over the course of building this website and having a Squarespace account for a year prior to launching this site, I’ve never gotten any emails in regards to the site going down or going offline. This is pretty impressive to me, as I was using a pretty reliable & reputable host on my Wordpress site, which seemed to cycle off-and-on (very briefly) every couple days.

The Money’s Worth

Though many people tout Wordpress as being free, it’s not really free. You have to do all the normal stuff: Purchase a domain, set up a hosting plan—and even though that’s relatively inexpensive it’s still not the whole picture.

Most of the solid & reliable plugins available require you to have a purchased license to use, and some of them operate on their own subscription basis.

A Squarespace account might cost a little more than hosting a vanilla Wordpress site, but you get your money’s worth through the features and built-in integrations that are suitable alternatives for many of the plugins available in the Wild West of Wordpress.

For instance, my Squarespace account affords me a free account with Acuity Scheduling, which I use for all of my appointment booking. This would ordinarily cost me an extra $10/month, but I get it for free. I didn't even know that Acuity Scheduling as a program existed, but discovering that it was free for me (I have a grandfathered-in personal account) It’s an indispensable tool that serves my business extraordinarily well, plus the people at Acuity are awesome and their support staff are wonderful.

Minor Gripes

Lack of Bulk Editing

I wish there was a way to bulk edit blog posts. Wordpress had some great functionality in this regard that seemed relatively simple & stable in the vanilla version. Granted, the times I need to bulk edit posts are relatively few and far in between, so this is a minor gripe.

Micro-Heavy Workflow

I'm the kind of person who likes to build pages and then edit. Squarespace handles the placement & careful refining of a site's content very well, but it makes the editing process kind of a pain.

Sometimes, you want to just duplicate a whole section of a page & all of its content. For that, accessing the raw code of the page and just snipping the part you need is wonderful. But unfortunately, this just isn’t possible with Squarespace, since it's almost entirely a graphical experience.

You can’t really duplicate single elements and move them to another page, which makes some tasks a little more time-consuming, but definitely not a deal-breaker. Again, the times where this is needed is relatively infrequent.

Discrepancy of Features Among Themes

Some themes are decidedly better for certain types of sites than others. So, if you decide to build a Squarespace site, getting to know what features & limitations are associated with each theme is a step worth taking. I think I built this site on three different themes before I realized exactly which theme met my aesthetic goals and target functionality.

That said, most of the themes are great and carry a lot of customization within them, to the point where your site will likely not look anything like the default theme. Plus, all the themes are available regardless of what kind of account you have. So, unlike Wordpress where you buy an individual theme, only to try it out and discover it’s not to your liking or preference in workflow, you don’t have to shell out another $30-$50 to switch to a suitable alternative—you can just preview & try a different one.

The Bottom-Line

If you’re considering building a site as someone who is in a creative self-employed field, but don’t have a ton of web design experience, I would recommend looking into Squarespace.

Any website will take work and consistent effort to make it attractive & functional, but the contrast in learning curve makes Squarespace an easy option for a lot of folks, at no real cost to functionality unless you’re doing something fairly complex.

It’s definitely made running my professional practice a lot easier. Maybe it could do the same for you!

Cheers!

 
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