When it comes to building a website, Squarespace is often hailed as a user-friendly and visually appealing platform. That said, as with any platform, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before committing to it.
In this article, we’ll delve into the potential disadvantages of using Squarespace to build your website, so let’s get to it!
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is a website-building platform that allows users to create professional-looking websites without the need for any coding knowledge. It offers a plethora of features and templates to help users create visually appealing websites that are easy to navigate.
Disadvantages of Squarespace
Like any platform, Squarespace has its own set of disadvantages of which you should be aware. Those cons include:
Disadvantages of Squarespace: Limited customisation options
One of the main disadvantages of Squarespace is its limited customisability.
While the platform offers a wide range of templates and design options, it can be difficult to make significant changes to the layout or functionality of your website. This can be frustrating for users who want to create a truly unique and customised website or landing page.
Disadvantages of Squarespace: Poor SEO performance
Another disadvantage of Squarespace is its poor SEO performance.
Squarespace websites often struggle to rank well in search engine results, which can make it difficult for users to attract organic traffic.
There are several reasons that explain such poor performance, including:
- You have no control over your website’s speed, as Squarespace doesn’t offer you the option to alter the code of your site to make it load faster. Knowing that loading speed is a ranking factor, such a limitation can be a deal breaker for some users. If your Squarespace site is loading slowly, try these potential solutions
- There are limited blogging features, which are important for posting new content and keeping your readers engaged. To be clear, Squarespace does offer some blogging features, but they’re quite limited compared to what you can do on other platforms like WordPress
- There is limited support for plugins and custom code, so you’ll have to manually take care of finding the right on-page recommendations, redirecting URLs, creating your XML sitemap, and other tasks
Disadvantages of Squarespace: Limited e-commerce options
Squarespace’s e-commerce capabilities are also limited compared to other platforms. While it does offer basic e-commerce functionality (like inventory management, shipping options, and discount codes), it lacks many of the advanced features that are available on platforms like Shopify. Some of the features that are offered by Shopify but not by Squarespace:
- Support for multiple currencies with more payment gateway options
- Extensive dropshipping features
- Several integrations with a huge range of third-party apps
- More advanced inventory management options and point-of-sale features
- More comprehensive tax calculation functionality
It’s also worth noting the e-Commerce options aren’t available to the entry Personal plan on Squarespace.
Disadvantages of Squarespace: Poor support for custom code
Squarespace does not offer good support for custom code, which can be a major drawback for users who want to add custom features or functionality to their websites.
How would that affect you as a small business owner?
Well, to put it simply, sometimes it’s impossible to get a specific feature or functionality on your website without adding a few lines of code (written by a coder or found online). Sure, you may need nothing of the sort right now, but you never know how much your business is going to grow eventually, so it’s a good idea to have this option in case you need it in the future.
Disadvantages of Squarespace: It’s expensive
Compared to other website builders, Squarespace is on the pricier side of the spectrum. Here are the available plans for a single website:
- Personal, which costs £12 per month
- Business, which costs £17 per month
- Commerce Basic, which costs £23 per month
- Commerce advanced, which costs £17 per month
For comparison, here are the prices of the entry plans of similar website builders:
- WordPress.com: $8 per month
- Weebly: $6 per month
- Wix: $5 per month
- Zyro: $3 per month
Additionally, Squarespace does not offer any free plans and only provides a 14-day trial of their editor before requiring users to choose a paid plan.
Disadvantages of Squarespace: Limited support for third-party integrations
Squarespace does offer quite a few integrations with third-party apps, like Amazon and MailChimp. That said, it doesn’t even come close to the number of integrations WordPress offers. Furthermore, you only get access to those integrations if you have a business plan or above. Should you need any extra integration while on the personal plan, you’d have to use Zapier, which costs over 20 bucks per month.
Disadvantages of Squarespace: Cumbersome editor
The website builder can also be difficult to use, with a cumbersome editor. Considering that one of the main selling points of drag-and-drop website builders is their ease of use, such a drawback can be a real deal-breaker for new users.
Keep in mind that once you go through the initial learning curve, using the editor becomes second nature.
Does Squarespace have any merits?
Yes, Squarespace does have several pros that make it a good choice for some users, including:
Ease of use
Squarespace is designed to be user-friendly, with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and pre-designed templates that make it easy for users to create a website even if they have no coding experience.
Professional design with plenty of templates
Squarespace’s templates are designed by professional designers and are mobile-friendly, ensuring that users’ websites look professional and are easy to navigate on any device.
Hosting and security included
Squarespace includes hosting and security measures like SSL certificates with all of its plans. That can save users the hassle of setting up and maintaining these features on their own.
Squarespace offers 24/7 customer support through live chat and email. That can be helpful for users going through Squarespace’s learning curve.
Disadvantages of Squarespace: alternatives to consider
If the disadvantages of Squarespace we mentioned above feel like deal-breakers to you, worry not, as there are several alternatives to consider. Here are some of the popular options:
WordPress is a widely used open-source content management system (CMS) that powers over 43% of all websites on the internet. It offers a range of customisable themes, design tools, and plugins that make it easy to create a professional-looking website.
- There is a wide community of users and developers who contribute to the platform. That community makes it easy to find help whenever you need it
- It offers a range of customisable themes, design tools, and plugins that make it easy to create a professional-looking website
- It has a large number of integrations with third-party tools and services, so it’s easy to add functionality to your website
- Since it’s self-hosted and managed, WordPress can be more complex to use than some other website builders, so it may require a steeper learning curve
- It may require some technical knowledge to install, set up, and maintain
- It may be more vulnerable to security threats than some other platforms, so it’s important to keep your site up to date and take other security measures, such as installing a security plugin and scanning your website for malware regularly
Just like WordPress, Joomla is an open-source CMS that offers a range of templates and plugins that allow users to create a wide variety of websites, including online stores and forums.
- Joomla offers a wide range of customisation options, including the ability to add custom code and third-party extensions to your website
- It provides decent e-commerce capabilities
- Joomla offers advanced blogging capabilities, including the ability to schedule posts, create categories, and add tags
- One of the main disadvantages of Joomla is its steep learning curve, especially since it doesn’t have as big an online community as WordPress does
- Joomla’s user interface is also not as user-friendly as some other platforms, not to mention that it looks quite outdated
- Finally, this CMS has a limited selection of templates compared to other platforms, which can make it difficult for users to find a design that fits their needs
Wix and Weebly
Both Wix and Weebly are cloud-based website builders that offer a range of templates and design tools for creating a wide variety of websites, including online stores, blogs, and portfolios.
- They’re easy to use and do not require any technical knowledge to set up and maintain a website
- They offer a range of e-commerce features for creating online stores without the hassle of dealing with wooCommerce and other plugins. Those features include the ability to sell products and services, accept online payments, and track inventory
- Both don’t offer as much flexibility and customisation as some other website builders like WordPress
- They may not be as scalable as some other options, so they may not be suitable for websites that expect to experience a large amount of traffic
CMSs vs website builders
When considering a Squarespace alternative, it’s essential to determine whether you want to use a CMS or a managed website builder. Here are some things to consider when deciding which option is best for you:
CMSs like WordPress and Joomla offer a wide range of features and functionality out of the box. Those features include the ability to manage content, users, and media.
Website builders like Wix and Weebly, on the other hand, offer a more streamlined set of tools and features that are focused specifically on building websites.
CMSs tend to offer more flexibility and customisation options than website builders. With a CMS, you can install third-party themes and plugins to add functionality and change the look of your site. Doing so can be challenging to do when using a website builder.
Ease of use
Website builders are generally easier to use than CMSs. That’s because they offer a more streamlined set of tools and features and do not require any technical knowledge to use. CMSs, on the other hand, may require some technical knowledge to install, set up, and maintain.
Both CMSs and website builders can be free or paid, depending on the specific platform and features you choose. In general, website builders tend to be more expensive than CMSs. That’s because they tend to make managing websites easier.
In the end, the best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and goals for your website. If you need a more flexible and customisable solution with a wide range of features, a CMS might be the better option. However, if you’re looking for a more streamlined and user-friendly way to build a website, a website builder might be a better fit.
Why don’t you leave this headache to us?
Squarespace does have some merits, but it’s still far from being perfect. If the aforementioned disadvantages of Squarespace prove to be too much, you should definitely consider switching to something like WordPress. That said, using such a self-hosted CMS isn’t easy. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. Just book a discovery call with us today, and we’ll show you how we can handle all of this for you!