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Squarespace is a website builder that makes it easy for users to create a simple website for less than the professional route.
While we are a high-end WordPress development agency, sometimes we’ll present select clients with the opportunity to downsell to a Squarespace site. The process for building a Squarespace site is fairly straightforward and can be a great resource for business owners with a limited budget. However, does this pose a threat to design & development agencies who may have significantly higher rates than the DIY route? Is Squarespace the end-all, be-all web design solution for business owners?
Good, Fast or Cheap: Pick Two
Truth is…you can’t have it all. Want your website to look great with a fast turnaround? Expect to pay for it. Want it to look great with an affordable price? Don’t expect to have it overnight.
Squarespace also falls within this conundrum. There has to be a management of realistic expectations when using the platform.
Business Owners Should Be Realistic
Some clients may opt to build their own website, ultimately saving them from having to pay an agency. However, if they choose to go this route, they face the inescapable limitation of time. Designing a good website is far more involved than drag, drop & done, even on a WYSIWYG platform like Squarespace.
Building a good website on Squarespace includes: planning the flow of each page, collecting imagery and verbiage, learning the Squarespace backend & editor [if a first-time user], setting up each page, ensuring the mobile version is presentable, testing, and much more. Most successful business owners have a lot on their plates, leaving little room for this process.
Also, while the design process is relatively easy, there are limitations with what can be done in a creative sense. Business owners cannot realistically expect to create something with the look and feel of their favorite million-dollar website, as the platform doesn’t allow for in-depth customization (at least for the non-developer).
So for business owners that are okay with having a simple website that they have the time and resources to build themselves—Squarespace may be the way to go. But where does this leave those who want a snazzy website and don’t have the time to build it themselves?
An Opportunity For Agencies
Design and development agencies cannot compete with the DIY business owner. However, there’s a small window of opportunity for agencies to help clients who don’t have time to build their own sites and want something that’s less cookie-cutter.
While agencies may not want to specialize in these more budget-friendly sites, they can use these quick projects as an avenue to diversify revenue between larger client projects.
Building a site like this for a client not only takes the burden off their hands. Agencies often have more knowledge of WYSIWYG builders like Squarespace, saving time on learning the backend. Agencies also have a general workflow for developing websites, so they likely won’t need to reinvent the wheel to complete one on Squarespace. They have knowledge of current web design standards, making it a breeze to keep the site mobile-friendly. Lastly, clients can tap into the skills an agency developer has to make customizations to their Squarespace site that would otherwise be impossible for the average person.
So while Squarespace definitely has its limitations, it presents a unique opportunity for agencies to create client websites that are not only [relatively] fast, and cheap[er], but good.