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After years and years of working with WordPress, I decided to give Squarespace a try for a photography project I’ve been working on after I had little time to manage plugin and security updates for the WordPress site we were using.
I’m a huge fan of WordPress and it’s the platform we’ve been using to build websites for well over ten years. At times, however, WordPress is not ideal: it requires quite a bit of maintenance to ensure everything is running smoothly and safely.
As I was looking to update some galleries on Moondog Photography I stumbled across some sample sites using Squarespace. I was so taken by the way the site’s were displaying images, I signed up for a free trial and took Squarespace for a trial.
Almost immediately, I found it very easy to use and very intuitive. Sure, I’ve got a quite a lot of experience working with websites so I knew what I was looking for but even so, I found the wysiwyg editor very easy to use. I created multiple galleries and multiple custom pages, which was fantastic. It allowed me to have full control over how my images were displayed.
As the trial finally started to draw to a close I made the (surprise!) decision to switch the live site over to the one I had created on Squarespace and purchased the service for a year.
Transferring the domain over to Squarespace took less than a day and before I could say “that’s a cool web solution”, the site was live.
Since launching the site with Squarespace, I’ve not had to worry about security or plugin updates needing maintenance and I’ve been able to carry on with doing the things that are important. I’m super busy so being able to jump into this site without any real hassle has been amazing. It’s saved me time but allowed me to showcase the work I wanted to.
I’m yet to see how the new site will perform in terms of SEO: I have no experience of SEO on the Squarespace platform. My guess is that it will be okay from quickly perusing the source code. If site traffic nosedives I’ll have to have another think.
The only real bugbear is that the design options, although pretty comprehensive, sometimes require you to use custom code if you want to do what would actually be relatively easy for a drag and drop editor. For example, positioning the site title to the left of the page forced the entire page to float left, when all I wanted was the title moved. If you’re trying to do everything yourself, therefore, you might struggle with major design tweak.
Things like that, though, I can live with. After all, this was a very quick site build for a simple project that showcases the photography work I do. Customers for this site will focus mostly on the photographs so a heavily branded site with a complex layout wasn’t necessary.
Who is Squarespace Right For?
Solo entrepreneurs and small businesses. Definitely. People who don’t have time to update plugins and security patches and who also can’t afford to pay someone to manage their site.
Many of our smaller customers, and particularly sole traders, buy a website from us and don’t maintain site updates, even if we stress how important it is to do this.
Yes, there’s the risk that something will break if you update a plugin. That’s the nature of open source software, unfortunately. But if you don’t update, you run the risk of leaving your site open to malware and hackers.
That’s where Squarespace could be a good option. It has an excellent blogging feature so you can update your site regularly, telling the story of your business, and generating some much needed SEO. It’s also easy to update and tweak existing text and images.
In many ways, given the solid security of the service, its features and the lack of geeky know-how needed to keep it running smoothly, we at Moondog will be starting to discuss Squarespace with solo entrepreneurs as a possible platform for these reasons. As a web design agency, Squarespace’s code injection facility will enable us to make professional websites with custom designs for customers on smaller budgets, looking to run their site with less maintenance.
How to Make Pro Instagram Stories
As mentioned on the show, check out this post by Wistia on how to make professional-looking Instagram Stories. It’s a very powerful video full of instructions and recommendations on how to use phone or DSLR camera to get stories looking more professional.
Instagram Stories are a powerful way of showing your brand online, giving you the chance to give people a glimpse of who you are and what you do. You can connect differently through Instagram Stories such as asking questions, answering feedback, sharing tips.
I am sure Instagram is only going to get bigger in 2018, and Stories in particular.