Before you get started creating your Squarespace website, there are a few things to consider. As much as I love Squarespace, I think it is wise for my clients to know possible limitations of the platform before we invest a lot of time (and money) on creating their website.
Overall, I believe Squarespace is a great selection for solopreneurs or small businesses - but I want you to be prepared when making the decision.
Here are 5 questions to consider before committing to the Squarespace platform.
5 Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Squarespace Website
1 - Do you already have a registered domain?
Squarespace offers users a free domain name with their paid service. That's great, because having a custom domain name really takes your website from looking like a hobby to being a bona fide business.
However, I recommend you purchase your domain name from another provider and then forward your domain to your Squarespace website. Why? Because it gives you as the website administrator full control over the domain.
While you can transfer a Squarespace managed domain to another provider, it must be active for 60 days before you can.
My recommendation is to purchase the domain on your own and then map your domain to your Squarespace site. I personally use GoDaddy and have never had an issue mapping - Squarespace provided very detailed instructions on the process.
2 - How many email accounts you will need?
Another issue that goes along with Squarespace managing the domain is handling your email. Squarespace and Google Apps have a partnership, and you can set up your email addresses this way at the rate of $5/month.
My advice is to purchase your email administration through the same place you buy your domain. I am all about streamlining services. The more links in the administration chain, the harder it can be to coordinate a fix when something goes wrong.
3 - Will you be collecting email addresses from visitors?
If you don't already have an email subscriber list, no worries - Squarespace makes it super simple for you to connect your website with MailChimp. If you don't want to use MailChimp or already use another email list service, you or a developer will need to add some custom code.
Or another option is to collect the email addresses into a Google sheet and then import the addresses to your service.
4 - Will you be selling products or services on your site?
The number of products you sell on your site will decide which pricing plan you need to go with for Squarespace.
Another thing to consider about ecommerce is accepting payment. Squarespace has a partnership with Stripe, making it easy to gather payment with their service.
As with the email provider, you can still use another payment provider, however, it will take some additional effort and coding.
If you are just getting started with selling items online or are ready take advantage of the intuitive set up Squarespace has, then you'll be golden.
5 - Will have a membership only area?
You can set up a password to restrict access to a page, however, if you want a full blown membership site to deliver content, you will have to look outside Squarespace. While not necessarily an issue, you will need to direct your members off site.
Squarespace is a wonderful website platform that makes incredible beautiful sites. Many of the issues I list above may never apply to your business, so I say go for Squarespace!
For businesses with ecommerce and membership areas, I still think Squarespace can be an extremely effective solution - just be willing to either use the services Squarespace currently has partnerships with or be able to integrate your own preferences via code.