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8 Reasons to Think Twice Before Using Squarespace

8 Critical Reasons To Avoid Squarespace And The Others

TL:DR

  • All-in-one platforms like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly offer ease of use but have significant long-term limitations.
  • Initial costs may seem low, but expenses can add up over time with scaling and additional features.
  • Customisation is limited, hindering unique branding and design needs.
  • Lack of scalability means these platforms may not accommodate business growth effectively.
  • Transferring your website out if you need to is nearly impossible. You will be locked into these platforms. Beware!

Table of Contents

Choosing an all-in-one platform like Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly for your website might seem appealing due to the promise of ease of use. But you should really consider the long-term implications of such a decision. While these platforms offer a simple interface, promise loads tools and connectivity and the ability to set up an online e-commerce business, they come with some real horrifying limitations that could hinder the growth and scalability of your business, putting you in a corner down the track.

Cost is a significant factor to consider. Initially, the platforms might seem cost-effective, offering an all-in-one content management system, custom domains, and e-commerce tools at a “fixed price”. But as your online transactions grow and your needs expand, the annual payment and costs associated with scaling up to an advanced commerce plan or integrating a new payment processor, can add up. Additionally, the reliance on a single hosting service ties your website to these platforms forever!

The Myth of Convenience and Ease With Squarespace and The Rest

Despite all the sponsored podcast ads and Youtube videos, the perceived ease and convenience might not outweigh the limitations for everyone. The drag-and-drop functionality and the option to use code make Squarespace fairly user-friendly. However, this simplicity can be misleading, as the platform most likely won’t cater to all your needs, especially as your business grows and requires more sophisticated features.

I have had many conversations with clients on old Squarespace or Wix (once on Weebly) sites that want to integrate a service or grow a section of their site with customisation flexibility where I have had to inform them, what they want cannot be done on Squarespace or would require significant investment in an additional platform that simply links to it. The sad thing is, they are trapped on these platforms and the only way out is to rebuild the site on an unrestricted platform like WordPress – which is more investment.

So what are some of the issues and drawbacks commonly associated with using Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly for website development? Here are a few:

1. Limited Customisation

The allure of pre-designed templates might initially seem sufficient, but soon the reality of limited customisation sets in. If you’re aiming for a website that stands out with a unique look or if you have specific design requirements, the restrictive nature of Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly templates could become a major drawback, stifling your creative expression and branding efforts. The use of additional elements like microinteractions or animations are limited when using these platforms. These will help create a dynamic website and hold help hold the user’s attention.

2. Dependency on the Platform

By building your website on these platforms, you agree to their terms of service, which can change. You also rely on their infrastructure. If the platform changes their service offerings or inbuilt tools you can find yourself unable to implement certain design elements or functionalities.

3. Lack of Scalability

As your business expands, you might find that Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly can’t keep up. These platforms are designed for ease of use but not necessarily for growth. If your e-commerce business grows or your audience increases, you might need more from your website than these platforms can provide, leading to a potential need for a website rebuild on a more scalable solution.

4. Cost Over Time

While the initial cost of using these platforms may seem low, expenses can accumulate. Upgrading to access additional features or scaling your website to accommodate business growth can become costly. Over time, what seemed like an affordable option could turn into a significant investment, especially when compared to other solutions that might offer more flexibility and scalability at a similar or lower cost.

5. Limited Functionality

The simplicity of Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly comes with a trade-off in functionality. Customising your site beyond the basic feature of drag-and-drop can be cumbersome. For businesses that require advanced features and integrations like specialised e-commerce capabilities, these platforms fall short, limiting your ability to fully cater to your customers’ needs.

6. Limited Integration Options

While Squarespace and similar platforms offer some integration options, they are often not as extensive as those available with custom-built websites. This limitation can hinder your website’s functionality and the overall user experience, as you might not be able to integrate essential services or tools that could streamline your connection to your customer or business operations.

7. Branding and Ownership Concerns

Using these web builders means you are somewhat at the mercy of their terms and conditions, which might include clauses that allow them to use your data and content. This can raise concerns about branding and ownership, as maintaining a unique and independent online identity is crucial for many businesses. Such limitations can hinder your efforts to establish a strong brand – I have often seen the same Squarespace template used on a few different websites 🫤.

8. Data Portability and Risk of Data Loss

Moving your website away from platforms like Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly is virtually impossible, due to their proprietary technologies. This lack of data portability poses a risk, especially if you decide to switch platforms to accommodate growth or for other reasons. The process can be complicated, and there’s a risk of losing valuable data and site downtime (being offline) would be quite considerable.

Future-Proofing Your Online Presence

When considering the long-term success of your online presence, it’s crucial to choose a platform that can grow and adapt with your business. While platforms like Squarespace offer designer templates, they may not always fit your brand perfectly or offer the flexibility you need. Instead consider a more robust platform like WordPress, Webflow or Framer. Whilst the latter two are a little restricting in their self-hosting formats like Squarespace, they are far superior in functionality.

To truly future-proof your website, the king is still WordPress. There is a reason over 43.1% of the worlds websites are now built with WordPress. It is transferrable across hosting platforms, it has the best integration possibilities and it’s scalability is endless. Consider working with professionals to create a custom-built WordPress site. This approach not only ensures that your site can evolve as your business does but also reduces the risk of being too dependent on a single platform.

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