How Squarespace has helped me fall back in love with web design
As part of our transition earlier this year from Irene Farrimond Creative to Magnoliahouse Creative, I took some time to really think carefully about the work we were doing, and how we could better serve our clients. We’re proud of the work we do when it comes to branding - we love digging deep with our clients to craft richly textured and authentic brands. But I couldn’t help but feel that our website design options weren’t serving a segment of our clients as well as we might be able.
We have long held the belief that a custom developed website is not the solution for every business. Developing a website from scratch is an exciting process, and it’s a joy to be able to custom every single element of a site, but starting without a framework adds a significant multiplier to the development time, increasing the cost to a level that’s prohibitive for many small businesses. Additionally, custom websites may require specialized training for business owners to maintain, use and update the website.
While we knew that a certain portion of our clients would still want, and need, the flexibility and functionality of a custom Wordpress website, we sought another option for our clients who simply wanted to share the story of their business, blog or shop in a visually stunning yet accessible way.
Enter Squarespace. After hearing their advertisements on, I don’t know, every podcast in existence and seeing the beautiful work that other designers were doing on the platform, we knew we had to give it a try! We rounded up a handful of guinea pig clients for our experiment and started designing.
I was immediately impressed with the experience. Working on a Squarespace website is completely intuitive for a designer - it’s as close as it gets to designing in a desktop program like Illustrator. I loved that it was completely front end based - we tell the software what we want the site to look like, and it takes care of the backend. That’s the reverse of a typical development process, and saves so much time and effort because it skips the messy trial and error that defines web design.
The sites built on Squarespace are really well engineered - every site is responsive and adapts beautifully for mobile and table design. Squarespace automatically takes care of much of the image resizing, preventing many of the speed issues we find in amateur Wordpress sites. With custom css, code injections and html block elements, we were able to make significantly more customizations to our initial sites than we expected.
But most importantly, we think Squarespace is going to make it easier for you, our beloved clients, pour love into your websites and share your stories with the world. We’ve come so far from the clunky, static, permanent websites of the late 90s and it’s so important to us that you be able to grow your website with your business. It’s incredibly easy and intuitive to make changes to text, swap photos, write blog posts, and even make small design and layout changes. It’s impossible for you to break, and just in case, their email support is phenomenal and fast.
And so, we’re thrilled to start offering Squarespace websites as a standalone item or as part of our complete branding package. All the details are listed in our brand + web catalog, and we’d love to chat with you more about whether a Squarespace website is right for you and your business. Later today, we’ll be revealing one of our very first (and very favorite) Squarespace websites we’ve designed so far.
Ps. This post is in no way sponsored or affiliated with Squarespace. The love is real, y’all!
Friends, have you considered switching from Wordpress to Squarespace? What’s holding you back, if anything?