Blog / Business / custom software

Squarespace – Another Website Builder We Don’t Approve

  • Rating — 5 (1 vote)
  • by Igor
  • Updated on December 26, 2019
  • Read —
    6-7 minutes

Okay, we admit it – we don’t like builders, software constructors and all the other highly promoted and well-marketed ready-made software solutions. We only like custom-made libraries like those on GitHub, those done by pros to serve specific purposes. 

To be honest, yes, it is our agenda to make you choose custom software development over things like Joomla, Bubble, Wix or Squarespace (the subject of the following article). So, we are biased and we can agree on that. 

Nonetheless, only because we are subjective doesn’t mean that what we claim is not true. You can find out many supporting voices for our point of view on the subject. 

In our defense I can personally guarantee you that with almost a decade in business we have enough experience to pass the judgment, regarding whether it is okay or not okay to substitute a custom solution with a subscription based ready-made option. 

Tune in and let’s dig deeper. In the end, the choice is all yours. 

The Choice

The majority of discussions that circulate around the web focus on custom vs. ready-made. But, since we always serve you 100% original and unique content, this is not going to be the case, at least not our main argument. Why? Because Squarespace loses the race even when compared to other website builders and software constructors. Surprised? I was also surprised, especially because I haven’t heard much about Squarespace despite the fact that it’s available for commercial use since 2004

For starters, unlike Framer or Bubble, it can only be applied in web development (that is on steady decline since smartphone apps started to dominate digital market). So, if you’re making a choice between custom web development and ready-made solution, it is preferable to discard Squarespace from your list of possible options and go with something newer (Framer/Bubble) for apps or good old WordPress (Magento/Wix/Joomla/Drupal), depending on your requirements.  

More Plugins Result in Speed Setback

Consider any software a set of features. Every feature is a tool, all of which are organized in a system (mechanism). Now, software needs maintenance and scaling. Maintenance is done easier with builders but to apply changes is more difficult to do if you use a website constructor. In case of custom development the code is written with a possibility to apply changes organically. In case with software builders adding or changing features require installing plugins. And plugins are not integrated organically but are more like add-ons that always slow the speed of your web platform. 

For me personally, half or even a quarter of a second might be so irritating that I close the site immediately. Nobody likes slow connection but try to add features like commentary with Facebook or Stripe payment gateway, using extensions, and you will get slower speed. 

With custom software development the whole body of code is written with this possibility in advance and anyway adding one feature affects the whole project since everything (really everything) in software is connected and even one small part of the mechanism can result in vibrating changes across the whole back-end body of your web platform.  

Squarespace Pricing tab

Squarespace Pricing: do not consider buying anything but basic or advanced plans and even then think of additional 1k or 2k 

You Become Dependent

Renting a car vs. owning a car. What’s cheaper? If it’s for a day/week/month, then rent it. But what about 5 years? Now, a business project should last longer than a car, right? If so, then why rent software instead of owning it? Most business owners who go with such a trade simply don’t understand what they’re losing. Do you have doubt or little faith you’re going to be in business in just a year or two? With such approach it’s no wonder that you would prefer something that is cheaper. Are you penny wise, pound foolish? Any business owners knows that a company never starts from being profitable. It works its way to be profitable and it means initial investment. 

Going with custom solution instead of using Squarespace is the best decision you can make. 

You Reap What You Sow 

Being cheap is not an option if you’re going to lose it all because you depend on a third-party service provider. Keep in mind that even Facebook and Google face regional downtime monthly. Rhetorically speaking, then, what can be said about Squarespace? 

It all comes down to either paying fully once in the beginning or paying twice now and later. But it is guaranteed (and there’s no doubt about it) that the quality is always better when your software platform is designed specifically to serve your individual purposes. Yeah, money today is more expensive than money yesterday. But if there’s no difference in price, why, then, to compromise quality?  

Have you ever used a website constructor like Squarespace?
Vote

You Need a Development Team Anyway

Using Magento still leaves you searching for a Magento developer and same goes for every other website builder. Ever tried to make your own blog? Even a talented software engineer can’t do everything on his own and even then it increases development time dramatically while reducing the quality of work. You need a designer and content specialist. These are 3. Add a person or two and they will make you anything you’d like without Squarespace. Cut the middleman, you know?  

You will need somebody to execute the work. You’re going to need a Magento developer or a WordPress developer anyway. Why, then, pay a developer to work with a subscription-based software if a couple of them can do their own software with absolutely no third-party dependencies?

Lack of Functionality

Any builder has a limited set of features. Companies that market their products assure you that they can offer any feature you can imagine but that is rarely useful when you need “that single thing done this way”. In other words, using Squarespace comes with certain limitations. You risk compromising your business objectives by adjusting your web platform not to what you need to do but to what you can do. And while you can do anything with custom software, this is not the case if you’re using Squarespace. 

Sharing your blog or distributing digital content for the audience of your preference, community forums, etc.
In the end it's always going with your gut. And it's also true that quality custom solution is always a more substantial decision which is why it is always more expensive. If you have a very simple and cheap project, use builder. If your business operation has a more sophisticated logic than that of a digital business card, deploy more functionality with custom-made software

Conclusion

So, the main reason not to use Squarespace is to make sure that you start your project in the right manner because the beginning is half of the whole (as the wise man said). Building your future project on a foundation that won’t hold is bad since improvements and gradual updates will be harder to make (if at all possible).

If you are absolutely solid about using a builder and discarding a custom solution, then use WordPress. It is cheaper and more reliable. Squarespace tries to buy you with “how easy it is to make a website” but such a website will also look “cheap”. Then again, that is always the case when a website is done not by somebody who’s job is to make websites. And for this you need a team. 

Working with WordPress or Squarespace makes adding new features result in slow speed because each new feature works as a plugin and plugins slow down the whole system since their integration is not considered from the beginning. And when you’re starting a project, you should have a solid foundation to carry all the necessary future features that you might (and definitely will) need later without compromising the quality of your project. 

Want to go full-custom?

Igor is a content manager at GBKSOFT who strongly believes in the amazing possibilities of IT renaissance. He is personally interested in how high tech can benefit business and improve marketing to make internet great again


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