With this post I want to prove that anyone with little knowledge about the internet ecosystem and no previous coding experience can build an amazing website. This is possible as Squarespace-7 has the tools that enable almost anyone to create a super cool site. Also, I want to provide some insights and four great tips on how to best utilize the platform based on my previous experience.
Squarespace provides the tools to build a good looking site, with just a few hours of work ,to anyone with little or no previous coding experience. It all depends on the complexity of the site you are trying to build but basically, anyone who is already part of the internet ecosystem can build a website within an afternoon of work after just a few hours of understanding the different options that the platform provides. I first used Squarespace in February 2014 to create a simple site. And then came back to it in May 2015 to find a new highly improved platform that is easier, cleaner and much more intuitive than any other of the two platforms I’ve used in the past -Wix and Wordpress- that now seem obsolete and rudimental compared to the Squarespace platform.
I truly believe that as Squarespace keeps evolving it will mark a before and an after in website development because everyone with a computer will be able to create a website and have a good online presence without requiring any coding skills. Squarespace provides awesome templates that can easily be edited and customized to fit the parameters that the person building the website is looking for. With great tools to help anyone from small businesses, to freelancers, to those looking to create an e-commerce site; the company is leading the way on opening website development to everyone as the tools they provide make it as easy as creating a blog or making a Facebook page. However, what is surprising about Squarespace and must be remarked, is not the low degree of complexity required to create a site -because other platforms have also achieved this in the past- but how good the sites created with the platform look.
The platform has done a tremendous job with design by creating unique templates. But it must be said that the sites built with Squarespace do not only look good but also perform well. The platform provides some basic tools to monitor traffic and blogs allow people to subscribe, comment and have a great built in publishing tool. However, what I am most surprised about is E-Commerce because the built in tools are just amazing. It allows anyone to set up an online store, sell stuff, record inventory and interact with customers in a really efficient and easy way. I believe that opening the doors on the creation of amazing e-commerce websites can have a large impact on society as more and more merchants are able to set up great looking, functional online stores. The big challenge for merchants will be to attract customers into their website as driving traffic to a site is not easy and can be extremely costly. Selling through Ebay or Amazon is currently the best solution for merchants because buyers are already in the ecosystem. However, as a consumer I must admit that I feel overwhelmed by the number of options I have when shopping in one of the two big giants. This raises the question; will squarespace be able to create an e-commerce ecosystem that attracts enough customers?
Aside from e-commerce, Squarespace is empowering small business owners to open their doors online at almost no cost. This is amazing. Given my experience on using the platform, I would like to use this post to provide some advice and insides on how to best utilise it:
1. Fast Prototyping: Building a page with Squarespace has become so simple that it is important to build and receive feedback as quickly as possible -if possible, seek customer feedback as it is the best type to get-. Utilize the received feedback to re-build the site with the proposed changes. Do this multiple times through the process of building the website and create a feedback loop to maximize how others understand and see your site.
2. Before customising a template understand its functionalities: At first, I made the error of not spending enough time navigating the template that I had chosen. Make sure to understand how all the pages in your chosen template look and the different objects that can be added to truly make good use of it.
3. Forget complex sketching by hand: Go directly to edit and play around with the platform and your chosen template. It is so easy to create and re-make a draft that you shouldn’t devote any time to sketching the site other than its’ basic structure.
4. Make use of the Squarespace resources: Especially with E-Commerce but also with SEO or blogs, Squarespace provides awesome free tutorials that I thoroughly recommend in order to truly enhance the experience with the platform.
Please do not hesitate in reaching out to me if you have any questions. As I have gained experience with the platform, it would be my pleasure to help others create awesome sites. You can see the two sites that I have built with the platform in the following links:
**Disclaimer, I am not affiliated in any way nor receiving any compensation from Squarespace nor any other company for writing this post.