When we’re not writing about web hosting or site building, we actually roll up our sleeves and do a great deal of graphic designer work. As such, we spend a lot of our time developing sites, interfacing with clients, and on occasion, talking to other graphic designers. Yes, we know: Egos do have a habit of getting in the way where the latter is concerned. Still, during all of the time that we’ve had to chat with our colleagues, we’ve been noticing a trend: So many of our peers are starting to use SquareSpace, or are suggesting SquareSpace to their clients. It’s a remarkable trend, and with all of the good things we’ve been hearing about the service, we simply decided it was about time we looked into the site ourselves.
Below you’ll find our full review and thoughts on the matter. We’ll be analyzing some of the features that SquareSpace gives its users, as well as some of the reasons why SquareSpace is a good idea: Whether you’re a design professional or just an average user looking to break onto the Internet. It’s going to be a fun and bumpy ride, so without any further ado, let’s hit the thing square on the nose!
First off, we spent a lot of time playing around with SquareSpace, and one of the things that we like the most about the service is the interface. The site uses the same sort of drag-and-drop mechanic that’s nearly universal to other site builders. However, it does it in such a way that doesn’t coddle you, or treat you like you have no design sense at all. SquareSpace breaks elements into bricks, which you then “stack” against each other to create a finished whole. It’s a lot like building a wall, only the end result isn’t a barrier between you and your neighbors, but a finished site. All in all, we can’t get enough of how simple and intuitive the whole thing is.
However, where we’d typically complain about a site builder not giving us the freedom that we need to move and create, we simply had no such problems with SquareSpace. Sure, there are templates you can use, but you don’t have to, which is the genius of the service. SquareSpace is more than happy to simply hand over the reins and let you do the heavy lifting. They give you the tools, and away you’re allowed to go.
They also include a lot of other features that make it worthwhile, like easy account management for developers, social media integration, iOS support, etc. It’s one tight package, and we really can understand why so many professionals are beginning to design with it.
If you’re interested, you can always try out SquareSpace for a full fortnight without needing a credit card. This is thanks to their free trial. However, if you’d like to fork over some cash for the service, it’s not too terribly much to ask—especially compared to our increasingly devilish nemesis, Wix. SquareSpace will charge you $8 a month for core features, 20 pages of content, 500 gigabytes of bandwidth and 2 gigabytes of storage. That’s a cheaper rate than some of the standard web hosting services we’ve seen out there on the Net! You’ll also get a free custom domain and 24/7 support. All of that for less than the price of two whole Starbucks lattes!
On the next highest system, you’ll get core features, unlimited pages, bandwidth, storage, and a free custom domain. You’ll get the same support that we mentioned, as well as 4 total demographic audiences, unlimited editors on your account, advanced controls, a form builder, user registration controls, and business features. Oh, and all of this will cost you only $16 a month. That’s a whopping good deal, regardless of the SquareSpace experience or interface that’s tied to it. All in all, we’re really quite impressed with the simplicity and understanding that SquareSpace offers its customers.
The Final Roundup
To us, there’s no greater recommendation under the sun than a designer we respect telling us to check out SquareSpace for our own good. We’ve had this happen multiple times, and out of that, we’ve come away with a really great respect for the company. From what we’ve been hearing, they offer an experience that cares about the consumer, understands the need for rock-solid designing tools, and cheap web hosting. It’s a great deal for the client, for the designer, or even just for the beginning blogger. And with a feature set and interface that’s designed to kill on site, there’s absolutely no reason we wouldn’t recommend you give the fortnight trial a run through. If worse comes to worse, you simply don’t use the service anymore. Though we don’t think that is likely.