Website Scalability: Why Business Owners Should Consider Alternatives to Squarespace

Kyle Pflueger
June 15, 2023

When it comes to building a website for your business, there are numerous platforms available, each with its own set of features and advantages. While Squarespace is a popular website builder, it may not be the best fit for every business. In this post, we are going to review some of the things Squarespace does well and discuss some things to consider when deciding whether it's a good option for your business. Let's dive in.

What is Squarespace?

Squarespace is a website building platform that enables users to create simple websites without extensive coding knowledge. With its user-friendly interface and a sufficient range of templates, Squarespace offers a fairly seamless drag-and-drop editor that allows for easy customization. The platform integrates various features, including some limited e-commerce functionality, basic CMS and blogging capabilities, and standard SEO tools, providing users with an out-of-the-box solution for building and managing their online presence. Squarespace's also serves as the hosting platform for any website you build using their services. Because of this, Squarespace can be a great option for business owners looking for a DIY approach to building a website

When to Use Squarespace

Squarespace is known for its visually appealing and professionally designed templates. If you want your website to have a sleek and polished appearance without the need for extensive design skills, Squarespace is a wise option. Its templates are modern, responsive, and customizable, enabling you to create a site that is sufficient for some business owners.

In addition to their wide selection of templates, Squarespace also offers an interface that can work well for users who don't consider themselves designers or developers. You also don't have to be an eCommerce expert to build a working online store with Squarespace as they offer some out of the box solutions for selling your products and services online. More on these later.

In summary, Squarespace can be a good option for business or shop owners that are looking for a low-cost, low-stakes starter website to help get their product or idea up and running quickly. That said, there are some areas of Squarespace that leave something to be desired for more advanced users and complex business problems. Let's take a look at those next.

Where Squarespace falls short

While Squarespace provides a streamlined approach to getting a good looking website up and running fairly easily, there are also a few areas where it falls short and if you aren't thinking ahead, you can end up costing yourself more time and money in the long run by having to rebuild your website as your business scales. Let's take a look at some of the things to be aware of if you are considering a Squarespace site.

Limited Customization Options

One of the main drawbacks of Squarespace is its limited customization capabilities. While it offers a range of starter templates, modifying them beyond their preset styles can be challenging. Customizing layouts, adding unique design elements, or implementing advanced functionality may require coding knowledge or the assistance of a developer - and even then, there's no guarantee the platform can even support the features you might be looking for. For businesses looking for extensive customization to match their brand identity and specific requirements, other platforms such as WordPress or Shopify often offer more flexibility.

Squarespace website builder example
Squarespace offers a simple but sometimes limiting amount of control over your website

Higher Costs for Advanced Features

Although Squarespace has affordable pricing plans for basic website needs, the costs can quickly escalate when additional features are required. Advanced functionalities, such as e-commerce capabilities, membership sites, or integrations with third-party services, often require upgrading to more expensive plans or purchasing add-ons. For businesses on a budget or with specific feature requirements, alternative platforms may offer more cost-effective solutions.

Limited E-commerce Functionality

While Squarespace does provide e-commerce capabilities, its functionality may fall short for businesses with more complex online stores. Even with their paid e-commerce service, the platform lacks certain advanced features, such as multi-currency support, advanced shipping options, or in-depth inventory management. For businesses heavily reliant on e-commerce or planning to scale their online sales, dedicated e-commerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce (built on WordPress) offer more robust and scalable solutions. You can read more about the pros and cons of Shopify and WooCommerce in our blog post here.

Squarespace pricing model as of June 2023
Squarespace offers different package tiers for their services that can become costly and difficult to scale with as seen in this price list from June 2023

SEO Limitations

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for businesses aiming to improve their online visibility. While Squarespace does offer some SEO features, it has certain limitations. The platform's control over URL structure, meta tags, and other crucial SEO elements may not be as flexible as desired. Additionally, some advanced SEO techniques, such as schema markup or custom tracking codes, may require workarounds or third-party integrations. Business owners seeking more comprehensive SEO control may find other platforms, like WordPress, more suitable. As noted in this post from the SEO experts at SEMRush, there are some real limitations to the available SEO options within Squarespace.

Limited Integrations and Third-Party Apps

Squarespace has a limited selection of integrations and third-party apps compared to other platforms. This lack of flexibility can be limiting for businesses that rely on specific tools or services for their operations. Integrations with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, marketing automation tools, or specialized industry software may not be readily available. For businesses with unique integration needs or looking for seamless workflows, alternative platforms often offer a wider array of compatible options.

In Summary

While Squarespace has its merits as a website builder, it may not be the ideal solution for all businesses. Its limited customization options, potential higher costs for advanced features, e-commerce limitations, SEO constraints, and restricted integrations may lead business owners to seek alternative platforms better suited to their specific needs. Exploring other website builders like WordPress, Shopify, or Joomla, among others, can provide greater flexibility, scalability, customization, and a wider range of options to help businesses succeed online. Ultimately, it's important for business owners to evaluate their requirements and carefully choose a platform that aligns with their long-term goals and vision.

Not sure if Squarespace is right for you? Let's connect and discuss your website needs!

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