Why Wheelhouse Recommends Squarespace for Small Businesses
by Kurt Schmidlein
Sometime in the summer of 2016, I was driving on a New Hampshire country road with my now–business partner Xavier Brown when he mentioned a crazy fact that he had learned earlier that day: that nearly half of all small businesses in the US don’t have a website.
A year later, we started this business specifically to help non-profits and mission-oriented small businesses get online. And as far building a website goes, Wheelhouse has one recommendation: Squarespace.
As a digital marketing company, the first thing we did was build our website. Our Squarespace website was simple to build, easy to edit, and packed with strong functionality and helpful plugins. We could have made the website fancier and flashier, but we didn’t need to. All we needed was a professional, mobile-responsive website that communicated our mission to the world.
But for many small businesses, the choice can be difficult: Wordpress or Squarespace? Each platform has pros and cons, but ultimately we chose Squarespace and recommend it for our clients.
Powerful, but not user-friendly
Wordpress is an open-source platform, and it’s infinitely customizable. Wordpress is available hosted or self-hosted, and the cost of using Wordpress varies depending on to what extent you use the platform. Wordpress helped get the world online, and it’s the perfect tool for developers and more experienced coders who are looking to build a complex and unique website.
For those reasons Wordpress has a steep learning curve, and therefore it’s not the best choice for small businesses. Most small companies don’t have the time or energy to master a complex platform just to maintain a simple, functional website—nor do they have the money to hire a webmaster to manage it for them.
User-friendly and built for businesses
We believe small businesses should choose Squarespace for three main reasons:
User-Friendliness: Squarespace is built on a drag-and-drop interface that makes constructing and editing a Squarespace simple and intuitive--do business owners have time for anything else?
Reliability: Squarespace is constantly updating its platform and templates so that Squarespace sites always work on all browsers and devices. Wordpress and its many plugins are in constant need of updates and upgrades. Small businesses shouldn’t have to worry about constant updates--and with Squarespace they won’t have to.
It’s All-inclusive: A Squarespace subscription includes whichever templates and functionality you choose, whereas Wordpress templates cost anywhere from $20 to $200 and plugins range wildly in price.
Squarespace also offers the best value. Plans start at $144 per year, and that includes highly customizable themes, useful and powerful plugins, and online support. You won’t have to worry about keeping your theme and plugins up to date, because Squarespace is constantly responding to changes in browsers and mobile devices at no additional cost.
Wordpress plans varies wildly in price—and value. Self-hosted Wordpress.org sites will cost you roughly the same amount between the hosting, the theme, and the plugins and, sites built on Wordpress.com are cheaper than Squarespace—but Wordpress.com doesn’t come with the freedom of Wordpress.org, and the Wordpress.com interface simply can’t compare to Squarespace’s. (Wix and Weebly fall into the same category: don’t be fooled by lower prices, because the interface and overall experience just isn’t worth the savings.)
The best long-term choice
Squarespace’s simple interface enables small business owners to manage their website themselves rather than relying on outside help. Wheelhouse can build you a Squarespace website at a reasonable cost, and train you how to update and edit it yourself.
Many of our competitors urge their clients to choose Wordpress, and then charge exorbitant fees for routine updates and edits to their website after it’s built. We’re different. We prefer to empower our clients to take the reins of their own site after we complete the initial setup.
Wheelhouse Websites built with Squarespace
Click the images below to explore sites we’ve built on Squarespace.
Our recommendation comes with an asterisk. Ultimately, most businesses need a full website, but some small ventures, entrepreneurs, and artists don’t need the full functionality of a Squarespace and instead could get by with a one-page website to host a bio, an email signup, or contact information.
For those situations, we have a different recommendation: Carrd.co
Carrd.co offers beautiful templates for one-page websites—and it costs substantially less than Squarespace and other comparable options. We encourage you to reach out to us to determine whether you need a full website through Squarespace or a simpler website through Carrd.co. Quotes are free, and at the end of the day our goal is simple: to get you and your small business online.
Getting your business online can be an overwhelming process, and we’re here to help. Reach out to us today to get started.