SQUARESPACE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS | PROS AND CONS
Easy to Set Up for Photographers
One of the major pros of using Squarespace is its convenience. You don’t need to know any CSS, HTML or any other computer programming language. You simply pick your theme, populate your content, and you pretty much have your site up and running. Of course, proper SEO will be a little more complicated, as you’ll need to enter in some metadata, submit your sitemaps, and possibly utilize your 301 redirects. However, you can control everything you need right from the straight-forward backend of the system.
Beautiful Layouts | Photography Website Templates
This is probably THE biggest benefit of using Squarespace. They are simply great looking. Each of their templates are mobile friendly with clean designs and layouts. They have a few, in particular, that are great for photographers.
Reliable Speeds and Load Times for Photographers
Squarespace is known for reliable speeds and load times. With self-hosted WordPress themes, you might be required to use a few bloated plugins with unnecessary features or poorly written code. The fact that anything and everything isn’t available in Squarespace can actually be a good thing because the simplicity adds to the reliability.
Squarespace has recently upped its SEO game with a robust set of features that include:
- Meta Data
- Site Titles
- 301 Redirects
We’ll be reviewing Squarespace SEO in more detail in later tutorials, so keep an eye out!
Affordable Pricing for Photographers
The cherry on top for Squarespace is its affordability. With prices ranging from $8/month to $24/month, you’re getting a domain, your hosting, and your template, all in one monthly price.
Direct Customer Support for Photographers
If you’re not the most versed in website creation and web programming languages, Squarespace is a great option for you. Since Squarespace is a website builder, a host and a domain registrar, you are dealing with one single company with direct support. In contrast, if you’re using a content management system like WordPress, you have to dig through forums for support and read reviews on plugins to ensure that you’re using the right ones.
Cons of Using Squarespace for Photographers
- Limited Templates/Layouts – If you don’t like one of the templates on Squarespace, you can still use the custom builder to customize your site and create a unique look. However, this flexibility will still never compare to the diversity of the thousands of WordPress themes offered.
- Functionality Limitations – Squarespace has included many great features, and they continue to listen to their customers with the introduction of new features with every release. However, even then, these features and functionality will never be as robust, customizable, and diverse as the WordPress repository of Plugins. There are pros and cons to having so many plugins for WordPress. First off, it’s hard to filter through the clutter. For any feature you are trying to add, there are likely multiple plugins that promise the same thing. They are all far from equal; some being bloated or downright unsafe for your website security. The review system helps, but it is sometimes unavailable or inaccurate for some plugins. With Squarespace, you know that every feature offered works flawlessly and is supported by their customer service. So it’s the same tradeoff that we’ve been discussing time and again, customization/flexibility of WordPress vs. easy-of-use/support of Squarespace.
- SEO – The jury is still out on the SEO features of Squarespace vs. WordPress. I’ll be running some experiments and reporting back to the community soon. However, there have been reports of Squarespace sites not ranking well. However, looking at the date of these forum posts, these complaints were prior to their recent releases. Looking at their features, they have everything that you would need theoretically to perform well, including control of all metadata, great linking and permalink structures, sitemap generation, 301 redirects, etc.
- Single Website Hosting – With WordPress on a Bluehost Hosting Service, you have the ability to host multiple sites (domains) at no additional cost beyond the domain registration. If you wanted to create multiple sites with Squarespace, you would need to purchase multiple accounts. We’ll go over the benefits of having multiple sites for your 15business in later chapters. Even if you don’t see that in your immediate game plan, you never know what might happen. We never thought we’d start SLR Lounge when we first decided to create Lin and Jirsa, but the flexibility allowed by our host made it a low-cost investment that eventually paid off.