Web-Development, for when you don't want to screw around with CODE

I was born in the 80’s (I’m old), so I remember the tail-end of that whole era, but I mostly remember the 90’s with its big and sometimes awful hair, video games and arcades, and most importantly; the Internet. Oh, how I loved it so.

The dial-up tone that I am now, nostalgic for (and is now the ringtone on my phone). The horrible web-graphics, which I can’t say I miss, with all the animated and colorful buttons, too horrible for words.  Getting kicked off the internet when the phone rang. It was a riot.

 

My first foray into HTML involved one of those “Idiot’s Guide” books, which started my first few attempts at coding with notepad. They did not go well. For the time they were fine, but they looked awful because again, horrible graphics. I didn’t know about Photoshop.

 

Flash-forward to now and I have Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and a slew of other programs to make HTML and CSS coding tasks, much simpler to perform. The only problem I have now is that the Internet has evolved in include Javascript, PHP, and a few other fancy languages, necessary to have a fully functional and customizable web-presence.

 

These fancier languages, which can do a lot, are too complicated for my brain to understand. It’s a type of witchcraft to me. I know it exists, and people can do it, just not me. I don’t need it to survive throughout my daily life and I haven’t needed it since switching over to Squarespace and I have to say, I’m okay with that right now.

 

Meanwhile, I want to have a place online that I can throw my artwork at and have some degree of control and customization with how its shown. While social media platforms such as facebbok, twitter, and instagram are a great place to get people interested and talking about your work, having a dedicated web-space allows you a greater degree of control for how your your work is shown.

 

If you want to control every single aspect to your work, then learning the code to manipulate it on the web is the best choice you make. If you, like me however, want to get your work out there while still retaining some degree of control without having to code every aspect, then templates are a better choice. This is where Squarespace really shines.

 

( I am not affiliated with, or profitting from Squarespace in any way )

 

So there’s competition between RapidWeaver, Squarespace, Wix, and a bunch of other WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web editors. Each product and platform has their own unique benefits and drawbacks. I’ve tried most of the products and think that, for what you spend, Squarespace is the better deal.

 

Every program and platform has them, and often an applications success is determined by how affordable, easy, and supported the product is, but here are a few reasons why Squarespace is better than most other WYSIWYG editors.

 

  • Responsive design : Regardless of what type of device you’re using, Squarespace displays your content well on all current device specifications. You don’t have to pay anything extra to use this feature, which allows you to focus on creating your content, instead of micro managing it.

 

  • Templates are beautiful : I love making Graphic Design layouts but I also don’t want to spend time coding a project to include a video in the background of a blog post. Squarespace does all that and lets me make changes on where the text and buttons will appear, all without having to code.

 

  • Integrated social media connectivity : Instead of creating and customizing a comment feed for facebook, discuss, or any other commenting system, Squarespace already has these features included. You simply have to link those platforms to the pages you want these features to appear on.

 

  • Easier to edit and make changes : I like that I don’t have to open another program to make changes to my web-page, then upload those changes before they appear. With Squarespace, everything is done right there in the edit and preview modes. If I want to take a page offline, I simply click a button to ‘hide’ it, make my changes, then ‘unhide’ it for everyone online to see it.

 

  • Customer Support : Aside from the forums which many users can find answers to common problems that spring up for simple fixes and solutions in the forums, Squarespace also has fast email support. I can’t attest to this solution but I’ve seen forum answers by Squarespace personnel and 

 

 

For as great as Squarespace is there are however, drawbacks. Every program and platform has them, and often an applications success is determined by how affordable, easy, and supported the product is.

 

  • Cost : The cost of Squarespace varies depending on the option you chose, Personal or Business. In total you can spend $96.00 dollars upfront (cost of hosting for the year), or choose to pay $12.00 dollars on a monthly basis ($144.00 dollars for the year). If you choose to pay upfront you end up saving $48.00 dollars ($144.00 x .6875 = $99.00). This isn’t that bad; once you consider the additional cost of purchasing a domain name or an additional hosting company to host your content in case you don’t want Squarespace to host it, you run the risk of compounding your total operating costs.

 

PS : Students get a discount : Students can get 50% off their first year by using their student email in for the registration process. You also need to check to see if your school has registered with Squarespace. Don’t hesitate to contact Squarespace if you have questions about this!

 

 

PS : Squarespoace offers its users to purchase domain names directly through them. They also have a hosting option that is cloud-based. I am unfamiliar with these features as I am currently using hosting through another company, before I found out about Squarespace.

 

  • I have not implemented this feature but I have read the transaction charges and fees and it appears that whatever payment you accept (be it from an item or a donation), it would be subject to transatcion charges : 2-3% via Squarespace and their Website Product guidelines including another transaction charge from Stripe (a transaction service) of : 2.9% + 30¢. So it looks like you would be hit with a total transaction charge of 6-7% which might be a turnoff for some people.

 

PS : It may be possible to offset these charges by using alternate payment services available online like shopify.

 

  • Squarespace isn’t all that great when compared to other platforms : This is true of any and everything though. Sure when you compare Squarespace to a product like Wix or Wordpress, there are features that one has that the other doesn’t but that’s what sparks innovation and competition. Meanwhile, Squarespace is a great platform to put your content on without getting bogged down by micro-managing every aspect of web-design.

 

This is by no means an all-exhaustive list of features that Squarespace or any other aforementioned platform uses. It is only a small list of features and areas that may help other content creators decide if Squarespace is right for them.

 

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