Why SquareSpace Isn't Great for Small Businesses The pros and cons of SquareSpace
How do your customers and potential customers discover your small business? If you're like many small business owners, people are seeking out or stumbling across your small business through its website.
This means that your online storefront -- the first thing people see when they come to your website -- needs to rock. The struggle for most small business owners is figuring out how to create a strong web presence.
A lot of small business owners don't have the funds to hire an expensive designer and developer to create a killer site. Instead, they rely on do-it-yourself website building solutions. But with so many on the market, how do you choose the one that's right for you?
Companies like Squarespace, which started in 2004, have been among the forefathers of DIY website builders, and remain popular. Squarespace lets you use its editing tool, which allows you to create a webpage, even if you little to no HTML knowledge.
Yes, Squarespace provides a toolkit for you to create a small business website. But is it the best web building solution for your small business? Let's take a closer look.
Squarespace is a good solution for homepage development in that it offers a large number of attractive templates that are customizable. A popular e-commerce offering, like donations, is available, and there is a built-in discount manager. Squarespace has inventory sales tracking and flexible security (only for private pages). Hosting is also available.
Squarespace's most basic plan is $20 per month, and both telephone and online support are offered, in case you have questions about the tool or service.
The downside of having so many customizable templates, is that the average user can get overwhelmed, and may struggle to build an easy to use homepage. It's also possible you won't know how to optimize the site for different browsers, search engines and mobile devices.
Payment services like PayPal require external integration and third-party apps are also required if you'd like a appointment scheduler, messaging abilities, and document (PDF) creation. Client management capabilities -- important to most small business owners -- are only possible through a third party. Using a third party app can be a negative thing, because you will be responsible for updating it when necessary, and handling any support issues that crop up down the road.
Though the basic Squarespace plan is affordable, it does not offer the types of capabilities that are necessary on most small business websites. You will likely have to spend thousands of dollars by hiring a developer to add the tools you need. Plus, if changes need to be made to the site, you'll have to hire a developer to make them for you -- which again, is costly, but could also take multiple days to go live..
A website building platform, like Ocoos, can provide small business owners with a good solution. Ocoos integrates homepage (storefront) creation, core ecommerce offerings, and business operations and interactions in a simple platform.
You website will always be up to date, because it is built on a platform, and updates are made automatically, behind the scenes. Ocoos lets you customize its basic website design, which is always optimized for you customers, as well as across different browsers and mobile devices.
Ocoos offers a world of e-commerce support, including built-in access to payment solutions like PayPal and Square. It allows for complex transactions like deposits and payment upon completion of work, and easily integrates discount codes. You'll have access to an appointment scheduler, messaging, and be able to track customer interactions through a CRM (customer relationship management system).
Also, Ocoos's sales tracking database can analyze and sort data, and export it to tools like Quickbooks. Flexible security means some pages can be marked private and only accessed via password, so certain team members will not be privy to sensitive data.
Ocoos has US-based, 24-hour telephone and online customer support. Our service offers business owners who are hesitant to build their website themselves, for a fee, we offer a highly trained concierge service that will do everything for you.