You are thinking about (or are right in the middle of) starting up your very first photography business (or other creative small business) and you KNOW you have to get a website up and running. You need a place for potential clients to check out your work, figure out what you offer and hopefully hire you and pay you buckets of money.
There are tons of good options out there. Some are more intuitive than others. Some are more customizable. Some are more expensive. Some cater to certain types of businesses. We live in an age where the options really are endless which sometimes makes making a choice seemingly impossible.
This is where I make a case for Squarespace. Hey that rhymes!!
I've been using Squarespace for 4+ years and am still as in love with it now as I was then. I think it is the absolute perfect platform for new business owners who need to get something up fast that is professional, easier on the checkbook than a lot of other options, and is able to grow with your business.
1 | WYSIWYG
Hands down the best thing to happen to web platform design. What you see is what you get.
Squarespace is a WYSIWYG platform. You can literally make changes and see exactly what is changing while you are changing it. You can see exactly what it will look like online and published while you are updating it. No behind the scenes tinkering and then hitting publish and hoping for the best.
For business owners who care about their visual presentation (that should cover 100% of photographers) this is of utmost importance. You want to be able to put your site together in a way that attracts the clients you are looking to work with. A WYSIWYG platform is a must.
2 | Cost
I wouldn't necessarily call Squarespace cheap, but I also wouldn't call it expensive. For what you get with the platform, I DO think it is a great VALUE.
Affordability means something different to everyone, so value is really the measure we are looking at. For beginners this could mean $12 a month and for more advanced business owners with more needs, you are looking at only slightly more than that. I know other platforms that are upward of $40 a month and I don't think that what you get necessarily translates in terms of value.
For a professional website that communicates your business and is able to convert clients, Squarespace is the perfect solution.
3 | Professional
I've said this again and again in the past and it is one of my favorite things about Squarespace....they save you from yourself.
Given a blank slate and zero design experience, most business owners creating their own websites will make terrible design decisions. Squarespace has done the heavy lifting for you and design options are customizable but also there is structure provided. You can't really have 15 different fonts on a Squarespace site and I promise you, that is a good thing.
The templates all have a professional "feel" to them which only serves to give your business more credibility.
4 | SEO
I repeat, Squarespace is NOT bad for your SEO. I don't know how this rumor got started and why it is still out there, but nothing about Squarespace and the way the backend works will be detrimental to your SEO efforts. I am proof positive of this. I have made many, MANY strategic SEO decisions on my photography site regarding SEO and I have had fantastic results and show on page one of google for MANY of my desired search terms.
SEO is a moving target for any website platform and there are plenty of things you can do on your site to increase your effectiveness. Squarespace also makes it easy for you in terms of sitemaps as they are prebuilt for you and all you have to do is submit them to Google. Easy peasy.
5 | Easy template change
Another one of my favorite things about Squarespace (can I actually have this many favorite things?) is how easily you can change from one look to another.
We all know that as you grow in your business, so does your understanding of how to communicate your work, what you offer might change and how you want to talk to your clients and customers might morph and change over the years as well. Squarespace makes it so easy for your website to grow and change along with your business.
With essentially two clicks you can change the entire template of your site and even though you might have to move some stuff around and make some tweaks, you can change the whole look and feel of your site instantly.
I have changed the template on my photography website three times since I started it and I never once wanted to pull my hair out or break down crying in frustration so I consider that a WIN!
6 | Full bleed templates
Full bleed definitely seems to be the up and coming trend in photography websites right now. Everyone wants to showcase their images wide and huge across the screen.
While some opinions may differ on whether or not this is actually a good idea, Squarespace has plenty of templates that make this an easy reality for photographers. You can present your images in a variety of ways through header images or index pages to show of your work loud and proud.
7 | (Bonus) Gallery options
VERY important especially for photographers out there. With Squarespace you have so many options for showcasing your images through galleries.
You essentially have five different options for showing off a gallery of images and you can utilize all five throughout your site in different ways if you choose.
- Wanna show a simple slideshow? No problem!
- Want to stack your images on top of each other? Easy!
- Looking to create a whole gallery page and display that way? You got it!
I love the fact that Squarespace gives you the ability to use galleries in this way. It makes customization so much easier and if you think outside of the "box" you can get really creative with different ways to showcase various things on your site!
Alrighty! I hope I have at least convinced you that Squarespace is absolutely a viable option for small business owners and photographers when it comes to their website. I absolutely love the platform and I know you will too!