Why Web Design Agencies Are Scared to Embrace Squarespace [Part 1/4]

This is post number 1 of a 4-part blog post series about Squarespace. Read the introduction post here

Embracing Squarespace was a challenging decision to make because we could feel some irrational forces holding us back.

I’ve compiled a series of preconceived ideas we had about Squarespace and why it would not work for us. I then address each arguments one by one and show how by changing your perspective, the negative arguments actually become positive.

“Website builders are for amateurs”

This belief is not entirely wrong. Most websites builders are really weak solutions. I have yet to see a WIX website I would be proud to put my name on.

But Squarespace is different. It’s the first technology that really does work for web professionals.

Take a look at some websites we’ve built for clients:

Most of these websites took less than a day or two to build.

“I’ll leave money on the table”

If you’re used to selling custom websites for a high price tag, why would you want to switch to Squarespace and sell for only a quarter of the price?

The truth is, you don’t have a choice. Innovation is going to happen, whether you like it or not. When clients hear they can get the same website for 3 or 4 times cheaper at another agency who adopted Squarespace, you’ll build a reputation of being too expensive and will attract less leads.

Embrace innovation and put yourself out of business before somebody else does it for you.

“Clients could build the website themselves”

What if your clients figures out you’re using a website builder? Couldn’t they decide to build the website themselves?

In theory, they could do it themselves. In reality then would need 2 things they don’t have: Time & skills.

  1. Time: Most clients don’t have the time nor the will to go through the necessary learning curve required to master a new tool like Squarespace. They have a million of other things to do and building a new website is a task they would much rather outsource.
  2. Skills: Most clients don’t have the skills to build a great website. Even with a simple to use tool like Squarespace, you still need to have an eye for design. A designer knows how to build a visual brand, artfully assemble text with visuals or pick the right colors font. Most clients don’t.

“I’m supposed to write code.”

Clients couldn’t care less about your code. But if you’re still not convinced, look at it this way.

The reason you value a tool like Squarespace is because it can help you outsource most of the back-end work to an outside party. If Squarespace didn’t exist, you would have to handle the workload yourself which would be more time consuming and more risky.

Therefore, what you value here is Time and Reliability. Any tool that can offer that will be helpful to your business.

Your client on the other hand values your ability to build a beautiful and affordable website. To get a similar outcome, your client would need to build the website himself which would lead to a lower quality result or work with another web design agency which would likely be more expensive.

For your client, Quality and Price are all that matters.

Since you don’t value the same things, your ability to write code is therefore irrelevant for the client.

“My client’s requirements are too complex for Squarespace”

Squarespace is not a silver bullet by any means. Sometimes, the requirements are really out of Squarespace’s scope. But do not always take your client’s requirements at face value.

Some clients like to come up solutions themselves that are often too complex. As a service provider, it’s your job to find an easier more cost effective solution. By cutting corners on some requirements, you might be able to go for a Squarespace website and save your client tons of money.

“Squarespace will limit my creative freedom”

The best designers know that working within constraints is a fundamental principle of design thinking.

By forcing you into a system, Squarespace is actually making you a favor. You will spend money energy on creating a compelling experience using content and less time on decoration.

“I prefer a few big clients over many small clients”

Large clients are sexy for a reason: they come with a big number on the check. With large clients, you don’t have to worry so much about attracting new business to pay future bills.

But big clients tend to have more people involved, meaning more opinions to listen to, more meetings, etc…… Also, because they come with a big check, it’s harder for you to draw the line and define where the exact scope of the project ends.

Selling Squarespace websites is a lot less risky venture. The deliverables are clear and the client has a fairly good idea of what he’s expecting at the end of the project. If you think it’s too risky to work with small clients, reconsider the opportunity cost of being locked with one big annoying client for a long time.

Conclusion

Squarespace is an innovation and is changing the way websites are built. Obviously, change comes with fear which is normal. However, it’s not a good enough reason for sticking to the old way for the sake of it.

This post is part 1 of a 4-part blog post series. Read the introduction post here or the next post here about the reasons why Squarespace is better than other CMS

Also, make sure to check out Marker.io, a visual feedback tool for web professionals

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