Your content won't be better because you put your blog on WordPress.
Oh, some arguments are just tired...
Let me tell you my little story about how I almost left Squarespace over a measly $288 savings, and why I decided that was just effing stupid and got back to work instead.
At the beginning of this year I had this "expenses dilemma".
I've got three kids, so I spend a boatload of money on childcare. To save some money in other areas, I decided I'd at least try to cut back on expenses. But also increase production...
So, I saw how much I was spending on Squarespace—my website platform—yearly (which, for what you get isn't bad at all).
But, for the sake of this production experiment, I wanted to see where I could make some financial changes. And since I'm a front-end developer, paying for a drag-and-drop platform wasn't really necessary.
My husband has his own server that's fully capable of hosting my site on. Great. Now my options are open to several external host-needing platforms.
WordPress was a mess to tinker with, and I just wanted to streamline.
So, we figured that I could just learn to code [better] than I already could and that'd solve all the remaining things—outside of storage... I'll get to that.
There were plenty of resources available that offered a basic skeleton code to build your site off of for free, sure. But after about two weeks of research and tinkering, I realized this was going to be one of the stupidest business moves I've ever made...
Why was I doing this again? To save $288 dollars a year?
Not worth it.
I'm a writer and a graphic designer and an entrepreneur and a teacher and a coach—I just want to get what I need to get done and not have to worry about all the "backend stuff".
Writing every blog post in Markdown isn't going to help my workflow in the least.
(Especially not for $288 a year. Amazon's storage costs for all my images was going to cost well over Squarespace's all-in-one platform, anyhow.)
It was a smarter decision for me to stick with Squarespace and focus on the things that actually matter when it comes to saving money and making more money, while also keeping production high.
(If I really wanted to save that $288, I could just skip Starbucks for 2 to 3 months.)
The point I'm making is this:
Your content won't be any better if you're writing it in Markdown or HTML or publishing it on your WordPress website or Wix or Squarespace or Jekyll or blah, blah, blah.
Your quality content relies on you. If you add all these extra steps into the mix, you're asking for something essential to go wrong or get lazy on.
Content is not one of those things to downslide on.
Now literally an all-in-one platform, Squarespace is my top recommendation to anyone looking to focus on content and marketing their business, and not get tied up (or down) on all the technical aspects of building a website.
For the next few sections, I'm going to walk you through how to start a Squarespace website from:
- Choosing your template
- Starting your free trial
- Navigating the Squarespace platform
- Setting up basic pages and info on Squarespace
Tomorrow I'll show you how to easily create content for your entire site and blog whenever you need it. But first, focus on getting some design ideas and tips from a Squarespace-a-holic.
Grab the Squarespace Website Walkthrough Checklist to guide your blog and website setup process.
[ Includes the Start A Blog eCourse, also free ]
Choose The Right Template For You
Cool thing is, you can start with any template and switch whenever you want to.
Admittedly that was one of the biggest reasons why I never stuck with Wix. It's a decent enough platform, but if you change your mind you have to manually migrate your content over to a new template.
No thanks. Who has time for that?
Squarespace let's you start with whatever template you want and change whenever you want to change. (Love it.)
SIDE NOTE: Your Squarespace account cannot be run from a mobile device. They offer mobile apps for blogging and note taking, but you can't work on your site from a mobile device.
If you're ready to get started right now, make sure you're doing this from a desktop computer or laptop.
Okay, back on subject:
You can use the categories in the sidebar to navigate what template could work best for you.
You can also sort by the Featured, Latest or Most Popular templates, too.
Or you could check out this insanely detailed chart by Miko Coffey of Using My Head.
[Okay, last one...]
Or, you could take a gander at my top 4 template choices and why:
Sara's Top SS7 Template Choices (And Why)
The Pacific Template
This bad boy is a modern and strong choice for bloggers, eCommerce sites—really, the lot of online entrepreneurs.
You can set up a one-page, continuous scroll site with lots of dimension, or you can get into complex page building with this template.
(I use it on this site, actually.)
The only "problem" is that it doesn't support sidebars on any pages. If you're anything like me, that doesn't matter one stinking bit.
Otherwise, this is a fantastic starting and running point for the visuals-loaded site owner.
The FIVE Template
This is one of the most "flexible" templates available.
If you like to play around with a little CSS and HTML, this is the site for you.
It supports full left and / or right sidebars on every page (if you're a sidebar person—which I'm not in the least), and is a great "classic" template to get started with at any level.
(I used FIVE on my LifeViaSara website, and recently switched to the Skye template—that's listed here, too.)
The Bedford Template
Why Bedford? Well, if you don't want to deal with Index pages on the Pacific template to create buttons over background/banner images, then Bedford is for you.
Plus, unlike Pacific, Bedford offers a sidebar option on your blog if a sidebar is something you really want to have.
It's a simple and easy-to-manage template that I had as the first template when launching Goff Creative, actually.
The Skye Template
A template I've now riddled with Custom CSS (Oops...), the Skye template is a beautiful and simple display for bloggers and designers.
Simple. Beautiful. Functional—which was the old tagline for design business, but it works here too.
(If you decide to go with this one and you want some custom codes for it, I've got a plethora. Email me and ask. They're yours if you want them.)
And, as promised, here's a simple walkthrough of how to get started with your first Squarespace website (in graphic format):
And once you've got all the basics started, here are a few Squarespace-based resources to help you progress in your layout, design, and content setup:
Design Tools & Tips (On Goff Creative)
- [Infographic] Stand Out On Pinterest: 7 Things You Should Do To Create Pin-able Images
- 12 Tools I Use To Rock My Solopreneur Business
- The Blog Blueprint: 5 Must-Haves To A Successful Blog
- The Truth About Your Blog Sidebar: A Sales Machine Or A Lead-Murdering Distraction?
- 6 Blog Changes That Tripled My Email Opt-In Rate In Less Than 4 Weeks (Twice)
P.S. Comments, emails, running a business and being a mom of 3 were just too much for me to handle. So, blog comments got the boot. But the lack of a comment box doesn't mean I don't want to hear what you think! Share your thoughts with me via @GoffCreative on Twitter or directly via email.
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