Squarespace template vs bespoke website

is the squarespace option right for you?

We believe that a template-based website designed and developed on the Squarespace platform is the best choice for the majority of startups and small businesses. Templates have come a long way in recent years, and we're certain that we can create a superb website that perfectly represents your brand and your business at a fraction of the typical cost.

It's important to understand the difference between a template-based website and a bespoke website that's been built and coded specifically for you from the ground up. Both approaches have their pros and cons, so we've created the comparative lists below to help you decide which option is the best fit for your needs.


Squarespace template website

Flexible options for design and layout, with some limitations (see below).

Extensive technical features and functionality, with some limitations (see below).

Can be customised extensively to reflect your brand's visual identity.

Attractive, modern and user-friendly by default.

Responsive and mobile-friendly as standard, with consistently excellent results.

Fully integrated, robust and easy to use ecommerce functionality.

Must use the Stripe online payment platform for ecommerce webstore card payments.

Search Engine Optimisation built in to the platform.

No page limits.

Hosting provided.

Website must be hosted on the Squarespace platform.

Can be set up and ready for launch in a matter of days.

Content Management System makes it easy for anyone to maintain the site and add content.

Website is hard-wired into the platform and can't be downloaded, copied or stored on the owner's computer.

Award-winning 24/7 support accessible via telephone, email or online chat.

Small subscription fee, payable monthly or yearly.

Minimal development cost.

An excellent option for startups and small businesses looking to showcase and sell their products and services.

bespoke website

Complete control over design and layout.

No limitations on technical features and functionality.

Can be designed from the ground up to reflect your brand's visual identity.

Quality depends on the skill of the developer.

Responsive and mobile-friendly functionality must be developed manually, and the results will depend on the skill of the developer.

Ecommerce functionality based on a plugin that may not be user friendly.

Can choose any service provider for processing ecommerce webstore card payments.

Search Engine Optimisation will need to be implemented manually.

No page limits.

Hosting must be purchased separately.

Website can be hosted by any service provider.

Development may take several months.

Content Management System may not be intuitive or user-friendly.

Website files, pages and all associated code are entirely the property of the owner, and can be downloaded, copied and stored on any computer.

No ongoing support.

No subscription fee (you will only pay for the initial development and the ongoing cost of hosting).

Development costs can be very high.

The better option for those who need specific and fully customisable website functionality in order to operate a particular business model.

Brandsworth does not offer bespoke website design services, but we are happy to support your website development team.


Design Limitations

Squarespace provides a large and varied catalogue of attractive website templates, which can be extensively customised to suit your brand's visual identity. However, it may not always be possible to precisely replicate a particular layout or design approach you've seen elsewhere online.

In order to guarantee a responsive, modern design and a smooth user experience, Squarespace websites tend towards a more understated and open layout. It's generally not possible to produce a densely populated and tightly spaced page.

On very rare occasions, the Squarespace template we select as our starting point may prove to have a particular design limitation that later proves to be a challenge. For example, some templates do not allow a business telephone number to be placed at the top of the home page, which may be important for your business. If there is any aspect of the design or layout that you consider to be critical to the success of your website, it's important that we know about it beforehand so that we can select the best template for your needs.

When we build your website we generate a webfont using the font that we have recommended as part of your brand guidelines. In some very rare cases the fonts that we have recommended prove to be incompatible with this process and can't be used on your website. If this happens, we will offer to either replace the font with a compatible alternative across all of your brand materials, or retain the existing material whilst sourcing the closest possible match for your website.


Technical Limitations

Squarespace supports a wide range of functionality, plugins and features, but there are some exceptions. If any of the features listed below under 'Not Supported By Squarespace' are critical for your website then Squarespace may not be the best option for you. Neither of these lists is exhaustive, and if you require a feature that isn't listed we advise you to ask us about it before committing to a package that includes website design services.

SUPPORTED BY SQUARESPACE

Ecommerce

Paypal

Promotion Codes

Basic Search Functionality

Landing Pages

Blogs

Galleries

Events Pages

Calendars

Videos

Social Media Feeds

Downloadable Files

Audio & Podcast Support

Forms

Google Maps

Analytics

Charts

NOT SUPPORTED BY SQUARESPACE

Recurring or Subscription-based Payments

Online Booking & Booking Management

Complex/Detailed Search Functionality

Customer Account Creation & Login

Tables

Paywalls

Microsites & Site Partitions

Flash

Interactive Panoramas