Lithium Design & Squarespace
Lithium design is a dedicated Squarespace developer for startup and small business websites. This very website is built on Squarespace and here are all the reasons why your small business website should be too!
What is squarespace?
Squarespace is a content management platform (CMS) and website hosting company and most recently started selling and managing domains (the URL or address of a website).
Squarespace is much like Wordpress although it is not open source (free) like Wordpress, its a paid only service, which means its developed with investment generated from subscriptions making it secure and stable, which is essential when your livelihood is potentially going to be dependant on it. WIX is also a paid for service but does not have a native responsive builder, which basically means websites built on WIX are not always mobile handheld device friendly, this is a must in today's website arena.
This page lists many reasons why we use Squarespace and not other CMS providers and also shows you what you get when you choose Lithium Design for your next startup or small business website project.
10 Killer Features of Squarespace
1. Responsive Layout Engine
The majority of web traffic today is generated via tablet's or mobile devices; this means having a responsive design, which automatically sizes and changes layout according to the size of the screen of the device being used to browse your site is paramount, having a site that looks great on desktop only, just won't cut it, here's why.
Google's algorithm for crawling, categorising and ranking websites on their search engine results page (SERP) now takes mobile-friendly websites into account, if your website is not mobile friendly, Google will rank your site less than one that is.
Check if your existing website is mobile friendly, using Google's mobile-friendly checker below.
The Squarespace layout engine and responsive framework allows us to create you beautiful websites that look stunning on any device, no matter what the size or orientation.
2. Image Management
Imagery and graphics make up a lot of a website's design, so managing these images is important, for not only how your site looks but also performs. Squarespace generates several scaled versions of each original image file uploaded. The image loader detects and selects the appropriate image size to load for every device and screen - including Apple devices with Retina Displays.
Squarespace ensures imagery and content at the top of a page load first, making your website render faster and more responsive to visitors, ensure they stick around longer. All images on Squarespace are hosted with a global content delivery network (CDN) that reduce load times by utilising hundreds of geographically distributed servers.
Squarespace allows us to define the focal point of every image, ensuring the perfect crop for thumbnails or resized images. We also have full control over image file names across the system, ensuring we have complete control over image-based Alt tags, improving Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
3. Connected Services
Squarespace connects seamlessly with the majority of social profiles and other third-party services. Squarespace can authenticate with your social profiles, allowing you auto-post your content to Twitter, Facebook (personal or brand page), or Tumblr. All post entries and images are optimised and tagged properly, so descriptions and titles will be correctly referenced, all bettering SEO.
We can link accounts from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Dropbox, Foursquare, Instagram, Flickr, 500px, Youtube, Vimeo, Linkedin, Dribbble, Github, Pinterest, SoundCloud, Spotify, Bandsintown, Behance, Codepen, Medium, Meetup, Rdio, Twitch, Vevo, Vine, Vsco, or Yelp. We can also link to your iTunes or Google Play Store.
Squarespace allows us to authenticate with your social profiles, letting you auto-post, simultaneously your content to Twitter, Facebook (personal or brand page), or Tumblr.
4. Blogging done brilliantly
As with all Squarespace pages, all Content Block types (text, image, gallery, video, audio, etc.) are available for use within each blog entry. Logs are syndicated via RSS and fully integrated with readers such as Flipboard, Feedly, and others. RSS is automatically installed in every Blog Page for easy reader support.
The Squarespace blogging platform supports a configurable sharing button, letting your visitors share content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Pinterest, and Tumblr. We can also make it easy for visitors to add your feed to their newsreader by adding a subscribe button anywhere on your website or blog post.
The Squarespace integrated commenting system supports threaded comments, and all comments have individual like counts. You can set your comments to be sent to a moderation queue before they are shown live on your website. Commenters have avatars and can authenticate from multiple social networks to provide their identification. Comments can be flagged by readers to identify spam or trolls. Comments can be automatically moderated upon reaching a certain flag count.
5. E-Commerce (Selling products and services online)
There is no limit to the number of products you can sell through Squarespace, allowing you to sell digital products, physical items, or services using a single interface. Digital products are delivered via customized email links that expire within 24 hours.
Use a unified inventory management interface with unlimited SKUs, multi-dimensional product variants (such as size and colour), and sale prices. Set up your store with templates designed to help you sell, with Image Zoom on product images and Quick View in product lists to give shoppers the best browsing experience.
Accept credit and debit cards in your online store with Stripe. You can also accept additional payment methods at checkout such as Apple Pay and PayPal. Squarespace’s single page checkout is optimised to look great on all devices, making it easy for your customers to buy wherever they are. Our checkout is integrated with Google Place Autocomplete to make entering addresses super fast for your customers.
Allow your customers to create accounts and sign in for a faster checkout. With this feature, you can increase sales from repeat buyers and build ongoing rapport with your customers. Gift cards are a special product that recipients can use as payment for orders from your online store. Every purchased gift card has a unique code when a customer purchases a gift card, they can email the code to their recipient or themselves.
Understand your customer base with insights such as total spend, average order value, and more about each customer. Easily sort your customers to identify your best customers, ones that haven’t purchased in a while, and more.
Squarespace has full integration with Google Analytics, plus a native analytics app.
See how your visits, unique visitors, and pageviews trend over time and gain insight into the top traffic sources, products, device types, browsers and operating systems by visits. Quickly identify the top performing content on your website.
Learn where your visits and sales are coming from. Analyse which channels, like Search or Social, are most effective. You can also dig into specific referral links to see which press articles and posts result in the most traffic or sales.
Track how key performance metrics, such as Revenue, Units Sold, Orders, Visits, Conversion Rate, Average Order Volume, and Revenue Per Visit, change over time. Segment your sales by the top-selling products, traffic sources, device type, and more.
Squarespace analytics monitors your Page Views, Visit Counts, and Visitor Counts, including raw, unique, and robot hits. Website statistics are computed every few minutes for a real-time view of your numbers. This feature is available on both website page and cover page product lines. This panel tracks the success of your Abandoned Checkout emails, so you know how many checkouts were recovered as a result of automated emails. This feature is available in the Commerce product line.
7. IOS and Android Apps
Unique to Squarespace, they offer the use of a range of native mobile apps available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. These apps allow website owners the option of managing and adding to their site while on-the-go, and they come free of charge, these apps are:
Squarespace Blog app lets you add blog posts and moderate comments on the go.
You can also share blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest from within the blog app.
This app allows you to see, validate and process orders from your site store on the go; you can also update inventory. The commerce app also works as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system as all of your customers contact detail and products they have bought are viewable via the app.
This app is only available on IOS (iPhone and iPad) and synchronises images from your Squarespace galleries and stores them on your mobile device, so you don’t need to rely on an internet connection.
This means if you have a product catalogue, or portfolio or gallery; you have a beautiful means to display or show it clients, and its always up to date.
This app allows you to monitor real-time statistics and analytics from your site, so you can see what blog posts are working, which is your most viewed content and overall stats of your site.
You can also access multiple websites from the single analytics app if they are all built on Squarespace.
8. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is a marketing method focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results (SERP). SEO incorporates both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase recognition in search engines. Other than writing unique, relevant and thoughtful content,
Squarespace generates proper rel="canonical" tags that ensure search engines are picking up the proper versions of your pages when content exists at more than one URL.
We have full control over the ordering of your page titles, including the ability to create different title schemes for your homepage, item pages, and collection pages and all primary pages on your Squarespace site contain clean URLs that are easily indexed and read. Squarespace also allows us to generates proper Facebook open graph tags to be used when your links are shared on social services.
Squarespace is a paid service that aggressively fights spam. If you are using a free service that is a target for spammers, you potentially run the risk of being falsely grouped with other spam sites.
9. Security, Stability & Scale
All websites that Lithium builds on the Squarespace CMS are Secure, utilising Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and HTTP Secure (HTTPS), which is an adaptation of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) for secure communication over a computer network.
Security is a top priority for Google. They invest a lot in making sure that their own services use industry-leading security, like strong HTTPS encryption by default. That means that people using Search, Gmail and Google Drive, for example, automatically have a secure connection to Google. Google also ranks websites that use HTTPS better than those that don't.
Every system in the Squarespace infrastructure participates in serving all of our websites, so your site is powered by the same infrastructure that powers sites with millions of pages viewed a day. Caching? Partial rendering? Load balancing? Scaling? It’s all handled on a grid of servers that already serves millions of hits per day.
No additional caching plugins are required for your Squarespace website. Everything is built in, and you do not need to optimise anything. While you can run your own ads or make money with your site if you’d like, we do not sell or run ads against your content. Your site is yours. You own all of the content you put on the Squarespace platform.
Squarespace constantly develop for the future, they also ensure that their core layout engine and supporting code is always cross browser compatible. This means you don't have to.
The future proofing doesn't stop there, Squarespace also constantly develop new integrations with third party apps and services, such as:
- G Suite - Google mail, drive and photos for business
- Mailchimp - mailing and newsletter service
- Zola - Wedding list services
- ChowNow - Ordering for restaurants and takeaways
- OpenTable - Restaurant reservations
- Acuity Scheduling - Any for of scheduling and calendar integration
- Xero - Integrating commerce to your accounting software
- Amazon - Associate product block integration
- Soundcloud - for all music lovers, bands and musicians