How I work with clients and Squarespace
I work in both WordPress and Squarespace. But because it's relatively new, Squarespace isn't used as much by designers as WP. I have had several enquiries lately about how it works so I thought that I'd explain a little more here.
I hope that reading this post might encourage you to explore Squarespace and think about how it compares to WordPress (I will blog on that shortly so check in about that) and if it suits your product. I think it works very well for any business that finds themselves visually marketing their work. If you're finding a high follow on Instagram or your Facebook photo library gets great results then you may find Squarespace is perfect for you. This is because it's very visually led with a great CRM system.
- Create a trial site. Squarespace offers a 14-day free trial to anyone interested in creating a site on their platform, which is helpful from a designer perspective because it allows me to create a website draft without you having to purchase anything at the outset. What's great about being a Circle member is that I have a longer trial period so we have more time to play! Six months in fact! That said I try to streamline my work into a neat 3 week period.
Customise the job. We can either work with your existing brand or I can design your brand and collateral items. Once that's completed and signed off, I create a new trial site under my own Squarespace account to create a mockup of your new website. If you already have a website in Squarespace and you want to change it over to another template then I can do that too. A trial site allow me to experiment with the layout and change up the design without messing up or taking down your current site in the meantime.
For the clients who are transferring over to Squarespace from other platforms like Wordpress or Blogger, trial sites allow me to demonstrate what Squarespace can do before transfer and check it suits before going ahead.
Choosing a template. Squarespace has different categories for templates (businesses, portfolios, restaurants) which allows me to sort through them, but the trick is to never stick with those categories (apologies to the person at SS who does this job!) I never let those suggestions prevent me from using a design (if a template is listed under “photographer,” I won’t rule it out because it'll almost always be great for a salon, a cafe or anything with great content to photograph). I focus more on the layout and functionality of each template and take a peek at the feature index of each one to see what it’s capable of and determine whether it would be a good fit. What's great too is that Squarespace also provides examples of other companies who’ve used the platform. This means you can see the actions of the template and gaining ideas for how you might be able to use it.
Coding - what's that? This is a big difference with other platform and Squarespace. Many of the Squarespace themes decide the spacing and so scant coding is required. With WordPress I will wireframe designs and sketch the site. With Squarespace I skip right into the design. The trial site is really a first proof or interactive rough which allows me to work through the layout and functionality of the site.
I do map out a wireframe beforehand - based on the information you've provided me with to work out how the site will function. I list the pages, work out which ones will be included in the main navigation and which will be unlinked, plus calls to action to create a flow for users.
Applying content. This can be placeholder text but I really prefer to work with real content so I'll ask you to send over some copy and images via We Transfer, Google or Dropbox so we can see how your material works in real time. I'll ask you to match to the wireframe so that I can understand what you'd like to go where, this saves time.
Preview time! The fun part where I get to add in your logos, images and you can preview the site once I'm complete on a trial URL.
Approval. Once you've said you like it, I can transfer the site to your domain name and the site becomes yours after a walk through and handover.
And if you're worried it's too complicated, then do look here. This group have never blogged, texted or set up a website before and they are now, in their seventies, telling the world about their book via Squarespace thanks to all of the above steps.