Squarespace 2018 Review

23 October 2018
SquareSpace is a top rated website builder, that offers you products and services to help to advance in your online career. You can create a website, blog or online store and it would not even be that complicated. The builder provides you with all the needed tools and features to create and run a successful site. SS is an all in one platform offering services including e-Commerce, blogs, website builder and so much more. With their latest features like email marketing has moved them up on the list of top rated builders and they are still working on making their product the best. One thing is for sure, you can count on Squarespace to provide you with what you need to make your business grow.

Squarespace is currently one of the biggest competitors other than WordPress.com when it comes to website builders. 


squarespace review

Founder

Anthony Casalena is the founder of Squarespace and it was founded back in April 2003. Anthony founded Squarespace while still in university from his dorm room. He has since upgraded Squarespace quit a bit and is to this day the CEO of Squarespace.


Product Cost


With Squarespace you choose one of two options. Either an online store plan or a website plan. The website plans range anywhere from $12 to $18 in price. The online store plans range anywhere from $26 to $40 in price. All plans are paid monthly and include free unlimited hosting, an enterprise-grade infrastructure, top of the line security, and 24/7 support. You can always, first sign up to the 14 day free trial to make sure Squarespace is what you want. 


Detailed Overview

Website Design


With the drag and drop feature you can easily move images, or adjust, add, and remove sections of a page. The templates, are all optimized to work on all devices, meaning it is only necessary to create a single page. Make sure your website is perfect with tests and previews before posting it online. You can also use AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) from Google to load content faster on a mobile.

Each template has built-in integrations, so no need to struggle with navigating an app marketplace or the struggles of installing plugins. The integrations provided by Squarespace are top of the line, they include, Google Drive, Getty Images, Adobe Creative Suite and so much more.

SS offers a lot of customizable settings such as colors, fonts, page configurations and more. With this you can truly make your website unique. 



squarespace review

Domains


When purchasing a domain with Squarespace, they will include a 2048-bit SSL certificate and free WHOIS privacy for suitable TLDs. If you already have a domain, you can simply transfer it to Squarespace and still receive all of the benefits that are included when purchasing one.


squarespace reviews

Online Store


The all-in-one platform provides you with everything needed to run and grow your business. Let us have a look at the key features:

  • There is no limit to how many products or services you can offer in your online store. It is up to you.
  • Organize and manage your products with categories, tags and the drag and drop sorting tool.
  • Drive sales by letting clients engage with your products via embedded images, videos, and so much more.
  • Remind clients, via email, about items in their cart and tempt them into completing the purchase.
  • The single page checkout is optimized for mobile to make it easier for clients to buy from different devices.
  • Offer discounts, free shipping and more to further tempt clients into purchasing from your online store.
  • Squarespace offers a 128-bit SSL encryption to make sure the connection between your site and your clients’ browser is secure.
    squarespace overview
  • Get more sales by offer multiple methods of payment like credit cards, PayPal and so much more.
  • The CRM tools give you insights like order history, average order value and more.
  • Keep track of orders, revenue, units sold, and more to make informed decisions for your business.
  • The Ship-Station integration allows you to prints shipping labels in batches.
  • Provide accurate shipping cost by calculating real-time rates from UPS, FedEx, and USPS at checkout.
  • Handle refunds, fulfill orders, send shipment notifications and update stock levels while you are on the go.


Marketing


Use Squarespace Email Campaigns to stand out in any inbox.

Use Search Engine Optimization to get your site rated on the top pages and make it easier for people to find you.

With Social Integration, you can update your content once in order to share it across Twitter and Facebook simultaneously. Your visitors can share your content by making use of the Share and Pin It buttons. 

squarespace review
Customer Engagement allows you to collect info from your clients via SignUp forms, surveys, applications and much more.

Provide Maps and Information to show visitors where your business is located and to give them your business’s story.

The Squarespace Blogging functionality is complete with videos, images, galleries and audio. It comes with built-in RSS, ensuring your readers never miss a thing.

Create a Calendar or make a list of events to give your visitors the ability to RSVP from your site. 


Squarespace Analytics provides you with a single interface, from which you receive visual reports on statistics like conversion, page views, popular content, and way more. 

squarespace review

Email Marketing


Save time and avoid mistakes by importing content directly from your site to draft emails. Another upside, everything is one click away, including your products, social icons, mailing lists, logo, and blog posts. Add images to snatch the attention of the viewers or use a button to drive clicks. Use different colors and styles to fit the content of your email.

You can announce a product, share updates or send invitations yo your subscribers, and with 30 starter layouts to use, you can do all of this with style. There are even drag and drop sections to customize, so you can organize and format your content any way you see fit.

With a single, centralized dashboard, you can manage all of your email marketing, using any device. 



squarespace 2018 Review

Professional Email 

 

  • Create custom email addresses for your domain name with G Suite.
  • Your business is protected by Google’s industry-leading security.
  • Easily manage your email accounts and aliases.
  • It has never been easier to share files for input, just use Google Docs, Presentations, and Sheets.
  • Access your email and files anywhere, from any device. You can read, draft, and edit offline and then send and update when you have internet access.
  • Store your emails and files in the cloud, so you never lose your progress.

Templates


Squarespace provides only the best templates, designed by a team of expert designers. These templates are award winning, all in one template, that set the industry standard. Use the built-in custom CSS editor to apply custom CSS to any template design you choose.


squarespace templates

Support

The Squarespace customer support team are highly trained professionals that are always there to help how they can. You can receive personal support via live chat or email. The support team will be ready to help you 24/7, so no worries when you get stuck, just ask for help. 


Reviews

Pros
 

The templates are stunning and can really make a website shine.

Everything is optimized for mobile devices.

Customization is really easy and coding is not needed.

Squarespace provides an online logo maker that is simple and easy to use.   

Hosting is free, fast and reliable. 

A multitude of helpful articles, video and webinars to learn and develop ones site or store.

squarespace articles


 
















Cons

Even though the templates and so on are optimized for all devices, you cannot build and/or customize a different site for mobile devices.

The lower plans of Squarespace caps the amount of pages and products.


Bottom Line...



Not in the mood for the technical challenge of working with code? The Squarespace editor makes it super easy for newbies to build a great looking website that preforms well with the easy drag and drop editor. It only takes a couple of days to familiarize yourself with the dashboard.


 Visit SquareSpace


squarespace rating







Do you use Squarespace or have used it in the past?
Please be so kind to tell us about your experience. This will help others to make an informed decision. Thank you!
 

WordPress 2018 Review

15 October 2018
WordPress is a website builder with lots of features and tools to make building a site easier. There are three methods of how to use WordPress. One, the use of WP through a hosting company like Bluehost or DreamHost. Two, the use of WP by downloading the program to your desktop. Three, the use of WP online.

WordPress.org - this would be the main website where you will be able to download the free WP software for installation with your own hosting company and you will link your own domain to it. 


WordPress review
WordPress.com – This Platform is very similar to a blogging platform as to the way they work. Here you can use the WP platform without the need for your own hosting and domain. Unlike with WordPress.org, when building a blog on this platform, you will not have full ownership, because your site or blog will be hosted on their servers. 



This platform works in a very similar way to an online blogging platform, that will enable you to use the WP platform, but without the need for own hosting or domain. The basic features are free, but you are presented with the option to upgrade to bigger bandwidth and storage along with more advanced plug-ins and premium features.


Product Cost


WordPress.com and WordPress.org are free to use for life, however, WordPress.com gives you the option to upgrade, in order to receive more advanced plugins and features, along with more storage and bandwidth. These upgrades can cost anywhere between $4 and $25 a month.


WordPress pricing
Detailed Overview


The installation of WordPress onto your host is rather easy to do and can be done without any hassles. WordPress is highly customizable with a vast variety of widgets and plugins to choose from which in overall gives webmasters total control over their sites. WP indeed has tons of themes to choose from, and if you can't find what you are looking for, there are even more free downloads available all over the internet. WordPress allows its users to add sub-pages, making it more convenient to organize the site content. We all know that a messy blog is just about enough to chase visitor away, and by using sub-pages content can be organized neatly and attractively. Having a unique blog or site will always have a positive result.



Website Builder
 

WordPress is a very popular program, used to build website, e-Commerce and so much more. They provide you with a lot of features, tools and capabilities, including the following:
    wordPress Review
  • Built in SEO
  • Social Media Integration
  • Support in the form of Live Chats, Emails, Videos, Forums and Support Pages.
  • Custom CSS
  • Website statistics
  • Themes
  • Desktop/Mobile Apps

Website, Blog or Both -
You can either build a stand alone website, create a blog or do both, it is your choice. 

Intuitive Builder - The WordPress Editor is a fast and intuitive builder which includes HTML and Markdown support. It, furthermore, will save your work every few seconds while you are building, so you will never lose your progress.

Embed or Upload Media - The drag and drop tool allows you to well, drag and drop images onto pages and posts. This enables you to create and design stunning photo galleries. You can also embed documents, audio and so much more onto your pages and posts.

 

Domains


Domain names allow people to find your website easily, and the more unique it is the better. With WordPress you can either buy a new domain name, or transfer one that you already own. WP also allows you to connect your email with your custom domain. All you have to do is use your custom domain name in your email address. You can do so by activating email forwarding, G Suite or one of the other existing email services.


WordPress review


e-Commerce


WordPress e-Commerce offers a massive amount of e-Commerce options, from a fully customizable online store to one click payments. They allow you to go crazy when creating your online store and the only limit is your imagination. It is way easier to accept payment when using WP and you can literally sell any product anywhere in the world. They even provide every tool needed to create an online store including extra. E-Commerce could not be made simpler. 



Wordpress reviews


Themes


WordPress has hundreds, if not thousands of themes to choose from, and the ability to customize them to your liking. Some are free and some have to be paid for.



wordpress 2018


Hosting


Hosting is included with every plan, even the free one (WordPress.com). The WP Hosting is fast and reliable, and you do not need to worry about downtime. Most hosting companies offer WordPress hosting to make life a bit easier for everyone. 


Plugins


WordPress offers you thousands of plugins to make everything simpler, easier and to give you the ability to do something great. WordPress comes with thousands of plugins included, plus the option to download and install even more. I will not list them all, due to the fact that there are so many.

  • Essential SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • WordPress.com stats (Our version of Google Analytics)
  • Akismet (Advanced anti-spam security)
  • Embeds (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more)
  • Advanced Commenting (Comment likes, user mentions, notifications, and more)
  • Backup & Export (24/7 backup of your entire site)
  • Advanced galleries (Tiled, mosaic, slideshows, and more)
  • Extended Widgets (Flickr, Eventbrite, Google Calendar, Twitter, and more)
  • Extended Shortcodes (Video, audio, and more)
  • Form builder (Contact forms)
  • Email subscriptions (Follow button)
  • Likes (For Posts) 
wordpress review


Google Apps


With Google Analytics, you will get detailed statistics showing you where your visitors are coming from and if they are responding to your marketing efforts.

Improve your site’s performance and your workflow with the G Suit integration. 


wordpress overview


The Google Search Console allows you to see your site in a way similar to how a search engine does. This gives you the ability to optimize your site for maximum traffic and success.

Write, edit, and collaborate in Docs with Google Docs for WordPress.com. You can then save it as a blog or post on any WP site. No more copy and paste hassles, all content will transfer from Docs to WP.

Manage your media and save content on web storage with Google Photos. This will allow you to browse, search and copy images from your Google account straight to your WordPress blog posts and pages, rather that uploading it over and over again. 




wordpress review
Pros

WordPress.com offers a lifetime free version for those who cannot afford it.

They have plenty of useful add-ons, plugins and extensions.

They offer thousands of theme options that are rather easy to customize.

Because of the fact that WordPress is such a popular program, most third party companies and tools offer WordPress integration.

"Go by WordPress.com", where experts share their knowledge on building and growing a successful web presence.



Cons

It can take some time for beginners to learn to use WP.

A bit of basic HTML and CSS knowledge will be needed to use WordPress. 



Bottom Line...
 

Within this WordPress Review I had pin out the most important factors when it comes to deciding on a blogging platform. In over-all, most individuals do favor WP above all the other platforms for it had gained great popularity within the last years. When you are thinking about building a serious online business, I would most defiantly recommend downloading the WordPress software onto your own Host for the most popular ,but also successful marketers choose this method when it comes to creating a niche or market based online business. WP enables you to express or brand yourself, business or products in a unique way.

Struggling to find a reputable Hosting Company? Feel free to check out The Best Hosting Providers in 2018








Have you used WordPress in the past or present?

Please be so kind to leave a comment and tell us about your experience. Always nice if a opinion is not one sided and shared by many, it will help others to make the right decision and save time and money. Thanks!

Shopify 2018 Review

Update: 11 October 2018
Are you looking for an online store builder? I recommend Shopify, seeing as it is the best rated e-Commerce website builder in the world and really, who would not want the best. With 14 years of experience in dealing with clients and their sites, you can be sure that they are reliable and that they focus on providing what their clients need. Shopify offers you countless amounts of stunning tools and features, with stunning themes and support if you need it. Now before you make the decision of if this product is the right one for you or not, let me tell you the ups and downs of Shopify ensuring you can make the right call. 


shofipy review


Founders


Daniel Weinand, Scott Lake and Tobias L├╝tke founded Shopify back in 2014. 


Product cost


Shopify has a free trial or you can choose one of the bigger plans which will cost you between $29 and $299 per month. They also have ShopifyPlus and ShopifyLite. Now ShopifyLite will cost around $9 and ShopifyPlus depends on your needs and so forth, but can range up or more that $2000. 


shopify pricing

Detailed Overview 


Online Store builder


Shopify will provide everything you will need to create and run your online business. It is rather fast and simple to set up your site, all you have to do is pick a theme, provide your products and starts selling. It is even possible to make a sale on the same day you signed up. 


You can also customize the themes and so on, giving your site a more glamorous look. All updates are done automatically, leaving you to receive the latest features without any hassle. 


shopify review


Social Media


Shopify websites are integrated with social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and so forth. This allows your Facebook fans to browse and purchase products from you without having to leave Facebook.

Products


With Shopify, you can manage your inventory, track stock counts and stop selling products once the inventory runs out. Customers can also order and download digital products directly from your online store.

It is always best to offer different alternatives to your products such has different sizes, colors, materials and so much more. Each alternative can have a different price depending on its weight, SKU or the inventory you have left. You can, furthermore, organize your products by category, sales, types, season and so on. There is absolutely no limit to the amount of products you can sell with Shopify. Shopify also gives you the ability to add multiple images of your products, so you can display them properly and show off a bit. 


Customer Groups and Accounts


It is very easy to keep content organized with Shopify. You can place your customer info into categories based on purchase history, location and so much more, it is totally up to you.

Persuade customers to return to your online store, by giving them the ability to create an account upon checkout. 


Blog


Simply make use of the blogging platform provided by Shopify to, get involved with your client community, create lookbooks, encourage discussions, moderate comments and publish articles.


Gift Cards, Coupons and Discount Codes


Create gift cards, coupons and discount codes to up sales and attract new potential customers. You can even boost client loyalty.

These coupons and discounts can offer your clients free shipping, a percentage/certain amount off the original price or a buy one get one free deal, the choice is up to you. 


shopify features

Credit Cards, Payments and Checkouts


Shopify joins with over 100 different types of payments around the world, from PayPal to Bit Coin. You can accept credit cards and receive notifications when someone is paying you. Seeing as Shopify is certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, you can accept Mastercard, Visa or any other credit card for that matter. This also means that your client's credit card data will be secure.

The checkout process is extremely simple, all your clients have to do is place their order and checkout, moreover, checkout can be done in 50 languages, if not more, so any customer anywhere in the world can use your store. 


Advertising


Shopify has partnered with Google, so for every $25 you spent, you will receive $100 in the form of advertising to help you be more successful. 


Taxes


Shopify will automatically take care off major country and state tax rates, so you do not need to worry about it. 


shopify review

Shipping


Your shipping rates can be set up in multiple different ways, such as weight based, tiered, fixed rates or even location based rates. You can, furthermore, enlarge your customers average order size by providing free shipping when and order surpasses a certain amount of your choosing.

Users of the advanced Shopify plan will receive shipping rates for all major shipping carriers like FedEx and USPS. 


Themes


Shopify has over 100 free and premium e-Commerce templates to choose from when building your site, including fashion, electronics and jewelry themes. These themes are created by world renown designers such as Clearleft, Pixel Union and Happy Cog. In addition, each theme comes with its own set of setting, so you can customize it to your liking while having a preview of the theme while you are working on it. Each theme will be automatically integrated into social media, so your clients can spread the word. 


Fulfillment


Set up a custom Fulfillment solution or connect to one, like Amazon, Shipwire or Rakuten Super Logistics. You can either fulfill single or multiple orders with just one click, making daily order management easy. 


Hire an Expert


The Shopify Experts are approved e-Commerce developers, designers and marketers that can help you make your online business a gigantic success. 


Need a web designer?


If you are struggling a bit or need some help, no problem, just talk to one of the Shopify experts and they will help you any way they can. 


Analytics


Keep track of your sales and progress with the use of the built in analytics offered by Shopify. Use this info to make very important decisions about your business.

The Dashboard shows you your sales, traffic and orders, so you can make the correct decisions for your online store.

Get Product Reports to examine and gain insight into the growth of your store, and see which of your products are selling and which are not.

Export Reports to get analyzed in your personal best spreadsheet tool, or the reports can be sent to a bookkeeper/accountant for further review.

Track your sale, referrals and visits with the use of Google Analytics, which works with your online store.

Receive Traffic/Referral Reports, so you can see where your visitors are from and how they found your store.


shopify stats

Domain Name


You can choose to use your own domain name, or you can purchase one from Shopify. It is fairly easy to buy and manage a domain with Shopify and the configuration along with the setup is completely automated. Set up a primary domain, but choose one that is memorable to use as the face of your online business. You can, in addition, manage your sub-domains, email forwarding, remove domains from the store and renew any of your domain names without a hassle.



shopify reviews

Oberlo


Oberlo helps you Find Products and add them right into your Shopify store, so you can start selling them immediately.

Oberlo will hold on to your products until shipping leaving you Free of Inventory.

Once you sell products, Oberlo will handle packaging and shipping, leaving you Free of Packaging.

Is Oberly really that easy? Well, it is. Oberlo is able to do all mentioned above, because they are experts in drop shipping. They do it all. 


Hosting


Shopify provides you with free hosting no matter which plan you choose. It has unlimited bandwidth and you do not need to worry about downtime, because they keep excellent uptime.


shopify hosting

Support


Shopify provides you with 24/7 support via email, phone or live chat. They even ask others to rate their support experience and then make it public for all to see, because they want you to have the highest possible service quality. 


Community and Help Center


Shopify has a community where anyone can get involved in the discussions on all kinds of topics, such as marketing strategies, accounting tricks, choosing a payment gateway and so much more.

The Shopify Help Center contains the step by step answers to commonly asked questions. They also have user guides and tutorials to help and teach you. 



shopify help

e-Commerce University


e-Commerce University is like a school about e-Commerce sites and so forth. They offer you video series, ebooks, webinars and so much more, to teach you about every aspect of the online business industry. You get to learn how to build, launch and grow online businesses and how to generate more traffic and sales. You, moreover, get the chance to go behind the scenes and learn from entrepreneurs that are already successful. 



shopify training

SSL Certificate


You will receive an SSL certificate, free of charge, no matter which plan you decide to take. This will make sure that you and your customers’ info is secure and protected. 



Mobile App


The Shopify mobile app allows you to literally take your store on the go. You can view all important info from your Android or IOS device without the hassle. Keep track of your sales statistics, check up on your orders, customer data and view products. The app also gives you the ability to do the following:

  • Update your store.
  • Manage your inventory.
  • Capture payments and Fulfill orders.
  • Look up and Contact customers.
  • Add products and change prices.

These days, most people cannot live without their mobile devices, so it is only fitting that your online store can be accessed and browsed from a mobile device. All Shopify plans include a free mobile commerce shopping cart so customers can make use of your store on the go.


shopify mobile

Email Marketing


Shopify integrates with MailChimp, so they give you multiple email marketing options. This allows you to notify customers of upcoming sales, new products and more. You can even customize your emails with email templates.


SEO


Potential clients must be able to find your store through the use of search engines, which is why Shopify supports SEO practices such as customizable H1, meta tags and title. They even generate sitemaps.xml files automatically, so your new products and site changes will show up on search engines quickly.


Free Tools


There are a lot of free tools, if not hundreds, and I tried listing them all, but it just ended up looking like a grocery list.

  • Logo maker- Create a logo that belongs to you.
  • Business name generator- With the use of science, they will help you find the perfect business name.
  • Slogan maker- Discover a slogan that is catchy and fits your brand.
  • QR code generator- This will generate QR codes for your business that can be read on a mobile phone.
  • Terms and conditions generator- Generates a list of things that are and are not allowed on your site.
  • Privacy policy generator- This will help you build a bullet proof privacy policy for your business.
shopify tools

 


Shopify Apps


Shopify App Store provides you with over 2400 apps, some free, some paid for and some paid for, but with free trials. Once again, I only list a few to avoid a long list.

  • Ampify Me
  • Facebook Marketing
  • Oberlo
shopify overview

Pros

The Hosting is excellent.

They offer a wide variety of features.

Their customer support is outstanding.

The ShopifyLite provides you with the better part of the basics at a reasonable price.

They have a wide range of templates that are stunning.

Cons

The pricing can be a bit steep, but you do get quality.

Once you cancel, your store and content will be deleted.

For every sale you make, Shopify charges a transaction fee, unless you use Shopify payment.

Bottom Line...


Not in the mood for the technical challenge of working with code? Shopify makes it super easy for newbies to build a great looking website that preforms well with the easy drag and drop editor. It only takes a couple of days to familiarize yourself with the dashboard. Most definitely the platform to use if you are serious about eCommerce.


Visit Shopify






 

Do you use Shopify or have used it in the past?
Please be so kind to tell us about your experience. This will help others to make an informed decision. Thank you!