Squarespace or Wordpress? How to Decide.

We build websites for our clients using their preference of Wordpress or Squarespace platforms. If you aren't sure which option is best for you, here's our synopsis.

A Summary: Wordpress vs. Squarespace

CHOOSE WORDPRESS IF:
We recommend Wordpress for clients who want or need for their website to have more advanced features or a unique look. Wordpress has considerably more template options than Squarespace, and we are able to customize each template to your unique needs. That said, the main reason most people pick Wordpress over Squarespace is because it has more capabilities and options in terms of both design and functionality.

REASONS NOT TO CHOOSE WORDPRESS:
If you are not concerned about having unlimited design options, and if you do not need more advanced features on your website, Wordpress will likely be more of a headache for you than necessary. Its' interface is not as user-friendly as Squarespace. With the more advanced features on Wordpress also comes a lot more "plugins" and code that, if not updated regularly, can really slow down a website and become a nuisance for the client. It is also not as easy to learn as Squarespace is. If you're wanting to blog or do a bit of small editing on your website on your own, most users feel that Squarespace has an easier platform to learn on.

CHOOSE SQUARESPACE IF:
Squarespace has beautiful templates that are also customizable. While the options are fewer, Squarespace is often easier for clients to maintain. Squarespace is also, often, perceived as being more user-friendly. If you're someone who blogs or wants to try to do a tiny bit of maintenance work on your own, Squarespace is an easy platform to learn on, and we provide the video tutorials necessary to teach you.

REASONS NOT TO CHOOSE SQUARESPACE:
With Squarespace's more easy-to-use interface comes a lack of diversity in terms of design templates. 

Squarespace design and features can be customized, but to a limited extent. If you have more advanced features you need with a high-degree of customization, Squarespace may not be suitable.

Wordpress

Squarespace

PROS
• More design features

• More advanced widgets, plugins, and functionality

CONS
• With more design features and capabilities comes more challenge with maintenance

• Platform not as user-friendly for people newer to blogging or websites

• May take longer to build resulting in increased costs for the client\

PROS
• 
Very user-friendly platform

• Built-in system updates, backups, and SEO

• Don't have to deal with manual updates and maintenance issues as is common with Wordpress

CONS
• Not as many options in terms of design

• Has the ability to customize things, but sometimes not to the degree necessary for clients

 

What to know before requesting a logo.

You decided that a logo would add some extra personality and professionalism to your website (we agree). Here are some questions to consider when communicating your logo concept to your designer:

  1. What text do you want in the logo (if any)? Your first name? Last name? Both? Initials?
  2. Do you want a symbol in addition to the text?
  3. What kind of symbols come to mind for you when you think about yourself and your brand? If you can't think of any symbols, what are 1-3 words that you would want your logo to be able to communicate about you?
  4. Do you want your logo to have a more digitized or more hand-drawn feel to it?
  5. What will you be using your logo on besides your website (business cards, social media profiles, stationary)?

How to give feedback on the first draft of your website.

We are addicted to your feedback at HKMarketing. If you are new to design, you might be unfamiliar with how to make suggestions for improvement. Here are some questions you should think about when you look at the first draft of your site. Share your feedback openly with your web designer, we call it a "draft" for a reason... your final product should be something you love!

  1. How does the home page feel to you? Show it to someone who knows little about your work/company and ask them about their first impressions. Does it convey the things you want it to? If not, how can it be improved?
  2. Do you like the layout of the menu (the links that are, usually, at the top of the page)? Does everything seem organized and in the correct order/place?
  3. Scroll to the bottom of your page. There usually will be a "footer" at the end of your website, maybe with the address of your company or other usually boring but important information. Is there any info missing here or stuff you think is unnecessary?
  4. Overall, how does the layout of the home page feel to you? Do you wish it were simpler? Does it feel empty or lacking in content? If yes, let us know what to take out or bulk up on.
  5. For each page - does the content and imagery portray the purpose of that page correctly?
  6. Are you happy with the colors that were chosen for your overall website design? If not, let us know what needs to be tweaked.
  7. Are the images that were used throughout your site appropriate? That is, do they correspond correctly with the purpose/intent? Do you wish different images were used?
  8. Do you feel like it's easy to navigate your website? If you have a blog, is it easy to view and understand how to locate different posts?
  9. Does the overall website convey your initial goal? Does it feel like you? If not, let us know what we missed.

There is no such thing as being too picky. We're all about the small details. If you have an idea for something you'd like to see in the website, but aren't sure if it's feasible... don't let that stop you from asking! Sometimes clients have very cool ideas for their website. And even if we can't make a flying spaceship pop out of the screen, we sure can work with that idea to make something unique and interesting.

How to write a personal bio that doesn't resemble a robot.

Nobody (well, few of us) love self-promoting. It can sometimes feel narcissistic or self-indulgent. But people visiting your website need and want to learn about you, so it is your job to communicate that with them as genuinely as possible. The trend over the last decade has been for professional websites to often just read like a resume. But the point of having a personal website is to add more depth to your profile and help outsiders understand the person behind the long list of awards and accomplishments.

Tip #1: A personal bio should read more like a story and less like a resume. 

People are more likely to remember stories you tell than a list of awards your received. Notice if your bio includes a lot of lists in paragraph format (they're still lists!). Avoid the pseudo-resume. Your website can include a separate page for just your resume or list of accomplishments if that is important to you, but it's not the place for your bio. 

Tip #2: Think about "why" questions as much (maybe more than) "what" questions.

It's easy to list of things you do, things you're "interested" in, or things you have accomplished in your career. But often people are more interested in why you do the things you do. How was it that you wound up in the profession that your in? What motivated you to pursue that path? There might even be an interesting story there that you could weave in!

Tip #3: Avoid generic phrases.

Saying that you "are deeply passionate about your clients/patients" is not unique or memorable. So even though it may be true, it doesn't sound particularly authentic or compelling. This is why Tip #1 (telling stories) is so important. Rather than saying something generic like you care about your clients, or that you "work tirelessly for others," give a story or example that demonstrates how those generic statements are true.

Tip #4: Ignore format rules.

There are no rules that say your bio has to read in chronological order. There is no checklist of things you must include in your bio. There isn't any unwritten code that says it must be authored in a single, neat, 2-3 paragraph format. Some people do better with writing out bios in a Q&A format. Others may want to just focus on one to two things about them that are important and ignore the rest. Whatever format you choose, make sure it feels right to you and communicates the top 2-3 important things you want your viewers to know about you.

Tip #5: Find a bio you like.

If you come across a bio that resonates with you, break down what about it was interesting or compelling. If it was the structure, try gutting the bio (keep the structure) and insert your own narrative. Drawing inspiration from other websites is a great way to help you get started in writing that first daunting sentence.