squarespace is a nightmare
August 9, 2020 1:22 PM   Subscribe

And I give up. Can someone point me to another web hosting service that is easy to use/customize for my needs? I've had enough of trying to make things work with Squarespace.

I am a writer, musician, and voiceover artist.

I need a website that ideally comprises of the following:

Homepage - photo and bio

Subsections - writing, music, gallery, videos, voiceover, contact

The writing section needs to allow me to add links to my published work
The music section needs to allow me to route to my Bandcamp page
The gallery needs to just be a photo gallery
The video page needs to allow me to embed music videos
The voiceover page needs to allow me to embed examples of my voiceover work
The contact page needs to contain my contact information

I don't know why this is so hard to execute in Squarespace, but I've tried like nine templates at this point and it's all very frustrating and I've had enough. Everyone tells me that Squarespace is super easy to use and that actually isn't the case at all in the slightest. Is what I need really that complicated? I don't want to have to hire a web designer - I don't have money to do that right now. Help, please, I'm tearing my hair out.
posted by nayantara to Technology (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This all seems fairly straightforward to do with hosted WordPress -- hosted so you don't have to worry as much about updates -- and one of its oodles of free themes and its (basic) gallery support and the media embedding support, with the main advantage that it's much easier to export all your content than Squarespace or Weebly or one of the other browser-based web-builders.
posted by holgate at 2:05 PM on August 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I haven't worked with Squarespace but I do web design and I am willing to help you for free provided there's no custom design/coding required and you have all the theme/plugins/graphics needed. MeFi Mail me.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:23 PM on August 9, 2020 [6 favorites]

I just rebuilt my website through Wix and found it intuitive and fairly easy. I was up and running in two days, with a fully functioning store. I also have easily embedded video and can't see any reason why you couldn't do all of what you need there. I compared Squarespace and Wix fairly deeply and found Squarespace to be too griddy and restrictive. Wix was much more flexible – allowing me to put stuff almost anywhere I wanted. (And trust me, I have a layman's definition of easy. Easy is not typing <backspace/colon something. Easy is, you want to make that sentence in that paragraph a link? Highlight it, drop down a menu and type in the place you want it to link to. Wix did that.) It also does a pretty decent job of automatically reformatting your site for phones and tablets. Message me if you'd like to take a look at what I did.
posted by lpsguy at 3:30 PM on August 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

WordPress, hosted at WordPress.com, with a built in theme is a very safe and reasonably easy way to go.

I work professionally in web development and used to always hear those Squarespace podcast ads, so I figured it must be pretty nice. When a friend asked me to help with their Squarespace site I was shocked at how difficult it was to work with. That'll teach me to believe marketing 🙄
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 5:00 PM on August 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

Squarespace's templates only really work if you run a small restaurant or have an image-focused store: Things with few words and huge pictures. The customized coding was a nightmare, and the 24-7 helpline was a joke.

So another one for Wix. I don't like their templates, really, so I started from scratch, copying the structure of a website I did like. It also took me about two days, and it was a pleasure to do. Best website I ever made, and if you have a problem, they'll answer the phone, and even pass on questions to a developer. It is, perhaps, the fifth WYSIWYG website platform that I've ever used, and the only one that was genuinely WYSIWYG. I can't recommend them enough.
posted by Violet Blue at 6:41 PM on August 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

Another vote for WordPress, either at Wordpress.com or at a managed host like WPEngine. You are not crazy -- Squarespace is the pits. I'm pretty sure the only reason they're so popular is their advertising budget.
posted by nosila at 8:01 AM on August 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ugh Squarespace made me cry. I use Weebly which I've found perfectly adequate, although based on these recommendations I might try Wix if I had it to do over again, mostly because it has a less embarrassing name.
posted by babelfish at 8:52 AM on August 10, 2020

You could get plain webhosting from a place like Namecheap and a website creation program like Xara Web Designer. It has a trial so you could check it out.
posted by Sophont at 9:45 AM on August 10, 2020

I just have to say I love Squarespace and would never ever go back to Wordpress. What you are describing can be done easily in Squarespace and I would be happy to chat with you with specific suggestions on how to do it. (Hint: use the 7.0 Brine template and build each page from scratch). I build websites for small businesses and do not recommend Wordpress as it is difficult and often expensive to maintain for most small business owners. I've dabbled in Wix and have heard anecdotally from people that use both that SqSp is better, more flexible. Memail if you'd like to chat.
posted by j810c at 11:20 AM on August 10, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks all. My step-brother who is a web developer jumped in when I texted him with some Squarespace GRAR and was able to get me a template that was easy to work with and got me started, so I'm ok for now. If I ever want to do something different, I will definitely take you up on your offer Foci for Analysis.

Thanks again. Squarespace still is the pits. 🤬
posted by nayantara at 5:37 AM on August 14, 2020

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