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Squarespace: Is it right for you?

CMS Review Part 2

by maiya
published on 01.05.2016
Colorful cubes scattered on the table

When building websites for clients, we focus on how the end user will experience the site, and how our clients will be able to manage the backend and have a tool that serves their ongoing needs. We rely on a few different Content Management Systems (CMSs) to provide this backend infrastructure, and choose the platform specifically according to clients needs. But what are all of these systems and why do we choose one over the other? We discussed the benefits of WordPress in a previous post. Here, we explain Squarespace.

Here are two Squarespace-based sites we’ve created: and


  • Nice clean simple templates that are mostly responsive and lightweight.
  • Hosting included, Squarespace charges a $20-30 monthly fee.
  • No ongoing maintenance necessary since security and updates are managed by Squarespace.
  • “DIY” styling, however if you engage us to help develop a Squarespace site, we’re likely customizing the styling in the code so the Squarespace style editor is not necessary.
  • *Easy* drag and drop content arrangement (this is a pro for some, but can quickly become dangerous for others—see cons below).


  • Limited flexibility for customization—we can customize most of the look and feel, but the functionality and custom content types are limited.
  • Glitchy backend UI—sometimes the edit buttons don’t appear immediately, or it’s confusing to determine which edit buttons correspond to a certain content area.
  • No revision history or “undo” capabilities.
  • No backups that allow easy reverting.  
  • *Easy* drag and drop—unfortunately it’s really easy to move something out of place and not know how to correctly format it. The flexibility is a bonus if you are familiar with the setup, but can be cause undue frustration if you’re not.  


We recommend Squarespace for:

  • Clients who have a very simple site or standard informational site (e.g., a wedding site, simple restaurant, or photography portfolio) that fits right into one of Squarespace’s templates.
  • Clients who will update their site relatively infrequently, and when they do, only make minor adjustments to text or photos.  Or, for those who are up for a little more DIY and can pay attention to detail so nothing gets snapped out of place during updates.
  • Those with a smaller budget who are happy sticking very close to the established Squarespace templates and have some flexibility around design constraints that come along with the template parameters.

Mangrove offers a Small Site Package to women-, BIPOC-, or other minority-owned businesses, changemakers, and non-profits. Depending on the specific requirements of the project, we may recommend Squarespace, Webflow, or WordPress. Partner with us to build a high-impact site that will establish your voice, tell your story and connect you with your audience. We want your website to be a powerful tool to accelerate your mission.

updated March, 2016

A Certified B Corp, Mangrove is a woman-owned website design and development company with a diverse, talented team distributed around the globe. We’ve been building websites since 2009 that amplify the work of change-making organizations and increase the competitive power of businesses owned by historically marginalized people.

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