It’s always been a big pet peeve of mine when designers and developers don’t pay attention to what platform is the best for their clients. It’s always easy to choose your favorite platform, but it’s not going to be the right answer for every client.
This week, we’re going to chat about how to choose the right platform for each specific client and what to do if a client isn’t the best fit for the platform you’re the most comfortable with.
The worst thing you can do for your clients
The worst thing you can do for your clients is to force them onto your favorite platform, no matter what. Doing this is actually bad for both you and the client.
First, your client won’t be happy if they wanted something super simple and you gave them something really complicated. On the other hand, if they wanted room to grow in a lot of different ways and the platform you chose doesn’t allow for it, that’s going to come back in the way they view your work together.
When you should use Squarespace
Squarespace is perfect for the more tech challenged clients out there. If they want nothing to do with the internet and computers, a simple platform is definitely something they’d appreciate.
There are also a lot of really gorgeous templates that don’t need any sort of customizations. These templates are built and supported by Squarespace and clients can get set up super quickly without much hassle.
The drag-and-drop feature on Squarespace is also extremely useful for a lot of clients. The websites you create will be nice and easy for them to customize and it’s nice and visual.
And last, Squarespace has really amazing customer support. Their support team is there to answer questions, which can also save you sometime!
The first downside of Squarespace is that it has limited advanced features. While they are adding new features often, it can be very limiting to certain clients for things like course and membership sites, advanced ecommerce platforms, and anything custom.
Squarespace also doesn’t have any plugins. What you see is what you get unless and outside tool allows you to embed their functionality.
Next, it can be hard to create a totally custom look, leading to a lot of cookie-cutter looking websites. It’s totally possible, but there aren’t many people out there who know how to make a completely custom site.
And last, Squarespace has a few SEO limitations. It’s totally possible to have good SEO on Squarespace, but there aren’t helpful SEO plugins like you’re going to find on WordPress. And for the more tech-challenged people, having a tool that makes SEO easier would be a helpful thing to have.
Who Squarespace is great for
Let’s talk about a few clients who Squarespace is great for:
- The total beginners who want something easy without all the bells-and-whistles
- Clients who will need hand-holding and your help with everything
Who Squarespace is not-so-great for
On the other hand, there are a few types of clients who might not be the best fit for Squarespace:
- People who want lots of flexibility and choices
- Clients who need the freedom to have special features now or in the future
- Someone who wants a totally custom look
When you should use WordPress
Now let’s move into more information about WordPress, starting with the things that are great about the platform.
First, you can do just about anything you want. I’ve never had someone ask me for a feature that wasn’t possible. There are a lot of developers out there who can custom code functionalities and there are currently over 50k plugins available to allow you to easily add extra functionalities to your client sites.
WordPress is also great for getting a completely custom look easily. There are thousands and thousands of premade templates available and there are also a lot more developers out there who know how to custom code for WordPress versus Squarespace.
Now for the cons of WordPress. First, it can be complicated if you make it that way. If you shove a whole bunch of plugins onto a client site or add HTML and CSS right into a page, of course it’s going to be hard for your clients to get the hang of – it’s unreasonable to expect anything different. It’s all about the way you make the site, your coding experience, and the tools you use.
Next, another downside is that security is totally up to your client. They need to have a good webhost, strong passwords, security plugin, do their updates, and have regular backups taken. While it’s easy once it’s set up, it can be a lot for some people to handle.
Who WordPress is great for
WordPress is great for a lot of people, including the ones who:
- Need certain advanced features
- Want freedom and room to grow in the future
- Are comfortable with technology, in general
Who WordPress is not-so-great for
And of course, there are some people who WordPress isn’t the best choice for:
- People who want to be totally hands-off after their websites are created and also are unwilling to pay someone else to manage it
- If they hate all things technology related
- If they’re total beginners and don’t need any extra features (or don’t think they will in the future)
What to do if a client isn’t a good fit for “your” platform
Now, if you’re willing to start realizing that your platform of choice isn’t the best fit for all of your clients, you’re bound to come across a situation where you run into a client who is a better fit for a different platform. Now what?
The first option is to find a friend who offers services with the other platform and refer platforms back-and-forth to each other. That way, the clients can be best served and it’s a mutually beneficial relationship between you and the person you team up with.
The second option is to work with a developer. That way, you can take care of the design and hand all the tech and coding off to someone else without having to refer any clients away. Check out episode 013 for more information on working with a developer.
- Take a few minutes to decide if you’ll refer people to another designer or work with a developer if you come across a client who is a better fit for a platform you’re not comfortable with
- If you decide you’ll refer clients to another designer, choose who that designer will be and start a conversation with them about referring clients back-and-forth
- If you decide to start working with a developer, listen to episode 013 and start looking for who you want to partner with