Be nice. Or else.
Stamford, CT Creative Director @ Jake Cooper Design Joined 9 months ago
It definitely has it's advantages and disadvantages, but my main issue is that you get locked into making a "Squarespace" site because of the limits of the formatting for the systems blocks. And in my experience, I end up having to "design" each page or post instead of just pasting in the content I want into predefined fields.
Whenever possible, I prefer to write my own theme/HTML that can be hooked up to a CMS -- more often than not, I use WordPress (but I'm experimenting with other headless / static-site builder options). My clients prefer having to just enter the fields they need to get their content up rather than being weighed down by Visual Builders or strange abstractions of a WYSIWYG.
Squarespace works best when your idea fits neatly into their templates. With the advent of tools like Jekyll, Timber for Wordpress + ACF, Forestry.io or Siteleaf -- you can get a really custom, flexible, streamlined option if you're working with a developer.
These are excellent points for making a more considered, user-focused design that effects the user experience.
I'm curious if others have ways to connect the brand, the user, and the content through design to improve the entire experience (and maybe even the purpose) of a site?
I always worry about getting locked down into the theme's features when choosing drag-and-drop options. I feel like you end up with less control over things like SEO, minification of assets, building custom admin fields (via advanced custom fields / other) to make the client's life easier when updating.
How do you all feel about drag-and-drop wordpress themes in general? I'm not knocking their value -- clearly they can make a great website -- I just tend to prefer developing custom themes for clients
Ha she had "not enough", rather than zero. True story: she went from low 5-figures to low 6-figures! Branding definitely helped get her there, but her amazing work deserves the real credit.
Thanks for reading Maciej :) let me know if there's any topics you'd like to hear about for my next article!
Thanks Benjamin, I appreciate it! Let me know if there's more topics you'd like covered in my next article
Happy to field any comments from the article!
Besides building sites Jekyll makes for a really great build tool when building themes or production sites as well. My dev/design workflow lately has been: Illustrator > Jekyll > Wordpress + Timber > Bedrock/Trellis for deployment and it works like a charm :) hope this helps!
That's certainly true -- half of Dafont.com being the operative culprit.
For newcomers I wanted to get them thinking about how they're going to use fonts to create a "voice" rather than decisively saying "this is my font, because it looks cool." But you're right -- there definitely are poorly-designed typefaces.
Happy to chat about the tips in the comments.
I completely understand -- your design considerations are definitely worth the premium
Be nice. Or else.
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