What To Do With Wix/Squarespace Clients?

Most of my client opportunities are artists, so they tend to gravitate towards platforms like Wix and SS. My usual attitude is to tell them to go for it if they have very basic needs, but try to discourage them as soon as I sense they want something more custom. Truth be told, I’ve never tried those platforms (I intend to do their free trials as soon as I have time) so I don’t feel 100% confident in my answers.

What’s your response to clients who ask you why they should use your services instead of just opening a W/SS account for themselves? How do you evaluate whether these platforms are a good solution for them?

I always tell them that if they go with those sites they’re stuck with them if they want to keep the content they’ve created there. To my knowledge once you leave their service there’s no way to download or keep the site without using a third party service and then you have to rebuild it from scratchh. One of our selling points is that once the site we build for them is done it’s theirs to do with as they please, if they want to move it to another host that’s totally fine with us, we’ll give them a full content export and database backup no questions asked. We never hold anything hostage behind ongoing monthly payments like Wix does and I assume SS does as well. We’ve rarely ever had a client move from our hosting but they like knowing that they have the option and the full rights to content that they actually own.

I prefer to push clients towards Squarespace if they want anything close to a brochure site. The time saved is a lot especially if they don’t want to spend money on a design and only have 3 pages worth of content..

Is there a specific point, like a specific requirement they might have, that makes you go “nop, SS is no longer a good option for you” ?

Too much content, specific functionality, large budget, complex design or even just wanting to write some code is a good enough reason.. lol. It’s easy to find reasons not to not use Squarespace, but sometimes it’s just all they need or all that will fit the budget.

Wanting to do almost anything specific (custom design, custom forms, custom functionalities, custom integrations with APIs, etc.) disqualifies Squarespace, Wix and other similar systems. Most website owners do want to do these types of specific things eventually, although they may not realize it yet. But if they are sure they just want basic brochureware with a few pages of content and they are okay with simply using available themes and not designing their own unique look from scratch then Squarespace or Wix works very well.

Squarespace and Wix have API’s and integrations you can work with.

Anything custom, or if they need some calculator or some data stored. Really anything that would require a backend.

100% A lot of times businesses say they want something basic but we all know that isn’t the case. They all have ideas.. Terrible ideas… Good luck, is the right answer.

Give them a card and a coupon for double price for when they realize and come back

My usual attitude is to tell them to go for it if they have very basic needs, but try to discourage them as soon as I sense they want something more custom.

Basically just this. I get asked for websites all the time by people starting up something really small. I’d only advise otherwise if their wish for design is really ambitious.

I’d say, go with a site builder to start your artist carreer. Go custom when you actually have a stable carreer.

Potential clients that decide on using wix or squarespace are generally trying to spend as little possible on a website as they can because they dont understand or value a good website. These clients are the ones who argue every invoice, need to be chased for payments, and get upset when you tell them a change request or support after launch will cost more money. In my experience they end up as nightmere clients and are only to be taken if you are desperate.

If a client makes a wix or squarespace site and then realizes “yeah i made the wrong choice” and then comes back and asks for a site that can do everything they need, its an easy sell.

Q: Oh so what did the site not do that you need it to do?
A: It would be really cool if it had {{ insert custom functionality here }}

Q: So how long did it take you to set up the site?
A: 10-15 hours

Q: Ok so you know how much work it is to set the site up now, I’m going to have to do that plus the custom functionality that you want, so I would estimate 30-35 hours in total for the whole site, I charge $95/hr so its going to be around $3k, sound good?
A: I guess thats what it costs… 🙁

Isn’t it possible to get a invitation link or some discount link for your clients if you have a lot of clients who tend to use these services? You could both win.

That’s one of the reasons I’m asking these questions. I’m not really a freelancer, basically my wife has a small business and I help her in my spare time ; she tells her clients she can offer them a website, and defers the coding job to me. But so far there’s only one client who actually could afford my rates. I’m thinking I might be able to make more money if I tell her clients “Okay, sure, I’ll “build” a Squarespace for you !” and charge them a minimal fee just for taking care of the setup and walking them through what they need to know.

Do it. Nothing wrong with reselling a Squarespace site if all they need is a “square space” and understand that. After doing a few, consider you could set up your own static templating system to spit out similar sites.

It’s really easy, quick and cheap to build a web presence with either service. Building even a the page brochure site that’s not a embarrassment is much more time consuming and we’ll still look a lot like every other as or wix site.

Making something that conveys your business identity and communicates your value proposition to your intended audience is an order of magnitude more work

I mostly do not even bother. Really answering those clients, even if I can talk them into using my service, I end up with clients that don’t want pay my fees, so I just send my default, email telling them good luck and that we not doing projects for those platforms, and highly advise against using it.

If it does everything they want and they don’t mind paying the extra monthly cost then more power to them.

I would be better at making a custom solution that featured back end coding. So the people that come to me wanting a nice looking site as cheap as possible and that’s intuitive I send them to wix.

The client’s you want are those who have outgrown services such as Wix and Squarespace. Maybe gear your advertising or site copy towards that end?

We build websites in wordpress, we have a setup site built with all plugins and settings already done so starting a new website is surprisingly quick.

With a custom platform you get a custom site, mainly we can make it look any style (whereas squarespace has a very specific style) and can do any complex integrations they want, like working with active campaign, infusionsoft, mailchimp, etc. We can also do webhooks, ecommerce, and everything can be designed down to the pixel as well as plugins or custom code to do pretty much anything they could want, you can’t do this with wix.

We use Divi so if the client wants to do updates on their own that is possible for them.

If their question is “why should I pay you to make me a custom wordpress site rather than make it myself on wix?” Then my question is why are we even talking? If you wanted to do it all yourself then you wouldn’t be speaking with me. You are talking to me because you want something that will wow your customers and convert them into sales. I know how to make websites that will convert your visitors into sales so the fee for my services will be recouped and start helping them to generate profit.

Not a profressional dev yet but I’d say:

a) I’m an expert and can handle it all for you (including management, bouncing ideas off, etc). Plus, I’m a small business, so you get priority support and I’m flexible – no one-size-fits-all websites here.

b) The website will look more professional

c) You can always port one of my websites to a new server and sever ties with me forever. Not possible with Squarespace/Wix.


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