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I've looked at 8-10 builders, signed up for all the free accounts. I like Squarespace the best. It's cheaper than WIX for the same (some better) features.

Problem is... the first time my husband tried to access Squarespace he got an error message saying the site was down. He tried a couple of more times and could never get in.... I never had that problem.

Is anyone using Squarespace and what are your thoughts?

I also found the link to IndieMade on this forum. It looks really nice and seems to be comparable to Squaresqace. The price is between Squarespace and Wix.

Thoughts on Indiemade?

I'm not looking at the top packages, 1 step down.

update 4/24/18 We chose Wix and set up a site last year. Our shopping cart is through Square. They provide a free cart and processing is inexpensive. We couldn't rationalize the additional shopping/cart expense until we have enough web orders to make it worth while. We've had 1 online order.... which I'm ok with. I hate fulfilling web orders...

https://www.eclecticadventuressc.com

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Hi Sherry,

I have not used Indiemade, so can't comment on that.

But I do use Squarespace.  I've been using it for about a year and have been very pleased with it.  I especially like their mobile compatibility/responsiveness. 

I've never had any trouble with it going down, or any reports from my audience about that either.

Now I tell all my readers and clients that if they don't want to mess with the technical details (like Wordpress), then Squarespace is the way to go.

It's not an artist site but here's my own home page if you'd like to see an example:

http://www.ScottFox.com

I hope that helps.

Best,

Scott

Thank you Scott. Hopefully I can put my husband at ease.

Wow.  That looks really complicated!  Good job.

I have met Jennifer Peterson who started IndieMade.com. She is an artist with tech skills. I'd guess its been around for about 5 years. It is specifically aimed at artists with lots of artsy applications, so worth a look. I just looked at Scott's site and hadn't been there for awhile. That squarespace site looks good. I keep thinking that in my spare time (that was a joke) I'll move ArtFairCalendar.com and my other two typepad.com sites to Squarespace. It does have a more modern look.

(This site will stay here for the time being as it is a community site that supports more interaction than a regular site does.)

Hey all - Connie asked me to weigh in here though I'm not sure how much I can add to the ongoing discussion.  I'm originally a software developer who does mostly website development these days.  In the last few years, I have been developing 90% of my sites in WordPress.  Out of the more mainstream CMS's - (Drupal, Joomla, and more) - it is the easiest to develop in and the easiest for my users.  Which is critical to me as I like to develop sites and hand them over.

I'm not a huge fan of Weebly, SquareSpace or Wix because I feel hampered by them.  Then again, I like to code and am very comfortable with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.  So, I'm not a big help in deciding between those.

What I can tell you is that if you decide to to the WordPress route - there are tools out there that make it extremely easy to use.  You just need to know which themes and plugins to use.  I believe that is over half the battle with WordPress.  Unfortunately, the best ones are not free so if cost is an option...

Here are my recs:

  • A good but cheap host that will provide WordPress already installed.  I use BlueHost for my smallest clients.
  • Beaver Builder Page Builder:  After exhaustively trying most of these out - I've used this for years.  It allows you to easily create complicated layouts with sliders, photo galleries, images, text, etc - all by drag and drop.  You can click on the elements to set style such as margins, padding, color, font-size, alignment, etc.
  • With Beaver Builder in place - I use a large proportion of their tools.  Ones that apply straight to the art world would be the Content Slider for sliders, their Gallery element for photo galleries and so much more.  Everything works seamlessly together.
  • Beaver Builder Theme:  This just came out but has become my go-to for smaller sites.  You can easily create a theme without knowing any CSS.
  • Gravity Forms.  I do a lot of data collection, e-commerce and and data management.  I find Gravity Forms essential.  I can integrate it with PayPal, Stripe or other payment methods though I prefer those two.  PayPal is best for non-profits as they have the lowest processing feed but Stripe is easier to work with.  It also integrates with Constant Contact or MailChimp for handling emails.  

I will grant you that Beaver Builder pricing for both the Page Builder and the Theme is $200 per year but that is for developer licenses which means unlimited sites.  And no, I don't get any kickbacks from them - it's just amazing what I can develop using these tools. And how quickly.

I also teach kids coding - my 7th graders know WordPress so if anyone wants some downright cheap advice :)

Elizabeth

That's interesting, Lisa.  Thanks for sharing.

Just out of curiousity, what would be your second and third place recommendations?

Thanks,

Scott

Scott, I am a web site developer.  Having worked with both Weebly and Squarespace, i prefer Weebly.  They are pretty equal in cost and ease of use, but I find I can modify Weebly themes more easily, and I think its SEO tools are slightly better.

I'm not very techy, so after much research, I opted for Weebly.  I'm happy with the results and it was fairly painless to set-up.  I had never heard of Squarespace so this was not one of the options I looked at.  My daughter opted for Wordpress and she is having a hard time getting her site launched.  Much more technical.  You can view my site at: http://www.terrieiner.com   Good luck!

Mobirise, awesome, portable and as hot as WP in the web dev space.

Paul,

Just took a quick look at this and liked it a lot.  Question for you - do you have to do the development on your local machine and then upload it to the website?   I like having everything in the cloud for newbies - I teach my kids coding that way too.  For some reason, FTP flummoxes them beyond belief.  But, I could see that being a drawback for non-techies.  When I have a spare minute - I'll have to try this out.


Thanks,

Elizabeth

I did it locally (download software) then ftp to host (built-in.) Free but you can buy templates and add ons. What I like is that it looks good across all platforms. (<72% of viewers are looking at your stuff on a phone.)

So right on that, Paul. My weekly emails are now 50/50 computer/cell phone. Making it look good on that small device is a game changer.

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