Back when I launched Page by Paige I spent hours, and hours drawing designs sketches, finding inspiration websites, choosing complimentary colours, and moving margins a centimeter to the left and right until I got the layout just perfect.
Over the time the blog has been live it's been a serious challenge for me to not be making design changes all the time. I see other websites with beautiful features, and layouts that always spark my interest, which I would like to implement on my blog.
The problem is, keeping a consistent brand, and appearance is important for brand identity.
Enter: The Paige Studio.
The Paige Studio is the place I will take on clients website design projects, and make their vision become a reality with a beautiful, clean and powerful online space.
The studio is something I've been working on behind the scenes, and keeping quiet until I was ready to launch. As the past few weeks flew by, and I was getting closer to launch date, my excitement to share with you, my readers, grew immensely.
So, let me take a moment to extend this personal invitation to you to see the 'big something' I've been talking about...
What makes The Paige Studio different from other website design studios? Oh, I'm so glad you asked!
At the forefront of every design project, I believe in creating a strong online presence that is inviting to the user.
- What good is a website that is not user-friendly? Oh, and mobile-friendly! 50% of Page by Paige readers are accessing the website from their cell phone. This is the trend, and I make sure it's accounted for in all of my designs.
I create strong, inviting online spaces by designing beautiful, clean and powerful websites.
- Emphasis on beautiful, clean, and powerful. I keep these three words of inspiration close in mind when designing every project.
It is my mission to bring your brand to a greater audience, and display your unique flair.
- You have a story to tell. When working with clients I get to the root of the challenges facing their brand/business, as well as their goals and future aspirations. That is, I don't just ask for your two favourite colours and an inspiration site. I take an individual approach and the time to get to know each client and their business before creating anything.
Now you're wondering; what content management system do I use to design?
Heard of it? Yeah, it's an up and coming trend. While Squarespace is by no means the giant that Wordpress is, I prefer it for a great number of reasons.
I think of the Squarespace vs. Wordpress decision as the equivilant to the ever-constant iPhone vs Samsung (or any other smartphone) argument. This is the simplest way I can think to explain the difference for those who aren't website-building experts. Let me explain.
iPhone Vs. Samsung
iPhones are beautiful, easy to use, and synch with all your other Apple products seamlessly. No hassle, just straight functionality.
If you ever have an issue, pop by the Apple store, and their friendly customer service reps will swap out your iPhone right away. (I think I've had 5 iPhones replaced over the years now, all free of charge).
With iPhones there are efficient apps, many of which come locked with the phone. Third party apps are not able to take over the functionality the messenger app, or iTunes to start illegally downloading, but Apple users tend to be happy with the simplicity and reliability of their phone.
Samsungs are killing it with their cameras, and take beautiful photos.
Getting help with your Samsung comes more from online forums or videos, and the customer service isn't as easily present as with Apple directly in store with an appointment for a phone replacement.
Samsung phones are versatile. You can customize the heck out of them, and there's a vast number of third party apps created by everyday people in the app store, which can take over the functions of other built-in apps. Perfect if you want an app to auto-send an "I'm driving" text when you're driving to anyone who messages you.
Squarespace vs. Wordpress
Squarespace, like the iPhone, is an all-in-one system. Almost anything you need, it's included; hosting fees, photo editing, social media feeds, newsletter subscriber boxes, related post functionality, SEO, and most recently, Pinterest rich pins!
Yes, there's a couple features that would be nice which aren't present, and you have to get creative with. (I have a button instead of a social icon for my Bloglovin' page as the Bloglovin' button is not currently integrated with Squarespace, and making an archive page takes some time.) Overall, just like the iPhone, Squarepsace serves my needs, so these little bits don't bother me all too much.
Similar to how the iPhone comes with a permanent setup of apps and features, Squarespace comes with modern and artistic templates that were created by the Squarespace team, so they work flawlessely every time, and are customizable.
My favourite part of Squarespace? The customer service in the form of the Live Chat!
Submit a ticket, and in just a few minutes you'll be chatting with a Squarespace team member to ask all your Squarespace questions!
These aren't your typical Customer Service reps based out of some far off country with non-native English speakers. They are experienced Squarespace staff who know and love the platform and company they work to serve.
They've helped me on multiple occasions solve layout concerns, provided suggestions to issues I'm having from their interaction with previous customers, and my gosh - are they friendly!
Wordpress has soooo many theme options, it's really amazing! They're also very customizable, you can create almost anything you can dream up with them. It is possible to create truly beautiful websites, with amazing features.
There is also a massive variety of plug-ins for Wordpress sites to create different functions within your site. My main issue however? They're most often not built by Wordpress, and as Wordpress updates come by, there's the potential for an incorrectly coded bit in your plug-in to cause some hefty damage to your site, (ahhhh)!
When discussing price, Wordpress (self-hosted) is more expensive than Squarespace. Hosting fees are not included, and depending on your audience size, this can get pricey. Similarly, a premium theme for Wordpress can run a pretty penny.
Help for issues, just like Samsung, mostly comes in the form of online forums/videos instead of directly from Wordpress.
There you have it! So, I'm not saying one is the definitive choice over the other, it depends on what you value. Each has it's own advantages and disadvantages; it really matters what you're looking for, and what is important to you in your new website!
I value aesthetics, simplicity and minimal hassle, therefore the choice for my blog, and my website design studio is Squarespace!
Are you more an iPhone/Squarespace or Samsung/Wordpress type person?