One of the questions someone sent me after posting about my website (and other designer’s sites) being plagiarized by several folks purporting to be Squarespace designers was simply, “So how do you find a Squarespace designer?” Now that is a very good question!
1. While there’s no longer a quality, curated list of Squarespace professionals maintained by Squarespace, you can still access the internet archive of the original Squarespace Specialists list.
Not everyone on this list is still working with the platform, but many of those who don’t will have referrals for you. Keep in mind that these are typically the most experienced Squarespace designers, so you will be looking at higher price points. Note that the pricing on this archive is probably out of date (mine is).
2. Look in the site credits for websites you admire that are built on the Squarespace platform.
We typically include a site credit in our projects and this is standard practice for most designers. If you spot a site you like, look in the footer (the area at the bottom of the site) and see if there’s a designer mentioned there. Click through and check out the rest of their work and see if their style and approach makes sense for you.
3. Ask people you collaborate with already (say your social media manager, publicist, virtual assistant) if they have a Squarespace designer they’ve worked with.
These people will already understand your business and work style, and likely have great connections to other professionals. (I know when clients ask me for referrals, I frequently rattle off a giant list of professionals I recommend—we all talk and tend to gravitate to like-minded folks).
4. Look in your niche. Say you’re an attorney, and you search “Squarespace for Attorneys,” you’ll find, well, SM+Co!
But really, this will lead you down a path toward companies that really get your industry. My friends Connie and Jeni, respectively, have awesome businesses focused on the health and wellness industries. That’s not to say that if someone hasn’t ever worked in your field that they can’t be a great Squarespace designer for you, but in some niches there are common apps and nuances that someone experienced in your field will know about already. They’re also likely to have systemized their workflows for your industry so the process can be smoother.
5. Don’t be constrained by geography, but also be aware of your own comfort level with working with a designer remotely.
Our business is almost entirely remote and our clients are all over the globe. Thanks to technology such as Zoom, connecting over the miles is no big deal. However, if you’re a small local business that’s mostly focused on in-person sales, you may be more comfortable with someone who can visit your business easily. My friend Olivia is THE Squarespace designer for small local business in Atlanta, and there’s a reason for that—she gets that business landscape because she’s also a small local business in Atlanta.
6. Avoid “marketplaces” such as Fiverr, Upwork, 99designs, and more.
We all know these are very harmful to designers, but they also are a nightmare for clients. When you hire through one of these marketplaces, you’re not a client of that designer, you’re a customer of the app. Even if you have found an amazing person to work with through one of those platforms, you’re stuck within the constraints of the platform (which often have brutal contract terms) unless you quite literally pay off the platform, usually large sums of money (think thousands not hundreds). You can’t create a contract that makes sense for you both, and you can’t build a relationship with a designer who understands your business. You’ll ultimately be happier working directly with a designer you’ve gotten to know, if you’re taking a strategic approach to your business.
Now that you’ve found a few designers who look like they may be a good fit, here are a few more tips to get you started on finding a Squarespace designer who’s the perfect fit.
Some designers list prices on their sites, some don’t—don’t let that deter you. If you like someone’s work, reach out and ask. (We didn’t have prices on our site until we launched Design in a Day™ and I became a superfan of systemizing our services.)
Ask about availability, but if someone who seems like an amazing match for your web design project isn’t available immediately, think seriously about waiting. A good fit is crucial and worth waiting for.
Different Squarespace designers have different processes, so make sure you ask someone to share what to expect as you work together. We love it when people ask this question!
Be sure to ask any possible designer about add-ons, extras and additional costs. Again, this varies from designer to designer, so make sure you’re clear on this—this is one of the big sources of friction between designers and clients and we all share responsibility in making sure we’re on the same page.
Make sure you understand what training and support is offered after you launch! This varies from company to company, and is an other possible friction point for clients and designers.
When it comes down to it, finding the perfect fit is hard—and you may not get it right the first time, and that’s okay. Ask good questions and make sure that not only technical and design skills are a match, but working styles fit too. If this is your first time working with a professional designer or consultant, let the professional you’re working with know so that they can take extra care in making sure you’re on the same page and know what’s happening step by step.