Does Squarespace Have an SEO Plugin?
No. Squarespace does not have an SEO plug-in. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s actually a good thing depending on who you are. Here’s why.
You’re probably familiar with, or have at least heard of, a popular SEO plug-in for Wordpress called Yoast. Yoast is just one of over 55,000 third party built plug-ins available in a marketplace like setting within Wordpress. Plug-ins are simply a piece of software that you can purchase (or in some cases, install for free) and add to your existing website to enhance or expand your site’s capabilities.
Okay, so what’s wrong with plug-ins?
Nothing per se. But when you have a large marketplace with no policing or vetting by a larger authority you, as the consumer/user, assume responsibility for any viruses, errors, and updates that those plug-ins come with.
Wordpress is what’s referred to as ‘open-source’ platform which means that anyone can access and modify its code. This allows anyone with the skills necessary to build and sell plugins for the Wordpress platform. With this freedom comes the responsibility to maintain your site and deal with any issues that may come about.
OPEN SOURCE PLATFORM : A platform that allows anyone access to its source code.
CLOSED SOURCE PLATFORM : A platform that does not allow anyone access to its source code.
Squarespace, on the other hand, is a ‘closed-source’ platform. Meaning if you have a website on their platform you have to have your site hosted with them but, they also take responsibility for the authenticity, security and overall quality of any functions and features that are built in.
Why do developers often recommend Wordpress over other options?
Once you understand the difference between open and closed source platforms, you can see why a site developer or designer would often times ‘prefer’ or recommend Wordpress over Squarespace. The open source platform allows them the freedom to do and build whatever they want, however they want to and utilize a lot (55,000+) of plug-ins to help them build it.
With Squarespace it’s a common misconception that you cannot customize your site. You absolutely can. You just have to know how to code using CSS and HTML to accomplish it. And, you don’t have a platter of pre-built options available to you like you would with Wordpress. DIY website platforms like Squarespace and Wix haven’t been around nearly as long as Wordpress. There’s a learning curve in the developer community not to mention, these DIY sites were designed with the non-developer in mind.
While there are plenty of reliable plug-ins out there, there are also quite a few dodgy ones that can really cause damage to your site. Which is why, if you are planning to build and maintain your own website, Squarespace is probably a better option for you.
When you build a site without plugins you :
avoid responsibility for possibly choosing and installing dodgy code/plug-ins on your site.
don’t have to manually update the many functions and features you install on your site.
learn to rely on your own knowledge, vs relying on a potentially unreliable plug-in built by someone you don’t know.
Wait, I’m sure I’ve seen websites selling Squarespace Plug-ins…
You probably have. There are a number of sites out there who offer free and paid ‘plug-ins’ for your Squarespace site. You’ll be hard pressed to find one for SEO though.
You’re more likely to see plug-ins which are actually lines of code you can add to your site which change some of the features or visual elements of the site. For example, there are a lot of code snippets for Squarespace that can change the appearance of a gallery block or image block on your site.
But like Wordpress plug-ins you’d be wise to do your homework and vet the developers who sell these code snippets and plug-ins.
So why is a lack of Squarespace SEO plug-in NOT a bad thing?
Watch out for faulty plug-ins!
Not having an SEO plugin for your site forces you to learn a thing or two about SEO rather than blindly relying on a plug-in which may or may not be dodgy, which may or may not require manual updates on regular intervals and may or may not create a security breach on your site (faulty plug-ins can make an otherwise secure site easier to hack).
Learning some basic knowledge of SEO pays dividends in your ability to get your website found online. Even if you’re not comfortable taking it to the next level by implementing more advanced SEO techniques, at least you’ll have a basic knowledge so that if you hire an SEO Expert you will know what questions to ask and understand what your goals are.
Ultimately, you have to choose the option that makes the most sense for you and your business. But it’s important to know the facts about plug-ins and why Squarespace does not offer a plug-in market and SEO plug-ins like Wordpress and Yoast.
What makes the most sense for a website developer doesn’t always make the most sense for the site owner.