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Meet The Circle: Allie Astell

Squarespace Circle member Allie Astell is the founder of Manage My Website. The company have been providing marketing and website development services to Squarespace customers since 2009.

Allie took some time out of her busy schedule to share some of her expertise with us.

 

Allie Astell

Allie Astell

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT USING SQUARESPACE?

There are so many great things about using Squarespace – how to pick just one?

We love the beautiful templates on offer and the way they can be flexed with CSS and JavaScript to become almost unrecognisable as a Squarespace template, and instead look as though we’ve built them from scratch.  It beats WordPress hands down for most of our projects. 

Freedom and control comes a close second. Manage My Website have always been firm believers in not holding our clients over a barrel when it comes to maintenance and support, so Squarespace has always been our platform of choice. 

Not only is it easy for clients to update themselves (if they don’t want support from us), but it also allows them full control of their websites. They pay their hosting direct, and can get all the benefits of the support team should they have any questions. 


YOU WRITE A LOT OF BLOGS, DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS ON FINDING THE RIGHT CONTENT FOR YOU AUDIENCE?

The main focus of our business is Squarespace web design, coding and training, so obviously we tend to write a lot of blogs about Squarespace. 

This year we’ve written a post called ‘20 Essential Checks To Make Before Launching Your Squarespace Website’ which is probably one of the most popular we’ve ever published. It gives people the vital information they need in one place rather than having to scour the internet for each item, and we also use it ourselves as a reference tool when we’re about to launch a new site.

‘How To Prepare Perfect Photographs and Images For Your Squarespace Website’ also received a lot of traffic, as images are one of the factors that clients struggle with. Selecting the right photographs/graphics and optimising them is so important. 

I recently wrote an article for #Photography Magazine called ‘How To Build A Spectacular Photography Website With Squarespace’ which was targeted purely at Photographers - one of the markets we’re now specialising in.

We have specifically chosen these topics, as we believe the content is interesting and informative to our audience. Our number one tip for finding the right content for your audience is to ensure that you write about what you specialise in, making sure that your content is helpful. The aim should be to share your knowledge and expertise without trying to ‘sell’ your services in an obvious way. 

Squarespace Circle | Interview with Allie Astell | Mage My Website | SquareStudio Plugins & Development


YOU PROVIDE A LOT OF PACKAGES, WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ONE?
We offer four Squarespace web design packages to suit our clients’ requirements and budgets. With our ‘Start-Up’ package we design simple yet professional looking websites which help clients get their small business or portfolio off the ground, and with our ‘Mid-Level’ and ‘Bespoke’ packages we create more complex websites with extra functionality. 

Our favourite is the Bespoke package, as these websites are always great fun to work on. When a client books this service, we know they’re open to new ideas, and we enjoy researching competitors to see how we can outshine them in terms of layout, look and feel, and functionality. It’s a challenge, but one that we relish. Opulen property investment is one of our latest projects at this level.

Our Photography service is also a popular one with the team, as there’s so much we can do using coding that adds an extra dimension to the templates. An example of this is Steve Hoskins, an animal photographer, where our developer Ruben created some really interesting hover effects on the website.


HAVE YOU SEEN ANY SQUARESPACE WEBSITES RECENTLY THAT HAVE STOOD TO YOU, IF SO WHO ARE THEY? 
We’ve browsed the SquareStudio Awards and there are so many Squarespace inspiring websites that stood out. We particularly like ‘Hand Lettering Co’ which has a contemporary and stylish design with stunning imagery. 

We take a lot of inspiration from other Squarespace web designers and developers. There are so many talented people out there, creating amazing work, and we’re proud to be among them. 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING PART OF THE CIRCLE?
Squarespace Circle is a great community of like-minded people. It gives each of us a voice and a forum to get to know each other, ask questions, and share information. We think it’s a great opportunity to enhance our Squarespace skills, growing our business with the advanced guides, product release notes and other members-only materials. A genius idea from the Squarespace team!


HOW DO YOU THINK SQUARESPACE DIFFERS FROM OTHER WEBSITE BUILDERS?
One thing that we particularly love about Squarespace is that everything is in one place, so if something goes wrong we know it’s either a Squarespace issue or something that we’ve done ourselves. 

With some other platforms, you sometimes can’t easily tell whether it’s their problem (a plugin breaking, etc.), a client issue, or a problem with the hosting provider, which can make issues difficult to resolve.

Equally important is that Squarespace’s marketing and support are excellent. They promote their platform tirelessly and with boundless enthusiasm and make it very easy to recommend to our clients. 

Manage My Website has every confidence in the platform, on every level, and we look forward to many more years of working with the Squarespace team.