Domain

Why I Choose Squarespace for 90% of Websites I Build

If you take a look at several of the websites that I manage, you will see that I choose Squarespace the majority of the time.  Here are some of those sites:

NilsSmith.com
AmplifySocial.Media
TVApp.Church
SacredHolidays.com

You might notice that in many ways these sites look quite similar.  The truth is, Squarespace is much harder to customize than Wordpress, but if you are looking for a simple, clean, and functional website Squarespace is a great option.  My favorite part is how well all of their sites adapt to mobile platforms.  I’ve noticed that 60% of the traffic on all of the sites I manage comes from mobile devices, so it’s important that I look for these sites to function effectively on mobile first and then desktop. Our nature is to do just the opposite.  

Here are some of the features I have loved about Squarespace:

  • All in one management - of hosting, domain and email
  • Metrics mobile app - lets me constantly check the site analytics on the go
  • Simple management tools - it’s so easy to update and so hard to break!
  • Beautiful templates - I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a bad looking Squarespace site
  • eCommerce integrations - the platform has seamless eCommerce integrations that makes selling things online so easy to manage
  • Forms - Squarespace forms look and function so great on all platforms
  • Affordable - a Squarespace site can be as inexpensive as $8/month which includes hosting.  it’s hard to beat that price point!

Have you tried Squarespace? If so, what do you like? If not, why not? Do you see any downsides to Squarespace?

 

Domain Forwarding with Masking

Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 9.37.47 AM
Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 9.37.47 AM

You likely have heard of domain forwarding where you purchase a domain and have it forward to a different domain.  You might not have heard about domain forwarding with masking.  What this means is when you forward someone to a different domain/URL, it continues to display the domain they typed into their URL address bar once they are on the site rather than the actual URL.

The need for this came about for Online Church when our Media Social channel URL is http://live.mediasocial.tv/cbc.  It's not a bad URL, but it wasn't easy for people to remember so we purchased a domain (first http://mycbconline.com and now http://onlinechurch.com) and forwarded that domain to our Media Social channel URL.  It worked for the most part, but I would hear from people that they thought they somehow went to the wrong site because the URL completely changed.  That's when we found out about domain forwarding with masking.

Now, when people type in the URL http://OnlineChurch.com it forwards them to http://live.mediasocial.tv/cbc, but their URL address bar still displays OnlineChurch.com.

So, that's why we did it, but for those who have asked the questions about how we did it; here is the step by step process as to how we setup this functionality through GoDaddy:

  1. Purchase the domain at http://GoDaddy.com
  2. Click on My Account and then Launch the Domains tab
  3. Choose the domain you want to forward and then choose option "Manage" next to "Forwarding"
  4. Choose Advanced Options and "Forward with Masking"
  5. Fill in the information: URL to forward to, Title (will show up at top of browser window), Description (will display in search results), and Keywords (will help with SEO)

Save these results and you're all set and should be in effect immediately.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this functionality and how you are using it.  I would also be interested to hear any reasons as to why someone shouldn't use this functionality as well.  Please comment with any questions that you might have about domain forwarding with masking.