The Squarepace Option

We recently got to build a portfolio website for one of our favorite clients, Jen Rustemeyer at Peg Leg Films. We had previously built a website for Peg Leg’s fabulous documentary film This Mountain Life in 2017. The new site was built because they needed a home for their latest documentary series that won’t have a website of its own.

Screenshot of Squarespace header font customization panel

We built the Peg Leg Films website using the cloud-based tools of Squarespace, an all-in-one website building and hosting platform. Squarespace is a useful midway step between sites that are entirely custom-designed and coded, and sites that are simply an out-of-the-box template, like GoDaddy’s awful web tools. Squarespace is ideal when you want something good-looking and predictably functional, but aren’t trying to do anything especially complex or tailored to a very custom brand design.

With Squarespace, you start by choosing a basic template format, and then you control the appearance (including colors, fonts, element positioning, etc.) through settings and options screens. When building a page, the administrator can start from a range of pre-built element blocks like blogs, galleries, forms, slideshows, and many other commonly used website parts. It’s also still possible to create custom styled elements by adding CSS code blocks, and in some plans, you can even inject Javascript code into the page head.

The platform also offers easy-to-use tools for SEO targeting, it lets you hook up your social media and analytics services, and you can password protect individual pages. All-in-all, it’s a reasonable alternative for those who want a simple-to-build, simple-to-maintain website without reinventing the wheel.

Screenshot of Peg Leg Films Website

Peg Leg Films (

Screenshot of Squarespace content and functionality blocks

Of course, there are some downsides and shortfalls. Customization options are plentiful but not infinite, so you are still working within a set of parameters and limitations.

I can almost hear you asking… well, if Squarespace is cheap and easy and powerful, why would someone still need a web shop like Hop Studios to set up?

Of course many website owners do indeed build their own Squarespace websites. But having a shop like Hop Studios do all the fiddly setup work can save time and money, while ensuring that the resulting site is configured correctly, and that all the advanced options are being taken advantage of.  We also can, by doing the set up, make it clearer to maintain—you might do something in 6 blocks that we’d recommend doing in one, or vice versa. It’s like when your parent takes you fishing and gets the pole all ready for you—you get to spend your time fishing, not fussing with worms and pointy hooks.

After all, in theory we could all do our own yard or house work, but many of us [My ears are burning…—Ed.] prefer to spend our time and money on tasks we’re more interested in or better at, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

So now it’s a cinch for Peg Leg Films to keep their focus on doing what they do best: making socially conscious films to inspire personal action! And it’s an honour and a privilege for Hop Studios to lend our expertise to making that more possible.


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