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I agree the logo designer is a bit crude, and I’d also agree that if everyone used the templates available they could become a bit common.

But I’d also argue the same about some “custom” sites, and that there tends to be a “flavour of the month” approach to many websites e,g. take a parallax scroller, tweak the variables, change the background images, alter the font, use some cool icon fonts and “flat” design … and in my opinion you’ve nailed a big percentage the “style” that’s currently in vogue … it used to be sliders, before that skeuomorphic buttons.

I think you guy’s may be under estimating the amount of custom work that is done with Squarespace (not templates), delve into the developer doc’s, there’s not much you can’t do if you can really code (certainly for most sites-not apps maybe).

There’ll always be a need for custom sites, but for many small businesses (and some not so small) these kind of platforms offer some distinct advantages. IMO the main one, is no maintenance … no patching, no updating, no security hardening, no DB to back up, no hosting server hassles.

At the end of the day the client will go for “perceived value” including ease of use. Managed platforms (not just SS) are offering something smaller studios seem to often miss.

I recently demo’ed SSpace to a small group of local business people who are looking to develop a community site (local business branding and promotion).

Most have existing sites of their own, some quite good and custom built, one had several sites including an expensive proprietary CMS with a very sophisticated backend (including elaborate analytics). Point is, all these people had reasonable exposure to the web and how it works (and what it costs, and the hassles).

Without exception, they were all blown out by what SSpace can do, and at what cost.

So much so, it’s highly likely one will abandon their custom built Open Source CMS in favour of SSpace … principally for the ease of use publishing and maintaining same. Another that was in negotiation over their 3rd business site will now use SSpace, as will the community project.

That’s not a bad conversion rate – 3 substantial sites from a meeting of 5 (not counting me).

Business is over dud designer/developers imo. Good ones cost (quite rightly), so managed platforms (whatever flavour) are not going out of business anytime soon.