Squarespace is an online website builder that has a unique style, set of features and probably the best collection of website themes on the market. This is not the type of platform that welcomes you with an abundance of complicated features. Instead, you will be able to explore all the templates and ideas while learning a lot in the process. With Squarespace, even beginners can have fun building websites.
As we mentioned, there are plenty of outstanding templates to choose from, but the list of features is pretty impressive as well. They have every feature that is required to create a modern blog or eCommerce website. These include tools for image optimization, CDN support, performance boost, galleries, free high-quality fonts, top-notch online store functionalities, social media integration and much more.
Of course, we are not telling you that you can’t find any cheaper solutions on the Internet. There are plenty of highly popular platforms that are a bit cheaper than Squarespace. However, if you want a powerful website builder that has a lot to offer in terms of design and features, you should definitely try it. For example, you can go ahead and try their simplest and cheapest package called the Personal plan. This costs only $12 per month annually or $14 if you pay on a month-by-month basis.
There are two more plans available specifically for eCommerce websites, including the Basic and the Advanced Online Store plans. The first one costs $26 per month annually or $30 monthly, while the stronger one is $40 if billed annually and $46 if monthly. Both of these allow your customers to create accounts and to recover their abandoned carts whenever they want. Also, the plan will give you customer analytics, smooth inventory control and much more.
You can try Squarespace at any time by signing up to their 14-day trial and it doesn’t even require your credit card information.
How Squarespace Works?
Once you sign up, you journey will begin with choosing your first Squarespace template. There is a nice selection of 90+ themes to choose from, each of them unique and highly customizable. You can either sort them by categories or just type in the keyword and find them that way. The platform doesn’t require you to pick one immediately, you can just browse and preview all of them if you want.
Even if you finalize a template, it doesn’t really matter because you can switch to another one if you didn’t like it. When you select the design that appeals to you the most, Squarespace will continue with the account registration process and ask for your name and email address. After entering the information, you will be able to start working on the theme in the editor.
By signing up to Squarespace, you will get a few helpful emails that explain some basics and lead you to tutorials where you can learn more. Even if you have no experience at all in website building, you will be able to quickly understand how the service works and start using it effectively.
Working with the Editor
Take a look at the editor and you can immediately see that it’s designed with the inexperienced user in mind. Everything is clearly laid out and intuitive in the interface. Instead of adding a confusing toolbar and tons of icons like many other platforms, Squarespace fills the screen with an active preview of your site and a menu with only six options. These are the absolute core options: Pages, Design, Commerce, Analytics, Settings and Help. And indeed, it would be quite unnecessary to display more than that on the Editor screen.
As you start experimenting with the platform, you will realize that there are lots of hidden options available. All you need to do is to slowly drag your mouse through the web page you are working on and the options will show up. It will require you some time to get used to it and find out how to manipulate each object. As you begin to understand how to accomplish each editing task, you will realize how powerful this method actually is.
The template you choose will have a few pages prepared in advance. If you want to add more, then you don’t even need to bother building up new layouts. There are default ones available such as Gallery, Album, Blog, Events, Products and Project layouts. Of course, there is the option to create a layout from scratch by picking a blank page.
Don’t worry; Squarespace didn’t forget to add widgets to their website builder. The widgets are there, but they are called ‘content blocks’ on the platform. These can be added by positioning the mouse on the page and once it displays the options, click Edit then Add. There are plenty of widgets available in the menu. All the things that add some extra style and functionality to your website are available at Squarespace. These include galleries, maps, video and audio embeds forms, buttons, images, highlighted text etc.
Among all the widgets, there are three of them that are particularly worth mentioning. The first one is a native calendar that keeps track of the upcoming events that you set by date. The other cool thing is that you can insert pie, line or bar charts into your web pages that make posts more interesting to read. What we also want to mention is the tag cloud, which can be a helpful addition to the gallery, products, blog or album page of your website.
With Squarespace, it is easier than ever to add content from Instagram, SoundCloud, Twitter, Flickr or other sources. Connecting your website with your social media accounts can be done by adding icons and share buttons to the page. Publishing content can work in both ways, either automatically posting an article from your Squarespace website to one of your social media accounts or integrating content directly from one of them.
Image, Video and Audio Support
When it comes to media, Squarespace doesn’t fall short at all. It provides quite a lot of support for all type of media with numerous extras. When you add an image, you are also able to insert a click-through URL into it and it allows you to add an overlapping caption to it as well. You can either upload images from your machine or pick a high-quality one from the Getty Images library where each of them costs only $10.
When it comes to video, you can insert them from several sources. These include videos from Wistia, Animoto, YouTube or Vimeo. Squarespace has many features that allow it to beat other website builders, as one of them is the custom thumbnail feature. You can add any video and upload your custom thumbnail to it – and, of course, you can add an overlapping caption too.
The platform allows you to create quite an extensive gallery. After choosing a carousel, grid or slideshow gallery format, you will be able to upload and display up to 250 images or videos. Depending on the purpose, you can make your gallery a slideshow or choose the sequence system with the previous and next buttons. If you want to add some audio to the page, you can do so by inserting the audio player.
The audio content can be an MP3 file uploaded from your machine, or you can point to the URL of a soundtrack that is stored elsewhere. If there is a soundtrack on your site that your visitors particularly like, they might want to download it. Squarespace allows you to attach a download link to it, allowing them to have access to the file with a single click.
Web service integrations make the media aspect of the platform even more interesting. You can add a nice block to your web page where users can go through a full playlist. On top of that, you can keep your visitors updated about your Instagram and Flickr content by showing them the latest posts on your page automatically. If these features are not enough, you can take advantage of the Embed Code block of the platform that lets you integrate with more web services. If you choose the Business Plan, you can even add custom scripts and HTML via Code Blocks.
Web stores are always more complicated than any other typical website category if you want to create it in a website builder. Squarespace tried to simplify this process as much as possible, and the end result is more than satisfying. It is simple, just set up a new page and pick the Product page type and you are set. All kinds of physical and digital products and services can be added to each page.
These might seem basic features, but the fact is that most of the other platforms only give support for digital products if you buy their most expensive plans. So this is definitely a good point for Squarespace. Furthermore, you can easily provide all the information about your products, including description, name, images, tags, categories, everything that keeps them in order and makes them easier to find.
There is a section you can add to the page called Additional Information where you can insert videos, galleries, maps or anything else that would broaden the information. You can provide information about each product’s size and color, which is essential for every site that sells physical products. The site will show only those products that are in stock. If you have a medium-sized T-shirt in blue and black, and the large-sized version of it in green and red, then you can easily set it up so that the customer won’t end up being confused.
But that’s not all; you can attach even more information such as the dimensions and weight of the product, which are the main variants for calculating shipping costs. Once all the information is ready, you can post the product on any of your social media accounts. There are only three payment processing services available at Squarespace, including Apple Pay, Stripe and PayPal.
Not a wide range of options for sure, but these are actually very easy to set up. As you sell your products, the Website Basic plan takes away 3% of your income as a transaction fee. If you choose one of their Online Store plans, there will be no such fee.
Squarespace Customer Support
You can get help from the Squarespace support team at any time by clicking the Help button in the left side of the editor. However, you can’t find that option on every page. If you want to be able to quickly access their support, then it’s always a good idea to bookmark their support website on your browser. In case you run into problems, you can open it and instantly contact them.
As you visit their support page, a smoothly designed, straightforward customer base will welcome you. There, you can find tons of guides, FAQ, useful videos and in-depth articles with pictures. Everything is quite easy to find, since the topics are organized in a neat way. If you know exactly what you want to find, you can use the search bar as well.
If you didn’t find the answer to your question, you can go ahead and contact their team via live chat. You can check out their working schedule on their website. If you need help immediately, you can write an email message where the support is ready to respond around the clock. They contact their clients in under an hour and provide help even in the more difficult cases.