Introduction to Squarespace
Although the web design market is flooded with many companies that provide drag and drop site builders, one platform that has achieved great success is Squarespace.
Since its inception in 2004, millions of people have used Squarespace to create their website. In fact, some of the biggest brands in the USA have used Squarespace, from Target to HBO.
Hot Aesthetics and Attractive Features
Squarespace offers visually pleasing, modern, and mobile responsive template designs, 24/7 support (1 hour email response turnaround time) and a powerful and flexible styling editor that makes creating stunning websites a breeze.
You’ll also get a free domain name, unlimited storage, and bandwidth, and 14-day “no-questions-asked” money-back guarantee plus loads more industry-leading features. Their cheapest plan is 16.00 per month.
Our Squarespace review (2018 update) will help you make the best-informed decision whether or not you should be buying a website builder from Squarespace.
Squarespace was founded in 2004 by Anthony Casalena and the company was launched from Anthony’s dorm room at the University of Maryland.
Squarespace is a website building company that has been around for over a decade. They pride themselves on giving people the tools to let them design their perfect website. Since its inception in 2004, millions of people have used Squarespace to create their website.
Some of the biggest brands in the USA have used Squarespace, from Target and Cisco to HBO.
Although the web design market is flooded with many companies that provide drag and drop site builders, one platform that has achieved great success is Squarespace.
Squarespace was launched in 2004, making it one of the oldest site building companies around. After more than a decade in the industry, millions of websites have been created with this platform.
What Makes Squarespace Special – Premium Features
Squarespace pitches itself as the go-to platform for building blogs, portfolio sites, and online stores. Unlike other site builders, they don’t offer a free website building plan. Instead, Squarespace provides a 14-day risk-free trial to test out their site builder at a low entry price point.
All in all, let’s sum up what Squarespace can really offer you with it’s premium features, and additionally how it can help your business:
- E-commerce Solution – allows you to set up an online store with little effort
- Mail Chimp Integration – one of the top e-mail marketing services used today, giving you reach
- Premium Amazon Block – highlight Amazon referral products with a click of a mouse
- Custom Announcement Bar – display messages to your visitors above your site content when you wish
- Code Injection – add custom code to your Squarespace site, a great customization tool
- OpenTable Block – may be random, but useful. A user-friendly booking system for webmasters of restaurants or tertiary services
- Zapier Integration – integration of various forms, newsletter blocks and other useful apps like Slack or Salesforce for your team
- Abandoned Cart Recovery – users can revert to a process of abandoning a shopping cart, upon accidental deletion (only available with e-commerce plans)
- Unique Developer Access – access to the raw code of your Squarespace site. Should you be lucky enough to have a developer, this is a brilliant feature of freedom
When using Squarespace to launch a new site, there are 3 main packages to choose from.
Each plan comes with unlimited bandwidth and storage as well as free domain registration with any site name of your choosing, powerful website reporting tools, and 24/7 customer support.
Plans: Standard vs. Higher-Tiered
Squarespace offers two plans in their category of ‘Website’ builder plans, along with another two in their ‘Online Store’ plans.
Online Store plans are significantly pricier, although offer a variety of e-commerce features. Screenshot via Digital.com
For starters, we have a Personal Plan that allows you to design an unlimited number of sites, but you can only sell 1 product and a 3% fee is levied on sales transactions.
Squarespace’s Business Plan is for those looking to build online stores. This package features full e-commerce integration, the ability to create unlimited web pages, $100 credits to use on AdWords, and a professional e-mail from Google.
Additionally, Squarespace has two other e-commerce specific plans.
Comparing the Plans
Let’s see what these plans offer you for your buck in comparison to one another:
|Number of Websites||Responsiveness||Website Metrics||Customization||Premium Block Integrations||Price|
|Personal Plan||Unlimited||Mobile-friendly||Basic Metrics||No custom code access||Not available||$12/month|
|Business Plan||Unlimited||Mobile-friendly||Advanced Metrics||Available via Java and CSS||Available||$18/month|
Additionally, both plans include:
- A free domain upon purchase
- 24/7 customer support
- SSL security
Squarespace E-Commerce Solution
Although Squarespace advocates two bonus plans to online merchants wishing to start an e-commerce site. These plans are named ‘Online Store’ plans and have significantly more store-related features as opposed to their website builder plans.
Let’s see how the Basic Online Store Plan fares against the Advanced Online Store Plan. These plans come with tools that are more advanced and they have no transaction fees or product limits.
|All Business Plan Features||Responsiveness||Abandoned Cart Recovery||Gift Cards||Orders API||Price|
|Basic Online Store Plan||Included||Mobile-friendly||Available||Available||Available||$26|
|Advanced Online Store Plan||Included||Mobile-friendly||Not available||Not available||Available||$40|
The trade-off, however, is that you would have to pay a higher subscription fee than what’s charged in the standard 3 plans.
What Do These E-Commerce Packages Offer?
The Squarespace website builder platform comes with a host of built-in e-commerce solutions designed to help you sell your products and services online.
This is a positive feature if you are planning to grow your business in the future.
The Squarespace e-commerce platform also includes the capabilities to send reminder emails to customers who’ve abandoned sales and provides your business with end-to-end security. Furthermore, other availabilities include:
- Advanced shipping
- Payment capabilities
- Mobile-friendly checkout page
All this from Squarespace has been designed to ensure that it’s super easy for your customers to purchase your products.
Ease of Use
Much like most drag and drop site builders, Squarespace is easy to use. In the latest update, version 7, the preview page and edit mode are morphed into one. This means what you see in edit mode is how your website will look like after you publish it.
Besides being simple to use, Squarespace’s WYSIWYG (what is you is what you get) site editor saves time because there’s no need to switch back and forth between edit and preview mode.
The site editor’s interface is also very intuitive. Instead of using a permanent toolbar, Squarespace opens a dialog box prompting you to select webpage elements to be placed on the spot you just clicked. To add, edit, or remove elements, simply hover the mouse over the available content block.
Squarespace lets you add pages using a side menu panel. It’s also easy to hide and unhide the side menu rail by clicking on an arrow on the top left corner.
Overall, the interface and design tools are intuitive, making it easy even for the average Joe to design a professional looking website.
Themes, Design, and Customization
The Squarespace user interface is one of the best parts of the product, there is almost no learning curve and it is extremely easy to use, even for beginners.
Squarespace templates are categorized into industry-specific designs. For example, some of the template choices are designed for photographers, musicians, restaurant owners, online merchants, wedding sites, and bloggers.
There are dozens of themes to choose from in categories such as online stores, personal websites and a single cover page. Squarespace provides a full-screen live preview of themes to help you choose the best layout for your website.
Edit As You Wish, Even Photos
Once your desired template is chosen, you can edit it to your liking. The style editor features all the typical elements to expect on a modern website. These include text boxes, image placeholders, spacers, social media buttons, charts, web forms, and links, just to name a few.
The visual experience with a Squarespace website can be undeniably rich. Much of this has to do with the fact that this platform offers a full photo Aviary editor.
Besides editing images, the photo editor allows users to search, preview and purchase stock photography licenses on Getty Images. You can also create a gallery page and display photos in a slideshow, stack, grid, or carousel.
The Aviary photo editor supports a range of behavior customization options as well. For example, you can use the lightbox option for grid-type galleries or enable pop-up texts to appear when the mouse pointer moves over an image.
Editing Your CSS Code
To design your website on a more advanced level, Squarespace allows you to edit CSS code. This option is a great addition for those who know a bit of code or want to hire a professional to tweak the chosen template to get a more unique website layout.
In case you need to undo any changes, Squarespace provides an option to restore the default CSS code for the template you choose.
Squarespace provides its users with extensive tutorials and how-tos, like this video, on how to create a contact page.
SEO Features, Mobile-Friendliness, and Support
Most drag and drop website builders usually provide basic SEO functions such as access to page title tags, image alt tags, and meta descriptions. However, Squarespace goes a step further when it comes to SEO features.
It provides support for rich snippets, sets up 301 redirects and it can also generate an XML sitemap to help search engines crawl and index your website.
Analytics for Your Site
Squarespace features a built-in analytics program that can help you track website statistics such as traffic sources, devices used by visitors to access your website, periodic traffic amounts, and so much more.
If you prefer a more powerful program to track website visitor stats, you can integrate your Squarespace site with Google Analytics.
Squarespace provides you with 10 analytics categories, which are as follows:
- Sales Overview
- Traffic Overview
- Traffic Sources
- Popular Content
- Purchase Funnel
- Abandoned Cart
- Site Search Queries
- RSS Subscribers
- Search Engine Queries
- Activity Log
As an added bonus, Squarespace generates mobile-friendly sites right off the bat. Using the mobile information bar, you can enable mobile sites to show a bottom menu that displays contact information, location and business working hours.
Help and Support
When you experience technical problems while running a Squarespace site, you can reach the support team via live chat or email. Squarespace also makes it easy for beginners to learn about their platform. They have an extensive series of video tutorials and plenty of knowledge-base articles.
These resources will be invaluable when learning about the site builder or looking for solutions to common problems. In addition, you can post questions on the Squarespace forum where other experienced users and even the support staff can provide answers.
Comparing Website Builders: Squarespace vs Wix
Squarespace and Wix are similar website builders in many ways, however, Wix lags behind Squarespace when it comes to ensuring that all templates are mobile-responsive. This is important in an age when much of the internet traffic visiting your website may be coming from mobile phones.
Another issue with Wix is that once you’ve selected a template, you cannot change it, whereas Squarespace allows you the freedom to utilized your change of mind. With all of this being said, Wix still offers a far wider selection of templates than Squarespace currently has on offer.
Squarespace Vs Weebly
Squarespace and Weebly both offer an array of tools designed to ensure that you can create a functional website with little to no programming skills. One of the key advantages of Squarespace – the website builder’s stunning templates – is actually one of the biggest disadvantages of Weebly.
While Weebly will create a basic and functional website for you, the templates included with the website builder are a tad uninspiring compared to Squarespace and other builders. In all, Weebly is a solid performer, just don’t expect anything fancy.
Pros and Cons of Squarespace
So, is Squarespace a good website builder? Consider the following pros and cons.
- Beautiful, rich imagery designer templates that also look great on mobile devices.
- CSS customization for each template is possible, making this platform ideal even for skilled web developers.
- Allows users to export pages and blogs to WordPress, so you are not locked in one platform.
- Excellent blogging capabilities and SEO functions.
- Improved site editor that allows for point and click interactions.
- Good analytics tools and extensive online support for users of all levels.
- Free trial, 14-day money back guarantee.
- Currently, Squarespace lacks a third party widget/apps marketplace.
- There is no plan for creating a free website.
- Phone support is not provided.
- Some limitations compared to builders like WordPress
Squarespace is a fantastic site builder if you are looking for a platform that can help you to easily create modern, beautiful and responsive websites for desktop and mobile.
The templates it offers are all mobile friendly and can be customized for a more unique website.
Best of all, the improved version 7 now allows for real point and click interactions by allowing users to make changes on the preview page. That said, however, Squarespace is not the easiest to use nor does it provide third-party app integrations like other top site builders such as Wix and Weebly.
In spite of these shortcomings, this platform is still a great tool that small businesses and individuals can leverage to put themselves on the web.
Squarespace Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re new to Squarespace, you probably have the same questions that newbies before you had. So, to help you quickly get the answers you seek, here are answers to some of the most commonly asked Squarespace questions.
Can I try out Squarespace before committing?
Squarespace does not offer a free plan like some of the other web builders. However, the company does provide you with a 14-day risk-free trial that allows you to thoroughly test out the site builder before you make you decide to invest or not.
What Are My Template Options?
Squarespace gives you plenty of flexibility when it comes to selecting and customizing your templates. With hundreds of options available, you’re given complete control over customizing the template you choose. Additionally, you can install several templates onto your site and work on multiple designs simultaneously.
Can I Change My Template?
Yes, you can change templates at any time. It’s easy and hassle-free.
Can I Rename A Registered Domain?
Squarespace gives you a five-day grace period in which you can change your domain name. After that, any registered domain you have becomes permanent.
How Does A Gallery Page Differ From A Gallery Block?
A gallery block displays images alongside content and it can be placed on any of your website pages. On the other hand, a gallery page is intended to be a standalone page that holds videos or photos with no or very little other content.
Is Squarespace Mobile Friendly?
Squarespace offers some of the best mobile website services. All templates include an automatic mobile functionality that creates a mobile view that matches the overall style of your site. You can switch off this mobile view functionality from website manager if you wish.
Can I Upload Apps Into My Squarespace Website?
Although Squarespace does not have an app store, it integrates well with several applications including Dropbox, Pinterest, Github, Google Drive, MailChimp, among others.
Is Squarespace A Good Fit For A Blog?
Yes, Squarespace’s blogging capabilities are some of the best in the web building industry.
Squarespace plans & prices
Squarespace’s website builder comes with a range of plans for all your website needs; you find plans for creating cover pages, personal and business websites and ecommerce websites. For latest and most up to date prices visit Squarespace’s website.
|Plan name||Diskspace||Free trial||Monthly price|
|Basic (Online store)||Unlimited||Yes||26.00|
|Advanced (Online store)||Unlimited||Yes||40.00|
Best Squarespace alternatives
People share their opinions about companies on Twitter each and every day. We monitor tweets about Squarespace and apply a sentiment analysis algorithm that classifies these tweets as positive or negative. Every review is from a real person opinion. We use this information and output an approval rating score, which is based on real people, positive and negative, opinions about Squarespace on Twitter
Squarespace Review on Twitter
Squarespace vs Competitor Ratings
Pete Corcoran (@PeteCorcoran)
Finally re-launched my website. Feedback welcome. Still love @squarespace So easy…
John Day (@johnnyfireblade)
@squarespace So...am I or aren't I?
Brianne Kimmel (@briannekimmel)
Good use of fun facts given the audience is funtrepreneurs. CTA could be much stronger though. @squarespace
Kim Egner (@kimicus_maximus)
Thank you, @squarespace, for making it infinitely easier to connect a domain
Agency 451 (@Agency451)
@squarespace #SuperBowlAd With #JohnMalkovich Wins #Emmys for Best #Commercial via @Adweek #451Heat #adfreak
Marianne Siproudhis (@siproudhis_m)
Pour une pub audacieuse et différente : [email protected]’s Super Bowl ad starring John Malkovich wins Best Ad Emmy
Thas Naseemuddeen (@thaz7)
Big congrats to @squarespace @dmklee + team on the Emmy win for Best Commercial.
I'm so glad I redesigned my website with @squarespace
Business /NWSRM (@BusinessNWSRM)
The best office perk of all? The ability to work on a great team, like @squarespace's 500+ employees ►
@squarespace @gsuite lol so funny
At the #NYAUG enjoying talks from @ColumnIT and other #users. Thanks @squarespace for a beautiful location… https://t.co/GIFrE7MKlW
Jason Carpentier (@JasonCarpentier)
Hmm, is @squarespace gonna support Paypal any better than they do now?
Alex Corvus (@boundlessalex)
Technical difficulties have arisen with iTunes being able to read my rss feed somehow. @squarespace better fix it up!!
@squarespace has got to have the worst customer service. Maybe it's just me ...
Edwin Peng (@EdwinPeng88)
@RaeHachtonYA Yeah-I still haven't found a good logo/color scheme for my "author brand". I just went w/… https://t.co/m3Ny5gNtnQ