Squarespace provides beautifully designed templates supported by a strong suite of features & functionality.
Now serving over 2 million websites, Squarespace has solidified their corner of the website building market. They offer easy to implement, stylish templates that anyone can set up and use within a couple of hours.
To flick through Squarespace’s award-winning website templates feels reminiscent of taking an (online) stroll through a modern art gallery; swathes of white space and minimalist design offset by a striking use of text and colour.
This article will review Squarespace as a website builder for individuals and those looking to set up business and eCommerce sites.
Squarespace gives users an unparalleled choice of captivating website templates from which to choose.
There are currently 113 templates, and you can also choose from an almost endless selection of premade colour palettes. For the more creative website builder, you can select a bespoke colour palette or use a personal photo as a section’s background.
A word of warning, ensure your choice of photo is in high definition, as the picture will take up most of the background (all photos provided by Squarespace are optimal quality). If your photo isn’t good enough quality, Squarespace partners with Getty images, and you can buy photos for $10+.
The customisation options are mostly intuitive, although some advanced changes require some rooting around the design menu.
The selection of fonts Squarespace offer is fantastic, with options for any background. Fonts come in many different sizes, styles and colour palettes. For those seeking a simple font option, you can choose one style and size to use throughout the website. If you prefer, a high degree of editing is possible - you can edit the transparency of text, as well as the size of gaps between letters.
Every page on Squarespace is made up of one of two ingredients:
Since the latest update (7.10) Squarespace allows each section to have a unique background or colour. Users can now embellish new and existing sites with captivating media effortlessly.
Although the editor is mostly intuitive to use, continually saving changes is a little jarring when getting to grips with the site. However, after a few hours, this became second nature. The Squarespace team will likely fix this minor annoyance in an upcoming update.
Needless to say, anyone in a creative industry will benefit from building their website using Squarespace. A lesser-known fact is that Squarespace is also great for bloggers, content writers, and copywriters.
Traditionally, bloggers have flocked to WordPress to share their content. However, Squarespace could soon be the website builder for bloggers. Blogs hosted on Squarespace benefit from AMP support (which speeds up loading times for mobile users), geolocation tags and an option to schedule posts.
Uniquely, Squarespace bloggers can also restore deleted posts for up to 30 days after deletion. The site also allows comments, categories and content moderation, as well as multiple site contributors (on all plans above personal).
While alternative site builders like Wix also offer app support, Squarespace’s apps currently provide the most comprehensive mobile support. Its three principal apps are called Squarespace, Squarespace Commerce and Squarespace Analytics.
All sites built using Squarespace integrate well with 3rd party extensions and widgets. While there may not be the widest selection available, Squarespace integrates with the most popular extensions.
There are plenty of compatible extensions for photo and video embedding, with support for apps like Dropbox and Youtube. Additionally, marketing tools like Amazon affiliate tracking Google ads help you to advertise and work with 3rd parties to earn a profit.
Embedded share buttons are also available, encouraging site visitors to share your content to social media platforms.
Squarespace offers 24/7 email support, live chat Monday to Friday, and online video tutorials to guide users through everyday obstacles. There are also community support platforms like forums and social media support through Twitter.
On a small negative note, Squarespace doesn’t offer phone support, which can be irritating for people who prefer resolving issues over the phone.
Most people looking to build an eCommerce site will naturally gravitate towards a builder like Shopify.
Squarespace isn’t primarily an eCommerce website builder, but it is still an excellent platform to build an eCommerce site.
Suppose you’re looking for the best possible functionality for an eCommerce site. In that case, Shopify or another eCommerce specialist may better serve you. But, if you’re looking for a highly functional, trendsetting site to sell the fruits of your labour, Squarespace could be the best option for your business.
The key reason for using Squarespace would be the templates, they are easy to implement and look great across all devices. They give just the right amount of flexibility to ensure your content looks great.
In addition the designer is simple to get to grips with and getting started is not difficult with a very low learning curve.
Finally, the mobile app’s are the best in the market. So if you want to have control over your site when you are on the move, Squarespace may be the right option for you.
Squarespace has some great themes, to maintain the quality of these the user will only have access to edit various elements on the page. This shouldn’t be a problem for most users but if you have a very specific design in mind then Wix may give you a bit more freedom.
The number of (albeit excellent) templates available is currently 113 templates. This may mean you can’t find the perfect template for your business however most industries and businesses will not struggle. As noted earlier in this review, they make up in quality what they may lack in quantity.
Squarespace also doesn’t have the pedigree in e-commerce compared to Shopfiy, those looking to run an ecommerce business with a large product range may find the features limited although 3rd party integrations can help plug this gap.
Which features are available to use while building your site will depend on your chosen plan.
You can find a link to what Squarespace includes in each package here, and we’ve listed the cost of each plan below.
Personal - £10 per year if paid annually, £13 per month if paid monthly. Good to get you started if this is your first website or blog.
Business - £15 per year if paid annually, £21 per month if paid monthly. When your site or blog becomes more popular, and you want to add contributing writers or add premium integrations or blocks, the business plan could assist you. However, sites using the business plan have to pay a 3% transaction fee on every sale.
Commerce Basic - £20 per month if paid annually, £24 per month if paid monthly. The basic commercial plan includes all the necessary functionality to get your shop up and running, with features like customer accounts, point of sale and merchandising tools. Both commercial plans also offer 0% transaction fees.
Commerce Advanced - £30 per month if paid annually, £37 per month if paid monthly. The advanced commercial plan includes all the basic commercial plan features. Some extras are included like subscriptions, abandoned cart recovery and real-time delivery rates for couriers like UPS or FedEx.
Overall, Squarespace offers one of the easiest to use and edit, best-looking website builders available now - at competitive prices. While there are still one or two improvements needed in the editor, the templates and design features are simply second to none.
Should you feel like giving Squarespace a try, they are currently offering a 14-day free trial, so now could be a perfect time to get your business online.
A few additional points:
In a similar fashion to other website builders, Squarespace gives you a choice of a domain name free for the first year, which then costs £14pa after that. While £14pa is a little more expensive than some other sites, it’s only an extra £4 per year, so we’re not holding it against Squarespace.
Google’s G Suite easily integrates with Squarespace, so you can set up custom emails for your domain name - currently priced at £4 per month per email. If you choose the Business plan or higher, Squarespace gives you one free custom email.
Suppose you don’t know where to start or haven’t the faintest idea of how you want your website to look. In that case, Squarespace has a straightforward process to get you going, which we’ve outlined below.
The site asks you three questions to better understand which templates to recommend you.
The first question is “What is your site about?”, with many options to choose from: Art, Food, Restaurant or Photography, for example.
The second question is “What are your goals?”, with options to choose from such as selling products, services or memberships, or to market myself.
The last question is “Where are you in your process?”, which aims to determine whether you’re an artist or a budding startup founder looking to sell their newest product. There is an option here to help you transfer data from an existing website to Squarespace.
If you’re stuck for ideas or looking for inspiration, Squarespace’s process is quick, easy and painless to go through. Even if you decide to go with another website builder, you’ll likely get some design inspiration from flicking through the snappy templates on offer.