Choosing a platform for your website is a big decision. When I started Delighted Magazine in 2012, I was using Blogger. And even though I had a custom URL to make it seem more legit, it was still Blogger which only has so much functionality. I was regularly frustrated when it came to customizing and felt like I had to learn things through a lot of trial and error versus having clear instructions and an understanding of how the program actually worked. But it was free and was good enough. Until I discovered Squarespace, thanks to my sister. I gave it a try and I haven’t looked back.
Chances are, you’re wondering if Squarespace might be the right solution for your website—and it just might. Here are 20 reasons to give it a try!
1 • Simple but Beautiful Design
It’s pretty clear that Squarespace is designed by people who know what they’re doing when it comes to design. Their layouts provide plenty of whitespace and padding where necessary so your website looks professional and has “room to breathe”. There are various styles but every one of them is designed in a clean, structured way that is ideal for showcasing your work and adding customizations to reflect your company’s style. A company whose overall aesthetic is clear and pretty to look at is a definite plus.
2 • Templates
Each template offers different features and variations. For instance, the navigation bar location, whether or not it has blog capabilities, the footer style, and so on. Squarespace offers a description and feature list for each and every template so you can compare and decide which works for you.
As you’re trying to figure out what template works for you, you have the option of loading more than one template on your site as you’re building it, and do a “test run” where you see how a certain template will look with your content. This is a great way to get a feel for different options. For time’s sake, I recommend first deciding what features you think you’ll need. Consider the look you like, the content you’ll be providing, the what your ideal client or customer may be looking for in terms of their experience on your site, whether or not you need a blog, and if so, will you need a sidebar? Once you have answers to those basic questions, review the template options and visit the sample websites that use the templates you’re interested in so you can see the template in action on a real-life website.
Use these questions as a starting point to figure out what template will work best for you:
Do you want a blog? If so, do you need a sidebar for your blog where you can have category links, an “about me” section, a search bar, etc?
Do you want a website where all of your information is on one page? Or do you prefer a home page with links that direct your clients and customers to other pages on your site?
Will you be selling products directly from your website?
Will you be adding a lot of photos and portfolio work?
Do you only need a landing page?
The Squarespace Help Guide offers additional info as you’re going through the decision process. If you’re feeling stuck, you can reach out to the Squarespace team for suggestions. They ask that you answer some basic questions for them and they’ll direct you towards some great options for your needs.
3 • No Coding Required
It’s like a dream come true: you can have a beautiful, professional website without needing to know even one line of code. As you’re setting up your website, keep in mind that there are some limitations with what you can do to your site without code because you’re working within the boundaries of a template. If you love a particular feature from your favorite website or blog that was created from scratch on a platform using CSS and HTML, you may be frustrated when it’s not possible to recreate. For instance, a colored footer may not be an option with the template you chose. But don’t be! Consider your visitor’s needs and focus on how they’ll be using your site and rest easy knowing that for most websites, what Squarespace offers is more than enough.
The features and options in Squarespace have been well thought out and their process for adding content is super simple. I’m quite certain you will be pleased, if not ecstatic, with the final layout of your site. A place online that is all yours—and it’s easy!
4 • CSS Can Be Added for Customization
If you do need a few customizations or if you know CSS and want to change your template at all, you can! I have limited CSS knowledge but did make a couple changes to my site using code. As an example, hover over any of the images on my site and you’ll see the Pin It button is unique. I designed the button in Illustrator and used code I purchased to add it to all of my images.
5 • Adding Content
Squarespace uses an intuitive block system that allows you to build your website by adding blocks on your page and choosing what you want that block to do. Do you want an introduction paragraph? Insert a text block and start typing. An image? Insert an image block and upload your image. A space for your social media buttons? Insert a social media block and connect your accounts. Easy! Each content addition gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
6 • Ease of Creating and Editing
The simplicity and intuitive-nature of Squarespace is probably one of it’s best features. Considering that most websites are constantly being updated with new content, it’s important to use a platform that makes editing and adding a simple task. Do you want to add an image? Okay, choose the image block, upload, add the description, maybe a caption, make it a link to anywhere, and Save. Simple! Do you want to add a newsletter subscription sign-up form? Place the newsletter block on your page, add your mailchimp credentials, and you’re all set!
7 • Customer Service
Wow. The customer service Squarespace provides is amazing. Open a ticket via email or chat and you will have a friendly answer to your question within 24-hours or so. The customer service is ah-mazing.
8 • Tutorials and Help Boards
On top of their great customer service, Squarespace has endless tutorials with clear instructions and has captured them in a super organized way. If something isn’t addressed in their tutorial pages, you will likely be able to get help via Squarespace Answers, which is a peer-to-peer community for anyone using their platform.
9 • Price
Squarespace offers different pricing tiers which currently range from $5 to $40 per month depending on your business needs. The sites I have designed have all been between $5 and $26 per month. You can do a side-by-side comparison of the options for each price range and see what works best for you.
10 • They Thought of Everything
From social media links to forms to inserting dividing lines to adding a video, it’s all a possibility with Squarespace. Yes, there are certainly some limitations, but for the most part, if you need something included on your site, you’ll be able to add it. And if you happen to know how to code, you can always use the code box to add unique content as necessary.
11 • Built-in Tools
There are a number of tools that are built into the Squarespace platform that eliminate extra work. An example of these tools are the favicon uploader, photo descriptions, site information, and logo header. In the case of the favicon, for example, you don’t have to use a favicon generator or create a file that is exactly the right size for a favicon. Instead, Squarespace allows you to upload your image and it will add it as a favicon for you.
12 • Sell Products
I don’t sell products on my site, but if I ever decide to, Squarespace has e-commerce options that will allow me to sell directly from my website. Some of the extra features they offer for e-commerce sites include shipping label services, inventory tracking, and accounting services.
13 • Contributors
If you collaborate on blog posts or work as part of a team, you can provide permission to others to collaborate or contribute to your website by editing or adding new content depending on the authority you provide to them. This is helpful when you need someone on your team to add images to your gallery, or make changes to a page, or add extra items to your shop, etc.
14 • Photo Resizing and Editing
You can resize your photos and even edit them directly in Squarespace! Talk about streamlining. I will say, I rarely use their photo editing option because the images I add to my site are ready-to-use when I bring them in, but knowing that I can tweak any image by brightening or cropping if I need to, is super valuable.
15 • A Custom Domain is Included
When you purchase an annual subscription, your domain name is included! As long as the URL you want is available, you can request it directly through Squarespace. This means you don’t need to purchase your URL separately and connect it, although if you do have a domain already registered elsewhere, it’s easy to direct it to Squarespace, of course.
16 • Hosting is Included
Squarespace hosts your website so you don’t need to pay for a hosting service. This is ideal because everything is connected and seamless.
17 • Professional Gmail Account
Depending on the plan you choose, a Gmail account with your domain name may be included and if so, it can easily be set-up via Squarespace.
18 • Content Transfer
You can transfer your content from Blogger, Tumblr or WordPress into your new Squarespace account and you can transfer your products from Big Cartel, Etsy, and Shopify. In true Squarespace fashion, step-by-step instructions are provided on their help pages so you aren’t left trying to figure it out on your own.
19 • Responsive Website
A responsive website is one where the content on your website is created to fit and look just as great on a computer as it is on a mobile device. The content is scaled, resized and in some cases, slightly rearranged depending on the device you’re using. Website developers typically code sites to be responsive, but if you’re not creating a website from scratch, there’s nothing to worry about: Squarespace has taken care of it for you. Their sites are designed and built to work well and look great on any device you are using. There are some tips and considerations to keep in mind when laying out photos and content so that you get the best results, but Squarespace has tutorials to show you how to best do that.
And as you are building your site, you are able to view a demo version of your site as it would be seen on a tablet or smartphone.
20 • Free Trial
You don’t have to pay to play. You can try Squarespace for two weeks, for free! You are able to build your site, see how you like the templates, add content, try their customer service, and review and and all of the tutorials without paying a dime. Once your two weeks are up, Squarespace will often allow you to extend your trial even longer if you’re not quite ready to commit. So keep checking your email for the extended offer or send an email to their customer service team with the request.
I hope this has been a helpful overview. Let me know if you have any questions that weren’t addressed or if you want more information on any of these benefits I mentioned. Have fun building your site!