Who doesn’t want their website to look good? After all, the chances of any visitor spending time on your website and navigating through its various pages increase drastically if the site looks slick. As they say, “first impressions last”.
SquareSpace is certainly the right web builder for you if you’re looking to create a professional and sleekly designed website with functionality to match.
Gone are the days when creating a good looking and functional website were only possible for web designers and developers. Even if you do not know anything about coding, you can still design a professional looking website by using simple drag-and-drop – WYSIWYG website builder like SquareSpace.
SquareSpace enables you to create your own website using the drag-and-drop technique along with flexible access to its content editor, style editor and much more.
So, in this review of Squarespace, you will find out if we were disappointed or thrilled when we used the website builder. We will also take a closer look at all the features of Squarespace, along with its pros and cons.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is a Content Management System (CMS) that was launched in 2004 by Anthony Casalena. Its headquarters are in New York and deals with web hosting services, blogging platforms and website builders.
It also has thus far managed to power more than 1.8 million websites. It faces stiff competition from Weebly, Wix, iPage, GoDaddy and more in the website publishing industry, but it has managed to hold its own against them.
Squarespace Customer Support
Even though this website builder is extremely easy to use, you are bound to require some help at some point during the course of your site development. You can completely rely on the Squarespace support team, as they offer assistance around the clock. You can contact them via email, and you will get a reply within an hour. You can also make use of their amazing live chat services to get quick resolutions to your issues or queries.
It further has a solid knowledge base with plenty of articles where you can check if the answers to your questions are already available.
Alternatively, you can raise a query in the Squarespace discussion forum where fellow users or the support team will answer your queries. It also offers you access to comprehensive video tutorials that empower you to make the best use of the Squarespace tool.
Squarespace Website Editor
The site editor is very easy to use, despite being able to build numerous things with it. This is because everything has been labelled explicitly for your quick understanding.
Any website that you build using this tool will have different regions, such as the header, body and footer. In these regions, you have to place content blocks which can be anything like text paragraphs, images, forms or galleries.
The form content block gives many new field options and you can even connect it to MailChimp (your email newsletter subscription alternative).
The menu content block enables you to create restaurant-style menus that will impress your visitors to no end. The gallery content block allows you to build any type of photo gallery or slideshow and empowers you to experiment with the thumbnail views of images.
In a nutshell, all the content blocks are more than enough to cater to your website design requirements. You simply have to pick the right one and enable the relevant features on your site.
Squarespace Templates and Style Editor
The richness of your site is generated by the premium quality templates that Squarespace has to offer. Unlike several other website builders, it focuses on quality rather than on quantity so you only have 32 designer templates to choose from.
But you will find it hard to select just one for your site even from such a small collection of stunning templates. One look at the templates and you can clearly make out the amount of effort that must have gone into carefully select the range of templates. Each template is responsive, sleek, mobile friendly and minimal.
Whether you want a template for your site based on photography, business, music, blogs or weddings, you will find one for every category.
If you have some coding knowledge, you can even customise the templates by editing the CSS. You can also use the style editor for different customisations, such as header spacing, navigation background, modifying logo height, fonts, spacing between letters and adjusting typography settings.
Ecommerce Capabilities of Squarespace
With the tremendous growth witnessed in the eCommerce sector globally, it is a common thing these days to find countless website owners who want to build an online store.
The “Commerce” feature offered by Squarespace entitles you to build an all-inclusive online store to enhance the reputation of your business and brand in very similar way to Shopify.
Using the user-friendly interface, you can quickly place product images, descriptive text and more. You can also add a simple online store to your existing website and start selling products or services online in no time.
The intuitive interface further allows you to manage your inventory appropriately and process customer orders systematically. It is so flexible that you can easily set up various tax rules (which often get ignored by eCommerce platforms), shipping methods and different discount coupons for online shopping.
The Stripe payment gateway or processor ensures secure transactions can take place from the online store built using the “Commerce” tool. With Stripe, your online store will be able to accept payments from all major credit cards.
Furthermore, to win over the trust of online shoppers, Squarespace makes use of 128-bit SSL encryption and is already Level 1 PCI compliant to handle the security of credit card information.
This feature is adequately integrated with ShipStation which allows you to connect with services, such as Shipwire and Fulfilment by Amazon, for seamless shipping processes.
It offers good support for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which is needed for almost every website today to appear higher in the search engine results and to get more visits.
Squarespace also offers you the capability of customising your webpage address or URL which does not have to be the same as your webpage title. This will further assist you with having an SEO-friendly webpage address.
Another unique feature offered is the automatic creation of a sitemap for your site. You can then easily submit it to Google with the Google Webmaster tools. This will lead to faster crawling and indexing of your website’s pages.
With Squarespace, you do not need to fret about hosting. All the hosting needs and processes are completely managed by them and you can simply focus on designing a wonderful website to attract more visitors.
You can try out Squarespace for a 14-day free trial period. Once you are satisfied that you will use it on a long-term basis for creating beautiful websites, you can even claim a free domain with your first annual plan. After the initial term, your domain shall renew at $20 per year.
All the plans on offer comprise around the clock customer support, fully integrated eCommerce, a custom domain, a mobile website and store. The three subscription plans for Squarespace are listed below:
|Price||Number of Products to Sell||Key Inclusions||Google Professional Email||Google Adwords Credit|
|Personal||$8 per month (annual subscription) or $12 per month (monthly subscription)||1||20 pages, galleries and blogs with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage and two contributors||No||None|
|Business||$18 per month (annual subscription) or $26 per month (monthly subscription)||20||Unlimited pages, galleries and blogs with unlimited bandwidth, storage and contributors||Yes||$100|
|Commerce||$26 per month (annual subscription) or $36 per month (monthly subscription)||Unlimited||Unlimited pages, galleries and blogs with unlimited bandwidth, storage and contributors||Yes||$100|
Advantages of Squarespace
- The example websites of Squarespace are stunning and exactly what you will be able to create using its rich imagery and designer templates. These templates are of the highest quality and make the viewers feel as though the site’s design has been perfected for several months. It also lends your site a pretty expensive look.
- You can try out an extensive range of website styling or customising options and you can quickly start using it to add styles to your website without changing any code. This makes Squarespace stand out from several other website builders that may require you to do plenty of small coding changes to customise your website.
- It saves the uploaded images in different scaled versions and extends support for retina images. So, every image that is uploaded to Squarespace gets served to visitors depending on whether the site is being viewed from a desktop PC or a mobile screen or a retina display device. Squarespace is one of the few website builders that optimise images for retina display.
- It offers full support to podcast and publishes or broadcast your shows to iTunes.
- It has a good built-in donation system that allows you to have an alternate checkout process (workflow) for donations with the option to create bespoke donation receipts. So, you can do your bit in trying to keep your website visitors socially aware and responsible.
- A key benefit of Squarespace is that the majority of its templates are highly responsive for optimised viewing. As the trend keeps shifting towards mobile users, it is useful if your website is mobile or tablet responsive.
- If you decide to move your site or blog from Squarespace to WordPress, you can easily export the necessary items.
Disadvantages of Squarespace
- You may have a problem with its style editor in terms of styling or customising options. This is because, if you are not a technical expert or someone who likes to experiment a lot, you have many options to style and change almost everything on your website. This could probably get a bit overwhelming for first-time users of a website builder like Squarespace.
- When we built a test site using Squarespace, we faced difficulties in re-arranging the blocks of images or text from one location to another. This did not occur when we used the simple drag-and-drop technique, but the flow wasn’t as smooth and quick as we had expected it to be. The “drag” seemed a bit heavy, especially when the “drop” location on the screen required automatic scrolling.
- Squarespace does not offer a free plan like many other site building tools. So, all websites created using Squarespace are paid ones. They only offer a 14-day free trial period.
- It is tedious to delete multiple content blocks from the website editor, as you need to click three to four times to complete the deletion process of a single block.
Squarespace is ideal if you desire a great looking website that is sure to impress your visitors. Its ease of use and flexibility offered with the site editor and style editor for various customisations without any coding is a big plus.
Also, the advantages of this site builder tool completely outweigh the disadvantages. Still, if you have some doubts about using it, you can try it for 14 days for free.
We hope that the above information helps you decide if Squarespace is the right website builder for you! Do you have any questions? Please feel free to comment below and thanks for reading!