Squarespace is one of the most common website builders on the market with many attracted to it’s ability to produce visually rich and superbly stunning websites. This review will provide an overview of Squarespace’s website builder platform, what audience it’s aimed at, it’s price plan structure as well as the lowdown of how easy it is to use in order to create a website. This Squarespace review will conclude with a list of pros and cons.
SquareSpace Website Builder Review
Price - 8/10
Features - 8/10
Support - 7/10
Ease of Use - 10/10
Overall you could have a website up and running in a weekend with SquareSpace. Sometimes we found the interface lag behind a little when editing.
Table of Contents
- 1 Squarespace Overview
- 2 Who is Squarespace best suited for?
- 3 Pricing – How much does Squarespace cost?
- 4 Which Squarespace price plan is best?
- 5 Does Squarespace include website hosting?
- 6 Is Squarespace easy to use? – How it works
- 7 How to use Squarespace
- 8 How to Create a Page in Squarespace
- 9 SquareSpace Conclusion
- 10 Pros of SquareSpace Website Builder
- 11 Cons of SquareSpace Website Builder
Like its competitors, Wix and Weebly, Squarespace is a well renowned, all inclusive website builder. It’s mission is to make ‘beautiful products to help people with creative ideas succeed’. Whether you are an artist or an entrepreneur, the Squarespace platform will help to create and deliver a website that is not only impactful and stylish, but is also incredibly easy to manage that practically anyone with any level of technical skill can do it.
Who is Squarespace best suited for?
Anyone who wants to create a highly polished, professional looking website that is visually stimulating. If you want to look like you’ve had a custom built site and like you’ve invested a lot of money in it, Squarespace will not disappoint. For this reason, we feel that the Squarespace Website Builder platform is probably best suited to designers and creative professionals such as photographers, artists, bloggers, and for anyone who’s in the business where aesthetics and style are key.
Pricing – How much does Squarespace cost?
Unlike some of it’s biggest competitors, Squarespace does not have a free plan. It does however offer a free trial period of up to 14 days. After this time, you will need to upgrade to a paid service to access your site. If you want to use Squarespace to build your website (or continue on after your 14 day free trial) then you will need to pay for it’s services. Squarespace operates a pricing structure with four different price plans to suit the user’s needs. The cheapest option is their Personal plan which is perfect for someone who wants to create a simple website and will set you back $12 a month. The Personal plan includes a web optimized website with up to 20 pages with unlimited data and storage, a free custom domain, fully integrated ecommerce with the ability to sell unlimited products and powerful website analytics. The most expensive option will cost you $40 a month and is designed for people looking to grow and expand their online business. This plan includes advanced features such as integrated accounting with Xero, abandoned checkout auto- recovery and real time carrier shipping.
Which Squarespace price plan is best?
Which price plan is best for you will depend on your requirements. As mentioned, the most expensive price plan, at $40 per month (cheaper than Weebly’s $60 a month Performance plan but more than Wix’s VIP plan at $24.50), and is really only suited for those who have or intend to have a bigger ecommerce site. If you’re only looking to build a small site whether it’s a blog or a portfolio, we would recommend starting off with the Personal plan at $12 a month. As this only provides you with 20 pages, you may find that you will soon outgrow your site and will need to upgrade to the Business plan at $18 a month. On this plan you will get an unlimited number of pages so you can build out your site until your heart’s content.
Squarespace plans are billed monthly or yearly and you have the flexibility to cancel at anytime you want. For those who are fully committed and know that they will want to stay with Squarespace for at least a year, you’ll can save money by paying a year’s fee all upfront. You can also switch plans by upgrading or downgrading at any time and you’ll receive either a pro-rated charge or refund, dependant on the cost of your new chosen plan.
Does Squarespace include website hosting?
Squarespace is an all inclusive platform and free web hosting comes as part of all their price plans. Their fully managed cloud hosting will ensure that your website remains available any time of day, all day.
Is Squarespace easy to use? – How it works
Beginners and novices fear not! Squarespace offers an advanced setup wizard that will make the task of creating your website less daunting. As with it’s primary competitors, Squarespace operates a drag and drop style editor making it easy for users to create a website that is rich in imagery with a super slick finish. It’s clean, elegant interface and clearly marked tool and features are incredibly easy to understand and you can very simply edit the style of your content and pages directly in front of you.
Your edit options will appear by simply clicking on the relevant section of your page or site (unlike some other popular website builders where the edit options and elements are contained within a permanent sidebar) so you can chop and change effortlessly. Whilst you don’t need to have any previous experience or knowledge in coding to be able to work with Squarespace in building your dream website, there is a little bit of a learning curve especially when compared to the likes of Wix and Weebly. This learning curve is made easier with their selection of very thorough help videos.
How to use Squarespace
The first step after selecting Get Started on the home page is to select the desired theme. With over 50 high quality themes to choose from, you can filter these by the categories located on the left hand side of the screen. You’ll be able to preview each template prior making your decision. From Art & Design to Non-Profit, and from Health & Fitness to Media & Entertainment, their beautifully designed templates cater for a variety of industries and businesses, so you’ll likely find one that works for you. Whilst there are not quite as many templates available compared to some other website builders on the market, each template comes with hundreds of customizable features. Templates are designed to be the foundation of your site, merely a starting point, and from there you can customise it for a more personalised finished. Once you have selected your chosen template, you’ll be prompted to enter your name, email and create a password. Then hit Sign Up & Create Site.
On the left hand side of your screen you will find the home menu where the content management tools that make up the Squarespace website builder platform resides. On the right is your preview screen.
The first thing you might want to do is to change the name and logo within the template. To do this you will need to select Design from the home menu, and then Logo & Title. Here you will be able to type in the chosen name of your website along with a tagline and also upload a favicon and your website logo.
Next you might want to provide information that will help visitors to find your site and optimise it for search engines (known as SEO). To do that you will need to select Settings, and then Basic Information. Here you will be able to select your website type and enter a description which should include keywords that visitors would use in search engines when searching for your site.
How to Create a Page in Squarespace
Each template comes with preloaded content that you can use (by selecting Create) or discard (by selecting Delete) if they don’t fit in with the site you are creating. You can also discard pages by hovering over the page titles and selecting the trash can icon that appears. If you change your mind about it further down the line (up to 30 days), pages can be easily restored by clicking the trash can icon below the navigation to reveal the recycle bin. Simply click restore beside the page you wish recover.
First select Pages from the Home menu and click on the plus sign next to the top navigation. A pop up box will open and you will be given a selection of page types to choose from (in this example, we have selected Gallery).
Once you have named your new gallery page, you can begin to upload images to the page by clicking inside the dashed box.
Unlike website builders like Wix, however, Squarespace doesn’t save a repository of your uploaded images for use elsewhere on your site. If you want to use your image on other pages, you’ll have to re-upload it each time.
Once you have uploaded your images, you can easily change the order in which they appear by clicking on the images and dragging them into the desired order.
To name your images and to give them a description, click on the gear button when hovering over the image to reveal the pop up box below.
To change a page’s settings, click on the gear icon when hovering over the page’s title. Here you’ll be able to set the navigation title (the name you see in the navigation bar), the page title (the name you see in the window’s browser), the description ( which will improve the page SEO) and set a password (to hide the page until it is ready or if you don’t want search engines to index the page).
When creating a standard page, you will be given the option to select from pre-designed starter layouts with pre-arranged place holders (great for those who require design inspiration) built for specific purposes but can be re-arranged as required.
When editing your page, you have the option to add many of Squarespace’s content blocks by clicking on an insert point (the sideways teardrop icon). Content blocks include video, maps, search function for visitors to scour your site’s content and much, much more. Want to find something quickly? Easy! You can use the search function along the top that will let you drill down quickly and find the block you’re looking for.
To amend the page title and default text, simply click onto it and a toolbar will appear along the top with style options.
Once you have uploaded an image by selecting Add Image in the grey box to the left, you can reposition the image simply by dragging and dropping. To enable this, click on the edge of the image.
You can also choose to float the image with the text wrapped around it. You might have to play around a bit to get it into the desired position – look out for the black vertical line that appears when you are dragging content around.
To add a content block to the page, click on the insert point (the sideways teardrop icon), click on the block required, in this case a contact form, and you will be prompted to edit the information (of the form) in a pop up box that will automatically open.
You’ll notice along the top of the pop up box, there are two more tabs (currently greyed out). These will also have elements for you to edit and you can do this simply by clicking on the tab. In this area, you’ll be able to set how you are notified of form submissions.
Once you are happy with your page edits, hit the Save button at the top left of the screen.
To customise the style of your page and site, you will need to select Design in the Home menu, and then Style Editor. How your styling options are split out and what options are available is dependent on the template you choose. To edit an option, simply click on the icon to the right of the text.
Squarespace is undoubtedly one of the slickest website builders on the market today. Many praise it for it’s clean, intuitive editor interface with hundreds of powerful yet easy to use tools and features at your fingertips. Others for it’s incredibly high quality, responsive templates. Whilst you don’t need any prior knowledge in website building or be a wiz at coding to be able to use Squarespace, there is a bit more of a learning curve with the website builder especially when compared to some of it’s competitors such Wix and Weebly. While there is an element of dragging and dropping content/features around the page, there are also a lot of hidden features which are revealed only once the insert point is clicked on.
For those looking for extras, Squarespace also offers helpful marketing features and comprehensive analytics.
Pros of SquareSpace Website Builder
While Squarespace doesn’t offer anywhere near the number ot templates as some of it’s competitors, the ones available are second to none. Each one is beautiful, of high quality and created to perfection. You can probably even fool people into thinking that you’ve got yourself a custom-built website and invested a lot more than you have, they are that good.
Whether you want to create a small website, a blog or an ecommerce site, you can do so easily with Squarespace. The site is also live by default as soon as you sign up.
Squarespace’s forte is its style editor, allowing you to make a limitless amount of style changes to your pages from font, heading size, border colors, padding, navigation, banner size and much more. The world is your oyster.
Need help? Fear not! Squarespace offers live chat and 24/7 email support (with a 1 hour response time) along with numerous tutorial videos to help you navigate your way around the builder.
Cons of SquareSpace Website Builder
Compared to some of it’s competitors, Squarespace isn’t as straightforward. Be prepared to invest some time learning how to use it though their tutorial videos are great.
There are lots of hidden hover menus within the editor interface which only come to light when moving the mouse around the page. This is rather counter-intuitive.
While Squarespace does offer a free 14-day trial, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan once your trial is up to be able to continue to use your site. Some other website builders offer a free
plan with no time limit attached for a basic package (ideal for small, simple websites). Squarespace is also more expensive than builders like Wix and Weebly, particularly for the lower end plans.
Squarespace lacks the opportunity to connect to a third-party widget marketplace. Having access to external widgets allow websites the ability another level of customisation.
As mentioned, Squarespace’s styling options are top notch. However, for some, they can be somewhat overwhelming. Some will love the ability to be super flexible when it comes to detail but for the average user, it might be a touch too much.
We’ve mentioned that we felt that Squarespace was particularly suited to those in the design or creative fields, or those who are in the business where the quality of aesthetics is key, this is because the templates require a lot of high quality photography to really look good.