Squarespace was founded in 2003 as an all-in-one website builder. In over 12 years they have amassed over 1,000,000 customers.
The Squarespace platform has also been used by big-name brands including Contently, Surface, and V Magazine. The company states in its mission statement that it “helps anyone build a beautiful home online.”
Squarespace includes many features including templates, customization, hosting, social integrations, SEO (search engine optimization), analytics and more. Their customer service team has won awards and is available 24/7. They do not outsource their customer service which means you can talk to an experienced Squarespace that works at one of the company’s offices.
This Squarespace review will take a closer look at what the website builder has to offer and if it is worth giving a try.
Sqarespace provides templates for categories including businesses, restaurants, personal sites, weddings, blogs, and more. Here is a view of some of the templates you can select in the template gallery:
In addition to a wide range of templates, Squarespace also includes other design features including:
- Template switching
- Customizable layouts
- Free typekit and Google fonts
- Restorable example content
- Custom CSS
In terms of design, Squarespace comes with many features for creating a fully functional, visually appealing, modern website.
2. Site Builder
The Squarespace website builder lets you customize templates and load the demo content automatically.
When first initiallized, here is what the builder looks like:
The sidebar menu on the left lets you access and edit your pages, site design, settings, and view analytics. Editing and modifying pages can be done in the pages tab. Once there, you can select a page to edit. With pre-defined layouts, you can easily create pages in little time. Note that to start editing a page, you’ll have to turn the demo page into a real on by clicking on “create page”.
To edit the features for any given page, scroll down to the section you want to customize and then click on edit. You then go into an editor mode for the page and can customize its elements such as text and images.
The Squarespace editor can some time to learn how to navigate. I found it a bit tricky finding my way around and getting used to the workflow.
Squarespace sites are designed for the modern web. They are mobile friendly, SEO ready, and built with the latest code. Squarespace comes with over 50 professionally made themes that you can use.
Here is an overview of some of the key features:
Space and bandwidth: The fist plan gives you 20 pages to work with. While that isn’t a huge amount, it is generally enough for a normal website. The plans come with unlimited bandwidth and storage space, but to remove the page limit you’ll have to get the business plan.
Built-in mobile websites: Squarespace sites are designed to look good on mobile devices. You won’t have to worry about creating a mobile version of your site because it will adapt to look good in different settings.
Support: Plans include 24/7 support from Squarespace’s award-winning support team. Again, their support is not outsourced – you can get help from someone working in one of their offices. Squarespace also has communities where you can find help and support, workshops, and connect with other designers who use the platform. You can also find Squarespace specialists who you can hire to do work on your site for you.
SEO: Squarespace websites are search engine friendly. As stated on their site, they use valid XHTML code, sitemaps, clean article links, and proper tagging. You also get more SEO control by being able to change image filenames, page titles, and URL’s.
eCommerce: With all plans you get fully integrated eCommerce. You can sell unlimited products and accept donations. However, unless you get the more expensive eCommerce plans, they take a percentage of every sale (3% on the personal plan and 2% on the business plan).
Extras: You get a $100 Google AdWords credit when you sign up for the top 3 plans. A free domain is included with annual purchase.
4. Ease of Use
The Squarespace website builder is well designed and minimalistic. You can control your entire website options from the sidebar on the left. This simplistic design makes the experience uncluttered and visually appealing.
Well-designed templates and extensive customization options allow you to create a personalized site easily. The predefined layouts are meant to make you content look good and help you organize your site. You don’t get as much flexibility as to where you can place your content, but this helps make sure the design looks good. Essentially, it’s hard to make the templates look bad because the builder doesn’t let you.
The navigation does take a little bit of time to get accustomed to as it is different from other drag-and-drop builders.
5. Pricing Plans
Squarespace has a simple pricing layout. They offer a 14-day free trial before they charge you that allows you to get a feel for the builder before making any commitment. However, unlike some website builders, you cannot create a website with Squarespace for free.
Their plans start at $12 per month for a normal website if you sign up for the whole year. Also offered are eCommerce plans that don’t charge a fee per transaction but are more expensive.
Some features included with Sqarespace include:
- Mobile optimized site
- Free domain with yearly plan
- Unlimited integrated eCommerce
- $100 Google Adwords credit on select plans
The page with the full Squarespace pricing is here.
Squarespace pricing starts high compared to some site builders that offer smaller plans. If you know what you want, going right ahead with the full plan will be fine for you. But if you want a smaller, less expensive plan, it is not offered.
Unlike some website builders that let you create a site for free such as Wix, there is no free plan for Squarespace. If you want to create a website that is accessible online by other people, you will have to start with one of their plans. You can still sign up and try their site builder for free, however.
The lack of an app market for adding features makes it less versatile than other builders. Both Wix or Weebly have app stores which allow you to add virtually unlimited functionality to your site.
Also, the $12 plan limits you to only 20 pages/galleries/blogs and only 2 contributors. Although you do have unlimited bandwidth and storage space, you will have to get the higher plan if you want unlimited pages.
Compared to other builders, the Squarespace site builder can take a little longer to learn and can be harder to navigate for beginners.
Squarespace Review – Conclusion
Squarespace is a powerful tool for creating websites.
Their custom templates and site builder allow you to create a visually-appealing site from scratch. With plenty of design features, you can customize your website to suit your individual needs.
Squarespace sites are designed to meet modern website standards such as mobile design, search engine optimization, and the latest coding languages.
Their pricing is a bit higher than some of the other website builders. However, if you like their platform and feel they offer the best features for your website it can be worth it. Although it can take a little bit longer to learn, Squarespace offers a powerful builder for customizing your site.