For small businesses and individuals alike, creating a website has never been easier with the range of website builders, like the Squarespace website builder, available on the market. Squarespace is a fan favorite because of its ease-of-use and customizability. With its range of features, Squarespace is one of the best options available if you’re interested in building a new website that attracts new customers and visitors and keeps them coming back.
Despite its overall strength as an option, Squarespace has its pros and areas of improvement in different categories, like all website builders. This guide will break down what you need to know before you decide for or against choosing Squarespace to build your website. Read through the full guide for a complete picture of where Squarespace succeeds or jump to categories you care most about in the index below.
Themes: 100 templates for almost any purpose
One of the most essential features of a good website builder are versatile and high-quality templates or themes. Themes dictate how your site will look and feel, and which types of pages are displayed. If you’re starting a blog, for example, you’ll choose a theme from your website builder of choice specifically for blogs so you can get started immediately writing content without adjusting your site too much beyond uploading images or adjusting design to your preferences.
Elegant themes are an area where Squarespace shines with over 100 themes available for a range of purposes from online stores to podcast websites. On their Templates page you can choose templates in different categories that match your site’s main purpose and pick the perfect one that will help your personal or business website shine. Squarespace’s themes are professional and modern and will impress visitors.
While Squarespace has less themes than competitors like Wix, the themes that are available will serve your purposes and help you launch a stylish website that serves your purposes in no time. Squarespace themes are also responsive meaning they’ll adjust to desktop, tablet, or mobile views without any additional lift on your end. One additional perk of Squarespace’s themes is that you can edit the underlying HTML and CSS if you’re on the Business tier. So if you’re coding savvy, you can further perfect your site’s look to your specifications.
Key Takeaway: In the themes category, Squarespace shines with 100 responsive, high-quality themes that will fit your site’s specific purposes.
Design: An editor with some learning curve
After choosing a theme for your site, the next step in making your website your own is editing elements across the site and on specific pages including where text and images live. If you were coding your own website, this part might be difficult to do but with Squarespace, you can simply choose elements like social share buttons that you’d like to be on specific pages and place them there.
Squarespace allows you to drag and drop elements but only to certain parts of the page. You’re limited by Squarespace’s unique markup and “content blocks” system that only allows elements to be dropped on certain parts of the page. This content blocks system is similar to WordPress which likewise limits where you can place elements.
Squarespace’s editor does have a learning curve but with some practice and use of Squarespace or third-party guides, you’ll be up and running in no time. You can view Santrel Media’s tutorial for creating a Squarespace website to see how to use the editor.
Key Takeaway: Squarespace’s editor does have a learning curve but will help you customize your website and add useful elements to any page.
Apps: Extensions that upgrade your website
Apps, or extensions, are additional tools or features that can be added to your website or website builder that improve site experience or offer you new abilities. Most of Squarespace’s 30 extensions are integrations with other tools. For example, you can add extensions with payment processors like Stripe or PayPal to offer more ways for customers to pay for purchases. Squarespace also offers integrations with Noun Project to add free icons to your site and Mailchimp to better gain newsletter signups.
Other website builders like Weebly and Wix offer more apps, many of which are made specifically for the builder, rather than just integrations with other third-party tools. Still, Squarespace’s extensions will be useful additions to your website, helping you to offer a better experience for visitors while simplifying your life.
Key Takeaway: Squarespace offers fewer apps than competitors but the 30 that are offered will help make your website better with useful integrations.
Squarespace Pricing: $12 to $40/month
Squarespace offers four plans, ranging from $12 per month to $40 per month. While these may initially appear higher than competitors, it is important to notice the added features Squarespace includes. For example, a business GMail (G-Suite) is typically an extra charge with many other website builders. To see more, check out the Squarespace Plan Comparison Chart
The Personal plan is best for portfolios or personal profile sites where you won’t be conducting business. The Business plan is best for business websites that don’t have online stores. The Basic and Advanced Commerce plans offer the ability to sell products online with different features like the ability to sell on Instagram and send messages to get customers who have abandoned their cart to reconsider.
|Personal||Business||Basic Commerce||Advanced Commerce|
|Free Domain, SEO Features, Extensions||Business Gmail, Analytics, Ecommerce||Point of Sale, Checkout on Domain, Customer Accounts, Sell on Instagram||Abandoned Cart Recovery, Sell Subscriptions, Advanced Shipping and Discounts|
Consider the primary features offered by each of the above plans as you make your decision and weigh them against similar plans offered by competitor website builders like Wix.
Is Squarespace free?
Squarespace does not have a free plan. The cheapest Squarespace plan is $12 a month for a personal plan and ranges up to $40 for an advanced commerce plan. Squarespace does however offer a 14 day free trial and discount options for students. For some small projects, the 14 day trial may be just what you need.
Ecommerce: Sell more with Squarespace
Business owners interested in selling goods or services online need a website builder that will help them offer a beautiful website and simple customer journey. Squarespace specializes here, serving as a worthy competitor to even ecommerce-focused website builders like Shopify. Offering two ecommerce-specific plans, Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce, Squarespace is an excellent choice for any online business interested in building a website that sells.
Through ecommerce focused plans with powerful features like the ability to sell subscription products, a popular new trend in ecommerce, and customer logins for quick repeat checkouts, Squarespace will help you sell more products regardless of what you’re offering.
Squarespace also offers an integration with Instagram, allowing you to easily sell your products on social media. In addition, Squarespace offers cart abandonment recovery features that will help you convert otherwise lost customers with products awaiting purchase. If you’re interested in store management on the go, you can make changes to your store from the Squarespace Commerce app.
This website builder offers 8 ecommerce-specific templates that are modern and can match the features of any of your online competitors. With Squarespace’s integrations with payment processors like Stripe and PayPal, and a Point of Sale system that will help you track inventory and customers, you’ll be set for all ecommerce needs with Squarespace.
Is squarespace good for ecommerce?
Yes, Squarespace is good for ecommerce stores with its store-specific templates that will help store owners attract customers and a seamless checkout process that makes purchasing items simple. Squarespace has two plans for ecommerce, Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce, that offer features like selling directly through Instagram and abandoned cart recovery that will help you sell more online products online.
Blog: Offer better content to visitors
Blogging is one of the best ways to build an online audience whether you want to share musings for a personal site or SEO-focused content for your business that earns you new customers. The gold standard for blogging platforms in the website builder space is WordPress but Squarespace offers the essential features you’ll need if blogging is a secondary priority for your website.
Squarespace offers a straightforward blog platform that can be easily edited if you’re familiar with the main site editor. All of the features like comments and multiple authors for posts you would expect of a modern blogging platform are offered by Squarespace and leaves little to be desired.
Key Takeaway: If you plan to write 40 or less posts on your blog then Squarespace is right for you. If blogging or publishing is a major priority for your site then consider another builder like WordPress.
SEO: Earn more organic traffic
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of improving your site according to search engine best practices so you can receive more traffic from keywords you’re trying to rank for. In recent years, website builders have offered more features and abilities to site owners so they can increase organic traffic and earn more visitors and customers.
Squarespace offers great SEO abilities and tools at your disposal and provides helpful information for you to get started optimizing your website. Squarespace offers SEO tools from the jump on your website like allowing you to edit URL slugs, organize your site content by hierarchy, and specify page metadescription.
In addition, Squarespace’s responsive design is ideal for search engines as you won’t have multiple versions of your website being indexed on search engines. Squarespace also offers SEO guides for new site owners including an SEO checklist to keep your site’s SEO on track.
Is Squarespace good for SEO?
Yes, Squarespace offers the SEO tools you need to rank for competitive keywords and offers helpful guides and instructions for new site owners to optimize their sites. Squarespace offers a complete SEO checklist, and easily accessible tools to customize your alt text, meta descriptions, and more. There are also in-depth SEO help guides offered for free by Squarespace.
Additional features: Email Marketing, G Suite, and more
Squarespace has a number of additional features beyond the broad categories covered in this guide that will help your new website stand out.
Squarespace offers integrations with G Suite so you can set up an account to create a professional email address associated with your custom domain for added professionalism. With G Suite, you’ll also gain access to Google’s great office software like Google Sheets and Slides. As mentioned, Squarespace also offers the ability to sell directly on Instagram with their Basic Commerce plan. This feature will help you display your inventory on your Instagram profile and sell there directly to customers.
Another exciting feature from Squarespace is Email Marketing. With Squarespace Email Campaigns, you’ll be able to create beautiful emails that match your website’s branding and engage with customers or subscribers. This is a major perk if you don’t yet have an email marketing service like Mailchimp.
Squarespace also offers an extensive help center with similar guides and FAQs that customers would need for successful websites. Blog posts are also offered on additional topics users may be interested about and webinars are also hosted and available for viewing on getting started, growing your audience, and more. In addition, Squarespace has a forum where users and contributors can share insights and ask pertinent questions.
If these resources don’t sufficiently answer questions, chat support is available for quick responses to pressing queries.
Key Takeaway: Squarespace offers a number of additional features that will make building and managing a website a breeze.
Final Verdict: An excellent website builder with just a few weaknesses
Squarespace is an excellent choice as a website builder. From its reasonably priced plans that offer generous features to its simple-to-use editor, Squarespace is a standout option for personal and business websites. As mentioned, templates are an area where Squarespace truly shines with 100 stellar template options that will professionalize your website and wow visitors.
Two areas of improvement for Squarespace are in their offerings for blogging and extensions. Squarespace could bulk up their blogging editor to make it more competitive with WordPress by offering more capacity and ability to organize and create over 40 blog posts. In addition, by offering the ability to third-party creators to create blog-specific plugins like Yoast SEO, Squarespace could better compete with WordPress.
On this topic, Squarespace should either allow third-party creators to create apps for Squarespace or build more native apps that can be added to your website. The Weebly app marketplace is filled with innovative apps made by Weebly that help website owners to become more creative in changing their site with useful elements and site functions. Squarespace is missing out on the opportunity to similarly offer more features for users through apps.
Besides these two improvement areas, Squarespace is a powerhouse of a website builder and is an excellent option to create your first or latest website.