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Great for Some People, but Not for Everyone

Are you curious about utilizing Squarespace as your web site builder? In that case, take a second to learn this Squarespace assessment earlier than making any choices. A web site builder or eCommerce builder normally finally ends up as the first place you full design work, course of orders, or handle something from bookings to subscriptions, and advertising and marketing to running a blog; so that you wish to decide the proper one.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl in our Squarespace assessment:

Preserve studying to study all about Squarespace!

What’s Squarespace?

Squarespace homepage

Squarespace is a SaaS (software-as-a-service) web site builder that sells all-in-one subscriptions for customers to design, host, and handle their web sites from one dashboard.

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In comparison with self-hosted builders like WordPress or Magento, Squarespace doesn’t require you to exit and discover your individual internet hosting, area title, or additional plugins to assemble the web site. Squarespace additionally handles the entire primary technical particulars for you, so that you by no means want to fret about securing your web site, updating software program, taking backups, and so forth.

Past that, Squarespace’s pricing is fastened, so that you at all times know what you’ll pay every month (which isn’t true of all web site builders).

You possibly can create an account on Squarespace similar to you register for every other web site. Then, you possibly can make the most of its big selection of templates to launch an expert design proper from the beginning. You’ll additionally be capable of customise the template utilizing a visible, drag-and-drop builder.

The entire level is to make net design less complicated for non-coders, but it additionally provides choices for builders to insert HTML and CSS (although you don’t get full entry to your web site’s underlying code such as you would with an open-source software similar to WordPress).

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Lastly, Squarespace supplies plans to create an eCommerce web site with cost processing integrations, product catalogs, and procuring cart modules. It is dependent upon the pricing plan you select but, basically, the usual web site plans are on the decrease finish of pricing, whereas eCommerce web sites require a better charge.

Let’s begin by having a look at what it’s like to make use of Squarespace. Then, we’ll dig into some extra particular particulars and the professionals and cons of utilizing Squarespace.

Easy methods to get began with Squarespace (and a glance into the interface)

On this a part of our Squarespace assessment, we’ll define the fast steps you will need to undergo to create a Squarespace account and launch your first web site. All through that course of, we’ll be aware of the dashboard, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of the consumer interface.

Right here’s the way it works…

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1. Register for a Squarespace account

To start, go to the Squarespace homepage. Click on on one of many Get Began buttons; these will let you begin a free trial with out typing in any bank card info. That’s an excellent begin!

get started with the Squarespace review

The Get Began information on Squarespace asks you to create an account utilizing an e mail and a brand new password. You possibly can then both skip the questionnaire from Squarespace or fill within the particulars to assist the wizard give you appropriate web site themes.

2. Select a template for your web site

After answering the questions (or skipping them), you’re delivered to the template library; Squarespace delivers essentially the most appropriate templates primarily based on solutions you offered about your potential retailer. In any other case, you should use the library filters to slim down your search to particular template varieties and matters.

General, Squarespace does a beautiful job of organizing and suggesting templates. Not solely that, but the designs are free, look extra skilled than a lot of the competitors, and you’ll swap them out with none issues.

Some template varieties and matters embrace:

  • On-line retailer
  • Portfolio
  • Memberships
  • Scheduling
  • Pictures
  • Artwork and design
  • Vogue
  • Leisure
  • Media and podcasts
  • Nature and animals
  • Weddings

You possibly can click on to preview themes that look helpful for your model after which choose the one you want:

choose a template - Squarespace review

3. Discover the Squarespace dashboard

A lot of the Squarespace setup interface strives for automation by means of questions. By this, we imply that you simply’re proven popup home windows with fast questions. Then, the solutions to these questions are used to fill within the content material of your web site.

As an illustration, after selecting a template, you’re prompted to sort within the Web site Title, which will get added to your web site as an alternative of requiring you to sort it into the Settings web page your self.

add site title

Very similar to its modern templates, the Squarespace dashboard supplies a surprising design utilizing daring fonts, minimalist navigation, and a continuing view of your web site’s present design.

To the left, the dashboard has nearly each menu merchandise you might want to configure your web site, together with buttons for:

  • Pages
  • Design
  • Commerce
  • Advertising
  • Scheduling
  • Analytics
  • Profiles
  • Settings
  • Assist

It’s additionally not a foul thought to seek the advice of the Squarespace Assistant module on the decrease right-hand nook. Much like startup guides you see in Shopify, Wix, and Weebly, the Assistant outlines steps you might want to take to make your web site totally useful, beginning with an possibility to incorporate your web site brand and transferring onto settings for including pages, shopping for domains, optimizing for search, and extra.

menu items in our Squarespace review

4. Customise your web site with the Squarespace editor

It’s potential to click on by means of the primary menu to configure these parts, but we advise going proper to the Edit button to open the Squarespace drag-and-drop designer.

edit the template - Squarespace review

Squarespace makes use of a section-based strategy to modifying. Basically, you’ll put collectively a web page’s design by including a number of pre-built sections, similar to you’d construct one thing with Lego blocks. You may need one part for your headline, one other for your contact kind, and so forth.

For every part, you’ll additionally be capable of totally customise the content material inside. This doesn’t offer you fairly as a lot flexibility as a 100% free-form visible editor, but it does make it so much simpler to create a handsome design if you happen to’re not an skilled web site designer.

Because of latest adjustments to the editor, Squarespace does now additionally allow you to add standalone blocks along with sections, which does offer you somewhat extra management.

You possibly can scroll over sure parts to edit what’s already there (like adjusting settings for a picture, headline, or button) or choose one of many Add Part buttons to search out and insert different modules not already included within the template.

drag and drop builder

Within the Add Part library, you’ve an inventory of ordinary classes like Headlines, Pictures, and Textboxes. Scroll down a bit extra to search out extra superior prebuilt sections, starting from Contact Kinds to Appointment sections, and Product galleries to Reservation packing containers.

While you decide considered one of these, they get positioned inside the web site design for you to edit their direct settings, transfer to different areas, or delete if you happen to don’t just like the end result.

add a section

It’s additionally potential to edit the positioning header proper from the drag-and-drop builder.

We see this as a major benefit for Squarespace because it’s not all that frequent to see a header builder contained in the drag-and-drop part of an internet site editor. Even builders on WordPress, or the editor in Shopify, make you go to a separate settings space to regulate the header.

With Squarespace, you merely keep in the identical part to insert logos, modify colours, and alter the header to a set place.

edit the header - Squarespace review

You can too edit on the go together with devoted cellular apps for the editor. This unlocks some cool performance, like dragging a picture out of your iPad’s Pictures app on to your web site.

5. Configure different settings

As for all different settings, the primary menu provides a powerful assortment of built-in options; beneath the Design tab, you’ll find settings for the browser icon, checkout web page, and social sharing, together with a customized CSS panel.

design section

And if you happen to plan on launching a web based retailer, the Commerce part supplies all the pieces you might want to make gross sales, with sections for:

  • Orders
  • Clients
  • Reductions
  • Print On Demand
  • Associated Merchandise
  • Buyer Notifications
  • Funds
  • Way more
commerce section - Squarespace review

General, the Squarespace interface stands out because of its intuitive design, built-in options, and unimaginable drag-and-drop designer. In comparison with different web site builders and eCommerce platforms, Squarespace makes it easy for newcomers to construct web sites, but additionally makes these websites look intriguing with stunning fonts, high-resolution pictures, and prebuilt sections. We additionally benefit from the fast growth instruments for inserting your individual CSS if wanted.

Nevertheless, if you happen to’re a sophisticated consumer who needs really free-form design, you would possibly want a distinct software that doesn’t use Squarespace’s section-based modifying strategy (although Squarespace has improved on this space).

Squarespace assessment: Pricing

So how a lot does it price to enroll for Squarespace? With 4 versatile, clear plans, Squarespace permits customers to solely choose for the options they want, whereas additionally protecting prices low and receiving all options constructed into the system.

Listed here are the pricing plans:

  • Private: Beginning at $12 monthly for entry to the Squarespace web site builder and templates, limitless storage and bandwidth, primary web site metrics, Squarespace extensions, SSL safety, search engine optimisation options, 2 contributors, restricted entry to the Squarespace Video Studio app, and 24/7 buyer assist.
  • Enterprise: Beginning at $18 monthly for all the pieces within the earlier plan, limitless contributors, premium integrations and blocks, CSS and JavaScript customization, superior analytics, promo banners and popups, and a totally built-in eCommerce retailer to promote limitless merchandise, settle for donations, and promote reward playing cards. Transaction charges for this plan are 3%.
  • Fundamental Commerce: Beginning at $26 monthly for all options within the earlier plans, a lower to 0% transaction charges for your on-line retailer, a degree of sale, buyer accounts, a checkout in your area, eCommerce analytics, merchandise on Instagram, restricted availability labels, and merchandising instruments.
  • Superior Commerce: Beginning at $40 monthly for all the pieces within the earlier plans, a 0% transaction charge for on-line shops, deserted cart restoration, commerce APIs, superior reductions, superior delivery, and subscriptions.
Squarespace pricing

Needless to say our Squarespace assessment of pricing above refers to annual plan commitments. You can too pay on a month-to-month foundation, but the pricing goes up a bit. As an illustration, the Private plan is $16 monthly, the Marketing strategy is $26 monthly, and the Fundamental Commerce plan is $35 monthly when paid month-to-month.

There are free services and products, like free customized domains {and professional} e mail from Google, but these are promotional options which might be solely free for one yr.

If you happen to’re a pupil or trainer, you’ll want to try the Squarespace educational pricing.

Squarespace assessment: Designs and themes

There’s little question Squarespace thrives from its give attention to design.

The corporate at all times had a penchant for making elegant, creative templates that beat out what you’d get from a lot of the competitors.

These designs cater to particular web site varieties like on-line shops, portfolios, and membership websites, whereas additionally offering distinctive layouts for issues like skilled companies, native companies, and eating places.

As of this text, the official template library boasts a complete of 142 designs, and the event workforce from Squarespace tends to launch new ones regularly.

This quantity is decrease than another platforms, but you need to nonetheless be capable of discover a template that matches your wants. If you happen to can’t, you too can discover third-party Squarespace templates, although you’ll sometimes have to pay for them.

We lined how straightforward it’s to implement a template within the earlier part, but we additionally wish to discuss in regards to the transition of a template from the library to your web site.

Fairly a couple of eCommerce platforms and web site builders present you engaging themes of their assortment, fitted with the right pictures, fonts, and codecs. Nevertheless, you then publish the theme to your web site and far of that “demo” content material will get stripped from the template, leaving you to work with extra of a framework than a real starter web site.

Squarespace takes a distinct strategy; all of that demo content material stays. There’s no distinction between what you see within the template library, so the web site is technically able to publish. All you must do is swap out media objects, fill in your individual textual content, and add a brand. That’s the way in which templates ought to work, and that’s how Squarespace makes it occur.

demo content moved into the builder

Together with highly effective font choices, a give attention to high-resolution imagery, and minimalist formatting, Squarespace templates deliver out a way of creativity in each web site, pushing you to share your expertise, merchandise, or companies in a means that’s not solely intriguing but trendy.

Squarespace review of the templates

Squarespace assessment: Buyer assist

In a world of 24/7 buyer assist, how does Squarespace match as much as platforms the place customers can get involved with somebody always? And did our Squarespace assessment present that the corporate provides dependable on-line sources to finish your individual analysis?

Let’s begin with the dashboard assist sources, seeing as the way it’s good to have solutions to your questions the place you’re working essentially the most.

Squarespace provides stable sources within the dashboard, together with the Assistant module for viewing movies, strolling by means of the setup of your web site, and seeing tips about the place to configure sure settings.

As well as, you possibly can go to the Assist Middle part to get hyperlinks to crucial on-line sources like:

  • A knowledgebase
  • Movies
  • Webinars
  • The “Rent an professional” web page
  • Information privateness info
help center in dashboard

The net Assist Middle serves because the go-to portal for answering your questions. You possibly can browse by product, find sources utilizing the search bar, or sift by means of matters to search out articles and movies meant to help you at any level in your net design journey.

Some matters from the knowledgebase embrace:

  • Studying find out how to arrange a web based retailer
  • Registering your domains
  • Spreading the phrase about your online business with Squarespace advertising and marketing instruments
  • Creating content material with blocks, sections, and pages
  • Including third-party integrations to develop the performance of your web site
  • Troubleshooting technical and velocity points
  • Creating and modifying appointment varieties on the scheduler
  • Customizing the member expertise on a membership web site
  • Operating e mail advertising and marketing campaigns from the Squarespace dashboard
Squarespace review of customer support

When these on-line sources fail to resolve your issues–or if you simply need a solution to your query with out having to flick through lots of of articles–the Squarespace buyer assist workforce additionally provides direct assist strains for chatting with actual folks.

Though there’s no approach to get somebody on the telephone, e mail assist is on the market 24/7. As well as, you possibly can have a real-time dialog with a assist rep by means of the stay chat module from Monday by means of Friday, 4 PM to eight PM EDT.

chat and email support - Squarespace review

Professionals and cons of Squarespace

Throughout our Squarespace assessment, we uncovered a great deal of benefits. But that doesn’t imply it’s good. Have a look beneath for an inventory of our Squarespace execs and cons.

Professionals of Squarespace

Over 140 industry-leading templates with perfected designs and exquisite particulars like daring fonts, media-heavy schemes, and mobile-friendly layouts.

A real drag-and-drop builder the place you possibly can edit nearly each ingredient on the web site. Squarespace additionally transfers over all demo content material to the builder, whereas additionally offering drag-and-drop assist for the header.

A powerful running a blog platform in comparison with different DIY, SaaS platforms. It’s the closest factor you will get to WordPress in a DIY web site builder.

A myriad of built-in options so you possibly can give attention to constructing your web site with fewer apps and plugins. There are nonetheless good integrations, but Squarespace minimizes third-party instruments.

An extremely easy interface with minimalist vibes, easy-to-find settings, and a view of your present web site always.

Help for including a web based retailer, with superior instruments like deserted carts, donations, and reward playing cards.

The pricing has develop into much more aggressive with the evolution of Squarespace, particularly when in comparison with the likes of Wix, Weebly, and Shopify.

Cons of Squarespace

The templates are fantastic, but they rely closely on giant pictures. You might discover that swapping out the inventory images for your individual don’t look as dazzling, particularly if you happen to aren’t utilizing high-resolution images.

There’s a 3% transaction charge for on-line funds within the Marketing strategy, making that specific package deal far much less interesting.

It’s important to save all adjustments when working within the drag-and-drop editor, versus the automated saving that comes with different web page builders we’ve examined.

Squarespace lacks assist for bigger menus (like mega menus) making it much less superb for on-line shops and web sites with lots of of pages.

There’s no telephone assist.

Squarespace doesn’t supply as many third-party apps and integrations as different common platforms.

Who ought to take into account Squarespace as their web site builder?

Even with a Squarespace assessment, making the ultimate determination on an internet site builder is somewhat nerve-racking. In any case, it’s the system you’ll use to handle your on-line presence within the foreseeable future; you need to really feel comfy with the worth, interface, and total function set.

Does Squarespace test all your packing containers? Right here’s are some ultimate ideas on who we predict ought to use Squarespace:

  • We like Squarespace for visual-oriented companies. We’re speaking about people who plan on having sharp imagery on their web sites: the photographers, artists, and vogue manufacturers of the world, but additionally meals, occasion, décor, and outdoor-focused companies.
  • It’s not a foul place to construct an eCommerce retailer. The pricing plans are reasonably priced (typically cheaper than Shopify and BigCommerce), and it helps limitless merchandise, deserted cart restoration, superior delivery, and several other different important eCommerce options. Nevertheless, for heavy-duty eCommerce shops, you’ll nonetheless most likely desire a devoted eCommerce resolution like Shopify.
  • Squarespace has additionally develop into extra aggressive with lower-cost options like Wix and Weebly. Wix and Squarespace are pretty comparable when it comes to worth, and though Weebly has some cheaper plans than Squarespace, we’d argue that the perfect worth–with options that each one web sites want–comes from Squarespace.
  • We additionally suppose Squarespace serves as the last word resolution for individuals who don’t know something about coding. It’s nearly foolish how straightforward it’s to make a professional-looking web site with none expertise.
  • Go along with Squarespace if you wish to create a web site with distinctive options like reservations, bookings, memberships, or portfolios. Squarespace has templates for all of those, together with content material modules to implement the options inside seconds.

If this Squarespace assessment has you satisfied, then now you can comply with our step-by-step Squarespace tutorial to make your web site.

When to decide on a Squarespace different

One factor we found in our Squarespace assessment was that if you would like essentially the most flexibility in relation to including options and integrating with third-party instruments, you would possibly wish to go together with a distinct platform.

If you happen to’re prepared to go together with the self-hosted strategy, WordPress is the best possible possibility for flexibility. We’ve a tutorial on find out how to make a WordPress web site and a WordPress vs Squarespace comparability.

If you happen to’d want to stay with a SaaS web site builder, Wix has a a lot bigger app market and extra flexibility for including code customizations. You possibly can study extra in our Wix tutorial and Wix assessment.

Lastly, if you happen to’re particularly trying to launch a standalone eCommerce retailer, you would possibly wish to go together with a devoted eCommerce resolution like Shopify or WooCommerce. Whereas Squarespace’s eCommerce options are fantastic for easy shops, they don’t match the options and adaptability of a devoted eCommerce platform.

If in case you have any questions on our Squarespace assessment, or if you happen to’d like to present your individual expertise about your time with Squarespace, drop us a line within the feedback part beneath.

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