If you’re business today then you probably already know how crucial a website is to your success. Until platforms like Squarespace came to market, the average businessman would struggle with creating and running an excellent site. Only a few business owners know about coding or building a great website.
With Squarespace, business owners can create their websites without needing any programming knowledge.
Anthony Casalena started Squarespace in 2003 while he was still a student at the University of Maryland. He built the service for personal use because when he checked the options out there, they didn’t “take style or design into account.” Until 2007 Anthony was the only employee of Squarespace.
The company has taken massive steps since that time.
Squarespace now has 660 employees and more than 1 million paying customers.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace, in simple terms, is a website where you can build your website. It provides a platform through which you can make beautiful and responsive websites without any knowledge of coding. The website creator has several features and integrations that allow you to customize your site’s functions and look.
Squarespace is an ideal platform for individuals and small companies who want to take their businesses online. It provides
several ready-made templates from which you can choose. With these templates, you can start creating your website immediately.
Squarespace allows you to create and manage your website with its cool “drag and drops” interface. You also have access to tools to run your sites, such as search engine optimization and comprehensive e-commerce solution.
Squarespace has a few famous customers, and they want you to know. Actor Keanu Reeves is one of the famous people featured on Squarespace’s website.
In 2017, Squarespace won an Emmy for best commercial. The award was for a Superbowl ad featuring Actor John Malkovich.
In 2017, Squarespace raised $200 million at a valuation of $1.7 billion. It’s reasonable to say Squarespace has come a long way.
Who Can Use it?
Squarespace isn’t reserved for any particular set of people. Its functionalities and aesthetic make it appealing and usable for all kinds of people. As long as you can use a website, and know what you want, you can use Squarespace.
Creative individuals or small businesses who want to sell their products online form the bulk of Squarespace’s customers.
How Does it Work?
One of the most significant advantages of Squarespace is the ease with which you can use it. You can create your website with Squarespace in three easy steps.
Choose a Template
The first thing to do is go to www.squarespace.com.
After opening the website, click on “Create Site.” This step takes you to the page where you can pick a template.
There are several template options, but you may not be able to go through them all. Squarespace has been kind enough to put them in categories, and you can perform an easier search. You have categories such as Arts and Design, Photography, Professional Services, Wedding and many more.
You can scroll down the page and pick one of the featured templates.
Another easy way is to search based on what you want to use it for.
You can check out how a template looks by clicking on the “Live Preview” button. After you have decided on a template, click the “Start with this design” button.
Start Your Free Trial
After you pick a template, Squarespace will prompt you to create a free account.
After creating the account, you will go to the demo page which you can to your preference. The editing panel is on your left, and it has the following functions.
When you click the Pages tab, you can edit your ‘Home’ page. You can also edit your ‘About’ page; including subpages like ‘what we do’, ‘projects’, ‘partners’, ‘contact’. If there is another page you would like to add, there is a ‘add page’ button for that purpose.
There is also a ‘News’ page, a ‘Read Me’ page and a ‘Take Action’ page.
You can edit each of these pages to your preferred look, and you can delete them if you want them.
Under the design tab, you get to make more creative design decisions. You can edit the following;
- Site title and Tagline.
- Template; if for some reason you don’t like the template you started with, you can change it here.
- Style editor; this is where you change colors, sizes, and fonts. You can edit the header, navigation, banner section, main content, blog, footer, newsletter block, buttons here.
- Checkout Page Style editor: you edit your checkout page here. This feature lets you edit your colors and alignments.
- Lockscreen; if your site is password protected, this is where you design what people can see before it is unlocked.
Apart from these tabs where you can edit elements of your page, there are other website management tools on this panel. You can use these tools to view visitor statistics and configure e-commerce elements on your website.
Under this tab, you can manage your orders, inventory, and customers. You can also give discounts on your products. This tab would apply only to websites with running e-commerce businesses.
Under this tab, you find different marketing options you can add to your website. You can add email campaigns, promotional pop-ups, share buttons, and you can link your products to your social media pages.
This tab is where you find website statistics. You can find out how many visitors you have per time. Here, you can verify your site with Google Search Console to know what words direct people to your website. You also can see how many RSS subscribers you have.
The Settings tab is in three groups.
Business Information – that is your business name, tax ID and other contact information. These general greetings will appear on your invoices and emails.
Regional; you can set your location so the website can have your local time.
Permissions – this is where you add contributors.
Billings and Accounts – this is where you pay for upgrades you make on the site. Should you choose to delete the site, this is where you do it.
- Basic information: You enter website type and description here.
- Domains: This is where you get a domain or use one you already own.
- Email: After getting a domain, you can then register emails for your website.
- Connected Accounts: You register and link your social media accounts here.
- SEO: this is where you enter your search engine description. You also set how you want your pages and titles to appear in search engines.
- Blogging: You set your blog structure here. You can replace Squarespace’s commenting system with you Disqus short name here.
- Security and SSL: you can make your site private here. You can also set your security preference.
- Cookies and Visitor Data: you can activate and deactivate cookies here. You can also opt to put up a banner warning visitors about cookies on your site. You can
- Advanced: you can perform several functions such as import and export from other platforms, developer mode which allows you access to the template code.
If your website is a commerce setting, you will be making use of this portal a lot. These are functions you can perform here.
- Payments: you can set what payment options you want to accept on your website. You have the “stripe” option where you can add Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay and so on. You could also select Paypal as an option.
- Checkout: you can edit the details of your online store here. You can define what happens when a customer abandons a checkout. You can enable express checkouts, where the customer does not need to go to ‘cart.’
- Customer Account: customers can create accounts on your websites for faster checkouts.
- Notifications: you can set the emails you will reply to and send system emails.
- Shipping: This is where you set the shipping options available to customers. Squarespace has a shipping partnership with Shipstation, and you can connect to simplify your shipping process.
Taxes – if there are locations where your products attract special taxes, you can add them. People shipping to these locations will be informed, and it can be added to their cost.
Accounting – Squarespace is partnered with Xero to help with accounting. You can connect to Xero for help on your website.
Apps – these are third-party apps you can connect to your website.
Donations – if you take donations on your website, this is where you set the email sent to anyone who donates.
Get a Free Domain
After you have edited your website, click on the “Get a Free Domain” button. This takes you to the Billings page where you select the pricing plan you want to use.
Squarespace does not have a free plan. You have a free 14-day trial when you create your account, but after these, you will be charged based on one of these four plans.
The four plans are grouped into two.
With this plan, you get a simple, beautiful website. It costs $12 for a month if you pay annually or $16 if you pay month to month. This is what you get with the Personal Plan.
- Unlimited pages and Galleries, Blogs with unlimited storage and bandwidth and two contributors.
- Mobile-optimized Website.
- Website Metrics.
- Free custom domain (when you pay annually).
- SSL Security.
- Constant customer support.
This plan costs $18 when you pay annually and $26 when you pay monthly. According to Squarespace, this plan is perfect for businesses of all sizes. Here are the features of this plan.
- Unlimited pages and Galleries, Blogs with unlimited storage and bandwidth and unlimited contributors.
- Mobile-optimized Website.
- Advanced website Metrics.
- Free custom domain (when you pay annually)
- Includes SSL Security.
- Constant customer support.
- Professional email from Google.
- $100 Google Ads credit.
- Promotional pop-ups.
- Fully integrated E-commerce.
- Sell unlimited products and receive donations.
- 3% transaction fee.
- Mobile information bar.
- Premium blocks and Integrations.
- Announcement Bar.
This plan cost $26 per month when you pay annually and $30 when you pay monthly. Here are the features of this plan.
- All the features availed on the Business Plan.
- No limit to the number of products you can sell.
- Websites optimized for both mobile and checkout.
- Free custom domain when you pay annually.
- No transaction fee.
- Includes SSL security.
- Powerful commerce metrics.
- Inventory, orders, tax, coupons.
- 24/7 support.
- Printing of Labels through Shipstation.
- Integrated accounting via Xero.
- Checkout on your domain.
- Customer Accounts.
This plan costs $40 per month if paid annually and $46 when you pay from month to month. Here are the features of the plan.
- Contains all the features from the Commerce Basic Plan.
- Abandoned cart auto recovery.
- Real-time carrier shipping.
- Flexible discounts.
- Gift cards.
- Orders API.
Pros of Squarespace
Squarespace has quite some beautiful templates from which you can choose. When you swap the template photos for yours, the design typography, color schemes, and responsiveness stay aligned. You end up with a clean-modern looking site. Squarespace is continually adding new templates, so you never run out of options.
Everything, (well, almost all) you will use on your site is built and run by Squarespace. This means you don’t have to struggle with extensions and third-party apps. This saves you time, as you don’t have to troubleshoot and test different apps looking for the one that works. You can perform several functions, including analytics and e-commerce setup with the templates.
Squarespace hosts the sites built with their software. This approach means you have no problem with compatibility and optimization. They also handle the security of your site. Anyone who tries to hack you deals with Squarespace, not you. You probably like those odds better. It also means you don’t need to spend money, time or energy on security software.
If you want to earn money on your website, Squarespace makes it easy. You can sell physical goods or downloadable products. And you can add a shopping cart to your page and create pages for every product you sell. Stripe and Paypal work well with Squarespace.
Cons of Squarespace
The Website Editor
Squarespace has quite some features, and sometimes the editing process can be a dull experience.
There is no free version available. When compared to competitors, Squarespace’s plans are expensive. Their less costly plans also have caps on the number of pages and products.
One of Squarespace’s attractions is excellent customer support. Before you start creating your website, there are several guides to set you on the right path. There are also help videos you can watch. You can attend webinars and workshops organized by Squarespace to understand better how to maximize your websites.
If you don’t get answers to your questions from all of these, you can contact their support team.