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Squarespace - The Best Website Platform?

Historically, launching your own website has been a time-consuming and often expensive process. Over the last few years, many companies have aimed to solve this problem. As a result, many website-building platforms have entered the market, allowing anyone to make a professional website regardless of their skill set.

Popular options include Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, and WordPress.

This post aims to take an in-depth look at just one of these platforms, namely Squarespace.

This article will outline all of the platform's main features while helping you decide if it is the right choice for your website.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Squarespace?
  2. How Does Squarespace Work?
  3. Features
    a. Ease of Use
    b. Templates
    c. Design Panel
    d. Social Media Integration
    e. Appointment Scheduling
    f. Podcasting Support
    g. Streamlined SEO
    h. Integrations
    i. Extensions
  4. Security
  5. Pricing
  6. Is Squarespace Suitable for My Website?
  7. Pros and Cons

What is Squarespace?

Squarespace was formed back in 2004 with the goal of making it possible for individuals and small business owners to build and manage their own websites. Squarespace now boasts over 2 million users and, along with Wix and Shopify, is one of the most popular website builders on the market.

How Does Squarespace Work?

Squarespace is a cloud-based solution, meaning that it runs on its own servers; this means that you won't have to worry about the technical aspects of running a website. Squarespace servers boast an uptime of over 99%, making it unlikely that your site will experience any significant downtime.

Making a site with Squarespace is very straightforward. The platform works using an intuitive drag and drop interface.

A range of professional templates are also available. These templates, along with the style editor, make it possible to create stunning pages in a matter of minutes.

Features

Ease of Use

Perhaps the most standout feature of the platform is its ease of use.

Squarespace is what is known as a drag-and-drop website editor. However, unlike some of its competitors, it doesn't let you drag and drop elements with total control.

Instead, Squarespace works with sections, which takes a little while to get used to but overall, it helps keep your content organized, giving a professional look to your site.

The user interface provides a lot of functionality while remaining reasonably easy to use. Initially, some features may be a little hard to find, but building and editing your site becomes a very streamlined process after becoming accustomed to the platform.

The best thing about Squarespace is that there is no coding knowledge required. Coding is optional but not really recommended as the platform already allows for high levels of customization.

Templates

When getting started with Squarespace, the platform will ask you a few questions about your goals. You will then be presented with a variety of templates that the platform thinks are relevant. Each template includes a range of features and layouts that are made to suit the category selected.

After choosing a template, you will be able to start making changes to your site.

The Squarespace library currently hosts over 100 templates, which may seem like quite a small number. However, the platform has a keen focus on quality, and all of the templates have a very professional feel. Regardless of your goals, you are likely to find a suitable template as a starting point.

What's even better is that all of the templates are included in your subscription, making it easy to experiment with different styles without having to make any additional purchases.

Most importantly, all websites made with Squarespace are fully responsive, meaning that they will work on all devices without the need for any extra work.

Design Panel

The design panel makes it easy to make site-wide changes to things such as colors and fonts in just a few clicks, making it easy to apply branding across your whole site. You can also save your favorite sections and add them to any of your pages whenever you like.

Social Media Integration

Squarespace makes it easy to link your social media accounts to your website. The platform supports integration with various social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

You can also include social feeds on your website, making it easy for visitors to see your recent posts from multiple channels in the same place.

Appointment Scheduling

Another standout feature of Squarespace is its built-in scheduling functionality. The platform incorporates the booking platform Acuity, allowing you to accept bookings and appointments directly from your website.

Podcasting Support

If you have your own podcast, then Squarespace is an excellent option. You will be able to host your own podcast directly on your site and publish it to both Spotify and Apple Music.

Streamlined SEO

Squarespace follows good SEO practices, helping to optimize your pages for search ranking. As you may already know, SEO isn't as straightforward as some would hope, meaning that beginners will need to do some research to understand how to optimize each of their pages fully.

Squarespace provides some great information about SEO in their support area. The SEO guides are a valuable resource and something worth checking out, even if you decide to use another platform.

Integrations

Squarespace's powerful API allows for the integration with many third-party platforms, such as Mailchimp and Zapier. The platform developers are proactive and constantly expanding the platform through the addition of new integrations.

Extensions

Extensions are third-party apps that help add some extra functionality to your site. All of the essential features come included with the platform, and it's unlikely that you will need to use any paid extensions when first making your site.

Extensions are split into categories, such as:

  • Shipping and Fulfillment
  • Finance
  • Inventory and Products
  • Sales and Marketing

There's a mixture of both free and paid extensions.

Notable extensions include:

  • Printify
  • Quickbooks
  • ShipStation

Hassle-Free Domain Names

Squarespace allows you to connect your existing domain or purchase one directly through Squarespace. Purchasing your domain directly through Squarespace is a bit pricey; however, it eliminates the hassle of connecting to a third-party domain.

Purchasing a domain name with Squarespace costs between $20-70 per year. It's worth noting that you can get a free domain for a year if you opt into an annual plan.

Security

All domains connected to Squarespace come with a free SSL certificate, helping to keep your site secure.

Other security features include:

  • Anti-malware features
  • DDoS Protection

Pricing

Squarespace offers a few different pricing models, which are compared in the table below:

For a more extensive overview of the different plans on offer, check out the pricing table available at Squarespace.

Is Squarespace Suitable for My Website?

All in all, Squarespace is a fantastic website builder. The professional templates, along with the intuitive drag and drop interface, make it very straightforward to create and edit your website.

While the platform doesn't give as much freedom as other drag and drop platforms, the use of sections makes it easier to maintain a professional design and helps keep your site organized.

The platform is feature-rich and comes with all of the essential features that you would expect, without the need to pay for add-ons.

Squarespace is ideal for any kind of website. However, it's important to compare each plan to make sure that you choose a package suitable for your needs.

If you are unsure if Squarespace is best suited for your website, we recommend checking out the 14 day free trial on offer. The free trial will allow you to test the platform with nearly full functionality. No credit card is required to test the platform.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Professional templates
  • Feature-rich
  • Free trial
  • Squarespace scheduling
  • Lots of integration options

Cons

  • Not a "true" drag and drop builder
  • Some of the packages are a bit expensive

To see how Squarespace compares to one of its largest competitors, take a look at our post about Shopify.

To learn more about whether Squarespace is the best tool for your business and how it can be integrated into your current workflow, fill out the contact form below. We're always happy to help!

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