Squarespace is one of the top-rated website builders on the market. And, while it is particularly ideal for artists and other creative people who want to show off their work, you may be wondering if Squarespace is right for you. We will review Squarespace in terms of its features, pricing, and pros and cons to help you answer that question.
What Is Squarespace?
Who Should Use Squarespace?
Squarespace claims it can help you build a website in minutes for nearly everything and to sell anything. This statement seems true, thanks to Squarespace’s templates that help website owners get up and running quickly. That being said, who is this platform ideal for? The answer is anyone who stresses a website’s appearance and wants to make its content pop off the screen. In other words, artists, photographers, and the like will find Squarespace perfect for their portfolios, since it is a highly visual and eye-catching web building platform.
Beyond creatives, Squarespace also works well for selling items online as an e-commerce platform, provided you have a smaller store and want to sell a select number of physical or digital products. If you have larger aspirations in mind, you may want to look elsewhere so you can scale without worry.
Other purposes where Squarespace will suffice include personal sites and blogs. And, if you have a small business, you should find Squarespace to fit your needs with features like a plethora of designs for top-notch branding, SEO, PayPal and G-Suite integrations, built-in analytics, and email campaigns.
What are Squarespace’s Features?
Squarespace excels in terms of its eye-catching templates. But, as you are about to see, the site-building platform has many more features that could make you choose it over Wix, WordPress, Shopify, and other content management systems.
It does not matter how many features a platform provides because, if it is too hard to use, those offerings become worthless. Luckily, this is not an issue with Squarespace, as the platform now offers a user-friendly experience when building websites. This was not always the case, as Squarespace had a reputation for having a steep learning curve in the past. But now, it is easy enough to use that even beginners can build a site without much fuss.
Getting started with Squarespace is a breeze, thanks to a tutorial that helps you get familiar with the features and interface. Once ready to go, you will be using Squarespace’s drag-and-drop functionality and its WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor to begin creating without writing a single line of code.
If you want more of a hands-off approach to building your site, try Squarespace’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) website builder. It takes the information you provide, such as the goal of your site and the template you prefer, and builds a site accordingly, so you do not have to.
The highlight of Squarespace’s feature set is its wide selection of over 100 beautiful templates. If that number seems low, it is compared to a platform like Wix, which offers 500-plus templates. But, with Squarespace, you get extreme quality over quantity. And not only do the templates look good with their minimalistic layouts that are heavy on white space, but they also perform well and come with several features you need for a successful site, such as SEO optimization.
On this note, it is worth mentioning that templates may vary in the features they provide. Keep this in mind when picking one for your site. And, if you are worried about mobile performance, don’t, as all templates from Squarespace are mobile responsive.
Although you will find most of Squarespace’s templates to be sufficient out of the box, you can customize them to fit your needs. Drag elements where you want them, change image layouts, delete sections, etc., until the template is just like you want it. Is Squarespace as customizable as Shopify, WordPress or Wix? No, as editing templates here is more structured and restrictive. But you do get some flexibility when tweaking your site.
When you purchase a paid plan, Squarespace gives you a free domain for one year. You can also connect an existing domain to your Squarespace site or purchase one from the platform.
Regarding search engine optimization (SEO), Squarespace is one of the top site-building platforms. Your Squarespace pages will follow SEO best practices, but you may have to get a bit hands-on by adding keywords, alt text, tweaking titles, etc.
You can easily link your social media accounts with your Squarespace site, as the platform supports over 20 channels, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and so forth.
Squarespace offers an Email Campaign platform to help you stay in touch with your followers. You also have the option to integrate a third-party email marketing service like Mailchimp.
Connect a third-party or Squarespace domain to your site, and you will have the peace of mind knowing it comes with a free SSL certificate that encrypts any entered information, like payment data. Squarespace also offers integrated security against bugs, malware, and DDoS attacks.
Squarespace comes ready to go out of the box, but you can extend its functionality with apps or plugins for sales and marketing, inventory and products, finance, and shipping and fulfillment. While the Squarespace Extensions store only features 24 apps, the ones you find should be enough to satisfy your needs.
Squarespace offers four pricing plans to fit budgets of varying sizes. Listed below are the prices if you pay annually:
- Personal – $16 per month gets you a free custom domain, SSL security, unlimited bandwidth, video storage, SEO, templates, mobile optimization, Squarespace extensions, and 24/7 support.
- Basic Commerce – $27 per month gets you fully-integrated e-commerce with no transaction fees, point of sale, customer accounts, merchandising tools, and advanced analytics.
- Advanced Commerce – $49 per month gets you the top features from Squarespace, including abandoned cart recovery, advanced shipping and discounts, commerce APIs, and the ability to sell subscriptions.
Squarespace Pros And Cons
Squarespace is highlighted by its templates, which are tough to beat in terms of appearance. If you want to create a website that is stunning but lack coding knowledge, Squarespace should be right up your alley. Beyond excellent aesthetics, Squarespace also offers tons of functionality for your site via features like social media support and email marketing to grow your brand. And should you run into issues when building or maintaining your site, you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that Squarespace has some of the most reliable support around.
Where does Squarespace fall short? In one of its strengths: Templates. Sure, they look great, but if you want to tweak a template, you may feel restricted since Squarespace does not offer full customization of templates. You will be limited to customizing the template within preset rows, which could leave you yearning for more control over the creative process.
Another issue some may have with Squarespace is with the editor. It is not as fuss-free as one may desire since you need to save your work after each edit and need to make other manual moves that could seem tedious. Still, despite these minor drawbacks, Squarespace’s pros well outweigh its cons, making it a solid choice as a site-building platform for those who place a premium on aesthetics.
You can sign-up for Squarespace and learn more about its features by visiting the Squarespace homepage.