Squarespace review and expert opinion: Essential Information about this Website Builder

Writing this review has not persuaded me to change my opinion that Squarespace is one of my favorite platforms, which it has been for quite some time. Squarespace is not the least expensive option available; however, if you are prepared to build a website and even make some money off of it, then I would recommend that you go with Squarespace. It provides plans for users who want to host their personal websites as well as users who want to host their business websites. These plans, which include a long list of interesting features, provide excellent value for the money.

Squarespace: The Last Frontier

I have to be completely honest with you and say that I really like Squarespace. If I weren’t so personally obsessed with creating websites the hard way (that is, with code), I’d probably use Squarespace because I’ve tested and reviewed it for other articles.

Because Squarespace recently released a brand-new template system and made some significant updates to its editor, writing this review was enjoyable. Does that mean your online store, business website, or portfolio would benefit from it? It varies.

Squarespace is an entirely premium service; there isn’t even a hint of a free plan; there is only a 14-day free trial. It is made for those who desire attractive, extremely professional portfolio or business websites as well as anyone wishing to operate an online store. However, it limits your creative options compared to other website builders, and the cost might be too high if you don’t intend to monetize your website.

Templates

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What are templates?

First, some groundwork before I start dropping knowledge bombs on you: Squarespace performs more or less as one would anticipate given its name. You have access to more than 140 pre-set designs, and you can modify them to suit your preferences before moving forward. These preset designs cover the requirements of 14 distinct industries, ranging from blogs to weddings, and provide a comprehensive solution for virtually all of them. In a way, I wish I could say “from A to Z,” but the website does not contain any categories that begin with either of those letters.

You need only select a template to get started, and in the event that you change your mind, the look can be modified at any time. Although you can’t exactly switch to a different preset, you can make significant adjustments to the one you currently have if you so choose. These pre-designed layouts are optimized for use on mobile devices and can be modified to meet any specific requirements you may have.

Permit me to make one thing crystal clear: I believe that these pre-made designs are attractive. They have an aesthetic that leans more toward a minimalistic, Apple-like flatness, but then again, the whole platform does. This “thing” that Squarespace has, which is minimalism,

But you shouldn’t worry if you can’t find a template that exactly matches what it is that you’re looking for. You’re not limited to Squarespace’s default designs. You have the ability to personalize each one, or you can hire other people to do it for you. If you use Squarespace’s developer platform, you will also have the option of having a template that is highly customized to your needs built for you. You won’t be able to avoid paying for it, though.

Now, let’s delve into this topic a little further. In a strictly technical sense, Squarespace only offers a single “template.” You could refer to it as a “template framework,” if you like.

Nerd time!Squarespace review and expert opinion: Essential Information about this Website Builder — 3

In the beginning, Squarespace worked the same way as every other website builder. There were many different site templates to choose from, and they were designed to meet virtually any requirement you could conjure up in your head. When it came to the nuts and bolts of the operation, each template had its own individual hunk of code.

In the case of Squarespace, this meant updating each and every template each time a new feature was introduced to their platform. It meant that some templates were considerably more adaptable and customizable than others, but that overall, they all had their own set of constraints to adhere to. It was acceptable for you to construct a highly specialized website if that was what you desired. There was the possibility of encountering difficulties in the event that you decided to expand that website.

Enter Squarespace version 7.1. Now, all templates are actually just different iterations of the same template, which is the same large pile of code. This “framework” is the same as the one I was talking about earlier. Because this framework was developed to be extremely flexible and modular, it enables you to construct virtually any kind of layout you desire, as well as make use of any colors and fonts you choose – the whole nine yards.

This makes the entirety of Squarespace’s platform much simpler and less time-consuming for the company’s developers to work with. This means that, as a user, you are actually able to change the overall appearance and feel of your website with only a few clicks of the mouse. You have complete control over how significant or subtle the changes are, and you won’t lose any of the content in the process.

It’s a solid organizational plan. You can, however, choose to use an older version of Squarespace, complete with all of their older templates, if you so desire. This option is available to you if and only if you so choose. That’s cool with me as well.

Features

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A New (or Semi-Pro) Designer Might Need These Features

Squarespace, much like the majority of the other more well-known website builders, aims to strike a balance between providing inexperienced website owners with an easy way to build what they require and providing more seasoned designers and developers with a place to build whatever they desire. In this particular scenario, it is abundantly clear that the balance is tilted toward novices.

Even on the Personal plan, it is simple to add whatever it is that you require. Want a calendar? Reservations for appointments? A store? You only need to press one or two buttons, and it will be yours. With very little additional work on your part, you can even make your website accessible in multiple languages by producing an additional set of pages.

If, on the other hand, you want to use custom templates or any custom code, you’ll be required to shell out some cash for one of the more pricey plans. This is something that is common to almost all website builders, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

In addition to that, there is a free logo maker, which I have analyzed in more detail elsewhere. It’s true that it’s pretty simple, but it’s not a terrible thing at all.

Full-featured Website Editor

This editor is something between a drag-and-drop and block-based, in my opinion. When you edit a page, you begin the process by adding “sections” or “content blocks,” which are exactly what they sound like: pre-configured portions of the page layout or the functionality of the site that are designed to be used with minimal effort.

These can be as straightforward as text blocks or as complex as food menus, contact forms, or image galleries titled “About the Team.” Some of the more complicated building blocks are social media icons, RSS feeds, Twitter feeds, feeds from all the other social media platforms, charts, Amazon products, appointment scheduling forms, calendars, e-commerce products, and… well, there are plenty of others.

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After selecting the necessary content block, you can then start moving things around using the drag-and-drop functionality. You can drag elements around to reorganize them however you see fit within the constraints of the layout. Not the Wix platform. It is not possible to simply insert anything on any page in any location you choose. There are certain parameters that must be adhered to in order to maintain the uniform appearance and appropriate spacing of your website when using Squarespace as the platform.

This is a sword with two edges, so to speak. On the one hand, there is not a great deal of room for you to completely express your creative side. On the other hand, unlike some Wix websites that I’ve come across, I haven’t come across a Squarespace website that actually looks terrible or is extremely difficult to navigate. This is a major advantage of using Squarespace.

Having said that, there is a significant amount of room for improvement in the layout. You can search for the pre-set content blocks that provide the layout that you want, and then modify those blocks to meet your needs. Alternatively, you can add a blank content block and then build a basic layout by adding columns, spacing, and content as you see fit. This option is available to you if you choose.

E-commerce Is a Big Deal

E-commerce is going to take up a significant portion of our time today because the store functionality that Squarespace provides is one of the platform’s most compelling selling points. Simply clicking a few buttons, providing the answers to a few questions, and then letting Squarespace handle the rest of the work is all that is required to add a store to your website.

To be clear, I’m referring primarily to the work involved in the design. You are responsible for actually adding products. If you already have a store somewhere else on the internet, you can save time by importing your products using a.CSV file and bringing them into this new store.Squarespace review and expert opinion: Essential Information about this Website Builder — 9

Other functions enable you to:

  • You should accept payments using a wide variety of methods (PayPal, Stripe, Square).
  • Get automatic tax calculation.
  • Offer both digital and tangible products for sale.
  • Discounts and sales should be offered.
  • Sell gift cards.
  • Put together some mailing lists.
  • Sell subscriptions.
  • Sell via social media.
  • Obtain a calculation of the shipping costs automatically (via Fedex and UPS, but only for the U.S.).
  • Establish distinct shipping zones.
  • Make arrangements for in-store pickup.

On the consumer-facing side of things, the shop adopts the same overarching design and atmosphere as the rest of your website. You have the ability to alter the layout of the store page; however, due to the characteristics of online stores, your options are somewhat constrained. You can also change the appearance of individual product pages, although there are some constraints placed on the layout.

Even though it’s packed with information, the user interface (UI) for managing your products is surprisingly straightforward. Give it a try, and before you know it, you’ll be able to upload images, set different prices for different iterations of the same product, and create forms to collect additional information about customers. Altering the text that reads “Add to Cart” to something more aspirational, such as “Add This Product to Your Life,” is also an option.

Alternately, maybe you shouldn’t do that. That is truly horrible.

My point is that it is a store that carries all of the necessary items. You would need to switch to an e-commerce platform that specializes in complex functionality, such as Shopify or… I dunno… Amazon. You could even link your Squarespace store to Amazon and have them handle the shipping for you if you do that. Alternatively, you can use Shipstation to print your own shipping labels.

You also have the option of sending automated emails to customers who have left items in their virtual shopping carts but not completed their purchases. I’m going to have to ask you not to do that because I shop quite a bit online. Okay? It is not necessary for there to be any more clutter in my email. Nevertheless, I’ve heard that it’s a successful strategy for many different stores, and Squarespace gives you the option to implement it.

The only thing that could be considered a “con” is the fact that in order to use the store functionality at all, you are required to pay for one of Squarespace’s business plans, which are not exactly inexpensive. They are quite a bit more expensive than services such as Zyro, and only a little bit more affordable than the comparable plans offered by Wix. However, hey, the plan is for you to make money off of your website, right?

Blogs Are Generally Reliable

Although Squarespace is not my top choice when it comes to blogging platforms, I do think it’s a pretty solid option overall. The blog module allows you to save drafts, schedule posts, add tags, and organize entries into categories according to your preferences. You have the option of setting individual posts to be reviewed by other coworkers before they are published, deciding whether or not to display the author’s name and profile, and even modifying the fonts and colors used for specific posts.Squarespace review and expert opinion: Essential Information about this Website Builder — 11

The actual editor is by far the most useful and enjoyable feature for me. Squarespace enables you to edit blog posts in the same manner as you edit any other page: directly on the page itself. This is in contrast to the majority of website builders, which provide a separate interface for writing blog posts. What you observe is precisely what you will receive.

Even though you can’t create intricate layouts like you can with a regular page, it’s still a really good option overall. You have the ability to include things like image galleries, slideshows, videos (of course), audio, tag clouds, and charts, among other things.

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Blog posts, just like any other page, come equipped with all of the fundamental SEO options and social sharing tools you could ever want. You can set the meta titles and descriptions that will be used by search engines, configure how your blog post will be previewed on social media sites, and even send out newsletters containing your published blog posts as soon as you have them ready.

Add-ons and integrations with third-party services

Squarespace is not a stand-alone platform; rather, it is integrated with a wide variety of third-party services and other online platforms. These integrations basically make it possible for Squarespace to extend the capabilities it already possesses. Your website will be able to connect to other platforms as a result of their presence. For instance, you will be able to promote all of your blog posts on social media. They also make it possible for you to embed things like maps, videos from YouTube, menus from restaurants, and many other things.

The new scheduling tool that Squarespace has is one of the integrations that I really like. It is simple to set up, and once it is, it gives customers the ability to check your availability and book appointments directly through your website. Because it integrates with a number of different payment processors, you can also use it to collect payments in addition to being able to set up automated appointment reminders, confirmations, and follow-ups. If appointments are your main source of income, then investing in this tool is unquestionably money well spent. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it is a low-cost resource, but it is without a doubt worthwhile.

The Weglot Translate Extension is yet another integration that helps Squarespace differentiate itself from its rivals in the industry. This powerful tool makes it ridiculously simple for you to add multilingual functionality to your website by translating your content into any of more than one hundred different languages automatically. The dropdown menu provides visitors with an easy way to select their preferred language when using the site. Even more impressive is the fact that Weglot comes pre-built with multilingual SEO features that will assist you in achieving a higher ranking on search engines for each of those languages.

Squarespace Member Areas might be the ideal extension for your website if you want to find a way to make money off of your knowledge and experience. It gives you the ability to restrict access to premium content and services, such as podcast episodes, cooking recipes, yoga videos, or one-on-one coaching sessions, by utilizing a protected paywall. After that, you will have the ability to offer various membership packages, each of which can be purchased with either a one-time payment or a recurring subscription.

Other integrations include the following:

  • A block on Google Maps.
  • An OpenTable reservation block for restaurants.
  • A block on SoundCloud.
  • A video block that works with Wistia, Vimeo, YouTube, and Animoto.
  • Gmail AMP.
  • Cross-publishing your blog to the Apple News app using the Apple News integration.
  • Commenting on Disqus.
  • Integration of Apple Pay, PayPal, Stripe, and Square for payment processing.
  • Easyship for managing sales and shipments.
  • Calculating shipping rates for FedEx and UPS
  • Thanks for the post-purchase customer feedback surveys, we’re happy
  • To handle accounting and generate invoices, use Freshbooks.
  • Automate your order fulfillment process with Order Desk.
  • both Google Fonts and Adobe Fonts.
  • For those who exclusively use Google Drive, there is G Suite.
  • Image syncing in Dropbox.
  • tracking of Amazon affiliates.
  • Ads by Google.
  • Internet Analytics.
  • Mailchimp.
  • Flickr.
  • Numerous social media platforms.

Easily Usable

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Despite having a flat user interface, there is a learning curve

In my experience, Squarespace is a user-friendly platform that is not only straightforward but also easy on the eyes and the mind. Having said that, I’ve been working with websites for quite some time, and the way that Squarespace operates just… works for me.

Someone who is completely unfamiliar with the process of developing websites will have a lot to learn. It is unlikely to be challenging, but you should set aside at least an hour and a half of additional time so that you can become acquainted with the fundamental systems, such as how to add content to a page, how to publish your site and make everything accessible online, and other similar topics.

It would be irresponsible of me not to admit that I’ve become aware of growing discontent on the internet. However, even some other career professionals do not find the user interface to be quite as straightforward as I do. I believe that for some people, it is a matter of taste as well as the way their brains are wired.

Even so, assistance will be provided to you if you request it.

Sample Tutorials

You can get started with Squarespace by reading all there is to know about how to use it, or you can just dive right in. When you first sign up, you will be presented with a “starter questionnaire” that will ask you what kind of website you intend to create. Once you begin the process of editing your website, you will notice that the interface includes a number of tutorials and helpful hints that will walk you through each step.

In addition to that, there is a knowledge base that contains an extensive collection of help guides, webinars that are specifically about Squarespace, and a blog that provides general design advice. Because this website builder has been around for a number of years, the customer support team has certainly had the opportunity and the time to compile a thorough collection of tutorials that will teach you virtually everything it is necessary for you to know.

At this point, all of that content is used for marketing just as much as it is used for instruction, but hey, I’ll never begrudge a company that knows how to multitask, so there’s no point in complaining about it.

Tools for Marketing, SEO, and Scheduling Included

Obviously, the objective is not simply to construct your website using Squarespace. The objective is to make both your website and your company a smashing success. To that end, there are a number of tools that are already built in that are intended to assist you in marketing and promoting yourself with as little effort as possible.Squarespace review and expert opinion: Essential Information about this Website Builder — 17

There is a vast assortment of marketing tools available, such as buttons to share content on social media platforms, buttons to share content on Pinterest, Instagram stories, Facebook ads, and (horror of horrors) promotional pop-ups. If you have already paid for your site, you are eligible to use Squarespace’s email marketing platform, which, despite being a little less sophisticated than Mailchimp, is still free to use. Previously, I mentioned that Squarespace integrates with Mailchimp.

In addition, Squarespace comes with a set of SEO features that are simple but efficient, and they can help make your website more discoverable on Google and other search engines. You even have the option to hire a “Squarespace SEO Expert” if you are willing to pay the additional fee. It would appear that they do indeed have those.

Squarespace also just recently released Squarespace Analytics, which allows you to view which search terms drive the most traffic to your site. This provides you with the information you need to fine-tune your content so that it is the best possible fit for what your visitors are looking for.

The Scheduling tool is one that is relatively recent in its release. It is able to schedule things. This functionality allows you to take appointments, manage your available time, send automatic reminders to customers (so that they will be more likely to show up), create intake forms, and more. If your business depends on in-person appointments, you can use this functionality to take appointments, manage your available time, send automatic reminders to customers, and more.

Select Stock Pictures in the Editor

Even though this is a relatively minor addition, I still think it’s pretty cool. Stock photography should be your go-to option whenever you don’t have the resources or the time to hire a professional photographer. Within the site editor, you have access to both free stock photos (offered by websites such as Unsplash) and premium paid stock photos. There is no need to download anything or resize anything; simply select the photograph you require, and you are good to go.

Support

The support staff responds quickly and is helpful

If you ever find yourself in need of assistance, Squarespace’s team is there for you. To put it another way, they have everything under control. The primary support channels consist of an integrated email and ticketing system, as well as live chat and a community forum. I tried each of the three options to determine whether or not I would receive timely and expert assistance.Squarespace review and expert opinion: Essential Information about this Website Builder — 19

Ticket/Email System

Because I was in the process of writing my Ultimate Guide to Choosing Domain Names and because domains were on my mind, I submitted a ticket to Squarespace and asked if it would be possible to buy a domain on Squarespace (such as mywebsite.com), create a subdomain (such as server.mywebsite.com), and then point that subdomain to a location on the internet other than Squarespace. Like, to a private server, perhaps.

Within the space of about six hours, a member of the team got back to me and said yes, I could do exactly that. In their response, they offered very helpful and specific guidance.

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Real-time chat

I was able to access their live chat support due to the fact that I was going to be staying up all night anyway. My schedule typically doesn’t align with theirs, but this time they responded to my live chat within a few minutes. Live chat is available Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

I wanted to know, “I’ve noticed that Squarespace has a lot of SEO features, but what if I want to discourage search engines from crawling my site, or portions of it?” Is there any way that we can accomplish that?” It seems that is something you are able to accomplish. The development team has taken into consideration the possibility that you might want people, but not search engines like Google, to discover your content.

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Forum

In a strict sense, it is not the responsibility of the support team to respond to questions posted here. Despite this, I was able to get a reasonably prompt response from a fellow Squarespace user who provided the information I required. I inquired about the possibility of developing a website on this platform without the need to make use of cookies on the front end. It would appear that there isn’t.

Additionally, the story that is depicted in the screenshot is entirely accurate.

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Pricing

Because it does not offer a free plan of any kind, Squarespace is not the most cost-effective website builder available, especially if you pay on a monthly basis. Even though purchasing an annual plan will result in significant cost reductions for you, there are other options that are less expensive. Despite this, I am of the sincere opinion that these prices are reasonable in relation to the level of service that is provided.Squarespace review and expert opinion: Essential Information about this Website Builder — 27

It is only necessary to upgrade to the second-cheapest plan (Business) in order to get access to the store functions, but all plans come with a domain that is free to use for the first year. When you upgrade to the Business plan, in addition to the other benefits listed above, you will also have access to professional email from Google, additional content blocks, advanced analytics, and the ability to accept donations.

If you upgrade to a higher plan, you will be able to offer users the opportunity to create their own accounts on your website, in addition to receiving additional analytics and merchandising tools, the capacity to conduct business via Instagram, and other perks. In point of fact, the majority of the more advanced features are connected to online shopping and business. If you want to open an online store, you should first determine the features that you require, then look into which plans offer those features in their entirety.

Having said all of that, while I do believe the prices to be reasonable, there are other services (like Wix) that offer simply more features for a lower price.

Refunds & Cancellations

The process for issuing refunds is not overly complicated. The only plans for which Squarespace will issue refunds are those that have been paid for on an annual basis, and even then, only within the first 14 days after the initial payment.

Things aren’t too complicated, are they? Although not the most ideal terms, they are straightforward. I actually used my own money to purchase a year’s worth of Squarespace just so I could try it out, but I canceled my subscription a few hours after making the payment. It was successful. To cancel my subscription, I simply had to navigate to the billing section of my website and click the appropriate button. After that, everything was taken care of.

I decided to double check everything with customer support, and that went without a hitch as well. The processing time for refunds typically ranges from three to ten business days. I can’t really complain about anything because I followed their policy to the letter, and everything turned out the way it was supposed to.

You have two weeks to make sure that the product meets all of your expectations before you have to pay. It seems to make sense to me.

Squarespace: Сonclusion

The website builder Squarespace has been one of my personal favorites for quite some time, and it has earned a spot on our ranking of the best website builders for the year 2022. It is not the least expensive choice available; however, we are all aware that “cheap” does not necessarily equate to “good.” You get a good deal for your money when you use Squarespace, and the 14-day free trial is a fantastic way to test out the platform and determine whether or not it will meet your needs before you commit to a plan.

FAQ

What about Squarespace in 2022?

Squarespace will not let you down if you are looking to create a website that is both polished and minimalist, such as a portfolio, a website for your business, or an online store. You will have access to some of the most cutting-edge and expertly designed templates currently available, as well as a plethora of third-party integrations and sophisticated e-commerce and business features.

One of the drawbacks of using Squarespace is that it is relatively expensive in comparison to other website builders, and there is no free plan available. Therefore, if you don’t intend to make money off of your website, it’s possible that this won’t be a good investment for you.

Are Squarespace websites mobile friendly?

Because every template offered by Squarespace is optimized for mobile use, your website will automatically look great across all devices. If you are using Squarespace version 7.0, your template may have additional mobile styles that are activated when viewed on a mobile device. This is only the case if the template was designed with mobile devices in mind. You are able to modify the size of the fonts, the size of the logo, the size of the mobile navigation bars, and more with these styles. However, due to the fact that all of the mobile optimization is included as standard, you won’t see these features with version 7.1 of Squarespace.

Is Squarespace able to handle heavy traffic?

Websites built on Squarespace are able to support significantly high traffic volumes, despite the fact that no web building platform can guarantee 100% uptime. The Squarespace website is powered by the very same infrastructure that the company offers to its users.

On the other hand, if your website contains a lot of content or has image files that are particularly large, it may load more slowly than usual, particularly on mobile devices. You can visit the support articles on Squarespace at any time to find advice on how to improve the loading speed of your website. Some of the suggestions include using fewer fonts, removing custom code, decreasing page sizes, and more.

What Squarespace plan is ideal?

The Squarespace plan that is best for you will depend on your specific requirements. A straightforward website that needs a custom domain, search engine optimization (SEO) features, website security, and more will be covered by the Personal plan. The Business plan is the second least expensive choice and comes with premium integrations, a Google email address for your business, advanced website analytics, and a store that has all of its features enabled.Squarespace review and expert opinion: Essential Information about this Website Builder — 29

If you upgrade to a higher plan, you will be able to recover abandoned shopping carts, access advanced shipping options, allow users to register for accounts on your website, sell products on Instagram, recover abandoned shopping carts, and use e-commerce APIs.

Squarespace or Wix, which is superior?

Wix provides users with an easier-to-use editor and more templates than Squarespace does. It also comes with a free plan, in contrast to Squarespace, which only provides a free trial period of 14 days. Squarespace, on the other hand, offers more attractive design options, unlimited storage across all of its pricing tiers, and more developed e-commerce and business tools, including the opportunity to acquire personalized business support.

Techexplains Team

Techexplains Team

We are a team of digital marketing experts with years of experience in website builders. CRM tools, project management software helping businesses of all sizes achieve their marketing goals. We are writing about benefits of using SaaS for businesses, and sharing our top picks for the best tools currently available on the market. Whether you are a small business owner looking to streamline your marketing efforts or a larger enterprise seeking to improve your marketing efficiency, we hope that you will find this useful and informative.