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Squarespace.com Review

Launched more than 10 years ago, Squarespace is one of the oldest website builders out there.Since its launch, the company has grown from a single-person startup to a team of 503 employees serving millions of websites in 190 countries, and a Super Bowl star.

Who is it for? Squarespace targets all kinds of creative pros, small businesses and e-retailers. While it was initially geared towards non-coders, today it also offers an advanced editing solution with full HTML/CSS control called Developer platform.

In this review we will guide you through all major Squarespace features and discuss the pros and cons of using this platform.

#1 Ease of Use

As you might remember, the previous version of Squarespace had some pain points, most of which were of user experience variety. Based on user feedback, their UX designers tinkered and tailored the control panel to make it easier to use.

Squarespace Start Screen

Squarespace has an easy to use editor comparing with previous one. You no longer need to jump between the editing area and the Preview window. These are now merged into one page, making the editing process faster and more effective.

Squarespace Template Single

Another excellent decision is user friendly, lightweight menu. The new menu has 6 sections, each hiding more options related to the chosen setting.

In general, Squarespace Editor is user friendly and logical. Nevertheless, Squarespace’s site building process is still less intuitive than that of Wix or Weebly, for instance.

#2 Feature Set and Flexibility

Actually, this version of the platform is mainly about the new UX, not features. They’ve added some new options, but they are minor, nothing fundamental – at the core, it’s the same Squarespace you know. Luckily, Squarespace had no shortage of power before the overhaul.

Squarespace Editor

As before, it offers a wealth of really cool features, some of the most remarkable include a feature-rich eCommerce platform, native blogging system, ability to add multiple contributors and also import/export features: Squarespace allows you to transport your blog to any other place.

Simply put, when selecting Squarespace you’re not risking to lose your precious work – in case you feel that the builder isn’t the best option for you, you can cancel your subscription and take your blog elsewhere anytime. I like this philosophy.

Speaking about eCommerce, Squarespace provides the following features: digital and physical goods, inventory tracking, shipping, taxes, coupons and more. Because Squarespace’s commerce is supported by Stripe, you’ll be charged 2.9% + 30¢ per successful transaction. Squarespace imposes no additional transaction fees.

Squarespace eCommerce

You can also import an existing blog to Squarespace from WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Etsy and other services.

For all of us who love to get under the hood, there are Code blocks allowing for custom code injection, Custom CSS area and Developer platform where you can change everything from the opening doctype tag to the footer of your website. Developer access is limited to Professional and Business plans only.

Squarespace has an impressive collection of iOS and Android applications that allow to create and edit posts, take notes and monitor website performance on the fly. These are: Blog, Start, eCommerce and Note apps.

Squarespace Android Apps

If you need to add features that aren’t available in Squarespace, you may want to integrate a third-party application. Squarespace partners with many companies that provide various integrations that can track specific data, display existing content from another source, add online booking, and more. Some of these include Disqus, Etsy, PayPal, BookingBug, MailChimp and Typekit, among others.

Squarespace Connect Account

#3 Designs

Squarespace is definitely one of the most influential trendsetters in the niche. Their templates are memorable, engaging and easy-to-navigate.

Squarespace Templates

The platform comes with dozens of category-specific designs, some created in collaboration ‘with a few of the world’s most influential people’. They offer templates in 7 industry categories like Business, Musicians, Restaurants, Personal, Commerce and more, including one-page templates called Cover pages.

You can change the template any time if you feel that it doesn’t match your company/personality style. All templates are designed with mobile devices in mind.

Squarespace makes it possible to preview your site across a variety of screen sizes by offering Device view. The Device View feature gives you a general idea of how your site appears on a typical mobile browser.

Squarespace Mobile View

To keep you focused on the creative process instead of finding images on the web, the new Squarespace cooperated with Getty images. Squarespace users can now access over 40 million high quality images for commercial use. Images cost $10 each.

#4 Customer Support

There’s 24/7 email support and also Live Chat support (weekdays from 11am to 7pm EST). There’s also an impressive knowledge base and a community-driven Q&A section.

Squarespace Help

#5 Pricing Policy

Squarespace is more expensive than the average website builder. There are three pricing options: Cover Pages – $7/mo, Websites (Personal or Business) – $16-$26/mo and Commerce (Basic or Advanced) – $30-$46/mo billed month-to-month. These are discounted to $5, $12-$18 and $26-$40 respectively if you pay annually. All annual plans include a one year of free domain registration.

Squarespace Pricing

Squarespace pricing comparison or which plan you need: if you’re looking to build a simple site containing up to 20 pages and you don’t feel like using the Developer platform, then you can be quite satisfied with the Personal Plan of Squarespace. As a bonus, you’ll get the ability to sell 1 product and accept donations.

But if your intent is to create a full-featured online shop, then you certainly need either the $26 or $46 plan, depending on how many products you have to sell online.

Regardless of the chosen plan, you can purchase email accounts via Google Apps email for your Squarespace domain at $5 per month.

Unlike the competition, Squarespace isn’t a freemium web service. You can enjoy it free for 14 days only.

Disadvantages

Commerce is currently only available in the U.S., the U.K., Canada & Ireland. It’s more expensive compared to its competition. Many users report issues with adjusting for larger mobile screens.

Comparison with Competitors

The main Squarespace’s alternatives are Wix, Weebly and WordPress. Are they any better than Squarespace? It’s difficult to answer this question without specifying the user market. Read our in-depth comparison articles to find more information on this:

If you think there exists a better website builder than Squarespace, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below this post.

Squarespace Review: Conclusion

As I see it, the ideal customer for Squarespace is a creative professional, a blogger or an e-retailer who puts visual impression and style first. Squarespace is very flexible – you’re not limited to the feature set offered by the platform, but can extend your website using your own scripts.

Squarespace’s forte is elegant design, clear pricing policy and business philosophy. But it’s more complicated than its competition. If you expect a total drag-and-drop experience and much fun, Squarespace isn’t for you.

Have you ever tried this website builder? Share your experience in the comments!

Check out our collections of Squarespace sample sites and Squarespace shops.

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Squarespace.com
Author Rating
5
  • Hi there. I use Squarespace and really like it, the customer service is amazing. I’m actually in the process of moving saysbrad.com from Squarespace 5 to 6… it’s a lot of work since the systems are so different. (Also experimenting with Ghost, but that’s not a website builder, just blogging).

    I read this ‘excerpt’ on the front page, and it seems a bit misleading:

    “Squarespace is a top website builder that offers probably the most stunning templates on the web for free. It helps you make an unforgettable visual impression on your website’s visitors. It’s the best choice for musicians, artists and designers.”

    If what you mean by “free” is that the templates are included at no additional cost, then yes… but it reads more like the site offers free services, and really it just offers a free trial. The full review makes that clear, but I thought I’d mention it nonetheless.

    Also, I’d like to point out another disadvantage: while SS v5 had an open API and numerous third-party posting apps support, v6 does not. It’s mobile apps, while adequate, don’t offer full control, so anyone looking to really work on their website from an iPad or something won’t be able to access much of Squarespace’s power. I ran into this problem, since I use Blogsy to update my site now, but can’t update version 6 with it. No word as to whether or not Squarespace will allow outside apps to work with version 6, but my guess is no.

    WordPress is more iPad-friendly. But for “desktop” users, I think Squarespace is superior. At a price.

    • Thanks for your valuable comment! I’ve made changes in the ‘excerpt’ on the front page. Indeed, it looked misleading. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

  • tbaxter

    Also Squarespace doesn’t host email accounts. You have to use Google Business Apps to set up your email w/domain name, and pay $5/month. It seems small and silly, but this is a deal-breaker for me.

  • Jojuba

    We had issues with my wife’s website for her business on Squarespace. It worked fine on the IPhones we tested, but on the default browser for the Samsung Galaxy it would not navigate once you reached the homepage. You also couldn’t fill in the information in the contact form on her
    page. She contacted Squarespace and they initially sent a generic email explaining some ridiculous steps that wouldn’t work. She persisted in getting help from their customer support and they said it worked fine in Google Chrome on the Galaxy. Great! Now we just have to tell all of our potential customers to get Chrome! When my wife said that it was the default browser that didn’t work and not Chrome, they said everything was fine on their end (just ignoring her concern). Galaxy owners outnumber IPhone owners 2 to 1. Most people don’t download Chrome. They use the default browser. This is truly a horrible business practice.
    There is a valid problem here and they won’t do a thing to fix it. By the way, this was tested on 3 different Galaxies with the same result.

  • Stephanie L.

    I’ve also had a significant amount of issues with Squarespace. Particularly, billing and domain setup. The technical aspects weren’t as easy as they pitched. I’ve since used Webflow.com and Weebly.com, and I have nothing but nice things to say about Webflow.com.

  • techeden

    Howard, do you plan to compare Weebly and Squarespace?

  • Truthfully in love with Squarespace. They had an issue with multilingual websites and it was extremely complicated to translate Squarespace websites but now there are 3rd party solutions like LocalizeJS and https://www.Bablic.com which make it extremely easy. Here’s the tutorial for Bablic Squarespace translation which is my favourite: blog.bablic.com/translate-your-squarespace-website-with-bablic/

    Would love to know what you guys think!

  • Hyaden McLean

    Looks like a pretty good builder to try. Is there a free trial version for this?

  • Željko Zeko Šimić

    WordPress is dynamic cms, squarespace, weebly and wix are static cms. When you write the article, be sure to know the issue about which you are writting. You also forgot to mention that they have a lot of bugs with their SEO, poor offer at marketing tools, and poor offer at ecommerce tools…. and so on and on. You would know that if you tested the system but obviusly you just copy/paste it from another blog. Gosh. Bloggers today are uselles. 🙂

  • Emily

    Your review neglected a very important point – that you cannot currently build or maintain a Squarespace site with Safari! https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/205815548-Supported-browsers This problem has existed for months now, and until it’s fixed, I definitely wouldn’t recommend using Squarespace if Safari is your browser. Our office already has our sites built on Squarespace and uses Safari exclusively, so having to save work every 15 seconds or so (and frequently losing work) has become our new reality 🙁

  • Calvin “DrivenTheRockstarKid”

    I SIGNED UP FOR SQUARESPACE UNDER THE GUISE THAT THEIR PRODUCTS WORKED CORRECTLY AND I THOUGHT SQUARESPACE CARED ABOUT BEAUTY AND QUALITY BUT I WAS WRONG. I SPENT 4 MONTHS BUILDING MY WEBSITE TO FIND OUT THAT SEVERAL KEY FEATURES OF SQUARESPACE DID NOT WORK PROPERLY AND THERE WAS NO CUSTOMIZATION OF BUTTONS.. THEY HAVE NO WORKING PHONE AND THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE WORST ON PLANET EARTH. I CHATTED WITH A RUDE REP NAMED SANDY B..SHE CANCELLED MY ACCOUNT WITHOUT GIVING ME A REFUND AFTER I COMPLAINED ABOUT THE PRODUCTS NOT WORKING. SQUARESPACE BELITTLED ME VIA CHAT AND THEY DID NOTHING TO HELP MY SITUATION. ALL SQUARESPACE SAID WHEN I COMPLAINED ABOUT MY MEDIA/VIDEOS NOT PLAYING RIGHT IS “WE HAVE NO TIME FRAME TO FIX BUGS IN YOUR WEBSITE, KEEP PAYING UNTIL ONE DAY WHEN WE FIGURE IT OUT AND MAYBE YOU CAN USE YOUR WEBSITE”. THIS WAS MY WORST NIGHTMARE, IMAGINE BEING UNDER A DEADLINE, PROMISING CUSTOMERS AND INVESTORS THAT YOU WOULD DELIVER BY A CERTAIN DATE AND SQUARESPACE TELLING YOU THAT THEY HAVE NO TIME FRAME WHEN YOUR WEBSITE WILL BE FUNCTIONAL DUE TO BUGS ON THIER END AND YOU MUST CONTINUE TO PAY FOR THEIR MISTAKE UNTIL THEY DECIDE TO FIX IT. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE AND DO NOT USE SQUARESPACE..TRUST ME YOU WILL REGRET IT! THE COMPANY SCAMMED ME AND SQUARESPACE WILL SCAM YOU OUT OF YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY!! ALSO THEIR WEBSITES ARE VERY SLOW AND BUGGY.. ALSO READ THIER TERMS AND CONDITIONS, THEY CAN STEAL YOUR MONEY AND CANCEL YOUR ACCOUNT FOR NO REASON..