Squarespace is one of the most recognizable website builders. The platform claims to be good for different types of websites. It positions the software as a good option for blogs, small digital stores, and professional portfolios. It lets users build good-looking websites though it is far from being an easy tool.
Squarespace is a good website builder whenever you need to stage your products in the best way. All websites look very cool although there are still some questions regarding the platform’s ease of use especially when it comes to editing.
There were many complaints over the last years that referred to the fact that Squarespace lacks some essential features. The latest platform’s update to version 7 seems to eliminate the core misses. The software comes with some new features like Cover Page Builder, an updated Style Editor, etc. We have reviewed the latest website builder version to come up with a detailed review to let you decide if Squarespace is good for your purposes.
1. Ease of Use
Squarespace comes up with an improved editor’s usability, which is a good news. Users were forced to switch between the preview mode and site manager every time they made the slightest changes on the page. It made the building process rather time-consuming and irritating.
Moreover, Squarespace has turned into a 100% WYSIWYG instrument. Although the editing process became faster and simpler, there is one crucial problem. All changes are saved automatically with no opportunities to preview them. It means that your visitors also see the changes right away. You need to avoid any possible mistakes from the start.
Although Squarespace positions itself as a drag-and-drop website builder, it is not actually a 100% drag-and-drop tool. If you will try to hover the mouse over a photo on the template, nothing will happen. Uploading media files and images is possible only after accessing the Style Editor. Once you are done, you are free to upload any of your website assets.
It will take you some time to get used to the Style Editor. It is not very complicated though. The tool lets you move objects and sections to customize your page. Moreover, you can resize some of the site elements as well as relocate them. The only problem with relocation may occur depending on the template you choose. Some of them consider stick positions for each element with no opportunity to move or change them.
A good news is that the Style Editor delivers plenty of different options out of the box. For example, you can choose from a selection of specific page styles that will be adopted by the rest of the pages alike automatically. The selection of page types include:
- Cover Pages;
- Product Pages;
- Blog Pages;
- Index Pages;
- Event Pages.
Once you have chosen a specific type, other pages of the same type will automatically adopt it. For instance. You only need to edit your product page only once. The Product Page settings will automatically apply to the rest of your product pages.
2. Feature Set and Flexibility
Squarespace is a flexible platform although it does not have its own app store as well as third-party integration opportunities. On the other hand, the platform has enough built-in elements to come up with a functional website.
Widgets and Add-Ons
Users will appreciate an array of different add-ons. Such as:
- Widgets for image and photo galleries;
- Social media buttons;
- eCommerce tools for restaurants and cafes.
The software boasts an integrated tool to track visitors’ stats. There is a possibility to integrate Google Analytics or choose Squarespace Metrics App as an alternative.
The website builder comes with inbuilt contact forms that are easy to customize and edit. You can add necessary fields or use the Contact Form Builder to create your own exclusive users’ accusation tools.
The feature is a part of each Squarespace website though with some limitations depending on the plan. It includes a free SSL certificate and lets users integrate a shopping cart into any page no matter if it is a blog or a digital store.
The platform ensures a decent product online representation. You are free to add different images to every item. They are clickable and provide a larger view through a lightbox with the detailed product description. Users can manage the product price indicating a regular rate as well as prices during the sale’s period. You can also add videos to the product page. However, they will be available under the “more info” section.
Squarespace allows users adding up to 100 different item variations or SKUs. The entering procedure is rather simple although time-consuming, as there is no automated algorithm yet. However, it is still able to generate SKUs automatically in addition to a real shopping cart feature.
The payment options are pretty limited. The platform uses Stripe to accept payments made with Visa and Mastercard debit/credit cards. On the other hand, you do not need to deal with shipping cost calculation thanks to shipping cost settings. You are free to set flat-based cost as well as rates defined by the product weight.
The system delivers various loyalty options. They include coupon codes vouchers, fixed and floating percentage discounts, free shipping vouchers, etc.
SEO capabilities look a bit limited. They actually offer some basic settings for product pages and blog sections. Unlike other website builders, Squarespace will automatically use the product name or post headline as the SEO title for the page. You are not able to manage it. The same thing I with your website title. It will be displayed on all pages as well. This fact will hardly make your website more SEO-friendly.
The website builder is a good option to start a blog. The feature allows bloggers hosting their own podcasts as well as add some extra functions for maximum users’ engagement:
- Enable comments and trackbacks;
- Add geolocation tags;
- Enable the RSS feed;
- Use iTunes tagging;
- Reblogging and more.
The platform has a blog import feature making it easy to bring your WordPress, Tumblr or any other blog to Squarespace platform.
Squarespace is more focused on the quality of its templates rather than quantity. It does not deliver hundreds of themes like some other popular website builders. The website builder currently offers 40+ templates that look very professional and are mobile-friendly as well.
Despite such a small number of available templates, they cover a range of fields and industries. They are good for different site types including:
- Professional portfolios;
- Digital Stores;
- Café or Restaurant sites;
- Wedding and bridal websites, etc.
Cover Page Builder
The platform makes it very easy to come up with a good-looking cover page. All you need is to fill the page with necessary blocks, edit colors and add some texts, images or other media files. The feature works perfectly for one-page site building process. It is also good for other purposes like “error page” or “coming soon” page. The platform delivers dozens of ready-to-use Cover Page designs (currently 29 layouts) that are fast and easy to customize.
The option is available for users with the “Business Plan” only. They need to access the Developer Platform to work with HTML/CSS and change template design. The CSS editor comes with enough instruments to edit site menus. Do not worry in case you fail to create the look you wanted. The platform has the reset option that will drive your site back to the original theme.
Checkout Page Editor for Digital Stores
A great tool with the Logo & Tile editing feature in addition to the link back option in case you want to transfer the site content to a new template.
4. Customer Support
The website builder provides enough ways to get in touch with the support team. Users can opt for a live chat available 24/7 as well as send a request via email support.
Additional sources include Tutorial Resources with plenty of handy videos and articles to resolve any issue. Community Forum might also come in handy, as there you can ask real users questions or simply find useful information in a particular thread.
5. Pricing Policy
The platform does not actually have a free plan. However, users can try all of its functions and features before subscribing thanks to a 14-day free trial. It does not require any personal info whenever you decide to sing up and start the trial.
If you decide Squarespace is the platform you need, you can choose from five different paid plans depending on your goals and website type:
|Personal:||$12/mo||✓ 20 Pages;|
✓ Free custom domain;
✓ 3% sales transaction fee.
|Business:||$18/mo||✓ Unlimited pages;|
✓ AdWords Credit;
✓ 2% sales transaction fee.
|Basic:||$26/mo||✓ Unlimited products to sell;|
✓ Integrated Accounting;
✓ Unlimited Storage and Bandwidth.
|Advanced:||$40/mo||✓ Label Printing;|
✓ Abandoned Checkout Autorecovery;
✓ Real Time Carrier Shipping.
All plans include a free domain name and hosting. If you already have an existing domain, you need to appoint it to Squarespace.
6. Pros and Cons
The platform usually introduces new updates aimed at improving users’ experience. However, Squarespace developers still have some work to do considering some system’s hits and misses.
- Greatly Designed Templates – the system focuses on templates’ quality rather than quantity. With over 40 different mobile-responsive layouts, it covers a range of industries. Squarespace websites alw3ays look great and stylish.
- Flexibility – although Squarespace does not have its own app store, it still delivers enough features out of the box. Each plan comes with basic eCommerce features with some slight limitations. The system has great inbuilt tools like analytics, contact forms, etc.
- Customer Support – you can always count on professional assistance 24/7. The support team is available through various channels in addition to tutorials and users’ community forum.
- Limited SEO Features – the lack of SEO settings is certainly a miss as well as the inability to manage meta titles and descriptions. Developers should add more functions to create more SEO-friendly websites.
- Ease of Use – the Style Editor is not very easy to use if compared with platform’s main competitors. Moreover, the lack of preview mode can be a stumbling block when editing pages.
- eCommerce Pricing – Squarespace has never positioned itself as an eCommerce platform. At the same time, it comes with really good digital store features. The only problem is they are too expensive if compared to more dedicated eCommerce platforms.
7. Comparison with Competitors
We have examined different popular website building platforms and compared them to Squarespace. The overview provides a clear vision of platform’s hits and misses in front of the main competitors.
Editing Squarespace websites can be dull and daunting at the same time. The platform is hardly focused on newbies despite the fact it is positioned as a drag-and-drop builder. You can find some simpler alternatives like Wix with more user-friendly intuitive interface.
Moreover, Wix offers more flexible SEO features and settings while Squarespace looks a bit limited from this point of view. When it comes to eCommerce, Squarespace might work pretty well. However, the Online Store plans are too expensive of compared with more dedicated eCommerce platforms like Shopify, for example.
|Ease of Use:||8/10|
Summing up, Squarespace certainly deserves that popularity and recognition among website owners. The platform is flexible and functional enough to build sites of a different type. It comes will all necessary website-building tools in the pack to create a brilliant website that refers to creative industries.
It is good to know that Squarespace development team strives to improve the system regularly introducing new updates. However, there is still much work to do. The platform certainly lacks flexibility when it comes to SEO settings and functionality. They still need to do something about the Style Editor to present it in a more user-friendly way.
Despite all drawback, it is clear why thousands of users opt for this website building tool despite available alternatives. Still the best way to understand if Squarespace meets your expectations is to test the system by yourself and decide whether it suits your objectives or not.