Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder designed to empower creative professionals by helping them build professional-looking websites. A Squarespace subscription includes content hosting, professionally designed templates, 24/7 support, and access to a user-friendly interface for creating beautiful websites. Squarespace’s advanced website builder and eCommerce features such as an in-built WYSIWYG editor, landing page builder, product management, and CRM tools also give users a head start in creating and managing an online store.
Nonetheless, Squarespace paid plans are expensive when compared to other website builders. Since Squarespace was designed to be user-friendly, it also lacks true customizability and has limited design options. At the end of the day, Squarespace is most suited for beginners who are looking for a simple, self-managing website builder.
In this Squarespace review, we will explore website builder features, pricing, ease of use, add ons, and more.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is a visual website builder that enables users to utilize drag and drop elements to create a website or online store entirely from scratch. Anthony Casalena, the founder of Squarespace, built the first version of Squarespace in 2003 after wanting to create a better personal website for himself. Squarespace started out in Casalena’s tiny dorm room at the University of Maryland before expanding to over 1100 employees over a decade.
Since its launch, Squarespace has helped millions of users create great-looking websites, build their brands, share stories, and create long-lasting relationships with customers.
Facts and Figures
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, USA|
Squarespace Website Builder Features
Squarespace merges the power of website builders and the popularity of eCommerce features into one intuitive platform. It consists of a built-in editor and style kit that allows users to tweak design elements to modernize and refresh any website or storefront. Business owners can also manage orders and update products on the go, send out promotional codes and discounts, and customize checkout pages to reflect company branding.
Squarespace’s rich bank of website builder features such as customizable templates, custom code injection, form builder, and image editing ensure that users can create the website they have always envisioned. Equipped with a landing page builder and web analytic tools, users can create landing pages, collect leads from visitors, and monitor site statistics. Users also never have to worry about running out of space for their website content with unlimited storage.
When a user signs up with Squarespace, their website is automatically hosted with Squarespace free of charge. During the first year of subscription, users also have the opportunity to select their own domain name. Domains registered during the first year automatically renew at Squarespace’s standard rate, between $20 to $70 per year.
Users can take advantage of Squarespace’s easy to use Design panel to edit global styles or simply style individual sections. Web elements such as font sizes, colors, layout, and spacing can all be customized, keeping the look and feel of a website consistent.
As with most website builders, Squarespace’s landing page feature can be used in various ways: as a “Coming Soon” or “Under Construction” page, newsletter subscriptions, product reveals, and 404 error pages. Users can add text blocks, images, and videos for greater visual impact. There is also the option to add a site-wide password, giving users the chance to hide the website before it is ready for launch.
Squarespace maximizes a website’s visibility by encouraging users to include SEO-friendly content such as page titles, headings, tags and categories, page descriptions, and alt text to images. Users can also monitor their site analytics and traffic using Squarespace’s Search Keywords panel, Activity Log, and Traffic. Similarly, Squarespace also supports social media buttons, such as Twitter, Google, Reddit, LinkedIn, and more.
Squarespace has a robust form builder that supports over 15 different data types, ranging from name to email address. Users can also customize their own input fields, making it easier to capture data from site visitors.
Squarespace’s content management system allows users to create dropdown menus with folders, use tags and categories, connect to external pages, as well as create collections. A major appeal of Squarespace is its unlimited storage, available even on the cheapest paid plan. Additionally, Squarespace has a good diversity of templates that supports template switching, allowing users to install multiple template designs on their website and work on different versions.
Once images are uploaded to Squarespace, the responsive image loader generates scaled versions of an image and selects the appropriate image size to load on every device. All images hosted on Squarespace can be edited from within the browser, from cropping and resizing to adjusting the brightness and contrast.
Squarespace also supports integrations with stock images such as Unsplash and Getty Images, so users can find the perfect image for their website without having to create their own.
If users have a website that serves an international audience, Squarespace offers the necessary tools to manage websites in different languages. In addition, users can also add a different currency to each store. Nonetheless, the process involves linking folders with different content together and may be challenging for new users.
Squarespace’s blogging platform allows users to add all types of content blocks to each blog post, including text, image, gallery, video, and audio files. The markdown style also helps users finetune details of a blog entry.
In the case of a website or blog with many authors, Squarespace has introduced author profiles that help readers differentiate between multiple authors. Depending on the version and template installed, Squarespace’s author profiles either display beneath the post or in the sidebar. The profile usually includes the author’s name, profile picture, bio, and website link.
Squarespace offers a dashboard where business owners can obtain statistical insights into how their website is performing. Some of these analytics include revenue, conversion rates, and traffic sources. However, more advanced features such as purchase funnel and cart abandonment data are only available in the paid plans.
Squarespace not only allows non-developers to create professional websites and online portfolios but also beautiful eCommerce stores. Business owners can manage products and orders, set up customer reviews, and allow their customers to make transactions securely through Stripe and Paypal. With in-built email marketing features, businesses can interact with customers in a meaningful way and maintain good customer relationships. If store owners would like to give buyers the opportunity to review products, they can download an integration for it.
Creating promotions and sales is an integral part of running a business. Squarespace offers three promotion types: a percentage off a product or order, a flat amount off a product or order, and free shipping. There are also detailed customized promotion options, such as applying a discount to orders over a certain amount or products from a certain category.
Squarespace provides users the opportunity to sell unlimited physical and digital products. Each product page includes essential information about a product, including the price, product images, product description, and more. Store owners can also add variants and add alt text to product images.
Business owners can manage inventory and keep an eye on stock levels via the Inventory panel. Squarespace automatically updates stock levels after each purchase, and business owners can choose to receive a Stock Level Alert email when an item is running low. Users on the Basic Commerce or Advanced Commerce plan can also bulk-edit products by uploading a .CSV file.
Managing orders within Squarespace is simple — store owners can view order details, add tracking numbers, and bulk-fulfill orders. If necessary, store owners can also issue full or partial refunds and accept pre-orders.
While Squarespace does not offer an in-built customer support feature, it does allow store owners to enable customer reviews. With a third-party application such as Disqus, HTML Comment Box, or Rating Widget, store owners can allow customers to rate and review purchased products. However, store owners will have to add a custom code block to every product’s “Additional Info” tab, which may be tedious if a store has many products.
Stores using Squarespace can reach out to customers and notify them of the latest news with in-built CRM features. After choosing an email layout, business owners can customize their email campaigns by altering colors and adding images.
Business owners can also track email marketing campaigns’ performance by viewing the number of subscribers who opened the email, clicked on a link within the email, and the number of subscribers who unsubscribed after viewing the email.
In Squarespace, store owners can set up multiple payment gateways such as Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal. These payment gateways accept major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover (only applicable for US merchants). While stores on the Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce plans do not have to pay extra transaction fees, stores on the Business plan are charged a 3% transaction fee.
All Squarespace checkout pages can also be customized to reflect branding best.
Squarespace features four paid plans: Personal, Business, Basic Commerce, and Advanced Commerce. The Personal plan does not have eCommerce features and is suitable for private websites such as a blog. On the other hand, the Business, Basic Commerce, and Advanced Commerce plans are targeted at websites and online stores that require advanced tools such as web analytics, order management, and email marketing.
All Squarespace subscriptions can be paid monthly or annually, though annual subscriptions receive a 13% to 30% discount. Students are also eligible for a 50% student discount. Visit Squarespace’s pricing page for more details.
Squarespace issues SSL certificates for all domains (registered or transferred to Squarespace), connected third-party domains, subdomains, and built-in domains. Store owners are also given the possibility to enable a secure version of their website by checking the “HSTS Secure” option. This forces browsers to view only the secure version of a website, preventing downgrade attacks and security violations. Users can also enable two-factor authentication for an added level of protection.
All of Squarespace’s in-built tools and payment processes adhere to all TLS protocol standards. Both Squarespace’s payment processors, Stripe and Paypal, are PCI compliant; all credit card information of customers is held to the highest security standards, and Squarespace never gains access to this information. Finally, Squarespace is GDPR compliant and is self-certified to the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield, which allows Squarespace to transfer EU and Swiss personal data to the US lawfully.
Squarespace offers a range of integrations to enhance the platform’s native capabilities, ensuring a pleasant user experience for everyone. Some of Squarespace’s integrations include:
- G Suite
- Returns Center
Squarespace delivers an easy to use editing interface upon which users can build their portfolio sites, create online stores, and write blog posts. The overall look of Squarespace is minimalist and clean, keeping the user interface pleasing to the eye. On the left of the page lies the navigation sidebar, which expands into subcategories like “Contact”, “Blog”, and so on. All icons are intuitive and easy to navigate, ensuring a gentle learning curve for beginners.
All of Squarespace’s templates are also mobile-friendly, fully responsive, and scale well to all types of devices and screens.
When it comes to managing a website on mobile devices, Squarespace has several mobile apps available for iOS and Android users:
With the Squarespace app, users can edit and update their website, add images directly from their phone, write and edit new blog posts, and review and monitor traffic analytics.
For users running an online store, the Squarespace Commerce app can scan shipping labels, fulfill orders, manage product inventory, and even contact customers.
Finally, the Squarespace Analytics app allows users to view key statistics regarding their websites and learn how visitors interact with their pages.
Store owners and users can make use of Squarespace’s knowledge base and reach its customer support team via the following methods:
Knowledge base: Squarespace’s knowledge base is filled with in-depth articles and written and video tutorials that help users master the platform.
Community forum: Users can crowd-source answers to their questions through Squarespace’s community forum, which consists of both Squarespace users and customer support experts.
Direct support: All paid plans are entitled to 24/7 customer service via email support and live chat. Squarespace’s customer agents are highly trained and work out of the company’s offices in New York City, Dublin, and Portland.
Squarespace also offers Squarespace Select, a premium plan that combines Squarespace’s excellent features with personalized support. The Select plan includes a dedicated account manager, private product training, quarterly business reviews, design consultations, tailored SEO support, and technical support.
Squarespace is a popular choice when choosing a website builder. It offers a formidable range of products and services without sacrificing quality and ease of use. Nonetheless, it charges a 3% fee on all transactions made on the Business plan and has pricer paid plans compared to its competitors. Here are some alternatives users may consider:
With a website builder as intuitive and rich in features as Squarespace, building a professional website is no longer a task left to the pros. Anyone with the desire to build a website or an online store can use Squarespace’s world-class templates, blogging tools, image gallery, email marketing features, web analytics, and more. Squarespace also boasts a plethora of eCommerce features, handling everything from product management to payment gateways. Store owners only need to focus only on their business’ essential processes — making sales and building strong customer relationships.
Nonetheless, Squarespace can be an expensive commitment for users building a website for the first time. Its Personal plan costs $16 a month and does not include custom code injection, a feature only available in the Business plan and up. It also charges a 3% transaction fee for stores on the Business plan. For users who want an easy-to-use website builder that looks beautiful and professional, Squarespace is an ideal choice.
Yes, Squarespace is reliable. As a website builder, Squarespace allows anyone to create a website entirely from scratch without technical knowledge. Be it a portfolio, a wedding picture gallery, or an eCommerce store, Squarespace has all the features needed to achieve a user’s vision. It utilizes a drag and drop interface, so users can simply drag around elements to build a professional-looking website with minimum fuss.
Though Squarespace is a solid website builder with tons of great features, some users have reported slow loading times for their Squarespace websites. To increase the website’s loading speed, Squarespace recommends users to keep every page to under 5MB, use JPG files whenever possible, and limit embedded content such as videos.
The Personal plan, Squarespace’s cheapest pricing plan, costs at $16 per month if billed monthly. The Advanced Commerce plan costs $46 a month. However, they offer a 14-day free trial and individuals on an education scheme can benefit from a 50% discount on their first full year of using Squarespace.
Squarespace is extremely easy to use with its drag and drop interface. It is suitable for anyone who wants to start a website without complicated coding knowledge. Squarespace can manage anything from a photography portfolio, a professional resume, a travel blog, an online magazine, and even an online store. The possibilities are endless with Squarespace’s range of high-quality templates.