Squarespace Review: The creation of a website is an ambition shared by many people. And if, before, a large part gave up given the technical aspects, the situation is quite different today. Thanks to the development of simplified web editors and their drag-and-drop function, site creation is within everyone’s reach.
In 2021, users face a multitude of choices to enter the digital world: Wix, Jimdo, Site123, WebSelf, SiteW, and the list goes on and on. To help you choose, we have carried out a series of comprehensive tests on these providers.
Now it’s the US platform Squarespace’s turn to be scrutinized. This New York-based American company is known around the world and enjoys high praise from its users. But can you really trust Squarespace? Is this a good solution to start a website? All the answers to your questions can be found in this article where we give you feedback on Squarespace.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is an American company specializing in website creation. It was launched in 2003 and currently has 1,143 employees. Squarespace is famous around the world. Its site is translated into English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
The brand relies on an all-in-one tool accessible from your browser including free web hosting and an integrated editor that does not require coding skills.
The company favors aesthetics through its templates designed by designers and simplicity thanks to its clean CMS (content management system) platform and the drag-and-drop function.
Squarespace wants to foster everyone’s creativity by providing tools that are accessible to everyone. We have to believe that this is a successful bet since the sites created via Squarespace now number in the millions.
Like its competitors, Squarespace is based on the freemium model and offers a 14-day free trial period.
Read More: Squarespace alternatives 2021
What kinds of websites can I create with Squarespace?
Do you want to bring your project to life? Bring visibility to your business and share expertise in a field? Sell products on the internet? Or just talk about a cause that is close to your heart?
There are many reasons that push us to start a website. Before choosing a platform, it is imperative to check the compatibility of its templates and tools with your objective.
We prefer to warn you, you will have no trouble finding what you need with Squarespace because the brand covers more than ten different categories. Here are some examples of sites that can be created:
- business or service site
- site for non-profit organizations
- site for restaurateurs
- a site specializing in real estate
- event site
- CV online
- Online Store
- portfolios blog
Thanks to its varied sections, Squarespace targets all users precisely. Everyone will be able to quickly identify their need. For example, an associative site will not have the same requirements as a personal blog. It’s also easier to find the template that matches your project. With all of these site categories, our Squarespace review couldn’t have started off better.
Site creation and management with Squarespace
Now that we have identified the range of sites supported by the platform, all that remains is to get to the heart of the matter and look at its web editor as well as its CMS.
As a reminder, Squarespace offers a platform accessible from your web browser in SaaS mode (software as a service) which has all the tools necessary to create and manage a website.
The idea is that there is no additional software to install. So what about the maneuverability of the Squarespace builder? Are the creation steps fast? Find out the answers here.
Squarespace templates is the starting point for building a website with the American platform. To select one of your choices, you can go directly to its “Templates” section on its website and browse the different categories. You will find the same ones as those mentioned just before in our Squarespace review. At this point, no registration is required. You will therefore have the choice among a little more than 120 templates. In addition to this impressive variety, we were struck by the aesthetics of each of them. Check out all the Squarespace template
Here are some examples of templates that can be found at Squarespace:
They are made with great taste by designers. One thing is certain, the selection is not easy. Fortunately, the classification by category makes it possible to make a preliminary sorting.
Of course, if you want to create a site dedicated to professional services, nothing prevents you from taking a look at other sections such as “Local business”, you might fall in love. And keep in mind that the content of the template is customizable afterward. There are many updates to Squarespace Site Templates, but if needed, you can always check for later version templates.
With more than a hundred templates, Squarespace offers a multitude of choices to its users. In addition to that, the models are attractive, inspiring and make you want to create a website.
Our opinion on Squarespace and its templates are excellent so far. He could even almost surpass number 1 site builder Jimdo.
Registration for the service
When you have found the template that suits your needs, you can click on “Start”. Registration for the service is required in order to go further. Rest assured, it is possible to continue for free without having to pay anything.
You’ll need to fill in some basic personal information along with your site title, and you’ll be taken to the Squarespace publishing platform. It all takes less than five minutes.
If anyone told you that building a website is so quick and easy, you certainly wouldn’t have believed it. In this step, you’ll be assigned a built-in Squarespace domain name that will be followed by the .squarespace.com extension so you can start working right away. Subsequently, you can customize the domain of your site, that is, the part between www and the end.
This domain name has the particularity of never expiring and it will always be accessible at this address. If you intend to create a personal blog that you only share with your loved ones, this might do the trick.
On the other hand, if you decide to design a website for your business, it is better to reserve a new domain name so that you do not have to mention Squarespace in your URL and show more credibility.
Note that it is possible to go directly through the platform to order a domain name. Prices are between € 18 and € 63 per year depending on the extension. The custom domain name is free for the first year of signing up for a Squarespace membership.
The Squarespace interface
If you have successfully completed the previous step, you should be redirected to the Squarespace interface. Unlike other providers, we found it to be very sober and efficient. There is a management bar on the left that centralizes all the controls, namely the Pages, Design, Commerce, Marketing, Planning, Analysis tools, Profiles, Settings, and Help panel.
The Pages panel lets you manage the hierarchy of each page and change the order of the menu that appears on your site. Be sure to use logic to facilitate navigation for your visitors. You can also change their title and ULR, add a description and a featured image.
The Design panel will be of great use to you for anything related to the appearance of your site. This is where you can manage the fonts, the default colors as well as the design of the buttons, and the display of your page (width and margins). This section also allows you to add animations to bring movement to each element of your page.
The Commerce panel contains all the tools to manage your online store. Indeed, it is possible to create an e-commerce site. We will come back to this a bit later in our Squarespace review.
The Marketing panel will be used to manage your email campaigns and add pop-ups. This is also where you can promote your website to bring it visibility on social networks.
The Scheduling panel is a new feature that allows you to organize your schedule and your appointments online thanks to a virtual assistant. This option is not free. Packages are available from € 14 per month.
The Analysis Tools panel allows you to collect analytical data on your site traffic and your audience. You can, for example, obtain information on the number of page views and the geographical position of your visitors.
The Profiles Panel centralizes information about your subscribers, donors or customers – in an e-shop. Sending marketing emails can be done directly here.
The Settings panel contains all the advanced settings: language, social media links, email addresses, domain names, etc.
Finally, to answer your questions, the Help panel will redirect you to knowledge bases, tutorial videos, webinars, or independent experts.
The Squarespace Editor: Creating and Editing Pages
Registration is complete and you were able to quickly familiarize yourself with the Squarespace dashboard. The customization of the model chosen in the previous step can now begin. All you have to do is click on “Edit” at the top of the page. Texts, images, colors, typography, layout, it’s up to you to design your site as you wish.
In the creation tool, there is no menu or management bar. At first glance, this can seem quite confusing. We even wonder where to find the personalization elements. Fortunately, after a few minutes, we understand that it is enough to click on an area or a block to delete it, modify it or edit it.
For easy editing, Squarespace divides the page into several areas called sections. There are sections in various categories. There is, for example, a section dedicated to a title to highlight, a Contact section, or even an FAQ. As you can see from the image below, there are several different layouts for each section. If you are lacking in creativity, you will have plenty to find inspiration for.
Before adding sections, you can start by modifying the pre-existing work areas from your basic template, including your site header and footer. Then add them according to your needs. Are you missing a section offering a subscription to the newsletter?
In that case, add this section to whatever layout you like – there are 10 different designs just for this topic. The elements of each section can then be modified in terms of content and form.
It’s up to you to change the formatting, background, and colors of your section using the edit button on the right represented by a pencil icon.
The sections are not static and can be moved up and down in a very intuitive way using the direction arrows. To delete one, all you have to do is click on the icon representing the trash can, and to reproduce one, you will have to click on the duplicate icon. The acronym “+” is used to add a new section.
Each section is made up of several blocks, such as a text block, a button, an image, a video, a spacer, etc. The blocks move smoothly thanks to the drag-and-drop method: select your block by keeping the left mouse button pressed and then release it when the pointer arrives at the desired location. You will find that the controls are very easy to type.
No need to consult an explanatory guide. The only notable downsides are the fairly limited customization of the empty sections as well as the internet posting not included – it requires an upgrade to a paid plan.
Overall, our review of Squarespace and its site builder is good. The templates are varied and very well designed. The interface of the platform is refined, which makes it possible to find all the information at a glance. Finally, the web editor allows you to create beautiful visuals with, in particular, the many layouts available for each section. However, creativity is still quite limited. If you are looking for a greater margin of customization for your site and a free upload with no time limit, we recommend that you take a look at our Jimdo review.
Squarespace stands out from its competitors with its ancillary functions integrated into its platform. By bringing all the tools together in one place, the company wants to make life easier for its users, and it’s been successful. On the other hand, you should know that the features are not all free.
With a few rare exceptions, the goal of any website owner is to increase their visibility online by ranking well on search engines like Google. To achieve this, there are a few SEO rules and best practices to follow.
While several things are your responsibility, the Squarespace platform also has an important role to play. In fact, she says she has put in place a search engine optimization process. Here’s how.
The sites designed with Squarespace all include a responsive version as well as an AMP format which guarantees a lighter and faster version on mobile. They also all have an SSL certificate. This security protocol is a plus for Google. In addition, the platform is responsible for generating a site map to improve indexing and pages with HTML code.
The provider also lets you add and modify certain criteria such as meta descriptions and the URL slug. Remember to do it systematically on each page in order to show your relevance to the query concerned.
Squarespace offers a collection of extensions to add to your website. Extensions or plugins help you manage your site, optimize and grow your online business. There are several in different themes: delivery, finance, inventory and product management, sales and marketing tools. However, this page is not translated.
The price of plugins varies from 0 € to several tens of euros per month. If you do not want to pay additional costs, you will have to turn to free extensions.
Squarespace offers marketing tools to help you grow your website and reach a wider audience. The brand assists you in communication by offering the sending of marketing emails directly from the Squarespace interface. She has designed email layouts that you can customize with the editing tool. Like its templates, the design of emails is very aesthetic.
The content is consistent and convincing so that the message is transmitted quickly to your visitors. Its tool includes an automation function, a mailing list, and data analysis to measure the impact of your campaign.
To start an email campaign with Squarespace you will still need to choose a plan and spend between 5 and 59 euros per month depending on your needs – a number of campaigns to launch and emails to send.
The annual billing cycle saves 29% compared to a monthly subscription. In our opinion, the prices of the plans are a bit steep as they are in addition to the monthly Squarespace subscription.
Squarespace empowers its most ambitious users to go further by hiring an expert. These are independent external web designers and developers who are ready to help.
If you have a precise idea of the look of your site and want to make it even more professional, you can call on its specialists who will design a custom design according to your brief. Unfortunately, this service is chargeable and only available in English.
Can I create an online store with Squarespace?
Many generalist website creation platforms specialize in online sales in the face of the rise of e-commerce. This is the case with Squarespace which offers many tools suitable for people who want to open an online store.
Since this is not the original domain of Squarespace, let’s see if opening an e-shop with this platform is a good idea. Creating an e-commerce site with Squarespace starts normally – except that you are advised to select a template from the “Online Stores” category.
There are only eight of them which leaves a rather limited choice in our opinion. On the other hand, the designs are very elaborate and current. Here are some examples of templates dedicated to online stores:
You will then be asked to configure your store to be able to start selling products. Note that it is possible to add an e-commerce function at any time on your website even if it was not initially planned, which is very practical.
To do this, you will need to go to the Commerce panel and fill in the requested information. Setting up an online store requires adding products and a way to receive payments as well as selecting a paid plan.
Once these steps are completed, you will be able to publish your online store. Squarespace offers a relatively complete e-commerce platform including an order, inventory, and product catalog manager, as well as a tax and shipping management system.
Sales performance analysis tools are also offered to measure the evolution of your business and make the right strategic decisions. If your goal is to build your online store without investing large sums of money,
we strongly recommend that you hire Site123, an expert web building provider that offers much better value for money. In our opinion, Site123 has all the technical skills and tools to sell on the Internet. unlike Squarespace.
Squarespace customer support
Let’s continue our Squarespace review with an update on their customer support. If you encounter a problem during or after the creation of your website, you will certainly be happy to have easy and efficient technical support available. To request help, you can go to the Help panel from the interface. If you are not logged into your account, go directly to its support center from the Resources tab of its official website.
Squarespace offers instant messaging so you can chat with advisors in real-time and get instant responses. Unfortunately, this live chat is not open every day. It is operational on Mondays from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from Tuesday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Please note, these times do not take into account the shift. It’s up to you to match the New York time zone.
The online contact form
For less urgent requests that arise outside of the live chat opening window, you may consider contacting the technical teams via email. You will need to complete an online contact form and detail the subject of your request.
You will then receive the answer in your mailbox in approximately 48 hours. Response times are longer during the weekend.
Guides, forums, and webinars
Squarespace offers series of webinars covering a variety of topics such as starting an online store or how to increase traffic to your site. They are delivered free of charge by the platform. Registration is required since places are limited.
To date, these audio-visual lectures are only available in English and German. Finally, bilinguals in English can find help by browsing the Squarespace Community Forum. It is a space in which subscribers to the platform exchange and share their experiences.
How much does a site created with Squarespace cost?
Before concluding our review on Squarespace, let’s analyze its prices to see if this solution is really worth the detour.
In order to adapt to the needs of each user, the brand offers four packages with different characteristics.
The Personal plan is the entry-level subscription more suitable for blogs and other personal sites that are not intended to grow. It is displayed at the price of € 11 per month for an annual payment and € 15 per month without commitment. It features a free custom domain name for the first year, unlimited storage space and bandwidth, basic SEO options, and two contributor accounts. This last feature is useful if you are not the only manager. The owner can assign permissions to define what the other member has the right to change or not.
The Business plan is the most popular. It is offered at € 17 per month for an annual billing cycle compared to € 24 per month with a monthly payment without commitment. This formula includes all the features of the Personal plan plus an unlimited number of contributors, marketing tools (pop-up, banners, a $ 100 credit with Google Ads), the possibility of opening an online store and selling his products. The Business plan is perfect for internet users who aim to monetize their web activity. However, with a 3% transaction fee on each sale, it is not optimal for e-stores.
The Basic Commerce package costs € 24 per month if you commit to a yearly payment or € 28 for the monthly payment without commitment. This plan is preferred by e-merchants who are starting their e-commerce activity because, in addition to all the advantages of the Business package, there is no commission on sales. This plan includes other great features for online stores like analytics tools and customer accounts. Payment can be made on your own domain.
Finally, the Advanced Commerce package is the most premium. It includes recoveries of unfinished baskets, the sale of subscriptions to your customers for better loyalty, an automatic calculation of shipping costs, and a system of advanced reductions applicable according to certain criteria. Its price is 36 € per month over 12 months or 42 € per month without commitment which remains very high. For comparison, the 12-month plan costs $ 16.13 per month with Site123 and there are no transaction fees charged on your sales.
The 14-day trial period
Squarespace has set up a free, limited-time service. The idea is to allow new members to test its platform and familiarize themselves with its tools in order to encourage them to switch to a paid offer if their opinion on Squarespace is positive. This free test is valid for 14 days and gives access to all the templates and the web editor.
You can customize your site as you see fit using the tools at your disposal. Note that this trial period has some restrictions. For example, your site will remain private, meaning that you will not be able to upload it.
In our opinion, this is a real shame since publication on the Internet allows your project to materialize. In addition, you will not be able to test the e-commerce tool or start building your online store.
Our opinion of Squarespace plan pricing is mixed. Even if they are not excessive, you will have to count the additional features if you choose to add a paid extension, for example. Currently, it is clear that there are more competitive prices in the market and better performance.
If you are looking for more accessible offers for your budget and a free unlimited time plan, you should take a look at the Site123 platform.
Conclusion: final review on Squarespace
After examining the Squarespace platform as well as its entire offering and its peculiarities, we noted some good points and some bad ones. Squarespace allows you to create a website quickly and efficiently thanks to its beautiful and strikingly styled templates.
The interface of the platform is easy to understand and navigation between the different control panels is carried out intuitively. The site editor makes it easy to design designs thanks to pre-existing layouts that are very useful when you are lacking inspiration.
Despite everything, creativity is quite limited in our opinion. Squarespace offers a lot of additional features to improve the management of your site, but the vast majority of them are paid (extensions, expert help, and email marketing campaigns).
Publishing your site isn’t even included in the free trial. Customer support is not the best we have experienced.