Squarespace Website Builder
Squarespace website builder was launched in January 2004 by Anthony Casalena. Just like Weebly founders, Anthony could’t find an effective and elegant solution for building and publishing his personal website. So, he used his father’s $20 000 investment to develop an easy-to-use web publishing platform to help non-tech-savvy people create their own websites.
Since its launch eleven years ago, Squarespace has grown to 503 employees, millions of websites in 190 countries, and #2 in Crain’s Best Places to Work in NYC.
Today, no list of top website builders would be complete without Squarespace. Some love it for its beautiful templates that set trends in the industry of site builders, others like its overall polished style and excellent customer care. Is it right for you? Below is our take on Squarespace seven, the latest version of Squarespace.
Ease of Use
Squarespace 7 is much easier than its previous version. It has a more intuitive interface. However, you should know that Squarespace doesn’t provide a complete drag-and-drop experience. New blocks and widgets are added through the control panel, not by dragging them to the page.
The control panel of Squarespace looks like a light version of WordPress that allows you to work in What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get mode. See what it looks like to build a site with Squarespace:
Squarespace has a lot to offer. It has a great choice of in-house apps and also lets you easily integrate third-party programs and resources. Here are some key features:
Blogging. Squarespace has a native blogging platform that lets you easily add a blog to your site. It allows for creating media-rich blog posts: you can add all Content Block types (text, image, gallery, audio, video, etc.), toggle geo-tagging and social sharing icons, schedule posts, add multiple authors, and more.
eCommerce. Squarespace Commerce lets you sell digital and physical goods, including services. Other features include flexible product variants, post-checkout code injection, coupons, taxes, shipping and even 3D packing algorithms, among other options. Squarespace Commerce is currently available only in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada, with beta support in some other countries.
Mobile. Squarespace is a mobile-friendly platform. Each template automatically includes a mobile version that matches the overall style of your site.
Import and export. You can easily import blog content from Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, and other platforms. Merchants can import products from BigCartel and Shopify. What’s more, you can export your Squarespace site to WordPress.
Code access. Squarespace offers two plans that support full code access. The Squarespace Developer platform lets you use native development tools to create truly unique projects.
All annual plans include a free custom domain name for the first year. While under development, your website is published under a Squarespace subdomain. If you don’t have your own domain, you can purchase it either directly through Squarespace or from a third-party provider. You can connect multiple domains to your Squarespace account.
Squarespace lets you manage the basic SEO options (descriptions, titles and keywords for each single web page and entire website) and connect to Google Analytics. Additionally, you can use an in-house stats tool called Metrics. It is also available as a mobile application.
Designs: Squarespace has some of the most beautiful templates in the niche. These aren’t numerous, yet really effective. No matter which template you select, all Squarespace features are available to you. However, it’s important to note that some themes are better suited for wedding sites, stores or blogs. Make sure you select the right theme from the start – this will save you a lot of effort.
Squarespace support team is available 24/7 either through chat or emails. They promise to reply every message in less than 1 hr, regardless of time of day or night. They also hold regular one-on-one workshops in New York.
Squarespace has no free version, but you can try it for free during a 14-day trial. Their prices are somewhat higher than on other platforms. But as for me, these are justified. Anyway, building a website independently from the comfort of your home with Squarespace will cost you less than hiring a developer. As of September 2016 Squarespace offers 2 types of paid packages: Website: including Personal and Business packages for $12/mo and $18/mo resp. and Commerce: including Basic and Advanced packages for $26/mo and $40/mo.
Possible drawbacks: It could be more intuitive. Commerce isn’t available in all countries.
The strongest side: Beautiful templates, excellent customer care.
Squarespace is one of my favorite website builders. This is partly because of their clear policy and customer care. Though a bit pricier than its competition, Squarespace is a great option for those who expect a robust, reliable CMS. Recently published Squarespace review at SuperbWebsiteBuilders also proves this fact.
The Squarespace team is constantly improving the feature set of the builder, so I think it’s definitely worth your attention. It’s interesting, but Howard’s Steele collection of Squarespace-powered sites prompted me to handpick my own selection, check it.