If you are a creative searching for the best template designs on the market, Squarespace will turn your ideas into reality.
Our Squarespace review takes you through a detailed step-by-step guide on how to build your website.
How to use Squarespace in 11 Simple Steps
Squarespace is an exceptional DIY website builder perfect for creatives and businesses who want a visually stunning site. The all-inclusive platform has a lot to offer, including top-quality themes for a beautiful portfolio and exceptional marketing and ecommerce features perfect for business growth.
A well-functioning and good-looking website is invaluable if you want to build a solid online presence. No doubt, first impressions count. Our Squarespace tutorial walks you through setting up an online site using Squarespace’s impressive template designs.
1. Get Started (for Free!)
Before we dive into the real deal, let’s first get you signed up. Squarespace.com has four pricing plans which cost between $14 and $49 annually. We’ll take a detailed look into each plan in another section of this article. Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan but offers you a 14-day free trial to start building your website – no credit card required.
The registration process is straightforward. Click on the “Get started” icon to proceed to the next step.
You’ll have the option to provide details about your website and business to enable Squarespace to personalize your website experience.
We don’t recommend you skip this step to find the perfect website theme that matches your needs and objectives. The goals section allows you to set specific targets like creating an eCommerce site.
Focus on the goals you want to pursue now and not in the future. Squarespace website builder will then rank the designs based on your goals. For instance, if your business is real estate, but your focus is on selling products and services, you’ll see several ecommerce themes before you see one on real estate.
So far, you’ve handled the goals section and are now ready to tackle the final part. Squarespace would like to know whether you’re exploring an idea or project, growing a business, or transferring a website.
Select the best answer and click on “Finish” to move on to the juicy section of our Squarespace tutorial: selecting a template.
2. Choose a Template
Before you start selecting a template, we recommend you spend time brainstorming how you want your website to look. One way to do this is by browsing through the websites of companies you admire and see the layout of their messages.
Will you launch an online store? Create a blog? Or need plenty of high-quality images? Having an idea of your desired features will help you choose the ideal template. Squarespace is famous for its award-winning templates. The brilliant template designs feature pre-built pages showcasing various layouts and content.
Customize each template to suit your brand, style, outlook, and vision. Choose from more than a hundred Squarespace templates to find the best one that fits your online store, blog, or portfolio.
You can start by browsing through the popular designs or by industry (everything from Food, Fashion, Gaming, Photography, Consulting, Fitness, and Restaurants).
Squarespace understands that scouring through the entire template section can be daunting. So, to find the perfect Squarespace template, keep the following in mind:
- The templates that best match your needs will appear first.
- Second in place are templates you can use to build up your site.
- Finally, you’ll see the most popular designs.
Before making the final choice, preview several templates to find the one that mirrors you. Hunt for themes with fonts, colors, and layouts that you find appealing. It’s worth noting that the template theme you pick will act as your website Design’s springboard.
Further Reading: 25 Beautiful Examples of Squarespace Websites 
3. Create a Login
At this point, you’ll need to register for a Squarespace account. Signing up for a Squarespace account requires your email and password- no payment details are required.
You can choose to sign up via Google, Apple, Facebook, or email.
Next, give your website a unique look. A custom domain name helps your audience, future collaborators, and clients find you. Think of your Domain as the street address directing visitors to your home. You can use a placeholder and edit it when you’re ready.
However, if you want to start with the perfect name, using a business name generator will come in handy. Focus on keywords that match your brand and site’s purpose. You could keep it simple or get creative and select a unique name for your business or brand. Once that’s done, you can watch the platform’s quick tutorial on navigating through the dashboard and editor to bring your site to life.
4. Add/Remove Pages
Don’t get sucked into the details just yet- focus on perfecting the site’s structure. In this section, we look at how to optimize your site by adding the relevant pages and removing unnecessary content.
Adding pages to your online website’s navigation helps you create a links menu to help your visitors seamlessly explore your content.
Check out the menu. Is there any content that’s missing? Let’s say you’re running a restaurant and want to share some video tutorials on quick recipes your audience can try out in their kitchens or share updates on meal plan offers. This guide shows you how to add content to your site.
How you add your pages will depend on which Squarespace version you’re using, whether it’s Version 7.0 or Version 7.1. You can find any membership areas or unlinked pages below the main section.
To get started:
- Navigate to the Home Menu and click Pages.
- Click on the + icon opposite the Main Navigation.
- Click on Folder and select Add Page.
You can choose to start with a Blank Page or browse through the other options to select from various collections and layouts.
4. Type in the page title in the text field and press Enter.
You can choose a pre-designed layout or create your page from scratch. Some of the built-in layouts include:
Choose a layout that fits your brand and add it to the main menu, where it will be updated automatically. To make customizing your new page easier, Squarespace will offer you demo content that you can use to replace your content.
To add sections to your pages, you’ll notice a blue icon with “Add Section” when you roll the cursor over the page. Click on the icon to reveal a pop-up box with various Squarespace sections. The most popular sections will appear at the topmost. Scroll through the entire list to see additional sections such as;
- Logo wall
- Music, etc.
Each section features multiple layouts. Scroll through each before clicking to add the new section to your page. Also, each layout features several options depending on the elements.
5. Creating a Submenu
If you have too many pages that can’t fit in your site menu, you can pool your pages into a folder for easy access and navigation. To consolidate your pages together in a submenu, follow these simple steps:
- Head over to the Pages section.
- Click on the + icon to add a folder.
- Select “Folder” on the menu
- Set the name for your Folder to display in the navigation
Drag and drop the pages you want in the space below the Folder or click + icon under the Folder to create new pages in your submenu.
You can delete pages or blog posts from your website using different techniques. When you delete pages, they are stashed in the trash can under the pages’ panel for 30 days.
You can choose to restore the deleted pages if you think you’ll need to use them later. Alternatively, you can move the pages to the “Not linked section” instead of deleting them. This way, they are accessible to your visitors but not visible in the navigation menu. Or disable the page to hide it from your visitors without deleting it.
Once you delete a page, you can create a URL Direct to prevent your visitors from seeing the “404 page not found” error when they click on the URL. Deleted blog posts are stored in the blog page’s trash bin for 30 days before they are permanently deleted.
You have two options for removing pages on your site:
Option 1 – Using the Pages panel or tab
- Click on Pages in the Home menu.
- Select the page you want to delete and click the trash bin icon.
- Click confirm.
Option 2 – Using Page Settings
- Go to the Home menu and click on Pages.
- Choose the page you want to delete and tap the gear icon.
- Click delete and confirm.
How to Delete a Blog Post
Follow the below steps to remove a blog post:
- Go to the Home menu and click Pages
- Click on the blog page with the post you want to delete
- Scroll through the post and click Delete in the pop-up window that appears.
The above method is only limited to single posts. But if you have multiple posts you want to delete, you can proceed as below:
- Press and hold Control (or Command If using Mac) while clicking on every post you want to remove.
- Progress to Delete.
If you have a series of blog posts:
- Select the first blog post.
- Press and hold Shift.
- Click on the last blog post.
- Choose Delete.
6. Edit Pages
When you open the visual editor, you’ll be impressed by how Squarespace websites look perfect from the start. You’ll find:
- A complete menu with links to crucial pages.
- Professional color scheme and variety of exceptional fonts.
- Professional layouts with crisp structures and alluring buttons
Most of the templates are customized to suit your business or brand needs. So, you might only need a bit of light editing before launching your site.
Now that you have all the relevant pages you need, it’s time to adjust the pages and their content to fit your business objectives or brand. This process involves rearranging sections, adding new content, and replacing copies.
Editing the site header
When you roll over different page sections, you’ll see various editing options. Click on the “edit site header” icon to edit the following on desktop and mobile:
- Header position
- Site logo and title
- Color and transparency
- A range of elements such as buttons and social links
You can also add your site name and social media profiles.
For a mobile-friendly setup, you can change the menu options and header layout. While, for a desktop, you can change the size of the header, the appearance of elements, and the layout.
We don’t recommend changing the spacing and the padding as Squarespace does a great job spacing the elements. Whatever changes you make will automatically appear in the preview window. If you change the site title, the new changes will show in real-time.
Editing Page Settings
Click on the gear icon under the Home section to edit page settings. Now you can tweak your website’s appearance and identity. Page settings help you to duplicate a Squarespace page.
- Go to Page Settings
- Click on General
- Scroll down to the duplicate page URL
- Click on the URL to duplicate the Squarespace page
Before you exit this section, consider updating your Social Image to what you want to share with your audience on social media platforms.
- Click on the Social image under page settings.
- Drag and drop your chosen image into the “Add image” box
Editing Page Content
To switch to editor mode, click on the page you want to edit. Then proceed to click “Edit” on the top left corner of your site. Here, you get to edit the homepage. Squarespace edits content in “sections” or “strips.”
You can hover around the section to edit any section and click on the pin icon. If you want to add another section, simply hover between two sections and tap on the blue + icon that appears at the intersection.
You can edit several content sections, including buttons, blocks of text, and photos. For instance, if you want to edit headings and sentences, click on the text to launch the text editor. Now you can add bold text, links, lists, and more. Here you can type in your new content and add formatting.
Squarespace doesn’t have an auto-save feature. So once you finish editing, adding, and moving sections, don’t forget to click “Done” then “Save.” A closed window or lost connection could undo all your changes.
Editing the section layout
If you want to make changes to section layouts and backgrounds, roll over the section you want to find a sub-menu with all the editing options. The pencil icon gives you control over the appearance, including section background, size, and color.
Clicking on the two pages’ icon allows you to duplicate everything from the images to the layout and text. The duplicated section will automatically appear beneath the existing one.
Use either of the two arrows to move your section up or down the page.
The garbage bin function deletes irrelevant sections.
If you want to change the background image, click on the pencil icon, then click Background. Select Replace to upload a new background image.
If you have a Vimeo or YouTube link, you can click on Video to find the video background settings.
7. Adjust Design and Add Branding
Now that you’ve lightly worked on the pages’ layout, let’s tweak the Design and enhance it to bring the site to life. From the Home menu, go to “Design.”
- Change Fonts and Colors.
- Go to the “Fonts” section.
- Pick a font pairing to use across your site and also change the font size
- Go to the “Global text styles.”
- Click any text type (paragraphs, headings, etc.) to tweak the spacing.
- Click on “Assign styles” to allocate the different fonts to various sections of the site.
For colors, you can choose from Squarespace’s pre-built color palette. Alternatively, you can upload a color or an image and let Squarespace pick out the critical colors from it.
Animation and Styling
Animations are a great way to spruce up your website. Animated content appears to “fall,” “pop,” or “fade” in place.
To add them to your online site:
- Tweak the alignment and spacing of your content under the Spacing and Image Blocks section.
- Also, alter the style of your CTAs using Buttons.
The Finer Details
Wow! at this point, your site should look eye-catching. Pages? Check. Content? Check. Images? Check. Fonts and Colors? Check. Animations? Check.
However, a great website should be seamless in structure and layout across all areas. The small stuff counts, so to brush up on the minor details: Click on the Browser icon under Design and upload your logo in the space with a default black cube.
Checkout Page and Product Items
This section is applicable if you customize your checkout and product pages. However, if you have no products to sell now, skip it for later!
But, if you have an ecommerce store, you can customize your checkout pages for a streamlined experience. Go to the home menu, click on Commerce and go to Checkout settings. Style your checkout and product pages to ensure they display consistent branding.
Adding a Logo and Social Logo
You can choose to upload a social logo (such as a unique brand image) that showcases your brand and content across all social media channels.
Go to Design and select social sharing. If you want the logo to feature across your site, click on the “Edit site header button” on the header. Then select “site title and logo” and upload your logo on the space bar.
8. Add Site Information and Configure Key Settings
Before you can pay for your website or publish it, there’s some admin work to sort out first. You’ll find plenty of options in the Settings section.
Let’s look at the essentials for any site though you’ll find other settings relevant to your website.
Language and Business Information:
To add your business location, contact information (phone number and email), and business hours:
- Go to Settings in the Home menu.
- Click on Business Information.
- Scroll through to view all settings and make necessary changes.
- Click Save.
Formatting your Business Hours;
- Choose “All Day” if your business or store will be open for 24 hours.
- Tick the “Closed” box for the days your business will remain closed.
- If you have days you’ll be opening for specific hours, set the time frame in the following formats:
- 8 am – 5 pm
- 10pm – 3pm
- 9:00 – 14:00, 17:00 – 22:00
To connect your Domain:
- Go to the Home menu
- Click Settings
- Select Domains
- Choose “Use a Domain I Own” and type in your domain name in the “Enter Domain” field
- Select “Connect Domain.” Choose your Domain provider from the drop-down menu. If you can’t find your domain provider, choose “Other.”
- Click on Connect Domain
- Click Continue on the message box.
Note: If you see the message “this domain is connected to another Squarespace website,” you’ll have to check through your other Squarespace websites to find which one is connected to your Domain. Then disconnect the Domain from that site.
If you don’t have a domain name, you can get a domain through Squarespace when choosing an annual price plan. The domain name is free within the first year, with additional domains costing between $20 and $70 per year.
You can connect your Squarespace website to social sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other platforms. This allows you to automatically share content to your social sites when you publish it and receive feedback from your posts and tweets.
To add social icons:
- Go to settings
- Click social links
- Scroll down to the “email” field or “Add a social link.”
- Copy and paste the URL of your social profile into the space tab
- Click Enter
- Repeat the previous steps for all the icons you want to add.
9. Preview Your Site
When working with Squarespace within your 14-day trial period, your online site will be set on private by default. This means that nobody can access your site just by googling the name online. So even if you have a configured domain name and share the direct link, the only visible content is the login page.
However, making your site visible to family and friends is essential to enable you to sort out any issues before the website goes live. We recommend you set a sitewide password and invite your visitors as contributors to allow editing permissions or individual viewing of your site.
You get to preview the site in real-time across various devices and access the most recent edits on your site.
How to set up a Sitewide Password
Here’s how to set a Sitewide password:
- Go to the home menu
- Navigate to settings
- Select site availability
- Change the default setting to “Password Protected” under the drop-down menu
- Enter your password
- Click Save.
To test your new password:
- Open your site using a private browser to assess how it looks to visitors
- Enter your password on the lock screen
- Click on Enter to access the site
- Keep in mind you’ll have to default back to the public once you sign up for a paid plan.
10. Choose a Price Plan
Squarespace offers its users four flexible, transparent payment plans. You only pay for the features you need while receiving the services that come with the package.
Here are Squarespace website builder pricing plans:
Personal: For $14 a month, you can access Squarespace website builder, templates, basic website metrics, unlimited storage, bandwidth, SSL security, Squarespace extensions, SEO features, limited access to the Video studio app, two contributors, and 24/7 customer support.
Basic Commerce: Starting at $27 per month, you get to enjoy all the features in the previous plans, a point of sale, a checkout function on your DomainDomain, merchandising tools, 0% transaction fees on your online store, e-commerce analytics, limited availability labels, products display on Instagram, and advanced shipping.
Advanced Commerce: For $49 per month, you can access all the benefits of the previous plans, including abandoned cart recovery, subscriptions, commerce APIs, advanced shipping, and advanced discounts.
Remember that our Squarespace review of the price plans above refers to the annual pricing. However, you can choose to commit to monthly payments, but you’ll have to pay a bit more. For instance, the personal plan is $19, the business plan costs $33, the basic commerce plan charges $36, and the advanced commerce plan is $65 per month.
Squarespace, however, offers discounts to users who make long-term commitments upfront. You can also receive up to 12 months off on new domain registration when you make the annual purchase. There are also free products and services such as a professional email address from Google custom domains though these are promotional features on offer for a year.
11. Integrate Marketing Tools (Optional)
Drive traffic to your website and grow your brand or business using Squarespace’s suite of marketing, SEO, and analytics tools. There’s a tutorial on-site to help you learn SEO basics, track your marketing efforts, and strategies to grow and engage your audience.
But first, you’ll need to upgrade to the “Business” plan to add marketing tools to your site, and these add ons are only necessary if you’ll be selling online.
Click on Marketing on the main menu to see all the functions you might need to promote your Squarespace website.
Here, you can choose to show social media buttons, add pop-ups, link your Instagram Feed or Facebook page, and many more with a few clicks. Furthermore, you can create an email campaign using the Squarespace Email Campaign and evaluate your performance using the Analytics option. The function enables you to search for keywords, view traffic, and track your site’s activity.
In a nutshell, Squarespace provides the following marketing benefits to its users:
- Makes your site discoverable in search results using SEO
- Relay essential updates to attract and build a following using built-in tools such as an announcement bar, promotional pop-up, and mobile information bar
- Engage your visitors and customers with email campaigns
- Promote your brand or business via social media platforms
- Advertise your site online using strategic ads
- Track your performance using robust analytics features including URL builder, Sales analytics, Traffic source analytics, audience engagement, and search keywords.
12. Add Ecommerce Features (Optional)
This step is optional and only applies to users who want to launch an ecommerce store using Squarespace. Even though there are more sophisticated ecommerce platforms in the market, Squarespace is capable of integrating an online store into any website.
You can explore a variety of products with Squarespace website builder. You can add up to 200 products to your online store page. And if you want to use your website to generate income, Squarespace ecommerce is a great option.
You’ll need to upgrade to a Business plan to start selling your merchandise. But we recommend you choose the Commerce plans for more sophisticated ecommerce stores. Plus, you can integrate the following sales features:
- Inventory management
- Online orders
- View your customers
- Add discounts
Keep in mind you’ll have to include a “products” page to start managing your inventory. It’s seamless and straightforward. Simply revisit the “Adding pages” process.
Squarespace has a partnership with Square, the giant payment processing firm (in the US). So you can process card payments both online and offline. You only need to have the Square Commerce app (for $49) to get started.
Offline payments are subject to Square’s processing and transaction fees in terms of transaction fees. Other exceptional commerce integrations to help you run and grow your business include Stripe, Paypal, FedEx, Xero, ShipStation, and Apple Pay, among others.
Ready to build your ecommerce store?
- Click on the “Commerce tab” in the Home menu.
- Click on start and proceed to add products for sale. A 4-step ecommerce wizard handles the online store setup process.
- Choose at least two store layouts
- Click on your best option
Your store will have a layout with a few demo products which you can edit to suit your products.
5. Click on the “+” icon to add your products.
You can add the appointments option using Squarespace scheduling if you’re selling services and use the website builder to customize your online store content and categories. Grow your ecommerce business with SEO and email marketing.
There are four main product types you can choose from, including:
- Gift Card
Each specific product type has varying fields for the products on display. You also can add multiple images and manage the inventory of the entire products catalog.
Once you’re done finessing the product appearance, scroll down to the customized options to streamline shipping and buttons. Click Done and Hit Save to add the products to your store.
How to Use Squarespace Website Builder: Recap
We’ve covered plenty of ground in our Squarespace tutorial. To recap, you’ve learned:
- How to get started (for free!)
- Choosing the ideal template
- Create a login
- Add/Remove pages and content
- Editing pages
- Adjusting Design and adding branding
- Adding site information and configuring key settings
- Preview your website
- Choosing a price plan
- Integrating marketing tools (optional)
- Adding ecommerce features (optional).
How would you rate Squarespace website builder? What do you think about the overall experience? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Continue Reading: 16 Squarespace Alternatives For Every Kind of Website
Can I try using Squarespace without paying?
Yes, you can. Squarespace offers users a 14-day free trial without committing to any payment plan when you provide your email address and password. No payment details are necessary until you’re ready to sign up for a payment plan.
Do I need external hosting to build my Squarespace website?
No. When you use Squarespace, the software hosts your website at a cost that’s factored in your pricing plan. This means you don’t need to source, sign up and pay for a separate web hosting. Get started on building your website without any technical issues.
Can I use a third-party domain for my new Squarespace site?
Yes, you can. Even though you can buy your domain from Squarespace, you are free to use a domain from a third party. For instance, you can link your GoDaddy domain to your Squarespace website. To get started, go to settings, click on domains, then choose “Use a domain I own.”
Should I pay a web developer or use Wix or Squarespace?
It depends on the type of website. If you’re building a personal blog, there’s no need to hire a website developer. Although it’s a learning curve, you can use either Wix or Squarespace to create an impressive online site. But if you need a dynamic site with unique functionality, you should get a professional.