Our rating: 4/5
Squarespace has more to offer than most website creation platforms, though it also has a bit of a learning curve. The designs it offers are professional, modern, and aesthetic, making the web builder great for businesses.
While the web builder provides templates and other features to make your job easier, it’s also highly customizable for those who want something a bit more personalized.
Squarespace: Pros and Cons
Like any website builder, such as Wix, Squarespace has its own unique pros and cons to consider.
What sets Squarespace apart from other website builders is its focus on professional, attractive, eye-catching details. They’re accessible enough for anyone to use them to build their own website, but rather than building around walls of text and information, Squarespace works best at showcasing images and artwork.
While this may not be the best for bloggers and writers, it’s great for artsier professionals like photographers and designers.
Like its competitor, Wix, Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder. This means that, rather than needing specific coding information to do well, the website itself handles that for you.
Though you don’t need any experience to use Squarespace, a bit of knowledge about how website building works is always a plus, especially since Squarespace has some technical jargon that can sometimes confuse beginners. It’s more suited to those who are a bit web-savvy or have some prior web building experience.
Squarespace starts by giving you several templates to choose from. Once you choose the one you like, you can tweak its features even further until your text looks best to you.
Of course, if you don’t have photographs or designs to show off on your home page, Squarespace comes with enough stock images to make up for it. You won’t get a truly unique website this way since everyone who uses Squarespace can use those same images, but it’s a great method for you to get started with ease.
Among its fellow website builders, Squarespace stands out as one of the most professional-looking. Just look at the examples we’ve included in this guide! With more than two million active, paid subscribers, the entrepreneurs and designers of today seem to agree, too.
If you’re not sure about Squarespace right off the bat, don’t forget that they offer a free 14-day trial. Once you create an account, you can try out their best templates, designs, and text features without any obligation to pay or stay.
If you need more information, though, just check out the many successful websites made by Squarespace users, such as Sadie Williams’ fashion domain www.sadiewilliams.co.uk.
We’ve done our own research to make sure you’ll be satisfied with the features that Squarespace has to offer, and we’ll be breaking its pages down to their basest parts in this guide. For example, what is Squarespace best for? Where does it excel over other web building platforms?
Related content – Shopify vs Squarespace
The video above, from Squarespace’s YouTube page, explains how to use version 7.1 of their web builder. It provides a quick, in-depth video look at the best tricks you can do with Squarespace.
Intuitiveness in your web building platform is incredibly important – even more so if you’re new to web building and could use some help. Like all web building platforms, it’s designed to be easy for everyday people to use, even without experience or prior knowledge. However, the question is whether it does this job with ease or comes out worse than its competition.
Easy to Use
Fortunately, Squarespace is easy to use, even on mobile. However, it comes with a catch: everything is so clean and streamlined in the Squarespace editor that it isn’t always clear what features go where, what people can do, and how to accomplish what you need to get done.
Squarespace has a wealth of information and tutorials on how to tweak your pages (check out their Youtube, which we linked earlier – it has instruction videos galore!).
So even if it doesn’t seem particularly user-friendly at first, you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. The trade-off for this learning curve is more features, quality, customization plans, and design flexibility than virtually any other web builder.
Essentially, customizing your domain with Squarespace is similar to changing a Word or Google document. When you change something in the document, that’s what the final result will look like.
Conversely, with traditional web design (as well as some other website builders), you don’t see how all of your elements fit together until you preview the web page itself.
This is only possible with the help of the complex algorithms and computers working behind the scenes at Squarespace. Mind you, there is plenty of coding going on as you create your Squarespace template, but you never have to see or deal with that side of the process.
Do keep in mind that, if you are familiar with web design and coding, you can use your knowledge to help create your Squarespace content, but it’s completely optional.
Squarespace even makes it easy to make changes to your pages while on the go with their mobile app. Let’s imagine that you run a food blog, for example, and you’ve just ordered a mouthwatering dessert at a brand-new restaurant.
You can write a fresh post about it and feature a video of it on your pages instantly for people to see – while the thoughts are fresh in your mind – instead of needing to wait until you get home and lose quality.
In comparison to other website builders on the market, though, Squarespace is not the easiest to use (at first). However, if you’re willing to put a little extra time and effort into learning how to use it, the trade-off is extra features, better quality, and a better end result.
Customer Testimonials and Feedback
Even though Squarespace presents a small barrier to entry with its difficulty to use, the web builder generally receives quality reviews from users. The only real problem comes from getting used to the editor itself, which simply takes time.
People who are unable to spare that time won’t (and don’t) like Squarespace, but all other users give it extremely high marks.
The ease of access of Squarespace’s builder was a favorite among users. Though learning how to use it is a chore in and of itself, that initial time investment pays off later, as the quick, easy-to-use platform makes making changes simple down the road.
Squarespace’s design style and features were also the best favorites of users. The end result is professional, attractive, and trendy, pretty much regardless of the individual design choices you make!
While you can fine-tune features like images, layouts, fonts, and colors, if you want to, Squarespace also offers tried-and-true design advice through their quality templates, color palettes, and font pairings. Even people without a knack for design can build impressively attractive pages through Squarespace.
Because of Squarespace’s pre-designed templates, the platform works exceedingly well for people working with a prior vision. After all, Squarespace is a visually-oriented website builder, so you can very easily bring something that you’ve built your mind into reality.
However, if you don’t have a prior vision to work off of, Squarespace is also excellent at helping you get started. You can pick a template that looks cool and run with it as you can, or you can try their AI (Artificial Intelligence) website builder.
This will take care of the act of building a site for you (after collecting some information about what you want). If you don’t have a strong preference for what you want your pages to look like, this is a great method to speed things along and start getting quality site visitors sooner.
Who Benefits Most From Squarespace?
Because Squarespace is such a flexible website builder, it can be used by virtually anyone and for virtually any purpose, even on mobile. However, it still does some things better than others. We’ll review the functions it does best in the parts below.
Because blogging is such a popular hobby (or even career) today, many website builders have extensive quality features to support it. Squarespace is no different – in fact, this is one of the things it does best.
If you’re looking to integrate blogging into an existing site, Squarespace supports this, but you can also build a site specifically to function as a blog. They even make templates built around blogging to help you get started quickly.
In our earlier review, we said that Squarespace works best for creators who use (or take) a lot of photos, but not as well for those who mostly write in their blogs. As such, the bloggers who will find the most success with Squarespace will be:
- Photography bloggers
- Food bloggers
- Travel bloggers
- Beauty bloggers
- Anyone who takes or features a lot of images
Squarespace blogging can even support multiple workers and email users for collaboration or group projects. Squarespace also features integration with social media platforms such as Instagram. There is even a Squarespace Blog app that gives you the best control over this aspect of your Squarespace site.
Both large and small business professionals have found success through Squarespace. While Squarespace’s photo-influenced templates might seem too carbon-copy at first glance, this is only true for people who choose a pre-made template and don’t review it further.
In actuality, this website builder’s flexibility is far more than meets the eye. If you need proof, just take a look at Squarespace’s featured page, where they showcase their best quality examples.
Squarespace features a whole host of tools to help businesses and professionals make their site successful, such as PayPal and G Suite. We’ll do an in-depth review of these tools later on in this guide.
Online sales, or eCommerce, is the act of selling services or products on your site. Unsurprisingly, Squarespace has plenty of quality features to make eCommerce smooth and easy, too.
Currently, Squarespace has three different plans for those looking to get into eCommerce and sell their products. The most basic level, or the “Business” plan, offers the following eCommerce-related benefits for $18 per month:
- A free custom domain (for the first year)
- SSL (or Secure Socket Layer) and WHOIS security
- Built-in SEO features
- Professional Gmail email account
- Website analytics
- Fully integrated eCommerce
- 3% transaction fees
The next tier, or the “Basic Commerce” plan, at $26 per month, offers all of the features of the Business plan, plus the following related features:
- No transaction cost
- Customer accounts
- E-commerce measurements
- Sell your products on Instagram
At $40 per month, the final tier, or the “Advanced Commerce” option, has all of the previous benefits, plus the following:
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Subscriber plans
- Advanced shipping
- Availability labels
Keep in mind that the above lists don’t review all of the features that these plans have to offer! There are many more, but we’ve listed the most important eCommerce-related ones here.
If you search carefully, though, you’ll notice that Squarespace has one final subscriber option: their “Select” plan. This option features a dedicated account manager, upgraded customer support, personal consultations, design assistance, and more. The Select plan doesn’t have an advertised price, though, so it’s only for those who are willing to pay a premium for white-glove web builder services.
Because Squarespace is so heavily photo-integrated, it’s excellent to showcase your products and make them look their best. In addition, depending on your subscriber level, Squarespace has a whole host of merchandising plans, letting you organize your page with the best possible method.
Squarespace’s customization lends itself well here, too – you can change your storefront at the drop of a hat, offer spur-of-the-moment sales to lower cost, and even sell merchandise offline through a physical store.
Because Squarespace has a partnership with Square, you can accept offline payments virtually anywhere. While you used to need to purchase a physical Square credit card reader to benefit from Square, you don’t even need to do this anymore – today, you can manually enter cards, accept NFC payments from Android and iPhone, and more.
If you’re not looking to practice eCommerce on your site, there’s a paid subscriber option for you, too. The cheapest and simplest of Squarespace’s four plans, at $12 per month, the “Personal” plan offers the following benefits:
- Free custom domain (for the first year)
- SSL security
- SEO tools
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Up to 2 contributors
- Basic metrics
- Pre-made templates
- Mobile-friendly websites
- 24/7 support
- Squarespace extensions
Even with their most basic plans, you can do incredible feats with Squarespace. Since the Personal plan is meant to function as a blog or portfolio, you can even partner it with tools linked to your email like Adobe Creative Suite or Google Drive to show off your work.
Squarespace even offers templates designed to complement different portfolio types, such as music, writing, art, or even cooking.
It’s the dream of every small business owner to watch their work grow and flourish into the best it can possibly be. Fortunately, Squarespace makes it incredibly easy to grow your site along with your business.
If you need to upgrade your eCommerce tools and sell more products, simply upgrade your plan, and you’re good to go. Additionally, while other websites might limit your traffic based on your subscriber plan’s cost, Squarespace does not – even the Personal plan comes with unlimited bandwidth and storage.
While Squarespace has begun offering an impressive amount of eCommerce tools, especially recently, you still have some other options. For instance, if you’ve historically used Shopify to sell your products and you’re reluctant to change, it’s now among Squarespace’s many compatible integrations.
You’ll have to pay an extra monthly cost to feature them on your Squarespace homepage.
You’ve already seen us mention Squarespace’s templates several times in this article, but rest assured, we do it with good reason. Squarespace doubles down on the quality, attractiveness, and function of their templates in order to draw subscribers to their site (without doubling down on cost). Surprisingly, though, Squarespace doesn’t have that many templates – just over 100 compared to Wix’s 500+.
The key here is the customization of Squarespace’s few templates, and while they’re offering new ones all the time, they tend to keep it to a reasonable amount. After all, if you have too many templates that you can no longer search through them all, it can make your choice more difficult.
However, Squarespace’s templates are different from other website builders, like Wix and Weebly, for other reasons. This is mainly because Squarespace’s templates aren’t just color and design templates; a Squarespace template is a full site setup, complete with functionality, extensions, tools, and useful features.
Not only that, but all of Squarespace’s features are available to you for free – there isn’t a single template on Squarespace’s site that requires an extra payment or higher price tier to benefit from it. For example, if you’re looking to build a website centered around blog posts, there are pre-made templates and tools built for that.
There are several different ways you can go about looking for the perfect Squarespace template: by telling Squarespace what you’re looking for, by browsing by category, or by looking through their entire library.
While you may be able to find a hidden gem by searching Squarespace’s extensive library, don’t forget that most of your time will likely be spent reviewing your template and making it unique, not choosing it.
When choosing your template, it’s best to search for one that fits your products more than the “look” you’re searching for. You can review all of the little aspects, like fonts and colors, later on, but might be stuck with tools you don’t need if you choose a template on looks alone.
However, if you do make a mistake, remember that you can change your template at any time. You can even download and apply two templates simultaneously if you can’t make up your mind between a few.
It’s true that Squarespace offers some incredibly professional-looking templates that are ready-to-use, but we wouldn’t recommend using a stock template on your website.
Part of this is because, as we mentioned earlier, anyone can download a stock template – someone else could well be using the same theme as you, making your website (and product) less memorable.
Additionally, while Squarespace’s templates are great starting points, especially for very young businesses and their websites, they’re designed to be customized further.
Do keep in mind, though, that while Squarespace is incredibly customizable from an aesthetics perspective, it’s not the most flexible website builder. Sites like Wix and Weebly offer a much freer drag-and-drop experience, whereas Squarespace is a bit more “structured.”
While you may not be able to drag-and-drop everything on Squarespace domains, you can still delete the sections you don’t need, swap out image blocks, change colors and backgrounds, and alter the fonts used on your website. Consider it a “guiding hand” from Squarespace on your website rather than a restriction.
The main thing to keep in mind when using the website builder is that you’ll need good, clear, high-resolution images, especially of your products. Nothing’s worse than a pretty website with a blurry image featured on the home page; not only is it unprofessional, but it could even turn customers or visitors away from your site or earn you a bad review.
It’s easy to find free-use images online that you can download for your website, or if you’re willing to pay a bit extra, you can buy stock images through Squarespace’s partnership with Getty Images. Of course, you can always provide your own photographs, too!
Here’s where Squarespace’s functionality gets really cool: the website builder has a whole host of tools through their very own extension store.
They offer plenty of eCommerce features for customers, and they also integrate seamlessly with numerous other parties. However, the most helpful tool is Squarespace’s 24/7 customer support, which helps you through any problems you might run into as you work.
While Squarespace, surprisingly, does not offer phone support, they do offer high-quality, award-winning support through several other avenues:
- 24/7 email support
- 24/7 Twitter support
- Live chat during limited hours
- Guides and videos
- Community forums
- Interactive webinars
If you take a look at Squarespace’s support page, you’ll notice that they place two options, their guides, and videos, before their contact methods.
Because Squarespace’s knowledge base is so deep and thorough, you’ll likely be able to find the answers you need there with a bit of digging. Their customer satisfaction and reviews are quite good despite going without phone contact.
Today, social media is a necessary aspect of running a successful business. A bad review or two on social media can either support or ruin your venture – and that’s not even getting into the marketing aspect of it!
Fortunately, Squarespace allows you to partner your domains with virtually any social media platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. You can even attach your social media feed directly to your website for easy service.
Marketing and SEO
If you’ve never heard of SEO or Search Engine Optimization, it’s time you educated yourself on it. SEO can be the difference between your website being on page one of Google or page two.
This can be the deciding factor for a customer purchasing or leaving a review on a product that you sell – you want them to see your products first, or at least as close to first as possible.
Squarespace has an integrated SEO service and other marketing tools for all of their subscriber plans, so it’s easy for you to work your site in a way that garners the biggest online presence.
Fortunately, if you’re new to SEO, Squarespace offers a few guides on this, too. However, this isn’t the only service that can get your website increased traffic, either. You might also want to start email or text message campaigns for your subscribers.
You can use these campaigns to send out special discounts to members, remind your followers about seasonal sales, and simply to keep them thinking about your brand!
Squarespace has its own email marketing tool called Squarespace Email Campaigns. While you can also use other email platforms such as MailChimp, Squarespace’s program has a considerable amount of benefits:
- Affordable pricing, from $5 per month
- Emails are made to mimic the theme of your website
- Built-in campaign analyses to see how well your site is doing
- Automated mail about your brand for new members
Your domain is an incredibly important part of the success of your website and brand. For instance, if you’re looking to work a travel blog about your favorite exotic foods, you would want it to sound related to that.
That way, if someone searches for “exotic food blogs” online, and your blog is named “exoticfoodadventures.net” (just as an example), it will be easier for your readers to find it.
Squarespace’s policies and features when it comes to domains are quite expansive. For one, if you want to reserve one specific domain, but your website isn’t complete yet, you can still purchase that domain through Squarespace.
They will then save the website name for you, creating a professional, attractive “coming soon” landing page to support your site while you work on finishing it.
If you pay for Squarespace’s web builder services, you get a custom domain for free for the first year. After that, you’ll need to pay a yearly fee for the domain name, which can vary depending on specificity. You can also import a domain you’ve bought from a different place to use with Squarespace.
Registering your chosen domain is as easy as purchasing it on Squarespace’s website. As long as your brand exists and your payment method is valid, your domain will renew yearly.
Website security through the Squarespace platform is already taken care of for you. As long as you pay for a subscription through Squarespace, your domain comes equipped with SSL security.
SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is encryption for the information that goes to, from, and through your website. Not only is this important for protecting your identity as the website owner, but it’s also crucial for protecting the identities of your followers or customers within your stores.
The Squarespace website builder also comes equipped with DDoS monitoring, malware protection, WHOIS security, and bug protection, too.
Editing your Squarespace website should always be done on a reliable, internet-connected computer. While you can safely make changes on your phone through the Squarespace app, keep in mind that the online Squarespace editor does not come with an “autosave” function that reviews your progress.
As such, if you lose online connectivity, lose power, shut down your computer, or close your internet tabs in the middle of editing your website, you’ll lose all your progress!
While Squarespace doesn’t have autosave functionality, it does save created pages for you for up to 30 days after they’ve been deleted. This means that, if you delete a part of your website one day but decide a few days later that you want it back, you can simply restore it. You can restore deleted blog posts this way, too.
Squarespace does keep backup copies of all customers’ websites just in case disaster strikes, but it’s still a good idea to keep a copy of your own website handy, too.
There’s no easy way to save your Squarespace site, but you can export the XML data and keep it backed up somewhere safe. You can also use this method to export your Squarespace site and import it to WordPress. To do this, try the following:
- Go to the Home Menu
- Select Advanced
- Select Import/Export
- Select Export
- Choose the WordPress icon
If you have multiple blog pages on your site, you must export them one at a time. When everything is done exporting, click the download link that appears. This will save the .xml file to your computer.
Price and Value
While Squarespace is undeniably a bit more expensive than some others (like Weebly and Wix) – it doesn’t have a “free” subscriber option, for example, aside from its 14-day trial – you get a lot of features with the least expensive option.
The Personal plan starts with $12 payments per month. While you won’t get any eCommerce features with the Personal plan, you’ll get plenty of other useful tools like 24/7 support, a free domain name for the first year, mobile support, the web builder’s own app store, and other services.
If you’re looking to build your own online e-store, the cheapest pricing is the Business plan at $18 per month.
|Price Plans||Monthly Plan ($/month)||Annual Plan ($/month)||Savings (%)|
|Basic Commerce Plan||$30||$26||13%|
|Advanced Commerce Plan||$46||$40||13%|
The Business plan is an excellent place to start a small venture. The only real difference between the Business plan and the upgraded Commerce plans is that the Business plan charges a 3% transaction fee with each purchase within your stores.
Additionally, you get a few extra business-related tools as you bump up your pricing, such as point-of-sale in your stores, customer accounts, and eCommerce analysis.
Website-Building Price Plans
If you’re looking to build an e-store specifically, you should most likely stick to the Commerce pricing plans from the website builder, but you can also get by with the Business plan, especially when you’re just starting out.
If you’re looking to create more website-based content, however, you should consider sticking to the Personal plan or the Business pricing plan. The Personal plan is plenty if you’re not planning to sell anything at all (or if you want to do it through a different website).
However, while the Business plan is slightly more expensive than the personal plan – starting at $6 more per month – it gives you the opportunity to run an e-store on the side while still maintaining one standard website.
Internet Commerce Plans
If you’re going to be primarily using your website as an e-store, then you should subscribe to either the Basic or the Advanced eCommerce plan. While these are the highest-priced plans, keep in mind that the Business plan, which is cheaper, also takes 3% of all payments made on your website.
As such, if you’re selling a high volume of product (or high-priced goods), you’ll eventually hit a place where subscribing to one of the eCommerce plans will save you money.
The Advanced eCommerce plan also offers specialized shipping options, though you can get the same results by using a shipping service like ShipStation. Ship station also partners with Squarespace through an extension in the website builder’s app store.
From a functional standpoint, the Basic Commerce pricing plan is virtually the same as the Advanced plan. For an extra $14 per month, you get advanced shipping options, abandoned cart recovery, subscriptions for your clients, advanced discounts, limited availability tags, and commerce APIs.
While these can be useful for a very large business that ships its product across the world, most eCommerce shops will function perfectly well with the Basic Commerce plan.
If you’re a student looking to build your own website, whether for a class or to start your own business, be aware that Squarespace offers a 50% discount on your first year if you sign up with your school email. This discount is good for up to three sites within year one, too, so now is the time to get your dream online business up and running!
Before You Begin
While Squarespace definitely isn’t the cheapest website builder out there – Weebly, one of their competitors, has a free option after all – they’re also not the most expensive. Another of their competitors, Wix, is actually more expensive than Squarespace (to start).
However, this doesn’t mean that you should sign up for Squarespace’s Advanced Commerce plan right away. Keep in mind that the website builder has a 14-day free trial that you can test, too.
Squarespace’s free trial is a real free trial, too – you don’t have to input any payment information until your free trial is up. If you want to get started earlier, though, you can!
If you do end up purchasing a page with Squarespace, then later decide that it isn’t for you, Squarespace also offers a two-week money-back guarantee. If you start getting cold feet within two weeks of purchasing your plan, you can get your money back, no questions asked.
The free period and money-back guarantee are incredibly important not only for building your online business, but also to see if you and the Squarespace platform get along. Perhaps you just can’t get the hang of the interface, or maybe you prefer to build your website in code instead of drag-and-drop.
Assuming you combine the free trial and the money-back period, you have twenty-eight days to get used to the platform and decide whether it’s really right for you.
By now, you know virtually everything about Squarespace, including what you can do with it, who it’s best for, and how it can help grow your website or business. However, as we said at the beginning, it comes with its own pluses and minuses, just like any other web builder.
There’s a reason why Squarespace is touted as “the leader in website design” on their landing page, along with countless glowing reviews. They’ve created a winning formula for what they do, and it continues to work well for them (and anyone who leaves their reviews).
We would even feel comfortable saying that, short of coding your own website or hiring a professional, Squarespace has the best website templates and themes available on the market.
As much as Squarespace is all about the templates, though, that’s not all they’re about. Since adding in their own extensions store, the functionality of Squarespace has expanded astronomically, and they can partner with hundreds of different services, such as G Suite, Square, Microsoft, and much more.
The very best part of Squarespace’s philosophy is the ability to create a professional-looking website without typing one letter of code. Amazingly, Squarespace is flexible enough that you can code your website content directly in their client if you want to, but the user interface was created so you never have to see that side of it.
Quite frankly, unless you know a bit about web building yourself or you’re willing to hire a professional, you won’t be able to get results as nice as those that Squarespace gives you.
Not only that, but they don’t just give you a website and email; Squarespace can give you a web store, a blog, an album for photos, or a business landing page just by choosing a different theme.
Despite all these details, though, it’s important to remember that all of these great things do have their own negatives to consider. Squarespace isn’t a website that you’ll be able to perfect and deploy immediately.
While you may be able to get your website up and running in an afternoon after signing up with your email, it will take much, much longer for you to customize it to your full liking. This is not a “quick fix” for those needing a perfect website right away.
If you still have some lingering questions to answer, we may just be able to solve them in this section.
Does Squarespace Have a Free Option?
Unfortunately, unlike its competitor Weebly, Squarespace doesn’t have a free option. You can use it for 14 days for free, though, and there’s no pressure to sign up after the free trial ends.
How Much Is Squarespace?
Squarespace has a number of different plans to choose from. The cheapest option, which is the Personal plan, starts at $12 per month. The most expensive option, which is the Advanced Commerce plan, starts at $40 per month. The other options, the Business plan and the Basic Commerce plan fall in between.
Is Squarespace a Good Value?
Because of the flexibility and quantity of features offered by Squarespace, it is pretty good for the money. However, it’s neither the cheapest nor the most expensive option out there.
Which Languages Are Supported by Squarespace?
Squarespace currently supports English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
Is Squarespace Good for Online Shops?
Squarespace is built to bridge the gap between sites and eCommerce. As such, it doesn’t make sense for eCommerce as much as specialized platforms, but it still does an excellent job.
Is Squarespace Good at SEO Optimization?
Squarespace has built-in SEO optimization to help your content rank well in related searches. You can set your URL independently of your website titles, too.