If you listen to podcasts or watch TV, chances are you have heard or seen some of the ads from Squarespace.
It may get you wondering: Just how could a newer company make website development any different, or easier for that matter?
I’ve been watching Squarespace closely over the past few years, and I must say, it’s one of the more interesting website builder companies on the market.
It started with the idea that most website builders have junkie themes. So, Squarespace set out to develop templates that are incredibly modern, media-focused and fast loading.
They achieved what they wanted, but now we’re starting to see a beautiful backend interface, along with some solid options for ecommerce.
Therefore, Squarespace is no slouch in the game, so keep reading to learn whether it’s the best option for you.
How Many Sites Have Been Made With This Website Builder?
Squarespace is a private company so it’s not entirely sure how many sites are running on the website builder. However, it’s suggested that the web builder has far fewer than 1 million, meaning that it’s much smaller than WIX and Weebly.
The Squarespace features all depend on which plan you choose, but what’s interesting is that most of the plans overlap with features, considering all of the ecommerce options also include what you would get with the regular site plans.
The best feature is the overall template design, but we’ll talk about that below. The style editor is super easy to use, and you get built-in mobile sites so people can see your content on phones and tablets.
Custom CSS modules are available for the more advanced developers, while image loading is sleek and easy with drag and drop management. Not to mention, the images load up fast since they’re on a global CDN.
Along with social links, full media support and blog post scheduling, most of the features packaged in with Squarespace would require an app from anywhere else.
Squarespace Ease of Use
The drag and drop functionality is reserved for a few of the items like images, but you don’t necessarily receive a full drag and drop editor. That said, quick changes to fonts, colors and logos are made in the backend, and it’s fairly easy navigating around to create pages, make blog posts and customize any products you may be selling on your site.
Another reason Squarespace is at the top of my list of the best website builders is because the pricing is so darn simple and affordable. A free trial if offered for those who would like to test out the interface, and you don’t have to punch in your credit card information to get started.
You only need to choose from the two primary website building plans, but a simpler, cheaper plan is offered, along with a solution for ecommerce:
- Cover Pages – For $5 per month you get a single page website with unlimited bandwidth and storage. The sites are mobile, you gain access to website metrics and the custom domains are free. You also get 24/7 customer support.
- Personal Website – For $8 per month you get a 20 page website with everything from the previous plan, galleries, blogs, fully integrated ecommerce and a 3% sales transaction fee.
- Business Website – For $18 per month you get unlimited pages with everything from the previous plan, a professional email from Google and a 2% transaction fee.
- Basic Commerce – For $26 per month you can sell unlimited products with no transaction fees. It includes everything from the previous plan, inventory, orders, tax, discounts, label printing and integrated accounting.
- Advanced Commerce – For $70 per month you get everything from the previous plan, abandoned checkout recovery, real time carrier shipping and many more really cool ecommerce tools. This is for serious ecommerce shops that want to scale up.
Squarespace Templates and Design
As you may have noticed from the intro, the Squarespace templates are the best you can find in the business. They support tons of media options, including high resolution images and videos. Most of the templates are setup with a large image header, and they scroll down to feature minimalist content, navigational menus and beautiful typography.
Dozens of designs are available for things like weddings, restaurants, businesses, portfolios, musicians, photographers and more. If you’re a creative or a regular business, Squarespace looks pretty darn tempting.
I used to be hesitant about Squarespace commerce, but the company has expanded with lots of new features, and they have two plans to choose from. I like the lower priced plan for inventors and small startups, since you don’t exactly get all the marketing and customer retention tools you need.
However, the Advanced Commerce plan is pretty impressive, with no transaction fees, discount codes, social integrations, inventory management and more. The only real problem I have with Squarespace commerce is that Stripe is the sole payment solution.
Squarespace SEO and Marketing
Squarespace lacks an app store, so if a certain marketing or SEO tool is not built-in, you’re pretty much out of luck. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do things like email collecting, social media and blogging.
SEO is a standout feature as well, since it indexes your site automatically, and you get Google sitemaps, robots.txt, automatic tagging, clean URLS and more. We particularly like that Squarespace offers Facebook OpenGraph support, meaning that when links are shared on Facebook, they actually pull the right content and look great for your followers.
Squarespace Customer Support
The customer support is extremely good, with a 24/7 support team you can contact no matter which plan you go with. The Squarespace Help page has videos, a knowledge base and some community answers to see what other people are talking about. Connecting with Squarespace through social media is easy, and you can always send in an email or try the live chat module.
Keep in mind that phone support is not offered through Squarespace. So, you’ll have to stick with email or live chat.
Squarespace is not only beautiful, but it’s great for just about all experience levels. Although we use to be a little hesitant about the ecommerce side of it (Shopify is more suitable,) the company has improved drastically. In terms of making a general website, Squarespace works well for small and larger businesses that want to blow customers away with a modern look.
If you’ve had a chance to play around with Squarespace, drop a line in the comments below to tell us about your experience.