Founded in 2003 in a dorm room at the University of Maryland, Squarespace has today become one of the most popular website builders. With millions of websites powered by this website builder, Squarespace was chosen by the likes of Keanu Reeves to build their website on.
One of the secrets behind its appeal lies in the fact that it offers something to everyone. From bloggers to entrepreneurs and from restaurant owners to make-up artists, Squarespace has become the preferred choice of many.
This blog is an overview of this website builder that contains important bits of information on Squarespace various features, offerings, services and of course how much does Squarespace cost? its multiple pricing plans. So, if you are thinking of building a website or starting an online business, continue reading.
Squarespace: Pros & Cons
Easy to use editor
It’s not beginner-friendly
Though templates are limited, they are professionally designed and have sleek and modern aesthetics
The structured editor would limit your creativity
The structured editor would help you design a professionally looking website
Have a limited number of templates
It has a number of built-in widgets and tools – you may not require third-party app integration at all
Does not offer phone call support
It lets you make changes in the template via HTML coding
Does not have an extensive app store
Squarespace is considered ideal for blogging and has all the necessary built-in blogging tools
Unlike some of its competitors such as Wix, it does not offer a free plan. Though other premium plans offer value for money
Ease of Use
Squarespace is not beginner-friendly as compared to some other website builders such as Wix and Weebly. For beginners, it takes time to explore the platform. However, once you get the hang of the platform, it becomes easier to use.
It is based on drag and drop layout. That means you just need to drag and drop the elements in the predefined structure. You can even design your site or make it via mobile phone as well. Though you cannot drag and drop the elements anywhere you want.
With Squarespace, you can create a website even if you are not a developer. So, you don’t need to know coding to create your own website.
Another interesting point is – Squarespace is based on WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). Meaning whatever changes you make in the design, will appear on the live website as well. Live editing doesn’t require you going back and forth to preview the changes. However, visitors can also see these (live) changes.
Templates & Design Customization
Though Squarespace has around 60 professionally designed templates, however, these are considered sleek, modern and finest in the market.
These templates cover the following categories:
- Online Stores
- Blogs & Podcasts
- Professional Services
- Local Businesses
- Community & Non-profits
- Events & Weddings
- Musicians and Bands
- Personal and CV
- Real estates and Properties
You have the option of selecting a template category-wise or you can select a template recommended by Squarespace. The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to suggest the best templates based on the information provided by you. Squarespace templates are continuously improved, helping its users select the most updated templates.
Moreover, unlike Wix, you can change your template any time, that too without losing any of your content. All the templates are mobile as well as tablet responsive.
Square space (Business, Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce plans only) gives you access to the templates codes. So, if you are a developer or know how to code, you can design your own template.
Squarespace Apps & Tools
Squarespace does not have an extensive app store as compared to its competitors such as Wix and Weebly. Probably for the reason that its built-in tools and widgets are quite complete.
However, there are a few third-party extensions available. These extensions are mostly related to ecommerce/online stores. For example, there is Printful that helps in establishing an online dropshipping store. inFlow is a powerful inventory management extension.
Other extensions are:
- Returns Center
- QuickBooks Online by OneSaas
- Shopping Feed
- Xero by OneSaas
There are some widgets and tools covering photo galleries, appointment scheduling, social media and restaurants that are only available in Business and above plans.
Squarespace offers free domain with its plans (all of them). This is for one year only and one free domain name per website. The catch is, you’ll have to select the annual payment plan, instead of paying them on a monthly basis. After one year, you will have to pay the regular price of the domain that is $20.
In short, the Squarespace domain is not (totally) free. You must consider its cost while doing your budgeting.
Security and Back-up
Squarespace comes with free SSL encryption. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) makes your site safe for receiving confidential information such as credit/debit card information, etc.
Squarespace also has a built-in security system that protects your site from DDoS (Distributed Denial of Services).
However, unlike Wix and Webnode, Squarespace does not have any back-up feature. That means there is no “AutoSave”. You can only save your data by exporting the blog or product data.
Squarespace is considered ideal for blogging. It has particular blogging templates and lots of built-in blogging features. With Squarespace blogging, you can add a lot of images or support your words with beautiful visuals.
These are some of the most interesting Squarespace blogging features:
- You can add multiple authors/contributors
- You can sync and share your blogs on social media
- Geolocation tags
- You can schedule your blog posts
- You can even host a podcast
- RSS feed
- iTunes syndication
- Manage the blog directly from mobile using the blog app
Social Media Integration
Squarespace makes it easy to link your site with over 20 social media outlets including:
This can help your message resonate far and wide. Furthermore, this is one of the avenues that Squarespace provides customer support service with.
SEO & Marketing
Squarespace has the following built-in SEO tools:
- Edit title tags
- Edit meta description
- Edit URL and Alt images
- 301 redirects
Squarespace offers a built-in “Email Campaign” to grow the audience. Also, for your online store, you can get promotional pop-ups and banners.
Out of Squarespace four plans, two are solely dedicated to e-commerce.
A website built on Squarespace can sell both physical as well as digital products. You can also customize your storefront and sell unlimited products. Not only this, by using videos you can add product descriptions, hence making them more engaging.
For all the e-commerce plans, there is zero transaction fee. Also, you can integrate a shopping cart into your online store. Moreover, Squarespace provides the abandoned cart recovery feature.
Imagine you are creating your site and you get stuck at some point. You would definitely appreciate all the instant customer support that you can get from your service provider.
Squarespace takes care of its users and provides multiple touchpoints for customer support such as:
Squarespace help center has an extensive knowledge base to walk you through a problem. To access the knowledge base, you just need to enter keywords and hit enter. There will be a drop-down list of suggestions. Select the one that best answers your query. This is one of the quickest ways to get help.
Alternatively, you can always check the FAQs.
Unlike Wix, Squarespace offers a live chat facility. Live chat would allow you to get instant help from a customer representative. However, the live chat facility is not available 24/7. It is available from Monday to Friday 4 AM to 8 PM (EST).
You can also send an email with the details of your query. Squarespace does not have a direct email address; however, you can fill in a query form. You can attach the screenshots with it and send it over to the customer representatives.
Moreover, Squarespace has a forum/community of its users. You can simply write down your query and other users can answer your query based on their prior experience. You can also search previous topic discussions on this forum.
Apart from these, there are video tutorials, webinars and guides to help you with your website building.
Despite having multiple customer support touchpoints, Squarespace does not offer any phone call facility. According to them, you cannot share screenshots over a phone call to help their representative better understand a problem.
You cannot use Squarespace for free. Though you can try it out for free for 14 days.
Squarespace offers four premium plans. They can be paid for annually or monthly, though with the former you can save money.
These four plans are:
- Basic Commerce
- Advanced Commerce
The below chart shows the amount you can save per year on each premium plan by paying annually.
Let’s see what each plan has to offer to its subscribers.
Personal plan is for personal use – blogging, portfolios, etc. You cannot sell with it.
It comes with the following features:
- Free Domain for 1 year
- SSL Encryption
- Unlimited Bandwidth and storage
- 2 Contributors
- Suitable Templates
- Mobile-Optimized Websites
- SEO features
- Basic website metrics
- 24/7 Customer Support
The business plan comes with more features as compared to the personal plan. With this plan, you can sell unlimited products though with a 3% transaction fee.
Some of the other features of this plan are:
- Unlimited Contributors
- Promotional Pop-ups and banners
- Premium Integrations
- Mobile-Optimized Websites
- Donation acceptance
Therefore, the business plan is perfectly suitable for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
If you are planning to build an online store, you can safely choose one of Squarespace ecommerce plans. While you can sell with the Business plan as well, but with the ecommerce plans, you enjoy more e-commerce features.
Some of the “Basic Commerce” features are:
- No transaction fee
- Point of sale
- Customer’s account
- Checkout on your domain
- Powerful ecommerce analytics
- Products on Instagram
With the growth of your online business, you would need an advanced commerce plan. Advanced commerce plan comes with a lot of e-commerce features such as:
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Gift Cards
- You can sell subscriptions
- Advanced Shipping & Discounts
- APIs for orders and inventory
- Limited Availability Labels
To read more on this topic, click on Squarespace Pricing Review.
Is Squarespace free? No, it’s not. With its competitively priced multiple premium plans, Squarespace offers something to everyone though not a free plan.
Squarespace is designed for everyone. If you are a blogger or someone who wants to build a small online business or want to create a website for an already established renowned brand, Squarespace has a lot to offer you.
Squarespace templates may be limited but they are professionally designed, which can be changed according to your needs.
Squarespace has a structured editor, which helps you build a website without knowing how to code. Though it doesn’t give you the freedom of creativity.
Squarespace has never felt the need for having an extensive app store perhaps for the reason that it believes that it offers in abundance tools, widgets and extensions.
Squarespace offers customer support service through a variety of touchpoints, some more efficient than others.