These days, building a website is not that difficult as it was nearly two decades ago. Back then, you needed to know how to code and understand html language (or hire someone who knows that stuff). Today, it’s easier and it’s crucial to have a website if you run a business. Maybe look at a website builder such as Squarespace. But is Squarespace a good website builder? That will be the focus of this post.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is a website building and hosting service that provides software-as-a-service (SAAS). It helps individuals use pre-website templates along with drag-and-drop elements to create and modify web pages.
Founded in 2003 by Anthony Casalena, he started it as a blog hosting service while in school. In
the following years, it grew from nothing to nearly one million dollars in revenue. So it grew very quickly during the first few years as a company.
Today it has a few offices (New York City, Portland, and Dublin, Ireland), and it has more than 1,600 employees. It is one of the most well-known website builders- with millions of websites created on the platform. Also, it works with well-known companies such as HBO, Accenture, and Turo.
How Squarespace works: A breakdown of setting up a website
Squarespace helps anyone develop an online store, a professional website, or a portfolio to display online. For the purpose of this review, I will breakdown the navigation of creating and editing a website via the Squarespace platform.
Here, you have a few pages set up that describe your website. These pages may include:
- Our Team
- Contact Us
- Blog section
I will say the blog template is very easy to use, and you can do more than simply posting articles. Also, you can add images or thumbnails to your posts (which helps make the pages stand out as well).
Designing can be very creative and fun if that’s what you enjoy doing. Their site styles come with features such as fonts, colors, animations, spacing, buttons, image blocks, and social sharing. So there are plenty of options to choose from.
On Squarespace, this section is at the heart of selling. Here, you set up product listings for your store. Here’s a screenshot of what my store looks like with a typical product listing.
From here, you can manage inventory and see which pages new/existing customers are viewing. Also, you can add payment methods when customers make a purchase on your website; for example, Paypal and Stripe are default options for Squarespace stores.
Publish Your Website
From there, you’re ready to publish your website. Once you get through the initial stages of setting up your pages and product listings, you’re ready to launch and get your online presence rolling.
There are a lot of neat features you can try on Squarespace. For this review, I will go over some key features that can be useful for your website.
- Commerce (advanced)
Within the commerce section, there are additional selling tools you can utilize. Some of them include the following:
- Point of sale (POS): Selling products in-person with the Squarespace app (available only through a commerce plan)
- Print-on-demand- Sell custom designs with D.O.D. extensions
- Add product reviews- Reviews can help build trust and credibility for your online store. With this feature, you can request reviews from regular customers for your site.
- Import product listings from other online marketplaces; places such as Esty is a great place to integrate your listing to your Squarespace store
With a Squarespace store, you can do quite a lot for promoting your website, such as SEO services and email marketing. Additionally, you can promote your website through social media including:
- Facebook and Instagram (available through commerce plans only)
- Pinterest Save Buttons
- Access to Google Ads credit to promote your store (available through commerce plans only)
You’re giving a nice, simple to use dashboard that shows stats for your Squarespace website. It includes sales and traffic; also, it shows your traffic sources and search keywords if you’re doing SEO or utilizing Google search.
With the dashboard, you can examine your site content to figure out if visitors are sticking around or reading through your content.
- All-In-One mobile app
In the past, Squarespace used to have multiple apps for using separate features. As of recently, they now have one app for users to manage everything from their Squarespace accounts. So it’s a lot more convenient and easier to have everything in one separate app.
- Video Hosting & Monetization Tools (NEW)
As of 2022, Squarespace has a new method for users to sell their content through memberships. With an active account, you can host your videos directly on Squarespace. Also, they have video hosting storage available as well.
Since these are new features, these are extra add-ons available at an extra cost. Who knows if they’ll be part of any of the paid plans, so it might be beneficial for users to have down the road.
Can Squarespace make your business more efficient?
Squarespace used to be difficult to use in the past; however, it’s gotten a lot easier using their platform. The user interface is simpler than it was during their first years in business.
Within the commerce platform, there are a lot of things ready to help set up your website. Whether that’s custom templates or drag-and-drop elements, it’s easier to get a website set up quicker than ever. Also, it’s simple to edit on any page or post when creating content on your website.
For the most part, Squarespace is great because of the built-in blogging tool and their hosting service. If you’re someone who enjoys writing and wants basic hosting for your website, Squarespace has that and can make it simpler for building out your website.
Who is Squarespace designed for? Can it grow your business?
If you consider yourself to be creative, then Squarespace may be an excellent fit for you. Squarespace is centered around their designs and templates, which gives people the option to make beautiful websites.
If you’re an artist, photographer, or someone who’s into design in general, Squarespace has a lot of neat designs to create your online portfolio or website. If you’re someone with an established photography business, Squarespace has plenty of options to help make your website stand out.
Especially with their new video hosting tool, it’s easier to get content out to your audience. From streaming videos through your website to hosting podcasts, Squarespace has all sorts of ways to promote your business.
Regarding whether it can help grow your business, Squarespace has a lot of marketing tools if you choose one of their paid plans. If it’s worth the investment, it can grow your business overtime.
All of their plans start out with a 14-day free trial. They have no free plans for their users, so if you’re on the fence (or you want to switch a plan), you can change or cancel a plan at any time.
With the four plans included below, they offer monthly and annual options. For the yearly plans, they actually cost less than if you went with a monthly plan.
Depending on which plan you choose, you can get 25-30% off by switching to yearly. Additionally, you’ll get a free custom domain if you choose to sign up for a Squarespace annual plan. So that’s another reason to consider signing for an annual plan over a monthly one.
|Personal||$19/month||$14/month (save 25% annually)|
|Business||$33/month||$23/month (save 30% annually)|
|Basic Commerce||$36/month||$27/month (save 25% annually)|
|Advanced Commerce||$65/month||$49/month (save 25% annually)|
With the commerce plans, most of the features (from the chart) are available, but also some extra features to take advantage of. Some of the features I mentioned earlier (i.e. marketing tools) are included in the commerce plans.
Also, Squarespace offers an enterprise plan for larger businesses. Designed for businesses with complex needs and high revenue, this plan comes with more features. For more information, visit this page for more details.
Pros & Cons
- Simple drag and drop website builder
- Great for designing and visuals- especially for artists and photographers
- Free custom domain included in annual plans
- New in 2022: Video hosting service and monetization tools
- Excellent customer support (24/7 service)
- A little bit of a learning curve for beginners (with no design experience)
- No option to get full customization (i.e. only customize within template’s present rows)
- Editor does not autosave on it’s own- you are prompted to save your work after each change
- Website speed reported to be slow at times (site speed is very important for overall user experience)
- No free plan available for new users
Is Squarespace worth it?
Squarespace has earned a great reputation for providing website and hosting services to their customers. With it’s beautiful designs and simple drag-and-drop website builder, anyone can launch an online store or portfolio with Squarespace.
It’s very suitable for those who are on the creative side, such as artists and photographers. If you’re into designing, Squarespace has a lot of cool features for you to make the most out of your work.
Although it’s simple to use (like other platforms), some people I know reported their websites being slow sometimes. So site speed is a little drawback for Squarespace.
These days, it’s important for websites to load up fast. If they don’t, the likelihood of users to stay on a website goes down, or even not come back to visit later.
Moreover, you’re losing out on finding and retaining customers overtime. Besides some of those small issues (i.e. site speed and their editor), Squarespace is worth checking out if you want to create a beautiful-looking website.
Whether you’re looking to start a podcast, or run an established business, Squarespace can be an excellent option for you to create a website. Having been around for almost two decades, Squarespace has helped a lot of individuals launch their own websites.
What stands out the most is their content creation tools. Squarespace has gone to another level in providing more ways to help promote your business.
If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to sign up for a plan today. Whatever option you choose, you get 14 days to try it out for free.
Another thing that stands out is by signing up for an annual plan, you can get a free domain through a Squarespace account. So if you want to take advantage of that option, it’s worth looking into.
So sign up today and start building out your website. Who knows where it can go in building a business or a brand in the long-term.
Your Turn: Is Squarespace A Top Choice For Your Business?
I would like to get some feedback from you. Are you a creative person looking for a simple website builder? Do you think Squarespace has neat features to develop a beautiful website?
How do you think Squarespace can help grow your business online? What are some things you think can be improved with their services?
Feel free to leave your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading them, and I’ll gladly answer any questions you may have.
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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.