After settling on a business idea, purchasing the perfect domain, and spending hours fantasizing about being the next Jeff Bezos, you're ready to build your website.
However, you quickly realize you don't know squat about building websites. Moments later, after some Googling, it becomes clear you need to either learn how to code, pay a small fortune to someone who already speaks fluent HTML & CSS, or get a website builder monthly subscription.
WordPress is a great option, but you probably need something less complicated. Who has time to look for separate hosting and setup all those plugins?
So, Wix, Weebly, Joomla, or maybe... Squarespace?
If Squarespace's vibrant design and affordable offers have peaked your interest, our Squarespace review is the right place to find out everything there is about this popular website builder.
Our Verdict ⚖️
Fast & beautiful but not as customizable as WordPress 🎞️
In some areas, our Squarespace review team thinks they give WordPress a run for its money.
Even for blogging, SS is competitive - this is a testament to how well-designed Squarespace templates are great for anyone with an eye for design but no previous coding knowledge.
Squarespace Review (UK )
Very Good, But Not Perfect
Squarespace is outright one of the best website builders out there.
The user interface looks impressive, just like its design templates. With Squarespace, you get impeccable user experience.
This is a highly professional company, with very cool features - the latest being version 7’s:
- Cover Page Builder
- G Suite
- Getty Images
Squarespace Pros and Cons
A Closer Look
Cover Page Builder
This presents information in a single, bold page, similar to a magazine front cover.
Create a powerful introduction to your website, for your viewers. The cover layout templates are stylized in different ways, from technology to architecture, & food.
Simply customize to match the look you are going for - and fill in the right information.
Very impressively, this also supports video backgrounds - and all of the template layouts are visually impeccable.
Great Support & Templates
They don’t use a drag-and-dropper, but the visual website builder makes things intuitive.
This only requires a few more clicks than something like Wix. If you want to easily create any of these, you may want to consider the company as your number one choice:
- eCom Stores
Support is great, and they have more than a hundred adaptable - fully mobile-optimized - Squarespace templates.
Squarespace has integrated itself with Google, in an application called G Suite.
Get access to:
- Google Calendar
- Google Drive
Also, create email addresses for your own custom Squarespace domain.
All plans that include G Suite grant you access to it - for free - for one year. G Suite also lets you connect contact forms to your own branded email addresses and Google Drive.
Finally, send commerce email notifications from a branded email address.
There's a cost to having such a quick and intuitive website build.
Websites made by Squarespace tend to have a specific look to them, which gives away this fact. In terms of branding, it does not reach the heights of Wordpress.
There are, however, options to customize your template from scratch, by using code.
No Code Customization
Let’s say that, in the future you decided to implement a very unique site edit.
This would require programming. You would have to migrate to a different host and sign up with something like WP.
Or you could contact the SS support team, to get permission, which is an extra step.
How to Use Squarespace?
A Quick Tutorial
This section of the Squarespace UK review will get you up-and-running as quickly as possible - using the large palette of design tools.
“Honestly, I have the feeling I’ll make a mess of this - and end up wasting hours. I’m not a designer.”
That’s good, as you don't need to be a designer.
Designers have already crafted a working system for you, as Squarespace is predominantly a design-focused company.
Even though they have great additional features, like SEO, they are mostly known for this.
Professional-quality pages come together in a similar way to color-scheme theories that designers use.
SS has set things up so that making something gorgeous isn't complicated.
How to use Squarespace in 8 Easy Steps:
- Create an account
- Select a plan
- Choose a theme
- Add domain
- Create & edit pages
- Arrange & fill out your Squarespace site
- Set up marketing & eCommerce
- Go live -- publish!
1. Create an Account
Let's hop over to Squarespace.com.
The lovely layout has everything clearly arranged, other than when it comes to finding plan tiers , which I’ll admit to be a little annoying.
It’s always a 14-day money-back guarantee, so don't worry about committing right away.
Let's make a website and then see how we feel about it.
Click “Get Started” - on the top-right of the main menu.
2. Select a Plan
At the end of your trial, you'll be given an option to select one of four plans:
- Personal (£13 /month - £10 / annual plan)
- Business Plan (£21 /month - £15 /annual plan)
- Basic Commerce (£24 /month - £20 /annual plan)
- Advanced Commerce (£37 /month - £30 /annual plan)
Scroll further down to the pricing section, for a list of what you get with each plan. You save more if you sign up for a year.
If you are somebody with a business, note that the Personal Plan does not allow eCommerce or marketing solutions.
3. Choose a Theme
This is where it gets exciting. You are going to be welcomed with loads of lovely templates.
The layouts are responsive, and you can search for the perfect one, by typing in your need into the search menu.
Templates are also organized by categories - in the left-hand menu.
4. Add Domain
As we said before, you can host with Squarespace or use a pre-existing URL purchased elsewhere.
If you're running a business, a custom domain is recommended.
This can be a customized Squarespace domain, or a custom domain that is hosted with a different provider.
If you want to opt for a free URL, then SS offers a free subdomain.
A free URL subdomain will give you an address that looks like: yoursitename.squarespace.com
Note: An excellent free website host will offer a free custom domain name.
Whatever option you choose, head over to the “Settings” option on the home panel. There, you can use your Squarespace account to:
- Buy a New Domain
- Connect a Pre-Existing Domain
5. Create & Edit Pages
This is a simple layout.
The left hand side is where you do the editing and additions. The right-hand, massive canvas shows you the preview of how changes are taking place
The left-hand side is called the home panel.
This is where all the content management action takes place. You can find all of the following management tools:
Simply move your cursor over sections in the preview canvas.
You’ll be given options on how to manipulate it. Either create a fresh page or just edit the template pages that have already been put forward.
The options are self-explanatory and intuitive.
6. Arrange & Fill Out Your Squarespace Site
Move your mouse over the section you want to edit. A pop-up will appear.
Then, click “Edit.” This lets you manipulate the text with your own information, including things like text links:
To alter the font color and size, choose the style editor in the Home Panel.
You can update images in the same way, or delete them by pressing the deletion button.
7. Set Up Marketing & eCommerce
As we mentioned earlier, this is only available for the Business Plan.
Head over to the main menu and select “Marketing.” There you'll be given a lot of options, from social media buttons, to pop-ups, and analytics.
eCommerce can be set up in the same way.
Head over to the main menu again. Rather than selecting “Marketing,” choose “Commerce.” Once you've created a product page, using the Home Panel, options will appear.
The Home Marketing section will allow you to do things like managing online orders and adding coupon codes.
8. Go Live - Publish!
Yes, we tricked you. As soon as you start creating your website, it is already live.
Congratulations, you now have a live, beautiful website.
Squarespace Pricing 💰
Our Squarespace review team think they outperforms the likes of Wix.
Why? - It has the ability to connect to a third-party hosting provider. This is handy, if you are already on a hosting plan with, say, Siteground.
You have the option to:
- Migrate your Siteground domain to Squarespace hosting
- Or you can simply leave it with Siteground & connect it to your SS design plan
The benefits of this are obvious.
You can quickly design a beautiful website with side ground without coding. At the same time, you can get on a powerful hosting plan that can really compete online, for speed.
Annoyingly, Squarespace does not give you a menu-searchable breakdown of the different tiers.
Instead, you have to go through the process of signing up before getting an idea. Or you can click on this link.
To save you the headache of creating an account - before you know what it costs - our Squarespace UK review team will give you a break down here.
Also, we will break down the key features to keep an eye on - that each tier gives you.
There are four tiers:
- Free Custom Squarespace Domain* (only on the annual plan)
- SSL Security
- Unlimited Bandwidth and Storage
- SEO Features for Site Visibility
- 2 Contributors
- Mobile-Optimized Websites
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Basic Website Metrics
- Squarespace Extensions
£13.5/month or £10/month (annual)
Business Plan 💼
- 0% Transaction Fees
- Unlimited Contributors
- Premium Integrations and Blocks
- Advanced Website Analytics
- £100 Google Adwords Credits*
- Promotional Pop-ups and Banners
- Fully Integrated E-Commerce
- Accept Donations
£22/month or £15/month (annual)
Basic Commerce 📲
- Point of Sale
- Customer Accounts
- Checkout on Your Domain
- Powerful eCommerce Analytics
- Powerful Merchandising Tools
- Products on Instagram
£24/month or £20/month (annual)
Advanced Commerce 🏦
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Gift Cards
- Sell Subscriptions
- Advanced Discounts
- Commerce APIs
- Limited Availability Labels
£37/month or £30/month (annual)
Squarespace Review Top Tip
Want easy creation abilities with additional speed - without plumping the budget?
Grab a great host - for free, or cheaply - elsewhere.
Or, create a visually-stunning eCommerce site, without coding - and supercharge it on a top dedicated hosting plan, to serve your high traffic.
This way, Squarespace hosting infrastructure is flexible for all levels of business.
Does Squarespace Have Good SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization.
It’s a measure of how useful search engines deem your website to be. This applies to keywords searched for, by web-surfers.
Bottom line: No matter how pretty your site is, it needs to also be relevant in Google's eyes.
Google rankings favor themes that look good when displayed on any device.
Since at least 2017, page speed has been included as a ranking factor on the Google search engine.
Note: Because WP has such a massive variety of responsive themes, they tend to do well on Google rankings. SS does alright here, too.
Mobile-First Indexing Is Here
Before, you could get away with sites that took over 30 seconds to load on mobile phones.
Google would not do downrank in its search results, despite your websites offering a very poor experience to mobile users looking for keywords.
Three years later, and everything has changed.
Google now takes into consideration that most web browsing takes place from a mobile device - phones now have the edge.
This was taken back in 2017.
Mobile usage has edged up a little bit, since. Though, the amount of desktop usage is nothing to sniff at, which just means you have to factor in both elements.
Bottom line: You will not get away with a less-than-average mobile site.
Between 2013 and 2018, mobile traffic increased 222%. That's certainly an upward trend. That said, you are here for the question:
Will you rank well if you use Squarespace?
The typical advice is that WordPress is best for SEO.
So, one would think it is not smart to go with another website builder. Just grab an excellent WordPress host, and you’re off to the races in overall performance.
There is truth in sticking to WP as a best practice.
The quality of SEO - you are capable of generating - will depend on your website builder. That is the limiting factor.
But, by no means is Squarespace sub-optimal for SEO.
The tricky answer here is that Squarespace is actually fantastic - if you have knowledge of how to properly Implement SEO into your content.
You just need to invest some time.
The company is not particularly well-known for SEO tools, but if you take a bit of time to understand how the system works, you can do very well in such engine rankings.
Partly why Squarespace is so beautiful is that everything is neatly organized.
Every page and post has boxes where you can enter meta titles and descriptions, which are all important SEO elements.
None of this requires coding knowledge.
Social media Integrations
These look very impressive and at-home on each page.
In terms of how search engines view shares and engagement, this is a great boost to your pages SEO.
Squarespace Review Top Tips
Better than Weebly or Wix
Squarespace stands out from Weebly and Wix in that you can customize code more.
This opens the door for you to create code or hire a coder or SEO expert, to implement more advanced SEO solutions.
Advanced Custom Code
In terms of building your brand on the Squarespace spine, there is a lot of promise.
This type of fine-edge may be what you need to be a number-one, on ranking results.
No Yoast/3rd-Party Apps
On the other hand, you are not able to install third-party plugins like Yoast. So, there are still some trade-offs.
One From Each Plan, Starting From the First
We’ve organized Squarespace’s most standout features, according to the plan level. Look out for these perks
#1 SEO Features for Site Visibility (Personal Plan)
Firstly, make sure you are aware of search tools that can re-index your content once you make SEO changes.
- Google Search Console
- Bing Webmaster Tools
SEO changes - that you can make - include customizing your page & headings of your website. Write them so that they are SEO-friendly for both search bots and humans.
In the Page Settings area, every page on your site can be manipulated in three categories:
These are simply links in your navigation menus. Good policy & procedure is to make these short, like “Home” or “About.”
A good place to put forward high-performing keywords for your pages, blog posts, products, & events.
These are not available in all templates - they also add to your SEO rank.
Also, when creating your content:
- Use heading styles
- Add tags & categories to your blogs
- Use keywords
Complete CSS/JS Customization (Business Plan)
This is where Squarespace edges in front of Wix and Weebly.
Of course, the whole platform allows you to design a beautiful site without coding or design mastery.
Each block - that you edit intuitively - is actually this website creating code in HTML, on your behalf.
But, if you want to customize your site’s style and functionality, in specific pages and sections, you can create custom code.
This is not for novices!
Ensure that you are an expert in coding or are employing a professional designer, before taking this on.
Making mistakes here can lead to errors with your site functioning.
On all plans
- Embed block
- Code block
- Custom CSS Editor
Business & Commerce
- Cut page code injection - affects a specific page
- Sitewide code injection - affects your whole website
Insert custom code by:
- Making CSS style changes with the CSS Editor
- Editing code blocks with “Display Source” checked
- Editing HTML in code blocks
Products on Instagram (Basic Commerce)
Squarespace is integrated with shopping on Instagram.
How this works: Tag products that appear in stories and posts. Once you tag, Instagram shows this in the detail section and adds a “Shop Now” button.
There, users can buy the products on your website without ever leaving the Instagram app.
This is incredibly powerful.
IG is one of the most important social media applications out there - as a way of marketing your products seamlessly.
How To Set Up
All you need is the most recent version of the Instagram app.
Create your profile and then make a Facebook Business Manager Account and a Facebook page. You can then import your Squarespace inventory to Facebook Business Manager.
Finally, you can track the different click, visiting rates, and conversions using their Traffic Sources analytics app.
There's a full guide on how to do this that has been updated this year.
Sell Subscriptions (Advanced Commerce Plan)
Let's say you want to sell a recurring Service as a product on your website.
Squarespace’s Subscription Products service helps you to bring in a reliable income for your business. This is great for:
- Memberships, maintenance, & ongoing service
- Regularly delivered package foods & beverages
- Other subscription packages for things like cosmetics & beauty items
The system automatically creates a direct debit. It gives the customers the option to cancel their subscriptions at any point.
In order to activate this, you have to be on the Commerce Advanced Plan. Just enable Customer Accounts and, from there, you can sell physical or service-based products.
As of now, PayPal and is not yet accepted. You can use Stripe as a payment processor.
The service works best with templates that display the “Sign In” link on the top-right of the homepage.
Squarespace Website Examples
There are a lot of interesting website templates on Squarespace, and here are the ones we found the most entertaining.
Example #1 - WP Marmalade (Brick & Mortar Business)
The first of our Squarespace examples is a website for a yoga company running out of Chicago.
You’ll notice a super-quality, mysterious introductory video for the homepage - and photographs are used in every browsing page.
The honest truth about business?
If you really want to have a seamless, hard-hitting brand - effort needs to be put into the photography, imagery, videos, and even the wording.
This is a very cool example, as it shows what is possible for a very competitive and ambitious business to create through Squarespace.
Most likely, a designer/professional photographer of some kind was used to figure out what the positioning and colour choices here should be.
Every page uses a black-and-white theme, adding to the mystery.
They have a very interesting eCommerce store with various products that you can buy. You can also sign up with this example company, which will probably involve a newsletter.
This example is a testament to what can happen if you are somebody with an eye for design but not for coding.
Example #2 - Shhhowercap.com (Small Online Business)
These lovely ladies are advertising a stylish way to avoid washing your hair everyday.
When you use the shower, throw on a shower cap... Again, this website is filled with high-quality images of the products - and advertised with models.
The site uses a very simple background from the Pacific Family templates family.
Lots of white space gives plenty of room to advertise the logo on the top-left. As well as drawing your attention to the beautiful models.
This is another example of how somebody with some basic creative capabilities, can construct a beautiful, visually-impeccable website - without needing to know coding.
There's a shopping cart, and a very good-looking slideshow that uses buttons to alternate between the varying colors of shower caps.
Our Squarespace UK review team thinks this is a very cool eCommerce feature.
Example #3 - tloft.net (Stock-Image-Based Small Restaurant)
The last of our Squarespace examples is a very simple website.
It looks professional, despite the fact that it is based on stock images.
No design skills are needed as well as no design no coding skills.
The homepage is clean and sleek, giving people - interested in visiting the store - a place to go.
Long gone are the days when businesses are not online.
The capture form instantly gives the site a chance to capture visitor details, for a newsletter.
In fact, not being online is a great way to lose businesses.
Have your store visible on Google Maps, and have a good-looking website that does well for your brand.
We are drawing to an end of this Squarespace review.
This lightning round gives you a chance to get very concise answers to the most common questions people have when deciding whether to use Squarespace.
Maybe you are on the edge of going for it, or have a burning question that needs answering.
Hopefully, this section can put your mind at ease, and make your decision a lot a whole lot easier… On we go
Is Squarespace Reliable?
The biggest issue with Squarespace may be that its page speeds are not the best.
The speed of your website is one of the most critical factors when determining how well you do with conversions.
The good news is that you can easily get around this by grabbing a top free host or going for a paid version.
SS lets you be domain-hosted with a third-party, such as Siteground or Bluehost or GoDaddy.
Simply use Squarespace as the CMS. This way, you get the best of both worlds. You get professional websites made quickly without any coding skills…
Don’t forget the sleek power of a high-performing web host.
Is Squarespace Good for Beginners?
Squarespace is not quite as quick and intuitive as a drag-and-drop website builder.
Website builders such as Weebly or Wix require less clicks. Still, it's as easy as it can get, while still allowing a beautiful end-product.
There'll just be a small learning curve at the beginning, but you can find many tutorials on the Squarespace website or on YouTube.
If you happen to be somebody creatively minded but not good at coding, Squarespace could quickly become your best friend - after a bit of time experimenting with its interface.
There are some excellent free website builder alternatives out there. But, compared to some of the best-paid designers out there - like WordPress - it really cannot get much simpler than SS.
Which Is Better Wix or Squarespace?
Our Wix review team saw the former as easier, due to the drag-and-drop function.
Want access to Advanced SEO tools at some point in the future?
If you are competing for the number one - or two - slot in search rankings, then, Squarespace outmaneuvers Wix.
Let’s say your website grows substantially in traffic.
Squarespace has more room for advanced manipulation of base code. You will have more success with hiring a developer to customize your branding and site capabilities
This puts Squarespace roughly on par with what WordPress, in terms of its scalability and flexibility, creatively
The last thing you want is to create an amazing website that reaches a ceiling no longer able to deal with the demands of its own traffic
You can even get approval for a full template edit by contacting the support team.
Squarespace Vs. WordPress
Now, we often recommend WordPress as the best website building tool available.
Certainly, it is without a doubt the most powerful.
Almost one-third of the world's hosted sites use WordPress as the web design tool-of-choice. These include many Fortune 500 companies.
Check out WordPress’s creative flexibility with sites that use it:
Just to name a few.
You get incredible flexibility with WP:
- Complicated, international corporations use WP
- Fully capable eCommerce stores use WP
- As well as social networks, podcasts, & personal blogs.
There’s such a vast Theme Marketplace. Find highly SEO-optimized designs, to get a boost in Google’s search rankings.
Yet, you will notice other options eating their way into the website-building market.
Squarespace hosting is barely a drop in the ocean, to be sure.
But, where they really stand out, is in the ability to craft beautiful designs over and over again, while keeping everything super-simple.
We are talking about high class, visually stunning websites.
Squarespace needs only a fraction of the time that the typical WordPress theme package requires, to set up fully.
You can see at some of these websites in the Examples section of this Squarespace review.
Squarespace also stands out for mobile optimization. For Google ranking and conversion reasons, this is a critical component when deciding what website builder to choose.
Version 7 has seen great improvements overall, especially in the usability of Squarespace’s design interface.
There are few limitations, such as not being able to install third-party apps like Yoast - apps that could otherwise be useful for SEO.
Still, Version 7 updates have extended to “point-and-click” interactions, which SS did not have before. This company is always improving .
That update greatly speeds up the time it takes to create a Squarespace website.
Nonetheless, we compared it to something like WordPress.
You will find that there are limitations in the diversity of themes and their capability. Your website may have a slightly generic feel to it - too similar to other SS sites.
Overall: For smaller businesses, website builders like SS should be good enough.
We love the fact that you can easily get your website to outperform in terms of speed and reliability. Just connect a great web host to the Squarespace CMS.
Tip: For very ambitious businesses, WP beats SS in cutting-edge capabilities. Have a think about your needs, particularly how important it is for your branding to look a certain way.
-- Have a think about your longer term plans… and we hope this Squarespace UK review has helped you to come to a decision.
Alternativelly, check out our SITE123 review. It's a great website builder that also offers tons of templates but is much cheaper than Squarespace.
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