Squarespace review – restrictive, yet beautiful
Squarespace offers strong website building options, beautiful themes, as well as eCommerce utilities, and plenty of easy-to-use marketing tools. It's an all-inclusive option, giving beginner website owners just about anything they would desire.
However, before jumping on to use this website builder, there's a thing to consider:
Squarespace will put a leash on how much you can edit on your website, just how many blogging or SEO features you'll get, and will allow only a very limited number of helpful third-party integrations.
But when for this Squarespace review, I signed up and made my own website (I'll put in a link later), none of that really mattered. I just really enjoyed the experience. There's a method to Squarespace's madness, and if you're a small business owner looking for a quick way to promote something or to sell online, I'd have a pretty hard time recommending something else.
Squarespace offers an incredible all-in-one approach, combining a reliable website builder, and built-in eCommerce into one mission control center. The editor is much better now, it’s more intuitive than ever. Squarespace starts from $12/month and offers its clients over 110 modern and curated templates.
And just so you know – this Squarespace review is pretty massive (6,000 words just for your reading pleasure!). So you can click to read the full conclusion here.
|Ease of use||Perfect for beginners|
|Templates||110+ modern templates|
|Business features||Solid in-house eCommerce and marketing|
|Performance||Fits the industry standard|
|Current deal:||Start an online business from $12 a month|
Pros and cons of Squarespace
- Great modern templates
- Strong eCommerce platform
- Really ease to use
- Limited design flexibility
- Some business tools could be better fleshed out
Squarespace video review
What website to use Squarespace for?
Different tools are suited for different types of work. The same is true for website builders, too. While a platform might be perfect for one type of site, it can be useless for the other. So, let's have a look at how Squarespace tackles some of the main challenges.
|Blog||Very easy to set up and start blogging.||Blog editor could be more content-forward and intuitive.|
|Portfolio site||Beautiful themes, making you and your work shine.||Very image focused – high quality media is required to make portfolios look good.|
|Business site||Solid built-in tools for marketing, SEO, and other.||Limited third-party tools, you're stuck within Squarespace's ecosystem. Many tools paid.|
|eCommerce site||Simple to set up, beginner-focused eCommerce.||$18/month plan has an additional transaction fee.|
Squarespace for blogs
Squarespace includes a solid blogging suite, quite perfect for beginners. All it takes is a minute of your time – and an example blog, full of pre-made posts for you to edit will be added. It's a very simple way to get started, and I praise it for that.
However, there will be some limitations, mostly related to the blog editor itself: it's not as powerful as some of the alternatives, with fewer content editing options. It reminds me more of a website editor, rather than a text editor. So it may feel limited to bloggers, used to some more advanced systems, like WordPress. Read the full blogging section here.
Squarespace for portfolios
Squarespace can be an excellent option for portfolios – perhaps even the best one in the entire market. The reason is simple: Squarespace portfolio themes are absolutely excellent. They're diverse and beautiful, really putting you and your creations at the very middle of a beautiful stage.
But some people might be bothered by the builder's approach of focusing heavily on images. If your images look good, your site will look good. So, get your best camera out before you jump onto Squarespace. Read the full templates section here.
Squarespace for businesses
If you're a small business, Squarespace does everything to attract you. Seriously – tools for social media marketing and custom post designs, email marketing, SEO, and more make Squarespace a solid all-in-one solution for most things business.
The thing is, some of these solutions will cost extra: or have a very limited free plan, just inviting you to upgrade. And not like there are many ways for you to run away from this. Squarespace follows a "walled garden" approach, meaning that using third-party tools will be rather difficult. It's better to just check out what Squarespace has to offer, and decide if you're into it. Read the full business features section here.
Squarespace for online shops
Squarespace offers plans that include eCommerce functionality. This is also where Squarespace actually offers some third-party integrations, such as tool for shipping management, product label printing, print-on-demand and more. Plus, the overall experience is genuinely simple – a guided setup process makes building a store as easy as it gets.
Just don't get hooked on the cheapest eCommerce-capable plan. The $18 Business plan includes an additional 3% transaction fee, which is bound to eat up your profit margins. You're better off investing in a more expensive plan. Read the full eCommerce section here.
Squarespace's premium options are fairly affordable, ranging from $12 to $40 per month when paying annually. This is a fairly decent price, and it's quite similar to other options on the market.
You can choose between four options:
|Personal||Simple option for basic personal websites: get the cheapest deal HERE!||$12/month|
|Business||HTML/CSS code optimization, advanced analytics, and basic eCommerce (w/ 3% transaction fee)||$18/month|
|Basic Commerce||eCommerce with no transaction fees for easy selling||$26/month|
|Advanced Commerce||All-included eCommerce with selling subscriptions and advanced shipping for serious businesses||$40/month|
The prices displayed are only valid when paying for an annual plan. If you wish to pay monthly, the costs will increase by quite a bit. Personal will be $16/month, Business will cost $26, and both eCommerce plans will set you back $35 and $54 a month respectively.
Also, Squarespace does not have a free option. The only plans you can get are the premium ones. However, if you don't feel like paying without trying, you can always use the available 14-day free trial. No credit card required!
With four total Squarespace web hosting plans, and each offering a little bit more than the previous one, it’s a pretty reasonable set of features. All Squarespace plans include hosting and domain, making it all-inclusive option for websites.
You can test most of these things out – as there’s a 14-day free trial for each website that you make.
But you still won’t be able to use that time to fully publish your website and get some visitors, as it will only be accessible to outsiders via a randomly-generated link, and a password protection will be put on it.
This will be useful if you’re making design changes and need someone to give you additional feedback.
At the end of your trial, the website is saved on the dashboard but is no longer editable, it just sits there waiting for the user to pay for a full plan.
So, for everything else, let’s upgrade and see what Squarespace has to offer.
But which plan should you pick? This is what I gathered during this Squarespace evaluation:
- Pick the Personal plan if you look for a simple place for blogging or showing off your creations. This is a pretty limited plan, with no eCommerce capabilities or advanced analytics and marketing tools: but if you’re not looking to turn your website into a business, it’s a great place to start.
- For small businesses, the Business plan may seem like a pretty good option. After all, it’s in the name! You can use this plan to sell unlimited product options online and accept donations. However, I’ll suggest against choosing it.
Why? There’s only one reason. But it’s pretty massive.
For each transaction coming into your site, Squarespace will take a 3% transaction fee. And while that feels like nothing, making a measly $500 a month will immediately turn your $18 monthly plan into a $35 one. And that, my friends, is not a savvy way to run a business.
Instead, I'd suggest one of the Commerce plans.
- Basic Commerce is priced at $26 a month, removes the transaction fee, and opens up new options for your site: like customer accounts and powerful eCommerce analytics.
- Advanced Commerce is the most expensive plan at $40 a month and throws in the option to sell subscriptions and add advanced shipping options, as well as abandoned cart recovery and advanced discounts.
Which one's better between the two?
You might think that an increase of $14 a month to add only a few extra features isn’t quite worth it. True! But for many established businesses, an additional $14/month to retain more customers, and offer them better shipping options and discounts will be a great deal. This is one of the cases when, while not being the cheapest option, a website builder offers great value for the money.
I recommend Basic Commerce to beginner eCommerce businesses. If you’re more established – definitely check out Advanced Commerce as well.
Overall, there are three Squarespace hosting plans worth your attention.
The Personal plan is a great pick for a regular non-business website, and the two Commerce plans will offer varying levels of features, fit for eCommerce outfits of different sizes. Sadly, however, I cannot recommend anyone to use the Business plan: the massive transaction fee makes it a pretty bad deal.
Squarespace's Personal plan is, of course, the best option for personal websites. And we try to make it even better, by acquiring the best coupons and discount codes. See, if there's a discount for you.Yes! I Want to Visit Squarespace NOW
Is Squarespace easy to use?
- The Setup Process - This part is really simple. You are given an easy-to-understand setup menu, where you choose your template, site name, and category; then you’re good to go.
- Creating Your Website - Your freedom might be restrained by a fairly limited grid system. However, there are still plenty of options for you to choose to personalize everything to your liking.
- Managing Your Website - Almost everything you’ll need will be on the same page, which by the way is the same place you can edit the content inside your site. It’s one of the best dashboards out there.
Squarespace makes ease of use its main feature – and oh, it shows. Everything is incredibly streamlined, making setup and editing as simple as it gets. And some of the older problems have been fixed. It's only the builder's limiting grid system that might cause a few questions.
Truth be told, out of professional interest, I tested plenty of amazing website builders for years – and so, I had an opportunity to use Squarespace since 2018. So much, I even had an opportunity to check out its developer platform.
During that time, I saw several versions of Squarespace and found it to be quite appealing. But for all previous Squarespace options – going all the way to Squarespace 7.0, I had a lot of criticism for how the platform made its editor look good, but act a little stupid.
And I kept repeating that to anyone who at least pretended to listen.
Sometimes, for things to be useful, they have to be a little ugly.me, probably thinking of myself.
But Squarespace didn't stand still and kept rolling updates. During the year 2020, Squarespace has been working hard to roll out an updated version of the editor – simply called 7.1.
Now, the new Squarespace 7.1 version is better than the 7.0 version, and all other versions in the past. There's very little to complain about, and everything is very easy to use.
It’s perfect as a website builder for artists to showcase portfolios, or you can also use it to build a business website or an online store!
How easy is Squarespace? Well, I could tell you, but in order for this Squarespace review to be as accurate as possible – I'll also show you. This is where we stop talking about the theory and dabble in some practice.
This is a test website that I made with the platform. Click an image and see it in full glory for yourself!
And carry on reading further to find out what you can expect when you start using Squarespace.
Getting started with Squarespace
The first moments of making a website with Squarespace follow a very simple and clear set-up process, leaving out some of the boring admin stuff for later.
As I began research for my Squarespace review, the first screen I was taken to was a place to select my desired template.
There are around 110 templates to choose from, with more being added regularly.
These are split into 15 categories; ranging from Photography to Events & Weddings and everything in between. There is also a section for ‘My Favorites’ - allowing you to find a previously-used template very quickly.
After selecting my desired template, I was taken to a place where I could set up my site name, followed by a quick tutorial on editing the site and creating pages.
As soon as this was done, I was into the editor itself and could get going with editing my site!
Squarespace site editor - sacrifices made for simplicity
Everything you'll ever need to edit your site will be neatly displayed in the side panel on the website preview.
Of that menu panel, there are 9 options to choose from, including Pages, Design, Commerce, and Marketing. In addition to those, there are options like Analytics and general site settings, as well as a Help option.
But here, I'll specifically talk about the design. Squarespace separates its design into two different types: global design (affecting all pages), and page design (editing each page by your specifications).
For global design, Squarespace has a helpful "Site Styles" editing option. The style editor allows you to edit all your site's buttons, fonts, colors, animations, and more. This way, you can easily maintain a consistent style throughout your website. That's something, that would be quite difficult to do manually.
You can access this by picking "Design" and choosing "Site Styles".
And then, you just have to choose whatever you wish to edit, and go to town with it!
The customization runs deeper than I can show in just a few images. For instance, a different font style, and size can be chosen for all headings, paragraphs, buttons, and other elements. And in Colors, you'll get a selection of various pre-made schemes, fitting your preferred picks.
So that's how the global design works. Let's move on to page editing.
The pages themselves can be edited by entering the Pages menu (nifty!). You'll be given a pre-made selection of demo pages you can edit, replace, or remove entirely.
On your left, there will be your entire website structure laid out, and you'll be able to edit each page by choosing it and picking "Edit" from the options at the top.
Previous Squarespace versions suffered from flat-design-itis, meaning that the editor's design was so flat and minimalist, it was genuinely difficult for the user to use. Back in early 2020, when Corona was still only a type of beer, I remember going through Squarespace, looking frantically for a way to insert a new element...
...and turns out, it was this little grey button right here:
Fast forward to now, and this Squarespace review simply can't write this stuff anymore. The platform sorted that problem right out. The editor is vibrant, easy to read, and understand.
To put it simply, entire Squarespace building system can be separated into sections and blocks.
Essentially, sections are made up of several content block arrangements, you can rearrange, add, or remove, to make the section look exactly how you want it.
When you choose to "Add section", you'll be sent to this menu, and offered to choose exactly what you wish to want to see on your website. There are several options – from image layouts to text, or even a contact form.
And then, within the sections, you'll be able to click on the simple + icon and insert some smaller individual details. Those I call "blocks".
Aside from the content block options, there are also options to do something like embed your Instagram profile, Twitter profile, SoundCloud link, and more.
Now, what is it like putting all these sections and blocks together into a functioning website? It's a mixed bag.
Squarespace may be known as a drag-and-drop builder, but it's actually quite restrictive. Instead of being able to place any element anywhere, you have work within the range of the provided grid.
Look at the example right here. You can only move the elements up and down. You can't drag and drop for parts of the text to be on an entirely different part of your page.
While that sounds pretty bad (and to some, it's certainly a negative!), I found two reasons why this is a pretty smart idea.
- The grid reduces the chances of messing up the design. Many of us, myself included, are not design experts, and a carefully-selected grid makes the websites just a little bit less messy.
- The grid allows for a seamless mobile browsing experience.
And it's the second point I want to expand a little bit on. I'm not breaking any news to anyone here – mobile browsing is massive, and in some markets, it's actually more important than desktop! So, your website, even when built on a desktop, has to be flawless on mobile as well.
With the grid, you don't have to worry about any of that. The website will be automatically converted. In fact, a "Mobile View" button at the top right corner of the editor will help you immediately access the mobile version.
The editor itself is a shared experience, meaning that anything you change on the desktop site, will be reflected on the mobile site. This is a nice feature for beginners or simply those who want an attractive and cohesive experience, cross-platform.
However, if you're an experienced designer, both this and the grid building system won't be your favorite. It's simple to use, but quite limiting – whether that's something you look for, is up for you.
Squarespace dashboard & navigation
Moving on from designing your website to building your business, there's one immediate thing worth noting: everything is available from the same menu I used when editing the website. It's a different approach from something like Wix, which keeps those two things strictly separate.
Now, let's roll back a bit: clicking a Squarespace logo at the top right corner will take you to the main Squarespace menu. It will show all of your websites, as well as allow you to make new ones.
Permissions, billing, and general settings can be updated here as well. The Domains tab on the top will show you all of your existing domains, and allow you to buy some new ones, and the account setting menu on the top right will handle all behind-the-hood stuff.
To make a long story short, I think that Squarespace is incredibly simple. To a fault, even.
The builder streamlines everything and crams a ridiculous amount of functionality in just a few minimalist pages. It may feel borderline unintuitive if you're used to other website building platforms, but if you're brand new, you'll find this a terrific way to do things.
Squarespace is truly the Apple of website builders.
Squarespace customer support
No matter how intuitive Squarespace aims to be, If you build (or at least try to build) your website, you might still run into some problems. In case of that, Squarespace offers a multitude of support options. There's a variety of stuff: from help guides to a forum and even online webinars, there's a lot you can do to get better at Squarespacing.
And if your problems are much more practical and you need immediate support, Squarespace also offers both email and live chat support options. The email option is available at any time, but it may take a couple of days to receive a response.
In terms of live chat, this is only possible during the specified opening hours, currently, from 4 AM to 8 PM EDT.
So, for this Squarespace review, I gave support a test with a simple, yet important high-resolution video request.
Since Squarespace prides itself on its functionality as a place for photographers and general content creators, I figured that they could give a me a quick response.
And indeed – they have. While I found out that I can't add 4K footage, the answer was concise, and everything was solved in just around 2 minutes.
And finally, if you just wish to have all the required information available in written form, there is an extensive knowledge base available as well. The Help Guides are a collection of articles with information about how Squarespace works, as well as guides on how to do certain things.
Overall, I found the customer support to be a place where Squarespace is doing a great job. I never found myself stuck with unanswered questions or resorting to searching the web for answers - this is a testament to the thorough Help Guides and stellar live chat support.
And to round it all off, I was really impressed with Squarespace's ease of use. It puts simplicity at the core of what it's doing, and beginners are bound to enjoy it.
- How many templates? - Squarespace offers over 110 crafted templates, divided into 15 categories.
- How do they look? - Pretty darn great! Each of the themes has its own niche, but none look out of place - this isn’t a website builder offering 5 great themes and 500 awful ones.
- How much do they cost? - Absolutely nothing. Whether you choose the entry-level or top-end plan, you’ll have access to all 110 templates at no extra cost.
Squarespace offers 110 templates at the time of writing, split up into many different categories including Photography, Local Business, Weddings, Entertainment, and more. All of these templates are completely free to use and edit as you like, no matter which plan you choose.
Personally, I came to love the way Squarespace’s templates look and feel – and all Squarespace reviews I ever read echo this sentiment. The themes are modern, fresh, and contemporary, following a fully responsive design. And even though some may look similar to each other, there are always subtle touches and changes that make them all look unique. No wonder Squarespace is one of the best website builders for photographers – beautiful, modern themes make the best out of high-quality photography.
Besides, that's how trendy websites look like these days. Gone are the times when every respectable website had to glow like a neon sign of a cheap diner.
The way the templates are categorized is very useful - since Squarespace has done a great job of actually fitting the design with the category. You won’t find anything out of place - in the Entertainment section there are just 6 templates, and each is perfect for its niche. If you want a place to show off your new music or tell the world about the new game you’re developing, this is where you should absolutely go.
And don't worry about the website becoming all too samey with other Squarespace users. Since you can choose between dozens of sections and blocks, any of these beautiful templates can get a dash of your secret spice blend.
If you don't wish to confine your selection to your business only, there is also a Popular Designs section, showing you all the hottest hits in one place.
But I've babbled too much already, I'll just let the visuals of the Popular Designs speak for themselves.
Sharper eyes in the audience have probably spotted something quite similar about these themes, didn't they?
Squarespace’s templates are focused on large attractive images. Hence, they will work well only with high-resolution imagery. If you don’t have access to your own high-quality images, you may find that the template loses some of its charms – since a low-quality image or simple block colors don’t have the same feel as those super high-resolution shots.
In case you’re planning to use stock images instead, then you’re in luck! Squarespace offers a pretty huge stock image gallery, provided by Unsplash, where you can find a high-quality stock image for pretty much anything you could think of. If not, you might want to have a look at your existing image library.
To put it simply, Squarespace has a great selection of themes, that look (and are!) very up-to-date. The only issue if that you'll need to pair it with some high-quality images.
Squarespace business features
- Selling online - Starting with the Commerce Basic plan at $26 per month, you’ll be able to sell online with Squarespace’s eCommerce solution with 0% transaction fees.
- Analytics - Offering both in-site analytics provided by Squarespace and the option to connect a Google Analytics account, Squarespace has your analytics covered.
- Marketing, blogging, and SEO - Squarespace focuses on in-house features here, and power users might feel a little bit stuck – but it'll be fine for beginners.
Squarespace has a wide variety of business features available on offer. The eCommerce is especially strong, and it's pretty much the only spot where Squarespace accepts help from third-party integrations. Everywhere else, it uses its own baked-in options. And they're pretty good, but a bit limiting: either hidden behind a paywall or just made to be as simple as possible.
In the last couple of years, eCommerce platforms have exploded in demand, and Squarespace works really hard on fulfilling it. Previously, some website builders have seen eCommerce as an afterthought, leaving "serious clients" to "serious platforms". Squarespace is trying to go all-out, offering a pretty powerful solution available right from the dashboard.
All you need to get started is to locate a "Commerce" option in the dashboard.
When I first started playing around with the Squarespace commerce, I was taken to a quick 5-step setup guide. It helped Squarespace determine what I needed for my personal online store. The questions ranged from what do I want to sell, to how many products I plan to have. You can sell both digital and physical product options.
And then, I only had to follow the two final things: adding some products into inventory, and connecting a payment gateway.
Adding the products is simple: it's done through the "Inventory" option on your Squarespace commerce menu. There you can also bulk upload your inventory from a CSV file – useful, if you're moving here from a different platform.
Now, this overview page left me a little surprised. When setting up my site and my eCommerce, I threw Squarespace a curveball and decided that I’m a musician that wanted to sell online. Why? There was no section for products relating to music, and I was forced to pick "Other" as my option.
From that, Squarespace not only automatically added a selection of vinyl records to my store page, but also some branded t-shirts. This was a real surprise but a very pleasant one!
It takes the workload way down, as the two main things I was planning on selling were already there for me, all I had to do was go in and manage the specifics.
And you don’t even need to worry about setting out checkout and payment pages because Squarespace sorts that one out, too. Of course in the Squarespace commerce settings, you can modify it to your liking if you want to.
And despite most of the Squarespace stuff being done in-house (discount codes, shipping, gift card functionality), there's still a somewhat decent amount of third-party Squarespace commerce tools you can use.
Squarespace extensions are mostly focused specifically on helping you sell online.
There are a lot of them available, from product label printing to overseas shipping management solutions, and plenty of stuff in between. Some of those options will ask you to pay extra – but that's to be expected.
Interestingly though, perhaps my favorite business/online sales tool here comes from Squarespace itself. Called Squarespace Scheduling, this is an excellent way to keep track of your appointments. Clients can book their own, pay online, and reschedule on the fly – you don't have to do absolutely anything.
Like many other business and eCommerce tools here on Squarespace though, it will cost extra – plans for Squarespace Scheduling start at $11/month.
Overall, Squarespace commerce is excellent. It's not a "dumbed down" version of something that's genuinely good; it is genuinely good.
And even when there are some omissions in what the platform itself can offer: with customer feedback, print-on-demand, smart stock management, and more, Squarespace offers just enough third-party extensions to keep everyone satisfied.
For an online business, analytics is a must – being able to track and measure what is successful and what isn't is very important. And in this Squarespace review, I found two ways to follow this information: either via Squarespace's own platform or Google Analytics.
The standard analytics on offer will display traffic information, such as how many views your site received, where they came from geographically, and which pages are the most popular.
The second part, which is focused on your online store and is only available on premium plans like Commerce Basic and Commerce Advanced, displays vital information such as the number of sales, total revenue made, and which products are selling well.
There is also what's known as a Purchase Funnel - this will display how the customer ended up buying your product: which pages did they visit, how long did they spend on each page, etc.
You are also able to connect your website to Google Analytics - the industry leader in tracking site information with immense levels of detail. This is what the pros use – and if you want professional insights, this is a great option to pick.
Overall, not bad. The fact you can use Google Analytics is truly the most important thing here. But the fact you can also use a solid in-house option makes it just a little bit sweeter.
Squarespace SEO and blogging
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) may be a buzzword, and its death may have been prematurely announced for years now, but the logic of it stays – it means optimizing your website and its content to look good for and on search engines. And for this, you need two things: content and some good content optimization.
So, let's start with blogging. Squarespace blogging tools are quite simple. Just choose to add a new page, pick "Blog" from the Collections provided, and you're good to go.
There, you can edit your post: I found the editor to be serviceable, but just a little bit awkward. It's an experience similar to building a website: not quite something like Google Docs or WordPress, where you can focus on your content first. The text isn't neatly separated in paragraphs, and applying various edits isn't as simple as on some of the leading options in the market.
SEO editing, however, will be quite simple and functional. By accessing the post settings, I was quick to locate to SEO option section, where I could add all of the important post-related data.
And if you're looking to make some global SEO changes, on the side menu of the Squarespace web hosting editor, there is a section dedicated only to SEO.
One of the links there leads to Squarespace's own SEO checklist. It has some useful basic information about the required SEO practices: adding site titles, SEO page descriptions, etc.
You can do all of this inside the Marketing tab on the menu.
Same way, you can use this menu to "Google Search Keywords" – this SEO tool enables you to track which keywords are attracting visitors and which aren’t. Blogger Kate Scott has shared how the keywords menu looks like when your Squarespace website is full of content, and already ranks for several keywords:
So, is Squarespace SEO good? Well, the SEO in Squarespace is really quite basic, and it's not a bad thing if you're looking for exactly that: the basics.
The checklist can be useful for beginners, but a lot of the keyword-based research can be accessed by simply connecting your site via Google Analytics.
As good as Squarespace can be in comparison to some of the best website builders for SEO, it still lacks a few key things that others like Wix offer.
Wix allows you to add verification tags from Google and other search engines to your site manually, and edit your robots.txt files in order to specify which pages Google should crawl through (and which ones it shouldn't).
Granted, this is advanced-level stuff, necessary mostly for power users, but it would've been nice to see Squarespace try a bit more here. Aside from that, pretty decent job.
Social media integration
Social media is where a lot of businesses either rise up, or fade into irrelevancy, so maintaining a good profile is really quite important.
Squarespace offers a few social media integrations to help you integrate your website with social media.
The usual suspects are there - social share for blog posts and new products to your store, plus the share buttons you can place anywhere on your page for users to quickly share your site to their friends/colleagues through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
For there's something a bit more interesting. I personally loved the Cover Page functionality, in which you can showcase your social media content on the website: making your social media and website act as extensions of one another.
There are some classic functions, too: such as customized sharing, whenever you make a new post on your site.
I was also happy to see the inclusion of Facebook Pixel, a function of Facebook ads, which allows you to add a code to your site which helps Facebook determine the quality of your ads and track the success of them.
You can also use the integrated Unfold utility, which allows you to quickly create and share Instagram stories for your latest and greatest products.
Overall, Squarespace works well with social media integration – if your business model revolves around it, this platform will be a solid pick.
Everyone has been exposed to email marketing. That's because it works. If you wish to announce a sale, a new post, or just have something really important to say, you should have a way to reach you visitors through emails.
This builder makes it easy to jump onto the email marketing service bandwagon, with an inbuilt Squarespace email campaigns feature.
Squarespace stays true to its "lovely-templates-for-all" roots, offering everyone a selection of premade themes, so your emails can look extra crispy even in the most basic of inboxes:
Unfortunately, this is not free-to-use, as Squarespace email campaigns comes with its own set of pricing plans with different levels of features, and support.
Starting at $5 per month on top of your plan, you’ll have access to 3 campaigns monthly, with up to 500 emails sent in total per month. You’ll also receive the ability to track your emails through the Analytics page. From there, the price rises to $10, $24, and $48 per month (all when paying annually).
The higher up in the plans you go, the more you’ll get. For instance, in the Max plan at $48 per month, you can create an unlimited number of campaigns with up to 250,000 emails - and starting from the Core plan at $10 per month you’ll have access to Email Automation - making sending loads of custom emails a lot more simple.
Now, is it fair that Squarespace hides this feature under a paywall?
I'll leave it for you to decide, but going through other website builders, I can only say that this is the standard practice of the industry. For instance, builders like Wix or GoDaddy also offer this option as a paid extra. So, this is nothing unusual.
Separate from Email Campaigns, Squarespace offers a Professional Email feature - allowing you to create an email address with the same name as your website. This way, instead of [email protected], you could catch me on [email protected]!
This professional email feature works on Google’s email platform – Gmail, and it's as simple as using your brand new email as a separate Google account.
And if you sign up for a Business plan or either of the Commerce plans, you’ll automatically be able to get this for free for a full year.
But the joy won't last too long.
After the year passes, you’ll be asked to pay up. It’s either $72 for a year, of $6 per month if you choose to pay monthly - so there is not a discount for paying annually.
Is it worth it? If you're planning to use your email to contact the people on behalf of your business, then it absolutely is. You absolutely can put a price on professionalism. And it's 6 bucks a month.
Website builders are notorious for being slow and clunky. All the custom images and design-centered elements tend to make the pages pretty slow.
However, Squarespace hosting is pretty good. The company keeps your data in servers all across the United States, and the overall performance from American locations is actually not bad and fits within the modern industry standards.
For the final showdown of this Squarespace review, I put in my page through GTMetrix: which measures the website's load time, and overall platform performance.
That's how it looked like:
It took under 3 seconds to load the website fully, which is within Google's recommended industry standard. In real life, it took just about a second to see the page loading, at that this a fairly reputable result.
There were no major issues to report on the Squarespace hosting performance, except that the website was deemed to be a fairly large file, and that servers could've been further optimized with some additional caching.
But other than that, it's pretty good. Performance is often where website builders struggle a lot, but Squarespace passes the test pretty well.
While Squarespace is a great choice for most users, for some, there's something better. Here are some of the best alternatives if you’ve decided that Squarespace isn’t for you.
Wix is a long-time recommendation for the best website builders for a good reason. If you're into the whole "hyper-focused editing experience" thing, but still want something relatively easy to use, Wix ticks off both boxes with confidence. It offers great editing options for both beginner and advanced users on a couple of platforms - the traditional Wix editor and the new Editor X - allowing for much more control over the code and elements of your site. Adding to that a large catalog of apps and you have the perfect concoction for a great website builder. Read our Wix vs. Squarespace comparison for more details.
Are you a website designer, looking for a functional way to build a website for yourself, and maybe someone else? Webflow is a very Adobe-like solution, helping you to build completely custom websites from scratch. Besides, full SEO customization is available for all plans. If you want to know how these two web building solutions stand up to each other, check out our Webflow vs Squarespace side-by-side comparison.
If your business model is all about selling online, you need a platform to match. This is Shopify's turf – this eCommerce platform includes an easy-to-run website builder, but it's the extensive eCommerce tools where it really shines. A preferred choice for many online businesses, big and small, Shopify is on the more expensive side. But it could be a shrewd investment. Read our Shopify vs Squarespace comparison to see the main differences between the two.
Other Squarespace comparisons you might want to read:
Squarespace review - The final verdict
Overall, I like Squarespace, and from this Squarespace review, I'm taking mostly positive impressions. Whether you will, depends entirely on your preferred website-building experience.
Squarespace purposely keeps you on a short leash. The editing is limited, and so is SEO, letting you edit (and ruin!) only parts of your website's identity. Even the extensions are limited and meant mostly for eCommerce – but everything concerning website building and website design, Squarespace keeps to itself. Probably just to make sure that everything works in unison.
And in unison, it works.
This is the most Apple-like website building experience in the market. It gives its users limited freedom but rewards them with excellent ease of use. It has fantastic templates, decent eCommerce, as well as solid business and marketing features.
So, to conclude my Squarespace review – if you just want a good-looking, functional website that takes minutes to set up and minimal effort to run, choose Squarespace. If you want a hyper-focused editing experience, with unlimited freedom to bend things to your will, this one's not for you.
But whatever you do – steer clear from the $18 plan.
Click the button below to visit and test Squarespace yourself!
Is Squarespace expensive?
Squarespace has prices that are within the industry standard. The cheapest plan costs $12 a month, the cheapest eCommerce plan costs $18 a month. There is also a 14-day free trial you can use to test this platform.
Is Squarespace good for beginners?
Squarespace is very suitable for beginners: its helpful setup guides and an intuitive website editor makes for a great combination if you have no prior website-building experience.
Can I add code to Squarespace?
Does Squarespace own my domain and content?
No. If you purchased a domain through Squarespace or registered a free one, it will still be yours if you cancel the service. The same applies to your content.
Is Square and Squarespace the same company?
No. Squarespace and Square are separate companies. They just happen to share similar names!
Are Squarespace sites secure?
Yes. Squarespace sites are automatically protected with free SSL certificates to improve security. This prevents hackers from impersonating you or stealing information from your visitors and customers.