Squarespace Review 2023: Pros & Cons of the Website Builder
Best value for money
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Best value for money
Squarespace Review Summary
With plans that start at $16/month and over 100 beautifully designed, mobile-optimized website templates, Squarespace is renowned for being one of the best-looking builders. But it’s also feature-rich, incredibly affordable, and easy to use, thanks to recent improvements to its editor.
Overall, Squarespace scores 4.7 out of 5 in our recent research, sitting in second place, just behind our top builder, Wix.
There are a lot of qualities that make Squarespace such a winner. Below, we’ll use our extensive research to take a deep dive into everything Squarespace, exploring its ease of use, pricing, design, website features, help and support, and customer satisfaction. Everything to make sure you’ve got all of the information you need to decide whether Squarespace is the right website builder for you.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Squarespace?
- Stunning templates optimized for desktops, tablets, and mobile devices
- Excellent marketing features, including email and social media support – perfect for business growth
- The best value for money out of all the builders we tested
- A top platform for customer support, with 24/7 email and weekly live chat support
- Doesn’t give full customizability with its basic editor – you’ll only be able to customize within your template’s preset rows
- The editor can be a little too manual – for example, you’ll be prompted to save your work after each change, but it doesn’t autosave on its own
Overview of Squarespace
Securing the silver medal in our latest website builder research, Squarespace is a tough one to beat, maintaining its previous score of 4.7 out of 5 since last year’s research. It’s a website builder designed to help creatives build their own websites and showcase their work, no matter their technical ability. And Squarespace’s latest version, 7.1, makes it easier than ever to enact sitewide design changes.
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of each research category, let’s explain our research process a little first. Our in-house research team carry out hours of in-depth research on every builder we write about, including hands-on testing, and Squarespace is no exception. We even got other people to use it and tell us what they thought, to make sure we’re giving you facts you actually want to know.
Here’s a quick overview of Squarespace’s recent scores:
We haven’t awarded Squarespace anything lower than a 4, meaning it’s one of the best website builders we’ve reviewed!
If you aren’t yet sure if Squarespace is the right option for you, you can use our website builder quiz and get matched with one. We’ll quickly cross-reference your needs with the features of each builder to deliver you our recommendation:
Take our website builder quiz and get matched in under a minuteTake Quiz
Here’s a small selection of websites built using Squarespace, to give you an idea of just what you can do with this website builder.
Squarespace Websites: Showcase
Squarespace Review Video
In a rush? If you’d prefer a video breakdown of Squarespace’s features, pricing, pros, cons, designs and more, we’ve got you covered! Sit back and relax as we show you what Squarespace is all about, and whether it’s right for you:
Who Is Squarespace Best For?
Squarespace is one of our top-rated builders, with high scores across all of our research categories and an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone. So who is Squarespace best for?
Who is Squarespace best for?
Squarespace is great for photographers, artists, and anyone who loves design and wants their website to look as good as the content they’re showing off online. This is where Squarespace shines! However, this does mean that if you don’t have high-quality images – or if you have a very text-heavy site – you may struggle to make the most of Squarespace’s visual designs.
It also comes with a good range of ecommerce tools, making it a great choice if you’re planning to open a store that has a small inventory, or only sells digital products. We wouldn’t recommend it for very complex or large stores.
Mostly, though, there’s something for everyone: More than 3.5 million people pay to keep using Squarespace after its free 14-day trial, and that’s a solid testament to the quality of results it delivers.
That said, there’s also a range of other functions that Squarespace websites do really well, and we’re going to review each one below:
Squarespace has a ton of built-in tools to support blogging. It’s especially effective if your blog features a lot of images – which is convenient, since 32% of marketers say visual images are the most important form of content for their business.
You can support multiple contributors, sync and share with social media, and use the Blog App to manage your blog from your mobile device. There are templates especially designed for blogging, making it easy to start a blog that flourishes!
There are a lot of small business websites that use Squarespace – you can see a selection on Squarespace’s “Our Customers” page.
Squarespace gives you everything you need for your business to succeed right from day one. Not only can you use Squarespace’s designs to create a unique brand, but you’ll have plenty of tools to make your life as easy as possible, including:
- Email campaigns
- Built-in analytics
- Ecommerce functions
- SEO tools
- Integrations with online tools such as G Suite and PayPal
We took a special look at how Squarespace performs for ecommerce sites, and we found it combined some really powerful features – such as its inventory system – with stunning ecommerce-specific designs. The result is a builder which makes your products shine, and gives customers a great idea of what they’re purchasing before they click the buy button.
According to our research, Squarespace easily keeps up with some of the biggest ecommerce names out there, sitting just behind Shopify with an impressive score of 4.5 out of 5. It’s a top choice for small or growing stores that want a truly on-brand storefront. Squarespace’s two ecommerce plans come with useful tools automatically included, from inventory management to abandoned cart recovery.
By pairing the Squarespace Commerce app with your Square account, you can even sell offline and keep it all synced in one place. You can easily take card payments on the move, and any sales will sync up with your online inventory.
As you’ve probably already figured out, Squarespace is ideal if you’re creating a portfolio or photography website. All its templates are created by in-house designers, and you can customize them to your heart’s content to make them as unique as your work.
Replace images, change fonts and colors, share on social media, and integrate with third parties such as Adobe Creative Suite and Google Drive to build a unique personal brand and establish your online presence.
What About a Scalable Website?
Squarespace offers unlimited storage and bandwidth straight away on its cheapest plan, so you don’t need to worry about running out of space. And its plans offer a healthy amount of features, meaning you shouldn’t need to upgrade too often.
Online stores can also sell unlimited products with no transaction fees, so you won’t hit a product limit as you would with some other website builders.
If you’re looking to launch an ecommerce empire, however, you may want to look at switching to a dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce to help maintain long-term growth.
- Best Website Builders for Photographers: Find out why Squarespace is the #1 website builder for photographers.
- How to Create a Photography Website: Want a few tips? We’ve covered everything you need to know about setting up a photography website in our guide.
- Squarespace Extensions: Want to see more of Squarespace’s additional features? We’ve ranked the best extensions for easily adding more ecommerce functionality to your site.
- Squarespace vs BigCommerce: See how Squarespace compares to a top ecommerce builder with our review.
- Squarespace Ecommerce Review: Want to sell online with Squarespace? Check out our full review.
- How to Sell Online: Want to sell online, period? Read our guide for tips on getting started.
Ease of Use
Using the Squarespace Editor
Since last year’s research, Squarespace’s ease of use score has seen an impressive increase of 11% to reach its new rating of 4.4 out of 5. This puts it in joint first with Wix for ease of use!
When navigating Squarespace’s editor, a handy tutorial is provided when you first get started, helping you to find your way around. It also provides a checklist, which beginners will appreciate, and it’s simple to use no matter your experience level.
Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder, but unlike other builders (such as Wix), you can’t just drag anything anywhere. It’s more section-based, which takes a little longer to get to grips with. Once you’ve spent a few minutes exploring, however, the added structure helps to keep your overall site design clean and tidy. In fact, one user that tested Squarespace for us thought it was better than Wix:
“My page ended up looking so much sleeker and neater than when I used Wix.”
However, if a flexible drag-and-drop editor is more your speed, you’re in luck! Squarespace’s recent update sees the launch of a new editor, Fluid Engine, which allows you to move elements to wherever you want them.
While Squarespace’s interface is modern and minimal, it can feel a little too clean at the start. It takes a few clicks to find the elements you’re looking for, and at times we wanted it to be more obvious where to find certain features.
That said, once you know what you’re doing, editing becomes fast and easy, and you’ll come to appreciate the uncluttered menus!
Squarespace is a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor.
This means that your website appears in the editor exactly as it would appear once it’s published, and you see any changes happening right in front of you.
The best part is, you don’t need to know a single line of code. You can use code if you want to, but one of Squarespace’s greatest strengths is that anyone can use it to create a professional website without ever worrying about their coding skills.
This is a very straightforward way of creating a website, as you know exactly what changes you’re making as you make them.
Our research doesn’t just mean analyzing data and comparing prices. We also got everyday people to test Squarespace for themselves and tell us exactly what they thought.
Overall, Squarespace was a big hit with our users, maintaining last year’s score of 4.5 out of 5 for customer satisfaction. Squarespace definitely knows how to keep customers happy!
Many of our users highlighted the aesthetic strengths of the templates, and the majority felt that it was easy to produce a good-looking website because of the structured editor. However, some would have liked to see more consistent prompts or tips when in the editor , to help them along with building their website.
When users were asked how likely they would be to recommend Squarespace, 92% said they would recommend it to others.
Here are a few things our users had to say about Squarespace:
“I felt like I was great at making websites but really it was just Squarespace doing it for me!”
However, Squarespace won’t be perfect for everyone, as one user found out:
“It’s annoying that you have to save changes as you edit, instead of it being done automatically.”
People mostly agreed the editor was uncluttered and simple to use, while others still thought it might take some time to learn your way around all of its features. Overall, though, our testers agreed that Squarespace really shines in terms of design, as well as the features and tools provided within templates.
Squarespace's Pricing and Value for Money
If value for money is an important factor for you, Squarespace is the best of all the builders. Since 2022, its value for money score has increased by 15% to sit at 4.6 out of 5.
Our 2023 research found that pricing has increased across all website builders, but Squarespace is the only builder that saw an increase to its value for money score, while every other builder’s score dropped. Squarespace has continued to justify its prices by improving its plans to match.
Squarespace has four website builder plans, ranging from
All yearly plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth, a free custom domain, and SSL security. As you upgrade, you’ll unlock extra features, such as ecommerce functions and promotional pop-ups.
The cheapest Squarespace plan is the Personal plan at
|Pricing Plans||Monthly Plan ($/month)||Annual Plan ($/month)||Savings (%)|
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Website Builder Plans
Squarespace has two plans dedicated to website building (rather than creating an online store):
- Personal plan:
$16/month, billed annually – best for setting up a new website
- Business plan:
$23/month, billed annually – best for a growing business
As the name suggests, the
If you want to really dive into selling online, you’ll need one of Squarespace’s ecommerce plans. These are specially designed for building online stores, and are the two most expensive plans:
- Basic Commerce plan:
$27/month, billed annually – best for small online stores
- Advanced Commerce plan:
$49/month, billed annually – best for growing stores
The Basic plan is best for setting up an online store and starting to grow your ecommerce business.
The Advanced Commerce plan is the most expensive at
Is Squarespace Good Value?
According to our research ratings, yes! In fact, our ratings show Squarespace is the best value website builder on the market right now, and it’s the only builder in our testing that saw an increase to its score since last year. Sure, it’s not the cheapest builder, but you definitely get what you pay for with Squarespace. For this reason, we awarded Squarespace a score of 4.6 out of 5 in this category. For $16 per month, you get great designs, features, and service for your money. A real bargain for a high-quality product!
The main drawback to Squarespace’s prices is its lack of a free plan. This means that once your 14-day free trial is up, or you want to publish your website, you’ll need to commit and upgrade to a premium plan. This puts Squarespace at a slight disadvantage when weighed alongside other top builders like Wix and GoDaddy, both of which offer a free plan.
Despite this, Squarespace’s plans are very competitive. When judging value for money, we suggest looking at the features you’re getting. For example, Squarespace’s cheapest
While Squarespace sadly doesn’t have a free plan like some website builders, it does offer a 14-day free trial on all its paid plans – all you need is an email and password to get started.
Once you’re ready to choose a paid plan, you can save money by purchasing an annual plan, or applying a discount code. There’s also a 14-day money-back guarantee, so you’ll get a refund if you cancel within the first two weeks.
- Squarespace Pricing Review: For an in-depth look at the pricing for each Squarespace plan.
How Good Are Squarespace’s Templates?
The most recent version of Squarespace is 7.1 – if you make a new website today, you’ll automatically be using this latest version. We recommend sticking to version 7.1 as this is the most recent version that Squarespace is running, so you’ll be all up to date.
However, you may see mention of version 7.0, and some people still prefer to use this version. The main difference is how the templates work.
In version 7.0, there are different template “families” that each have unique style rules and features. You can customize these templates a lot, but if you start to dislike the underlying structure of your chosen template family, you’ll have to choose a new one.
On the other hand, all of the templates in version 7.1 are part of the same template family – but you’re offered more design freedom, to the point where you won’t need to switch template families in order to change the underlying structure of your template.
If you want to use version 7.0, scroll down to the bottom of the template library and select “Looking for templates from an earlier version?” This will take you to 7.0 version designs. Both versions cost exactly the same.
Squarespace scores an impressive 4 out of 5 for its template selection and options – it offers over 130 professionally designed website themes!
This might seem like a very small number compared to Wix’s 800+ templates, but Squarespace goes for quality over quantity… and succeeds beautifully.
One user had this to say about Squarespace’s templates:
“The questions Squarespace asks about your business at the start really helps to find the perfect template for you.”
With their sleek, stylish, and modern designs, all of Squarespace’s templates are created to meet its standards of “great design, usability, and performance.” All templates are free to preview and edit, since this is included in your monthly subscription.
Squarespace’s templates are designed to accentuate visual elements, and you can browse templates by category and industry for ease. Each template comes with features and layouts specially designed to match the industry it was made for, but you can easily switch up any template’s design and features to match your needs.
Plus, all Squarespace templates are mobile responsive, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on any mobile visitors (this is a major perk, since 74% of users are more likely to return to mobile-friendly websites!).
When it comes to design, Squarespace excels. It wiped the floor in this category, scoring 4.7 out of 5. To put that into context, Wix is the only builder to get close with a score of 4.6 out of 5, and all other builders had a design rating of 4.1 or below.
Squarespace’s templates are highly flexible, meaning you can easily make them your own – you can replace images, add and delete sections, enter text, and manage multiple pages at once.
And, if you’re using Squarespace 7.1, you can utilize the newest editor, Fluid Engine, which allows you to drag-and-drop elements for complete creative control. Without it, you can only move certain elements around, and reformat the image layout by changing your design settings – for example, by creating a collage or making images overlap.
Squarespace doesn’t afford the same kind of creative control offered by Wix or WordPress. Its editing process is more structured, and you won’t be able to drag elements wherever you like, unless you’re using its Fluid Engine editor. Instead, you’ll need to work within the template’s basic layout. One benefit of this is that it makes it pretty hard for you to create a bad-looking site, but if you have a particular design in mind, then these restrictions can become frustrating.
One thing to note about Squarespace is that it assumes you have high resolution photos to fill the large image blocks dominating most of its templates. These blocks are what make Squarespace’s designs so visually impressive, and if you don’t have high-quality images to fill the templates, you might struggle to create a polished website.
If you don’t have your own photos, Squarespace has a partnership with Getty Images, so you can search through stock pictures there. Some are free, while others (usually more professional snaps) cost around $10 each.
If you have some coding knowledge, you can go the extra mile and use those skills to tailor fonts, colors, and backgrounds for a truly unique style. Squarespace recommends only using custom code for more cosmetic changes like these, because trying to edit the layout of your site could have harmful effects.
Even without code, you can customize fonts, colors, backgrounds, images, text, and headings. You can add pages, manage your menu structure, and more. Squarespace’s aim is to help creative ideas succeed – so it makes sense for you to have the freedom to express your own style in its templates.
- Squarespace Templates Review: Learn more about Squarespace’s designs in our full review.
- How to Use Squarespace: Need a helping hand? Our guide will walk you through customizing your Squarespace template.
Although design is Squarespace’s strong suit, that doesn’t mean it has neglected its features. After all, what good is a stunning website that can’t actually do anything?
For features, Squarespace sits just behind Wix with an enhanced score of 4.6 out of 5 – a 4% boost to its rating since last year’s research.
All of Squarespace’s features are top-notch and jump across a number of different industries, so there’s something to suit everyone, and it’s recently improved its offering of third-party apps and internal features, such as online bookings and scheduling.
That said, many features – including marketing and SEO – remain the same between versions 7.0 and 7.1.
Social Media Integration
Squarespace makes it easy to share the joy by linking your accounts from over 20 social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You can sync with Dropbox for simple access to photo collections, or import content straight to your site from Instagram, Twitter, and more. You can even host your own podcast on your Squarespace website, and publish it to Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
As well as this, you can feature social feeds on your website, making it easy for visitors to keep track of your updates all in one place.
SEO & Marketing
SEO (which stands for Search Engine Optimization) is what gets your website ranking higher in search results.
Squarespace has good SEO, scoring a perfect 5 out of 5 for its SEO tools, and its pages all follow SEO best practices. It gives you a wide range of abilities, such as managing titles and adding keywords and alt text, that can help make your website easier to find on search engines. Out of all the website builders we tested, Squarespace is one of the best – coming joint first with Wix and WordPress.com.
Squarespace is incredibly beginner-friendly when it comes to handling SEO best practices, providing prompts in the editor when building your site and guiding you through each stage.
When it comes to marketing, you can either integrate Mailchimp or use Squarespace’s all-in-one Email Campaigns platform to run – you guessed it – email campaigns.
This in-house system is a great way of unifying your brand across all aspects of your website, from your homepage to your marketing messages.
Combine this with SEO tools and social media integration, and the internet will really have to sit up and pay attention.
Although the majority of Squarespace’s features come built into its platform, it also has an app store in case you want to add any extra features. Our recent research even awarded Squarespace’s app market 4 out of 5, which is a huge increase from last year’s score of 2 out of 5!
In the Squarespace Extensions store you’ll find 24 carefully chosen third-party apps (or ‘plugins’) designed to help you manage, grow, and optimize your site.
Squarespace’s plugins are split into four main categories:
- Shipping and Fulfillment
- Inventory and Products
- Sales and Marketing
You’ll find a mix of free and paid apps including Printful, Quickbooks, ShipStation, and TaxJar – so although the selection isn’t huge, you should find enough to give your website a boost!
Your domain name is the website address people use to find you – for example, ours is websitebuilderexpert.com. You can easily buy a domain from Squarespace, or connect your own domain if you already have one.
You get a free domain for a year if you sign up to an annual paid plan. This is only free for the first year – after that, your domain will renew at the standard rate.
Domain prices vary between $20 and $70 per year – this is more money than you’d pay for a domain from a third-party registrar, but you’re paying for the convenience of registering it in-house and keeping it all under the same roof. More specific domains, such as example.legal or example.salon, are more expensive than basic domains like example.com.
All Squarespace and third-party domains come with free SSL certificates when connected to your Squarespace site.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it encrypts any information entered on your website. SSL is particularly important for sites which process payments, such as online stores.
Squarespace has built-in security to fight off malware and unwanted bugs, and DDoS protection to help protect your site from malicious traffic. (DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service, and it’s basically an attack where your site is flooded with traffic to make it unavailable to its users.)
Thankfully, Squarespace doesn’t leave you to fend for yourself – it has quality protection in place to keep your website safe.
Backups & Restores
Unfortunately, Squarespace doesn’t include autosave in its editor. This puts the responsibility on the user to remember to hit “save” regularly. It seems a pretty basic feature to include in its editor, so we’re unsure why Squarespace doesn’t autosave for you, especially when plenty of its competitors, such as Wix, do have an autosave feature.
However, Squarespace does let you restore deleted pages and blog posts up to 30 days after they’ve been deleted – so there’s no need to panic! Squarespace makes backup copies of your website and stores them in primary and secondary servers, as well as storing files in physical and off-site storage disks.
And if you’re editing on the go from your phone, you won’t lose your work if the internet cuts out!
If you run a business that revolves around customer appointments, fear not! Squarespace has you covered with its Squarespace Scheduling feature.
This makes it super simple for your site visitors to book appointments and classes, displayed by the times that you’re available. It also allows them to pay online and reschedule if they need to.
- If you need to read more about domains, check out our domain name guide, or our full breakdown of domain name costs.
Squarespace's Help and Support
Squarespace is a top website builder for help and support which is what you’d expect from such a high-quality platform. It sits in first place, alongside Wix and IONOS, with a near perfect score of 4.8 out of 5. Squarespace previously scored 5 out of 5 for support, but we’ve not noticed any considerable improvements since last year, and with prices also increasing, the builder’s support score has dropped by 5%.
However, Squarespace is still one of the best for support! But why? It all comes down to its small but high-quality range of support options:
- Live chat Monday to Friday
- 24/7 social media support via Twitter
- 24/7 email support
- In-depth knowledge base
- Community forum
- Video tutorials
We also love how Squarespace affords everyone the same level of 24-hour support, no matter what plan you’re on. Competing builders like Wix aren’t so straightforward, allowing higher paying customers to skip the line and giving them extra perks such as VIP phone support.
Squarespace Alternatives to Try
If you try Squarespace’s 14-day free trial and find it’s not for you, you can check out these alternative website builders instead (click on the links to read each builder’s full review):
Squarespace Review: Summary
Squarespace is a powerful website builder with excellent features and some of the best template designs we’ve ever seen. It’s a strong all-rounder that delivers on ecommerce features as well as website tools, and its quality is clear in its incredibly high overall score of 4.7 out of 5.
We wholeheartedly recommend Squarespace. It wowed us and our research participants during testing, and received an impressively high “likely to recommend” score from our users, not to mention its near-perfect scores in website features, design, and help and support.
And if money is a concern, Squarespace offers the best value for money, beating out the competition with a rating of 4.6 out of 5.
Overall, we’d say that Squarespace is ideal for anyone wanting a beautiful, cost-effective, and feature-packed website without needing coding skills.
You will need a minimum of
Read our Squarespace Pricing Review for a full breakdown of how to choose the right price plan for you.
Although it doesn’t come with any inbuilt SEO best practice prompts, it does offer a handy SEO checklist in its knowledge base.
Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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