A Dream for Creatives
Squarespace Review Summary
Squarespace plans start at
Squarespace offers built-in tools that support bloggers, small business owners, and creatives. G Suite and PayPal integrations are available, plus SEO tools, ecommerce functions, and easy social media integration. You don’t need any coding skills to use Squarespace, but a little technical confidence will help a lot. Squarespace’s new version, 7.1, also allows for more design customization than ever.
- Stunning templates optimized for desktops, tablets and mobile devices
- Squarespace mobile apps allow you to edit pages, blog posts, and ecommerce functions on-the-go
- Ability to restore deleted posts and pages for up to 30 days
- Can be tricky to get to grips with at first, so it’s not the fastest builder to create a website with
- 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
Squarespace is a website builder designed to help creatives build their own websites and showcase their work, no matter their technical ability. Squarespace’s latest version, 7.1, makes it easier than ever to enact sitewide design changes.
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, and 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.
Mostly, though, there’s something for everyone: more than 2 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.
We carry out hours of in-depth research on every builder we write about, 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.
Before we start dishing out truths, here’s a quick overview of how Squarespace scored:
This review will break down the real questions behind these scores: how easy is Squarespace to use? How good are its templates? What tools does Squarespace have? And what will it cost you?
If you’re already sold on Squarespace as a platform, but aren’t sure which plan to go for, hit the ‘Start Now’ button below. We’ll quickly cross reference your needs with the features of each plan to deliver you our recommendation:
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
Using the Squarespace Editor
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.
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. The Squarespace editor becomes easier the more you use it – you’ll simply need a little time and patience to really get the most out of it.
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. And as our user testing revealed, you won’t be left in the dark trying to build distinct pages, either:
“Squarespace offers structured content for you, so if you select a “Contact” page for example, it won’t just give you a form. It will give you multiple options regarding different fields you may want to enter and different designs to choose from to make that page.”
How Does Squarespace Compare to Others?
However, as we’ve said, Squarespace is not 100% beginner friendly. It’s not as simple to use as Wix or Weebly, and takes longer to get used to. Whereas with Wix you can just jump straight in and get building, with Squarespace, we recommend reading some help articles first. We’ve put together a handy step-by-step guide to get you started. It’s a good idea to explore the editor to familiarize yourself, too.
Squarespace is best for people with patience, or those who have some technical confidence.
Our research doesn’t just mean analyzing data and comparing prices. We got everyday people to test Squarespace and tell us exactly what they thought.
Overall, Squarespace did present a challenge to our participants, but still earned some impressive scores. People responded positively when we asked them for feedback, with Squarespace’s strong templates and intuitive design drawing special praise.
When users were asked how likely they would be to recommend Squarespace, the builder scored full marks.
Here are a few things our users had to say about Squarespace:
“It effectively puts a lot together for you in one go, which is great. It looks incredible, too.”
“I would argue that the time someone puts into understanding how this product works is imperative before onboarding. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone that they could build a site with Squarespace if they wanted a site up within a couple of hours. Realistically, this is how long you would need to understand the back system and the interface to then make it a little easier.”
People mostly agreed it would take some time to learn your way around Squarespace. However, they also agreed the builder really shone when it came to design, as well as the features provided within templates.
With Squarespace AI, after you hit ‘Get Started’, it’ll ask you for the ‘goal of your website’ (e.g. “Promote my business”). You’ll then have the option to choose from a selection of recommended templates, or Squarespace will make something bespoke for you based on your font/layout/imagery preferences. The choice is all yours.
Squarespace has four price plans, ranging from
All yearly plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth, a free custom domain, and SSL Security. You unlock extra features as you upgrade, including ecommerce functions and promotional pop-ups.
The cheapest Squarespace plan is the Personal plan at
|Pricing Plans||Monthly Plan ($/month)||Annual Plan ($/month)||Savings (%)|
|Ecommerce Basic Plan||$30||$26||13%|
|Ecommerce Advanced Plan||$46||$40||13%|
Heads up: Get 10% off of your Squarespace plan
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 highest price plans:
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?
You get what you pay for with Squarespace, and in our research we found it offered pretty good value. Is it the cheapest platform available? No. Do you get great designs, features, and service for your money? Yes.
The main drawback to Squarespace’s prices is its lack of a free plan. Its actual price plans are pretty competitive when you compare them to other top website builders on the market.
Always look at the features you’re getting for your money. 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 choosing 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.
As we said earlier, Squarespace is the best website builder for artists, designers and anyone who wants to show off their visual work online (there’s a reason Squarespace ranks #1 on our list of the Best Photography Website Builders).
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.
There are a lot of small business websites that use Squarespace – you can see a selection on Squarespace’s “Our Customer” 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 have the 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.
Squarespace isn’t the best ecommerce platform out there, but 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. Easily take card payments on the move, and any sales will sync up with your online inventory. Check out this short video for more on how Squarespace and Square work together:
Want to sell online, period? Check out our guide to selling online for tips on getting started.
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, integrate with third parties such as Adobe Creative Suite and Google Drive, and more 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.
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 has 113 templates, which seems like a very small number compared to Wix’s 500+ templates. Squarespace goes for quality over quantity – and succeeds beautifully.
Our users weren’t just praising Squarespace’s templates for being pretty – they were impressed by the quality of features as well as the design:
“The template not only provided me with an incredible looking site, but also all the features I’d need to be successful.”
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, as this is included in your monthly subscription.
Most of the creatives we’ve spoken to appreciate how Squarespace templates are designed to accentuate visual elements.
USER REVIEW: JEFFJOHNSONSTORIES
“I like Squarespace’s Momentum template because it’s simple and easy to use. I don’t get bogged down with technical gimmicks because there are none. It frees me up so that I am able to work on what’s important.”
Photographer Jeff Johnson created his portfolio website with Squarespace because of its simple editor and visually engaging templates.
You can browse templates by category and industry if you like. 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.
All Squarespace templates are mobile responsive, so you don’t worry about missing out on any mobile visitors (this is a major plus, since 74% of users are more likely to return to mobile-friendly websites!).
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.
While it’s not a “pure” drag-and-drop builder, you can drag certain elements around, and can reformat the image layout by changing your design settings – for example, by creating a collage or making images overlap.
One thing to note about Squarespace is that it assumes you have high resolution photos to fill the large image blocks that dominate most of its templates. These are what make these designs so visually impressive, and if you don’t have high-quality images to fill the templates, you might struggle.
If you don’t have your own photos, Squarespace has a partnership with Getty images, so you can search through stock pictures for ones to use. Some are free, while others (usually more professional snaps) cost around $10 each.
For those of you with 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, as 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’s version 7.1 has added a new Design panel, which makes it super simple to make sitewide changes to colors, fonts, and spacing. Version 7.1 also lets you add pre-built sections to any page, to create custom layouts out of text, images, and media.
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 accounts from over 20 social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. 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 stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is what gets your website ranking higher in search results.
Squarespace has good SEO, and its pages all follow SEO best practices. It gives you the tools to make the most of what’s there, such as managing your titles and adding keywords and alt text.
However, Squarespace isn’t the most beginner-friendly when it comes to SEO, so beginners will need to be prepared to adopt a hands-on approach to their site’s ranking. There are guides to help you in Squarespace’s support pages, which offer a very thorough introduction to SEO. This might seem a little overwhelming for beginners, so make sure to take some time to read through it all.
When it comes to marketing, you can either integrate MailChimp, or use Squarespace’s all-in-one platform Email Campaigns 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. In the Squarespace Extensions store you’ll find 24 carefully chosen third-party apps designed to help you manage, grow, and optimize your site.
Squarespace’s apps 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 expensive than you’d pay for a domain from a third-party, but you’re paying for the convenience of registering it in-house. 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 encrypts any information entered through your website. This makes it extremely important for sites which process payments, such as online stores.
Squarespace has built-in security to fight off malware or unwanted bugs, and DDoS Protection helps protect your site from malicious traffic. (DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service, an attack whereby your site is flooded with traffic to make it unavailable to its users.)
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.
However, Squarespace does let you restore deleted pages and blog posts up to 30 days after they’ve been deleted – so 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. They really have thought of everything!
In 2019, Squarespace acquired the online booking platform Acuity Scheduling. The Squarespace Scheduling feature was then launched in early 2020. Squarespace Scheduling builds all of Acquity’s features into your Squarespace account, which means it’s super simple for your site visitors to book appointments and classes, displayed by the times that you’re available.
Squarespace comes third in our research for help and support, earning a 4.0/5. This number comes from Squarespace’s 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
So, you might be wondering, why doesn’t Squarespace get a perfect 5/5? That’s because this builder doesn’t currently offer phone support, which is an important factor for some. Despite this, we still rate Squarespace for its customer care – especially its incredibly in-depth knowledge base.
The Squarespace knowledge base comes packed with articles, guides, and video tutorials. You can even sign up for webinars or join in discussions on the community forum.
We definitely recommend checking the knowledge base first, as you’re highly likely to find your answer without needing the live chat or email support at all.
Squarespace is a powerful website builder with high quality 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.
Our biggest problem with Squarespace is its ease of use. While it’s easy to use once you’ve spent some time exploring its editor, it’s not instantly beginner-friendly. This means it’s not the quickest way to publish a website – it takes some time and thought. We also wish there was an autosave feature.
That said, we do whole-heartedly recommend Squarespace. It wowed us and our research participants during testing, and received an impressively high “likely to recommend” score from our users.
Overall, we recommend Squarespace to anyone wanting a beautiful, feature-packed website without needing coding skills. You won’t have a website in minutes, but the amount of creative freedom and in-house tools more than make up for it.
You will need a minimum of
If you try Squarespace’s 14-day free trial and find it’s not for you, check out these alternative website builders (click on the links to read each builder’s full review):
- Wix – easier to use than Squarespace, but its designs aren’t as good
- Weebly – cheaper starting price than both Wix and Squarespace, good for small businesses
- Site123 – very basic builder, but great live chat support
- Strikingly – ideal for one-page websites, and offers great value
- WordPress.com – amazing blogging features and cheap starter price
Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan, meaning you have to sign up to one of its four premium plans. However, Squarespace does offer a 14-day free trial, so you can try out the website builder and all of its features before committing to a paid plan.
Squarespace has four premium plans. The cheapest is the Personal plan, starting at $12 a month (billed annually). The Business plan is $18 a month, with more advanced features than the Personal plan. The two ecommerce plans are the Basic plan at $26 a month, and the Advanced plan at $40 a month.
Read our Squarespace Pricing Review for a full breakdown of how to choose the right price plan for you.
Squarespace isn’t the cheapest website builder out there, but the level of customization and professional designs available means you’re paying for a high quality service. You can save money by signing up to a yearly plan – plus check out our official Squarespace offer code for a discount.
Squarespace currently supports six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. You can create multilingual sites by creating different pages for each language.
Yes! Squarespace is not a specialized ecommerce builder like Shopify, but it does offer great ecommerce features which are integrated into its professional template designs. These features include a built-in shopping cart, unlimited products, and the ability to sell physical, digital and service-based products. Read our in-depth Squarespace ecommerce Review for more details.
Yes! Squarespace has all the standard SEO tools built in to help your page rank in search results, such as title tags, keyword targeting, and mobile friendly pages. But Squarespace also goes the extra mile, allowing you to customize your website title to be different from your URL (among other inspired touches).
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 email@example.com.
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