How to Use Squarespace: 9 Easy Steps

how to use squarespace featured imageSquarespace is a design lover’s dream – and if you’re looking to quickly build a website in the creative industry, it’s essential. Why? Because it offers the largest palette of creative tools around. And best of all, anyone can use it.

Don’t believe us? One user mentioned during our testing:

“I feel like a proper designer, though I don’t have the actual skills to call myself a professional.”

You might already be starting to see what kind of service Squarespace provides. And it’s not just us who love it either. Over a million people have continued with a premium plan after their free trial, so it’s clearly popular.

Like all website builders, Squarespace has made it easier than ever to get online. It saves you time, not to mention heaps of cash on web designers. Better yet, a Squarespace website is the closest you’ll get to professional quality.

It provides such good website results because its design tools are more advanced than most others. The features can be tricky at first, but don’t worry – we’ve got some handy tips to make Squarespace seem super simple.

How to Use Squarespace in 9 Simple Steps

  1. Sign up
  2. Choose a price plan
  3. Select a theme
  4. Add a domain
  5. Add and edit pages
  6. Design your Squarespace website
  7. Integrate marketing tools
  8. Add ecommerce features
  9. Publish your Squarespace website

We’re going to show you how to use Squarespace in nine easy steps, covering everything from signing up to publishing. The largest chunk of this guide focuses on design (no surprises there), because there’s so much to play with.

After reading this article, you’ll be able to choose a price plan, add a domain, and get stuck into all the design features. It may sound like a lot, but building a website with Squarespace is not only enjoyable, but takes just a few hours.

Building with Squarespace really is a creative journey, and we’re here to guide you through it. So let’s get started…

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Ease Of Use

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Design Flexibility

4.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

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Help and Support

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Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Further Information

Before we start, why not read our Squarespace Review?

Check out our Squarespace Pricing Review for details on plans, pricing, free trials, and more.

If you decide to build with Squarespace, make sure to use our Exclusive Squarespace Offer Code to get a 10% discount.

How does Squarespace perform next to its competitors? Find out in our Website Builder Comparison Chart.

Or, check out our interactive guide on the Top Website Builders on the market today.

1

Sign up

Firstly, then, head to Squarespace.com. You’re welcomed with a clean, stylish homepage with clear action buttons. This gives you an idea of the elegant sites Squarespace can help you build.

Before you start building, like most people, you’re probably thinking about costs. But don’t worry: Squarespace offers a 14-day Free Trial, so you can try before you buy.

To start, click ‘Start A Free Trial’ in the center, or ‘Create A Site’ top right.

squarespace homepage
The Squarespace homepage has clearly labelled ‘Free Trial’ buttons
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Are You Ready to Start Building?

Jump on Squarespace’s 14-day free trial to start creating your very own website. No pesky payment details needed!
2

Choose a price plan

Once your free trial ends (or if you feel like upgrading), you’ll need to subscribe to a paid plan. Squarespace has four price plans:

  • Personal ($16 per month)
  • Business ($26 per month)
  • Ecommerce Basic ($30 per month)
  • Ecommerce Advanced ($46 per month)

Of course, the plans all differ in the features they provide. But if you’re concerned about costs, you can save between 13% and 25% if you sign up for an annual plan. This means they work out at $12, $18, $26, and $40 per month, respectively.

But what do they provide? Well, as you would expect, you get more if you pay more. For example, the Personal Plan is perfect for portfolios and blogs, but isn’t right for users with business ambitions, because it cannot sell items for you. It also doesn’t provide third party integrations like Mailchimp or OpenTable, or promotional pop-ups.

The two ecommerce plans offer zero transaction fees, while Business charges you 3%. So think about your budget and what you’d like your website to be capable of.

We have an exclusive offer code for our readers that will save you 10% on the cost of any Squarespace plan! All you need to do is enter code WBE at the checkout.

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Did You Spot Your Perfect Plan?

Compare prices and features, then save 10% with our exclusive offer code – simply enter WBE at checkout to save!
3

Select a theme

Choosing a Squarespace theme is fun. It has some of the best designed templates around, and the layout is interactive. You can even narrow your search down by typing your website’s purpose; ‘To promote my restaurant’, for instance, or ‘Photography portfolio’.

squarespace templates
Squarespace offers over 40 stunning template designs

Alternatively, you can quickly scan the ‘Top Categories’ on the left hand side. These include everything from ‘Online Stores’ and ‘Restaurants’ to ‘Weddings’ and ‘Blogs & Podcasts’.

There’s space for every website, so simply click and search for the perfect template. Each thumbnail comes with a descriptive sentence to help you decide. Don’t feel pressured, though – you can preview each one, or save a list of your favorites using the small heart next to each name.

Found your favorite? Click ‘Start With X’. We’ve gone with Hayden in the image above, one of the most popular Squarespace themes. Before you start editing, however, you just need to add some quick personal details (see below).

squarespace account information menu
You just need a few details to start your free Squarespace trial
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Are You Ready to Get Creative?

Squarespace offers a range of stunning templates for you to customize. Browse designs, choose your favorite, and get creating!
Love to know more about Squarespace’s template designs? Check out our Squarespace Template Review.
4

Add a domain

Before making your website look good, it needs a nice name.

Your website will be auto assigned a Squarespace URL. For example, our demo website name is:

cardioid-hexaflexagon-jtyr.squarespace.com

Looking to save some cents? You can change the first part of the URL for free (in our case that’s ‘cardioid-hexaflexagon-jtyr’), but you’ll still be stuck with ‘.squarespace.com’.

For a professional page, we recommend getting your own domain. Take a look at www.slowtravelmagazine.com, a stunning Squarespace site with a URL to match.

This can be done easily by clicking ‘Settings’ on the home panel, then ‘Domains’. From here you can update the built-in domain, buy a new domain, or add your own existing domain.

squarespace domain menu
You can edit or add Squarespace domains with just a few clicks
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What Will Your Website Be Called?

You want your domain to be unique, simple, and catchy. Don’t wait for someone else to claim your domain – once it’s gone, it’s gone!
5

Add and edit pages

Take a look at the editing homepage below. You have the home panel on the left hand side (where you add stuff), and the site preview on the right.

The Squarespace home panel is the content management menu. It features all the tools you need to create your website, and they’re categorized into:

  • Pages
  • Design
  • Commerce
  • Marketing
  • Analytics
  • Settings
  • Help

So how does Squarespace work? Unlike its competitor Wix, it doesn’t use drag-and-drop design. It takes a few more clicks to create stuff. With Squarespace, the cursor is your minesweeper – hover over an element, and it reveals what you can do.

Like to know more about Wix and Squarespace? Read our Wix vs Squarespace Comparison.
squarespace editor homepage
The Squarespace editor homepage is intuitive, with a simple home navigation menu

Adding pages

To add a new Squarespace page, simply click the ‘+’ on the ‘Pages’ section on the left side home panel. Here you can add a blank page, or more specific pages like blogs, galleries, and product pages. This means you don’t need to spend time searching hundreds of apps.

squarespace create new page menu
You can add blank pages or ready-made blog pages easily

After you’ve added a new page, you’ll have a blank canvas. You just need to enter a page title, pick a ‘Starter Layout’, then click ‘Start Editing’.

To add content blocks and elements, just click the ‘+’ in the top right, or hover between blocks and click the line that appears. You’ll then have a content blocks menu appear (see below) where you can add all sorts of media, such as images, videos, and buttons.

squarespace content block menu
Squarespace lets you add a wide range of media elements

Inspired to customize everything yourself? Just delete each demo page and repeat the same process. Click the cog icon next to the page name, and then ‘Delete’. Then get creating!

Edit pages

Don’t have the time to create new blank pages? No problem – just stick with the demo pages and edit the names. Click the cog icon, and then you’ll see a pop-up allowing you to update the Navigation Title and body text. You can’t change the fonts here, just the page names (we’ll get onto that later).

To reshuffle the page order, simply click and drag each page name up or down. You can really make the website template your own. Alternatively, click ‘Manage Sections’ in the top right corner of the site preview page.

squarespace page title editor
The page editor pop-up lets you update the navigation title and body text quickly
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Got the Basics Down?

Squarespace isn’t the fastest builder around, but with a little patience you’ll soon be building like a pro. Jump in and give it a go!
6

Design your Squarespace website

Squarespace is a powerful designer, but its beauty is in the fine details. This means it’s worth spending some time playing around with the tools. In fact, one person we interviewed during our testing said:

They offer a vast range of design types, which were really really nice. They all stand out.

But, of course, we’re here to help. So we’ll go over everything you need to personalize your Squarespace website to the highest standard.

Editing text

Scroll to the page area you’d like to edit on the right side preview page, then move the cursor over the top left corner. It will then highlight the section you’ll be editing. Click ‘Edit’, and you can update the text.

squarespace text box editor
You can update the demo text boxes to personalize your website further

To change the font size and color, click ‘Style Editor’ in the ‘Design’ section of the left side home panel. Then just scroll and click each text box you want to change. You’ll see all the text editor options revealed. See below for the ‘Style Editor’ options.

squarespace typeface editor
The Squarespace ‘Style Editor’ lets you get creative with the typeface color, size and font

Adding images

Imagery and Squarespace go hand in hand. It’s where you really get to see the finer details and creative flexibility of the site. To edit the template’s images, hover the cursor in the top left corner, then over an image, then click ‘Edit’. Easy.

squarespace image editor
Updating images is made simple with the hovering function

From here, you can replace the image by clicking the garbage can. You can either upload an image, or search for a stock photo. Choose between the free options, which are taken by amateurs, or the premium Getty images. The premium options cost $10, but are snapped by pros, making your site even more sleek.

You can even reshuffle the image layout on the template by clicking ‘Design’ at the top. For example, you can make images overlap, or create a collage. So, not only are the templates visually impressive, but they’re flexible too.

squarespace image layout menu
Squarespace lets you reshuffle image layouts for a better design experience

To edit the actual photo itself, click ‘Image Editor’ after selecting a photo. This is a photographer’s playground, where you can really let loose with the design options. See below for the image editing tools.

squarespace image editing tools
You can really make images your own with the large choice of editing tools

Need to add an image, rather than simply replacing a demo image? No need to worry – it’s the same process as adding a new page. So, hover in the top right, click ‘Edit’, then hit the ‘+’ for the content block menu. You can now throw in images, videos, buttons, and other cool stuff.

Explore the design options

Now we’ve covered the fundamental things like adding pages, text, and images, it’s worth highlighting the more detailed design options. Design is Squarespace’s strongest attribute, so make sure you dig around to get the most out of your site.

See the image below to get an idea of what you can play with.

squarespace design menu
The Design menu is where you’ll find Squarespace’s easy to use, creative functions

From here, you can add your company logo, change templates, add featured messages, design your ‘checkout’ page (if you’re on an ecommerce plan!), and more. You can even customize your CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) if you know how to code. Be careful, though, it can break your design.

Don’t think you’ll be overwhelmed by the choice of tools. Each option is explained well, so it never feels too difficult. There is just so much design flexibility, so don’t shy away!

Need some help? Check out our top website designing tips here.
7

Integrate marketing tools

Firstly, to add marketing tools, you’ll need to be on the ‘Business’ plan at the very least. How do you upgrade? You won’t be surprised to hear that Squarespace have thought of that – there’s a strategically placed ‘Upgrade Now’ button at the foot of every page during your free trial.

Of course, these tools aren’t necessary for every website. So if you’re not planning to sell online, you can skip Steps 7 and 8.

squarespace upgrade button
You can easily upgrade your Squarespace plan anytime during your free trial

By clicking ‘Marketing’ on the main menu, you’ll see everything you need for promoting your Squarespace site. See the image below for the marketing options.

squarespace marketing menu
Squarespace offers a wide range of brilliant marketing tools

From here you can add pop-ups, show social media buttons, integrate your Facebook page, link your Instagram feed, and more, all with just a couple of clicks. You can even create a new email campaign with Squarespace Email Campaigns. For such a creative website builder, Squarespace doesn’t skimp on the business side.

You can even see how your site is performing with the ‘Analytics’ option on the home panel. It lets you view traffic, search for keywords, and essentially keep track of how your Squarespace website is doing.

8

Add ecommerce features

Similar to adding marketing tools, you’ll need to be on at least the ‘Business’ price plan to sell stuff. That said, we would still recommend the ‘Commerce’ plans for more ambitious online stores.

So, once you’ve upgraded (just hit the blue ‘Upgrade Now’ button), click ‘Commerce’ on the home panel, and you can start selling.

You can now integrate these sales features:

  • Online orders
  • Inventory management
  • View your customers
  • Add discounts

Note, you’ll have to add a ‘Products’ page before managing your stock. But don’t worry, just revisit the ‘Adding pages’ steps and repeat the process. It’s really easy.

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Getting Ready to Sell Online?

You’ve had your great idea, you might even have products lined up ready to go. Now all you need is a Squarespace store – start today!
Thinking of building an online store but not sure that Squarespace is for you? Compare it against other online store builders in our guide on the Best Ecommerce Platforms.
9

Publish your Squarespace website

Unlike most website builders, Squarespace doesn’t actually have a ‘Publish’ button. During your free trial, it’s live the whole time.

But don’t worry about people seeing your half-built masterpiece. Trial sites don’t appear on search engines, so no one will see it unless you directly share the URL. And if they do arrive at your site, they need to enter a CAPTCHA (when you have to type a bunch of blurry letters to prove you’re human).

To remove the CAPTCHA, you need to upgrade to a paid plan. This will automatically get your site live on search engines too. To get your online store live, you need to connect a payment processor – otherwise, your customers will see ‘Checkout Closed’.

In short, the publishing process is relatively easy, because – well – there isn’t one.

How to use Squarespace: Recap

Creating a website with Squarespace is more satisfying than most other builders. Why? Because while it needs more care and attention, it’s still easy to use.

It may seem like a lot of information to absorb, but the process is really quite simple. To jog your memory, let’s recap the nine simple steps for making a beautiful Squarespace site:

  1. Sign up
  2. Choose a price plan
  3. Choose a theme
  4. Add a domain
  5. Edit page names and layout
  6. Design your site
  7. Integrate marketing tools
  8. Add ecommerce features
  9. Publish (remove CAPTCHA)

With Squarespace, you have so much creative flexibility – much more than most website builders. Sure, it’s ideal for users with loads of design flair, but it’s also easy enough for anyone to create a professional quality website.

So get started with Squarespace today, and see where the creative journey takes you.

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Are you Excited to Get Started?

We’ve shown you how, now all that’s left is for you to grab Squarespace by its free trial and create the website of your dreams. Get started today!

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About Dan Barraclough

Dan Barraclough

I used to think website design was just for professionals. Because maybe like you, I have no coding or design experience. But, with the help of our expert researchers (and after testing every website builder myself), I can confidently guide you through on how to get the most out of each one.

2 comments

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  • Avatar
    sharon
    GoDaddy is my web site host. I purchased my domain name with them and would like to keep it there. Would I purchase a web hosting contract with Squarespace and still be able to use Go Daddy domain name? And have Go Daddy direct my domain name to Squarespace? Using your templates-do they provide specs (dpi's,dimensions) when creating site using the template ?
    1 reply
    • Lucy Carney
      Lucy Carney
      Hi Sharon, Thanks so much for your comment, I'm happy to answer your questions! Yes, absolutely, you can keep the domain name you purchased from GoDaddy and point it to your Squarespace website. Just to be clear, Squarespace gives you hosting bundled with its website builder (so you wouldn't be able to host the site with GoDaddy, for example). Squarespace has a guide on the best sizes, ratios, and even file types to use when uploading content to your template - you can find that guide here. I hope that answers your question, thanks so much for reading! Best, Lucy