A Dream for Creatives
Squarespace Review Summary
Squarespace plans start at $12/month. This website builder offers over 60 templates that easily adapt to mobile devices, and its customer support live chat service is strong. Squarespace doesn’t currently offer phone support.
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
- No app store means you’re reliant on in-built features
- 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.
“When we were looking to create our website, Squarespace was the perfect fit. Like riding a motorcycle, there’s something about Squarespace that’s really accessible, but sophisticated.” Keanu Reeves
But we haven’t just looked at success stories to write this Squarespace review. 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. In our research, real customers gave Squarespace an average score of 4.2/5, solidifying its place among the top website builders.
This review will break down the real questions: how easy is Squarespace to use? How good are its templates? What tools does Squarespace have? And what will it cost you?
Before we start dishing out truths, here’s a quick overview of how Squarespace scored:
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:
Ease of use is one of the most important things to think about when you’re picking a website builder. However, it’s also something that can be easily forgotten amid the excitement of all the shiny features and templates waiting for you.
If you’re buying a new microwave, you don’t want to be lured in by loads of impressive features and buttons, only to find that you can’t work out how to heat up your dinner. The same goes for website builders – so how does Squarespace perform?
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, but becomes easier the more you use it.
Squarespace provides a clean and modern interface to work with. It’s uncluttered and easy to navigate, which makes for fast and easy editing once you know what you’re doing. At the start, it can feel a little too clean, making it less obvious where to find certain features – it takes a few clicks to get going, but after that, it should be smooth sailing.
Squarespace is a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor. With some platforms, like WordPress, you make changes and edits in the backend, and only see what it will look like live when you preview it.
Squarespace is much more straightforward. You add text and images, and how your site appears on screen is just how it will look once it’s published. This is a much simpler and easier 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.”
Coding and On-The-Go Editing
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.
With Squarespace’s app, you can even edit your website from your phone. Publish blog posts, update your business hours or add an Announcement Bar while out and about. And don’t worry if you lose internet – if you go offline unexpectedly, any unfinished work will still be waiting for you when you come back.
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.
Another point raised by our users was that, because of its feature-packed templates, Squarespace would be an especially good choice if you had a clear idea of what you wanted from your website, or had products or images to show off.
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.
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. They cover a range of industries, from custom motorbikes to hip hop yoga classes, and highlight the diversity that comes with Squarespace’s designs.
Make no mistake – you can certainly create a unique and successful brand for yourself using Squarespace.
Squarespace gives you everything you need for your business to succeed, right from day one. Not just that, but you have the tools to make your life as easy as possible, including email campaigns, built-in analytics, ecommerce functions, SEO tools, and integrations with online tools such as G Suite and PayPal.
Whether you’re just starting out selling a few items or looking to grow your ecommerce business, Squarespace won’t let you down. There are two plans dedicated to ecommerce which come with loads of useful tools automatically included, from inventory management to abandoned cart recovery.
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 its stunning designs. The result is a builder which can really make your products shine, and give your customers a great idea of what they’re purchasing before they click the buy button.
If you want the best storefront in town, Squarespace is your go-to choice. But it’s not just a pretty face – you can sell unlimited products, customize your storefront, and upload product videos to engage customers and boost your sales.
You can even sell offline, and keep it all synced in one place. This is thanks to Squarespace’s recent partnership with Square. With just the Squarespace Commerce app, and a little Square card reader ($49), you can easily take card payments on the move, and any sales will sync up with your online inventory. You can also offer one-off discounts, and collect customer email addresses to build lasting relationships.
This feature is currently only supported by the Square Commerce iPhone app, but the iPad and Android versions are coming soon. 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.
Squarespace has templates to support all types of sites, from music to photography and even restaurants. Each one comes with tons of customization tools and extra features built-in, so that everything you need is right at your fingertips.
What About a Scalable Website?
You don’t want to set up a website, just to run out of space and need to move over to a different platform. In other words, you don’t want to become a victim of your own success – you should be excited about your website’s growth, not watching it nervously because it’s getting too much traffic.
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. On the whole, Squarespace has the features to support your website’s growth – especially if you’re running a portfolio or small business site. But if you’re looking to launch an ecommerce empire, you may want to look at switching to a dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce to help maintain long-term growth.
Version 7.0 or Version 7.1?
There are currently two different versions of Squarespace available for use: version 7.0, and version 7.1. If you’ve used Squarespace at any time from 2014 to early 2020, you’ll be more familiar with version 7.0. Both of these versions operate under the same pricing tiers, but they differ when it comes to templates.
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. More experienced Squarespace users will enjoy the design customization of version 7.1, but if total design control isn’t a big priority for you, then you can still choose a template from version 7.0.
Squarespace doesn’t have hundreds of templates – it has just over 60. This seems like a very small number compared to Wix’s 500+ templates, but 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. Although Squarespace gives you tons of creative control over your website, it helps to have a focused template, so it’s a good idea to pick one that matches your site’s purpose as well as its aesthetic.
But if you do change your mind, that’s fine. You can switch templates at any point, even after your website has gone live. Squarespace stands out from its competitors for this flexible feature! You can even install multiple designs to work on and preview, making the decision process much easier.
Plus, 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!).
While Squarespace provides the building blocks for your website, it’s likely you’ve got your own style you want to promote. Customization is vital – after all, it’s what makes your site unique.
Not personalizing your template would be like wearing the same outfit as someone else to a party. Jazz it up – at least add a scarf!
Squarespace gives you the freedom to do this. You can customize your pages and make your site totally unique.
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. If you want a really different design, simply switch your template and carry on customizing!
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
In a world where likes, tweets, follows, and favorites are considered to be almost as valuable as actual currency, integrating your website with social media is super important.
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. When was the last time you clicked through to the second page of Google results? You want to be on that first page, and SEO gives your site the best chance of getting there.
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.
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.
Your domain name is the website address people use to find you – for example, ours is www.websitebuilderexpert.com. You can 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.
You can register a domain through Squarespace really easily. All you need to do is find an available domain to suit your site, add it to your cart, then go through the few steps to purchase and register your domain. Prices vary between $20 and $70 per year – 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
We’ve all breathed that sigh of relief after being rescued by autosave. If you’re always forgetting to press save, maybe write yourself a reminder because Squarespace doesn’t include autosave in its editor.
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. That’s pretty thorough!
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.
It really is one of the most thorough and trustworthy help centers around. We definitely recommend checking there first, as you’re highly likely to find your answer without needing the live chat or email support at all.
You really do get what you pay for with this builder – although it has more expensive plans than some of its competitors (like Weebly), you get a really high quality service, even on its lowest plan.
Squarespace has four price plans, ranging from $12 to $40 per month (billed yearly).
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 $12 a month, which has website features but no ecommerce functionality. For an online store, the lowest plan is $26 a month, which includes unlimited products, no transaction fees, label printing, and more.
|Pricing Plans||Monthly Plan ($/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
Website Builder Plans
Squarespace has two plans dedicated to website building (rather than creating an online store).
Squarespace’s $12 per month Personal plan gives you everything you need to set up a straightforward but full-fledged website. Unlike other builders which tend to restrict the features on their starter plan, Squarespace’s Personal plan comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth.
If you don’t need to sell online, or if you require a professional email from G Suite, then the Personal plan is a great place to start.
The Business plan is $6 more than the Personal plan at $18 per month, but comes packed with even more features. This is still designed for building a website rather than a store, but it comes with lots of ecommerce functionality – sell an unlimited amount of products, get promotional pop-ups, customize through code, and more.
As the name suggests, the Business plan is best for businesses! If your website is growing and you want to start selling a few items alongside, the Business plan has everything you need to succeed.
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 $26 per month Basic plan is the cheapest option for setting up an online store. It has all the features from the Business plan, but removes transaction fees and adds extra ecommerce features, including inventory management and label printing via ShipStation.
The Basic plan is best for setting up an online store and starting to grow your ecommerce business.
The Advanced plan is the most expensive at $40 per month, and has the most amount of features. It boasts all the features from the Business and Basic plans, plus tempting extras including abandoned cart recovery, advanced shipping, flexible discounts, and gift card creation.
If your business is growing and needs advanced features to support that growth, the Advanced plan is, surprise surprise, your perfect match.
Calling All Students!
If you’re a student and have a valid school email address, then you can get 50% off your first year of Squarespace. That’s any new website or online store!
Check out this special student discount to learn more about Squarespace’s awesome savings.
Heads up, though – you can’t use it alongside any other offer codes. That means you’ll have to pick between this 50% discount and the 10% coupon we mentioned earlier. (Although we think we know which one you’ll choose…)
You can even apply the discount to up to three websites under the one school email address. Head on over to Squarespace today and search for your school to get started!
Squarespace’s prices aren’t outrageous for the quality of service you get. In fact, Squarespace’s starting price is cheaper than that of Wix, one of its biggest competitors. But you want to be sure that it really is the right builder for you before parting with your hard earned cash. And no matter how many reviews you read, you won’t really know until you try it out for yourself.
While Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan like some website builders, it does offer a 14-day free trial on all its paid plans. You don’t need to enter any payment details – unless of course you decide to sign up at the end of your trial!
Once you do pay up for a plan, you don’t have to kiss your money goodbye. Squarespace has a 14-day money back guarantee, so you’ll get a refund if you cancel within the first two weeks.
We’ve explored its tools, dived into its pricing, and raved about its designs – but in the end, does Squarespace come out on top?
After such an in-depth review, we can conclude that Squarespace is a leading website builder, and for good reason. It’s got the best designs on the market, and combines these intuitive templates with powerful built-in features.
Squarespace gives you all the tools you need to create a stunning website, without needing to know a line of code.
It’s the closest you’ll get to a designer-made website at a fraction of the price, and gives your business, portfolio, or online store a unique and visual way of creating a scalable and beautiful brand.
But it’s not for everyone. Beginners may struggle to get to grips with it, so it’s best for those with patience, or a little technical confidence.
Overall, we recommend Squarespace to anyone who has an eye for design, who wants a unique and visually impressive website, and is happy putting a little time into crafting their pages.
Squarespace isn’t just a pretty face – its features pack a punch, and its support and security features don’t mess around. Try this knockout website builder for yourself, and see what you can create!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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