Have you ever been in a Facebook Group and heard the debate of Squarespace versus Wordpress?
It seems like everyone has a really strong opinion about this topic and while I hope to one day write my own post sharing my thoughts on both, I want to continue to educate you on the benefits that Squarespace can have for your business. There is no denying that Squarespace is my home and it is the foundation of my business that has enabled me to be successful. If you want to learn more on Why I Chose Squarespace I've written an entire post dedicated to the topic.
One of the biggest debates when it comes to Squarespace is the design capabilities that the platform has. It is often said that when a viewer visits a website hosted on Squarespace they know immediately. I'm here to tell you, this is a myth! Experienced designers with a keen eye will certainly have the knowledge and ability to hop on and view the basic coding of your website telling them which platform you're hosted on. But they can't tell just from the appearance of your website, or at least you should be altering the appearance of your website to make it so they can't.
Today I thought I would share the key features and components that Squarespace offers to help its users create an easy and effective website design. All while making sure you stand out in the market and have a completely unique website. These are specific areas of Squarespace that have been tried and tested by yours truly and I know they will function for you.
Let's get learning!
One of the very first things you will notice about Squarespace when you are researching the platform or just starting out using the platform is that it's a template based system. Squarespace provides you will over 50 templates to chose from when creating your website. These templates are meant to fit all kinds of niches including travel, restaurants, bloggers, musicians and more! After selecting the template that would best work for you brand you can further use design features that Squarespace offers to make these templates unique to your blog or business.
The templates currently offered by Squarespace are carefully crafted by designers to ensure they are best optimized for the changing technologies of the modern world including tablets, phones, upgraded HTML and CSS techniques. This makes Squarespace the leader in modern template design technology. Integrating this type of system also allows Squarespace pricing to maintain at a reasonable level for users.
Some of my absolute favorite templates include:
- Haute Culture.
Installing one of Squarespace's modern and beautiful templates is the first step in the design process. But it's the customizing of the template that can really make your website standout. There are a couple of different routes you can take to customize your website and the first is utilizing the Squarespace Style Editor – found my selecting Design and then Style Editor on your left-hand menu.
Within the Style Editor, Squarespace provides you with hundreds of customizations including changing the entire overall appearance of your fonts, adding various custom colors to different areas of your website to keep your branding consistent and overall page configurations. The other great feature to the Style Editor is that it is broken down into various categories to help make customizing your website that much easier.
The Style Editor is the simplest and easiest way to make key changes to differentiate your website. Each template is going to have a different set of customization options within the Style Editor so I recommend playing around with this area to view the changes you can make.
Here is a quick peek at the Style Editor:
Please note, the Style Editor appears in a vertical alignment in a left-handed menu once logged into your account.
Custom CSS & HTML
But there is another way you can go about customizing your templates and overall website. For those of you who dislike the generic uses that the Style Editor gives to you, you can take your website to the next level with some CSS and HTML codes. The only downside to this method is you need to have knowledge of CSS and HTML. You also need to have some basic knowledge of how Squarespace works with these custom changes.
Custom CSS and HTML codes can be applied to your Squarespace in two areas; on your overall website or through individual pages. Each area of customization has its advantages and disadvantages and each of those will be different depending on the custom changes that you are looking to make.
Squarespace is still very much an up-and-coming platform in terms of CSS and HTML customization. Because Squarespace has such a vast amount of template options there are also a lot of custom codes for those templates that might not work on others. So, when using this custom coding option don’t get discouraged if it takes some practice and trial and error to get things just right.
Content Layout Options
Along with the beautiful templates that Squarespace provides they also provide additional options to customize your page layouts to fully optimize them for your needs. Squarespace uses a drag-and-drop style interface where you can add and remove elements and then click and drag them around to arrange a completely custom page layout that no one else has.
All of the areas of your Squarespace website including your blog posts, pages, footers and sidebars are completely customizable with the content block system. And because the content block system is so vast there are plenty of options to choose from including:
With such a vast amount of content blocks and the endless possibilities of content arrangements you should be able to make your website completely customizable as you create it. This gives you the ability to stand out from the crowd and fully use what Squarespace has to offer.
Along with the option to add your own content blocks, Squarespace also uses a template based system if you want a quick and easy page installation. Squarespace now provides users with pre-designed structures for specific page purposes including contact pages, about pages, image-based pages and much more. These templates are a one-click and start designing idea, where it will only take the user a couple of minutes to upload their desired content.
These specifically pre-designed page layout options also have the ability to have additional content blocks added and removed to create the desired page you are looking for. And don’t forget to use some of that custom coding we just talked about to customize your pages even further!
Here are just a couple of the pre-designed page layouts that Squarespace offers:
Single Page Solutions
Websites can sometimes be complicated – and over complicated in some cases. But Squarespace provides you with simplicity which I can appreciate in my business. For those of you who don’t need a vast amount of pages, content and information on your website then Squarespace has the best option for you!
Cover Pages, often referred to as landing pages or single-page solutions!
Squarespace allows you to choose from 10 pre-designed templates (again, the template system) to create a single-use page layout option. You might often see these types of pages used as ‘Coming Soon’ pages or Opt-In Pages. While these are two of the most common uses for this type of page system they can also be customized to be much more than just basic announcement pages. You can actually customize these types of pages to be a one-stop area for your website.
The process of creating a Cover Page is quick, easy and functional. And like all of the other options we’ve talked about in this post – including the Style Editor and Custom CSS – you can implement those tricks to fully customize your single pages (aka cover pages).
And then finally, probably one of my biggest hassles as a designers used to be coding a website and then having it look completely different on a mobile device. This required me to then go back to the coding portion and add in other code elements to make the mobile website function properly. With Squarespace, I no longer have that hassle because Squarespace has built-in Mobile Responsiveness for all templates and designs – but beware when adding custom code as this can sometimes throw the design off still!
Having this built-in feature allows you to know that your website is going to look beautiful no matter the device your audience is viewing it from!
The possibilities are really endless with Squarespace on your side so don’t write the platform off before you know all its functionalities. Yes, there is a lot of information out there pitting Squarespace against other platforms but hopefully, with this information regarding Squarespace behind you, you are now able to choose the best platform that suits your business, as far as design and customization is concerned.
Of course, these aren’t the only features Squarespace has to offer. They have hundreds listed on their website that are worth viewing and researching. In the future, I hope to continue to share with you the amazing, skillful and functional features that Squarespace provides so you can continue to not only design but also develop your website and brand using Squarespace!
It's now time for you to head back to your website and start implementing design changes using the Squarespace design features we just chatted about. But maybe you aren't ready to design your own website just yet.
We've got you covered.
Here at Studio Krystal we specialize in Squarespace Website Design through the use of all the amazing features Squarespace has to offer. With many packages for bloggers and business owners, we believe in providing each of our clients with simple, strategic, and successfully designed websites to fit their wants and needs. We imply an emphasis on custom code to ensure your website is 100% unique.
Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Email us to book a FREE consultation by CLICKING HERE!