As Web Designers and Squarespace Specialists we absolutely love working with the platform and always recommend it to our new clients for it's ease of use and incredible responsive templates. If you're looking to update your existing website, or you're starting up a new venture and need an affordable website that also looks the dog's proverbial's, Squarespace is a good place to start.
We have a great deal of experience working with Squarespace and design / develop custom websites that go beyond the template constraints to help our clients get the most out of the platform. Here's a few useful tips to help get your new Squarespace website off to a good start. Got any questions? Drop us an email! firstname.lastname@example.org - we love talking about Squarespace and are always happy to help!
1. Your Domain(s)
Squarespace offer a free domain with all of their price plans - either a .com .org .biz .net & .info domain. Don't panic if you already have one with an external host like GoDaddy, you can link up any number of domains with your Squarespace website so make the most of it! If you are looking for an external host, in our opinion GoDaddy are pretty much the best - their prices are good and customer support is awesome.
Top tip: Make your domain short, easy to type and avoid numbers / hyphens.
2. Choose the right plan
Although all of the Squarespace plans are all fairly reasonably priced - it's never worth paying more for something that you don't need! Take the time to site down and plan out what you need from your new site in terms of page numbers, functionality and features. Here's a breakdown of each plan and it's features:
It'll be pretty easy to determine whether you need to sell 1 product or 20, but it's really worth taking the time to map out exactly what pages you want on your website and how the wireframe/navigation will work. Whatever plan you go with, pay annually if you can - it'll save you $24 a year!
Top tip: Want 10% off your first Squarespace website? The 'GIMME10' coupon will get you 10% off any annual plan (first time purchase only).
3. selecting a template
Each Squarespace template is categorised in to different types (businesses, portfolios, stores, personal, musicians, restaurants & weddings) to help you narrow down your selection, however don't feel constrained to the templates that are on offer for your style of business/project etc. Go through the Squarespace Templates page and make a shortlist of which one's you like the look and feel of. As well as the demo sites, Squarespace also have a list of live examples of current websites that are build using that particular template. This can help with inspiration on how best to work with the template you chose.
Top tip: There's a really useful template comparison guide from fellow Squarespace Specialist's 'Schuebel' - take a look at it here.
4. Keep your Content snappy
When is comes to text content less is definitely more - the quicker you can get your message across the better, the way your website is viewed can often be quite different to how you think. A recent research article on Hubspot discovered that '55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website'. We always tell our clients that when a user lands on your homepage they need to quickly establish who you are, what you do, and how to contact you.
Top tip: As well as Squarespace's built in metrics you can easily plug in Google Analytics to your site. Regularly checking your metrics and keeping a handle on your website's traffic can help you tweak your content to ensure it's working effectively.
Images are hugely important for your website - they almost instantly communicate your brand's identity to those who are visiting, do you want that message to be cheap? Avoid 'cheesy' stock imagery in favour for high quality, meaningful imagery for your website. You can't afford to cut corners here and taking the time to get the right images is super important.
Top tip: Although there's plenty of paid stock image websites like Shutterstock or iStock, there are also some amazing free resources to help you find 'free to use' images. Check out one of our previous blog posts for some of these!
6. Calls To Action
What do you want people to do on your website? We're not (all) mind readers! So tell us!
If a user has navigated to your contact page and you want them fill out an enquiry form, make it totally obvious by adding a button that tells them. Squarespace's button block can be customised to work seamlessly with your branding and look awesome!
Top tip: If you need to include a form block that's quite lengthy / had a lot of fields, enable 'lightbox' mode so that it shrinks down to a button that opens up when clicked. Just like the 'get started' button at the bottom of this page.
7. device view
With a significant amount of website traffic coming from mobile devices and with Google's recent update to their ranking algorithms, being 'mobile friendly' is more important than ever. When building your Squarespace website you should be spending just as much time in 'device view' as you do in the main desktop viewer. Every time you move a block or make a change to a page, make sure you enter device view and check that it renders properly in both tablet and smartphone view.
Top tip: When you're ready to go live test your website on as many devices as possible. When we build a website for a client, we ensure that we test it on all major browsers as well as apple and android devices of all shapes and sizes.
We hope you've found these tips helpful!
Got any questions or want us to help with your Squarespace website? We're a friendly bunch and always up for a chat!