Squarespace is a web builder which has lots of templates which make the job of designing a unique site really easy. It also includes some functions that others do not include and therefore this is why it is a popular site for many people. It includes functions such as the ability to customise templates, scheduling software, photo galleries, podcast hosting and donations. It will also allow you to easily set up an ecommerce site so that you can sell physical goods, subscriptions etc. The customer service is highly rated which means that if you do have difficulties you will be able to get help and it will be quick and useful.
It incorporates SEO into the sites and they are designed carefully so that they will work on mobile devices as well as PC’s meaning that they are suitable for everyone to view. However, due to its complexity and number of features, it does mean that it can take time to learn how to do it. This could be worthwhile though because of the extra features you get as a result, but those that are new to making websites may wish to opt for something a bit simpler to use.
You also get point of sale, customer accounts, checkout on your domain, ecommerce analytics, merchandising tools, products on Instagram and limited availability labels. For £30 a month you also get abandoned cart recovery and the ability to sell subscriptions. You also get advanced analytics and merchandising tool, advanced discounts and commerce APIs
This means that you can choose a plan that will suit your business needs and you will not have to pay more than necessary for services you will not use. There is no contract so you can stop paying at any time and there is the option of switching plans at any time and discounts on long term commitments. In the business plan there is a 3% transaction fee on sales with the business plan, but if you upgrade then the fee goes down and on the personal plan it is $0.30 plus 2.95 per transaction.
The main feature is the website builder which will provide you with a professional-looking website. There are any customisable templates which will give your site a professional look and they will support different types of pages such as galleries, blogs, commerce, calendars and general pages. They are designed with modern browsers and mobile devices in mind. There are easy starter layouts so it is easy to use and you can add all sorts of content. You can also duplicate pages to make it quicker to create a site. There are lots of design tools such as colour palettes, fonts, images and photo editing facilities as well as background banners, videos etc.
There is also custom CSS and a commenting system which is completely integrated. It is possible to set up multiple contributors with different permissions and access levels. You can lock the whole site with a password or parts of it to create private areas. There is a robust internal search engine to make it easier for visitors to navigate your site. There is even a mobile app so that you can manage your site on the go, perhaps adding in new images, editing pages, adding in blog posts etc.
You may wonder whether this provider will have a theme that will suit you. Of course, you can design something yourself that will fit but if there are templates and designs that already work for you, this will make things easier, Squarespace has a selection of themes that you will be able to choose between. These include non-profit, photography, food, jewellery, politics, magazine, personal & CV, art, technology, education, restaurants, travel, marketing, fitness, fashion, consulting, gaming, interior design, music, design and health & beauty. This means that there is very likely to be one that will suit your needs if you are not sure, then you can enter details of what you are looking for and it will match you to a theme that it feels will work for you.
Squarespace is more complex to use than some other web builders, which means that it is perhaps not suitable to someone that is not experienced in using these sorts of tools. It does look really good though and with lots of templates to choose from it is easy to produce a unique look. All templates will work on mobile devices as well as PC’s which is of course vital. It also has a blogging tool which is very much better than most competitors. There is live chat support which means that you can get help really quickly and they will even sometimes give you screenshots to show you the steps you need to take to achieve what you want. Plans are also ad-free and you can add a free domain name for your first year. You can monetise and it is optimised for search engines.
There are drawbacks though. It does not have an autosave so you are prompted to save a lot which can be tiresome. It takes lots of clicks to make simple changes which makes it time-consuming. It will only work for one sub-navigation so websites that have lots of menus will not be able to use it and it will be very difficult to use for multilingual websites as well. They have a slow page speed which could particularly lead to a poor user experience on a smart phone.
There is a free domain name on offer for a year which can be useful. After that year you will need to pay for it though. However, it is possible to point it to an existing domain name which means that if you already have one you can use that or you may want to buy one independently of them, which will probably be cheaper than buying it through them. The domain name prices start at $20 a year but this will depend on the ending as some will be dearer. It is therefore worth taking a look at their pricing and compare with other companies before you decide whether to buy your domain from them or from elsewhere.
The Squarespace store is easily managed in a browser so it needs no setup and it is free to sign up without the need for a credit card. You will get a 14 day free trial and this can be extended by another 7 days before you have to pay. This means that you get a chance to play around with it and see if it meets your needs before you commit to paying for it. It will integrate well into a blog which makes it very attractive. Customers can use it to make appointments and buy digital goods as well as to buy physical items and you can choose to charge them monthly or bi-weekly where relevant. It can be great for social media as it will connect with the apps and they can buy products directly through them without leaving the app.
The editor is clean in design but is not always easy to use. There is a small selection of templates but they work well on all devices. You can change SEO settings easily but it can be slow to load on mobile devices. You can easily put in photos and videos of your product and list related items. You can put in product variants and there is a real shopping card and it accepts credit card payments through stripe. It is possible to put in coupon codes and percentage discounts, as well as shopping costs which are flat rate or based on the weight and there, are some carriers available to select where cost will be automatically calculated. It also has a stock control system which means that you will never sell something that is out of stock.
So, if you are looking to be able to set up a website easily, then this may not be for you as it can be complex to use. However, if you are prepared to persevere with it, then you will find that it can be a really useful web builder to use once you have got used to it. It has lots of templates to choose from and is optimised for search engines to make it easy for you to be listed and all of the templates work well on all devices. It has a good customer service, which means that any problems encountered can be easily solved, which makes it attractive to many users. It has different price levels so you will be able to pick a service that suits your needs and therefore do not end up paying more than necessary for features that you will not use.