Squarespace is among the best website builders out there to use to create your website, whether it is a blog, an online store, a business website, or any other type of website.
It offers some of the best and well-refined features that make your website building process seamless.
I have created this walkthrough to help you learn how to build a website on Squarespace fast and easy and get to customize it to fit in the idea you have of your website.
I have also included a few rewarding tips that will help you know how to keep making your Squarespace website better in terms of functionality, design, and performance in the coming days, weeks, and even years to help you have an easy time as you do it.
So let’s get straight into the gist of it.
Overview of Squarespace
Squarespace is a well-known website builder that helps you easily create and run your website. It offers some of the well-defined resources that give you the ability to do things on your website that you wouldn’t normally get to do using other website builders.
Since there are many resources within this site builder that do, I will give you an example of one just to give you an idea of how good it actually is.
When it comes to thumbnails, most website builders normally crop a website in the middle area so that it fits the thumbnail size.
And this kind of cropping can make the parts of a photo you feel are important in the thumbnail to be cut, especially if they are on the far end sides of the photo.
However, on Squarespace, you get to choose where you want the cropping to happen on a thumbnail photo so that you preserve the hot parts of it that you want to use to capture the attention of your website visitors.
Squarespace is considered by many people to the Apple (in terms of quality just like Apple devices) of website builders because of its fine-tuned features.
It was launched in the year 2003 in Anthony Casalena’s dorm room at the University of Maryland, and from there it has grown into a team of more than 1,143 people.
The builder has been evolving into a much more reliable platform over the years as it adds more cool provisions for the users.
Some of the other cool features it comes with include:
– Ability to customize a page completely to your specific desires
– Ability to run a full podcasting website with the most essential resources to help you succeed
– Ability to add restaurant detailed and good-looking menus to your website if you want a restaurant site
– Ability to make subtle changes that add a perfect touch to your website
– An image editor that helps you edit any image as you want
– Ability to customize your website’s meta work and see how it will appear on search engines
– And more
It is a website builder I totally recommend using whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced website person to build any type of website you desire.
Let’s see how you now build your website there.
A Complete Guide on How you Can Build Your Website with Squarespace
These are the steps you want to follow in creating a Square Space website successfully
Step 1. Go to squarespace.com
Step 2. Click on “Get Started ” on the top right corner of your screen.
Next, you will now be asked what your site is all about so that they provide you with ideas. You will also see various suggestions such as fashion, travel, jewelry, music, education, fitness, etc.
Choose what your website will be about from those suggestions and if you don’t see what you are looking for in there, you can type what your site will be about down there and then click on ‘NEXT’.
Step 3. You will be required to describe what your top goals are for your website through various suggestions that are provided there.
This step is meant to help the website builder know that kind of a website you want to have and provide you with the right recommendations for it.
Some of your top goals could be to sell services or memberships, promote a physical business you may have, or build a community, just to name a few.
Choose the goals that best describes your case and then click on ‘NEXT’ so that you continue.
Step 4. You then will be asked where you stand in your process of building your business.
You could be in the initial stages where you are brainstorming ideas for the business or slightly advanced in the sense that you already have a business and you want to scale it or maybe you want to make a switch with the new Squarespace website you want to build.
Choosing your most accurate option will give you results that are more suited for you and they could be different from another person on a different stage, so be sure to be careful with the step so that you get the right resources for your stage.
Among the available options, select the one that best fits your situation and then hit “NEXT”.
Step 5. You will then be directed to a section where you can choose your template. Among the recommended templates, you can choose one based on your niche and goals.
At the top of the page, you will see the “Browse by” section that categorizes the templates or themes.
You should go with the category of websites you are interested in and you will get templates that go well with that category.
I hope you now see why I said Squarespace is a refined website builder.
Go ahead and hover over the template you want to use and click on “Get Started with…” The three dots represent the name of the template you chose.
Step 6. Create your account. You are going to be asked to create your account so that your website can be added to your account for easy management. You can sign up through the regular way of giving your email and password or you can use Gmail, Apple or Facebook.
Step 7. After you are done with account creation, you will continue with your website building process and you will get to choose a title for your website. Come up with a name that is brand-able, memorable, and short, if it’s a personal blog or your online store.
If you are setting up a business website, use the name of your business here.
Step 8. After that, you will be given a quick tour of adding and styling pages on your website.
You will also get an assistant editor on the top right corner of your website administration dashboard (also called the backend area of your site) that gives you a list of things you can do to customize your website like adding a logo, choosing fonts and colors for your site and more.
Step 9. And you are done! You now have your website ready for your use! Congrats!
Building a Self-hosted Website With Squarespace
The interesting thing about Squarespace is that you don’t have to follow another process to build a website that you own completely, unlike other website builders.
Here, all you have to do is subscribe to one of their plans and your website will be upgraded to a self-hosted one.
The plans available are the Personal Plan for $12/month, Business Plan for $18/month, Basic Plan for $26/month, and $40/month for the Advanced plan.
With the subscription, you will be able to get a domain name and hosting for the website.
The domain name you get to register with Squarespace is free for the first year but you will have to pay from the following year onward as you keep using it.
As for the website hosting, your website gets cloud hosting that ensures it’s running all the time.
But if I were you, I would first use the free trial for the 14 days given so that I can test out every feature of Squarespace and make sure it offers everything I want for the website I want to have.
We are now going to look at how you personalize your website and make a few changes and improvements to make it more like the website you planned to build.
Customizing Your Squarespace Website
There are 2 types of customizations to make on your website, that is, basic customization, which involves minor but essential changes you make on your website immediately after you’ve built it.
And there’s also deep customization that involves more technical improvements of your websites that you do over time to enhance the look and feel of your site.
* Enhancing the design of your website template
Since you have already chosen a good template, it is now time to make some improvements to it to make it more beautiful and appealing to your readers.
The things you can change on your website using Squarespace include fonts, colors, spacing, buttons, image blocks, and animations, among others.
What you should now do is to create a list of the things you want to improve upon in your template and then change them by going to “Design” and choosing each of the items and change to your taste.
From there you can edit the various aspects of your template
* Updating your homepage
This is the first page that you see when you first visit a website. Therefore, it’s a must that it looks neat and attractive.
Ideally, the homepage should have a summary of your website. It should give a visitor an idea of what the entire website is about and some of the features or resources you have on your website.
However, this varies from one website to another based on the type of website you have.
To improve your homepage, you click on “Edit” on the top left of your current homepage and then you can start customizing your home page.
The first thing you want to do is edit your site header but if you are comfortable with the one you already have you can keep it.
To update it, just click on your header, and then you will see “edit site header”.
From there you will be directed to another section on the right that allows you to edit your site header either by changing the title and logo, elements of your header, and colors.
Choose the aspect you want to enhance and make the necessary changes.
Next, if you want to change the images that are on your homepage, once you hover around one of the default images on your template, you will notice that at the top of your header there is a blue + sign.
Click on it and now you will be directed to another section that allows you to add images, videos, text, quotes and so much more.
* Adding new pages
Based on the type of website you have built, you might have some default pages that have been added to your website and if you are okay with them, you can keep them.
You can also add a blog page if you want but it is not a necessity.
To add each of these pages, you go to the left section on your website and click on ” Pages” and you will be directed to a section where you see “Main navigation”. Click on the + sign next to it to add a new page.
You can choose to add a blank page where you build your content as you want or you can use the page layouts provided by the system that can guide you on how to create content for those pages.
– Adding plugins. Plugins or extensions help with adding more functionality to your website.
There are certain things you will want to do on your site but can’t if you don’t know how to code.
And this is where plugins come in handy as they help you add the code needed to help you achieve various functions.
Squarespace provides lots of plugins you can use for things such as e-commerce, social media marketing, shipping, and sales tax, to name a few.
Be sure to use these to help you make your work easier as you manage your site.
– Adding an online store or blog page. In case you get to a point as you grow your website that you feel you will need an online store or even a blog page, it is possible to do that within Squarespace.
To achieve these goals, you just go to your top left corner and click on “Pages” and then you will get to a new menu with “Main navigation”. Click on the + sign next to it and you will see options appear.
Choose “Blog” or “Store” depending on what you want.
NOTE: There are many features you can add to your site using Squarespace and it may hard to know where to go to see them and add them, as you start out. However, you can use the Squarespace support page that has a guide on every website aspect you may be interested in.
You will only need to go there and search for the aspect you want, learn more about it, and then get instructions on how to add and edit it on your site. So make good use of that resource page.
You can also use YouTube videos and Google search to discover more areas if you want.
Tips To Help You Run Your Website Successfully
You have a website and you know how to personalize and make it as accurate as your dream website. Now I want to show you how you scale your website and get to make it the best website you possibly can in terms of performance. Here are great tips to keep in mind in order to reach your potentials with it:
• Keep working on it frequently – In order to make sure your website is getting better every day, you have to ensure that you are constantly working on it.
You will need to create content, update your online store (if you have one), set up events if your website is based on that, check website analytics and so much more.
So try to make sure that each day or every other day, you are trying to work on something related to your website.
Divide the big goals you have into smaller tasks that are doable every day and make an effort on doing the tasks. After a month, you will be surprised at how far you’ve gone.
• Seek to build a reputable brand – If your website is aimed at a certain niche and you wish to reach out to a certain audience, you will want to first focus on building a reliable brand.
You do this by creating the most helpful content in that niche, promoting your website in the most honest way possible, and treating your audience well as you help them solve their problems.
This will make them trust you and rely on your website.
• Optimize your website for your visitors and search engines – There is something called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that involves a number of practices that help website owners have the best user experience for their visitors and also get ranked well in the search engines that increases the exposure of a website.
Take your time to learn about these practices and apply them to your website.
Squarespace offers a few of the things needed in SEO and you can use them to handle this aspect even as you work on the other aspects yourself.
• Make use of call to action buttons – You always want to have goal-oriented content on your website to let your users know what they should do after reading your content.
It could be to subscribe to your mailing list or buy products from your online store or share your posts on their social media accounts.
Add these buttons where they are needed the most and direct your visitors to the right places to take the actions you recommend.
• Always monitor your website performance – How your website is performing in terms of the number of visitors you are getting monthly, how fast your site is loading and the areas that your visitors are mostly interested in will help you know how to optimize it for better results.
Make sure you spare at least one day every month to see how your website is performing and how you can make it better.
These are just some of the most essential tips that can really help you make it work with your site.
There are many more that you should work with but you will get to know them as you keep working on your website.
Keep researching on the type of website you built and how you can have it performing at its best.
And this is where I take my rest.
I hope you have learned a lot today in terms of website building with Squarespace, customization and scaling your website.
Now I encourage you to put into action what you have learned and get started with your website’s journey.
I wish you all the best as you do this, and you should know that I am always here in case you need any help related to your website.
Just shoot me a question in the comments and I will shoot an answer right back. 🙂
Cheers to your new website venture!