If you are looking for a great website builder that will meet most, if not all of your website needs, you may be thinking of Squarespace as a possible option because of the popularity it has gained over the last few years.
And I am sure you are wondering if it really offers what you are looking for in a website builder and most importantly if it’s effective in building beautiful and well-functioning websites, right?
Well, my detailed Squarespace review will be walking you through the key areas of the platform including how it works, its main features, what people are saying about it (customer reviews), its pros and cons, how to use it, its pricing plans and lastly, how it compares to other platforms of its kind.
With this information, you will be able to determine if it is a website builder you want to work with or not.
So let’s jump right in.
Founder: Anthony Casalena
Price: varies with each plan
What is Squarespace
Squarespace is a website building platform of its own kind.
It offers all the tools you need to build and establish your presence online.
Whether you are planning to run a blog, an online store, or any other type of online business, you can get all the resources you need to do that within Squarespace.
It gives you tools and resources that help with website development, website monitoring, and website growth that will give you an easy time getting your website up and running, and maintaining it well so that you achieve your goals.
Personally, I would say Squarespace is the best all-round website builder at the moment.
While we have WordPress as the best builder for running blogs and Shopify for running an online store, Squarespace makes the best builder for someone who wants a website builder that can do these two and more.
Most of the users actually describe it as the Apple of website builders because of its quality touch to the provisions it offers, which we will be seeing in the next section.
Since Squarespace was started it has helped millions of people create their websites in all types of niches.
The platform was founded in the year 2003 by Anthony Casalena in his dorm room at the University of Maryland, and with time, it has grown into a team of more than 1,140 people.
How Squarespace Works
This platform works in an easy way since it provides you with a way through which you can easily build or create your website without needing any technical skills.
It allows both individuals and businesses, from any level of technical knowledge, that is beginners and advanced, to create their professional sites through a drag and drop functionality that can help them reach their customers easily and interact with them the way they want.
Squarespace gives you everything you need in terms of website development, from website themes or templates to hosting, to website optimization and website support, and more.
To have a better understanding of what you get when you use Squarespace, let’s take a deeper look at the features.
The features you will be using in Squarespace when you join are divided into 12 different categories. Let’s have a look at each category and what it offers.
In this category you get:
~ A website builder for building your website
~ Starter layouts that come with predesigned pages such as Contact page or About page
~ Customizable website templates
~ Customizable page and content layouts
~ Different content types including text, menus, maps, forms, and more
~ Ability to duplicate pages
~ A commenting system that has abilities such as abuse filters, community management, content moderation, and bulk comment management, among others
~ A design panel for choosing your colors, website padding, and fonts
~ Custom CSS to use code to better enhance your website
~ Design tools such as background banners, high-quality images, and much more
~ Internal search engine
~ Squarespace mobile app that you can use to manage your online business with your smartphone
~ Custom redirects for remapping old content or creating shortcuts
~ Page locks and passwords for your website security
~ Access levels and multiple contributors that allows you to have other writers helping with your website’s content
In the blogging category you get:
~ Podcast support with syndication abilities
~ Ability to schedule posts
~ Markdown support to help you add and format text using the markdown language
~ Ability to work with source and excerpt URLs
~ Customizable URLs
~ External link options for linking your titles to external URLs
~ Multiple author support
~ Tag/category support
~ AMP integration on your posts for quick loading on mobile
~ RSS blocks to make it easy for users to add your feed to their newsreader
~ You can also draft, publish, flag drafts, schedule posts to make workflow easier
With the commerce provision, you get these resources:
~ Ability to sell services, products, subscriptions, and digital content
~ Ability to perform product merchandising and inventory as well as order management
~ Ability to set a zoom factor through the product image zoom
~ Ability to have product subcategories and quick view
~ Ability to increase the urgency for your products through the “Limited availability” labels
~ Ability to make it easy for customers to find products through the related products section
~ Ability to customize customers’ checkout experience
~ Ability to have customized forms for your products
~ Ability to have a mobile-optimized checkout
~ Ability to enable store manager permissions
~ Ability to allow customers to check out using your domain
~ Ability to have customer accounts
~ Ability to have digital gift cards through which your customers can easily share with their friends and families
~ Ability to sell in person via the point of sale in the platform’s commerce app
~ Ability to sell your products online
~ Ability to accept donations
~ Ability to have multiple payments methods
~ Ability to accept a variety of currencies
~ Ability to access commerce marketing tools
~ Ability to monitor your sales through the sales analytics
~ Ability to manage tax rates for where you need to charge tax
~ Ability to perform custom integrations to third-party systems through commerce APIs
~ Ability to export and import data and products easily
~ Ability to access your inventory, customers, and orders via the commerce mobile app
~ Ability to connect your site to connected services and extensions
~ Ability to secure your website since the platform is SSL enabled and PCI compliant
For the domains section, you will be able to:
~ Buy a domain
~ Connect to third party domains
~ Easily register your domain
~ Get a free domain for your annual account for the first year
~ Transfer your domain
~ Have a private and secured domain
For marketing purposes, you get to:
~ Carry out email campaigns
~ Have profiles for an easier view of all your people in one place
~ Have newsletter blocks
~ Carry out social media integrations
~ Have banners and promotions to highlight important announcements
~ Have a custom favicon for your website
~ Track your marketing metrics
~ Have form blocks to easily capture information from your site guests
~ Grow your marketing capabilities and business through marketing extensions and connected services
For monitoring the performance of your website, you get:
~ A general overview of your analytics
~ The ability to carry out engagement, acquisition, and commerce analytics
~ Access to the analytics app
You also get the ability to connect third-party extension tools to your online business that can help you in different areas including finance, product, and inventory, sales and marketing, shipping, and fulfillment.
To enhance your business further, you can:
~ Add social links to your site
~ Allow your site visitors to find you on every leading network
~ Easily import content from various areas onto your site
~ Simultaneously post your content on various platforms
~ Carry out photo downloading and resizing
~ Easily connect your site to third-party services
~ Access Open table blocks for making restaurant reservations
~ Work with Amazon associates to seamlessly generate revenue
~ Access Zola for wedding websites
~ Enable ChowNow ordering for restaurants
The site-building tools allow you to:
~ Perform full-screen editing
~ Access the markdown mode
~ Access a custom WYSIWYG editing engine for more content types and layouts
~ Have automatically responsive designs
~ Perform automatic image scaling and text wrapping
~ Have video, Amazon, menu, gallery, map, product, summary, social link, code, quote, button, map, audio, and archive blocks
If you want to plan for different things in your business in advance, Squarespace lets you:
~ Have multiple calendars
~ Perform calendar syncing
~ Set custom payments
~ Enable automatic email reminders
~ Allow social selling for booking appointments
~ Have text and SMS reminders
~ Have gift certificates, packages, and subscriptions
~ Have multiple time zones for locations/staff
~ Have a custom CSS and API for more customized integrations
~ Have a HIPAA compliant business
Squarespace also gives you access to the Unfold platform that allows you to:
~ Use all their templates even before they are released to other users and, get advanced editing tools through the Unfold+
~ Create brand-level content and gain access to unfold+ features through the Unfold for Brands
~ Use the Unfold app
For your logo needs, you get:
~ Access to an array of icons
~ A simple UI (User Interface) to work with
~ Access to awesome logos at an affordable price of $10 plus taxes if you are not a customer
~ To preview and download your logo on anything e.g t-shirts
√Resources and Support
To get with your online business and express your opinion about your experiences with the platform, you get:
~ Access to 24/7 email support
~ The ability to create a blog
~ To join the circle community which helps you launch and grow your business among other things
~ The ability to hire an expert
~ Access to the live chat support
~ Provided with a help center for any issues you might experience
~ Access to the community forum that allows you to find answers for an area you might have questions on
Squarespace Customer Reviews
Generally, Squarespace has received many positive ratings for its services although there have been a few complaints about it.
Here are both the good and bad reviews of the platform.
The Positive Customer Reviews
“Great website builder! I sincerely don’t know why people are writing bad reviews here – I have never experienced any trouble with Squarespace, and I’ve been using it for a couple of years. Now going back to it after a pause in business.”
“I have been using Squarespace for over 5 years and I will never change to any other option! Not only does every template work on any mobile device or screen across the board, but their customer service is extremely reliable even during the Covid-19 crisis.”
“The best website builder I’ve ever used. Squarespace has made me feel like a tech wiz, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t get on well with technology! Its explanatory, easy to use and looks very professional. I would highly recommend using squarespace over any website builder.”
The Negative Customer Reviews
“Square space do not provide customer service!! I have been attempting to resolve why my website is not visible for over a week and have submitted over three requests with square space and had no reply.”
“I have been having a website on Squarespace for a long time and I see how clearly the platform is getting worse and worse. New features stop working properly with every update. For example, suddenly the “summary block”, a feature to show products, stopped showing the items in the right order.”
“The option for deleting the account is onerous. They don’t have a help desk to help you and they claim to help 24/7. It is a drop down menu with a list of items you don’t relate to and at the end there is no where to submit your request.”
“Absolutely appalling user experience, with multiple websites and subscriptions, like trying to navigate some kind of Kafka-esque hell. CSat team – shame on you for making it so difficult to close down one’s account. Wouldn’t recommend to my worst enemy.”
Squarespace Pros and Cons
~ It offers great templates to work with just to help you personalize your website as you would like
~ It has affordable price plans
~ It’s easy to use with your mobile devices
~ It’s easy to build your website using the platform
~ It’s easily integrated with third-party software
~ It offers a 14-day free trial
~ It offers a variety of customization options
~ Slow-to-respond customer support
~ There are slow website performances at times
How To Use Squarespace
You can create a free or a self-hosted website with Squarespace.
The free website should help you test drive the platform to determine if it is the platform you are looking for to help you build your business online.
After that, you should consider subscribing to their plans to get unlimited access.
To create an awesome website with Squarespace and do professional customization, I encourage you to read this detailed walkthrough with pictures and steps.
Squarespace Pricing Plans
To start with this platform offers you the freedom of choosing from its four price plans. The first two can be used by individuals and the last two by businesses or someone who wants to run an eCommerce website.
With it, you can either pay annually or monthly, and below is a deep analysis of the plans and how much you pay and get for each;
You pay $16 monthly with the monthly plan and $12/month with the annual plan.
The plan gives you these features;
~ Unlimited storage and bandwidth
~ A free custom domain
~ SEO resources for website optimization
~ 24/7 customer support
~ Mobile websites that have been customized
~ Basic metrics for your website
~ Up to 2 contributors
~ Good website templates
~ SSL security
~ Squarespace extensions
You pay $26 monthly with the monthly plan and $18/month with the annual plan.
The plan includes all personal plan features plus;
~ Unlimited contributors
~ Professional email from Google
~ Premium integrations and blocks
~ Advanced website analytics
~ Promotional banners and popups
~ Up to $100 Google ads credits on offer terms
~ 3% transaction fee
~ Gift cards
~ A fully integrated e-commerce
~ Ability to sell unlimited products
~ Ability to accept donations
√Basic Commerce Plan
You pay $30 monthly with the monthly plan and $26/month with the annual plan.
The plan includes all the features for the business plan plus;
~ Zero transaction fees
~ Point of sale
~ Ability to have customer accounts
~ Powerful e-commerce analytics
~ Ability to add checkout on your domain
~ Ability to add your products on Instagram
~ Powerful merchandising tools
~ Ability to have “Limited availability” labels
You pay $46 monthly with the monthly plan and $40/month with the annual plan.
Here, you get the same features as the business plan and the basic commerce plan plus;
~ Advanced shipping
~ Abandoned cart recovery
~ Ability to sell subscriptions
~ Advanced discounts
~ Commerce APIs
There are many other website building companies out there that offer services as good as, if not better than, Squarespace. Let’s have a look at how Squarespace compares to the most popular ones including Wix, WordPress, Shopify, and Weebly.
√Squarespace vs Shopify
Shopify is the most popular e-commerce platform and its services are quite rewarding especially for someone who is considering running an online store alone.
The features they give you for the online store and the support are unmatched.
Their pricing plans are a bit higher than those of Squarespace but they are totally worth the value you are getting in return.
Comparing the two, Shopify is the way to go for someone who is looking for a platform to host their online commerce website.
However, if you are looking for a place to do a bit of everything in terms of websites, that is, you would want an e-commerce website as well as a blog or a niche-specific online business for your hobby, Squarespace is the real deal and has affordable rates too.
√Squarespace vs WordPress
WordPress is another awesome website builder that allows you to create and manage your website easily. It has the best Content Management System (CMS), followed by Joomla.
There are 2 ways to interact with WordPress.
You can create your website within WordPress or you can download WordPress and add it to a website you are building so that you can use it to manage the website.
Compared to Squarespace, WordPress is more popular and offers great resources for someone who wants to run a blog or website.
Although, Squarespace is much better in other areas such as the more refined features it offers for website development and management.
If you want to build a basic blog, WordPress is what you should use because it offers great features for that. It is much cheaper too.
However, if you want to take your online business to the next level in terms of look and performance, in my opinion, Squarespace is the best platform to use.
√Squarespace vs Wix
Wix is another robust website builder that beats many other builders competing with it.
It also has outstanding features just like Squarespace.
It has more templates in terms of quantity but those of Squarespace are definitely much better quality-wise.
Looking at the e-commerce features with these two platforms, they are almost the same but with Wix, you don’t get gift cards except through a third-party provider.
The pricing plans in Wix are slightly lower, with its highest plan at $24.50.
But as much as Squarespace is expensive, the features that you get are well worth it and better compared to those provided with Wix, thus making Squarespace better.
√Squarespace vs Weebly
Weebly is a website builder that is also loved by many. It has a wide array of features for website development.
Compared to Squarespace, it has a free plan and its other plans are slightly cheaper.
In terms of features, Squarespace has a better page editor than Weebly’s, but when it comes to ease of use, Weebly definitely takes it.
In addition to this, Squarespace has better themes and templates, and with both builders, there is a drag and drop feature.
However, when it comes to e-commerce, as much as the two share a lot of features, Squarespace wins because it can sync with social platforms like Instagram and hence you can sell directly from the platform.
Quite frankly, these two platforms are very similar and the reason you would use one over the other is due to your personal preference and tiny aspects that one builder has that you like that the other doesn’t.
So, the best builder for you between the two pretty much depends on you and what you want to build.
My Final Thoughts on Squarespace
Squarespace is indeed a legitimate platform and its services are of great quality providing you with great customizable templates, powerful in-built features, and generally great tools to manage your website.
For this reason, I recommend it to anyone seeking to create a solid website for their business because the platform does deliver.
Nonetheless, I would like you to know that while the platform is good it can use some improvements majorly on the customer support because I saw a lot of people complain about that.
Solving that will improve its reputation hugely.
It’s my hope you have learned enough about this platform through this Squarespace review.
If you have any questions regarding a specific aspect of the platform or simply would like to share your experience about Squarespace, feel free to use the comments to reach me.
I will be more than happy to hear from you. 🙂
I wish you the best as you create your website!