Our Squarespace review is here to help you make the right decision about the super-poplar website builder. As creating websites becomes increasingly popular among professionals, the selection of best website builders (opens in new tab) on offer continues to expand. But with this range of choices comes a dilemma: how do you decide which platform best suits your needs?
A popular option for personal websites and portfolios, Squarespace (opens in new tab) provides a beginner-friendly platform on which to create and customise sites effectively. In this Squarespace review, we take you through some of the platform’s key features, as well as discussing pricing, support, and our overall rating for the service.
Squarespace review: Plans and pricing
Although Squarespace provides a 14-day free trial, the platform fails to offer a completely free plan like some of its competitors. However, there are four paid plans to choose from.
The cheapest option – the Personal plan – provides ample functionality for designing simple websites. An annual subscription ($144.00/£120) paid upfront works out at $12/month (£10). If you require the flexibility to cancel anytime, a rolling monthly plan would be more appropriate ($16/£13 a month).
The Personal plan offers unlimited bandwidth and storage, basic website metrics, and the integration of third-party extensions. However, it doesn’t support full customisation, advanced web analytics, marketing tools, or any sort of e-commerce options. To access these features, you’d need to opt for the Business plan ($18/£15 a month annually or $26/£21 monthly). This option boasts all of the above features alongside premium integrations and complete code customisation—ideal for those needing more design flexibility and/or e-commerce integration. You also have the option of upgrading to the Commerce ($26/£20 per month) or the Advanced Commerce plans ($40/£30 per month), but these seem better suited to larger organisations.
Despite the multiple plans on offer, Squarespace doesn't feel that cost-effective for simple sites. Competitors like Wix and WordPress offer basic packages free of charge, with the latter providing an upgrade to a personal plan for just $4 (£3) per month. With this in mind, it’s worth considering the features you need to prioritise and comparing website builders to determine which is the most budget-friendly.
Squarespace review: New features
Following the Squarespace 7.1 update in 2019, users continue to benefit from new integrations. The most notable being the portfolio page – a stylized template ideal for creatives looking to showcase their work. You can also now add banner images and custom headers/footers to any page, further aiding the customization of your site.
Other new features of note include the prebuilt colour palettes, themes, and curated font packs, ensuring consistency across web pages. If preferred, you can also generate your own custom colour palette by uploading your logo or reference image. Features like this cement Squarespace as a favored platform for those looking to customise without coding expertise.
Squarespace review: Features
Alongside newer additions, Squarespace is equipped with many existing features to help you create a professional portfolio or website.
One of the standout features of Squarespace is the focus on design quality. The many ready-made templates on offer are created by professional designers, are fully customizable and mobile responsive, and are tailored to suit many creative industries. While you can’t switch between templates once selected, you can trial each one before installing it to see which you prefer.
You can also edit almost anything on your site, right down to the 404 page visitors encounter if there’s an error. This level of design and flexibility allows you to stretch your creative muscles and stylise your site exactly how you’d like – one of the reasons Squarespace is such a popular choice for creatives.
Search engine optimization tools
Ranking well on search engines is vital for professionals looking to attract new clients to their website, and Squarespace’s built-in SEO best-practice tools help beginners get started.
Alongside a handy SEO checklist, Squarespace provides an automatically generated sitemap, customization of meta descriptions and image alt tags, built-in mobile optimization, and the ability to directly search Google keyword analytics. While the platform lacks an SEO-specific app, the variety of tools on offer make it a good choice for those without technical SEO know-how.
Squarespace review: Interface
Creating a Squarespace site can take minutes. Clicking the Get Started button takes you straight to template selection, where you can then create an account – either with your email or via your Google login – to begin customising immediately.
While Squarespace’s interface isn’t excessively technical, it certainly requires practice. Rather than the click-to-edit functionality favoured by competitors, Squarespace requires users to edit blocks from the left-hand column. While simple at a glance, the minimalist editor tool takes time to understand, and the overall usability feels unnecessarily awkward. The same applies to the mobile app; editing requires a great deal of patience as the interface echoes that of the desktop.
That said, the platform is relatively beginner-friendly. Technical jargon is kept to a minimum, and on-page tips simplify the building process. The platform also offers hundreds of prebuilt sections and pages to make designing your website quick and simple, so it remains a solid choice for novices.
Squarespace review: Support
All Squarespace plans provide users with live chat (4 am -8 pm EST, Monday through Friday), forums, a knowledge base, and a 24/7 email response team.
While phone support is currently unavailable, Squarespace vows to respond to emails within an hour, so you won’t be left waiting for an answer. There’s also an integrated chatbot on hand to assist with general inquiries, though this just seems to direct you to relevant guides rather than provide solutions.
Squarespace: Should I use it?
Squarespace is certainly a strong contender in the list of best website builders, despite the focus seemingly on aesthetics rather than functionality. The simplified user interface makes creating a website feel a little awkward, but those requiring less customisation or with more time to invest in tutorials shouldn’t feel too put off by this. Failing to offer a free plan also means Squarespace potentially loses those looking for a cost-effective way to create a simple site, though the Personal plan does offer highly competitive features for the price.
All in all, the stunning templates, sleek portfolio pages, and in-built SEO tools certainly make Squarespace a viable option for creatives wanting to showcase their work effectively.
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