Squarespace (opens in new tab) offers one of the best website builder (opens in new tab) software platforms, that immediately stands out from the competition. The Squarespace platform doesn't hit you with lengthy feature lists and densely packed comparison tables, for instance. Instead, it follows a 'show, don't tell' approach, presenting a host of templates and design ideas to help you understand what's possible. And this turns out to make a lot of sense, because Squarespace has some of the most gorgeous templates around.
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This doesn't mean Squarespace is short on features. The service has plenty to boast about: intelligent SEO tools, comprehensive social media integration, performance boosting CDN support, image and video galleries, free fonts, interactive chart controls, a powerful blogging platform, professional web store, the list goes on…
Plans and pricing
Squarespace offers four main plans (opens in new tab) and does not have a free option. Squarespace does include a 14 day free trial, but once that period ends, you’ll need to select a paid plan to continue using the product. Here’s an overview of all four plans, how much it costs, and what it includes.
The Personal plan (opens in new tab) is $12.00 per month when you buy it annually. This plan comes with your own custom domain, an SSL Certificate, excellent SEO features, and up to two website contributors (who can help you build your site). This plan comes with Squarespace extensions that can help you manage and optimize your business.
The Basic Commerce plan (opens in new tab) is $26.00 per month and comes with a variety of advanced features - you can sell products on Instagram, access powerful ecommerce analytics, and your customers will be able to create their own accounts on your website. This plan works great for businesses looking to sell a large quantity of products but still don’t need all the features of the Advanced Commerce plan.
The Advanced Commerce plan (opens in new tab) is $40.00 per month (when paid annually). It includes all the features in the Basic Commerce plan plus advanced shipping, customer discounts, and the ability to sell subscriptions. For businesses who want to take advantage of all the Squarespace ecommerce features, this plan has it all.
Squarespace’s interface is not as easy to use as some website builders, but this is mostly due to how many features there are available. All templates can be previewed in full before making a decision. There's no need to spend an age agonizing over this, though – unlike some website builders, if you decide you don't like the template later, you're free to switch to something else. Select your favorite design and Squarespace prompts you to create an account by entering your name and email address.
To add a widget to a page (or a 'content block', as Squarespace calls it), click on Edit (top left of the interface), then scroll over the page until insert sections are revealed (little grey bubbles with a long grey horizontal line attached to them). Click on one of those to see all the options Squarespace offers, including buttons, text, images, galleries, video, audio, forms, layout controls, and more.
Squarespace's various web service integrations give you more possibilities. A SoundCloud block enables users to navigate a complete playlist, for instance, while you can have Squarespace always display your latest content from Flickr, Instagram and other sites. Alternatively, you can set up the control to search for public images using a specific hashtag, perhaps finding all pictures relating to your company, wedding or any major event.
Put it all together and we suspect there's more than enough media handling power for most users. And even if you need something more, an Embed Code block may allow integrations with other services, and the Squarespace Business plan provides Code Blocks to insert custom HTML and scripts.
There are many other website builders on the market - Wix is one of Squarespace's main competitors (opens in new tab), as well as GoDaddy (opens in new tab), and Webnode (opens in new tab). Unlike some of the competition, the blog editor doesn't limit the controls you can use in a post. You're able to add images, videos, maps, galleries, anything you can use within a regular web page. The main writing area keeps options to a minimum. Adding tags or categories, enabling or disabling comments for the post, saving it as a draft, publishing it immediately or scheduling publication for later, can all be done by clicking on the post’s title at the top of the page.
Squarespace's editor and creative layouts means it is an excellent web builder for those willing to learn how to use it. While it might be a little more time consuming compared to other web hosts around, it’s templates really stand out. This website builder has so many design options that you won’t be bored with updating your website. The ecommerce option also has tons of updated features helpful for creating a professional store. Squarespace is a great option for anyone who needs more than the basics for website building.
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