Squarespace Review – The next generation of website creation?
By looking at Squarespaces’ website, you can see a brilliant example of great web design. But how does that relate to their new website builder? Let’s find out.
Squarespace 6 is a completely new product. Among the most notable changes, in comparison to version 5, is the all new user interface and stunning new templates that are very “Apple-esque.”
Squarespace has tailored their product specifically to the needs of creative folk. That means it’s a great choice for creating a blog or portfolio site. Just recently they have also added a powerful e-commerce option that you can use to sell physical or digital products.
During our testing phases, we found that complete beginners had to struggle a bit with the user interface in general. Advanced users on the other hand can expect to have some fun with this website builder.
Pricing starts at $8 per month in the Standard plan that has a limit of 20 pages (your blog can have as many posts as you like). Unlimited for $16 per month removes the page limit and adds a few other extras. And then there is the Business package for online stores for $24.
All three plans include a domain name if you go for an annual subscription. More pricing details can be found here.
See it in action here
Squarespace in detail
|Ease of use||
||The user interface is not really intuitive. Once you've figured out how it works, it's pretty straightforward even though a few things seem more complicated than necessary.|
|Choice and flexibility of design (templates)||
||The number of designs is a bit limited but look very classy and modern. Styles are flexible and can be easily customized. Their responsive templates are mobile friendly.|
|Advertisement-free||yes||All plans are ad-free.|
||Editor supports any language, but interface in English only. Does not provide a good way to create multilingual websites.|
|Your own domain name (e.g. .com or .net)||yes||Yearly and bi-yearly subscriptions include a domain name (.com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info are available). Find the domain FAQ here. Existing domains can be pointed to Squarespace.|
|Depth of navigation||
||One level below the main navigation. You can set it up using folders as they call it. Some templates feature a secondary navigation underneath the main navigation.|
|Widgets (small tools to add extra functionality)||
||Fantastic gallery widget, as well as integrations for your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram).|
|Monetization||yes||Using Google AdSense or other banner ads.|
||Well-thought-out online store: with inventory and coupon management; tax and shipping settings are fully customizable. Import product data from Shopify or Big Cartel. Credit cards payment via Stripe is the only payment method (sales fee: $0.30 per payment and 2.9%). Find our full review here.|
|Search Engine Optimization (SEO)||
||As good as it gets: editable page titles, meta description, and custom URLs. Even 301 redirects are possible.|
||The only real alternative to a Wordpress blog; has all the usual blogging features (commenting, trackbacks) and more (geolocation tags, reblogging). If you already have a blog on Wordpress, Tumblr, Posterous or Blogger, you can even import it.|
||Inbuilt visitor analytics tool shows you some key stats. For more details you can set up Google Analytics.|
|Contact form||yes||Fully customizable contact form builder with lots of field options.|
|Password protection||yes||You can either protect the entire site or individual pages. More details here.|
|Newsletter tool||no||But they allow you to connect an existing Mailchimp account. This way you can collect your customers email addresses on the checkout page.|
|Add HTML code||yes||Enables other widgets and tools to be added.|
|Storage space||2 GB+||Standard plan: 2 GB storage, 500 GB bandwidth, Unlimited & Business plan: no limit.|
|Forum||no||In contrast to version 5, the latest release doesn't feature a forum.|
|Support||yes||24/7 ticket system, live chat - The knowledge base is comprehensive. Their support is top of its class. Video tutorials are also available.|
||Figuring out how the system works can take a while in the beginning but it's well worth it.|
|Although not quite as easy to use as other website builders, it sets new standards for blogging, ecommerce and customization.|
If you want to present your photography, design portfolio, or sell online, Squarespace could be the perfect solution for you. Also if you want to set up a blog, and are not really keen on fiddling around with a WordPress installation, it’s a great alternative.
As this platform was built from scratch in 2012, it incorporates some of the latest technologies. For example: their responsive templates that will automatically look nice on smartphones or tablets, no matter what screen size they have. Thanks to their mobile apps (iPhone, iPad and Android) you can also edit your site on the go. It will be exciting to see what the New Yorkers have in store for us in the future.
Squarespace Example Sites
Alternatives to Squarespace
FAQ about Squarespace
Is Squarespace secure? How much traffic does it support?
Squarespace uses SSL encryption in editing mode – a feature that sets it apart from most other tools. Both their Unlimited and Business plans support unlimited traffic and can handle tremendous amounts of concurrent website visitors. If you have used WordPress in the past you will probably appreciate this.
Will my Squarespace site work on an iPad or iPhone?
Yes, their layouts are responsive and will adapt to the screensize of your visitor’s device. They also offer mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android that allow you to edit your site on the go.
Does Squarespace include email accounts?
Can I create a members-only area?
You can set up password-protected pages on your website, although only a password is used (without a login name). More details.
Does Squarespace support 301 redirects?
Yes, you can set up URL mapping. If you are moving your site over from a previous system, you can redirect old URLs that would otherwise lead to an error page.
Can I use Disqus for comments on my blog?
Yes, Squarespace has a direct integration with Disqus.
Can I import my existing website or blog into Squarespace?
Yes, Squarespace supports imports from. WordPress, Tumblr, Squarespace 5, Blogger, Shopify, and Big Cartel. Squarespace also allows you to export your website.
Is there a discount available through Squarespace?
Absolutely! Save 10% using this voucher code for any paid package: WEBSITETOOLTESTER
31 Jan 2014 – Online store is available in all three plans.
20 Aug 2013 – The online store is now also available in the UK.
30 Mar 2013 – Video review of the online store added.
13 Feb 2013 – We added information about password protection.
20 Feb 2013 – Squarespace adds a shopping cart with their Business plan.
10 Oct 2012 – We’ve created a list of shopping cart options for Squarespace.
06 Aug 2012 – Initial tests of version 6.
Last updated: 31 Jan 2014 | Robert Brandl