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Squarespace
Squarespace

You can say what you want, but Squarespace’s homepage is certainly nice to look at. Among all website builders we’ve tested, hardly any other company understands how to stage its product with such perfection. Everything looks cool, fresh and impeccable. Let’s find out if the website builder follows suit.

Squarespace’s latest version 7 introduces some new features like a Cover Page Builder, G Suite and Getty Images. However, the most important aspect is the editor’s usability. Now it’s possible to edit content live, without switching back and forth between the site manager and preview mode. We’re big fans of inline editing as it makes things not only less abstract but also faster.

Squarespace Review Summary

They offer 100+ flexible templates that fully adapt to mobile devices (responsive design). Squarespace has a better blogging tool and better support than most competitors. Getting to grips with the platform takes a while due to a few usability issues.

Squarespace position themselves as THE website builder for blogs, portfolio sites, and online stores. This review will give you an overview of the main aspects of the revised version.

Try Squarespace 14 days for free: https://www.websitetooltester.com/out/squarespace-youtube Find our detailed Squarespace 7 review here: http://www.websiteto... Squarespace Review: Solid Website Builder or Just Hype? 2014-12-02 https://img.youtube.com/vi/ZGnhokBSuV0/hqdefault.jpg
To try Wix for free, click here: https://www.websitetooltester.com/out/wix-vs-ss-youtube For a free trial of Squarespace, click here: https://www.websitetool... Wix vs WordPress.org: Which One Should You Choose? 2019-02-28 https://img.youtube.com/vi/z_XaTeO-zMk/hqdefault.jpg

Try Squarespace 14 days for free

Screenshots

Squarespace Pricing

$12

Personal

A good solution if you don't need an online store.

$18

Business

Includes an online store with a transaction fee of 3%

$26

Online Store (Basic)

Sell online without transaction fees.

$40

Online Store (Advanced)

Use advanced ecommerce features

Monthly prices based on 1-year contracts; Domain name included.

Only new domain names can be registered through Squarespace. Existing ones need to be pointed to your Squarespace website from a different registrar.

> Find a detailed analysis of their pricing plans here.

Pros & Cons of Squarespace

Templates and Designs

Squarespace offers more than 100 sophisticated themes that are optimized for tablets and phones. They seem to strive for perfection of every little detail in their designs; fonts, sizes, images: everything just fits. Their templates are also highly customizable through the Site Styles menu.

Do keep in mind that the templates often rely heavily on the images used. If you replace the ones they provide, your website’s look will be completely different.

A big plus for Squarespace is that it’s possible to switch templates without losing any content – a great advantage over site builders like Wix and Duda.

Blogging feature

If a blog is going to be one of your central website elements, Squarespace is a great choice. They have a feature-rich commenting feature, multi-author functionality, the ability to schedule posts, AMP support, you name it. Nice touch: You can even host your own podcast on Squarespace!

The only downside is an SEO flaw that you can read more about in the Cons section.

Support

Thanks to live chat, you can get an answer almost instantly. Our experiences with their support team were overall very positive when we did a support test over several weeks.

Their support team even sometimes takes the time to record quick screencasts, showing you the exact steps to follow.

Mobile Apps

Currently there are four different Squarespace apps. The most useful one, simply called Squarespace, is, however, only available for iOS currently. It allows you to edit almost all aspects of your website, including pages, blog and store.

Usability of the website editor

There are a couple of usability aspects that I’d like to see improved: Instead of asking you to save your work after each change, it should just autosave and offer a sitewide undo button (or a site history feature) instead.

It feels like the number of clicks needed to perform simple website editing tasks is higher than necessary. Also, keep in mind that all changes will be published immediately upon saving. This can be a bit inconvenient when doing larger updates.

Only one sub-navigation

Squarespace is not suitable for larger websites that require a deep menu hierarchy. This also makes it almost impossible to create multilingual websites with Squarespace.

SEO and Page Speed

You can’t edit your page title in blog posts, which is quite a disadvantage. Also, their templates score low ratings by Google’s Page Speed Tool, which could lead to a poor user experience on smartphones and possibly harm your search engine rankings.

Rating Details

criterion rating comments

Ease of use

While Squarespace is not exactly difficult to use, it’s still not the most intuitive tool. The user interface is minimalistic, which is nice, but its usability could be improved. I had the feeling that the editor was slowing me down by prompting me to save changes all the time. Compared to other site builders like Weebly it will probably take you a bit longer to fully understand everything.

Choice and flexibility of design (templates)

Templates are their greatest strength. The designs look both artistic and modern and there are a lot of them. Squarespace keeps adding new layouts and improves existing ones. There are detailed feature lists and every template design includes a Readme file with instructions. All templates are fully responsive and some of them also have special features for mobile devices. Pros can control the HTML/CSS in the “Business” Plan (via the Developer Platform).

Advertisement-free

Yes

All plans are ad-free.

Languages

The editor supports any language. There are 6 interface languages (EN, ES, FR, DE, IT and PT). Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide a good way to create multilingual websites.

Features

Your own domain name (e.g. .com or .net)

Yes

Yearly and bi-yearly subscriptions include a domain name for 1 year, after that prices start at $20 annually (depending on the ending). Domain registrars like Namecheap offer much better deals. Existing domains can be also pointed to Squarespace websites. They offer email addresses via G Suite, which cost $6/month for each account. More information.

Depth of navigation

Only one level below the main navigation. You can set it up using ‘Folders’ (as they call it), which, frankly, is more complicated than it needs to be. Some templates feature a secondary navigation underneath the main navigation.

Widgets (small tools to add extra functionality)

Nice selection of add-on features: gallery widgets, appointment scheduling, social media widgets, tools for restaurants and much more. Doesn’t feature an app store for 3rd party widgets.

Monetization

Yes

Using Google AdSense or other banner ads.

E-Commerce

Included in Business and above. You can easily integrate a shopping cart into your website or blog. It features customer logins and sale of digital downloads. Read more in our detailed e-commerce review.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There are some SEO limitations for blog posts and product pages. Squarespace will always use the blog headline or product name, respectively, for the SEO title. Fortunately, Squarespace ironed out some previous SEO flaws by retiring older templates. More information.

Blog

Can be a real alternative to a WordPress blog as it has the usual blogging features (commenting, multi-authors) as well as geolocation tags, AMP support and the option to schedule posts. If you already have a blog on WordPress, Blogger or even Shopify, you can also import it. A really special feature is podcast hosting, complete with RSS feed and iTunes syndication.

Visitor statistics

The inbuilt visitor analytics tool shows you some key stats. You can check your stats also with the “Squarespace Metrics App.” 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

Yes

Squarespace has a newsletter service called Email Campaigns that can be integrated with your website and store. You’ll also be able to connect Mailchimp.

Add HTML code

Yes

Enables other widgets and tools to be added. Using the Developer Platform (Business tier and above) you can also edit the source code of your template.

Storage space

Unlimited

No bandwidth and storage limit.

Backups & Restore

No

Squarespace does not provide a backup feature other than export of product and blog data. Disappointing as other site builders like Wix and Webnode offer pretty advanced backup solutions.

Support

Yes FAQ

Yes Chat

Yes Email

No Telephone

24/7 ticket system and live chat. The knowledge base is comprehensive. Personal support is also great and scored well in our extensive support tests (they were a bit slow to answer emails from time to time).

Fun Factor

Figuring out how the system works can take a while in the beginning but it’s well worth it.

Overall Rating

4.1/5

Although not quite as easy to use as other website builders, Squarespace is a good product for smaller websites, online stores and blogs that need to look good. Support is a big plus – both the knowledge base as well as personal support.

Conclusion

The rather complicated editing interface used to be a major sticking point in the past. Fortunately, this has been improved in version 7. Although still not perfect, the site builder now allows for real point and click interaction. This speeds up your website building efforts and lets you avoid unpleasant surprises.

However, sometimes it feels a little too minimalistic, which can require a decent amount of trial and error until you are completely familiar with the editor. Some of the page elements are limited to an icon and don’t reveal their purpose immediately. Luckily, Squarespace provides many great tutorials that explain all the tools.

Each yearly plan contains a domain name. Although the “Personal” isn’t exactly cheap at $12/month, it comes with unlimited pages and bandwidth. To add premium features you’ll need the “Business” plan at $18/month.

Our tests have shown that Squarespace is a reliable website builder; however, its page speed needs improvement. Squarespace is not perfect, but we agree with their slogan: “Better websites for all.” If you are looking for Squarespace alternatives, you may also want to check out Wix.com. Like Squarespace, they are very focused on design aesthetics and generally a bit more flexible than Squarespace.

Try Squarespace 14 days for free

Tip: Save 10% on your first subscription term for any plan (monthly or yearly) using voucher code PARTNER10. Here’s a guide on how to redeem it.

Is Squarespace the right website builder for me?

You’re a looking for something easier than WordPress

You are a podcaster and need a platform for easy publishing

You want to create a stylish website

You need customer support 24/7 and don’t mind paying a premium

You are looking for a great cost- / performance ratio

You need a really easy website editor

Page speed is very important for you

Example Sites

Squarespace User Reviews

4.3 / 5
9 Reviews
5
4
4
4
3
1
2
0
1
0
Mark
It will require a lot of time to get to know the system, but when you are serious that won’t be an issue.

Derby
Templates are too inflexible

Jan
Pricing is fair.

Squarespace Alternatives

Wix’s core strength is its great looking templates that offer pixel-perfect customization options. With their unique App Market you can easily add third party applications to your website. Read our Wix vs Squarespace comparison.

Weebly is pleasantly easy to use and features some great designs. They are maybe not quite as stylish as Squarespace’s but far easier to customize. A big advantage is that all of their plans feature unlimited pages. Read our Weebly vs Squarespace comparison.

Jimdo is a very solid product aimed at total beginners. Although their blog and online store don’t measure up to Squarespace, we find their website editor more intuitive overall.

And then there is WordPress, of course. It’s more complicated to set up but provides a lot of flexibility. Find our Squarespace vs. WordPress review here.

Find more in our Squaespace alteratives article.

Still unsure of what website builder you should use? Let our smart finder decide for you in 5 easy questions.

Techie Stuff (Mainly for Geeks)

squarespace uptime response time

Here you can see the uptime of our Squarespace demo website for a period of about half a year. The best result would be 100%. The uptime should ideally be above 99.90%. Squarespace’s 99.96% are a pretty decent result.

Response time: That’s the time it takes to receive a response from Squarespace’s servers. A good value would be 700 milliseconds. 1000ms and more could feel slow to your visitors. Squarespace’s servers are located in the US.

Squarespace Desktop Mobile User Experience (mobile)
Template 1 75 46 100
Template 2 71 47 97
Template 3 55 37 99
Average Rating 67 43.33 99

 

As loading time has become a ranking factor for Google, page speed is now more important than ever before. Squarespace’s templates are responsive, which is great, but the downside is very poor loading speeds, in particular on mobile devices.

FAQ

Where do I start?

If you aren’t sure where to start, and you’d like some guidance you can check out Website that Wows; a Squarespace-focused website creation course. There is a 14-day free trial, make sure to use it and see if this course fits your needs as it’s quite an investment (starts at $497).

Squarespace course: Website that Wows

It’ll walk you through the process of building your site: from tips on picking your fonts and colors to setting up your email marketing program – the lessons are aimed for beginners, so don’t expect advanced techniques (e.g. for SEO or email marketing).

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 screen size 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?

No, you will have to set it up elsewhere. They recommend G Suite. Alternatively you can purchase your domain name through a registrar like Go Daddy or Namecheap and let email run through them.

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). There are better options than Squarespace for membership websites: 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 blog into Squarespace?

Yes, Squarespace supports imports from. WordPress, Tumblr, Squarespace 6, Blogger, Shopify, and Big Cartel. Squarespace also allows you to export your blog.

About Robert Brandl

robert brandl

Hi, my name is Robert Brandl and I am the founder of WebsiteToolTester. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Latest Review Updates

11 Jun 2019 – Complete update.
04 Jun 2019 – A few minor updates.
23 Oct 2018 – Added comments about our support test.
03 Sep 2018 – Further updates in SEO.
28 Feb 2018 – Updated uptime section
28 Sep 2017 – Updates in SEO.
15 Feb 2017 – Prices have increased.
17 Jan 2017 – We’ve added the Backup & Restore category in the table
04 Jan 2017 – Update in cons (preview mode)
28 Oct 2016 – Free SSL certificates available.
08 Sep 2016 – Squarespace new SEO rating is 4
18 Jul 2016 – Squarespace now overall rating is 4.2
19 Apr 2016 – Squarespace now also sells (expensive) domain names
03 Mar 2016 – Downgrade in Widget rating
03 Feb 2016 – New use case section added
22 Dec 2015 – Added pros and cons, uptime and response time, page speed results and some pricing updates.
11 Sep 2015 – User reviews section added
04 May 2015 – The “Personal” plan has no bandwidth and storage limit any longer
02 Dec 2014 – New video review added
21 Nov 2014 – Overall review update (V7), New rating 4.4 Stars (before 4.1)
28 Mai 2014 – Information on podcast hosting added.
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.

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