Last Updated: March 16, 2021
- Free trial: Yes, 14 days
- Ecommerce tools: Yes
- Support for teams: Yes
- Customer support: Yes, 24/7
- Free SSL certificate: Yes
- SEO-ready templates: Yes
- Free domain registration: Yes
- Business marketing tools: Yes
- Tons of ecommerce tools
- Advanced website analytics
- 110+ Squarespace templates
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Limited POS functions
- Limited payment gateways
- Poorly optimized templates
- Lack of multi-currency support
Website builders are here to help you create your dream site. These tools come with customizable templates, free stock content, and mobile device support. The drag-drop builder is the highlight feature. It makes the whole process feel like a child’s play.
We read other Squarespace reviews, did our research, and tested the features and customer support. Ready to see how the platform performed?
What Is Squarespace?
Squarespace was founded in 2004 by Anthony Casalena. He wanted to give people with minimal coding skills the opportunity to create their own sites. Back then, the majority of options lacked crucial features.
Nowadays, the company is headquartered in New York with offices in Portland and Dublin. It employs 1,100+ individuals with the majority being frontline employees. The goal? To offer outstanding services in a very competitive market.
Squarespace has numerous tools to help you on your website building journey. They include a live editor with drag-drop, SEO optimized templates, cheap hosting, etc. 2.5+ million customers trust its services.
Squarespace Website Builder
The interface isn’t one of the best, but it still gets the job done.
The Squarespace editor is the star of the show. You can use blocks to easily add different web page elements – images, text, videos, and custom HTML embeds. With the grid layout, positioning content in place is so easy. Anything that you add will automatically be optimized for mobile devices, which makes it a good builder for UK businesses too.
You also get galleries, photo carousels, and slide shows. Squarespace even lets you add animations!
You can go above board to personalize blocks using CSS. It supports custom codes for enhancing the look and feel of your website. If you’re a novice, that might be a bit too advanced for you, though.
Hosting a website on Squarespace requires a custom domain name. The platform auto-generates suggestions to give you a wide variety of choices.
This will set you back at least $20/year. That’s more than double what web builders such as Zyro charge.
You’re guaranteed to enjoy fixed annual charges year in, year out.
Squarespace has a catalog of 110+ templates. These are pre-built themes that cover a wide range of industries. All of them are customizable making it easy to remove or add new content.
The configuration process is simple. You’ll have access to a library that categorizes them under different niches – businesses, arts, blogs, and retail stores. Each of them has demo content to give you a basic idea of what to expect. Once you settle for one, you can tweak it as you like.
Unlike Wix and Shopify, Squarespace allows you to switch templates at any point. Just make sure you don’t do it too often – you don’t want to confuse your visitors!
When working on this Squarespace review, we came across a stock content library. You’ll find hundreds of beautiful images that were taken by professionals.
The best part?
Most of them are free.
Of course, you can always pay for the premium collection. Squarespace allows you to see how the photos will look on your site before making a purchase. That sounds good until you get to the prices. It will cost you $10+ for one.
All purchases are yours to edit and keep forever. But you should take note of the terms of service. It’s controlled by Getty Images that licenses the content to Squarespace. Royalty-free photographs are the best for use with minimal restrictions.
Squarespace websites come with unmetered resources. This includes both bandwidth and storage.
While that’s a huge advantage, there are limitations to restrict usage. For example, gallery sections support up to 250 images. The same applies to content blocks, store products, and blog pages.
The company terms the limits as necessary for making websites stable. The more cluttered your website is, the slower the loading speeds.
Squarespace has the tools you need to grow your online shop. Inventory management is the first one. You can use it to sort your products out. The software also lets you monitor the movement of goods, price changes, and process customer orders.
The abandoned cart recovery sends notifications to customers. You can also use the discounts option to entice them into making a purchase. The service also covers shipping. It automatically determines the cheapest options, working with the likes of DHL, USPS, and FedEx.
Your customers can register for accounts on your ecommerce website on Squarespace. This is important for faster processing of orders and making follow-up on issues. You can take advantage of it to accelerate sales by sending out discounts and new offers via email.
Squarespace offers lovely ecommerce templates. There are around 30+ that are available for free. Unfortunately, the majority largely cater to freelancers. If you’re looking to have an Amazon-like website, then you’ll have to buy one.
The point of sale (POS) is a great addition for businesses that have physical stores. This allows customers to safely swipe their credit cards hassle-free. It currently supports merchants located in the United States. Hopefully, Squarespace adds support for other countries soon.
A powerful analytics tool assists you to track fast-moving stock. It’s ideal for monitoring trends and ensuring that shelves are fully stocked. You can also use it to eliminate slow-moving items. This is one way of minimizing loss brought about by unsalable products.
Several measures are in place for safeguarding your site. There’s Squarespace SSL that provides the first line of defense. It works by encrypting data exchanged between your server and the end-user.
The website application firewall (WAF) comes second. It has programmed rules for filtering traffic. It can perfectly identify and eliminate bots and spam. It can even block DDoS and brute force attacks.
Passwords hashing is available as well. This scrambles user passkeys, making it difficult for hackers to capture. You can additionally enforce two-factor authentication (2FA).
Squarespace also maintains a separate team of ethical hackers. The special staff help to test for the presence of vulnerabilities. Once identified, the exploits are sealed.
If you’re gonna use Squarespace for business, we have great news – all plans come with a bunch of free marketing tools. Users get a Google Ads credit worth $100 for a start.
You’re required to spend at least $25 to qualify for the freebie. It’s still an irresistible deal to get your business noticed, though.
A professional banner and pop-up maker enables you to scale up your marketing. It’s great for advertising discounts and limited offers. You can additionally use it to strategically place a call to action. This works best in collecting emails, generating leads, and promoting events.
Customers get advanced analytics for monitoring performance. Not only does it track traffic but also keeps watch of user paths. You can optimize the most sought-after content to boost conversions.
Squarespace sites run on a robust network with great uptime – 99.9%. It achieves this by hosting its infrastructure in the cloud for stellar performance. Such a setup usually involves the use of strategically located servers across the globe. The combination enables the systems to work simultaneously to minimize failure.
Backups are a great way of securing your site’s data. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to backup a Squarespace site. As a word of advice, you should begin by creating a sitemap. From here, ensure that you download the XML file each time you update content on your site.
You can also create PDF copies of webpages using any browser. For large websites, tools such as Google Drive will come in handy. It helps to remotely store files rather than filling up your device’s storage. We suggest you take screenshots to keep a copy of your website’s user interface.
Squarespace Mobile App
Squarespace web hosting supports a handful of features such as configuring a site from scratch. You can adjust templates, configure blocks, add content, and more.
You can pull images directly from your device’s gallery and organize them into categories. Whereas the feature is useful, editing text can be cumbersome. A good number of users complained in their Squarespace reviews that the tool lags. That, however, depends on your device.
We did manage to get a butter smooth experience from our Android and iOS devices. The platform is intuitive, fluid, and simple to use.
Squarespace Pros and Cons
Like any tool, Squarespace has its good and bad sides. Here are the main things you need to be aware of:
Easy to Use Website Builder – Pro
Creating a Squarespace blog is as easy as ABC. You don’t need to have any coding knowledge. Instead, you’ll find a live editor with a drag-and-drop tool.
It doesn’t have a steep learning curve as Squarespace reviews suggest. In case what you’re looking for isn’t available, use the search tool.
The stock gallery is very rich and convenient. You can preview images on your site before settling for any.
You don’t even have to worry about SEO. Every block that you edit hard-codes meta descriptions on your template. These enable search engines to understand the content on pages translating to higher rankings.
Lack of flexibility is a major drawback of this builder. Unlike Zyro and Wix, Squarespace limits customization to pre-defined blocks. There are specific places to add videos, text, and images. You can’t move the content around freely.
Interchangeable Templates – Pro
Squarespace has website templates that can be customized. With the evolving trend in technology, designs do have a shorter lifespan. The best way to maintain the pace is by refreshing your site’s user interface. That’s something that most online businesses do to improve usability.
The live editor enables you to test new themes one at a time. Your visitors won’t be able to view the preview as you. You can also customize it beforehand. This won’t affect the performance of your website at all. Once you like the design, it takes one click to go live. However, when we tested for this Squarespace review, some of the elements were not visible. It only worked after we swapped the templates.
Top-Notch Security – Pro
Squarespace utilizes all known options to keep sites secure. This includes SSL to encrypt user data. The vendor additionally uses PCI-DSS compliant hardware. These comprise servers that are specifically meant for handling credit card transactions securely.
The platform utilizes WAF for monitoring all traffic coming to your site. Any usual patterns other than the flow of visitors are blocked. Everything happens behind the scenes. Users will hardly notice any lags.
Squarespace security integrations also include strict policies for user passwords. The use of simple passcodes is highly discouraged. The 2FA adds an additional layer of protection to accounts.
Robust Ecommerce Tools – Pro
No one makes managing an e-commerce business as easy as Squarespace. It offers an incredible number of options to keep your business running flawlessly. These range from free themes to multiple payment gateways.
The inventory management system is what you will love to use the most. You can keep your store neat by organizing the flow of goods. Every movement of items is tracked right from the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep.
Knowing what to stock is equally important. You have an analytics tool for that.
Reliability – Pro
Frequent downtimes are a sure way of losing your audience. The good thing is Squarespace web hosting offers top-class reliability. The vendor relies on a custom CDN for accelerating the performance of websites. This works by caching sites across a network of interconnected data centers. When a server goes offline, the rest stays put to maintain continuous uptime.
The company has an SLA of 99.9% calculated per minute over an entire month. Should a cumulative downtime of 43.8 minutes occur, you’ll qualify for compensation. While it’s not a refund, you get a 50% discount on your next bill. It’s automatically applied.
Average Performance – Con
Every second counts when it comes to web page loading time. On average, users will leave sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load. The test site we created for this Squarespace review took almost 6 seconds. Definitely not a good sign.
One thing we noticed is that content takes a different amount of time to download. GTmetrix helped us to discover that the issue was a large-sized image. We replaced it with a compressed version. The outcome was a 50% improvement in performance.
Lack of Squarespace Plugins – Con
We were hoping to find third-party apps while working on this Squarespace review. There are none. Users won’t be able to add more functions to their sites.
Platforms such as Zyro, Wix, Weebly, and more do support alternative market applications. These offer a handful of integrations.
Limited SEO Functions – Con
Website building on Squarespace is a walk in the park. But its support for SEO is novice-level at best. While you get a $100 credit to place ads on Google, it’s unsustainable. Optimizing your site for search engines is a great investment instead. You’ll get tons of free organic traffic for a lifetime.
While meta descriptions are added to the content, you can’t edit them. This means that you’ll remain with a poorly optimized site. In the long run, topping search results may become a tough nut crack. There’s a workaround for it but you need to have advanced skills. You can inject custom CSS rules to cover the gap.
Limited Menu Navigation – Con
Some websites require a deep menu structure with lots of sub-menus. These include e-commerce, multilingual, and sites for large organizations. Creating an easy-to-navigate site might be a challenge. To address this issue, you can host different websites on multiple sub-domains. Linking them on the main site will help eliminate the clutter present in complex navigation menus.
Limited Payment Gateways – Con
Squarespace has limited ecommerce payment gateways – Stripe and PayPal. While the services are popular, they do have restrictions in some countries. Most of these limitations are for security reasons, while others, geopolitical.
On the bright side, it comes with POS for serving brick-mortar stores. As for the main issue, you can integrate a separate payment system. However, that will require you to manually update orders for processing.
Squarespace Customer Support
To contact support, you can use the ticketing system and live chat. The former is available 24/7 while the latter during business hours only. You’ll be required to go through multiple steps before accessing either. This involves selecting issues that you want to be addressed based on topics.
Regrettably, using the support page is tiresome. It refreshes each time you select an item. Eventually, we did manage to speak to a live agent.
While the person we spoke to was welcoming, his reaction time was slow. He took his sweet time to answer the basics of questions. We had to repeat ourselves most of the time for him to understand. Definitely not a good experience.
Who Is Squarespace Best For?
Squarespace web hosting best suits:
Squarespace is good for blogging. The platform has lots of powerful features for creating beautiful personal sites. Be it for fun or freelancing, rest assured that your venture will flourish.
The drag-drop builder is what makes it a perfect choice for everyone. You can make it more quirky with animations.
The Squarespace app – available for both iOS and Android – will let you post content directly from your device.
Squarespace is suitable for hosting business websites of any type. This can range from a simple profile for companies to complex sites.
There are tons of templates to help you get started, covering different industries. Custom solutions are available via third-party marketplaces. But they cost an arm and a leg. The free ones still work fine for users with a tight budget.
You’ll also find a gallery with stock photos. If what you’re looking for is missing, just switch to the premium tab – you’ll have access to thousands of photos. You will, however, have to pay for them.
Overall, Squarespace website builder helps businesses keep the costs of operations low. It eliminates the need of hiring an in-house developer.
Squarespace offers a number of features for presenting content in a visually appealing manner. You can create a carousel, grid, slide show, stack, or include layouts for images. These are useful in animating the presentation of content. You can use collage, overlap, cards, and posters.
But wait, there’s more!
Storage and bandwidth are unlimited. You can upload as many images as you like. On the downside, files are limited to a maximum of 20MB.
Squarespace ecommerce plans are a great choice for hosting robust online businesses. They come with the right set of tools for boosting your sales. The payment gateway system is a bit limited. It supports both PayPal and Stripe. The service additionally covers offline businesses with the inclusion of a POS.
Should your operations grow, you can add users to help you. This is perfect for small and large enterprises. As the overall admin, you will be responsible for assigning user roles. The undertaking is important for the smooth running of services.
How to Create a Squarespace Website
Here’s how to use Squarespace to create a website:
Head over to Squarespace sign up for an account. Feel free to ask support any questions. That will be of help in assisting you to onboard quickly.
Register a Domain
Use the search tool on the company’s website to narrow down on one domain. The broad suggestions in results are what you’ll appreciate the most. It guarantees that you don’t miss the opportunity to have a unique brand. Just ensure that your address fits well with your niche.
Select a Template
Squarespace has numerous website templates. Since you’re getting started, go with any to save time. You can switch to another one at a later date. You can play around with the look and feel of it.
You’re now entering the final lap. Going by Squarespace reviews, it should take you a few hours to do so. That’s if you have content ready. If you don’t, worry not for Rome wasn’t built in a day.
The editor is simple to use. Just drag, reposition, and edit elements as you wish. You can check for responsiveness to ensure everything is in place. If something is off, rearrange the content until it feels right.
Your site is now ready to go live. All you need to do is click on “Publish”. Voila, you have your own space on the Web!
Squarespace or WordPress?
There are a number of Squarespace alternatives with WordPress topping the list. It has one of the best content management systems in the market. You’ll find thousands of themes and plugins for creating any type of website. For your reference, we’re speaking of 50,000+ apps and templates. The sheer size of it belittles that of its peer.
It takes a bit of time to familiarize yourself with WordPress. And it doesn’t come cheap. You’ll need to find a reliable host and then set up a site. We suggest hiring a developer.
The Squarespace website builder comes with tons of features for deploying a site in minutes. This includes domain registration, hosting, and a live editor. Users get access to tens of professionally designed templates for start. Not to forget, you can customize any with just a few clicks.
Squarespace also offers unlimited resources for running large websites. This includes both bandwidth and storage. You can take advantage of it to run e-commerce sites, photography blogs, and viral content platforms. While you can do the same on WordPress, finding a reliable host is challenging. And if you do, the cost is on the higher side.
Overall, both platforms are suitable for building a website. While WordPress enjoys a large pool of developers, Squarespace gets the crown because of its simplicity.
Squarespace’s pricing is as follows:
- Personal–$12/Month. Offers a free domain, SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth, and limited extensions.
- Basic commerce–$26/Month. Supports unlimited products, POS, customer account registration, and e-commerce analytics.
- Advanced commerce–$40/Month. Offers abandoned cart recovery, automatic discounts, and sale of subscription services.
Squarespace offers a 14-day trial to test the waters. There’s a 14-days money-back guarantee on the annual plans only.
Squarespace Review – Verdict
Squarespace is a good website builder. It has some great features, and it’s a wonderful option for novice users. Not to mention it’s Keanu Reeves’ tool of choice!
Although it might sometimes be slow and it lacks integrations, it’s still a great solution for personal blogs, photography websites, and ecommerce stores.
You’ll get unlimited hosting at a flat fee. This eliminates the risk of worrying about scaling in the future. Likewise, you can add collaborators to give you a helping hand.
Go and give Squarespace a try. After all, Keanu Reeves can’t be wrong, can he?
Squarespace has a consistent uptime guarantee of 99.9% per month. It comes with a service level agreement (SLA). Should there be 43.8 minutes of total downtime in a month, you’ll qualify for a credit. This adds a 50% automatic discount on your next bill. Sounds good, right?
It’s slightly better. Here’s why:
Both platforms offer capable tools for building websites fast. But unlike Squarespace website builder, Wix is more robust. It’s powered by artificial intelligence that customizes sites based on user personality. It also provides a logo maker for adding a professional touch to your business. The drag-drop builder it offers is equally superb. You’ll fall in love with its simplicity and wide feature support.
Squarespace still has a lot of work to do on the editor. It limits users on where to place content. On the upside, users get unlimited resources. That includes both bandwidth and storage. This is where Wix falls short, as it only supports up to 50GB of space.
Theme switching is another highlight of Squarespace. You don’t get to enjoy that with Wix. Once you settle for a template, you’re done for good.
Squarespace web hosting is more of a one-stop-shop for everything. You can buy domains, get hosting, and configure sites in a snap. While you can accomplish the same on GoDaddy, you’ll need extra skills to set up a website. The vendor also has hidden charges and upsells basic services. Some of them include email and backups. Its only advantage is server control where the user has an upper edge. You can install custom apps and tweak performance to your liking. That’s something that Squarespace customers will never get to enjoy.
It’s offered as a value-added service. As such, domain registrations provide a way for the vendor to upsell services. You also get to enjoy flat renewal charges. Other hosts are a bit shady when it comes to renewing domains. They double prices as a way of recovering the initial discount offered to you.
No, it doesn’t. Once registered, you get to retain all the rights of your domain.
Sadly, it is. The platform provides limited options to optimize content for search engines. You can read more about it in our Squarespace review above.
You’ll need to be aware of the:
- Lack of third-party extensions support
- Missing direct backup
- Cluttered sitemaps
- Limited SEO functionality
- Website pages max out at 1,000