Squarespace is a website builder that allows anyone to build an appealing website using premade templates instead of developing one from scratch or using a more technically complex content management system (CMS) such as Drupal or WordPress. Squarespace templates are ready for immediate use with a user-friendly platform that allows you to drag and drop your text and imagery simply.
There are a few limitations to Squarespace’s customization, the biggest one being custom spacing. Adding spacing to make a site pleasing and easy to understand can be difficult once you start to drop in elements and create a grid. It can become uneven or even too large, meaning there is an excess of blank space on the page.
Another challenge was customizing colors. Squarespace makes it simple to choose a basic scheme of three colors, but if you are working with a company with more than two brand colors this can be a major design challenge. It can also be challenging to customize individual pages if you desire to make them look different from the others because your design is now the standard for all pages. For example, if you wanted the title for one accent page to be a different color, this wouldn’t be very easy to achieve.
Plans and Features
Despite having to work within the templating confines, Squarespace is an excellent CMS option for many organizations. The attraction to this website builder for many small businesses is their low-cost plans, which can be a good option when working towards a larger CMS project in the future. Plans start at low at $12/month and increase as you add features such as online purchasing capabilities or other advanced features.
They also offer add-ons such as additional customization options like CSS or scripts. More great features include digital marketing and analytics tools. On the digital marketing side, one thing Squarespace does well is its ability to show and use your social media accounts on your site. To start, they make adding social icons to your site simple or even displaying your Instagram feed directly on your website. This also comes with the ability to add social share options to different content enabling users to easily share your content with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., which can help drive more traffic back to your website.
You can also expand from traditional social media to create more in-depth content using their blogging and podcast features. They make it easy to host your podcast on the website, and a blog can help improve your search engine optimization (SEO). Squarespace has some great SEO tools, making it easy to structure content and keywords and review your site and see what’s working best to boost your SEO results.
Lastly, they offer basic marking tools like promotional pop-ups and announcement bars to promote special offers. For analytics and tracking tools, you have the option to connect your email marketing campaigns with Mailchimp as well as track customer data and build audiences. If you are using their online store features, you can also track revenue, conversions, and cart abandonment to help see where you could work to improve your site's usability.
Creating Your Website
To get started with a project, you begin by picking from their large variety of website templates. The browsing process is made easy with the ability to narrow down your options by selecting what type of business you have, what your goals are, and what growth stage you are in.
O8 is a highly technical agency with the ability to build complex sites in open source CMS platforms such as Drupal. However, for some clients, a website built in Squarespace makes more sense for their current growth stage.
A Squarespace migration starts with discovery and a content audit. Once it is determined what content needs to be moved and created, building out the site can be done in a quick and efficient manner. Along with the simple content migration, creating a library of fresh images and copy to convert customers and generate revenue is easy.
As previously mentioned, Squarespace is not as fully customizable as other CMS platforms, so sites have to be built within the confines of the template. However, by using their Squarespace elements, it is still achievable to create a unique design.
For many organizations using this tool, Squarespace site implementations are a stepping stone towards eventually using a CMS like Drupal or WordPress. A Squarespace site will serve as a solution to bring organizations closer to their goals and will provide valuable insights into their digital marketing efforts as well as customer tracking and e-commerce analytics.
From here, it will be easier to grasp just how beneficial a Drupal site could be, with more power to track customer journeys and implement a full-funnel digital marketing strategy that can lead to higher ROI. But until they are ready to make that leap, Squarespace is the best, most cost-effective solution for many organizations to achieve their goals.