If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, you already know the game: Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder that makes it easy to create a professional-looking online presence. It’s the second most popular web builder out there by number (after Wix) and the third most popular hosting service (after Wix and Shopify), powering more than 2.8 million live websites on the internet at the time of publication.
One of the main reasons for Squarespace’s success — aside from all those ad slots narrated by Ira Glass — is that you don’t need any web design or coding experience to get a beautiful website up and running on its platform. With intuitive drag-and-drop building elements and a wide selection of state-of-the-art templates, it’s easily one of the most beginner-friendly tools of its kind.
In all honesty, the hardest part of designing a Squarespace website is often just choosing one of these templates — there are 234 of them in Squarespace versions 7.0 and 7.1, the two iterations of the platform currently supported. How do you decide which one to use for your oil painting portfolio, Taiwanese-American food blog, or the online shop for your cool girl jeans? (These are all different types of sites built with Squarespace, FYI.)
Let’s get into that – but first, a quick introduction.
Why should I use Squarespace?
After the quick and easy website design, the best thing about Squarespace is its all-in-one approach: your plan includes 24/7 customer support, website metrics, SEO features, SSL security, unlimited bandwidth, and video storage, everything for as little money as $14 a month. (That gets even cheaper if you opt for a long-term plan, by the way.) Squarespace also offers fully managed cloud hosting at no extra cost, plus a year’s worth of new custom domain if you sign up for an annual membership. You don’t need to setup anything else with another provider or platform.
What exactly is a Squarespace template?
A Squarespace template (or theme) is a pre-built, ready-to-use demo website that you can customize with different colors, pages, fonts, and drag-and-drop blocks of elements like text, images, galleries, buttons, and shapes. Squarespace describes them as “a starting point to inspire your site’s design,” noting that “[you] You can keep the structure of your original theme by replacing the demo content with your own, or you can completely change your site’s theme and start from scratch.”
Each template was created exclusively for Squarespace, which means you won’t find them on WordPress, Wix, or any other website building platform.
Are Squarespace templates mobile-friendly?
All Squarespace templates are mobile-friendly from the start, which is great for two reasons: Mobile-friendly sites look great on all devices and Get a higher priority from Google when it comes to indexing and SEO rankings.
Squarespace version 7.0 templates have separate mobile styles that activate on smaller devices, while their version 7.1 counterparts automatically adapt to the mobile view. (More on that in a second.) Check out Squarespace’s tips for making your site mobile-friendly(opens in a new tab) while you continue to expand it.
Which version of Squarespace is better: 7.0 or 7.1?
Squarespace version 7.0 launched in 2014 and categorizes its 91 templates(opens in a new tab) into distinct template “families”, which are groups of similarly coded templates that share basic structure and functionality. Each has its own set of rules and customization options(opens in a new tab), which means sometimes you’ll have to swap out templates and start over (and risk losing content) when you’re looking for a specific feature. For example infinite scrolling(opens in a new tab) is exclusive to the Farro(opens in a new tab) and Skye(opens in a new tab) template families.
Squarespace got rid of these hard and fast classifications with the release of version 7.1 in early 2020. All 143 of his more recent templates(opens in a new tab) now belong to the same family with the same features and underlying structure, making it easier to change website style in seconds.
That being said, neither version of Squarespace is clearly “better” than the other. Version 7.1 is probably the ideal choice for people new to the platform as it aggressively streamlines the design process, especially since Fluid Engine’s July 2022 launch(opens in a new tab). (This is Squarespace’s next-gen content editor for 7.1 sites, using a grid system and additional block placement options for improved layout flexibility(opens in a new tab) – especially on mobile(opens in a new tab).)
However, users who have previously created a Squarespace site may still have good reason to stick with version 7.0 – their templates have some advanced features that haven’t been added to the new ones yet. (See: Parallax scrolling, a particularly popular feature of the popular Brine template family, missing in version 7.1; people were pretty salty about it.)
One caveat: While it is possible Switching between versions 7.0 and 7.1 usually requires a full rebuild and messes up your site’s search rankings. On the plus side, Squarespace offers a 14-day free trial so you can play around with both before committing.
Is Squarespace Better Than WordPress?
That’s pretty situational. WordPress is best for people on both ends of the customization spectrum: you can use the free version to create a super basic blog, or a completely unique site built from the ground up with premium themes and dozens of balls to die for Wall go thousands of plugins. Remember that the latter requires managing your own hosting, security and updates; You may also need to hire a developer if your coding skills aren’t up to scratch.
Squarespace vs. WordPress: Which Website Builder Is Best for Your Dream Site?
Squarespace’s templates are less flexible than a custom WordPress site and rely heavily on graphics, but they already have some great built-in features and look pretty snazzy right out of the box – plus all the technical drudgery is handled by the platform itself.
Squarespace also supports the official integrations of certain services, including Apple News (to publish your content), PayPal (to accept payments), and OpenTable (to allow guests to make reservations), along with a few dozen third-party extensions. While not as productive as WordPress plugins, they should be able to serve most of your needs and those of your users, no problem.
How do you find the right Squarespace template for you?
First, go to the Templates tab on Squarespace’s website and filter the library by type and topic to narrow your candidate pool. You can click “Preview” on any theme that catches your eye to see how it would look in the wild.
Squarespace recommends choosing a template based on your favorite colors and layouts, rather than the demo content you see there: “You can always change your site’s style and layout, but you may find it easier to work with starting with a design that’s already close to what you want your site to look like,” reads a Help Center page. “Like the Dario demo site is designed for a wedding, but you can customize it to accept RSVPs for a different type of event or to collect pre-orders for a new product launch.”
If you’re struggling to settle on one, know this: it’s essentially impossible to create an ugly Squarespace site, and with enough time and experimentation, you can customize almost any template to your exact vision and needs. But just in case you need a nudge in a certain direction, read on: below, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best Squarespace templates for all types of websites.
Note: Most of our recommendations are from Squarespace version 7.1, but we’ve added a few options from version 7.0 that still stand out. Templates are marked accordingly.
https://mashable.com/roundup/best-squarespace-templates Best Squarespace templates 2023: 15 designs for blogs and more