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Building a website from scratch can be difficult, especially if you don’t know coding or don’t have a technical background. Luckily, spending hours, days, or even weeks trying to figure out how to use certain software is an issue of the past with Squarespace.
Squarespace is a modern platform that hosts millions of websites for creative professionals. With Squarespace, you can conveniently create a beautiful and functional website in just a few hours.
You don’t need experience or technical know-how to use Squarespace efficiently, as the platform gives you access to everything you need to grow your online presence.
Continue reading to learn more about how to use Squarespace in just five easy steps.
Why Using Squarespace is Worth It
Squarespace lets you turn your creative ideas into reality, with its extensive tools, templates, and easy navigation, all at an affordable price. No matter what subscription you choose, the Squarespace platform gives you 24/7 customer support, security, unlimited storage, and website metrics.
With Squarespace, you get a little extra love to help you build the website of your dreams. Its feature list is robust, covering areas from basic website design and commerce to marketing and analytics.
The best part about using the platform is that you don’t need to install additional web hosting for your website, as all Squarespace plans include access to its fully managed cloud hosting. Squarespace cloud hosting will ensure your website remains available at all times while saving you money and storage space on another hosting service.
You can build several types of websites on the Squarespace platform, like online stores, blogs, portfolios, CVs, and creative services. You can use its extensive ecommerce tools to sell products or use its simple design customization to transform your blog.
Squarespace is a worthy investment simply because it’s accommodating and easy-to-use for most users. And an investment it is—let’s talk all about the costs needed to use Squarespace in the first place.
The Investment Needed to Use Squarespace
Squarespace offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required. However, it doesn’t last forever, and you will need to purchase a plan to get started properly. There are also some other fees you will need to consider, like domain names and third-party extensions.
Squarespace Pricing Plans:
- Personal: $12 per month, billed at $144 per year
- Business: $18 per month, billed at $216 per year
- Basic Commerce: $26 per month, billed at $312 per year
- Advanced Commerce: $40 per month, billed at $480 per year
Squarespace Domain Names:
- Free for one year with an annual plan, and then each domain costs between $20-$70 per year.
Squarespace Third-Party Extensions:
- Prices for extensions vary, but most start from $0-$79 per month.
As you can see, even building a website with Squarespace’s most basic subscription will see you paying close to $200 per year and upwards of $1,000 per year for more advanced functionalities and tools.
Squarespace also gives you the option to hire an independent expert that can help you with complicated tasks from design to online store setup. The price for hiring an expert varies greatly, as each project is different. However, pricing usually starts at $2,000 per project and increases as the project scope expands.
So to reiterate, Squarespace expects you to pay between $200-$2,000 per year for any given subscription.
In terms of your time and effort, Squarespace is a bit more lenient. You can build a Squarespace website in as little as two to four hours, depending on your skill level. Squarespace makes building your site easy with one-click installs, simple template customization, knowledge-based forums, and drag-and-drop features. As we mentioned above, you don’t have to know how to code to build a Squarespace site.
Now that you know the full scope of a Squarespace investment, let’s look at how to use the platform to build your ideal website in just five easy steps.
5 Steps to Use Squarespace
Read on as we discuss the five simple steps that will help you use Squarespace to its maximum potential, where you can build your dream website.
Step 1: Pick a Domain Name
A domain name is your unique web address that makes your website look more professional. Your domain name can be whatever you want it to be, but only if it’s available on the Squarespace registrar.
The great thing about Squarespace is that you can purchase and register a domain directly on its platform, so you don’t need to redirect to any third-party registrars.
Before you claim your domain name, think about marketability first. To choose a suitable domain name—it should reflect your brand, for one—but it should also be short, easy to type and pronounce, and you should avoid numbers and hyphens.
To get started, click Find a Domain and search for your desired name. You’ll then see a list of available domain names and their respective extensions. Squarespace offers up to 200 top-level domains (TLDs) from .com, .org, .net, to .biz, and .info.
You can select one or more domain names and register them with Squarespace, so you can manage them in one place. If you already have a domain from a third-party provider, Squarespace lets you transfer and extend the domain registration by one year, with no transactional fees.
Step 2: Choose a Template
A good template is what will make your website stand out, which is why it’s so important to find the perfect one for your specific business niche. Luckily, Squarespace offers a wide range of simple yet elegant template designs for most website categories.
Squarespace templates are a great starting point to inspire your own unique website design ideas. The templates are fully customizable, so you can completely change the original design and start from scratch with no coding knowledge.
However, if you’re a beginner, Squarespace also gives you the option to keep the template exactly as is, making it easy to add your content on top of the existing demo template.
The best part about choosing and installing a template with Squarespace is that it’s so simple to do. All you have to do is create a free account with Squarespace and log in.
Continue with the following steps to install a Squarespace template:
- Go to www.squarespace.com and click Templates.
- Choose from a wide range of templates in topics like portfolio, online store, and blog.
- Click Start With (insert template name here).
- Begin the editing process.
As soon as you click on a template, it’s all yours! You can also choose to preview the template before trying it by clicking on Preview.
Once you’ve chosen your desired template, a pop-up box will appear with simple steps on how to edit your website, leaving no room for confusion. What’s great about Squarespace is that you can try out as many templates as you like before choosing the one most suitable for your needs—making it a stress-free experience.
Step 3: Add Extensions
Squarespace extensions are the equivalent to plugins or add-ons—and although optional—they’re an excellent way to enhance your website. With extensions, you’re able to add more functionality, so your site can expand across different platforms.
To make it easier for you, Squarespace offers a refined but powerful range of extensions. Instead of wasting time by going to a third-party app store, you can simply go to the Squarespace Extensions homepage and connect tools through the platform itself.
Squarespace offers extensions in categories like shipping and fulfillment, finance, inventory and products, and sales and marketing. The tools cater to users with websites selling a high volume of products and those building a loyal customer base.
Some Squarespace extensions include:
- Smart SEO
- Quickbooks Commerce
- Order Desk
The process of installing an extension is similar to a template:
- Click Products, followed by Extensions.
- Click on the extension you want, and it will take you to the homepage, where you can view additional information like pricing, key features, and description.
- Click Connect to Site (you must log in before connecting).
- Select the website you want to connect it to.
- Read and accept the extension’s terms and conditions.
- Click Allow Access.
It’s important to remember that all Squarespace extensions are from third-party providers. So if you have any issues, you need to contact the extensions support team via the link on its homepage mentioned above.
Step 4: Add Website Content
The most important aspect of any website is the content. After choosing a domain, template, and extensions, it’s time to add relevant content to your website.
The type of content you add to your website will be different for everyone since there are different business niches. A blog will have vastly different content to an online store, but there’s something that isn’t so different—the way you add the content.
Adding content to your Squarespace website will be the same for everyone. Luckily, with the help of Squarespace editing prompts and knowledge-based forums, there is a lot of support out there when it comes to the editing process.
There are two important elements of a Squarespace website—Blocks and Pages. You must build a Page before adding a Block to your website to add content, so let’s break it down:
How to build a Page:
- In the Home Menu, click Pages
- Click +Add Page
- Choose Blank Page
How to add Blocks to a page:
- In the Home Menu, click Pages
- Select the page you want and click Edit in the top-left corner
- Hover over the section and click Insert Point
- In the menu, select a block or search for blocks at the top of the menu
Once you’ve built a page and added blocks to that page, Squarespace lets you add text, images, videos, galleries, and audio to your site.
Step 5: Market Your Website
Once you’re satisfied with the result of your website and all your content is good to go, it’s time to market your website. Squarespace makes this step easy with extensive marketing tools and specific brand design.
Squarespace marketing tools are available to all users with the Business plan or higher, as it offers advanced website analytics, up to $100 of Google Ads credit, and promotional pop-ups and banners.
You can professionally market your website and grow your audience with Squarespace email campaigns. You get to create powerful email marketing, where you showcase your blog posts and products, so your messaging is consistent.
The best aspect of Squarespace marketing tools is its logo maker for brand design. There’s no better way to showcase your brand and refine your audience than with a free marketable logo.
To be fair, in terms of design, Squarespace limits the free logos. But you can pay for custom logos that are unique and tailored to your business needs. Whichever you choose, we think that Squarespace marketing tools are some of the best on the market.
Congratulations! You’ve completed all the steps it takes to use Squarespace effectively and build your ideal website. There are a couple of additional steps you should adhere to in order to maximize your website potential.
Monitor Your Website
The best way to continue growing is to monitor your website through analytics. Squarespace offers advanced website analytics just for this purpose—making it easy to track sales and conversions, monitor visitor numbers, check trends over time, and get alerts when traffic is spiking or dipping.
Conduct SEO Research
To produce relevant and engaging content, conduct additional SEO research and learn how to incorporate it into your content. Luckily, every Squarespace plan offers a suite of SEO tools for site visibility that guide you through simple steps to help you maximize prominence within search results.
Update Content Regularly
The last thing you should aim to do after launching your website is to update your content regularly. Websites should always be up-to-date, so new visitors receive the correct information.
If you own an online store, check your content at least once a month. If you own a blog, make sure you always produce content regularly and aim for a new blog post at least once per week.