Squarespace Review – Is This Hosted Website Builder Worth It?

By: | Updated: May 25, 2021

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When it comes to website building, there are so many great drag and drop website builder options at your disposal it can feel like picking a needle out of a haystack.

However, if you’re looking for a beautifully designed website, Squarespace leads the pack and can be your platform of choice. This is our Squarespace review to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Squarespace is a great option for building websites of all kinds. Small businesses can use it to give their company a face on the web, creators can showcase their work, and everyday people can use it for blogging, resumes, or events.

The platform is relatively easy to use and comes strapped with tools and features so you can make the best website possible. To top it off, you don’t need to know how to code or have any development experience whatsoever.

With that being said, let’s get into our Squarespace review. We’ll talk about the different pricing plans, template selection, and additional tools and features. By the time we’re done, you’ll have a pretty good idea if Squarespace will work for you.

What Is Squarespace?

Squarespace is a WYSIWYG — what you see is what you get — drag-and-drop website builder. Anyone can sign up for Squarespace and create a website without any prior coding experience.

Squarespace is an easy-to-use website builder that lets you create visually stunning websites in a matter of hours. It features a wide range of professionally designed templates for you to choose from to get started.

You’re able to download a template, customize page elements to your liking, and add whatever content you want. You can even add in your own HTML for further customization if you have some web development experience under your belt.

Once you have your website up and running, you can use the Squarespace content management system to manage all of your content. The editor platform gives you complete control of what visitors see on your site, such as page text, headers, page titles, and images.

So what’s our take on this platform?

Squarespace’s Premium Features

When choosing a content management system, you will want to ensure you have premium features to use. Squarespace has an assortment of premium tools, ranging from Google Workspace integration to advanced eCommerce. Let’s review some of its top features to consider.

Google Workspace Integration

It’s easy for users to integrate their Google Workspace accounts with Squarespace. To be eligible, you’ll need a trial site, paid site, or a parking page on either 7.0 or 7.1. You’ll also require a third-party domain or a Squarespace domain to connect your accounts.

With this feature, you can manage your Google tasks directly through Squarespace. It’s particularly beneficial for eCommerce, as you can review invoices and manage your contacts list. Another benefit is the ability to deal with professional email campaigns, such as managing a customer’s email address.

Unlimited Storage

There are several plans to choose from that come with unlimited storage with Squarespace. Even the cheapest plan, the Personal program, features unlimited bandwidth and storage. This will give you the confidence you need to host anything on your site without any caps.

Code Injection

If you prefer to have a more hands-on approach with your site’s code, you’ll love the Code Injection feature. It’s also an essential tool for eCommerce, as you can fine-tune the details on your site to promote a product. With Code Injection, users can add HTML and scripts to specific areas of their site.

You might find that it’s useful for adding custom links for affiliate commissions, calendars for appointment scheduling, and more.

Squarespace Benefits for Personal Websites

As the owner of a personal website, you’ll need the basic features most website builders have to offer. Squarespace takes it a step further by ensuring you have easily accessible features, even with little coding knowledge. From their design tools to affordable rates for an annual plan, there’s plenty to appreciate.

Easy Design Tools

The user-friendly design tools on this platform are an impressive feature to remember. Not only will you have drag-and-drop customization but an assortment of templates, as well. Whether you’re creating a written blog or a site designed to showcase a specific product, the options are endless.

All of the templates are professionally designed and feature an assortment of customizable modules. Alternatively, you can opt to create your own site from scratch to showcase your personal coding experience.

Low Monthly Costs

There’s no doubt that the personal websites on Squarespace are the cheapest plan. If you’re not selling products, you won’t want to invest too much money into your site. With yearly plans, you can typically get a discount compared to the monthly subscription plans for extra savings.

You can also find a discount code online to help you save some upfront costs when you’re just getting started. Whether you’re focusing on a site with free content or implementing basic commerce, these discounts are ideal.

Personal Plan Option

As mentioned, there’s a personal plan option for budget-conscious users who need fewer features. With that said, you’ll find top-tier components for a lower cost with this plan, including:

  • SSL security
  • SEO features
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Basic metrics
  • Squarespace extensions
  • Templates
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth

It’s an excellent option for users who don’t want to invest in premium blocks, such as a business plan. As an added benefit, you will have some similar marketing tools to help with your site’s ranking on search engines. With this feature, you could transform your personal site into a profitable product over time.

Squarespace Benefits for Business Websites

Opting for a business website and account through Squarespace is bound to bring forth several advantages. From processing transactions using credit cards to integrating Google Workspace, there’s plenty to like about it. Some of the most notable advantages business site owners will experience include:

Integrated Advanced Commerce

When selling a product, you’ll want to make sure it is adequately pushed to your audience. Business accounts provide you with eCommerce tools fully integrated with your account. Some of the most impressive advanced commerce options include:

  • 3% transaction fees
  • Donations through PayPal or Stripe
  • Gift cards
  • Unlimited product selling

Simple eCommerce Management

Along with the useful advanced commerce tools, you’ll find that streamlining purchases is just as effortless. Business plan holders will be able to manage their orders, inventory, and product catalog for no extra cost.

You’ll also be able to manage all of your required shipping tools, payment options, and taxes for worldwide shoppers. Whether you’re selling physical products or offering digital gift cards, the commerce feature is essential.

Easily Managed Mailing List

When it comes to marketing, Squarespace is one of the top platforms to keep in mind. Users will be able to craft unique email campaigns to push to their consumers with eye-catching details. You can also attach basic commerce tools, such as directing clients to purchase pages for your products.

With the help of their email tools, you can focus less on getting ranked highly on Google and more on your core audience. Also, with the added SEO tools for business accounts, your Google ranking will increase organically over time. As an added benefit, you can link your Google Drive and Squarespace accounts to manage newsletter storage with a single form.

Squarespace Review Summary

Squarespace’s bread and butter is offering visually appealing templates to its users. It’s an accessible website platform with excellent features, tools, and support. However, compared to some other solutions, Squarespace has a slight learning curve and a limited inventory of templates.

Pros

The beautiful design elements of Squarespace make it a great option for photographers, designers, artists, and any other professional who might want to showcase a visual portfolio. Not only is this an accessible option for people in the creative space, but it’s also great for businesses, e-commerce stores, bloggers, and those looking to create a personal site.

There are four different plans you can choose from that give you access to industry-leading templates. Opting for an annual contract will also bring in a nice discount that your wallet will appreciate.

Squarespace features plenty of tools, widgets, and integrations to customize your site and keep it running at 100%. Out of the box, it gives you nearly every function most people would ever need from a website.

Cons

While the platform is fairly easy to use, there’s a slight learning curve. Competitors like Wix offer a more user-friendly option you can jump into and use without doing any research. Squarespace will require some research to get started, but not too much. They provide excellent resources to get you on your way in a hurry.

There aren’t a ton of templates to choose from, but those they do offer tend to be very well put together. They take more of a “quality over quantity” approach to their template selection.

Now that you have a high-level overview, let’s get into the details of our Squarespace review. First up — Squarespace pricing plans.

Pricing Plans

How much you pay for Squarespace will depend on how you intend to use the platform and if you’d rather pay monthly or annually. Squarespace pricing plans range from $12 to $46 per month depending on which option you choose.

Like many paid online services, Squarespace offers a discounted price if you sign up for an entire year rather than paying month-to-month. In some cases, you can save as much as 30% on your bill if you commit to a full-year membership.

If you’d like the particulars on all of the pricing plans listed below, check out these Squarespace plans.

Personal Plan

Monthly ($/month): $16

Annual ($/month): $12 (save 25%)

The Personal plan will give you access to everything you need to build a fully functional website. In a way, the Squarespace Personal plan has a leg up on the competition because there are few restrictions to its most basic plan. This includes unlimited bandwidth and storage, which is unheard of with many other site builders. The drawbacks are that you can only have two Squarespace users, and customization and integration abilities may be limited.

Business Plan

Monthly ($/month): $26

Annual ($/month): $18 (save 31%)

The Business plan is what you’ll need if — you guessed it — you’re running a business. It gives you everything the Personal plan does and then some. With the Business plan, you have added functionalities like the ability to customize your site with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Other perks include unlimited contributors, access to advanced features of Google Analytics and Google Ads credit, and a free professional Gmail account for one year. This means you can have your very own professional looking email address, such as “contact@yourwebsite.com.”

You can even start selling items on your site. However, we wouldn’t recommend this option if you’re primarily an e-commerce business since the Business plan charges a 3% transaction fee.

Basic Commerce Plan

Monthly ($/month): $30

Annual ($/month): $26 (save 13%)

The Basic commerce plan is meant for creating fully functional online stores to showcase unlimited products in your inventory. This plan gives you everything the Business plan does but without the headaches of transaction fees at checkout.

You also have added e-commerce features including customer accounts, advanced e-commerce analytics, showcasing related products on your site, and integrating your store with Instagram.

Advanced Commerce Plan

Monthly ($/month): $46

Annual ($/month): $40 (save 13%)

The Basic commerce plan will work for most online businesses, but if you’re an established e-commerce store, you may want to think about the Advanced plan to take your business to the next level.

The Advanced plan will give you all the bells and whistles to close deals and push products. This includes abandoned shopping cart recovery, gift cards, and advanced subscription, shipping, and discount options.

Let’s take a look at the usability of Squarespace to determine if it has what you’re looking for in a website builder.

Ease of Use

Squarespace is easy to use compared to more sophisticated content management systems like WordPress. It’s a straightforward WYSIWYG editor that lets you easily drag and drop page elements. However, it’s not as simple to use as other options like Wix.

You won’t be able to just drag images, text blocks, and other page elements wherever you please. There is a method to the madness of a well-designed site, and the style editor organizes its templates within clean content blocks. You must stay within certain boundaries and follow a few rules to build a stunning website.

You’ll find that it will take some time to learn how to properly use Squarespace. You can’t just jump right in as a newbie and have a high-quality site in a few hours. A little research will go a long way in helping you produce satisfactory results.

Luckily, Squarespace has excellent resources and support to get you on your way. They have help guides, videos, webinars, and community forums to teach you and help you find answers to questions. You can also reach out to their customer support if you’ve hit a dead end.

You’ll be killing it in no time once you get the hang of it. So what does the template selection look like and how many can you choose from?

Templates

One of the main selling points of Squarespace is its beautiful design and high-quality template options. There is a treasure trove of great Squarespace templates for you to browse.

Compared to other website builders like Wix and WordPress, there aren’t hundreds of template designs for you to choose from. However, you will have access to about 70 top-notch templates rather than many mediocre and boring options.

You can head to the Squarespace template page and start browsing through templates that are organized in the following categories:

  • Portfolios
  • Photography
  • Online stores
  • Blogs and podcasts
  • Professional services
  • Local businesses
  • Community and nonprofits
  • Events
  • Weddings
  • Musicians and bands
  • Restaurants
  • Personal and CV
  • Real estate and property

You shouldn’t have a problem finding a template that fits your needs. While there might not be a huge selection, they’re some of the cleanest options out there. Plus, there are a ton of useful integrations that help sweeten the deal.

Tools, Features, and Integrations

Squarespace does a great job providing you with the tools and resources you’ll need to not only build your site, but to maintain and manage your site after it’s built.

Here are some of the many tools and integrations Squarespace offers.

Domain: When you sign up, you’re given a default domain where your site is parked until your site goes live. If you sign up for an annual term, you’re given a free domain name. If not, you’ll need to purchase a custom domain name through Squarespace or transfer to a third-party domain for a fee.

Hosting: All accounts are given free hosting services with unlimited storage and bandwidth.

SEO: All templates are optimized for search engines like Google and Bing. You can also manage page titles, keywords, and alt text to make sure your site is in tip-top SEO condition.

Marketing: You can use the paid Squarespace Email Campaign service or hook up other marketing tools like Mailchimp. You can also run promotional pop-ups on your site to communicate with visitors and drive sales.

Social media: Linking to all of your social media accounts is straightforward and you have plenty of icons to choose from. You can also incorporate social media feeds directly on your site.

Analytics: Integrate analytics platforms like Google Analytics to know exactly what’s happening on your site at any given moment.

Email accounts: Connect your email accounts to Squarespace. Some plans include email solutions and others charge a small fee for integrations with email providers such as Google.

Music and video: Spice up your site by adding music and video from a range of platforms including YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud.

Restaurant booking: Connect your site to OpenTable so visitors can seamlessly place reservations.

Security: Squarespace put measures in place to ward off any malware, viruses, and bugs. You’re also given a free SSL certificate when you go with Squarespace. SSL security is a must if you want visitors to trust your site, especially if you’re dealing with financial transactions. It’s also helpful for SEO.

Payment: You have payment functionality through Squarespace. Plus, you can hook up your PayPal or Stripe account if you’d like.

Start Building a Squarespace Site

Now that you’ve gone through this Squarespace review, what’s your take on the platform? Does it seem like the right fit for what you’re looking for?

For many, the choice is simple. Squarespace websites provide adequate functionalities for most use cases. However, if you’d like to compare it to other platforms, you can check out Weebly, Wix, or Webflow, which all offer similar solutions. If you’re specifically interested in an e-commerce platform, then Shopify might be worth looking into.

by Brett Helling
Brett has been starting, growing, and monetizing websites since 2014. While in college, he began to learn about digital marketing. After graduating, he continued to build a diverse portfolio of websites while working a full time job. After years of building the portfolio on the side, he made the jump to run his websites full time.