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Squarespace Review: 2021 website builder review

Summary
Make sure you try the 14-day trial version to check if it meets your demands. I would also encourage you to check the necessary analytics and SEO tools that you would need for your website. See if they work correctly with Squarespace before making a long-term commitment. In any case, Squarespace is one of the easiest ways to create a functional website in the least amount of time.
Good
  • a wide range of graphical elements
  • adequate eCommerce tools
  • easy to use UI
  • ample tutorials
  • fair pricing
Bad
  • using many graphic features might slow down your domain
  • difficult to create a unique design
  • few plug-ins and analytic tools
  • the UI is not customizable
7
Good
User Experience - 7
features - 6
value over price - 7
tutorials - 8

According to statistics, eCommerce and website volume is on steroids in the ’20. Many small businesses and individuals are developing their business or personal websites. Creating websites was time-consuming and challenging; it was more like coding than what it is today. The Squarespace Review overviews one of the best website builders that can help you create, manage, and grow your digital footprint; consequently thrive in business or influence.

Squarespace logo

About 2021 Squarespace Review

Our goal at Cyberg is to provide the necessary information that will help you choose between the existing applications for specific purposes. Thus we provide comprehensive overviews that cover the quirks and features of the program and its competitors. First, we perform user testing to determine how easy it is to utilize the user interface and discuss the graphical elements and accessibility of contents. Moreover, we evaluate tutorials and marketing strategies of Squarespace. However, an essential part of this section would be benchmarking the app.

Then, we highlight the most exciting and unique features that Squarespace offers. Afterward, the Squarespace Review scours the pricing of different packages and how they differ. Next, a comparison will be made to introduce other web builders that you can use as Squarespace alternatives. Finally, we conclude the Squarespace Review by mentioning the pros and cons and give the application a final verdict and Cyberg rating.

What is Squarespace?

Squarespace is a website builder application that helps non-professional developers own, create, manage, or modify websites. The Squarespace platform is also an excellent tool for eCommerce since it provides the essentials for creating an online shop. Creating web pages is easy since you can benefit from various templates. In addition, you can drag and drop the material you want on your pages. Moreover, different types of plug-ins help you with marketing analytics, SEO tools, and other features. Furthermore, small businesses can utilize the marketing and sales tools in Squarespace. Continue reading the Squarespace Review to learn if it is really user-friendly and worth the money.

Squarespace Review: User testing and benchmarking

As the saying goes, “the proof to a putting is in the eating”; the same goes for websites and web applications; thus, in this part of the Squarespace Review, we assess how user-friendly the website builder app is and how it feels like to design in the Squarespace environment. To achieve a comprehensive and fair assessment of Squarespace to competitors, we have followed Cyberg’s Guidelines regarding website builder reviews.

The parts we audit in this section include four different areas:

  1. First impression:
    This part of the Squarespace review is dedicated to the homepage and dashboard design, menus, and other design characteristics.
  2. Benchmarking:
    Next, we have to see how intuitive the Squarespace UI is by performing a standard task you would do using a typical web-building app.
  3. Tutorials:
    The more options a program has, the more complicated it gets; therefore, having adequate learning resources makes a significant difference between apps that go viral and those that perish away despite their great potential.
  4. Marketing strategies:
    While marketing might sound irrelevant, common sense suggests that a website that fails to represent itself would not be the best option for your investment. That’s why we have included the marketing funnels’ overview in the Squarespace Review.

First impression

Given that several independent web builders are competing against each other, we have dedicated this part of the Squarespace Review to how it feels to navigate through the home page and use the Squarespace web application UI. 

Homepage contents

The Squarespace homepage introduces the top features and capabilities of the application and encourages you to start creating a web page and test the app. Further down the page, it highlights that the web application supports creating websites, eCommerce, and marketing solutions. Other mentioned features include the classes that expert web developers provide for users. Moreover, there are links to templates, including online store, local business, Portfolio, blog, restaurant, services, personal & CV, and more.

The design language and features

Squarespace uses a creative and freestyle vibe throughout the homepage. The only font you see is a simple san serif font that complements the design. One of the positive aspects of their design as a web builder tool and a marketing tool is that they have used various gadgets and animated graphics to catch your eye. In my opinion, they’ve succeeded in that department.

Squarespace Review: home page

The headers and footers are nicely organized, and the headers will stay pinned to the top as you scroll up or down. The menus are distinctive and efficient. Some websites overdo the menus and confuse the visitors instead of guiding them. Now, let’s move on to the next part, where we sign up and test the capabilities.

User testing, Squarespace Review

In this part of the Squarespace review, we define a common task that mainstream users will likely use frequently within their web developing experience. We try to create a website for web builders such as Squarespace and add a simple survey to the landing page. The same test has been performed in other web builder reviews on Cyberg. Let’s start by creating an account.

Creating an account in Squarespace

Before signing up and creating an account, you can browse the templates to see if you can use them on your website. Then you can create an account only by connecting Squarespace to your Google account. That’s a positive feature since you will never lose access to your website, and the account creation does not require credit card information which might make some people feel insecure.

Your Squarespace dashboard

Squarespace Review: screenshot

After signing in to Squarespace, you are directed to your account dashboard, where you can find different tools you need to start your website creation. First, the UI asks you which genre is your website about? You can answer by selecting one or more types and topics. I chose Portfolio, online store, and blog as my website types, and I selected non-profit as my topic since I work in education. Then, Squarespace brings you the most relevant themes to start creating your domain. I picked the theme called Lusaka with a teacher writing on a blackboard. Then Squarespace opens a domain selector for your website.

Then after the main theme is viewed, an assistant pops up on your right that includes tutorial videos and walkthroughs that will help you learn how to build your digital content on the World Wide Web.

Squarespace Review:  video screenshot

The tutorial explains the basic features you will need using Squarespace. For instance, it shows how you can create a page using the templates from the theme or how to build your page from scratch. It also depicts how you can modify the theme color to sync with your brand theme colors and logo. Moreover, it elaborates how you can select fonts on Squarespace. The assistant contains a step-by-step guide that helps you get familiar with the software.

Navigating Squarespace tools

Now that we are inside the dashboard, we proceed with our Squarespace Review benchmarking. Thus we create a new page with current themes because we are content we the diversity of options that website owners have in Squarespace.

The variety of options in terms of selecting a template is massive in Squarespace. There are a dozen menus for the types of arrangements you can have for your pages. We picked an about template for the sake of illustration. Then we have to find plug-ins and add-ons to insert a survey into the page.

Squarespace Review: plug-ins

Editing your pages in Squarespace is a piece of cake! You can modify your pages separately or globally; you can add blocks, sections, and other web design elements with just a few clicks.

Next, as shown in the picture above, there are several items that you can put on your pages. However, a survey is not one of the things they provided. Of course, I have to admit that the tools offer 80% of what a developer would need, given that the extensions haven’t been added yet. So, we have to add third-party extensions or plug-ins to fulfill the task.

Adding plug-ins to Squarespace

In order to add plug-ins, you would have to connect the plug-ins to your website and then embed the material inside your website. I used a formidable form to complete the survey and added it to my survey page below.

You can easily modify the content, design and fonts of the forms and surveys in Squarespace; still, the process isn’t straightforward like in most open source apps, and it might become a bit difficult when you add dozens of plug-ins for marketing, sales, shipping, analytics, and SEO tools. We will talk about the advantages and disadvantages comprehensively in the comparison section.

Tutorials on Squarespace Review

A practical web builder should support different types of features that make dealing with the vast diversity of tools challenging to the uninitiated. Thus, having user-friendly tutorials is crucial for such apps to go viral. In this part of the Squarespace Review, we talk about the internal and external sources from which you can learn how to create your web pages using Squarespace.

Squarespace in-house tutorials

There are many different ways to learn how to use the web builder without any external help. First of all, the assistant window will pop up as soon as you create an account. The assistant provides a list of tasks complemented by educational videos that guide you through each task.

Moreover, under the resources menu on the homepage, you can find all the information you need about Squarespace and how to establish a successful website. There is a blog where experts and Squarespace members answer the FAQs. The Help Center also provides professional support. You can also read about others’ experiences with the web builder and its killer themes in the Forum. If you need a personal touch to become familiar with the potent marketing tool, you can attend the webinars.

Free Squarespace tutorials from other sources

No matter how great the internal tutorials are, having a handful of courses and tutorial videos on YouTube means that the application is widespread, and you can get authentic opinions on the features. Therefore, we surfed YouTube first.

Squarespace has its verified YouTube channel and many other independent content creators and web developers who have used Squarespace and created videos about how to use it and its pros & cons. But that is not enough; we have to find out whether there are online courses elsewhere.

I searched Google for Squarespace free courses, and I found some material on Skillshare, Udemy, and other websites to help me learn how to create my website.

Marketing assessment 

One of the ironic things about the Squarespace Review is that we are evaluating the marketing strategies of a marketing service provider. Nevertheless, we have to assess how successful Squarespace is in terms of prospect attraction. Different click funnels will lead you to create an account on the homepage. The user experience guides visitors to a demo dashboard where they can observe the capabilities of Squarespace. This strategy conveys how confident they are about their products and services.

There are also external ads on Google Ads and YouTube that will attract prospects worldwide. The web builder gives you a 14-day trial, so you can test the app for yourself and see whether it is a viable option for you and your business or not.

Highlighting top features of Squarespace Review

As I mentioned earlier, web development was as tricky as FORTRAN or C programming; back when you had to write HTML codes, only professional developers could create and manage websites. However, since the beginning of the new millennium, web building applications have circumnavigated the arduous coding task by presenting a more user-friendly interface that would look like your web page output. Squarespace is one of those applications that will help you create a website on your own. It also offers a variety of marketing solutions for eCommerce and digital marketing. In this part of the Squarespace Review, we talk about the unique quirks and features of the web builder.

The page templates

You can pick a template from hundreds of pre-designed themes in Squarespace. The templates are meticulously categorized so that you can find the suitable option according to your niche and web content. Most content creators would require additional help with design and typography; that’s where Squarespace comes to the rescue.

Squarespace Review: themes

To modify your site at once or modify different pages individually, all you have to do is click the dashboard’s design button. Then you can pick the pages you want to modify and apply various graphical changes such as color palette and font editing.

It only takes a few minutes to revolutionize our website in Squarespace, and the templates are genuine and unique. I mean, some apps would consider minor changes in their design as brand new styles, while in fact, they are just trying to boost the number of their templates. Squarespace is not one of those petty applications, and you can enjoy trying different themes using the design tool.

Other design features

Changing the themes, colors, fonts, and such items are fundamental; however, Squarespace allows more options as depicted in the picture. You can customize your browser icon, lock screen, checkout page, 404 pages, access denied screen, social media sharing and even create custom CSS for backlinks and marketing.

Squarespace Commerce tools

Having a website is fantastic, but having an eCommerce platform rocks! You can use Squarespace to sell your products and services online using commerce tools.

Squarespace Review: store

A setup guide will show up when you click on the commerce button for the first time that will ask you about your niche, products, and other related questions. You can add the products you want, select a payment method, and pick a subscription plan to initiate your marketing campaign. We will discuss the details in the free and paid Squarespace services section. Squarespace also supports shipping, taxing, and accounting tools to provide a one-stop-shop marketing experience.

Marketing tools, Squarespace review

Squarespace defines traffic analytics, SEO, pop-up ads, and social media promotions as marketing tools. From a website developer’s perspective, these tools require more sophisticated plug-ins and programs. For instance, SEO tools play a crucial role in your marketing campaign; therefore, you need competent, up-to-date tools to promote your website. You can check out Cyberg SEO tools reviews to find the best applications that can improve your website. Anyway, the built-in tools inside Squarespace might keep you going for a while if you’re experimenting with website development; nonetheless, you will require more specific and professional tools to create a successful domain.

Analytics in Squarespace

Analytics are also crucial for sustaining your growth in the cyber world. How well is your website performing? What are your pages’ CTR, click-through rates? Where do you need improvements to boost monetizing your domain? Thus Squarespace also has established some analytic reports on your website performance. In addition, it supports Google Analytics if you want to check how you’re performing on the search engine results page.

Squarespace Profiles

In addition, you can create and host profiles for your visitors and members to expand your reach and stay in touch with your audience. These features require a membership plan that we have discussed in the following main title.

Squarespace Review: features recap

Squarespace has a wide range of assets that will help you develop a website or a commerce page. It is easy to use, and there is almost no learning curve involved; however, you might need additional plug-ins and tools to enhance your website performance. After all, there is usually a tradeoff between user-friendliness and technical versatility regarding website building tools. For instance, WordPress is a free open source web developing tool with loads of options and plug-ins; however, it requires some time and much effort to learn how to use it to the best of your interest.

Free Squarespace account and Squarespace membership plans

Squarespace is free for the first two weeks that you create an account. After the free trial Squarespace period is over, you have to subscribe to one of the plans and freeloading will no longer be an option. There are four different subscription packages, and we are going to go through all of them in this Squarespace Review.

Squarespace Review: pricing

The common features

Regardless of the plan you choose, there are some features that you can benefit from by subscribing to Squarespace. These are the items you can enjoy by being a Squarespace member:

  • One year of a free custom domain
  • SSL security
  • SEO features for site visibility
  • Different templated for different types of web pages
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • Mobile optimized content
  • Basic website metrics
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Squarespace extensions

Compared to some other website creators and eCommerce tools, you get infinite bandwidth and storage, giving Squarespace an advantage over its competitors.

Personal plan

This type of account is the entry plan; thus, it is the most economical option with minimal tools. It costs 12$ a month, and you can get 25% off by subscribing annually. The plan offers all of the items mentioned above, and it is available for two contributors. Other plans support an unlimited number of contributors.

The optimum package, according to Squarespace, costs 18$ a month; however, you can get a 30% discount if you get the annual membership. This discount lowers the price to almost the amount of the personal subscription plan. The package includes all personal package features, plus the following factors:

  • Unlimited contributors
  • Professional Email from Google
  • Premium integrations and blocks
  • Fully integrated E-Commerce
  • JavaScript
  • 3% transaction fees
  • Sell unlimited products
  • Accept donations
  • Gift cards
  • Advanced website analytics
  • Up to 100$ Google Ads Credits
  • Promotional Pop-ups and Banners

About Squarespace Business plan

It offers what you need to create a well-developed website. You can also support sales and enjoy commerce options; however, the 3% transaction fee makes you wonder if the business plan is sufficient or you have to opt for more advanced packages.

Squarespace Commerce package

As stated above, Squarespace Business will charge 3% of your sales as a transaction fee. The Basic Commerce package omits the transaction fee and costs 26$ per month. In addition, you can get 25% off on your annual purchase. The package includes all the features of the Squarespace Business Account plus:

  • Customer accounts
  • Checkout on your domain
  • Products on Instagram
  • Powerful E-commerce analytics
  • Limited availability labels

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About the basic Commerce plan

The plan is worth the 26$ per month payment if you have over 500$ sales a month. Because if you have this much sales, it would be more cost-efficient for you to pay for this plan considering the Business account’s 3% transaction fee. Plus, you can enjoy other features of the commerce plan.

The Advanced Commerce membership package

This is the ultimate deal that you can get in Squarespace. It costs 40$ a month, and like another account, you can get a 25% discount by subscribing annually. The Advanced accounts include all the features of the Squarespace Basic Commerce package plus more options.

It allows advanced commerce options such as abandoned cart recovery, sell subscriptions, advanced shipping options, advanced discount, and Commerce APIs. I suppose only the users with a large number of subscription sales would opt for this plan.

Squarespace Review Pricing Evaluation

The plans are indeed well distributed when compared internally and with those of Squarespace alternative apps. The entry-level is feasible and offers valuable features for bloggers or personal website owners. The business plan is a great way to pave the way for your entrepreneurial success. You can start commercializing your website and switch to more advanced accounts when your cash flow increases. With all that said, let’s compare Squarespace to other web building applications in the next part of the Squarespace Review.

What are the best Squarespace alternatives in 2021?

In this part of the Squarespace Review, we mention the best competitors you can consider as alternatives to Squarespace. Since Squarespace contains digital marketing and eCommerce and website design tools, we compare the application to each group separately.

Squarespace Review, Alternative website building tools

  1. WordPress:
    WordPress is one of the most robust web builders as of 2021. The free application is much broader than a website application for sales. It hosts many features and add-ons that enable a comprehensive website campaign. WordPress SEO tools, Analytic tools, Marketing Plug-ins, etc., make it a powerful rival for BigCommerce. The negative point is that WP takes a lot of time and effort to master. Read the WordPress Review, especially if you want to create a Blog or a website. 
  • Wix:
    Wix offers excellent design features, is easy to learn, and is less sales-oriented; on the other hand, you can have more features and plug-ins in Wix. Read the Wix Review for more information on the pricing and features of the web builder.
  • Site123:
    This app is also a powerful web builder that is simple, offers excellent options for your email marketing campaigns. Users can use templates and sell products in Site123; however, the services cost more, and there are storage and bandwidth limits. Read our Site123 Review for more information on the software.

Alternative marketing tools

  1. Shopify:
    Shopify is a well-known sales platform that helps businesses sell their products around the world. But unlike Site123, they will charge for every transaction. On the positive side, they have great templates for sales, reviews, and abandoned carts.
  2. BigCommerce:
    This website provides a platform that hosts your sales and eCommerce. It is a premium service, but it won’t charge for every transaction. It also has drag and drop, a user-friendly environment, useful plug-ins, and great support. Read our BigCommerce Review to read more about this excellent marketing tool.
  • Woocommerce:
    As the name suggests, the web application is optimized for sales websites and transactions. The web hosting web application is more complex than BigCommerce. It requires additional plug-ins to get the same results and practicality. Although the web hosting service is much cheaper than BigCommerce, you would end up paying up to 500$ a month if you want to use the best WooCommerce services.

Squarespace Review comparison conclusion

Squarespace is one of the best websites that you can use to create and manage a website for the first time. I would recommend using it as the pricing is fair compared to what it offers and how other competitors perform. BigCommerce will be a great alternative if you want to create an online shop. On the other hand, if you’re going to become a freelancer and develop websites, I recommend learning how to use WordPress. Because WP is the number one website builder in terms of features and volume, the learning curve might be time-consuming; nevertheless, it is worth your time.

The Summary of the Squarespace Review

In the end, let’s recap the advantages and disadvantages of the digital content management application.

The positive points of Squarespace

  • Wide range of graphical elements
  • adequate eCommerce tools
  • easy to use UI
  • ample tutorials
  • fair pricing

The negative attributes of Squarespace

  • using many graphic features might slow down your domain
  • difficult to create a unique design
  • few plug-ins and analytic tools
  • The UI is not customizable

Final verdict on Squarespace

Make sure you try the 14-day trial version to check if it meets your demands. I would also encourage you to check the necessary analytics and SEO tools that you would need for your website. See if they work correctly with Squarespace before making a long-term commitment. In any case, Squarespace is one of the easiest ways to create a functional website in the least amount of time.

Let us know if you’ve used Squarespace before, and tell us what parts of the Squarespace Review were most beneficial to you.

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