Website Builder Review


If you want your website to look professional and expensive, then Squarespace is a website builder you should consider. Squarespace's tagline is "Build It Beautiful" and they certainly live up to it with their collection of stunning design templates.

Squarespace is a extremely design-oriented website builder – their designs rely heavily on photography. All their features are built-in, including website analytics. While there are many features that puts Squarespace above the competition, they are also more expensive.

Summary of Pros

  1. Stunning Template Designs
    Squarespace's templates are highly-polished and gives off a sophisticated vibe that can't be found on any other website builders. Squarespace regularly refreshes it's template library, adding new templates and discontinuing outdated templates. It's pretty clear that Squarespace is going for high quality over quantity.
  2. Blogging Capabilities
    Hands down Squarespace has one of the best blogging platform of any website builders. It comes with an extensive list of supported features, including tagging, drafts, comments (with powerful moderation features), customizable URLs, Disqus integration, podcast support and more.
  3. Import and Export Website
    This is the one benefit that makes Squarespace stand out from the rest of the competition. Squarespace allows you to import content from WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Shopify or Big Cartel into your Squarespace website. It also provides exporting functionality for WordPress, allowing you to transfer your website to WordPress whenever needed.
  4. Extensive Image Management Options
    Squarespace's image management options are extensive: including optional image zoom, set focal point, galleries, automatic image scaling, automatic text wrapping and display effects (ie. mouse hover and image transitions). Squarespace also comes with integrated Aviary Image Editing that offers basic controls such as brightness, contrast, saturation and filters for tweaking your images.
  5. Search engine optimization
    Squarespace already has a sitemap ready for every user. Sitemaps are important for SEO because they help Google and other search engines crawl your website. All you need to do is simply submit it to Google through Google Webmaster Tools. Not all website builders provide this feature.

Summary of Cons

  1. Site Editor
    Squarespace's interface and editor is not as intuitive or easy to use as other website builders. This is mainly due to the wider feature range. The interface is very minimalistic and many of the page elements and functions are limited to an icon that don't review their purpose immediately. A decent amount of trial and error is required until you are completely familiar with the editor. If you are up for some exploration around the editor, you can always watch the extensive library of Help Videos.
  2. Restrictive Templates
    The degree to which you can edit a template depends on the template you have chosen – some templates have more options, other have less and there is no one template that gives you control over all elements of your website design. For example, some templates allow you to add sidebars, others don't; some allow you to tweak the size and spacing of elements, others require you to edit by custom CSS.
  3. Pricing
    Compared to other website builders such as Wix and, Squarespace is more expensive. Squarespace's plans start at $5 per month for a Cover Page (single page) website, $8/month for a website with up to 20 pages and run all the way up to $70/month for a high-power eCommerce website. Squarespace doesn't offer any free plans, however, they do have a 14-day risk-free trial so you can test drive their website builder. Squarespace's plans are billed annually, but they do provide a month-to-month billing option.
  4. Customer Support
    Support for Squarespace is email or live-chat only. No phone support is available. A quick search on the Internet will also find you plenty of negative reviews of their customer support.
Website Builder Review - Squarespace

Plans & Pricing

Squarespace does not offer any free plans, but they do have a 14-day risk-free trial for you to test drive their website builder before committing to any paid plans. You won't be billed until you are ready to commit as no credit card information is collected at sign-up, all you need to provide is your email address. But note that while you can build your website on the free trial, you won't be able to publish it – you need to be on a paid plan before you can launch your website.

Squarespace offers 3 product lines: Cover Pages, Websites (Personal and Business), and Commerce (Basic and Advanced).

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Cover Pages

Cover pages are basically one-page websites – to convey a single idea, whether it is an upcoming product, feature video or a Coming Soon page. Cover pages can be used as a standalone website or be added to an existing website to add a new dimension to your website (ie. a captivating splash page). The cover page builder comes with its own collection of templates.

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Annual plan: $5 per month (plus free 1-yr domain name)
Monthly plan: $7 per month

Websites: Personal

If you need more than a one-page website, then the next plan up is the Squarespace Personal plan. With this plan, you can create a website up to 20 pages. It also comes with integrated galleries, blogs, eCommerce and other built-in apps. You can sell unlimited products on this plan, but there is a 3% sales transaction fee that Squarespace charges.

Annual plan: $8 per month (plus free 1-yr domain name)
Monthly plan: $12 per month

Websites: Business

To remove the page-limit cap, you will need to upgrade to the Business plan. This plan also gives you a handful of other goodies: unlimited contributors, lower eCommerce transaction fees (2%), professional email from Google and a $100 Google AdWords credit.

Annual plan: $18 per month (plus free 1-yr domain name)
Monthly plan: $26 per month

Commerce (Basic and Advanced)

While you can sell both digital and physical products on the Cover Pages and Website (Personal and Business) plans, if you want to sell products on your website, you're better off going with the Basic eCommerce plan. Not only is the sales transaction fee waived, you also get additional eCommerce features, including integrated accounting, inventory management, shipping and tax rates, customizable checkout, commerce metrics and more. Unfortunately, there is no PayPal integration – Stripe is the only available payment gateway.

Basic Commerce:
Annual plan: $26 per month (plus free 1-yr domain name)
Monthly plan: $30 per month

Advanced Commerce:
Annual plan: $70 per month (plus free 1-yr domain name)
Monthly plan: $80 per month

All annual subscriptions come with a free 1-year domain name registration. If you don't want to commit to an annual plan but still need a domain name, you can purchase one from Squarespace for $20/year.

Website Builder Review - Squarespace

Template Designs

Squarespace's tagline is "Build it Beautiful" and it's not difficult to find beauty in their templates. Squarespace is an extremely design-oriented website builder and the visual experiences are undeniably rich. You won't find a large collection of mediocre templates with Squarespace, but rather you are sure to find a smaller group of highly-polished templates. It's a classic case of quality over quantity.

Squarespace's designs rely heavily on photography and you can make your template unique by swapping in your own photos. But do keep in mind that a template that looks stunning at the moment may not once you replace the stock photos with your own images – you might not have a similar photo or the existing color scheme doesn't complement your photo.

Also, the degree to which you can edit a Squarespace template depends largely on the one you've chosen. Some templates are highly flexible and allow you to modify the size, spacing and color of most elements. However, there are also templates that relatively locked down and editing them will require some custom CSS. So, when it comes to template customizability or flexibility, other website builders like Wix and are better.

All Squarespace templates are responsive – optimized for mobile devices. You can resize your browser and the content, including images and galleries, will also automatically resize to provide an optimized viewing experience regardless of the screen size.

Website Builder Review - Squarespace


Like other website builders, Squarespace provides a drag-and-drop editor, which means you can edit and customize your website elements simply by dragging and dropping.

However, because of the wide feature range, styling options as well as the minimalistic design for the interface, Squarespace's editor is not as intuitive or easy to use as other website builder such as Weebly or – users who are new to website building and/or Squarespace may find that a decent amount of trail and error is required until they are familiar with the editor.

Luckily, Squarespace provides a large collection of tutorials and videos that explain all the tools. You also have access to the community-sourced answer board for more answers, insights and tips.

For uses who have experience working with codes, Squarespace allows you to make edits to the CSS of your website design to further style your website.

Website Builder Review - Squarespace

Widgets and Apps

Unlike Wix, Squarespace doesn't have an app store for third party widgets. But like, Squarespace has integrated some key web applications into the website builder. These applications include MailChimp, Dropbox, Google Drive, Pinterest and OpenTable, as well as major social sharing widgets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc).

All features, widgets and apps are built-in. Everything is Squarespace developed and tested – that means you don't have to wonder if an app or extension is compatible and there is no troubleshooting or topics outside their Knowledge Base or customer support. Everything works.

If you are a creating a hospitality website ( or entertainment establishment), you are in for a treat as Squarespace has a few hospitality-specific widgets for you: Menu, Opentable, Bandsintown, as well as Foursquare.

For example, with the menu widget, you can easily add a pre-formatted, customizable menu layout to your web page. All you need to do is replace the menu content with your own items and prices.

Like and Weebly, website analytics is included with Squarespace's website builder. You can also use Google Analytics.

Website Builder Review - Squarespace


Like other website builders, Squarespace gives you all the basic tools and features for your blog, ie. commenting. But Squarespace takes it to a higher level by giving you advanced blogging capabilities: geolocation, tags, reblogging, drafts, Disqus integration, customizable URLs and more. You can even host your own podcast on Squarespace, complete with RSS fees and iTunes tagging.

Truly, Squarespace's blogging capabilities are second only to WordPress. Just like WordPress, you can post blogs to your Squarespace website even if you aren't near a computer – Squarespace has a blogging app for iPhones/iPads and Androids.

Website Builder Review - Squarespace

Import/Export Blog & Website

One important feature that makes Squarespace stands out is that they allow you to export your pages and blog from Squarespace into WordPress. Note that this function is currently only available for WordPress – the exported file will be in a WordPress format. So while you won't be able to export your blog into Tumblr or other blogging platforms, at least you have the option to export your blog and pages.

If you already have a blog on WordPress, Tumblr or Blogger, you can even import it into your Squarespace website. Squarespace supports imports from WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Shopify and Big Cartel.

This import and export feature comes in handy if you have a website on Wordpress and you want to make changes to your website without touching the template coding – you can simply import it into Squarespace, make the changes using the drag-and-drop editor and then export it back to your WordPress domain.

Website Builder Review - Squarespace

Working with Images

You will find loads of image handling features, including image zoom, set focal point, galleries, automatic image scaling, optional display effects (ie. mouse hover and image transitions).

You can add a gallery to any page. Galleries can appear as slideshows , carousels, grids or stacks and you get customization options with each of them.

For example, for the Grid gallery, you can customize the mouseover display, transition and the lightbox settings. You can also adjust the spacing between images. The customization options are not as extensive as those of say, Wix. But by limiting the degree of customization, Squarespace can keep the design attractive to ensure your website design stay attractive.

Squarespace has also integrated Aviary Image Editing into their website builder. Aviary is a popular image editor for mobile devices and it comes with basic controls for brightness, contrast and saturation as well as many filters for tweaking your images on the fly.

Squarespace doesn't offer any free stock library, but it sets you up with professional stock photography by Getty Images at $10 per image. Once you have purchased an image, you can use it anywhere on your website. But because licensed images are tied to the website, if you have multiple websites with Squarespace, you won't be able to use the same images across multiple websites – you will need to purchase the image again for that each website you want to use the image. Also, the Getty Images integration is not available on trial accounts, your account must be active and on a paid plan.

Website Builder Review - Squarespace


If you are interested in creating an online store, Squarespace offers an extensive set of eCommerce tools that allow you to build a beautiful online store. Some might agree that Squarespace's eCommerce tools are more comprehensive than other website builders: dedicated commerce metrics, inventory management, label printing (via Shipstation), integrated accounting (via Xero), abandoned checkout auto-recovery and real-time shipping integration. Squarespace Commerce supports both physical and digital products.

However, the only payment gateway supported is Stripe – you won't be able to use PayPal, which may be a deal-breaker for some people.

Stripe is an excellent payment processor but it is not as widely available as PayPal. For example, Stripe is available in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, etc, but it is still "beta" in France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and as "private beta" in Hong Kong and New Zealand.

If you want to use PayPal as your payment processor, there are widgets that you can use to link your Squarespace website to other platforms like Shopify. But that means you will have both a Squarespace account and a Shopify account – a bit redundant.

Alternatively, you can consider using another website builder, such as or Weebly.

Compared with other website builders such as Wix and, Squarespace's eCommerce plans are more expensive, at $26 and $70 per month. Given the lack of PayPal integration, it's not difficult for find a reason not to use a specialty eCommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce.

While you can register a domain name from Squarespace, they do not offer any domain email accounts. Squarespace recommends using Google Apps to setup you domain emails. In fact, Wix also recommends using Gmail for email management., on the other hand, lets you create up 5-100 domain email accounts right on your account dashboard.

Website Builder Review - Squarespace


Squarespace offers many of the standard SEO features as other website builders, such as site meta titles and descriptions. What makes Squarespace's SEO slightly better is the sitemap that is generated automatically for your website. All you need to do is submit the sitemap to Google through Google Webmaster Tools.

Squarespace also supports 301 redirects.

Website Builder Review - Squarespace


Squarespace is more expensive than competing website builders such as Wix, Jimdo and Plans start at $5/month for a one-page website. $8/month gets you a website with up to 20 pages, and run all the way up to $70/month for a high-performance mobile-optimized eCommerce website.

Unlike Weebly or Wix, Squarespace does not offer any free plan options. But they do offer a 14-day risk-free trial so you can test their website builder. Your test website won't be live on the Internet until you pay for an account.

Website Builder Review - Squarespace


If you want your website to look professional, visually stunning, expensive, you should consider Squarespace.

Squarespace is ideal if:
  • You are a blogger and looking for a platform that is easier than WordPress
  • You are a podcaster
  • You need a image-heavy website: designer, portfolios, photographers, restaurant, musicians, weddings, etc.
  • You want an online shop that is easy to setup and manage
We do not recommend Squarespace if:
  • You need an easy, very intuitive website editor
  • You have a limited budget