I've just recently spent a couple of months researching Web builders and then setting up my new Website through Squarespace. It can be a daunting challenge to face the 14 day trial period if you are totally new to creating a website with a web builder. So, I wanted to share some tips I've learned from my experience in working with Squarespace. Here's some of what I have learned:
- You can extend your 14 day trial period. Once your trial period is up, you will receive an email asking you to pay for one of their plans. At the bottom of that email, they allow you to request an extra 7 days if you are not ready to commit or not finished with designing your site.
- Before you begin the trial period, have a clear idea of what your priorities are for your site, the pages you will want to put in place, and how you want the site to flow. The more time you spend in advance, the better your use of time during the 14 days.
- Choose a template based on what you are looking for and your priorities in building a new site. Review the templates based on it's overall design, whether it has a blog option, a sidebar, gallery pages, etc. The templates have different features. Which features are most important to you?
- There is a lot of flexibility for adding pages and content with the Squarespace template... although some aspects are fixed to the design of the template with little possibility to altering it much. The blog design is one of those fixed elements.
- The Squarespace help page offers periodic webinars for getting started, lots of videos and informational pages to answer most of your questions, and an online chat with a representative. The chat process works very well, with someone available quite quickly to help you with your questions. (They cannot help you with adding code to customize your site.) They do not have a phone line.
- Webinar participants are given a discount code at the beginning of the webinar. It can be used when you pay for hosting. So you might as well sign up and save.
- Putting text in the Banner descriptions will increase the height of that Banner. Originally, I had both a title and a subtitle for several of the Banners on my site. I have since removed the text description on a number of them to create a sleeker look. (I am using the Bryant Template.)
- As I write this blog post now, I realize that the blog does not automatically save my work, as I've been used to in Blogger. I now have to save the draft, which closes it, and then I have to reopen it to continue writing. Awkward process!
- There is easy access to view the site on a mobile device. But it was so easy to miss. There's a tiny little horizontal line at the top center of your trial site. Once you hover over it, the straight line becomes a slight downward arrow. Click to reveal the icons for phone view, tablet view, and desktop view.
I chose Squarespace primarily for the clean template designs and their professional look. Here are some other things I like about using Squarespace:
- I love the ability to create custom URLs for every page and any image. As far as I could see, Wix created those URLs for you. I appreciate having control over the web addresses so I can keep them short and simple.
- You can change templates at any time. I don't know what that entails but I'm happy to be able to have that option in the future.
- The templates are wonderfully mobile friendly. You don't have to design for mobile devices. It is all done for you. But you could design in phone or tablet mode if you prefer.
- I like having the option to add code to further customize a page. I was able to find code recommendations posted by other Squarespace users. But many people will find it is easy to rely on what the template and the Squarespace tools have to offer.
I did have some frustrations in setting up my website with Squarespace. I was not thrilled with the blog design and I really didn't like the constraints of the gallery and store pages. But with a bit of code, some tech help from my husband, and some tweaks I was able to accomplish on my own, I was able to make the website exactly what I wanted it to be.
Please let me know if you have found this helpful... and good luck setting up your new website. You may also be interested in the prior blog post on Choosing a Web Builder.