Squarespace templates help make setting up and customizing your website very simple and easy. Anyone can create beautiful, modern and responsive websites without having to know a thing about web design or coding.
The only trouble is, there are so many different template options and it can be a little overwhelming to choose one! In this post I will guide you step by step through the process of finding the perfect Squarespace template for your business.
Decide on the main function of your website
Before you dive into browsing all the different templates, it’s important to think about the main function of your website. What are you trying to achieve from your website?
Is it so showcase your portfolio? Sell products on an online shop? Attract visitors to your blog? You want to look for a template that prioritises the main purpose of your site.
For example, if you’re an artist looking to create a website where you can showcase your work and allow people to buy your paintings online, you would want to find a template that focuses on showing off your work with big pictures but also includes an online store.
Also bare in mind any other little features you want your site to have. Such as a gallery, blog sidebar or a newsletter box. Write all these features down so you remember exactly what you are looking for from your website. It might be helpful to grab some scrap paper and draw a rough outline of what you want your site to look like, including the pages and any main features. This way you have a stronger picture of what you need from your site and you won’t get distracted or influenced by the other template layouts.
Browse Squarespace templates
Squarespace has 3 different website options. You can choose between a cover page, website, or online store.
A cover page is a single page website which acts as a landing page. This is commonly used as an information page for small businesses with an address or contact details. It can also be used as a ‘coming soon’ page which is perfect for introducing a new launch. Cover pages can also be added to existing websites.
A website includes multiple pages and has features such as a blog, gallery, events pages, cover pages and product pages. This is the standard option if you’re looking for a multi-paged site.
An online store is more focused on e-commerce functions and allows you to sell unlimited products with no transaction fees. It also has all the features of a website.
You can browse through the templates in each category by clicking the tabs at the top of the page.
There is also the option to filter the templates by: Businesses, Portfolios, Blogs, Musicians, Restaurants, Weddings and Personal.
This helps you narrow down your choices by showing you the templates that work best for each business type.
Live demo - desktop and mobile view
You can click on each template to see more information and a live demo. The live demo allows you to see what the live site looks like. You can click on the buttons and navigate around the site to see how it works.
Squarespace templates are optimised for all screen sizes, so your site is automatically scaled to fit on the screen of your website viewer.
There is also an option to see the a live demo of the mobile view. This shows what the template looks like when viewed on a mobile device. It’s important to check how the website looks on the mobile view as well as the desktop view because more and more people are using different devices to surf the internet.
View other websites using the same template
On the overview page for each template, you can scroll down to see examples of other websites that use the same template. This can be useful to see the possibilities of how the template can be customised in different ways to suit each business.
You can click on each site to see a demo.
You can also filter to see examples of different types of businesses that have used the template and how they have adapted it to suit their business.
For example, on the Five template you can Filter by Businesses, Personal, Publishers & Portfolios.
Check the template features
Before you install your chosen template, check out the specific features that the template has to offer. In the Squarespace ‘knowledge base’ under ‘help and support’ there is an overview of each template.
Not all Squarespace templates have the same functions, so you want to make sure you won’t be inconvenienced by limitations in your chosen template.
For example, only some of the templates offer a blog sidebar, banners or slideshows. If these are an important part of your website design, check now to make sure your template allows these features. You don’t want to rush into designing and customising your new website, only to find later down the line that those features aren’t available on that particular template!
If you come across a term and you’re not sure what it means, check out the ‘feature index’ for an overview of the Squarespace features and an explanation of what they all mean and do.
Test out your template
Squarespace offers a 14 day free trial so I highly recommend you set up a trial and test out your template before you get too involved in the design and customisation process.
Once you’ve installed the template you should come across a ‘read me’ page. This is another overview of all the features of the template and it’s always a good idea to have a quick scan through before you get started.
I would encourage you to have an explore of the template, experiment with all the features and check the template fulfils all your requirements before you start setting everything up just how you want it.
Under the design tab, you can access the ‘style editor’, this allows you to change the colours, fonts, text, buttons and background of the website. Whenever I set up a new template for a client I like to delve through the style editor to check what aspects of the site I can customise and what I can’t.
Once you’re sure the template is a good match for your business, go ahead and make it yours!
Read the help and support guides
The help and support guides have loads of information how to use each template, so you can always head over and read up on all the ins and outs of your chosen template to save you some time.
There are also some great step-by-step tutorials on how to edit and customise all the different aspects of your new template, which is a very useful resource if you get stuck!
What’s your favourite Squarespace template? I’d love to hear in the comments below!