Ok so you have made the decision and you are going ahead with building your website in Squarespace. AWESOME! Squarespace is a brilliant platform, it's really user-friendly, easy to set up, simple to maintain and it's affordable.
Related: Why I choose Squarespace, and why you should too!
Another great feature of Squarespace is the templates. They are designed well and present information, photos, products and more in a flexible and beautiful way. There isn't a huge list of templates to choose from, but it can be daunting none the less trying to choose the perfect template.
I know, I have been there. It can all get a bit much sifting through the different templates trying to work out which one you like and if it is best suited for you.
Well, that's where this post comes in. I want to share some key points you should consider when choosing your Squarespace template.
Before going straight into looking at the templates I think it's important that to mention that each template can be customised to create a website that is as unique as your vision. The templates can be built on and your brand and style can be presented in whatever way you feel represents your needs best. Saying that, each template has its own features and so it's important to keep this in mind when choosing.
1 | Before you begin, define the purpose of your website
Before getting stuck into looking at the Squarespace templates it's important to think and define, the purpose of your website.
Every website has a purpose, for example, a photographer will want to showcase their latest photo shoot, a lifestyle blogger will want to be able to write articles, or a designer may want to showcase their portfolio.
Once you know the purpose of your website write it down so you can refer back to it and remind yourself.
2 | Highlight the key features you want on your website
Now is probably a good time to start thinking about what you want on the website if you haven't already done that. By that I mean, start thinking about the actual content, create a rough outline of what pages your website needs to include.
Consider if you will want a blog, maybe a shop, or if your website will need a gallery. A photographer, for example, may want a gallery and a blog but no necessarily the shop feature.
3 | Browse through the templates
Squarespace templates are split into 3 main categories - cover pages websites, and online stores.
Cover pages - these are single page websites that can be your whole website or you can use these as additional "landing pages" to your existing Squarespace website. Cover pages are great for "coming soon" pages, or if you are launching a new course or product as they can be integrated into your existing website. They also offer their own design options.
Websites - these are made up of multiple pages, and can include a blog, gallery,
Online stores - this option offers templates that are designed for selling online. They are specific templates and they naturally include all the capability of websites but with the addition of fully integrated e-commerce and payment features.
Browse through all the templates here.
Notice the tab at the top lets you navigate between the 3 main categories. It's really awesome how Squarespace has informed you of how it will cost as well so no need to look that up again either!
You will notice once you have picked the best option for your website, there is a "filter by" option. This is super useful as it shows you all the templates but also splits them again into sub-categories.
Once you have figured out what your key features are you can sift through the templates via the sub-categories to see which template would best suit your needs.
For example, a photographer that wants a gallery may find their ideal template under the "Website" tab and then under "Portfolio".
Each template offers a click through to more details. There is a mini description about that particular template, a preview option, the capability to see alternative views and also some customer examples.
4 | Keep in mind the template features
It's hard to go through and remember all the different features for all the templates, but it is important tot keep them in mind and identify which ones you like and think are best suited for your website.
Although you have the option to switch templates at any point, it can be incredibly frustrating to choose a template, customise it, and then be forced to pick another template as the initial one you picked does not contain a particular feature you like or need.
Each template contains "template features" which can be found when previewing the template. It can be a bit clunky going through each preview and checking the features this way, so, instead of doing that I find its easier to look through the template features by looking at each template from this link.
On this page, you will find a long list, on the left-hand side, of all the templates. You can sift through each template, looking at structure and style, page and content options, and style editor tweaks.
Hopefully looking through the templates this way will save you time and also give you a better look at the templates. Just don't forget to keep in mind the points you outlined as being the purpose of your website.
5 | Don't forget to check the mobile and tablet views
All Squarespace templates are mobile and tablet optimised but each template looks different when viewed on each said device. The features are template specific so it's important to keep that in mind when choosing your template.
The best way to do this is to preview the template and adjust your screen size to see what the template looks like.
Squarespace has a free 14-day trial period. It's a great thing, but those 14 days can go very quickly. It's often a really good idea to test the template during this trial period before making your decision, although saying that, if you have already decided that Squarespace is the platform for you then there is no need to rush through the trial period. Take your time and do your research.
How did you find the template for your Squarespace website? What made you choose that template?