It’s not hard to make a good Squarespace website, but if you want your site to be outstanding, you may need some advice from seasoned pros. Who better to ask than the Squarespace Experts who have all the Squarespace tips to help you make your website beautiful and functional?
We spoke to some experienced web design experts about what makes a great Squarespace site. Here’s a collection of their top tips to help you create an outstanding website for your brand or product.
Squarespace is a market-leading, all-in-one platform which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to build a website, sell online and market a brand. Not only that, the Squarespace platform also provides a great deal of freedom and flexibility for the user by offering the option to create a website on your own through the use of pre-built templates and drag-and-drop elements.
Remember, your website is an essential tool for customer growth and retention. It shows who you are and keeps your audience engaged. With a website being such an integral business component, its design should be taken seriously and approached with consideration and care.
To help you achieve this seamlessly, and give that extra polish to your brand, Squarespace has a community of Experts who are vetted for their years of experience and quality Squarespace design and development skills. Here are their top tips for creating a great Squarespace website.
5 Squarespace tips for building a successful site
1. Create the content first, then build the site
A logical approach to Squarespace site creation is to know what needs to go into your site before you create it. Planning out your content is the ideal first step. Squarespace Expert Kathleen Barretto recommends “putting together your content before diving into the actual Squarespace builder. Whether this is a rough sketch or a detailed wireframe, the main objective of this pre-work is to create a document for you to refer to once you’re building your website.”
Regardless of how highly detailed your website needs to be, starting with a draft will help make the process more efficient. If you aren’t sure where to start, begin with listing out the pages you want for your site. Once that’s done, pick the pages that are most important to go in the navigation menu. From there, write your supporting copy and any call-to-actions you want visitors to take.
The words you use are a key part of content creation. “Start with your website copy first,” says LaShonda Brown. “Your words should inform your design.”
Another benefit of planning content first is to avoid ending up with a huge wall of text, a common mistake Barretto sees on websites. She says “this is ineffective since most people will gloss over it” and recommends “splitting up big chunks of text into sections and using images to create visual breaks. It’s okay to have a longer page as long as the content is easy to scan and digest.”
2. Prioritize the homepage
Making a great first impression is a key component of successful branding. When it comes to web design, it all starts with the homepage. Stephen Palacino of page1 Branding says, “a lot of people treat their homepage like a resume instead of an invitation. The homepage doesn’t have to feature everything you do, but should talk about your strongest offerings and speak directly and plainly to your target audience.”
Remember, the homepage is your opportunity to highlight the best parts of your brand. It should be engaging and inviting. The homepage should serve as a tool that entices your target audience, giving them a reason to stick around and navigate to other parts of your page.
3. Elevate your site with high-quality images
Images are an integral part of your web content. Think of them as a tool that helps you speak for your brand without having to say a word.
Brown says, “image selection is a common stumbling block for people looking to DIY their website. Squarespace sites thrive on high-quality images. Whether you have a photographer shoot images for your site or you download stock photos, make images a priority to ensure you end the design process with a stunning website.”
There are different approaches to take for image selection, particularly on a homepage. For example, some sites function best with a singular hero image, while others feature a carousel of imagery.
Regardless of your approach, make sure that the images are of impeccable quality by selecting captivating visuals and ensuring that all of the images are high resolution. When in doubt, professional photography and retouching is worth the investment. And to kick things up a notch, try out an image hover effect like in the example by Kate Scott below.
4. Incorporate animations into the design
Adding animation to a Squarespace site can help it feel more engaging and interactive. Animations bring more visual interest to a Squarespace website, lending an unexpected dimension to a digital space.
Barretto says, “I love the site-wide animations on Squarespace 7.1. The subtle movements as you scroll through give the site an elevated feel.”
If you’re worried that animations may be too flashy for you, rest assured. It doesn’t have to be in-your-face animation; a simple shadow over a button or a small embedded gif can go a long way.
Brown agrees, noting that “a simple way to elevate your design is to add animations to your images [like] turning on animations within your image block customization panel.”
5. Include the blog feature
While we may traditionally think of a blog as a tool for sharing informal, journal-esque posts and articles, the Squarespace blog tool allows for much more.
Anita Cheung of CreatewithNeets explains “it’s not just a blog, but also a very powerful database tool. It’s the only way to allow users to filter and search content on your Squarespace site (outside of products). I’ve used the blog to create searchable resources, a therapist directory, etc.”
With this in mind, examine your content and think of how the blog feature can best help your brand, as it is a multifaceted tool. Palacino says, “it’s a great way to organize information in one place and easily display it across multiple pages of the website. Team bios and even services pages are great items to show with the blog feature.”
Whether you’re creating a Squarespace site from the ground up or looking to revitalize an existing site, listen to the pros. We’ve heard five pointers straight from the mouths of Squarespace Experts, including smart content planning, thoughtful image selection and embracing versatile features.
Squarespace is an amazing platform for getting started quickly with a beautiful website, but going it alone isn’t for everyone.
Squarespace provides ample possibilities for website building, and while it’s great to have options, it can also be overwhelming to go entirely DIY. There are times when a little extra help can go a long way. If you need a hand to help with the heavy lifting, we’re here for you.