How to build a Squarespace site at every budget

 

 

So, you have a blog or business and you need to build it an online home?

You’ve come to the right place friend. 
 
I realize that at different stages of business, budgets vary, so I put together a list of all the different ways you can build a Squarespace site, at every budget.
 
Now, everything on this list is related to the building and designing of your website. The actual annual cost of a Squarespace site looks like so:
 
Domain: $10-$20/yearly
Squarespace plan: Depends on your plan, starts at $144 yearly
 
(Prices are listed as of writing in June 2017, check the Squarespace pricing page for current prices).
 
So, when setting your budget, know that when building a site with Squarespace, the absolute minimum cost is $154 per year.
 
Okay, so first get clear on what you want to spend, set that budget, then choose the right option for you from the list below accordingly.

Each option has it’s pros and cons, so what you choose might be based on both the dolla bills, and your personal preferences.
 
Here goes!

How to build a Squarespace site at every budget

 

$0 DIY

So you’re ballin’ on a budget? DIYing for $0 is totally an option!
 
Pros: 

  • You’ll learn LOTS about building your site, and truly understand how your site functions. You’ll be more confident in the long-run updating and editing your site as you created it.

Cons: 

  • DIY’ing means learning first, building second. This is definitely the most time consuming route of all the options, but hey, if you’ve got an empty piggy bank and lots of time, it’s the route to go.
  • Unless you’ve been harbouring some yet-to-be-discovered design talent, chances are your site won’t be as stunning as some of the designer-created sites out there. Thankfully, Squarespace puts a strong emphasis on design in their templates, so you’ll be starting from a good place.

This route tends to get a bit overwhelming because of the crazy amount of content out there to help you DIY.

It will be your job to sort through the info online, cut down to consuming just the info you need, and plug away at the site build.
 
Resources:
There is literally a zillion resources out there to help you build your Squarespace site. Here’s my faves.

This info all comes from sources that truly know their stuff, so you can be sure the advice and info you’re getting is correct.

I have to say, I’m always a little surprised when people turn to Facebook groups and my inbox for questions related to building their Squarespace site.

The Squarespace team offers live chat and it’s uh-mazing!

You should absolutely be taking advantage of it if you’re DIY’ing a site.

You get to chat with a member of the Squarespace team (these bunch know their stuff, promised) and it will be 32x faster than asking your question in a Facebook group or, as much as I love chatting with you, my inbox.)


 
$1 - $59 Plugins

These plugins from Square Studio are great for if you DIY’ed your site, and want some more complex functionality, but aren’t ready to teach yourself how to code.

These plugins are little bits of code you may pop into your site to stretch the capabilities of your site a bit further, and incorporate some modern design trends that aren’t included in the Squarespace system.
 
On my site and clients sites I’ve previously used their Custom Pin-It Button, FAQ Square Accordion, Prallax add-on, and swipe animations.

All have been easy to add to the sites and work perfectly, so I’m personally a happy paying customer!
 
Pros: 

  • They’re affordable. Plugins start at $1, most are priced in the $10 - $20 range.
  • They’re easy to add to the site, and for some reason if you do get stuck, the Square Studio team offers lifetime support.
  • They’ll make your site look legit, quick.
  • I got you a little something off the price! 😉 Get a 10% discount when you use the code: PAIGESTUDIO10

Cons:

  • While they’re a quick fix to add something unique to your site, you won’t learn much from using these.

Remember to use the code PAIGESTUDIO10 for 10% off!

 

$0.75 - $1.50/minute live screenshare with a designer

Use Sixty (formerly Design Live) lets you hold a video screenshare call with a Squarespace designer, and have them go to town on your site, making any updates or edits you’ve been scratching your head about. 
 
Pros: 

  • This system is as quick as it gets! If you want fast, this is your best option, by far. You can get on a video call with a designer in just 15 mins, and because you’re on a video call together, communication and site building is speedy.
  • You get to choose how quick your designer goes. Want to learn how they’re doing what they’re doing? Ask them to slow down the pace and explain as they go. Want things done as quick as possible? Tell them your problems and get them to have at the site.
  • You can see multiple variations of an idea or layout, and decide what’s best.

Cons: 

  • If you want some 3rd party integrations worked into your site (email marketing, payment system, donation system, etc), you might need to work with a couple designers through Use Sixty, as each designer has their areas of speciality.


 
$29 - $299 Pre-Made Templates

Premade templates are a great way to go if you need a designer-quality site, yesterday.

So what are these exactly? Basically, design studios built and designed Squarespace sites, and recorded the instructions on how to make your site the exact same way.

They generally also include Photoshop files so you can use all the design elements that are shown in the demo site.
 
Pros:

  • You can go live with a site superrr quickly. It’s just a case of following the video tutorial, and following through on the steps on your own Squarespace account.
  • You learn a bit about how your site works from following the tutorials.
  • These are an affordable option to get a designer-look, for less. (I feel like that’s totally some sort of marketing line I’ve heard in a commercial before 😂. But it fits in this case, so I’m saying it!)

Cons: 

  • I’ve found people stick pretty rigidly to the designs without altering much, so these can begin to look cookie-cutter. If you don’t alter anything from the original design, your site will definitely look like some others out there.
  • While there is some knowledge you’ll gain just from following the tutorial videos, you won't be as confident in the back end as you would if you DIY'ed.

Resources:

 

$300 Live Website Audit

Some one-on-one quality time with a Squarespace designer to put a professional touch on your DIY'ed site.

Get a full site audit while on a live screenshared video call with moi!

After our 1 hr video chat while browsing your website, you’ll have a notebook full of tips and actionable to do’s to give your site a designer touch.
 
Pros:

  • You’ll get the benefits of the knowledge and expertise of a Squarespace designer, without the full price tag of a custom designed site.
  • You’ll get a chance to ask all your questions, specific to your industry and your website. SEO, layout, back end set up, blogging and building for mobile. Nothing is off limits, if you have a question, you’ll get an answer tailored to your business and your site.
  • Your website won’t just be audited on it’s design, but also its function. You’ll learn how to both meet design best practices and setup your site so it converts visitors into buyers.

 
Cons: 

  • I’ll give you the to do’s and even talk you through how to take action, but you’ve gotta be the one to make it happen on your site. The audit will give you an actionable roadmap and knowledge, but you got to get to work editing and updating your site.

 
$1,500+ custom designer made site

When nothing but the best will do, partnering up with a designer to create a custom made site is the way to go. Prices for custom Squarespace sites is based a lot off of the designers skills and experience. 
 
You can get a custom made site for less than $1,500… buttttt, I’ve seen some sites created for less and they leave a lot to be desired.

I’ll just say, you get what you pay for. 
 
If you want my honest opinion, I think its worth holding off, and going with one of the other options listed above until you’ve got $1,500 or more to spend on this.

In some rare cases, you’ll find an up and coming designer who will create you a site for $1,500 or less, but that isn’t so easy to find.
 
Getting a custom site is an exciting leap in your business, and I want you to partner with someone who is going to make the process enjoyable, and builds a site that ticks off all the boxes on both function and design.

So my advice is, wait until you’re ready to drop at minimum $1,500 on a custom site, and then go shop till you drop!
 
After doing a little research through other Squarespace designers sites, I found the average price of a custom made Squarespace site is sitting at $2,022.

So if you’re wondering, how much do designers charge for Squarespace sites? It’s about $2,000.

Most of the designers I looked through were designing 5 page sites, so know that as you go up in the number of pages, the price will go up too.
 
Pros:

  • You get a pro on your side, partnering with you who will get to know your business and goals, and build from there. 
  • You get to sit back and relax as they do the heavy lifting work of building the site.
  • Your site will tick the boxes on all the important stuff, including SEO, design best practices, function and converting visitors to customers
  • You don’t need to spend hours Googling the best integration for your appointment scheduling system or how each email service provider works with Squarespace, you can just ask your designer, and get insight from someone who’s worked with the many systems out there. 

Cons: 

  • You might feel a little lost with your site after it’s completed. Because you didn’t create it, you didn’t learn much in the building process. To counter this con, be sure to work with a designer who offers a Squarespace lesson as part of their design package.
  • You generally need to book with a designer weeks to months in advance, this is a big investment and not a whip-it-together-in-a-couple-hours thing. The further out the designer is booked, the greater the indication of the quality of their studio.

Resources:

 

So, quick recap. Your options are:

  1. DIY for $0
  2. Plugins for $1-$59
  3. Design live for $0.75 - $1.50/minute
  4. Pre-made templates for $29-$299
  5. Website audit for $300
  6. Custom design for $1,500+

 

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If you make a purchase through some of the links in this post, I make a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks gal!