Your Top 50 Squarespace Questions, Answered
Facebook groups, blog comment sections and Quora are all stocked full of questions about Squarespace.
Squarespace websites are the talk of the town these days, and for good reason! It's easy to create a truly stunning design, they're easy to launch, and the websites produced are indeed very powerful.
It's a big decision to choose or switch your website system, so I wanted to be the one to lay out all the most frequent questions and the answers to them in order to set things straight.
I have no intention of getting into the WordPress vs. Squarespace battleground as that horse had been beaten to death a million times over. But I DO want to let you know what Squarespace is capable of, in one convenient location.
So let's start!
(If you have a question I don't answer, stop by the comment section below, I'd love to hear from you and lend a hand!)
Top 50 Most Common Squarespace Questions, Answered
1. Can I hook up a domain purchased somewhere else to Squarespace?
Yep! You have a few options here.
You may transfer a domain purchased somewhere else to Squarespace and then use it for your Squarespace website. (This is a relatively new Squarespace feature, so not many people know about it yet.) Alternatively, if you have a domain purchased somewhere such as GoDaddy, you can also keep it with GoDaddy and use it for your Squarespace website.
To transfer your domain, visit this page and click the 'Already have a domain? Transfer it to Squarespace' button.
If you want to keep your domain where you purchased it and link it to your website, visit this page.
If you haven't bought a domain yet, you can get one straight through Squarespace here.
2. Can I get a .com with Squarespace?
Yes. You can purchase a domain (or depending on the Squarespace plan you choose, you may qualify to get a free .com domain for a year.) See if the .com you want is available here.
3. Where can I input SEO keywords?
Here's 4 places to get you started.
- The search engine description (Settings > SEO > Search Engine Description)
- The URL slug of each page (click the gear icon beside each page name > URL slug)
- The page description for each page (click the gear icon beside each page name > Description)
- Every image on your website (first upload an image > Filename)
If you want to really up your SEO game on your website, there's two free resources I'd suggest. If you want to really in depth, Moz has a fantastic course here. If you'd like something broken down really quickly & easily, Odds and Ends Creative free SEO Spring Cleaning e-course is great. Odds and Ends Creative uses Squarespace, so there's lots of relevant Squarespace examples in the course.
4. Would switching Squarespace templates hurt my SEO?
No, so switch templates all you choose, don't let SEO fears hold you back if you want to update the look of your website.
5. Can I use custom code in Squarespace?
Yes, yes, yes! This is one of the biggest Squarespace myths out there. You can add code and CSS styling to blog posts, pages, navigation, footer, sidebar, headers, banners, etc. If you really want to go wild, you can use The Squarespace Developer Platform too.
"The Squarespace Developer Platform gives developers access to the template files behind their Squarespace website allowing them to edit the source code using the editing tools they prefer."
If you're coding clueless, then the Squarespace Answers page is super helpful to find the code you need to make the changes you want. There's also Square Plugins that sells code snippets to make fab things happen with your Squarespace website.
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6. Is Squarespace good for my type of business/blog?
There is no one right answer for the 'should I use Squarespace?' question. The answer depends on many factors. Your business/blog size, your personal preferences, and your tolerance for spending time updating and maintaining your website. It's similar to the iPhone/Android argument.
People who tend to love Squarespace include small business owners, bloggers & artists. Die hard Squarespace users also tend to like modern, clean design, aren't interested in doing a lot of coding, and have minimal time/desire to dedicate to website maintenance and security issues.
If you're someone with a large business or will be running some complex systems through your online space (forums, shops with over 200 items, etc.), go WordPress.
7. How long does it take to set up a Squarespace website?
There is no one answer for this, it can take as long or as short an amount of time as you'd like. You can set up a website in all of 5 minutes from your cell phone using the Squarespace Start app, or be a perfectionist and spend weeks at it.
If you want a general guideline though, as a Squarespace beginner, for a regular sized website or blog (5 - 10 pages), you could go live with a website tailored to you in a weekend if you want to knock it out all at once, or spend a week at it, 3-4 hours a day, and you should be good to go.
8. Can I set up a Squarespace website on my own?
Yes. Here's a course from Squarespace (for free) which guides you through every step of making your new site. If you know your way around a computer, have an eye for what looks good, and are Google-savvy, it's possible to make a great DIY website on Squarespace. When DIY-ing your website know that the Squarespace team is on hand to help! You can live chat with the Squarespace team here.
If you'd like more guidance or want to ensure your DIY site looks designer-made, there are also a few online shops which offer pre-designed Squarespace kits. Sometimes they're called Design Kits, or Premade Templates, or a Squarespace Theme. Basically what they are is designer created website kits with instructions and video tutorials on how to make your Squarespace site the exact same way. Here's a few places to find those:
9. Is it possible to make a Squarespace website look custom, and not just like the template?
Sure is! In fact, if your website looks just like the template, I'm sorry to say, but you're doing it wrong. There's quite a few things you can do when designing to make sure your website looks unique and anything but cookie-cutter.
- I would suggest not using the 'demo' pages that come with the template. Instead, start with blank pages and add your content in the way you like best, instead of just swapping a demo photo or text for your own.
- Spend lots of time in the Style Editor changing out all the demo fonts, colours, spacing, page setups, button styles, etc. to the options that really represent your brand.
- Play! The very best way to make your Squarespace website look like all your own is to get adventurous, don't worry about breaking anything, just have at your website, and have fun. The more you play with your new site, the more you'll learn about Squarespace, and the more you'll be able to customize it.
- Hire a website designer. While it's still absolutely true that you can make a great DIY website with Squarespace, for people who really want to knock it out of the park with their website and make it look like nothing else out there, a website designer is a God send. There are many website designers that specialize in Squarespace and know all the hidden secrets and workarounds to create exactly your vision. In fact, you're on a Squarespace website designers website right now. Check out how we can work together on this page.
10. Can you alter the front page of a template?
Yes you can alter just about everything on the front page (or any page for that matter) of your website. The templates start you off on your website, but I would fully encourage you to delete all the demo content and go at it with your own creative set up ideas.
Content on sites is made up of 'blocks'. It is the inserting and arranging of 'blocks' that creates the content on your site and the look of it. You can insert any block on to any page, and arrange them in any way you please, including mimicking the set up of the content on another template.
11. How difficult is it to switch to a new template?
Actually switching takes just a couple clicks and doesn't cost anything extra. However, I would equate switching to a new template to basically be re-creating your website, so it's definitely a time investment. Once you switch, you'll restyle the site, and make a number of edits which depends both on which template you came from and which you're moving to. Example, say your old template didn't have banner images and your new one does, you'll need to upload a new banner image for each page.
When you go to pick a template, ensure it's a good fit for you both now, and down the road. Here's a list of the Best & Worst Squarespace templates. Another way to go about it is to visit this comparison chart and pick from the templates with a L or XL Scale of Control. The more flexible your template is, the more likely it will grow with you over time, and the less necessary it will be to switch in the future.
Granted, if you want a website refresh after a year or two, picking a new template can be a very fun experience. Though I am a website designer and this is what I love to do ... so maybe that's just me.
12. Do I need to start over in the Style Editor if I switch templates?
Currently, yes. Though there's a change coming to this in the future.
13. Can I combine elements from various templates?
Yes and no.
Say you like the sidebar in one template, but the parallax scrolling in another, the only way to 'merge' these things would be to Developer Platform it. For your average Joe, this wouldn't be possible to do solo. For some elements you love however, it is possible to 'fake' it with a workaround (see next question).
14. Can I add a sidebar to a Squarespace template that doesn't already have one automatically?
Yes. This article goes through how to make a 'fake' sidebar, which looks just the same as a regular one.
15. Can I have a sidebar with Squarespace?
Yes. Just pick a template that has a side bar, or create a 'mock sidebar' (see previous question). List of templates with sidebars right here.
16. Can I have a secondary navigation in Squarespace?
Yes, there's a couple ways to do this.
- Use any template in the Brine family which automatically has a secondary navigation
- Follow the instructions in this article to create a secondary navigation
17. Can I hide a page that's already created but is for future use in Squarespace?
Yes, drag the page to the 'Not Linked' section of the website. The page in the not linked section will still be searchable in the Search bar however, or if someone knows the URL slug. If you want it really, really hidden, create the page, click the gear (settings) icon for the page, and switch the page from 'Enabled' to 'Disabled'. That way it's fully hidden.
If you want to show off your new page to someone, but not have it available to all site viewers, add a password to that specific page. Again, have the page in the 'Not Linked' section, don't disable it, but instead click the gear (settings) icon, type a password in the 'password' field, and click save. Then give the URL slug and password to whoever you want to see the page.
18. Does a blog automatically come with Squarespace (hosting & the blog set up)?
Yes. Hosting for your website and blog is included in all Squarespace plans. Additionally, all Squarespace plans and templates support a blog (or multiple blogs if you really want to get fancy). Setting up the blog consists of clicking Add a page > Blog
19. Can I have a blog archive on Squarespace?
Yes. Lauren Hooker from Elle & Company Design goes through multiple ways to create & style a blog archive in this post.
20. Can you schedule blog posts to publish in the future with Squarespace?
Yes. In your blog post editor click 'Draft' in the bottom right corner > scheduled > date & then choose the exact date and time you want it to publish.
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21. Can I get my blog posts to auto-send to email subscribers?
Yes. First you'll need to find your RSS feed. A RSS feed is a special link which collects all your blog posts. You then use your RSS feed link to auto-send your blog posts to email subscribers. An RSS feed is also used by Bloglovin' to find your new content, and push it to your Bloglovin' page.
22. Can you use Disqus commenting with Squarespace?
Yes. First set up your Disqus account, then in Squarespace click Settings > Blogging, write in your Disqus name, and click save. The regular Squarespace comment system will then be replaced with Disqus on all blogs.
23. Does Squarespace notify my readers when someone responds to their comment?
No, but Disqus does, so if this is important to you, use Disqus as your commenting system instead of the built-in Squarespace system.
24. Can I add photos to a blog post in bulk, instead of uploading each individually?
Yes. Instead of using an image block and uploading each photo individually, use a 'gallery block' for this. You can drag a whole folder or selected bunch of photos into the gallery block uploader at once.
25. What size should photos be when I upload them to Squarespace? What if I'm a photographer or blogger, so really crisp photos are important?
Regardless if you go with Squarespace or with some other website platform, massive photo file sizes slows down a website. If you have a DSLR that takes photos which produces massive file sizes, I suggest using JPEG Mini on all of your images. (They also have an app which makes bulk sizing many images at once easy). JPEG Mini shrinks the file size without reducing the quality of the image.
Best practices for photo sizes in Squarespace is 1500 - 2500 px wide, and less than 500 KB per image.
26. Can I make money on a Squarespace blog/website?
Heck yes! Use affiliate links, place ads on your website, sell products or services, and take on sponsored posts. You can make money whatever way your little hear desires with Squarespace!
27. Can I use Google Adsense on a Squarespace website?
Sure can! First, set up your Google Adsense account and then create an ad.
Then copy the code from the ad, head back to Squarespace, insert a 'code block' anywhere on the page you'd like your ad to appear (you can also insert ads in your blog posts or sidebar if you wish), paste the code & you're all done.
28. Can I use Google Analytics with Squarespace?
Sure can. First, set up your Google Analytics account, then find your Google Analytics Tracking ID.
In Google Analytics click Admin > Property Settings & then copy your Tracking ID (it starts with UA- and then is followed by a bunch of numbers).
In Squarespace click Settings > Advanced > External Services and then paste in your Tracking ID where it says 'Google Analytics Account Number. Click save & you're done.
29. Are Squarespace metrics able to be exported to excel?
No, unfortunately not. However, if you want to get all in-depth with your website statistics, I suggest Google Analytics anyways, and you can export those statistics to excel.
Squarespace metrics are really nice for a quick overview of the important stats on your website, and seeing your stats on the go with the Squarespace Metrics mobile phone app. However, if you want to get a more broad & clear picture of your website activity, hook up Google Analytics (it's free & described above how to set it up).
30. Can website updates blast out to my social media accounts with Squarespace?
Yes, you can set up Squarespace so that it auto-post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr every time you publish new blogs, galleries, events, products or album tracks. This article walks you through how to do that.
31. Can I change the preview photo that appears in Facebook when I post a link?
Yes! First, you'll need to upload your preferred Facebook preview photo to Squarespace. To do so click Design > Logo & Title, and then upload a new 'Social Sharing Logo'. Facebook has an issue with updating this automatically, so visit the Facebook Link Debugger paste in your link, and click 'Scrape' a few times until the new image appears. You're good to share that link around Facebook all you'd like now, and the new image will appear in the link preview.
32. How much does Squarespace cost?
Currently at the time of writing this post (Jan, 2017) Squarespace website plans range from $12 - $18/month and online store plans range from $26 - $40/month.
33. What Squarespace plan is best for me?
To start off with, you'll receive a free 14 day trial to test out using the platform, try your hand at designing your website, and just generally see if Squarespace feels right for you.
After that time, you'll need to pick a plan to get your website live.
90% of my clients use the lowest plan, the $12/month website plan, and this is more often than not enough for most people who are just getting live with a website. The main difference between this plan and the plan one step up ($18/month) is that you can have 20 pages, as opposed to unlimited pages.
The vast majority of websites out there consist of less than 20 pages, so this plan is perfectly fine for most people. If down the line when you have your website for a while and you realize you need/want more than 20 pages, its super simple to switch plans. It takes all of 3 clicks to change plans. (P.S. Changing plans has no effect on your website design, set up, pages, etc.)
Basically, start with the free trial while you're testing out the platform, then go for the $12/month plan. If down the line you want more than 20 pages then switch up plans one level.
If you're running an online store on the other hand, I suggest picking an online store plan from the get-go as you receive added features which helps make running an online store easier and cheaper (e-commerce specific analytics, avoidance of the Squarespace sales fee, etc). Basically your only choice here is, are the two added features of the higher priced plan valuable to you? That is abandoned checkout auto-recovery and real time carrier shipping. If yes, choose the $40/month plan, if those features don't make much difference for you, go with the $26/month plan.
34. Is it possible to add a 'Back To The Top' button?
Yes! You can use a line of text, a button block or an image to all be 'Back To The Top' buttons. To do this is called setting up 'anchor links'. Basically you set an anchor in your page (at the top) & then create a link to the anchor. Super nautical, and easy to do. Muno Space has a great guide on this.
35. Can I have a search bar on a Squarespace website?
Yes. Click an insert point on any page, in any place, click the 'search bar block' & it will be added.
36. Can I have my Instagram feed at the bottom of the page?
Yes ma'am. You can add the 'Instagram block' anywhere on your website, style it to have however many rows, photos, spacing between photos, etc. your little heart desires. Guide and video on how to add an Instagram block here.
37. Can I make a membership website with Squarespace?
Sure can! Memberspace was created by a group of Squarespace designers to help you take membership payments once, monthly or annually, etc.
38. Can I have customers make appointments with me through Squarespace?
While this is not inherent in Squarespace, you can absolutely make it happen. My choice is integrating Acuity Scheduling (free for solo business owners, paid plans available for larger organizations). I walk you through how to set up your appointment bookings with Acuity & Squarespace in this post.
39. Can I use a pop up on Squarespace?
Yes. I have tested out a bunch for myself and clients on Squarespace, and really like Privy popups. I walk you through how to set up the popup, add it to your site, and (if you really want to go all in) deliver an opt-in gift with Privy & Squarespace here.
40. Can I deliver an opt-in gift with Squarespace?
Yes. There's about a zillion ways to go about this. Here's a few really good posts to walk you through the different options to do this.
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41. Can I only use MailChimp with Squarespace, or can I use a different email service provider?
Use whatever you like best! MailChimp is seamlessly integrated into the Squarespace platform, but that doesn't mean it's your only option. To use another email service provider, just copy the code from your email service provider for the sign up forms, and paste it into Squarespace anywhere on your site using an 'code block'.
42. Can I do 'click to tweet' in Squarespace?
Yes. Brand It Girl gives you 2 ways to do just that in this post.
43. Can I upload a PDF to my Squarespace website?
Yes. This article from Squarespace shows you how to upload and link to any type of file (including PDF's) on your site.
44. Can you make a multilingual website with Squarespace?
45. Can I get a Pin It button on my photos on Squarespace?
Yes. Click Settings > Marketing > Pin It Buttons & click Enabled. Then choose the style of button you'd like (rectangle, circle, large small).
46. Can I have a custom Pin It button in Squarespace?
47. Can I use Leadpages with Squarespace?
Yes. The wonderful Megan Minns goes through how to do that in this detailed post.
48. Can I use a custom font with Squarespace?
49. Can I take restaurant reservations on a Squarespace website?
Yes. You'll use the OpenTable program that's integrated into Squarespace for this. First, you'll need to crate an account with OpenTable. Then on Squarespace, head to the page you want to take reservations, insert a 'open table block', add your RestaurantID and click save. Full guide on how to go about doing this right here.
50. Are there any famous companies or people who use Squarespace?
Wow! You made it through all 50 questions!
Do you have a zillion things bookmarked now? Itching to go and get that website perfected? Lovely, that's my mission accomplished!
I'm happy to report the Squarespace help doesn't end here.
Here are some other recommended reads to get yourself Squarespace-savvy in no time!