Squarespace is a website platform that was initially built for creating and hosting blogs, but over the past 16 years, it’s grown to be one of the best website builders available today. Squarespace now hosts over a million websites. It’s popular for its powerful drag-and-drop editing tool, advanced features for e-commerce, and strong support for search engine optimization (SEO).
But there are many competing website builders on the market. In our Squarespace review, we check out its features, customer support, and pricing to help you decide whether it’s the right website builder for you.
- Read our guide to the best website builders
Plans and pricing
Besides the 14-day free trial, Squarespace has four plans. You can pay monthly or annually, but the annual plans include a free custom domain for the first year and there’s a 13-30% discount on paying monthly.
The Personal plan costs $12/month if you pay annually. It includes unlimited bandwidth and storage, SEO features, 24/7 customer support, basic website metrics, and support for Squarespace extensions. You can sell unlimited products and accept donations, but there’s a 3% transaction fee on everything sold.
The Business plan removes this transaction fee. It costs $18/month and adds more premium features that you can add to your site, like support for restaurant booking and customer databases. The website analytics are better, you get $100 in Google Ads credit, and you can put promotional pop-ups and banners on your site. The Business plan also has support for gift cards.
Next is the Basic Commerce plan at $26/month. Customers can now create accounts, sign into your site, and check out on your domain. You get better tools for merchandising, and you can take your selling offline with the Square app (in the United States, at least).
Finally, the Advanced Commerce plan, which costs $40/month, adds features to your online store. You can sell subscriptions, offer advanced shipping and discounts, and send automated emails to customers who abandon their shopping cart before completing their purchases.
Squarespace has arguably the best set of professional designs on the market. The template designs that you base your website on are all modern and clean, and there’s a good range of over 60 designs from which to choose. Designs are mobile responsive, meaning they’ll work just as well on phones and tablets as on computers. You can also easily switch the theme of your website without losing any of the content.
With Squarespace’s excellent search engine optimization, your website should rank well on search engines. Most of the work is done for you behind the scenes. For example, Squarespace automatically creates Google Sitemaps, searchable pages, and clean URLs. This all helps search engines find and catalog your site easily. There’s also an SEO checklist to follow and tools that show you how your website will look on search engines.
Squarespace has support for e-commerce built in. The splendid designs can help your products shine, and all sales tools are completely integrated, so your online store will work seamlessly with the rest of your site. With Squarespace, you can list products on Instagram, print labels, and manage your inventory.
Interface and in use
Squarespace’s website editor is one of our favorites. It uses a contextual design, so whenever you’re concentrating on changing your site, irrelevant user interface elements are hidden. This makes it easier to focus on the task at hand.
Editing your website is typically just a case of clicking on the elements that you want to change. You can click the plus sign anywhere on your pages to add Sections. These are pre-designed page elements that range from image galleries and video players to appointment booking and product collections.
A few website builders, such as Wix, give you more themes, sections, apps, and tools. But many of Squarespace’s templates and layouts are better designed and can result in a more cohesive website. There are fewer choices but they invariably fit your design.
Squarespace has some of the best online support for a website builder. On its site, you’ll find blogs, articles, help guides, videos, and a busy community forum to help you set up your website and make it a success. There’s a searchable knowledge base with guides on all the software’s features.
If you want direct support, email support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There’s also live chat available from Monday to Friday, from 4 AM to 8 PM EST. During our testing, we received informative and courteous service from Squarespace.
If you feel Squarespace’s website editor doesn’t allow for enough creative expression, consider Wix instead. The Wix editor has the most customization in the industry, allowing you to drag and drop elements anywhere on the page. It also has a massive library of third-party widgets that you can place on your pages.
If you’re put off by Squarespace’s relatively high price, try Site123. It’s free for basic sites, and while it has nothing near the power of Squarespace, you can easily create a modern, fresh website with it.
Squarespace is a powerful website builder that gives you the tools to create a beautiful, professional website. Its built-in e-commerce and marketing tools paired with an intuitive website editor make it a top choice if you want a slick website without learning how to code.
It doesn’t have an app library like Wix or WordPress, and it’s quite expensive. You also don’t have quite the flexibility over your site that you would if you built the site from scratch. But you get search engine optimization, e-commerce, marketing, blogging, and outstanding designs, all wrapped up in a single package. If you’re looking for the convenience of an all-in-one solution, Squarespace is an excellent choice.
It's not just us who think Squarespace is a top choice for building a website, our colleagues at TechRadar think so too. Check out their guide to the best website builders for more info.