I often don’t talk too much about website platforms ‘cuz I work on projects on all kinds of platforms - Wordpress, Squarespace, Shopify - you name it. Depending on the requirements of the business, one works better than the other and we make the choice accordingly and move ahead.
However in recent times, I have seen a big surge in Squarespace clients in my roost. During the last quarter of 2017 I worked with 5 clients and they were all on Squarespace which makes me want to write more about Squarespace considering that many of you may be interested in learning more about it. Right?
And as I ‘ve worked with Squarespace over these past two years, I ‘ve explored the ins and outs of the platform extensively while working on both, client projects and my own passion projects. So I guess its safe to say, I know a thing or two (or a lot more) about building websites on Squarespace 😉 So let’s dive right in!
As soon as you sign up for Squarespace, the first decision you gotta make is ‘Which template should you use for your website’? One look at the template page on Squrespace and you ‘ll want to go hide. It has over 24 template families (a lot more templates in each family!) with new ones being added to the collection. So how do you choose which one’s best for you?
Ugh, how I hate that answer! So yes, I could tell you that it depends on what you want..blah..blah..blah! But I wont.
Ah but there’s a caveat (ofcourse, like duh!) The brine family consists of many templates itself. So yes I ‘ve helped you narrow down to Brine but choosing the right template is your decision to make. (more on that below, but before that ..)
Versatile layout: I 've worked with various templates from Hayden and Bedford to the recent ones like Skye and Farro, and I feel by far Brine is the most versatile of the lot. Whether its the site layout, navigation, footer, blog layout, e-commerce store options - either way Brine makes it super easy to tailor your website to your needs. There are no hard-core limitations on some of the primary web layout elements when it comes to Brine which makes it favorable for e-commerce websites, service websites, personal sites and everything in between!
Customization: As with the rest of the templates, Brine too comes with a (very) few limitations, which however can be easily fixed by writing custom code. Not just that, but when you use the Brine template - you have a lot more possibilities of customizing your website when compared to other templates. Of course it requires custom coding, but at least its possible to customize much more easily than the rest.
So now that you are convinced about choosing brine (hopefully), its important to choose a template that works for your brand and business.
What is the purpose of your website? Do you want to sell products? Do you want to showcase your portfolio? Or do you want to build a website that is mainly focused on content - a blog?
Write down your requirements. Here’s an example requirements for a website that sells products:
Instead of looking at the plethora of Squarespace templates and designing your website around one, its important to narrow down your requirements and choose a template that works for your goals and requirements.
So if you were to go with Brine family (my recommendation), you could narrow down and filter within the family of templates. But if you choose to explore on your own, you could use the Squarespace categories to narrow down based on your requirements.
So follow this link, and filter based on your goals and requirements. Just by clicking on the options on the left panel, it will filter the templates best suited for you.
You could even type into the search box to search based on your specific needs like below ..
For each template that piques your interest, first take a look at the features to see if it ticks off your requirements. To see the features, follow this link and choose your template in the left hand panel.
Once you filter and narrow down, preview each template to make sure it supports the primary requirements of your website.
Squarespace provides excellent responsive design for every template, but if you have specific needs on how the website needs to look and function on different devices, then make sure to check out the responsible versions before you make a decision.
Also make sure to scroll down in the preview to see the example websites listed for the template. Looking at the example websites gives you a good feel of how the template would work for you as well as ideas for features that would potentially work well for your own website. To access the example websites, follow this link : https://www.squarespace.com/templates/brine, replace the template name in the URL with the template you want and scroll down the page to find example sites.
Once you are down to a template (or two!) of your choice, you can test drive it before you make your website LIVE with the new template. You can build your website using the 14-day trial and see how the template works for your brand and design. The best part is, if you don’t like the template you can go back and choose a different one as Squarespace makes switching templates easy.
Just that, those 4 easy steps should help you get started with choosing the right template for your Squarespace website. I would definitely recommend narrowing your search to the Brine family as I ve done the research for you, but if you would like to explore other templates - go for it! But starting with the goals and requirements is definitely an important piece of the puzzle you don’t want to miss out.