Squarespace Review 2023 Does It Live Up to the Hype?
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You can say what you want, but Squarespace’s homepage is certainly nice to look at. Among all the website builders we’ve tested, hardly any other company understands how to stage its product with such perfection. Everything looks cool, fresh and impeccable. And endorsements from celebrities like Zendaya, Idris Elba and Keanu Reeves certainly don’t hurt this image.
But does Squarespace’s own website design indicate what’s possible for your website?
Let’s find out if the website builder follows suit.
Although it initially gained popularity as ‘a website builder for creatives’, Squarespace has steadily become a solid all-rounder in the web platform space. With the release of its new 7.1 version, Squarespace introduced some useful additions to the editor such as pre-built page sections, and more versatile templates. Most recently, they added a custom template builder called Squarespace Blueprint.
Other features, such as ecommerce, member areas, appointment booking, restaurant reservations (thanks to its recent acquisition of Tock), social media templates, and an email marketing tool, also help Squarespace serve an even wider range of users.
These are just a handful of the features on offer - so let’s check out Squarespace’s pros and cons in full.
Squarespace Review Summary
Squarespace’s blogging feature is more powerful and versatile than most competitors, and it also scores well for support. The builder offers 140+ flexible templates that fully adapt to mobile devices. The Fluid Engine editor lets you drag and drop elements where you want on a page, while the new feature, Squarespace Blueprint, lets you build custom templates from scratch. The builder has been significantly improved in recent updates, but getting used to the platform can take a while due to a few usability issues. Pricing starts at $16/month.
Squarespace positions itself as THE website builder for blogs, portfolio sites, and online stores. This review will give you an overview of the main aspects of the latest version.
- Video Review
- User Review
- Wix vs Squarespace
- In 90 Secs
A good solution if you don't need an online store. All plans include up to 1000 pages.
Adds marketing features like Pop-Ups and the Announcement Bar. Online store with a transaction fee of 3%
Online Store (Basic)
Sell online without transaction fees.
Online Store (Advanced)
Everything included: Use advanced ecommerce features
Monthly prices based on 1-year contracts; Domain name registration included for free the first year.
Only new domain names can be registered through Squarespace. Existing ones need to be pointed to your Squarespace website from a different registrar.
Save 10% using our exclusive voucher code TOOLTESTER10. Find more details on how to redeem it here.
Try our Smart Finder to discover the most suitable plan for your project:
> In 2022, Squarespace went through several price hikes. Find a detailed and up-to-date analysis of Squarespace’s pricing plans here.
Pros & Cons of Squarespace
Templates and Designs
Squarespace offers more than 140 sophisticated themes that are optimized for tablets and phones. They seem to strive for perfection of every little detail in their designs; fonts, sizes, images: everything just fits. Their templates are also highly customizable through the Design menu.
Do keep in mind that the templates often rely heavily on the images used. If you replace the ones they provide, your website’s look will be completely different.
If a blog is going to be one of your central website elements, Squarespace is a great choice. They have a feature-rich commenting feature, multi-author functionality, the ability to schedule posts, AMP support, you name it. Nice touch: You can even host your own podcast on Squarespace!
Thanks to live chat, you can get an answer almost instantly. Our experiences with their support team were overall very positive when we did a support test over several weeks.
Their support team even sometimes takes the time to record quick screencasts, showing you the exact steps to follow.
Currently there are four different Squarespace apps. The most useful one, simply called Squarespace is available for iOS and Android. It allows you to edit almost all aspects of your website, including pages, blog and store.
Squarespace’s latest feature release is its customer template builder. You can build your own website template using Squarespace Blueprint, which provides a step-by-step guide to choosing your own fonts, design, layout, and color palette.
Generous page limits
Unlike Wix, which has a 100-page limit, Squarespace in theory can support up to 1,000 pages. This means that it can support larger sites. However, they recommend 400 as the absolute maximum in order to keep your site running smoothly (which is still a decent amount). More info here.
Squarespace Review: Conclusion
We’ll admit it — in the past, we always thought of Squarespace as being a little overrated. The rather complicated editing interface used to be a major sticking point. Fortunately, this has been improved in more recent versions.
Although still not perfect, the site builder now allows for real point and click interaction. This speeds up your website building efforts and lets you avoid unpleasant surprises.
Adding additional apps and features
There’s also been a shift towards providing a greater range of tools and add-ons, including Members Areas and Courses, Squarespace Scheduling, Email Campaigns (you can now send a campaign to 5,000 email addresses), and Tock restaurant reservation system. These, on top of existing features such as ecommerce and podcast support, demonstrate Squarespace’s goal to position itself beyond the realm of artistic portfolios as well as photography sites, towards being a complete, all-in-one business platform.
This is a trend that’s closely reflected in the real-life websites being created with Squarespace, which span a wide range of categories and purposes, but all manage to retain Squarespace’s signature bold aesthetic.
Squarespace is consistently releasing new features, detailed in its monthly “What’s New at Squarespace” column in the forum—most recently, Squarespace Blueprint and, in a move to keep up with the times, an AI feature that auto-fills text boxes based on a prompt.
The downside is the limited number of apps available in Squarespace Extensions is a little disappointing, especially if you want to integrate your existing tools that aren’t featured in the library. It’d be nice to see a larger library of integrative apps as well as the ability to autosave content while editing without having to publish it.
The Website Builder for Blogging
The blogging system is excellent, offering a lot more versatility than most other website builders except WordPress (which is much more complicated to set up than Squarespace). We also have to give Squarespace props for their content creation apps, such as the Video Studio and Unfold – these are a huge plus for anyone looking to integrate their site with social media.
However, sometimes it still feels a little too minimalistic, and can require a decent amount of trial and error until you are completely familiar with the editor. Some of the page elements are limited to an icon and don’t reveal their purpose immediately. Luckily, Squarespace provides many great tutorials that explain all the tools.
Each yearly plan contains a domain name. Although the “Personal” isn’t exactly cheap at $16/month, it comes with up to 1000 pages and unlimited bandwidth. To add premium features, such as marketing banners and ecommerce, you’ll need the “Business” plan at $23/month. While these are the prices for annual contracts, you also have the possibility to pay month by month, with the Personal plan starting at $23 a month.
Our tests have shown that Squarespace is a reliable website builder; however, its page speed needs improvement. Squarespace is not perfect, but we agree with their slogan: “Better websites for all.” You certainly can create a beautiful, SEO-optimized website and will never feel on your own thanks to their help materials and live support.
If you are looking for Squarespace alternatives, you may also want to check out Wix.com. Like Squarespace, they are very focused on design aesthetics and generally a bit more flexible than Squarespace.
Tip: Save 10% on your first subscription term for any plan (monthly or yearly) using voucher code TOOLTESTER10. Here’s a guide on how to redeem it.
Is Squarespace the right website builder for me?
- Recommended If
- Not Recommended If
Real Squarespace Example Sites
Design and good looks is what this website is all about. Rose is a UK-based design and branding agency. They even feature a small online store on their Squarespace site. The website also works perfectly on mobile devices thanks to Squarespace's responsive templates.
Alex Honnold is a professional adventure rock climber who uses his Squarespace site to showcase photos and videos. He also promotes his book and offers speaking gigs.
This New York City-based restaurant uses Squarespace to promote their food and drinks menu. It's a stylish website where you can order takeout meals and buy gift cards.
ING is a PR and communications agency that uses video backgrounds to illustrate their portfolio. The site features its list of services, clients, employees, and company updates (using Squarespace’s blog function).
Narciso Rodriguez is a world-famous brand from New Jersey that is making clever use of accessibility features to accommodate a wider audience. Other functionality included on the Squarespace site are an Instagram gallery feed and a store locator.
Encore Digital Media
This Squarespace-hosted website uses a futuristic design and color scheme. There are case studies (which make use of animated icons for that extra level of engagement), a blog, and a ‘Contact Us’ call-to-action button that stands out on every page.
Museum of Vancouver
Visitors can browse through the museum’s various exhibitions (including virtual ones), learn about its upcoming events, and even purchase tickets online. Other handy features include an FAQ, gallery map, self-guided gallery activities, and a Facebook Chat button.
Squarespace User ReviewsRead More
Squarespace uses SSL encryption in editing mode – a feature that sets it apart from most other tools. Both their Unlimited and Business plans support unlimited traffic and can handle tremendous amounts of concurrent website visitors. If you have used WordPress in the past you will probably appreciate this.
Yes, their layouts are responsive and will adapt to the screen size of your visitor’s device. They also offer mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android that allow you to edit your site on the go.
Yes, with Squarespace’s Member Areas feature (an additional service starting from $9/month). This allows you to offer premium content, such as classes, workshops and videos, to paying members. You can find out more here.
Yes, you can set up URL mapping. If you are moving your site over from a previous system, you can redirect old URLs that would otherwise lead to an error page.
Yes, Squarespace has a direct integration with Disqus.
Using Google AdSense or other banner ads. You can also add affiliate links to your website.
Yes, Squarespace supports imports from. WordPress, Tumblr, Squarespace 6, Blogger, Shopify, and Big Cartel. Squarespace also allows you to export your blog.
Unfortunately, Squarespace’s templates aren’t built for accessibility right out of the box. You can make manual adjustments to make some elements more accessible (colors, spacing, font sizes etc) but to make Squarespace websites fully accessible you’ll need to use a third-party app. Squarespace have stated that they are working to improve template accessibility, so we hope to see these features introduced soon.
Techie Stuff (Mainly for Geeks)
- Uptime Test & Response Time
- Page Speed Test
Here you can see the uptime of our Squarespace demo website for a period of about half a year. The best result would be 100%. The uptime should ideally be above 99.90%. Squarespace’s 99.96% are a pretty decent result.
Response time: That’s the time it takes to receive a response from Squarespace’s servers. A good value would be 700 milliseconds. 1000ms and more could feel slow to your visitors. Squarespace’s servers are located in the US.
Squarespace’s Google performance score (Mobile)
We are repeatedly running comprehensive loading speed tests based on the real-world performance of live websites.
Unfortunately, Squarespace came in last based on mobile scores:
|Rank||Website builder||Mobile score|
As loading time has become a ranking factor for Google, page speed is now more important than ever before. Squarespace’s templates are responsive, which is great, but the downside is very poor loading speeds, in particular on mobile devices.
Wix’s core strength is its great looking templates that offer pixel-perfect customization options. With their unique App Market you can easily add third party applications to your website. Read our Wix vs Squarespace comparison.
Zyro is one of the newer website builders in the market, offering modern designs and affordable prices. While it’s light on features compared to Squarespace, it scores points for ease of use and AI-powered extras such as a logo designer and content suggestion tool. We would recommend Zyro for anyone looking to create a simple, good-looking website without all the bells and whistles. Learn more in our Zyro review.
Webflow is another website builder that’s favored by designers, and is an interesting alternative if you’re looking for more design control. Check out our Webflow vs Squarespace comparison to learn more.
GoDaddy Website Builder is an interesting alternative for small businesses. It lets you set up a website rapidly, and offers a range of interesting marketing features at an affordable price. Compare Squarespace vs GoDaddy here.
And then there is WordPress, of course. It’s more complicated to set up but provides a lot of flexibility. Find our Squarespace vs. WordPress review here.
Find more in our Squarespace alternatives article.
Still unsure of what website builder you should use? Let our smart finder decide for you in 5 easy questions.
We keep our content up to date
21 Aug 2023 - Launch of Courses, Squarespace's platform for creators.
16 Aug 2023 - Full update, reflecting Squarespace Blueprint, pricing changes and other improvements
23 Feb 2023 - In-depth review of the blog editor added
14 Nov 2022 - Added new user review video
06 Sep 2022 - Updated loading speed tests.
12 Aug 2022 - Introduction of Fluid Engine editor
19 May 2022 - Multilingual features now available
18 Apr 2022 - Website examples added
05 Apr 2022 - Squarespace overall rating now 4.3
02 Mar 2022 - General updates
22 Feb 2022 - New Squarespace website examples added, FAQs updated
17 Dec 2021 - Mobile app rating added.
09 Sep 2021 - Squarespace in 90 seconds video added.
29 Jul 2021 - Page limit added as 'Pro'
13 Jul 2021 - Smart Finder added
22 Jan 2021 - Minor updates
26 Nov 2020 – New Member Areas feature
27 Aug 2020 – Update in templates
12 Aug 2020 – Squarespace app available for Android too.
02 Apr 2020 – Updated video review.
12 Dec 2019 – Launch of the Extensions Marketplace.
05 Sep 2019 – Improved SEO.
11 Jun 2019 – Complete update.
04 Jun 2019 – A few minor updates.
23 Oct 2018 – Added comments about our support test.
03 Sep 2018 – Further updates in SEO.
28 Feb 2018 – Updated uptime section
28 Sep 2017 – Updates in SEO.
15 Feb 2017 – Prices have increased.
17 Jan 2017 – We’ve added the Backup & Restore category in the table
04 Jan 2017 – Update in cons (preview mode)
28 Oct 2016 – Free SSL certificates available.
08 Sep 2016 – Squarespace new SEO rating is 4
18 Jul 2016 – Squarespace now overall rating is 4.2
19 Apr 2016 – Squarespace now also sells (expensive) domain names
03 Mar 2016 – Downgrade in Widget rating
03 Feb 2016 – New use case section added
22 Dec 2015 – Added pros and cons, uptime and response time, page speed results and some pricing updates.
11 Sep 2015 – User reviews section added
04 May 2015 – The “Personal” plan has no bandwidth and storage limit any longer
02 Dec 2014 – New video review added
21 Nov 2014 – Overall review update (V7), New rating 4.4 Stars (before 4.1)
28 Mai 2014 – Information on podcast hosting added.
31 Jan 2014 – Online store is available in all three plans.
20 Aug 2013 – The online store is now also available in the UK.
30 Mar 2013 – Video review of the online store added.
13 Feb 2013 – We added information about password protection.
20 Feb 2013 – Squarespace adds a shopping cart with their Business plan.
10 Oct 2012 – We’ve created a list of shopping cart options for Squarespace.
06 Aug 2012 – Initial tests of version 6.
THE BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS REVIEW
This article has been written and researched following a precise methodology.Our methodology