With its image heavy layouts, it can be tempting to select a template for your Squarespace website based on how it looks. However, there's a better way to figure out which template will be the best fit for your website.
Now, I'm guessing one of the reasons you are using Squarespace for your small business website is because you didn't want to hire a developer in the first place.
Here are some tips for selecting the best template for your Squarespace website.
4 Steps to Selecting the Best Squarespace Template
Step 1: Determine Your Functionality Requirements
A very important thing to note about Squarespace templates is not all of them have the same functionality.
If you get too far along with a template that doesn't do everything you want it to, you'll have to hire a developer to write custom code, switch templates, or just be resigned to not having the website you want.
Avoid painting yourself into that corner by determining your must have functionality from the start.
Important functionality decisions:
- Do you want a sidebar for your blog?
- What you want your main navigation to look like?
- Are you set on having an image or video in the header of the website?
Knowing the overall purpose of your website is a great way to figure out your requirements. For example, if you want to have a blog with ads in the sidebar, you are going to need a template with the sidebar option.
Step 2: Review this chart and make a list of some possible templates
Once you have an idea of the functional requirements for your website, review this excellent comparison chart from Using My Head.
Take a look at the chart and make a list of those templates which have the functionality you need.
Or, if for an easier tech solution, copy and paste this helpful chart into an Excel spreadsheet. Then you can filter the data to come up with your short list.
Step 3: Go to Squarespace’s templates section and review those templates.
Start by going to Squaurespace's list of templates.
Find one of the templates from Step 2 and click on the website image to see a preview.
Note: the template name is often in the header on on the main image of the website sample. When in doubt, click on the preview of a website find out the template name. I sure wish the template name was listed in a more obvious way here.
Also, many of the template demos follow the naming convention of templatename-demo.squarespace.com. For example, anya-demo.squarespace.com.
You can click on the "Preview" button to see Squarespace's pretty mock up, but I think real world examples are more helpful.
Scroll down below the website preview to see how others have adapted the template to their website.
These previews no longer link to the live site, so you'll have to look at the website's name and do a Google search.
Repeat this process for all the templates on your list.
Are you feeling drawn to a certain template at this point?
Step 4: Pick one and get started as a trial.
The most important step is to get started.
Don’t let analysis paralysis set in. Take action.
Sometimes you don’t know exactly what you want until you start building the site. Remember, you can always change the template.
A few additional Squarespace notes:
Good imagery makes a big difference in Squarespace. The templates are very visual. The quality of your photos or graphics will make a huge impact on the overall look of your website.
There are plugins available if you need some more customization. Check squareplugins.com for some great code help.
The key thing to remember is that it is best to select your template based upon the associated functionality.
What are the required functions for your small business website? Which templates are you thinking about?