Editor’s note: Squarespace recently announced Squarespace Refresh, its annual release of new features and updates (including video monetization and custom merchandising tools). We will update this content with additional information in the coming weeks.
If your blog is your bread and butter, you should be sure that it gets baked into a decent website. The ability to categorize posts, arrange them in an easy-to-navigate manner, and break up walls of text with eye-catching images are all must-haves to keep readers engaged. (And if your site isn’t optimized for search engines, chances are you won’t have any readers at all.)
Place(opens in a new tab) is the favorite website builder for many bloggers, thanks to its hundreds of ready-made templates that include drag-and-drop page design tools that allow you to quickly and easily create a beautiful, functional website without a crumb of coding knowledge. Better yet, all of these templates are mobile-optimized for SEO purposes, so you can reach readers wherever they are.
As we’ve written before, the hardest part of getting a Squarespace site up and running is really just deciding on a template. From website metrics to SSL security, ecommerce tools and video storage, the platform takes care of the technical details so you can focus on your favorite project. Below is Mashable’s guide to choosing the right Squarespace template for your blog (plus a selection of our current favorites for 2022).
What is a Squarespace template?
A Squarespace template/theme is a pre-built demo website that, according to the platform’s support center, is intended to serve as a “starting point to inspire your site’s design.” You’re free to leave it largely untouched or customize it from top to bottom with different content blocks (like text and galleries) and personalized branding elements (like fonts and colors). In any case, the fact that there are 234 of them to choose from means that the chances that your finished website will end up looking like everyone else’s are extremely slim.
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Squarespace versions 7.0 and 7.1 are the two iterations of the platform currently in use, and each treats templates a little differently:
Version 7.0 organizes its 91 options into “families”.(opens in a new tab)“; each family contains multiple templates with the same underlying structure, rules, and unique styling elements (such as the Brine family’s parallax scrolling effect). Many Squarespace veterans prefer this version because some of its advanced design features are always are not yet available in version 7.1, but newer users may find it inflexible.
Released early 2020, Version 7.1 got rid of family categorization and gave all 143 templates the same basic formatting and features. They’re a bit more descriptive than the 7.0 templates, but it’s a lot easier to switch between them and you don’t risk losing content in the process. Version 7.1 sites also have the option to be built with Fluid Engine(opens in a new tab)Squarespace’s next-generation content editor, equipped with an intuitive grid system and more flexible layout options for mobile.
It’s technically possible to switch between both versions of Squarespace, but remember that doing so requires a complete rebuild and can affect your site’s search rankings. (Pro tip: Take advantage of Squarespace’s 14-day free trial(opens in a new tab) if you’re not sure which one is right for you.)
What kind of blogging tools does Squarespace offer?
Squarespace lets you play around with a bunch of settings on your blog’s backend, no matter what version of the site you’re running. This includes:
Check out Squarespace’s blogging guide(opens in a new tab) for tips and best practices on how to use these settings effectively.
How to choose a Squarespace template for blogging?
Squarespace’s Templates tab(opens in a new tab) you can sort the library by type including Online Store, Portfolio, Memberships, Planning, One Page and yes, Blog. (You can narrow your options even further by sorting by topics like food, travel, and fashion.) But just because a template isn’t officially categorized as a blog doesn’t mean it won’t work as a blog with a little tweaking; You can technically add a Blog Page(opens in a new tab) to any template with just a few clicks in the backend.
If you’re having trouble choosing between templates, Squarespace recommends dialing in to the “specific colors and layouts that appeal to you” rather than focusing on the demo content. That being said, “you might find it easier to start with a design that already matches how you want your site to look,” it adds. Here is an example:
Photo credit: Squarespace/Mashable Composite
You can see that on the Mérida(opens in a new tab) Template (left) has a magazine layout well-suited for blogging out of the box, while Maca(opens in a new tab) (right) the ecommerce elements need to be moved or removed to bring the blog page front and center. You can make a great looking website out of either, but one requires a lot more tinkering than the other for that specific purpose.
Is Squarespace better than WordPress for blogs?
The “Squarespace versus WordPress” debate will come up a lot when you start delving into website builders. There is no clear winner when it comes to blogs, but answering the following questions will help make your decision easier:
Want a free website? Choose WordPress.
Want a super simple website that you can set up in minutes? Choose WordPress.
Do you want an all-in-one package with many built-in features and technical support? Choose Place.
Is your blog heavily visual? Choose Place.
Do you sell anything? Choose Place.
Do you plan to change the design of your blog from time to time? Choose Place (especially version 7.1).
Are you an experienced programmer (or someone willing to hire one) who wants a fully custom blog with powerful plugins and premium themes? Choose WordPress.
If you’ve decided to give Squarespace a shot – good choice – keep scrolling to explore nine templates that can work really well for different types of blogs right from the start.
Note: Most of our recommendations are from Squarespace version 7.1, but we’ve added a few options from version 7.0 that still stand out. Templates are marked accordingly.
https://mashable.com/roundup/best-squarespace-templates-for-blogs Best Squarespace templates for blogs 2022