Squarespace pros

Free trial and ad-free plans

Unlike their competitors, Squarespace doesn't have any options for a long-term free plan. What they do provide, though, is a 2-week trial period where you can get used to their software and see if it's the right fit for you. Because they don't have any “free” plans, everything that they do offer is sans-advertisements. No worries about intrusive Squarespace branding mucking up your pages.

All plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth. You can also purchase a custom domain so that your site will appear more professional. Here's what they have on offer:

Personal: For simple, personal pages. You get to create 20 pages and add galleries, blogs, etc. They automatically generate a mobile website. You get free SSL security, website analytics, e-commerce support, and your custom domain. This plan runs $12/month.

Business: For starting a small business website. You get an unlimited number of pages, along with the extras provided in the Personal plan. You also get a “professional” Google-powered business email and $100 worth of AdWords credits. This plan runs $18/month.

Basic: You'd think Basic was a low-level plan by the name, but it's actually a beefed up Business plan. In addition to the features offered in Business, you also get the ability to manage inventory, orders, taxes, and discounts. You get access to label printing via Shipstation and integrated accounting through Xero. This plan runs $26/month.

Advanced: This is the cream of the Squarespace crop. You get the advanced features necessary to bring your business to the next level. Now you can implement an abandoned checkout recovery plan. You also get access to real-time carrier shipping. This plan runs $40/month.

Squarespace doesn't yank your chain with any hidden charges or trickery. You can sign up for a yearly term for a discount, but they don't require you to do so. If you feel better about going month to month, then have at it!

You really can make a beautiful site

This is Squarespace's main selling point. You're not going to find better-looking site-builder pages than the ones Squarespace offers. We'd be remiss if we didn't provide you with a Squarespace website builder review, so let's jump right in.

By now, you should know the broad strokes of how a website builder works. Squarespace best website builder follows a similar formula to Weebly and Wix. You sign up, then choose a template to match your grand vision.

Squarespace will then prompt you to enter some details about your operation. Your site name, your business name, an address (if you have a physical location). Squarespace will plug that information in to save you the hassle of doing it manually.

Once that's done, it's time for you to get started with Squarespace's editing interface. It's the most beautiful looking out the bunch—minimalist, though simultaneously stunning. It's not always the most straightforward (more on that later) but it does have the tools necessary to come up with a great finished product.

Most builders have some persistent toolbar that lets you select objects that you want to add to your site. Squarespace takes a different approach. When you click on a portion of the page that you want to edit, a box will appear with elements that you can add to the page.

The options include your web builder standards. You can add text. You can add photos. You can throw in videos, social media buttons, and the like. If you're a musician, you can add a player that gives visitors a sampling of your tunes. You can include downloads for your album (or any other digital product) of you so choose. The sidebar in Squarespace lets you add more pages. You can also select from other options like folders, events, links, etc.

Adding a blog to your page is a snap. You can add content to your blog page the same as you would any other. You can save and schedule posts for delayed publishing. You can enable and RSS feed. You can integrate a podcast. You can add comments and like buttons. There's even an option for writing new posts via email when you're out and about.

When it comes to editing images on Squarespace, they've made an effort to give you some worthwhile tools. You can use the Aviary editor to tweak images while you work. You can add galleries that appear as slideshows, carousels, grids, etc. You can add captions, transitions, and the like. You can even source images from Getty Images, with a small fee.

When you are finished, you'll likely be in awe of how slick your site looks. Once you're up to speed on Squarespace's ins-and-outs, you'll be able to create new sites that look professional grade within the span of an hour.

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