Steve Jobs often told a story about how his father— a carpenter— would care as much about the back of a cabinet as the front. Jobs said this where he learned the importance of craftsmanship and attention to detail. This story reminds me of Squarespace. Everything in Squarespace is polished. Nothing ever feels half-baked. Simply put: Squarespace crafts the back of cabinets.
Image cropping is a great example of how Squarespace pays attention to details. Photo galleries need to crop images to present them in a perfect grid. Most website builders crop the images automatically— but Squarespace gives you the option of setting a focal point on photos to crop around— it’s a small, easy to use feature that can really make your thumbnails pop.
Content Blocks make up pages and footers. There’s a huge amount of blocks to choose from— all of which are polished and fully featured. There’s even a handy search that lets you drill down quickly and find the block you’re looking for. Handy.
The Menu block is a great example of the care and polish Squarespace puts into blocks. To use it Squarespace invented a simple markup language (sounds more intimidating than it is) that lets you design stylish menus. It’s an elegant solution to a hard problem.
I do have a minor complaint about the page editor: it was sometimes difficult to keep track of all the hover menus in the website editor. Moving my mouse along the page would sometimes reveal hidden menus that popped out of me— this minesweeper gesture can feel a bit unintuitive.
Squarespace has the best blog of any website builder I’ve seen. Hands down. It supports a long list of blog features: tagging, categories, drafts, comments (with powerful moderation features), Disqus integration, customizable urls and more. And to top it all off the post editor is beautiful. Show Screenshot
Squarespace’s Commerce is the best ecommerce of any website builder (Weebly is second best). They include so much: digital products, customizable email receipts, checkout customization, a robust tax system and more. But it’s not just about the features, they also make it relatively simple to setup (and setting up ecommerce is never simple). One note: The only payment gateway Commerce supports is Stripe (which is an excellent payment gateway). Paypal support is currently in beta. Show Screenshot
Full form builder packed with everything you’ll need: 19 different form field options, Google Docs and Mailchimp integrations, lightbox mode (a handy way of creating a button that can open the form in a lightbox) and custom post-submit HTML. The only missing option I’d like to see included is the ability to send forms to custom URLs. Show Screenshot
There are a suite of beautiful apps: Commerce lets you manage your store. Blog (iOS) lets you compose blog posts and manage your blog. Metrics (iOS) gives you website analytics. Portfolio (iOS) lets you manage photos and galleries. They also have an Android app that is similar to their iOS Blog app. Having a suite of apps is great— rather than stuff everything into one app, they’re able to make a beautiful interface for each use case.
Squarespace generates several scaled versions of every image so that they look perfect (and load quickly) on retina and mobile devices.
Beautiful newsletter signup box that integrates with Mailchimp. Show Screenshot
The best restaurant menu builder I’ve seen in any website builder. Menus are created using a simple markup language and styled automatically (but of course you have the option of customizing the style as well). Show Screenshot
Squarespace includes a strong donation system (I hate to be repeatedly effusive but it’s the best donation system I’ve seen in any website builder). You can customize email receipts— which is important, donors shouldn’t receive the same email as an ecommerce customer (a detail too many website builders over look). You can also set suggested contributions and customize the donation checkout.
Beautiful (seriously, take a look at the screenshot) audio player that’s well suited for showcasing albums and single tracks. Show Screenshot
You can publish and syndicate a podcast using the Audio Block. (Syndicating lets you submit to iTunes.)
Squarespace has always had excellent themes. Each theme is sleek and minimal. They are designed for big photos and strong typography. (And there are no cheesy small business templates.)
All themes work are responsive and work wonderfully on tablets and mobile devises. This is worth emphasizing because sometimes other website builders will have responsive themes that break when it comes to elements such as photo galleries. But not Squarespace— Squarespace's themes are fully responsive.
I was able to pay and cancel my Squarespace account with ease.
I founded Site Builder Report in 2012 to help people find the best website builder. My work is supported by earning an affiliate commission when readers choose a website builder based on my reviews. In my spare time I make music (check it out!).
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Keep in mind that Squarespace may have changed since then. If you believe something is out of date in my review, please let me know.