As I explained thoroughly in a previous post, I am directing my clients more and more towards Squarespace sites, rather than any other types of template sites. You can read all about it in this article “Why I choose Squarespace for website design”. That being said, I also create website templates from scratch and work with developers for large companies for who that makes most sense. But for most small to medium businesses, Squarespace is the name of the game!
As a Squarespace Circle member, I wanted to share with you some tips and tricks that have become very valuable to me as I get to know the software inside out. Setting some of these things right from the start often ends up saving lots of time in the future, so read on to see what could be saving you time and taking your Squarespace site to the next level.
Use image galleries as much as possible
Let’s say you have a page where you are featuring multiple images that are to be treated with the same level of importance as each other. By that I mean project images, headshots of a people or pictures of food for instance. You have 2 options:
place each image individually in the page by adding the images one by one, or;
creating a separate gallery and then using the gallery function to showcase the images on the page they are destined to be showed on.
I highly recommend using the gallery function as much as possible as it will make images much easier to edit. It also means you can place the gallery summary on multiple pages without having to manually recreate it. Using galleries makes it so easy for clients to add or change images on their own later too. It takes a lot of the guess work out of the formatting of the pages. In this example below, I have used galleries for each of the different sections of the board members.
Maximise the blog function
Similarly don’t forget that you are able to add multiple blogs, which can serve a similar purpose as the gallery mentioned above. Sometimes a gallery might not be appropriate - if you need to show more text for example - so think about using a blog instead.
In this case Datatrotters will be challenging their audience to new quizzes every week. By using the blog, we are able to allow them to view all the quizzes via one same link and easily scroll through the different challenges without having to open new pages each time.
Don’t be intimidated by basic CSS
Although coding might seem intimidating at first, it really doesn’t have to be. There is a huge library of Squarespace users out there and chances are someone has had the same question as you in the past. I find that googling simple things such as “Squarespace change location of arrow css” usually comes up with simple coding that I can just copy and paste into my website. Rather than get frustrated with an issue for hours on end, one simple google search can lead you to find a snippet of code that will solve you your problems.
Create a member portal
So technically member login isn’t part of what Squarespace currently offers, but in trying to find a solution for a client, I came across Sentry Login which allows you to add a membership function to any Squarespace website. It’s very straightforward and easy to set up, and my clients at CPE St Andrews are really happy with how user friendly it is to manage their members with the Sentry Login interface. It only costs about $5/month but that can be the difference between an affordable Squarespace site and rip-your-hair-out-learning-curve Wordpress site (in my humble opinion!)
Install a multilingual website
In our beloved bilingual context here in Montreal, every single website I create for local clients needs to be bilingual, so having a solid way of creating a multilingual site is absolutely key for me. If you research Squarespace multilingual site, you will find out that it is technically possible to create a multilingual Squarespace site … but you will lose a layer of navigation doing so. Your first layer of navigation will give you the option to choose between the different languages so you will then only have 1 or 2 layers of navigation to play with. In most cases that is enough but sometimes, you just need all 3 of those layers of navigation.
In trying to solve this challenge for a client recently, I came across a well explained blog post which walked me through how to create a multilingual site with out losing the navigation options. I could paraphrase it myself, but best leave it to the pro coders to explain. Check out what Pareto Designs has to say about multilingual sites on Squarespace. Truly life changing, if you ask me!
Here is an example of a multilingual site I created using the technique described by Pareto Designs.
So here you go, 5 tips and tricks for taking Squarespace to the next level. I hope the helped you problem solve your own website challenges. If you need more specific help, get in touch. I’ll have more tips to share soon as I uncover more using Squarespace daily, so stay tuned for more.