PROS / You have access to built-in analytics as well as Google Analytics.
CONS / The service only offers a free custom domain for the first year of your subscription.
VERDICT / Squarespace offers robust hosting and a website design program suitable for beginners but complex enough to satisfy the needs of expert designers.
Squarespace is a versatile website design software service that goes beyond simple blogging to create attractive websites that look good on mobile devices and desktops. It has tools to get your site noticed by search engines, plus its own analytical program to help you track your website's popularity and growth. Because of those reasons and its excellent hosting, Squarespace is the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award Winner.
Design & Multimedia
Squarespace's interface makes it easy for you to design a beautiful website. We awarded Squarespace an ease-of-use score of 92 percent. You may find the toolbars bland compared to those of other website design programs. However, Squarespace emphasizes simplicity and coherence with its interface. It has tools beginners who are just starting out can use as well as more advanced tools that experienced web designers who are familiar with coding can use too. One particularly nice feature with Squarespace is that you have full control over image editing, including cropping or resizing images to make thumbnails.
You can modify templates, or if you decide you like the look of another one better, you can select a new template. Squarespace retains your previous work when you convert to a new template, so you don't have to start all over again.
You can choose from more than 60 templates that are responsive to whatever device your readers are using to access your site. This feature makes your website mobile friendly. You also can edit your webpages on either your desktop or a mobile device.
This website design solution includes blogging capability, with an RSS feed so you can attract more subscribers. With an integrated blog, you can conveniently produce content on a consistent basis, which helps improve your rankings on search engines. If you are interested in building a membership, you can password protect certain pages for exclusive content.
For those new to web design, Squarespace offers tools, such as a setup wizard and clean interface, beginners need so they can learn how to use the software. It also has more advanced features, like an HTML editor, for advanced web designers. Despite its full feature set, we found the software was easy to use, whether we were creating a webpage or promoting our website.
If you are looking to create an online store, Squarespace provides one that can handle an unlimited number of products, pages, bandwidth and contributors. You can also enable PayPal and accept payments online. However, the service charges a two percent sales transaction fee unless you upgrade to Squarespace Commerce.
To promote your business, this web design software company offers a $100 Google AdWords credit and submits your website to search engines. It also allows you to input metatags and images to improve your search ranking.
Squarespace has its own analytics in addition to Google Analytics, so you can see how your site is performing and gain insight where you can improve your site to increase the number of visitors.
There are several plans to choose from, but the Business plan is sufficient for most small business or private users. With a year's subscription, you get a free domain for one year, which is a standard offering among the web design software companies on our list. Custom domains are important for projecting a professional image.
Squarespace provides you with a custom email address in addition to a custom domain, which adds another professional touch. You can only design one website per plan, but you may have as many pages and storage as you wish.
Help & Support
If you have any issues with the service, Squarespace provides a number of customer support options. We found its two best help tools to be the tutorials and community forums, and technical support answers emails quickly. While it claims to have live chat, we were never able to find it active.
Although Squarespace's interface is basic in appearance, it's clean, streamlined, and you can easily access the specific tools you need for designing an excellent site. With a full set of features, including numerous marketing features, particularly in SEO, Squarespace serves as one of the best website builders for the beginning web designer as well as the experienced one.