Selecting a Squarespace Template

Lots of Great Options

One of the compelling reasons for choosing Squarespace as your website delivery platform of choice is the many beautiful templates they offer to select from. 

You can see examples of the templates available in the Squarespace Template Gallery.

If you have worked in WordPress before just think of them as a Theme, but unlike many of the Themes you will find for WordPress these are very professional and clean. At this point there are only 32, but they are all of exceptional quality and come in a number of different design styles. There is enough variation and customisation options available to fulfill most people's needs, making the decision process easier.

All of their templates are also responsive, in that they will dynamically adjust their layout depending on the format of the device being used to view the website, be it a laptop, tablet or phone. This is great for those who only want to worry about the content of their site and not having to worry about tweaking their website for different devices.

Lots of Supporting Resources

All the templates in the Squarespace Template Gallery have been nicely categorised into utilisation groups. This helps to understand the best purpose of each template, such as Business, Portfolios, Stores, Personal, Musicians, Restaurants and Weddings.

TemplateCategory.jpg

Each template comes with a demo site so you can see how it works - with a live and mobile preview.

Template.jpg

Squarespace also provide links to various businesses that have already used a template and built it out further to suit their needs. This can give you a good idea on how a template can be used and extended to meet your business needs.

In addition to this most but not all templates come with a "Read Me" page and guide outlining the different capabilities a template design offers.

readme.jpg

Making a Choice

While the gallery is good to at helping people select a template you can bounce around these links and get a bit lost so we have put together a Squarespace Template Guide that lists the different templates available with links to the respective demo, examples, read me and implementation guides available for each.

The Squarespace Template Guide also captures some of the key capabilities each template offers to help make your decision process even easier.

One of the best ways we have found for selecting a template with clients is to first identify the functionality and capabilities required in a website - Category. Then decide on what the overall look is desired for the site - Style. Eg.

Category

  • Business
  • Portfolios
  • Stores
  • Personal
  • Musicians
  • Restaurants
  • Weddings

Style

  • Simple
  • Traditional
  • Minimalist
  • Modern - Simple
  • Modern - Parallax Scrolling
  • Portfolio

The Style category is something we have developed internally to help group templates by style type. In summary the different styles are defined as follows:

TemplateStyles.jpg

The above definitions are not hard and fast and as you will see in the matrix some templates lend themselves to being categorised across multiple types of Styles.

With this in hand you can quickly identify viable templates to help refine which templates you are interested in.

You should now have your template selections reduced to at most 2 or 3 candidates. To help you further decide on a template you can start to look into other capabilities you may require, such as:

Image placement - All the Squarespace templates come with beautiful imagery which you will need to replace with your own, look for a template that works for and has a layout that suits your needs

Whitespace balance - Some templates are busier than others and come in different style, choose a style that suits you

Default font utilisation - Try and pick a template that uses a font style and style definitions that aligns with what you are after or can be easily changed to suit your needs

Navigation - Each template provides different navigations options in the header, footer and sidebars

Customisation options - each template have different customisation options, review the supporting read me file if you are looking for something specific

Index pages - not all templates support an index page

Blog features - The blog features and displays styles differ between templates. Look for one that you like if your site is going to heavily utilise the blogging feature.

Social network integration - The presence of the social network icons varies between templates.

Mobile view - Review the mobile view. Alternatively verify the responsiveness of the site by resizing your browser they usually come with pre-set device sizes:

  • Chrome - F12, Device selection in the top left
  • Firefox -  -Ctrl-Shift-M,  Select screen size in top left
  • Internet Explorer - F12, Emulation, Select screen resolution

Still Can’t Decide? All Is Not Lost

As a last resort, if you still can't decide between a couple then try them out. Squarespace allows you to install multiple templates onto the same website.

The beauty of this is that it allows you to work on a number of designs for your website at once. Changing between templates is as simple as navigating to the Settings link from the Home Menu, installing a new template.

A template can be previewed by selecting the new template installed. It can later be removed by cancelling the preview or set as the Live Template.

Note that some templates have different capabilities and when moving from one template to another and you may find unsupported pages will be automatically moved to the Not Linked pages section.

Conclusion

Squarespace offers a fantastic range of very professional and capable template designs. Even so, selecting a template design can be difficult and people can procrastinate over this for a long time.

This article and supporting Squarespace Template Guide should help you to decide on what template will work for you and also put your mind at ease knowing that your choice is not set in stone. The flexibility Squarespace offers in being able to change to a different template later on is a great feature.