i’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. there are several bloggers out there that excel at DIY— i am not one of them. okay, every once in a while I surprise myself, but it’s not my forte. so when Squarespace asked me to take a stab at building a website on my own, i had my reservations. however, i’m more comfortable with design and technology than i am with a glue gun and glitter, so i decided this was one diy challenge i was probably capable of. since I’m not really in need of a website myself, I elected to help my editorial assistant, kristen, build a website for her newly launched company, sew social. together, we set out to put Squarespace’s user-friendly platform to the test!
getting started was a breeze. Squarespace offers a 14-day trial that’s easy to sign-up for (no credit card needed). once signed-in, the first thing you’ll do is select a template. With so many different designs to choose from, this step can be a bit of an anxiety-inducing, time-suck if you don’t go into it with a few things in mind. The first being, what kind of website do you want to build? Squarespace helps you out a bit here because their templates are sorted into categories, like: online stores, professional services, creative services, etc. So with the purpose of your website in mind, you can easily select a category and begin browsing appropriate templates. tip: if you found a template you like but want to keep looking, click the heart icon to store it to ‘my favorites’ so you can easily find it again later.
the next thing to consider is what you want to showcase on your site. this will help you figure out what kind of format and functionality your template needs to have. for example, are you a photographer who will need space for lots of big, full-bleed images? Are you going to be writing a blog? do you want a website that’s more like a landing page? are you going to be running an eCommerce store? Putting together a list of your desired features will make it much easier to find the right Squarespace template.
another thing i suggest doing is making a short list of your favorite websites. what do you like about them? this can help you determine your design aesthetic and narrow your search. some of my favorite personal websites designed on Squarespace belong to samm blake, max dworkin and jeff rogers. with these websites in mind, a few of the templates that caught my eye while browsing were: tudor, flatiron, avenue, jaunt, sonora, momentum and wells. all of these templates feature clean lines, eye-catching fonts, and lots of space to showcase gorgeous imagery.
as you can see, a lot of thought goes into selecting the right Squarespace template for your website. don’t fret over your decision too much, though, you can always switch to a different template without having to start over (thank, goodness!). if you’re thinking about building a website on your own, be sure to keep an eye out for part 2 of this post, where we’ll discuss uploading your content and customizing your layout. already feeling inspired? use coupon code ‘SFGIRL’ for 10% off your first Squarespace purchase.