This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for the UK audience.If your blog is your bread and butter, you’d better be sure it’s baked into a decent website. Being able to categorise posts, lay them out in an easy-to-navigate way, and break up walls of text with eye-catching imagery are all musts to keep readers engaged. (And if your site isn’t optimised for search engines, you probably won’t even have readers in the first place.)Squarespace is the go-to website builder for many a blogger thanks to its hundreds of ready-made templates, which feature drag-and-drop page design tools that make it fast and easy to create a beautiful, functional site without a crumb of coding knowledge. Better yet, all of those templates are mobile-optimised for SEO purposes to make it easy for readers to find you. It may not be as full-featured as a platform like WordPress (more on that later), but it’s a comprehensive solution for users who prioritise convenience, flexibility, and a hands-off approach to site management.The hardest part about getting a Squarespace site up and running is really just settling on a template; from website metrics to SSL security, ecommerce tools, and video storage, the platform itself takes care of the technical details so you can focus on your passion project. Below, you’ll find Mashable’s guide to choosing the right Squarespace template for your blog (plus a selection of our current favourites in 2023).
What is a Squarespace template?
A Squarespace template/theme is a pre-made demo website that’s meant to serve as a “starting point to help inspire your site’s design,” according to the platform’s support centre. You’re free to keep it mostly as-is or customise it from top to bottom with different content blocks (like text and galleries) and personalised branding elements (like logos, fonts, and colours). Either way, the fact that there are over 230 templates to choose from means there’s an extremely slim chance your finished site will wind up looking like anyone else’s.Squarespace versions 7.0 and 7.1 are the two iterations of the platform that are currently in use, and each one treats templates a little differently:
Version 7.0 contains 91 templates that are customised using its classic editor and organised into “families”; every family contains multiple templates with the same underlying structure, rules, and unique style elements (like the Brine family’s parallax scrolling effect, for example). Many Squarespace veterans prefer this version because some of its advanced design capabilities still aren’t available in version 7.1, but it can feel inflexible to new users.
Released in early 2020, Version 7.1 scrapped the family categorisation and gave all 140-plus of its templates the same basic formatting and features. They’re a little more cookie-cutter than version 7.0’s templates, but it’s way easier to switch between them and you don’t run the risk of losing any content when doing so. Version 7.1 sites also have the option of being built with Fluid Engine, Squarespace’s next-gen content editor, which comes with an intuitive grid system and more flexible mobile layout options.
It’s technically possible to move between both versions of Squarespace, but keep in mind that doing so will require a full rebuild and may affect your site’s search ranking. (Pro tip: Take advantage of Squarespace’s free 14-day trial if you’re not sure which one is right for you.)
What kind of blogging tools does Squarespace offer?
Squarespace lets you play around with a slew of features and settings in the back end of your blog no matter which version of the site you’re running. That includes:
A built-in commenting system that you can enable or disable
Email campaign integration
AMP formatting for faster loading on mobile
Multiple author support
SEO titles and descriptions for posts
Alternate images for social sharing
Post excerpts for the blog’s landing page (which displays them as a list or a grid, depending on your template)
Featured posts and images
Check out Squarespace’s blogging guide for tips and best practices on how to utilise these settings effectively.It’s worth mentioning that Squarespace also maintains three apps, two of which are especially relevant for bloggers:
The main Squarespace app lets you write and edit blog posts, update pages, and review your site’s analytics on the go.
The Squarespace Unfold app lets you create a Linktree-style Bio Site, which you can plop on your social media accounts to direct your followers to your site (This was one of several new tools introduced in the latest Squarespace Refresh, its annual product update.)
Both apps are available for iOS and Android, work with both versions of the platform, and come free with your Squarespace subscription, which starts at £13 per month on an annual plan.
Is Squarespace better than WordPress for blogging?
The “Squarespace versus WordPress” debate comes up a lot when you start comparing popular website builders: Both have blogging origins that date back to the early 2000s, and while WordPress is more widely used (likely thanks to its free tier), Squarespace is the trendier pick nowadays. There’s no clear-cut winner here, but answering the following questions can make your decision easier:
Do you want a free website? Pick WordPress.
Do you want a super basic website that you can set up within minutes? Pick WordPress.
Do you want an all-in-one package with lots of built-in features and tech support? Pick Squarespace.
Is your blog heavy on visuals? Pick Squarespace.
Are you planning on switching up your blog’s design from time to time? Pick Squarespace (specifically version 7.1).
Are you an expert programmer (or someone who’s willing to hire one) who wants to build a completely custom blog with powerful plugins and premium themes? Pick WordPress.
Check out this deep dive into the pros and cons of each platform if you’re still on the fence.
How do you choose a Squarespace template for blogging?
Squarespace’s Templates tab lets you sort its library by type, including Online Store, Portfolio, Memberships, Scheduling, One Page, and yes, Blog. (You can narrow down your options even further by sorting by topics like Food, Travel, and Fashion.) But just because a template isn’t officially categorised as a Blog doesn’t mean it won’t work as a blog with a little customisation; you can technically add a Blog Page to any template with just a few clicks in the back end.If you’re having trouble choosing between templates, Squarespace recommends dialing in on the “specific colours and layouts that appeal to you” rather than focusing on the demo content. That being said, “you may find it easier to start with a design that’s already close to how you want your site to appear,” it adds.
What is the best Squarespace template for blogs?
If all of this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. We’ve tried to make your search for the perfect blog just a little bit easier by rounding up some of the best templates for everyone.These are the best Squarespace templates for bloggers in 2023.