Website Design: Tips For Designing with SquareSpace
by Nik Goodner on June 13, 2017
If you are unfamiliar with Squarespace, here is the skinny: Squarespace markets itself as a website design platform that anyone can use, and it holds faithful to that claim. Squarespace also comes at a ridiculously affordable monthly/yearly price, making it an executive pastor’s dream.
I’ve designed websites for nonprofits + businesses for the past four years, and whenever a client needs a site done at little expense with little time to update and not much custom work, I always recommend Squarespace.
Which churches need Squarespace?
I would say any church that is looking for a straightforward and elegant website. If you want a landing page with a place to host sermon media + blog + a calendar, then Squarespace will be a great fit for you.
What churches wouldn’t need Squarespace?
If your church would require a lot of custom integration for your current applications, ChMS, and live stream software, then Squarespace is not for you.
Who can design with Squarespace?
Pretty much anyone. Squarespace has a vibrant help section on their website that will allow anyone with the time to quickly learn how to create their site. However, if you don’t have the time, then you contact your local website designer to see if they’re available to take on the project.
Is Squarespace mobile friendly?
Our good friend, Josh Sorenson, recently overhauled his church’s website using Squarespace: Living Waters Church. So, we asked him to help us come up with some tips for designing with SquareSpace, he obliged:
Setting The Stage of Creativity
I’d say it’s less about design tips and more about being creative with your ways of thinking
I think that is where most Squarespace users are limited they aren’t creative enough with the platform. Just because it isn’t meant to do it doesn’t mean it can’t, don’t take no for an answer when it comes to using a platform.
Think how you can use the platform for a function instead of what function the platform needs.
Too many people use platforms like WordPress because they believe that they can do everything on there! Sure, you can do everything, but do you need to do everything? Or are you just using WordPress because it is what your neighbor uses at his church?
Thinking outside the box will always get you better results when it comes how you use a tool and what tool you use. Sometimes the best tool for a job is not the one everyone uses.
1. Break the Rules
Move within the rules Squarespace creates, but don’t limit yourself based on them. Know what you want to do and then creatively figure out how to do it. All things can be done with a little creativity.
2. Know The Difference
Squarespace uses a drag + drop block system to help you insert the appropriate content block onto your website page.
Not all blocks are created equal.
For instance, Summary Grid Blocks and Image Grid Blocks have different settings.
a. Summary Grid Blocks:
These are designed to pull content + content image (blog articles, products, or events) from other parts of your website and display it in the grid of your choosing while linking back to the event/article/product page.
b. Image Grid Blocks:
These allow you to choose the images/videos you would like to display + add a custom click through link to anywhere on your website.
Choose the one that has the settings you want even if it takes a little more work to update.
3. Cover Pages
Cover Pages make great mobile landing pages for sign-ups. Example: LWC Groups
4. URL Slugs + Mapping
A URL Slug is the words that come after the “/” in your URL. You can easily update these by clicking the gear icon by the page name in the backend of your Squarespace site.
Take advantage of the URL Mappings in the settings to create accessible URLs to use in announcements example lwconline.com/baptism links to our baptism form in Church Community Builder.
Use URL Mapping to update links on the site, anywhere you link to the latest message just sent it to yoursite.com/latest, then every week instead of updating multiple links on your site just update the URL Mapping so that yoursite.com/latest links to the most recent message.
05. When in Doubt, Reach Out
One of the great things about Squarespace is how user-friendly it is, and it’s exceptional Knowledge Base + Community Answers. It is all designed to help everyone build a website no matter their skill level, therefore, when in doubt, reach out.
These guys and gals are AMAZING!
Observation is a powerful teacher.
Love these guys!