Let me guess, you’re new to Squarespace and don’t have much of a clue about where to start? You’ve selected your template, but are floored with the embarrassment of riches you’ve been given? There’s just so much you can do, but you don’t know what anything means?
I hear ya, friend. I’ve been there before.
I dig Squarespace (I mean, clearly), but I understand that getting started with a new website there can be a daunting experience. They throw so much at you so fast. It’s enough to make your head spin if you aren’t careful.
I don’t want you to come to Squarespace and get scared away by its complexity. I want to help you get past the initial overwhelm you may feel and get right on to designing a gorgeous new website that perfectly sells your products or services.
There’s a whole lot that can be done with a Squarespace website. A whole hell of a lot. Instead of diving into the deep end here, we’re going to have some fun wading around in the shallow end of this pool. Let’s talk about some of the most common content blocks you can use on Squarespace.
With this knowledge under your proverbial belt, you’ll have everything you need to get your website started off on the right foot.
The Text Block
When you’re editing a page on your Squarespace site, there are two different ways to add content blocks: clicking the Plus button at the top right of the content editing screen and clicking on an Insert Point. Both methods will present you with the Content Blocks selection screen.
I prefer to go with the Insert Point option because I can place a block specifically where I want it to go. Once inserted, I can add content into the block and also drag the blocks to different areas of a page.
The Text Block allows you to type, place, and format any text you want to add to your website. This block, along with the Image Block and Spacer Block, are the two I use the most when designing a website. They give content and structure to a page.
While adding text to a Text Block, you’ll notice a formatting bar appear above the text box. This formatting bar allows you to alter the appearance of the text, change its positioning, add links, create lists, or delete the entire thing.
There’s a lot that can be done with the humble Text Block. Along with the styling you give to your overall site, you can create some pretty eye-catching words for your website.
The Image Block
Selecting the Image Block will allow you to upload to, display, and even adjust images on your site. This block is the second half of the text-image one-two punch of a website. Unless it’s the aesthetic you’re aiming for, a website without any images is going to feel empty and not very modern.
We’re all very visual creatures, so pictures help give us information and context.
After selecting the Image Block, you can either upload your own image or search for an image. Squarespace partners with Getty Images (for royalty-free photos) and Unsplash (for free stock photos). The options with those two services are pretty endless.
Under the Display tab of the Image Block, you’ll find options for altering the appearance of the image. Options include “Card,” which turns the block into a postcard-like format and “Overlap,” which shifts image text slightly above the Image Block.
Also on the Display tab are caption, additional appearance, and link insertion options. You can give your image extra information or direct visitors to other pages on your site (or elsewhere) when they click/tap on the image.
The Spacer Block
The Spacer Block doesn’t get enough love and I’m on a mission to change that. I may even write an entire blog post all about this block because it’s one of the most useful tools you’ll use on Squarespace.
The Spacer Block inserts an adjustable blank area into your website. This doesn’t seem like much to write home about at first, but it’s more powerful than it seems. This block allows you to shift content around on a site, giving you full control of the appearance of your pages.
As an example, look at the following image of business features. Everything is lined up with each other. It all works, but there’s more we can do to draw the eye to this information.
After adding a few Spacer Blocks, I’ve now shifted the second and third features down, creating a stair step-like appearance. With just a couple small additions I’ve created something with more personality.
The Spacer Block can be used to shift any content up, down, left, or right. I use it extensively on my own website and these very blog posts. Give them a shot.
The Button Block
Websites without noticeable calls-to-action (or CTAs for short) can kind of feeling like walking through a room with a blindfold on. You kind of have an idea where you are, but you have no clue what direction to head in to get anywhere.
The Button Block is an interactive element on a website that tells visitors that they should do something. This can include taking them to another page on your site, downloading some content, or sending you a message.
Clicking on the Button Block will insert a button into the page and present you with a Button Menu where you can give the element additional content. You can change the text inside the button, make it to another page on your website or another site altogether, make it download a file, and adjust the appearance and placement of the button.
Giving direction for your site’s visitors is important. The Button Block is part of the road map that helps those visitors move forward and take action.
The Form Block
If you don’t give website’s visitors the ability to send a message, then how will they ever be able to make a connection with you? A message form is a tool that no good website should be without.
The Form Block inserts a handy form that connects to an email you provide it or additional services like Mailchimp, Zapier, and Google Drive. Adding this block will present you with an Edit Form menu where you can add or remove fields that appear in the form. Squarespace pre-populates the form with useful fields, but you can add additional options or remove any of them.
In the Storage tab, you’re able to connect the form to the services I previously mentioned. The Advanced tab allows you to alter the text and placement of the form’s “submit” button, enter a post-submit message (what visitors see after they send their message), and additional coding options.
The Social Links Block
We all live in a world where having a social media presence is just as important as having a website. You’re missing out on a lot of good opportunities for interaction with potential clients/customers if you’re not active in at least one social network. But what good is having both a social media presence and a website without a connection between the two of them?
It’s no good, I tell ya. No good.
Luckily, Squarespace gives you that ability with the Social Links Block. Inserting that block into your site presents you with a tasteful display of the social networks you’ve connected to your Squarespace account.
Adding a connection to a social media account or email address is as simple as copying the web address for a social media network (e.g. instagram.com/dandycatdesign) and pasting it into the text field that says Add a social link or email. The block will connect to your account and display the appropriate logo on the page.
You can alter the order of the social media links by dragging them around in the Edit Social Links menu and change the appearance and placement of the links in the Display tab of the menu.
Creating a stunning and effective website these days is easier than it’s ever been. No longer do you need to have an intimate understanding of coding or a computer science degree. Services like Squarespace give anyone the ability to present themselves and their services/products in the best way possible.
That doesn’t mean Squarespace is the easiest thing in the world to use. They do a lot to help you out (their Support page is top notch), but starting out fresh can still be a challenge.
I believe that everyone should have the ability to create exactly what they want in their website. I also believe that sometimes you need a little help to get you started.
Insert some blocks, cats!