10 Squarespace Features I Adore

Today on the blog I want to talk about Squarespace. I decided to make the switch form self-hosted Wordpress to Squarespace earlier this year and I have fallen in love with Squarespace overtime. Every time I play with Squarespace I find a cool new trick and tool that Squarespace has that I adore. Today on the blog I am going to share some Squarespace features that I love with you.

Ten Squarespace Features I Adore | Click through to learn about ten built in Squarespace features that I adore on my Squarespace blog and why I adore them (as well as how to use them on your Squarespace site!)

1. Carousel Picture Slideshows

One of my favorite things that Squarespace can do is carousel picture slideshows. I love using these slideshows when I have a lot of pictures I want to share in a tiny space. Accessing these slideshows is as simple as adding the carousel gallery content block to a blog post or page, but they are so fun and you can really play around with these.

When you add these blocks you can add tons of pictures; choose if you want them to automatically go to the next picture (and how often you want that to happen), change the alignment, and share previous and next control buttons. So much control, so little time!

2. Embedded Mailchimp newsletter blocks

I adore Mailchimp, but I HATE their embedded forms. The embedded forms that Squarespace have are way prettier and you can easily insert a Mailchimp newsletter by inserting a Newsletter content block to a page or blog post. These are so customizable and they look amazing.

I love these forms, they just look like such a part of your blog and they are beautiful. Mailchimp's original embedded form is a bit of a mess (and not even the hot kind) so I really adore that this form is embedded with the newsletter block.

3. Pop-up Newsletter blocks

Okay, so I found out about this feature viewing a video about Squarespace I found on YouTube and I absolutely adored this feature. As you can see the newsletter block above takes up quite a bit of space, but you can make it just take up the length and width of a simple button. I have really been using this style of newsletter block because it takes up less room and clicking it to sign up is quite intentional on the part of my readers so they don't have to see a million things about my newsletter unless they want to.

Essentially what you do is make a form content block rather than a newsletter one. Then once you have that form set up, get rid of everything but the name and email boxes, next make sure your storage is set to Mailchimp and not your email address, after that enable light box mode on your form (this is what enables the button instead of the form showing up.) After all is said and done you should have a box that looks something like this. I usually make sure to label the button something like what's below so people know they have to click it. The video I linked earlier from Simple & Soulful Creative is a great walk-through of how to do this, so go check that video out.

4. Buttons are a godsend

I just adore buttons in general. The button capabilities on Squarespace are magnificent and they help me out so much. All the buttons that Squarespace has as a part of doing things like submitting forms are really awesome, but you can use the button technology to link to pretty much anything you need to link to. Sometimes a simple link is sufficient, but sometimes (especially on sales pages), you want a link that's a little more jazzy. All you have to do is add a button content block to your page or blog post and set it up accordingly, it's so simple!

Better yet, with my buttons, there are more customization options. I can obviously customize the text, whether I want the link to open in a new window or not, how big the button is, the alignment of the button, and within your website design you can change the color of your button. All of my buttons are the same pink that the main part of my blog design is. 

I seriously adore buttons and I am not sure what I would do without the ability to make my own buttons so easily on my website.

5. Social Links

One of my all time favorite features the site has is the social links content block. By adding this content block it is literally just all of the social media sites you have attached to your Squarespace account. This content block makes it so easy to share your social media accounts with your followers at the end of a blog post or on your About Me page. Once I figured out that social links were a possibility, I fell in love with them.
 

They have many different options for how these show up, you can either use dark (black) icons, light (white) icons, or the standard icons (shown below) which are more in line with the networks actual branding. Then there are tons of different styles such as rounded, square, and circle; different sizes between extra-small and extra-large; and of course alignment. You can order the way social links are seen through your website. There are so many cool things you can do with Social Links block on Squarespace.

6. using carousel summary blocks to recommend other posts

You can easily add recommended reading for your readers by adding a carousel summary block and setting it up according to the directions within the block. I love this because I can easily set up a blog post about blogging to share my recent posts about blogging advice as recommended reading. It's so simple, doesn't use any outside code on your blog to do this, and it takes just a few clicks to set up.

Essentially you just make sure that your content is coming from your blog collection then make sure that you set a category or tag filter that your content is coming from. I have a category filter called "Blog Advice" so for the carousel I am showing below I set it to pull from those blog post. Also make sure the header text in the layout section is worded how you want it to be.

That took me no time at all to get together and it's so much easier than making sure you have a million posts sprinkled throughout the article. These little content blocks are sure to keep people reading on your site a little longer.

7. Charts on charts

I love charts. Especially when I do my traffic and goals reports the charts come in handy. I love that I can easily build bar, line, and pie charts all within Squarespace with a few clicks (and of course adding the bar chart, line chart, or pie chart content blocks into Squarespace.)

What are the chances that I am procrastinating?

Up above is a fun chart about the chances that I am procrastinating that I made with a few clicks on Squarespace. Could you imagine having to do that by hand? I can't because I have the awesomeness that is Squarespace on my side.

Likelihood that I'd have to make a chart by hand

I may or may not be addicted to making charts.

Between the World and Me
$12.96
By Ta-Nehisi Coates

8. easily share Amazon products

With the Amazon content block you can easily share an Amazon product with your readers. Right now I am reading (rather listening to this book on Audible) by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It's a really great book about race relations in America. I was able to easily search for and recommend this book with a few clicks of a mouse thanks to the Amazon content block. It was so easy, it needs a round of applause.

Not only can you add these Amazon blocks, but you can also choose to share (or not share) various details about the products like the title, author, price, a buy on Amazon button, etc. 

This only gets better with the fact that you actually get credit for your recommendations if you are in one of the lucky states that allows you to be an Amazon affiliate by adding your Amazon Affiliate Tag to Squarespace. Don't worry though, I live in Arkansas, and unfortunately we aren't allowed to be apart of the Amazon Affiliate program so you are free to buy Between the World and Me without worry of affiliate sales.

Last, this would be such a great item for authors who have their books on Amazon so they can easily share their books for their readers to purchase.

9. Re-arranging image & content block locations.

As you can see, I made a a change with how you see the content block for the Amazon product. I thought it was rather huge, and I didn't want it to be that huge, so I moved it over to the side. Since so much of a blog post or regular page uses content blocks you can easily re-arrange them by dragging them to new locations that make sense for your blog. I love this feature because it adds something new to your post, makes them easier to navigate, a little different, and just so much more professional. Before I moved the Amazon content block it took up way more space than I wanted to give to it, so I am excited that I can easily change where my content blocks are on Squarespace.

This can also work well if you are doing an About Me page or another page where you want to share a picture, but you don't want said picture to take up the entire page. Squarespace does a great job of wrapping the text neatly around your image so you don't have to format that either. It's just perfect.

10. Squarespace makes blogging within your Branding easier

So, lastly, I want to talk about how Squarespace just makes blogging within your branding easier. A lot of you know I hired a brand designer earlier this year and she set up everything font and color-wise on my website. Once she set that up, that was that. I don't have to worry about the size of my headers, the color of my headers and normal font, etc. I just click a few buttons if I want a header and another button if I want my normal text back. I don't have a bunch of easily accessible buttons talking to me about what font I am using. I like that where you make decisions about fonts and colors is a very different place than where you write your blog post.

I was a little too addicted to change before I came to Squarespace. Most blogging platforms have the ability to change fonts and colors within where you write blog posts. This makes it easy to quickly change the font of a post or the size of text, but that isn't the case with Squarespace. Yes, you can choose between a few different headers and whether you want the normal font type or not, but you can't change colors and font sizes in the blog post page or on general pages. You have to go to a separate part of the backend of your site to do that. Bloggers change things because it's so easy to change them, but on Squarespace, just by making that tiny change you think twice about trying a new font or color for just one blog post. Since I paid a pretty penny for my blog design, I like that it helps me keep the integrity of my blog design.

Final thoughts

So it's obvious that I LOVE Squarespace and all the fun tools and techniques it has. I love that so much of this is already built it and built by Squarespace. I loved the plug-in feature of Wordpress, but with plug-ins you have to worry about how many developers have content on your site. With Squarespace, you know that all your content blocks are made by the Squarespace team and that none of your content blocks will ever conflict with the other. What are your favorite Squarespace features? Are you intrigued by Squarespace more now that I have shared this information with you? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Guest Post: 5 Tips For Joining Clubs in College

Note From Amanda: I was supposed to post today, but I have been rather busy with my graduate assistantship. I had this post from Faith that I was supposed to share with y'all during my trip to Chicago, so I wanted to share that with y'all today. I will be back on Thursday with an awesome new post–until then, check out this great post from Faith all about joining clubs in college.

Hey everyone! I'm Faith from Faith's Girly Life–a place where I share my life with the world in hopes I inspire someone to love their own life in the process. Today I get the chance to guest post on The Happy Arkansan and I'm so excited to share with y'all!

Today I really wanted to talk about something that's super important in college- getting involved. Whether it's Greek, religious, or interest based- it's important to find a club/ organization (or a few) to join while in college. You get so much more out of the college experience and have so much more fun when you get involved and join a club. However, knowing how to go about getting involved and joining clubs on campus can be pretty hard. Colleges often have so many clubs that it's difficult to know where to start. So today I want to give you 5 tips to choosing which clubs and organizations to join on campus!

Guest Post: 5 Tips For Joining Clubs in College | Joining a club in college is very important, click through for this awesome post all about joining clubs in college.

1. Look for a club that related to what interests YOU. 

This is super important because you don't want to be spending your time doing something you don't truly care about. So you don't want to join something just because you think it'll look cool or just because your friend joined. Look for something your passionate about. You're bound to love being a part of something if it's close to your heart. 

2. Look for a club that fits your schedule.

Sometimes clubs/ organizations can take up a lot of time, so you want to pick something that you have time for and can put your all into. If you take on a club that requires too much time from you, it can leave you feeling stressed and disappointed, even if you love the concept or message- and we don't want that! 

3. Look for a club where you connect with the other members.

Being in a club with people who you don't get along with wouldn't be very fun, even if you love the concept or message, so it's important to find organizations where you get along with or work well with the members. This doesn't mean you have to be best friends with them all, but mutual respect and comradely is super important. This will make your time in the organization more meaningful. 

4. Utilize the student organization showcase on campus.

A lot of times universities will hold a student organization showcase or something similar that allows you to walk around and talk to members of a bunch of different clubs on campus. This gives you a chance to see an overview what's available on campus and who you immediately connect with. The members will be able to talk to you and give you more information about what they do and how to go about joining, so it's super important to go to these events and pay attention if you're looking to get involved. 

5. Don't be afraid to ask members specific questions.

It's likely that you come up with a question that you can't find the answer to just by looking at an organizations social media or website. It's ok and totally normal to have these questions, so it's important to ask the members those questions! This is especially true if you're seriously interested about joining or if the answer will be make-or-break for your membership. The members you talk to really do want you to join their club, so they will be more than willing to answer any of your questions or address any concerns you may have, but after asking the questions you decide not to join- that's ok! Just don't make a decision without having all your questions answered. 

I hope y'all find these tips to be super helpful and that y'all can take these tips and translate them into being involved on your college campus in the fall- I promise college will be more fun when your apart of an organization.

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What Will Matter: 2016 Tri Sigma Convention Recap

This past weekend I got the amazing opportunity to travel to Chicago, IL (or rather Schaumburg, IL) to attend my sororities 44th National Convention. Sigma Sigma Sigma only has convention once every three years, so each time you get to go to convention is really special. I am going to give you the day-by-day breakdown on all the fun things I was able to do this weekend. I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing organization.

What Will Matter: 2016 Tri Sigma Convention Recap | I recently got the amazing opportunity to travel to Chicago, IL and attend my sororities 44th National Convention. Click through for an awesome day-by-day recap of my time at my sororities convention.

Friday

Friday was the first day of convention, and my travel day to Chicago. I woke up at the bright and early time of 5:30 AM, a little earlier than I wanted to get up. I was at my sisters house and my nephew was upset and crying so I attended to him and got him back to bed--right as it was time to make sure everything was packed and get to the airport.

It was my first time flying so I was way nervous, but I was able to quickly check my bag, get through TSA, get some breakfast, and sit down way before my flight ever thought about leaving. Here is me drinking some iced coffee that I wished was way sweeter.

I got to meet a number of wonderful people in the airport that helped me ease my nerves about my first flight. Drinking coffee before I got on my first flight probably wasn't helpful but when you only got 4 hours of sleep the night before coffee is your best friend.

Getting through O'Hare was pretty easy coming in, the hardest part was finding where bagage claim was, but after I found that some of my sisters in the Chicago area that served as the welcome crew at O'Hare helped me get set up with the shuttle and I caught it with another Sigma from Arkansas and a few other alumnae from across the country. It was fun getting to know sisters. Then, as soon as I got to Schaumburg, I put my stuff up in the convention hotel (I ended up staying at a different hotel a few blocks away.) and got to work listening to a few trainings for volunteers.

During the first training we talked about being a volunteer for Tri Sigma, learning about how we always need to take the awesome opportunities we are given if we can handle them, and just learning why being a volunteer is so important. The next training was mainly about Robert's Rules of Order and learning some basic business meeting things for our business/general sessions throughout our time at convention. After that I got a ride to my hotel, dropped off my belongings in the room, and got ready to take my head shot.

GreekYearbook, who did all of the photography for our convention was amazing and did head shots for members as well. I am so excited about getting my head shots back, I really loved them and I can't wait to add them to my LinkedIn profile. Can't wait to show y'all my new photos soon.

After photos I went to our opening ceremony. We had a lot of fun, did our hanging of the shields ceremony (where each voting delegate from a collegiate chapter or alumnae chapter hangs the shield their corresponds to that chapter and introduces themselves.) We had a lot of fun with that, and finally we ended the night with an awesome party to celebrate the launch of the new branding for Tri Sigma.

The first day was very fun and I was so excited to see the new branding for Sigma Sigma Sigma. Our new website is absolutely gorgeous, well done, and features my favorite thing–glitter. 

Saturday

The next day was pretty awesome as well.  I started my day admiring the items I had already obtained from convention, you could say I was getting a little too excited about all the fun items that were being sold.

We started the day bright and early with our first general session. This session was great. We did a 20K challenge where we tried to raise $20,000 for our Foundation in 24 hours (we didn't quite reach it within 24 hours, but we reached it within 48 hours!) and we unveiled a brand new philanthropic partner–March of Dimes. I love the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation, but explaining our philanthropy will be so much easier now that we have the March of Dimes on our side. Having the March of Dimes will also allow our chapters to get more involved with philanthropy on a local level.

After the first general session we had our first educational session. I ended up going to the branding session because I wanted to know a little more about the behind the scenes part of making the new brand. Then after our first educational session we had our first luncheon. This luncheon was all about Panhellenic life and being a part of the greater Panhellenic community. We specifically had guests from Kappa Delta, Alpha Sigma Alpha, and Zeta Tau Alpha because their sororities and Sigma Sigma Sigma were all founded at the same college.

After a nice lunch (which also included sandwhiches which I didn't picture) we were off to the next event–fun day! We had two choices for fun day: dinner and a guided tour of Chicago or a trip to see the Sound of Music (with dinner on your own before the show.) I decided to go for dinner and a tour of Chicago, and I absolutely loved our tour guide. He was quite knowledgeable about the city, funny, and he made sure we all made it back on the bus after stops where we got off (so that's a definite plus!) Here are some pictures I took throughout the city.

Saturday was just a really great day all around. Great food, great sisters, what more could you want?

Sunday

Sunday should have been longer, but I ended up skipping a few of the activities to do some grading and get some rest. After I went to the convention hotel though, I had a lot of fun. I got to convention just in time for our general session, most of the time there was spent trying to get through some of the resolutions we had to vote on. After our general session though, I had a few minutes and finally got a fun picture comemorating our new connection with March of Dimes.

I am really excited about our new philanthropic partner, if you can't tell already!

After our general session we got a huge convention picture taken and went to our first dinner banquet. It was so fun to sit with some sisters from my chapter, hear about what was happening in their lives, and talk about things happening with the sorority.

As you can tell, taking pictures of my food is kinda my thing. 

Monday

Monday was the last day of convention, and that really started to hit me mid-day. Monday started off with two great educational sessions. I went to the educational sessions called "Scrum: The Art Of Doing Twice The Work In Half The Time" and "Fierce Networking: Learn How To Make Meaningful Connections" both sessions were really valuable, especially the session on Scrum. I even bought the book on Audible so I could listen to the book on the way back from Chicago.

After the educational sessions we went to another great luncheon all about being women of character. We had an amazing speaker at this luncheon, whose name was Erin Fischer. Erin is the CEO and Founder of The Leadership and Training Studio and she was the best. At the end of her presentation we all got up and sang and danced to "Sugar" by Maroon 5 and everything was awesome. I didn't really take any pictures of the food from this luncheon because it was buffet style, but it was a taste of Chicago themed. We had deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and more!

After the luncheon we had our last general session and it was so amazing. We voted on some last resolutions and introduced where our next convention will be–Las Vegas, Nevada. My sorority is seriously so amazing. They hired an Elvis impersonator to come to convention and help announce our next convention location. I captured a bit of the performance on my phone.

Before I went to the last convention banquet I got the awesome opportunity to speak with a Sigma Sigma Sigma alumna--Kaki. Kaki is one of the founders of a great site called Upper Network and Mentor Score which helps connect college students and recent college graduates to great networking and mentoring opportunities. It was so fun talking about my blog and social media with someone else. 

After my conversation with Kaki we had our last banquet of convention--the Festival of Lights banquet. Our new executive council took office, we got to hear from our new president, and we got to do a great ceremony. During the Festival of Lights we start with all the sisters who were initiated into the Alpha chapter, then we slowly progress through all our chapter names until all of the women at the banquet have their candles lit. It was such an amazing experience to see all those candles lit and all the amazing sisters holding those lights.

The end of convention was such an emotional experience. Being a part of this organization and experiencing my first convention was such an amazing blessing. I can't be more excited for Las Vegas in 2019. It's going to be such a great experience for me and I am so blessed to have this opportunity to serve my sorority.

This was such a boost to my Sigma love. I am so honored to be able to spend this weekend with my sisters and they have helped me so much. My sisters even helped me navigate Chicago and O'Hare on the way back home. I have no idea if I could have navigated TSA as easily without the help of my sisters.

Final thoughts

I am obsessed with Sigma Sigma Sigma and my time at convention. If you ever get the chance to attend a convention for your sorority or any club that you are in–do it. You will not regret the travel, sleepless nights, and money spent. I have made so many new friends, acquaintances, and more. I have gotten the chance to meet and talk with all sorts of new people and have some amazing conversations about how to keep moving our sorority ever forward. I feel empowered after attending convention, which is great because that is what our new branding is all about. 

Have you ever gone to a sorority convention or a convention for another organization? Let me know about your experience in the comments below!