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.
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.
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.
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!