Squarespace review


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An in-depth Squarespace review from the experts in CMS reviews, CMS Critic.

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Squarespace review

  1. 1. CMS Critic MENU    Squarespace Review - the Long AwaitedCommerce SolutionBy Mike JohnstonFebruary 22, 2013 CMS Reviews 6 Comments(5/5)AdvertisementSquarespace 6 was released to the public last year on July 17th and was the winner of our 2012 Critics Choice Awards for BestWebsite Builder. Over 50 new features were added in the Squarespace 6 release, but there was one outstanding feature that everyonewas waiting for: Squarespace Commerce. On Valentines day 2013 they finally released it so we decided to do a new SquarespaceReview."The ability to sell goods from Squarespace has been the most consistently requested feature throughout our history. We’rethrilled to be able to release a commerce offering we’re proud of.” - Anthony Casalena, CEO and Founder of Squarespace.In light of all these recent changes since our last Squarespace review back in 2010 we have prepared an updatedSquarespace review, but first of all here is the current demo video for you to get a basic idea of what it can do:Squarespace Review - Introduction Video  converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  2. 2. Squarespace Review - System RequirementsUnlike some other CMS reviews, like our WordPress or Drupal ones, for example, for this Squarespace review, there was no need todownload any applications to install on our servers. In fact they stated that they do not plan to release such a service. Instead theyhave streamlined their code to work efficiently with their own high performance cloud system and you do everything via your browser.Say goodbye to maintenance and updates taking up your time, Squarespace does that for you. You will, however, need to make sureyour browser is compatible with Squarespace, which by the looks of things just means keeping it up-to-date (although at the momentthey support both IE 9 and 10 for both viewing and editing). You can use Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer or Firefox to work withSquarespace 6.However for editing there are some additional system requirements:1. Cookies must be enabled for login purposes.2. JavaScript must be enabled for the site manager.3. Avoid running JavaScript blocking programs, such as anti-virus software.Squarespace Review - New Features in version 6I want to cover some of the new features that came with the Squarespace 6 release before I move onto the commerce piece of thissquarespace review. Im not going over the reporting feature as they are hard to demonstrate when you are the only one viewing thepage. The option is available on the main menu and looking through it is fairly self explanatory, so Ill move on.The Blogging & Layout EngineIn Squarespace 6 they did an overhaul of the blogging engine, along with a new commenting system and multiple authorsupport. You can change the way your blog is set-up via the Blog Settings button, such as changing the name of the blog (we called itJournal). This is a very intuitive feature that I really like about Squarespace 6 and it made my squarespace review more fun to do.There are also 20 new templates you can use for your blog in this latest release. When I first tried creating a blog post it took me amoment to understand how to add images. My screen is quite big and I didnt see the plus symbol at the bottom of the big text box,or realise what it meant. This button lets you add Blocks from images to quotes, to video and code; you get a lot of handy options tobuild your post quickly. Once I figured this out it was fairly self explanatory exploring the rest of the block options listed below.Squarespace Review - Editing a Post and Adding a Block:Jeepers!This video can’t be played with your current setup.Please switch to a browser that provides native H.264 support or install Adobe Flash Player.converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  3. 3. The new LayoutEngine lets you drop images onto your image blocks and once they are embedded you can dragthem around to rearrange them in your post. The only thing I will say is that I was expecting their Media Management to be separate.I found myself looking for it in the menu structure and I couldnt find what I had seen in the videos until I tried adding an image blockto a blog post.Squarespace Review - Editing a Post and Adding Images:Social Network IntegrationThe other great thing about Squarespace is the social integration. There are again a wide variety social media you can tap into as youcan see below. Whilst you build your website you are offered many ways to integrate your site into the social networks you connect toyour Squarespace account.Squarespace Review - Adding Social Network Accounts:The Commerce Engineconverted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  4. 4. To get to the Commerce section of Squarespace 6 you click on the dollar symbol on the left-hand side menu. This gives you a 4 stepGetting Started process to get your store up and running quickly with options to: add products, select shipping optionsfor physical products, connecting your Stripe account so you can accept payments and making your store live to the public.Squarespace Review - Getting Started with the Commerce Engine:Getting Started is just the first item in the Commerce sub-menu. This gives you a way to manage your store and track your orders,inventory, shipping details, coupons for special offers, tax details, handling notifications and other settings. Everything you need to runyour store effectively. So lets start with creating products. Before we can add products we need a product page to hold them. I didntrealise this and so got the following error when I tried to just add a product under Inventory.Squarespace Review - Inventory (Before Adding Products):To do this we need to go back to the content manager. Squarespace even provides you with a content specific tip when you over yourmouse over the big a representing the content manger on the main menu. This is an unexpected but appreciated way to help younavigate the process of setting up your store.Squarespace Review - Inventory Screen:When you click on the content manager icon you then need to click on the Add Page option under the Top Navigation list. This willgive you a range of page types and in this case we want to click on the Product option.Squarespace Review - Creating a new Page:converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  5. 5. You will be asked to enter a name for the page, which will correspond to the search friendly URL it will create for the page, although ifyou wish you can alter this to be different than the pages title if you want. It also gives you the option to set this page as thehomepage of your website.Squarespace Review - Configuring Products:Now that we have the product page in place we can create products. When the products page is created is creates a new option underthe Top Navigation in the Content Manager called Products, which has similar options to the Inventory page in the Commerce section.Squarespace Review - Adding a Product:Since you are taken to this page immediately after creating the Products Page you might as well create your products from there, butyou could equally go back into Commerce menu to do the same. Whatever menu you choose however, you will see on the top right abutton called Add Product, that is what you need to click.Squarespace Review - Adding Products into Inventory:converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  6. 6. You will then be given a choice between creating a physical product that has to be shipped, or a digital product. With a digital productthe customer will get a download link sent to them via email that is valid for 24 hours. In this review Im going to create a physicalproduct so I can cover the shipping options as well. You then get a screen where you can edit all the details of your product. Acrossthe top on the right there are a number of different steps, the first of which Item lets you describe your product, add images, addcategories for your product (see bottom left) and an options to make the product visible or not in your store.Squarespace Review - Editing a Product:You can set the price here as well, but if you plan to have more than one variant, in size or colour for example, you might want to waituntil the next step. When you hit save you go to the Pricing & Variants step. In the example below I added a column called Colour asmy example product comes in black and Mahogany. You can do this by clicking the + symbol on the right of the column headers. Ithen set the price and stock details for each variant by clicking on the + on the bottom left underneath the headers and filling out thedifferent colour variants.Squarespace Review - Editing a Product Variant:converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  7. 7. The next stage just lets you add rich text notes for additional information., there isnt much more to say so Ill skip over this stage.Next comes the step to set the URL address of the product. This seems to have an issue because it is set to new-product by defaultand you cant seem to edit this, regardless of what you set your product page URL to be. I had removed the new from new-productin my product page, but found I could not do this here. I was able to type something after new-product but it wasnt ideal. It alsoseemed to put a space between new-product and what I entered but it is just a display issue (when I later checked the product once itwas live, the space was gone and new-products was replaced with just products, as I had set it up on the products page, which couldcause some confusion).Squarespace Review - Adding a URL and Image to your Products:You then have the option to publish your product via your social connections, and if you havent set any up it gives you the option todo so. You will need to make sure your product is saved before you navigate away from this product wizard. When you havecompleted filling out the product details hit Save and Publish. You can then go to your inventory to view the product.Squarespace Review - Inventory with added products:converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  8. 8. If you made it available so people can find it on your store then it will also show on your products page. If you click on the product itwill look like this:Squarespace Review - The End Result:Now we want to move onto shipping options. Click on the Commerce symbol on the main menu and then select Shipping. On the topright is a button you want to click called Add Shipping Method.Squarespace Review - The Shipping Portion of the Commerce Engine:converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  9. 9. You then get two options for shipping: Flat Rate whch lets you set a single price for shipping costs, or Depending on Weight that willdetermine the cost based on how heavy a product is.Squarespace Review - Adding shipping options:Ive chosen the second shipping option, as the flat rate option is pretty straight forward and most of its functionally is the same as theweight based shipping option. You get the option to set weight ranges and the rate each one will cost. You can add more option byclicking the + symbol below the first two weight ranges it creates for you by default. You have to set a name to determine whatpostal method this delivery option will use, such as FedEx. This is a mandatory field.Squarespace Review - Editing the weight range rates for shipping:converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  10. 10. Then there is another step at the top right called Country Restrictions which lets you say which countries you will delivertoo. Remember that you can create more than one shipping method, so you could create different rates this way for USA, europe andworldwide, for example, if you need different pricing for each of them. Once you have saved all your option is will show up in a listunder the Commerce Shipping menu.Squarespace Review - Setting Country restrictions:I want to briefly cover the rest of the options under Commerce. You have the option to make your own couponsfor special promotions and sales etc. They actually give you a vast range of types to choose from, that gives you a lot of powerto promote your products. They then give you even more choices, whether you want to offer free shipping, a percentage discount ora flat dollar discount.Squarespace Review - Creating Coupons in the Commerce Engine:Moving onto to Commerce Taxes. You can set how much tax will be charged for your products on a state-by-state basis (and istherefore limited to the USA only). They also give you the option to charge sales tax on the shipping costs.Squarespace Review - Tax Rule Editing:We now come to Email Notifications. This is where you can customise the text that will be sent out to customers, including header andconverted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  11. 11. footer options. There are two message templates you can tweak for emails that are sent to the customer regarding order confirmationand shipping. I did notice a little issue here. If I click on email notifications and then cancel without doing anything, and error will popup asking to save or discard changes when none had been made. I found discarding didnt do anything untoward as far as I could tellso I just used that.Squarespace Review - Setting up Email Notifications:The last menu under Commerce is Settings. From here you can configure the setup of your Stripe payment account, support emailaddress, express checkout option and setting the shopping cart to a dark or light style, depending on what colour scheme the reset ofyour website is using. You can integrate your MailChip newsletter account, get stock level alerts to remind you when to stock up onphysical goods. Lastly it lets you write your own terms of service, as well as privacy and returns policies. If you judge your settingsand notifications just right, you can communicate your style and values in a more interesting way.The Final verdict in our Squarespace Review:This was my first time using Squarespace so I had a fresh eye that had not been accustomed to earlier releases. I can see why millionshave flocked to Squarespace, because you can create any kind of website regardless of technical ability. The only downside for mewas that the payment option they use for Commerce is restricted to the USA only. Its not clear if this is because of limitations inSquarespace 6 itself, or due to Stripe, the payment vendor they are using. I also cant get LastPass to work with the login form whilstusing Chrome, my preferred browser. This has me going back and forth to my emails to find the password each time I want to login.However I think the issues Ive found are minor details that are possible to address in the future, so Im willing enough to over lookthem until they broaden the scope of Commerce to include payments to Denmark, which is where I live.converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  12. 12. 114 TweetTweet 4 0ShareShare Like 102Squarespace caters to developers too, so you can delve deeper into it to get even more functionality and customization. As a developeryou can build your site for free until you go live. Whether you are a developer or not after the trial the monthly subscription cost variesfrom $8/month up to $30/month, depending on which of the 3 plans you choose and if you pay monthly or annually. So for the samemonthly cost of a low bandwidth Virtual Private Server, which you would have to administer yourself, you really can have your cakeand eat it with Squarespace 6.Tags:Mike Johnston AuthorMike is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of CMS Critic. He started CMS Critic in 2008 when he noticed therewere no sites offering reviews of the various products in the industry. He has since grown the site to becomethe #1 resource on the web for CMS reviews and knowledge. He attends most CMS & related technologyconferences and speaks regularly. You can contact him here or follow him on Google Plus. Posts by Mike Johnston Mike Johnstons Google+ Profile Mike Johnstons website6 commentsLeave a message...BestBest CommunityCommunity ⤤⤤ShareShareReplyTim L. • a month agoI usually shy away from solutions that cannot be hosted on my own hosting account. I feel like I lose some control over it that way. Butthis looks like it has too many good qualities to dismiss out of hand. Great, in-depth review.ReplyKelly • a month agoThe inventory management tools included in the ecommerce solution for Squarespace definitely look like theyd be helpful in myaccessories business. Some items have very limited quantities and, using other software scripts in the past, I had an issue where two peoplebought the same single item. Very embarrassing and not good for business.RobP • a month agoI just spent too much time I shouldve been working checking out Squarespace for my wife. Shes going to be the ruin of me with her new★Share›Share›squarespace 11converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  13. 13. Replybusiness. haha! Squarespace has really reasonable pricing for such an ecommerce solution chock full of capabilities like the ones Ive seen.Really professional templates too.ReplyCmarten • a month agoIve heard of Squarespace - what internet professional hasnt? - but never looked into it with any great depth. Im pretty comfortable usingWordpress for all the sites I develop right now. You have definitely swayed me to the side of Squarespace based on the ecommercecapabilities outlined in depth above. It looks pretty easy to set up and customize.ReplySienna Murray • 2 months agoThanks for the squarespace review. I started using them about 2 months ago and support has been excellent. The interface is beautiful andmy site seems to load quite quickly. Im glad I chose them.ReplyMike Johnston • 2 months agoGreat review. Squarespace is an impressive system, with each iteration they get better and better. The ecommerce component was the icingon the cake for me.Comment feedr Subscribe via email✉Share›Share›Share›Share›converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  14. 14. Related StoriesSquarespaceInterview with Squarespace CEO and Founder, Anthony CasalenaCritics Choice for Best Website Builder goes to...Advertisements - (Advertise with us)WelcomeCMS Critic was started in 2008 and continues to be the foremost resource for content management system & relatedtechnologies as well as offering unparalleled content management system (CMS) reviews. Our resource lists (located in the leftsidebar) are designed to showcase some of our favourite solutions and we suggest you explore them. As always, we strive tooffer as much value as possible and welcome any feedback you wish to share.Read More →CMS Critic powered by…ProcessWire Open Source CMS© 2013 CMS Criticconverted by Web2PDFConvert.com