How to Pick a Squarespace Template
When you start your free Squarespace trial, the first thing you need to do is pick which Squarespace template you’re going to use for your website. This is kinda a big deal. The template you choose will determine the features and style editing options available to you.
You can always change your template later, so you don’t need to panic. But it’s still smart to take your time deciding which Squarespace template you are going to start with.
When you switch templates down the road, your content will transfer to the new template, but you will need to re-do everything else about your website. Things like your colors, fonts, and layout won’t transfer over.
So it’s possible, but time consuming. It’s best to just start off with the best template right away.
Before we decide on how to pick the best template, let’s talk about what a template actually is.
What is a Squarespace Template?
The basic structure and functionality of your website is controlled by templates.
Some templates allow you to have a sidebar on your blog, some allow a sidebar throughout your entire website, some allow footer navigation, or secondary navigation, etc.
Squarespace offers a variety of templates for free that were all created by their award winning design team.
You can change the appearance of the templates but you can’t change much of the basic structure. With that being said, you can easily customize your Squarespace template to look the way you want and to fit your brand.
Many of the common features are available across all of the templates.
For example, all templates have the ability to add pages, blog posts, a shop, events page, cover page, galleries, upload music and videos, and update the colors and fonts.
But, some templates offer different or extra features for each of those types of pages. And like I said earlier, some templates offer a sidebar, footer navigation, secondary navigation, etc.
Each template family has its own set of style editing options.
What is a Template Family?
Squarespace has their templates grouped together into what they call families. Each templates family has its own set of features, functionality, and structure.
There are multiple templates in each family because they can’t showcase all of the features a template family has in just one template. So each template within a family showcases different features and styles.
To see the full list of templates and their families you can visit Squarespace’s website.
How to Pick a Squarespace Template?
There are a few different ways you can go about when choosing which Squarespace template is right for you and your business.
Answer some questions
Recently Squarespace added a new feature to those who start a new trial. Once you hit the “get started” button to start your free trial, you will be taken to this page.
Here, you are asked what the goal of your website is. They show you some examples to help you get started.
You can type something like “advertise my restaurant”, “promote my business”, “create a portfolio”, etc
Once you type your answer, you will be taken to a page where you can either start by answering some questions or browse templates.
The answering questions part is what is new.
You will be asked four questions about how you want your website to look.
First you can select the layout of your homepage, then your fonts, pages, and lastly your images. Once you answer all of the questions, Squarespace will design a website for you.
They are just using one of their available templates but making it easy for you by giving you exactly what you are looking for so you don’t have to make any other decisions.
This feature is actually pretty cool and an effective way.
You can preview the website before deciding if it’s the template you want to start with and you can of course change the styles and customize it to your liking. This just gives you a bit of a head start.
If you don’t want to start by answering some questions, you can just browse the template store.
There are a few ways you can go through the template store as well.
You can either answer the question at the top, “what is the purpose of your website?” And Squarespace will show you the recommended templates for you.
Or you can select one of the categories from the left to filter through the templates.
Or you can simply scroll through all of the templates and see which ones stand out to you.
Once you find a template that stands out, you can click to preview it.
While previewing it you can view it as mobile, tablet, or desktop view by selecting the options in the top left corner.
You can also click “view template demo” so that it opens the template in another tab on your browser and it will be like you are actually visiting that website so you can play around and see if you like the looks and feel.
And when you scroll to the bottom of the template preview page, you will see examples of customers who are using that template. This allows you to see the different things that can be done with this template.
If you know what types of features are important to you and your business, you can look at the Squarespace template comparison chart created by Paige Brunton.
The comparison chart shows each of the templates and the features that they have available, along with the overall rating of the template.
Using this comparison chart you will be able to see which templates offer the features that you need and you can then preview each of those templates and see which one you like the best.
If you are planning to sell products and services on your website, Squarespace recommends these templates because of their advanced products page.
If you’re planning to have a blog as the main focus of your website, Squarespace recommends these templates:
Related: How to Start a Blog on Squarespace
What is the Best Squarespace Template?
Overall there is a template family that is recommended over and over again by Squarespace website designers, Squarespace users, and Squarespace themselves. And that’s the Brine template family. There’s also a template called Brine within the Brine template family.
So you can either use Brine specifically or any of the other templates within the Brine family.
It’s a good idea to select the template that is as close to what you imagine your website to be as possible. That way you don’t have to make as many changes.
The Brine template family is considered to be the best because it offers the most flexibility and customization.
The templates available in the Brine family are:
Aria, Basil, Blend, Brine, Burke, Cacao, Clay, Ethan, Fairfield, Feed, Foster, Greenwich, Hatch, Heights, Hunter, Hyde, Impact, Jaunt, Juke, Keene, Kin, Maple, Margot, Marta, Mentor, Mercer, Miller, Mojave, Moksha, Motto, Nueva, Pedro, Polaris, Pursuit, Rally, Rover, Royce, Sofia, Sonny, Sonora, Stella, Thorne, Vow, Wav, West.
You can see this list on Squarespace’s website.
But Brine isn’t always the right choice for everyone.
When is Brine the Wrong Choice?
Okay so, Brine templates may be amazing, but they aren’t perfect. There are some features that aren’t available, so if any of them are crucial to you, you may not want to use any of the Brine templates.
But, with that being said, there are usually workarounds to make these features happen on Brine anyways. You can either use code or purchase plugins.
I understand that isn’t something everyone is interested in doing, so in then Brine really won’t be for you if you need these features:
Automatic related posts
No sticky nav on desktop (it is available on mobile)
There are probably other features missing from Brine, but these are some of the popular features.
If any of those features are a top priority for you you can either select a template from another family that does offer that feature, or use Brine but find out the workaround so you can have that feature on Brine.
You can pick your Squarespace template using any of these methods or maybe even do a combination of them all.
I am Amanda and I am the wearer of all hats at Blondepreneur. This blog is here to help creative online entrepreneurs, like you, design and grow the successful business of your dreams. You can find blogging and business tips on the blog. And if you’re looking to save thousands of dollars and design your own professional website you can get the step by step system in Design Your Domain.