16 Things to Do to Your Squarespace Website Before You Launch
Yay! You finished branding and designing your Squarespace website and you are ready to hit that big red launch button!
Congrats on finishing up all those big daunting tasks of putting a beautiful website together. But there are just a couple smaller things you need to do before you launch.
These quick tips will ensure your Squarespace website is functioning at top notch! I have even included screenshots for each step so you know exactly how to do things.
The first couple steps are the more obvious ones and will take you the longest, all the rest should take you less than 30 minutes. Trust me, it’s worth spending that short amount of time because most of these tasks will save you time in the long run.
So let’s run through the checklist quick and get you and your sparkly new website on your way to success!
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This one you may have already done, but I wanted to make sure I included it because it is an important step. Before you launch your website you want to proofread through ALL your website copy to make sure there aren’t any silly errors.
2. Check all links
You can do this task while you are proofreading to help save some time. This is a very tedious task, especially if you have a lot of links. But again, it’s oh so important for a fully functioning, professional looking blog.
Could you imagine having a link set up and it just doesn’t work? Or worse, it goes to the wrong location? That would be embarrassing.
3. Test your website
Thankfully Squarespace makes it super easy to test your website on both desktop and mobile. When you login to the backend of your website, click on that little black line at the very top of your page. It looks like this…
After you click on it, it will drop down a couple options so you can view your website as mobile phone, tablet, or desktop (which is already chosen).
You can go through each option to make sure your website still looks good.
4. Secure your website
Now is where we start getting into the quicker tasks but these are often things people forget about or don’t even know about.
Let’s start with making sure your website is secure.
Squarespace automatically includes SSL security with your website but there’s another option you want to enable.
You will do this by going to Settings -> Advanced -> SSL then clicking the little circle next to HSTS Secure to enable it.
Enabling this forces browsers to use the secure version of your website which will help prevent attacks.
5. Disable ESC Key Login
This might be just a personal preference but I don’t like the idea of people having access to my login screen just by pressing the escape key while visiting my website. I feel like this is just a little extra security. Of course, they would need to know my login information but I just rather not have it as an option.
To disable this you can go back to the Advanced screen or if you’re starting from the beginning go to Settings -> Advanced -> Escape Key then click the little circle next to ‘Enable Login with Escape Key’ to disable it. You want it to look like this…
6. Connect Google Analytics
Squarespace does offer great analytics for your website, but Google has everything you could ever need and then some. Plus, it’s a quick and easy little set up and it’s free, so why not?
To do this, go to Settings -> Advanced -> External API Keys and the very first text box is where you will enter your Google Analytics Account Number that you got when you set up your Google Analytics.
*Note: I do have my Google analytics connected, I just deleted the number for this photo because it’s not exactly something to share.
7. Connect Accounts
Next up, let’s connect your accounts. This includes account for social media and for your email. Doing this will make it so when you add the follow buttons onto your website, they will be connected to your social media accounts.
To do this, go to Settings -> Connected Accounts and click the ‘Connect Account’ button
Then this screen will pop up and you can select which accounts you would like to connect.
8. Enable cookie banner
If you keep scrolling down you are able to customize it a little bit, like if you want a pop up or a bar and where you want to position it.
Then for the next step you’ll want to stay right where you are on the Cookie page.
You can check out the video tutorial to walk you through step by step how to enable and customize your cookie banner.
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9. Disable Activity Log
To continue complying with GDPR you need to disable the activity log. It really isn’t helpful to you anyways.
You can do this by scrolling to the bottom of the Cookies & Visitor Data page and click the little button next to ‘Enable Activity Log’ so you can disable it. Now the little circle should be empty like this…
10. Take out dates in blog post URLs
For some reason Squarespace has it set so when you write a blog post the URL will include the date and the title of your blog post. No one wants that. It’s way to long and ugly and not SEO friendly.
So let’s get rid of it! Go to Settings -> Blogging and delete everything except for the ‘%t’ from the text box under ‘Post URL Format’. This will make Squarespace automatically create your blog post URL with your title.
You want it to look like this…
Stay on this page for the next step.
11. Enable AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
Accelerated mobile pages help your blog post pages to load faster on mobile. Faster load time means happier readers and a happier Google. (Google likes websites that have a faster load-time).
You can do this on the same page as the last step, just scroll all the way down and click on the little circle next to ‘Use AMP’.
12. Add a Google description
Even though this one is towards the bottom of this checklist, it’s probably one of the most important steps. This is where you get to write what comes up for your website description when someone Google’s your website.
When writing your description make sure to include your Google SEO keywords to help you get found and rank in Google.
To do this go to Marketing -> SEO and fill out your Site Title with your Business name and some keywords then write your description in the ‘Site Meta Description’ text box.
13. Add Pin-It Buttons
Even if you aren’t planning on using Pinterest for your marketing strategy (which you really should), you want to enable the Pinterest Pin-It buttons to show up on your images so people can easily pin your images on Pinterest.
To do go to Marketing -> Pinterest Save Buttons and in the first drop down box select if you want them to show up on images just in your blog posts or other pages too. Then select the size and shape.
Squarespace includes a preview of what it will look like at the bottom of the page.
You can watch the tutorial video to see these steps in action.
14. Add Favicon
This is something I see a lot of bloggers skip and it just looks sad. If you don’t add your own favicon, Squarespace just uses a little black box.
Don’t know what a favicon is? It’s the cute little design that shows up in the browser tab like my little ‘B’ with the arrow through it…
To do this go to Design -> Logo & Title and scroll down to ‘Browser Icon (Favicon) and enter your favicon image.
Stay on this page for the next step.
15. Add Social Sharing Logo
Next, you will want to add a social sharing logo so that when you share you website link on Facebook a nice little image will pop up in the preview box.
This can either be another variation of your logo, a pretty little picture with your logo, or just a pretty little picture that resembles your brand. Right now, I am just using the last option.
You do this by scrolling to the bottom of the Logo & Title page and uploading your chosen image or logo under the ‘Social Sharing Logo’.
16. Remove Squarespace Badge
Lastly, you can remove the Squarespace badge. No one needs to know your website is powered by Squarespace. It just doesn’t matter.
To do this go to Design -> Squarespace Badge and click on the drop down menu to select ‘Disable Squarespace Badge’.
And that’s it! You reached the end and are now ready to launch your sparkly new website!
Don’t forget to get your FREE copy of the Design to Launch Roadmap to help you launch your website!
If you found this checklist of Squarespace tips helpful, feel free to share it with your entrepreneur friends! It would be greatly appreciated :)