3 silly myths about Squarespace SEO

3 silly myths about Squarespace SEO

Lately, I've been getting a lot of questions about Squarespace and SEO. Bloggers and small business owners are loving how simple and fun it is to create beautiful websites using Squarespace, but they're not sure if switching to Squarespace will jeopardize their SEO.  

I get it. There are lots of Squarespace myths out there that would put me off too if I didn't know they were false. 

Many people badmouth Squarespace SEO before researching it, which a total recipe for disaster. I see myths floating around Facebook groups and other blogs that make me cringe because I know from research and experience that they aren't true. 

Choosing the right Squarespace template

 Click on this pin to find out 2 steps to choosing the right Squarespace template for you. #Squarespace #Templates #Business #Freelance #Design #Website

Compared to Wordpress, Squarespace doesn't offer many templates. This is a serious deal-breaker for many, but for others it's amazing. It limits your options and stops you from overthinking. 

Even though there aren't many templates, you can still make your chosen template unique by adding lots of different features and page layouts.

It's important that you take your time when deciding which template is best for you. Even though you can switch templates at any time, you don't want to waste any time tweaking the wrong template. 

Related post: Why I switched from Wordpress to Squarespace

There are 2 steps to choosing the right Squarespace template for you.

1 . What is the goal of your website?

  • If you're an online seller, your main website goal is selling stuff! So you'll need a template that includes a product-display you like the look of.
  • If you're a hardcore blogger, you'll probably need a template that includes a blog sidebar. Not all templates do. 
  • If you're a photographer, or you need to display lots of large images on your website, you'll need to choose a template that focuses on visuals. 

I'm sure you get the point here; get clear on your goal before you choose a template. When you have a Website Goal in mind, browse through the Squarespace templates looking for ones that help you achieve your goal. You can select templates that are specifically for shops, portfolios, businesses and more by using their menu on the top right. 

2. What features do you want to include in your website?

Now that you have a goal in mind, find a template that includes features that help you towards your main goal. 

  • Blog sidebar. As I mentioned, most bloggers want a sidebar where they can include social media links, categories, popular posts and more. Only certain templates include this. Those templates are: AvenueBedfordDovetailFiveFrontrowForteGalapagosIshimotoPeakWells
  • Gallery/portfolio. Even though you can add a gallery to any template using the drag-and-drop Gallery widget, some templates include unique Gallery designs, such as full-width galleries that fill the screen. If you're a photographer for example, you may want to choose a template like this to really showcase your photos. 
  • Shop page. All templates can include a shop, but some templates have unique shop designs. If your main purpose is to sell products through your website, look for a template with a shop design you love.
  • Navigation menu. Some templates feature a navigation menu above the header, below the header, or no menu at all. Decide how important it is for your visitors before choosing a template. 

Related post: Squarespace vs. Wordpress

My 5 favorite Squarespace templates for creative businesses

Click on the images to go to the template page. From there you'll be able to view the demo and view websites using that template. 

1. Galapagos

I use Galapagos for this website. Other great examples of small businesses using the Galapagos theme are Krishna Solanki and Think Creative.

2. Five

I love the simplicity of this theme. The fullwidth photo is a great feature. Jess Creatives and Kayla Hollatz use this template nicely.

3. Montauk

This is a simple and minimal template for business owners who want the focus to be on their work. Thread and Stone, Ally Allison Events and Sophisticaited are a great example of how this template can look. 

4. Pacific

Ten Twenty One use this template for their photography business, and I can see why! This template includes lots of fullwidth images, making it the perfect template to show off photos.

5. Anya and Deven

Even though this template is for weddings, it can be used for businesses who only need to showcase a few things online, like their open times, business information and photos. I think this template is great for brick-and-mortar businesses. Christina Liang uses this template for her photography business. 

Tell me- which Squarespace template is the best fit for you? How have you altered yours to make it more unique?


How to switch from Wordpress to Squarespace

 
 A lot of people say that switching from Wordpress to Squarespace is difficult. Well... I'm here to prove that statement wrong by showing you guys a really simple process of switching from Wordpress to Squarespace. Don't believe me? Click on this pin to find out how to make the switch now!

Please Note: I do not offer this as a service. It's simply a tutorial to help you do it yourself, so please don't email me for a quote. Thanks friends!


A lot of people say that switching from Wordpress to Squarespace is difficult. It's something I used to believe too until I made the switch myself. I'm delighted to tell you that I easily switched my website over within a day and I didn't run into any problems!

Squarespace has an amazing library of tutorials that help you figure out how to do all things Squarespace-related, but a lot of people have been asking me for tips of how they can set up their Squarespace website or transfer from Wordpress, so I've decided to make a step-by-step tutorial!

Let's go through a few common questions before we get started...

What will this tutorial include?

  • How to set up your Squarespace website.
  • How to import website content from Wordpress to Squarespace.
  • How to switch your custom domain from Wordpress to your new Squarespace website.
  • URL mapping, so your old blog post URLS still work.
  • And more!

What is imported from Wordpress to Squarespace?

  • Blog posts
  • Page content
  • Users/authors
  • Images
  • Comments
  • Attachments

What isn't imported?

  • Your website theme and layout are not imported. You'll have to choose a Squarespace theme. 
  • Plugins
  • Widgets

Can I easily make the switch myself?

Yes. If you're confident with making changes to your DNS records, this will be a breeze. If you're not very tech-savvy then I advise you hire someone else to switch your website from Wordpress to Squarespace for you. (Please Note: I do not offer this as a service.)


Step 1. Sign up for Squarespace

Head to the Squarespace website and sign up for a trail account. 

Step 2. Choose a template

After you signing up you'll need to choose a template for your website. As I mentioned before, you can't import your Wordpress theme or layout to Squarespace so choose a theme that is similar. I chose the Galapagos theme because it's simple, clean and very similar to my old Wordpress site. However, there are plenty of other themes to choose from. 

  • Adriondack: perfect for online entrepreneurs.
  • Montauk: Great for minimalists. 
  • Avenue: A beautiful portfolio template for designers and photographers.

Step 3. Fill in your basic information

Head to the Settings section and fill in your business name and description, connect your social media accounts, alter your blog settings, add a business email address (eg. hi@yourbusiness.com) and play with the other settings. It's not complicated- you'll be done in 10 minutes!

Step 4. Change your SEO settings.

Squarespace SEO is just as good as Wordpress SEO. In fact, it's even better because you don't have to install SEO plugins or make changes yourself! Your theme has already been optimized for SEO by the creators. Go to Settings > Marketing > SEO and simply enter a description for your website. You don't need to change much else.

Step 5. Import your Wordpress content

Go to Settings > Advanced > Import/Export > Import > Wordpress. You'll have to enter your URL and Wordpress login details and then click import. A progress bar will indicate that your Wordpress content is importing and a 'success' message will appear when it's done. It takes about 5-10 minutes. Simple!

Step 6. Enable your imported content

In the Pages section, scroll down to Not Linked. You'll see all your imported pages here. To enable them, click the settings icon on each page and click enable. Then go through your imported pages and add your main ones to your navigation menu.

Step 7. Upgrade your account

When your site is completely ready, upgrade your account. I use the Business plan which is $26 per month or $18 if you pay annually. I prefer this plan because it offers unlimited pages. If your Wordpress website had lots of pages, this plan will probably suit you too.

Step 8. Transfer your existing domain to Squarespace

It's not exactly transferring, but I call it that. You need to keep your domain where you're currently hosting it (on Godaddy or Dreamhost etc) and map your domain to your Squarespace website. 

You'll need to go to Settings > Domains > Connect a third party domain. Enter your domain name, click on your host provider and click Connect Domain. A new panel will open with the records you need to enter in your hosting account so your domain can connect to Squarespace.

*This above image is from Squarespace themselves.

I'm not going to show you how to add these records to DNS settings because Squarespace has amazing tutorials on how to do that here. If you're not confident in doing this, you can hire someone professional to do it for you.

Step 9. Wait for your domain to work

When you've added those records to your hosting account, your domain will connect to your site within 24 hours. You can keep checking back to see how it's going by visiting Settings > Domains. Your domain will have a red line by it if it hasn't gone through, an amber line if it's almost there, and a green line when it's done. 

*This above image is from Squarespace themselves.

Step 10. URL mapping

After 24 hours, your custom domain will point to your Squarespace website. But it isn't over yet! Wordpress post URLS are different to Squarespace post URLs. In Wordpress, your blog post URL would have looked like this: yourdomain.com/my-first-blog-post whereas in Squarespace it will be yourdomain.com/blog/my-first-blog-post. Spot the difference? This isn't good because anyone who clicks on your blog posts from sites like Pinterest will now be taken to a 404 page.

To fix this, go to Settings > Advanced >URL Mappings. This function allows you to easily redirect broken links to the correct links. 

A URL mapping will look like this:

/old-url -> /new-url 301

For example, check out my URL mapping below (highlighted in yellow). I've pasted the old URL without www.neshadesigns.com in front of it, added an arrow, pasted the new URL, and added 301 at the end to make it a permanent change. 

It may not be practical to fix every blog post link- after all, who has that kind of time? Instead, I fixed the links for my 30 most popular blog posts. You may want to do the same and then fix the other links over time.

For more information on URL mapping, click here.

Please Note

You can't transfer your Wordpress website design to Squarespace. You have to choose a Squarespace template and customize it. 


 

Squarespace or Wordpress?

 The question we all ask whether that be when were starting out on our freelance journey or wanting to make a switch, is which one is better for me - Sqaurespace or Wordpress? Well worry no more! Click on this pin to see the naked truth about both platforms and how it can help you make that final decision of what's best for you and your business! #Freelance #Business #Web Design #Squarespace #Wordpress

UPDATE: Since moving my website from Wordpress to Squarespace, this post has been updated.

Amy, an event planner, emailed me the other day and asked this:

Should I choose Squarespace or Wordpress? I like Squarespace- it's easy to use and the themes are clean and gorgeous. But I've heard a lot of people use Wordpress and it's apparently the better option. Help?

Both are fantastic website builders, but I'd like to point out that every business owner is different. Just because Squarespace or Wordpress works for someone else, doesn't mean it's the best fit for you. The only way you can decide which platform is the right one for you is by doing your research and testing them both.

I used Wordpress for 4 years before switching to Squarespace, so I have a pretty rounded-out view of both. Here are the pros and cons I've discovered:

Flexibility

  • Wordpress is an open source platform, which means that you or your web developer can customize their codes and make your website truly unique.
  • Squarespace isn't an open source platform, which stops a lot of people from using it. But if you sign up for the Professional package (which most users go for) you get access to the developers platform, which allows you to make changes to your website's html etc. 
  • There are thousands of themes available for Wordpress users, so you have a lot more choice on what your website looks like. Choice is great! But you have to be careful what theme you choose- some are coded awfully and don't offer any kind of customer support when things go wrong.
  • Squarespace doesn't offer hundreds of themes. But because the Squarespace team have focused on their select variety of themes, they are coded amazingly and are constantly being updated.

User Interface

  • Wordpress is fairly easy to use, but it takes a bit of getting used to when you first join. For instance, you need to learn what plugins, themes, child themes and widgets are. 
  • Because of its limited flexibility, Squarespace is really easy and simple to use. It has a drag and drop feature, so you don't have to tweak any code. You just drag a photo or a text block into place.

Support

  • There are lots of Wordpress forums that can help you if you get stuck with anything Wordpress-related, but it can sometimes be difficult to get a correct and quick answer. There are also lots of fantastic books on Wordpress, like this one
  • Because Squarespace limits it's themes, their team are more in control and can provide great support. In fact, they strive to answer all questions within one hour.

Pricing

  • Squarespace can cost $96-$288 per year, and they offer a free domain name and free support. Depending on the package you choose, you can end up paying more than you would for a Wordpress website. But if you value simplicity and amazing support, it's worth it. 
  • Self-hosted Wordpress is a similar price depending on where you host your website- I recommend Dreamhost. However, you also have to pay for a theme (a one-time payment of about $30-$50) and a domain name (about $10 per year.) You may also end up paying for premium plugins if you really want to.

My opinion

If you're not very tech savvy, you want to be able to maintain your website yourself, and you value simplicity, I'd recommend Squarespace. I use Squarespace for my own website and I love it! I offer a Squarespace website design package if you're interested.

However, Wordpress is more flexible and offers thousands of themes and plugins. If you're good with code, or you want things like membership websites, Wordpress is probably best for you. Squarespace offers the option of password-protected pages, but it doesn't allow you to create membership websites like Wordpress does.

Choosing a website platform is a personal decision and I'm not telling you which one is best for you; this is just my personal opinion. If you have any questions or you need help choosing the right platform for you, I'd love to help! Just leave a comment on this post.

Tell me in a comment- do you prefer Wordpress or Squarespace?