diy websites with squarespace: part 2.
by Kristen Waltman comment


sew social website. / sfgirlbybay

In part 1 of this series, we introduced you to Squarespace and showed you a few of our favorite websites created using their do-it-yourself, customizable layouts. Today, my editorial assistant Kristen is sharing her experience customizing a Squarespace website for her company, Sew Social. i think you’ll find it most helpful when building your own websites!

templates from squarespace. / sfgirlbybay

Hey guys! I’m so excited to share everything I learned while putting together my site with you, so let’s get started. After browsing the Squarespace website templates for a bit, I decided to install about four different options by selecting “Start with this Design” on each template i liked. I did this so that I’d have instant options to choose from, in case I hit a snag with one later. Keene seemed like a good place to start, so I hit “Preview” then “Set as Live Template” and set to work. After removing all of the placeholder images and Pages I didn’t need, I uploading my logo and it became obvious the keene template’s layout wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. The logo placement and size wasn’t ideal and I realized the navigation wasn’t as streamlined as I needed for my website’s purposes.

designing websites with squarespace. / sfgirlbybay

I easily switched to Native and instantly liked how much bigger my logo looked and the template’s simple navigation. I noticed the option to add an “Announcement Bar” and since I’m currently accepting new clients, I thought this might be a great way to advertise that. I linked the bar to my contact page. After that, I changed my site font to Raleway, added a teal color for links, and connected my company’s social networks to the site.

sew social website designed with squarespace. / sfgirlbybay

Next, I decided on the following concise categories for my site’s navigation: Services, Clients, About, Contact, and created a Page for each. This was pretty easy. I simply clicked “Pages“, hit the plus sign in the upper right corner to create them, then dragged them into my preferred order. I did hit one snag here though. There was a Page labeled “Blog” listed and after attempting to delete it, I realized my template’s default homepage was a “Blog Page“. Since I didn’t want that capability for my website, I had to add a new Page to replace it.

coverpage options from sqaurespace. / sfgirlbybay

I decided a “Cover Page” (labeled “Home”) would be best for my homepage, since I wanted a background image to appear there but not on the rest of my site (Cover Pages are styled independently of a site’s template). Apparently, you can also upload multiple images, and they will display one image at time as a slideshow. I didn’t want to do that but I thought it was a cool Squarespace option! I went with “Vangaurd” for my Cover Page and set it as my homepage by clicking “Settings” and “Set as Homepage”. I was then able to delete that pesky default “Blog” Page from my template and I was all good! This is one of the coolest aspects of Squarespace, in my opinion. Even if a template was originally created for one purpose, like blogging, you can make any template into a store or website by changing out the blocks and/or page layout. You can learn more about this here.

diy websites with squarespace. / sfgirlbybay

Next, I went in search of the perfect background image for my homepage. First, I used Squarespace’s Getty Images tool to search for relevant images. There were lots of great photos there but I wasn’t finding what I had in mind. So, I checked Pexels and found two free images to use on my Services and Contact Pages, as well as a promo code (PEXELS10) for Shutterstock. That’s where I found a pretty floral, flat-lay image that was perfect for my homepage (see all of the options i was considering here).

sew social website homepage. / sfgirlbybay

Once that was in place, I decided to test one more template to make sure I was definitely in love with Native. I switched to Aubrey, even though it’s meant to be a wedding website, and after a few tweaks I liked it, too! My logo was bigger and the navigation was just as streamlined as Native. However, after comparing the two templates on my mobile phone, I quickly realized Native was the perfect template for my site and switched back (side-by-side comparison below).

sew social inc. website designed with squarespace. / sfgirlbybay

With my website’s aesthetic locked-in place, I went back through each Page and refined the text to include only the most-important, easy to digest information. Last but not least, I went live and sent the url to a few friends to see how it looked on different sized monitors and different mobile phones. Overall, I felt the Squarespace platform was very user-friendly, and besides selecting a blog template that involved a little bit of extra work, I felt like the process was pretty smooth! I will admit that it took me longer than I thought it would to complete my website, but I think this had more to do with my own indecisiveness than figuring out the platform. I’d estimate I spent somewhere around 6-8 hours building my site over the span of a couple days, and a few more hours browsing for imagery and drafting all of the content for my site. For this reason, I really recommend having all of that done before you start building your website. Having this content ready to go gives you a much better picture of what you’re building and will make the whole process much more streamlined.

I hope this leaves you feeling ready to build your own Squarespace website. Be sure to use coupon ‘SFGIRL’ for 10% off your first purchase!

squarespace websites. / sfgirlbybay

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Squarespace and all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep sfgirlbybay going with fresh content every day.


One response to “diy websites with squarespace: part 2.”

  1. Yes, absolutely the best website platform to work on. Personally I had a couple of aggravating stumbling blocks but tech support was there 24 hours and gave me on-line conversation with adjunct email detailing exactly what to do step by step in photos. I felt so proud of myself for under $100 a year, I have 2 great websites. Personal and for my company.

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