When you read this blog post you have either decided that you want to design your own Squarespace website or a designer has build a website on Squarespace for you. Now I want to give you an overview of the backend of Squarespace and how to update your website yourself.
Squarespace is very simple and easy to use. First of all you don’t have to worry about any updates like you would for example with Wordpress. Squarespace does all updates for you. And secondly in order to change or update content you simply need to use their drag and drop feature.
So the only maintenance you need to worry about is updating your content, may be blogging and monitoring your sites performance through the internal Squarespace analytics section or through Google analytics.
When you log into your Squarespace account your will be directed to a page that looks like this:
Overview of the different pages accessible on the left
Under PAGES you can update content, add and delete pages, organize your navigation and add and edit blog posts.
Under DESIGN you can find everything design related to adjust the look of your website. You can add your logo and page title, you can choose a template and through the Style editor you are able to change fonts, colours and many other features like the styling of your buttons or forms. And you can add some custom CSS if you wish to do so. These are the most important features under Design. If you had a designer who set up your site for you should probably not mess with the features of this too much but for those of you who are designing your own website this is where you can differentiate your website and change the look.
Under COMMERCE you will find all your ecommerce specifics.
ANALYTICS will give you an overview of your site’s performance. It is quite straight forward and I would recommend to spend a little bit of time just to click on here and look through it yourself you will find a lot of interesting facts about your user’s behaviour.
Under COMMENTS you can find all blog posts comments as well as approve or delete them.
SETTINGS contains all your business information like billing information and your connected domain names as well as social media accounts. But here you can also update your SEO settings as well as commerce settings.
It is obvious what you can find when you click on HELP. But I just want to stress again that you can actually find great help through Squarespace on any topic and if you still get stuck they support team is super helpful as well.
In this post I would like to concentrate on the Pages tab as this is where you actually update your website. Once you click on there your screen will look something like this:
You can see that you have a main navigation as well as a not linked section and for some templates a secondary navigation
The main navigation displays all the pages that are found on the top of your homepage. Here you should have a maximum of 5 to 6 pages in order to keep a site easy to navigate.
If your templates has a secondary navigation option you can put all the pages here that are not as important and won’t show in your primary navigation at the top. The secondary navigation is usually the pages that can be found at the bottom of a page.
The not linked section contains all your pages that are not accessible directly through your visible navigations on every page. For example on my website I have a page for my portfolio and on there I have pictures for each project I have worked on. Only once you click on the picture you will be directed to the page about this particular project. Here you can also add pages for questionnaires or landing pages where you need to know the specific URL to access them.
At the far bottom you can see a little trash can and it says deleted pages. If you click on here you can see all the pages that you have deleted previously and you can also restore them or delete them completely.
If you want to add a page just click on the little plus next to the navigation that you want to add the page to that specific navigation.
You can add a single page if you click on page. You can name the page - which will also be used for the URL - and you can choose a predesigned layout of how you want the page to look. Then you can fill your page with content by adding text or image boxes etc.
Or you can create a drop down menu by clicking on folder. You can name the folder which will be the name that appears in your menu and you can then add the pages underneath which will be the ones that drop down.
Then you can fill them with content as usual.
In order to change an existing page you just click on the page name and the page that you want to change appears. For example if I click on my services page it will look like this. If you hover over the top of your site you will see an edit button. You just click on there and you are inside your page in order to edit it. It will look something like this:
Squarespace is set up through blocks of text and images. Adding content or changing content is very easy through their drag and drop feature of those blocks.
First of all if you want to change text you just click into the existing text of a block and you can write in there like you do in word for example. You can make text bold, italic, align it to the center, use bullet points etc. Everything is pretty straight forward. If you click on format there are a few different formats pre-installed or pre-set by your designer like different headings which you just need to click on if you want to change a sentence and make it a header for example.
Just be careful not to hit the trash button because that will delete the whole block.
Adding a new block
If you want to add a new block for text or an image etc you need to hover over your page you will see that there are lines and drops that appear, if you click on a line a window will open and you can choose the block you want to add. Just scroll down there are more options that the ones you can see on this picture:
Adding an image
If you want to add a picture you need to click on image and a window like this one appears:
Click on the right where it says add image. Your explorer will appear and you can choose the image you want to upload. I recommend to keep all the images for your website in one folder so you can easily access them. You can NOT find them in an image library in Squarespace like you can in Wordpress for example.
Upload the image and click apply and save the changes to your page.
Make sure the image you upload is not too big to keep the loading time of your site quick. Squarespace recommends to have a maximum of 500KB in size and maximum 1500px wide. Also make sure it is saved as an RGB image in order for the colors to show correctly online. And you can only upload .jpeg, .gif and .png files.
Here you can find some more detailed tips from Squarespace about images:
Changing the order of content
Through the drag and drop feature you can move whole content boxes around. So you click on a box you want to move and hover over the side of the box until a little hand appears, now you can move it with your mouse to the desired location.
You can also drag a box next to another box so that they are not stacked on top of each other anymore but are displayed next to each other.
Once you have made your changes you always need to save them!
It is the same principle for all your pages. Only the blog page looks a little different:
Here you can see all your blog posts on the left. The ones the are published and your drafts. I recommend writing all your blog posts in a separate word document and not directly in here just in case your site crashes and so that you have them saved somewhere else as well.
If you want to add a blog post you need to click on the little plus sign next to blog and a window like this one will appear:
Here you can add text and images as on the other pages.
But you also need to add a title, your categories, tags, a publishing date and whether you want to display comments or not. I will go into more details in another blog post about how to add blog posts.
If you want to edit an existing blog post you need to go on the blogs page and click on the blog post you want to edit, an edit button will appear and once you click on there you are inside the blog post and again you can add text, images etc like on all other pages.
I hope this gives you a short overview of Squarespace and how to update content on your website. I will go into more depth of each topic over time and please do let me know if you have specific questions that you want me to write about.
I will also start doing little videos on Squarespace and how to update content.
Have a great week everyone!
P.S. If you haven't started your Squarespace website yet, have a look at my FREE Squarespace START UP video course!
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