Squarespace is well regarded for its simplicity and ease of long-term management.
With the right partner, it can be quick and easy to transfer your existing site to this platform, or to launch your business online.
But, as with any tech project, the devil is in the detail. In this case, the detail of planning.
Speed in project delivery is more often than not delayed by a mis-matched understanding of what a website it actually made up of.
When we take on a Squarespace project, we hold our client’s hands through this process. That’s why we’ve created this checklist, to make it easier for everyone to get on the same page, and know what’s involved at each step of the process.
What is your goal, and who are you talking to? No matter what work we do across the digital ecosystem you’ll hear us asking these questions time and time again. These are not only essential to choosing your template, but to planning every detail on your site and, in time, measuring its effectiveness. Document your goals and audience with as much detail as you can before considering your content.
Now it’s time to plan the structure of your site. What pages do you need, and what steps will your viewers go through to reach them. Some people prefer to draw this out in a mindmap, while others use a spreadsheet to plan it out. With this done, it’s time to gather all the written and visual content required for your site. This will be ‘reshaped’ to suit the template as it is uploaded.
When creating written content, don’t discount the value of unique page titles and descriptions as these drive SEO. The best way to remember what these are is to think of them as the title and description that appear when you search for a site on Google.
When collecting your images, makes sure they’re the general shape (aspect ratio) that you would like them to be uploaded as and relatively high resolution. Squarespace will create 7 different versions of any images on upload, which is why they look so good across different screens. You can use sites like Pexels to find high quality stock photography.
Design + Styles
For the creatively minded, this is the fun step. It’s time to choose your Squarespace template and customise the styling options so that the site looks uniquely yours.
Do you have a brand kit? A document that gives you the ‘rules’ for using your logos, colours and font? If you do, you’re halfway there. Said branding kit will have ALL the tools that you need to make design decisions around your business - it will even help with your content marketing decisions. Should headings be all caps, should they be in sentence case or title case? These are the types of decisions we make at this stage. You can also add your logos (for the site header) and favicon, the little icon (upload at 300x300) that appears to the left of the page title in your browser tab.
Now it’s time to put it all together based on your sitemap and the content you’ve collated. Because you’re so organised this step has become simple!
Don’t forget to add a newsletter signup to your page (Squarespace integrates perfectly with MailChimp for email marketing) and link up your social channels.
Analytics + Tracking
One of the most overlooked - but vitally important - aspects of every website is the analytics and tracking tools attached to it.
Google Analytics is probably the most used website analytics engine out there. All you need is a Google account and you can start uncovering all sorts of information on how your site is being used.
The Facebook Pixel is essential to anyone who may ever consider Facebook advertising which, in the modern landscape, should be almost every business. The Pixel gathers data on the people who have visited your site allowing you learn more about them and not only target them through ads, but also others who are ‘like’ them, based on the world’s largest human database.
The hard work is done, but you’re not quite there.
If moving from an existing site, you’ll want to retain all the search history and links as you move to a new site. List out your existing URLs and match them to your new pages so that the old pages can be redirected to the new.
Your domain is your online address which you may already have, or can purchase through Squarespace. With all this set up, it's time to pay for your Sqaurespace account. This regular (annual or monthly) payment is for hosting, which means your site is visible to others.
Ready to get started with Squarespace? Let us send you the full checklist