Squarespace, Social Media

7 Reasons Why We Chose Squarespace (Over Wordpress, Muse, Wix, Godaddy, etc.)

We have been around the block once or twice online and have tried our hand in many platforms, hosting services, and domain providers, but when it came time to rebrand we were stuck. We pondered for months over who or what we should choose, but once we finally made the decision we never looked back! Squarespace is by far the easiest platform to use, with the cleanest interface. Choosing them is hands down the best decision we’ve made for our business and blog. Here’s why…

We have been around the block once or twice online and have tried our hand in many platforms, hosting services, and domain providers, but when it came time to rebrand we were stuck. We pondered for months over who or what we should choose, but once we finally made the decision we never looked back! Squarespace is by far the easiest platform to use, with the cleanest interface. Choosing them is hands down the best decision we’ve made for our business and blog. Here’s why…  |  Think Creative Collective

Modern Design (With Esc Key)

Having an updated look was absolutely crucial to us when it came time for the switch. We have previously dealt with having our own custom coded website (DIY), large custom content management systems (in the corporate world), and WordPress, using various themes. Squarespace offers the cleanest selection of themes. Sure, there aren’t 100,000 options, but the 40+ they offer have extreme flexibility and can quickly become personalized. We spent hours combing through WordPress templates, only to be left disappointed. There are some awesome ones out there that offer great flexibility, but I have found them to be time intensive to set up and not always that user friendly (as they are built by many different people).

Don’t like the theme you picked on Squarespace? Press the Esc key and you are flown directly into editing mode. Press save and your site is back in action. Also, you can even try it totally free for 14 days – any theme, and can even switch to a new one halfway through!  

There came a time in our business when we feared we may have outgrown Squarespace. We were running a multiple six-figure business and needed more customization than the typical templates allowed for. But to our surprise and delight, we found out that if you can find the right team to support you, Squarespace has a robust backend system that can be manipulated with custom code, allowing for almost endless possibilities.

We’ve been nothing but pleased with our transformation – and because we didn’t budge and only improved usability, our SEO rankings continue to soar!

Easiest User Interface…. Ever

Being in design but having coding knowledge makes this a bit of a catch 22. Sure, I know how to manipulate code to move something to a different column, but I am visual, so having the flexibility to just drag it over to create a new column was genius.

We love the user interface. It is easy to understand – sure, there may be limited options, but each choice leads you to a new set of choices to fine tune the end result. An hour of coding to create a custom slider turns into seconds with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Even after paying for a very custom website, we still needed the flexibility to add pages, adjust the ones we had and continue to make changes into the future without the need to bring in the big guns. Having this interface allows ANYONE on our team to make changes on the fly with no background and it looks great, every time.

Compatible Across All Platforms and Devices

I am going to date myself here, but the first custom website I built…. was before EVERYONE had a smartphone, tablet or some sort of crazy mobile device. I wasn’t worried about making it responsive or easy to view on a phone, it just needed to be functional.

With today’s society, having your site be fully responsive is crucial. On an average day, nearly 50% of our site traffic is from mobile devices. Many WordPress templates are responsive, but no matter what, with Squarespace you always have that flexibility built-in. We could absolutely create a custom site on Muse without knowing code, but all of a sudden we are responsible for making the tablet and phone friendly versions separately on our own time and must update them independently.

Goofy things that you might overlook, like increasing the font size for phones or rearranging photos so the page flows, are automatically taken care of for you right inside Squarespace!

Social Integration

Many sites offer functionality to link to social sites, but we love the customized widgets that make the social streaming feel like it is apart of the original design. We have easily linked Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. P.S. You really ought to just follow us across the board!

But the even cooler thing, is that it isn’t just for the typical social stuff anymore. Are you a restaurant who takes reservations? What if you could integrate with an app like Opentable and have people reserve seats online without bogging down your phones? Yeah, you can do that too!

Security

Now many people don’t think about this, but having a secure place to host is extremely important. In the past we have had issues with WordPress allowing loopholes in some of their widgets that offer opportunities for the not so great people to sneak their way in.

I even ended up in a situation where a site I was managing was hacked and someone was selling black market drugs utilizing the back end of our high traffic site. Sure, this may be an extreme situation, but we like that all apps/widgets, etc. are Squarespace controlled. Of course that means less variety, but they are backed up by the Squarespace team so we have complete comfort in knowing they have taken care of these loopholes we may or may not be privy to.

Support

Real support offered by real people. Unlike many other service providers, there is chat and email functionality to channel questions through. In many other platforms, especially if you are utilizing home grown tools, i.e. custom themes or widgets, you must rely on user forums if you run into a problem or have questions.

Granted, it is so simple to use, we haven’t even needed support! Whereas in the case of other service providers we have used we were stuck after 15 minutes when something wasn’t rendering correctly, we needed custom code to overwrite something, or, even more frustrating, we had no idea where to even look to make the change we needed.

Integrated E-Commerce

Super simple integration with Stripe and PayPal makes it a breeze to list and sell products online using Squarespace. It is perfect for delivering digital downloads (for free or paid), selling physical products, managing shipping and more.

Did we mention that Squarespace didn’t ask us to write this? We just genuinely love their product and we think you are going to think it is pretty great too.

Bonus Resources!

Squarespace Pricing
Why It Is Worth It
Squarespace 101: Website Block Basics
Squarespace 101: Adding Your Instagram Feed to Your Website [Video]
Squarespace 101: Setting up a Free Opt-in Inside Your Shop [VIDEO]
Can I do that with Squarespace? + a FREE Video Ecourse
Wix vs Squarespace vs Virb vs Weebly vs WordPress Theme Builders

What other questions do you have about Squarespace vs. other service providers?



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Pinterest, Tutorial, Squarespace, Website Traffic

The Daily Pinterest Formula to Jumpstart Your Referral Traffic

Way back in 2015, we shared our secrets on how we increased our Pin impressions by 53,285.71% in just two weeks! That is bananas. Since we get asked all the time to share our Pinterest strategy, we’d like to walk you through the tactics we used back then to make it all happen.

Way back in 2015, we shared our secrets on how we increased our Pin impressions by 53,285.71% in just two weeks! That is bananas. Since we get asked all the time to share our Pinterest strategy, we’d like to walk you through the tactics we used back then to make it all happen.  |  Think Creative Collective

You might be aware that we now use Tailwind to make this process even easier, but for those of you on a shoestring budget, this can get you big results for f-r-e-e.

Today, we’re covering the secret daily formula that took us from 3% Pinterest Referral Traffic, to 32.39% without decreasing other traffic sources. We’re also giving you a nice peek at Pinterest Analytics so you can begin to see how your own account is shaping up.

Back when we were just using the daily Pinterest formula (so no Tailwind yet), our Pinterest profile was being seen on average 7,175 times daily. Pins that linked back directly to our website increased by 100% and we began to see average daily impressions in the tens of thousands. How can you make this happen?

Our Daily Pinterest Formula

Fresh Content – You heard it here first (ha!). Blogging is the best avenue to get new and fresh content to share on Pinterest. Back when we were using the Daily Pinterest Formula, you guessed it, we were blogging 5 days a week.

Pinterest Friendly Content – In addition to writing frequently and consistently, we make sure all of our content is super Pinterest friendly. Every blog post includes a “title” photo. This image goes along with the theme of the post and includes the full title. We also make it portrait so when it is on Pinterest it appears larger. You don’t need to have loads of images, just focus on one good Pinterest-worthy image and you’ll be good to go.

Photo Names – Did you know that the title of your photograph is what automatically populates when someone pins your image? We always adjust our photos so at a minimum, the name includes the blog post name and our business name. We also try to pull out keywords or key sentences from the post that might entice someone to come check it out and add those to the title/description.

The SPECIAL Board – Any photo we ever pin from this website first gets pinned to our SPECIAL board. You should have at least 1 board that has 100% your content only. Not only does this allow for lurkers to have a central location to find your content, but it makes someone more likely to follow you. If your pinning is a little all over the place – baby, home, food, blogging and more – not everyone will want to follow every board. Having a special board gives them an easy, no hesitation follow option if they like what they are seeing from you.

The 5-Minute Pin Marathon – There is no reason you need to spend all day on Pinterest (unless you’ve got Tailwind in your toolbelt). This part of the daily ritual is quick and dirty. If you have taken the time to have the initial setup done, then this will take you no time at all.

  • Pin a photo directly from your website to your special board.
  • Navigate to Pinterest.
  • Repin that same Pin to all the group boards you are part of if the topic makes sense
  • Repin that Pin to any special categories it may fall under – i.e. Small Business Advice, Social Media, How to Grow Your Blog, etc.
  • Have more than one Pinterest friendly image? Rinse & Repeat.

That’s it, it is really that simple. Follow this simple formula every day and you can see some amazing results.

How to Up the Odds

Monitor Your Impressions – The time of day you pin no longer greatly affects your impressions. The Pins people see on their homepage are now more “curated” by an algorithm. This has its pros and its cons, but we have personally found it helpful because we no longer need to be pinning at 9 p.m. — we can pin at 9 a.m. and see essentially the same results. At the time this article was first written, we had upped the impressions by 122.78%, and most recently seeing 16,027 impressions on just a single day.

Repins are Your Friend – Repins not only drive additional impressions, but they give you the opportunity to be exposed to people outside your own audience. The more repins, either the better the content you posted or the more “Pinterest friendly” your Pin was. Two of our top repinned posts are infographics which we created.

Clicks = Traffic – Ultimately, you want people to click over to your website, not just see your pretty pictures. See what posts are getting the most clicks. What makes them special? How are they better or different from your other content? This sort of information can give you great insight into what you should do next.

Referral Traffic

Our Pinterest Referral traffic has skyrocketed to 2nd place, just behind Direct. Direct is a combination of people who just know the URL and type it in and Instagram Referrals. By comparing our most popular Pins on Pinterest to the most popular pages/posts on our website, we can draw instant conclusions. To see our web traffic, we use a combination of both Squarespace and Google Analytics. We now have a fairly good idea of what “works” and what “works better”. This sort of insight helps us further tailor our content to our readers’ needs and desires.

How have you utilized Pinterest to drive traffic to your website or blog? What have you found to be useful?



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Squarespace, Tutorial

Squarespace 101: Getting Started on Your First Website

You're a new business owner you're small, but you have BIG dreams. When your empire does start to grow, are the platforms your business is built on designed to grow with you, or will they crumble under the weight of your big, badass empire of a business?

Squarespace is a website platform that is going to grow with your business, without blowing your budget when you're just starting out.That's exactly why I love it.

So, why should you make the switch to Squarespace? Here are the top 10 reasons to get on board with this platform.

You're a new business owner – you're small, but you have BIG dreams. When your empire does start to grow, are the platforms your business is built on designed to grow with you, or will they crumble under the weight of your big, badass empire of a business?   Squarespace is a website platform that is going to grow with your business, without blowing your budget when you're just starting out.That's exactly why I love it.   So, why should you make the switch to Squarespace? Here are the top 10 reasons to get on board with this platform. | Think Creative Collective


USER FRIENDLY

This is, without a doubt, the number one reason I use Squarespace. This platform is spectacular, even for the not-so-technically inclined. The backend is easy to utilize with its drag-and-drop features.

Squarespace easily allows you to integrate social media accounts, add text, upload images or create forms. There is little you can’t do with just a few clicks.

The best part? You can take advantage of their free 14-day trial to assess whether you like the platform before purchasing it or not.

AFFORDABLE

There are four plans, ranging from $12 per month to $40 per month, based on your needs. Each plan includes mobile optimization, a free custom domain, fully integrated e-commerce, and more. Considering all the features included, I find the pricing to be very reasonable.

You can view Squarespace's plans here.

INCLUSIVE

Squarespace is truly a one stop shop. Unlike other platforms, it provides a hosting site, domain name, professional email (hello@yourcompany.com) and template, all in one place. It is very beneficial to keep track of login information and billing plans in one area.

With Squarespace you do not have to mess with plugins. It connects with MailChimp and Google Docs (for use with ConvertKit), and also includes excellent e-commerce capabilities for those of you with an online shop.

DESIGN

Whether you're a designer or not, you'll quickly take notice of Squarespace's clean, streamlined design. This platform does an amazing job of making each template look stunning, while remaining versatile.

It's hard to go wrong with their templates, as they are created to appear cohesive and effortless.

MOBILE FRIENDLY

Squarespace templates are designed to ensure that visitors can easily navigate the site on any device they choose, from desktops to tablets to smartphones. All Squarespace sites adjust on smaller browsers and fit the format of whatever device is being used.

They provide:

  • Responsive design – Your content will automatically resize based on the browser window in which the site is being viewed.
  • Mobile styles – Squarespace templates have additional built-in mobile styles that activate when your site detects it’s being viewed on a mobile device. Mobile styles typically affect navigation and design elements to keep your site mobile-friendly and cater to touch gestures.

SUPPORT

I am continuously impressed by Squarespace's support team, a feature which I believe says so much about a company. All accounts come with 24/7 email support and exceptional live chat support.

Squarespace also offers articles, videos, and community forums for extra assistance. Honestly, this could be the best feature of all if you are hesitant about making this transition or lack tech related skills.

BLOGGING

Blogging with Squarespace is seriously a breeze. There is an option to add a Blog Page to any Squarespace template, so you do not need to mess around with plugins or additional features.

Every Blog Page easily allows you to create a blog post, categorize posts, create post excerpts, enable comments, push your posts to social media, and more. I especially enjoy scheduling my blog posts to automatically post on specific dates and at specific times.

E-COMMERCE

Squarespace Online Stores let you sell your products, promote your brand, and manage back-end business operations on a single, beautiful platform. E-commerce can be tricky, but I've found selling physical or digital products to be quite straightforward.

You're able to manage your online store, manage inventory, process orders, print packing slips, and customize emails in one intuitive interface. And don't worry; they've got tax rules and coupon codes covered, too. The best part? If you want a website, but won't be selling just yet, you can upgrade at any time.

EDITING

With Squarespace you do not need any knowledge of code or HTML to edit your website. However, for those who enjoy coding, you have that option.

Unlike other platforms, you are able to see the style changes as you make them. If you make a change to your font or background color, you'll be able to view it instantly, which makes Squarespace's Style Editor wonderful.

SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving your site's ranking in search results. While search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo's ranking factors are kept secret and change frequently, Squarespace builds all SEO best practices into every Squarespace site.


Squarespace has the technical side covered for you, so there's no need to search for plugins or get under the hood. But, like any new platform, there tends to be a learning curve as you experiment with adding images, editing content, etc.

Here’s an inside look at a few insider tips/shortcuts that many Squarespace users do not even realize exist!

Switching Between Multiple Squarespace Sites

To avoid the hassle of opening a new tab and re-logging into Squarespace, you can easily switch between multiple Squarespace websites by clicking on your profile picture in the lower left hand corner.

Accessing the Backend of your Squarespace Site

You would think that the quickest way to access the backend of your website would be to go to www.squarespace.com, login, etc. However, you can easily access your site by heading to your domain (www.myurl.com) and hitting Escape on your keyboard.

Disabling Pages

If you’re editing or creating a new page and you go to the page’s settings, you will see that you are able to “disable” the page. This will prevent anyone from typing in the page’s URL or accessing it while it’s under construction.

When a page is disabled, you can also leave it in your website’s Main Navigation without it appearing to the public.

Double-Click Magic

It’s easy to get pages deep within the Home Panel. For instance, you click Settings, then Marketing, then Share Buttons, and by the time you want to get back to the Home Panel you’re stuck clicking “Back” what feels like 500 times.

There’s an easier way! Wherever you are in the backend of Squarespace, simply double click on the arrow and you’ll arrive back at the main Home Panel.

Multiple Device Views

We look at our website on our laptop, then a desktop, pull it up on our cell phone, then ask to borrow a friend’s tablet to see how it appears.... We go to crazy lengths to make sure our website appears just right on multiple devices.

Squarespace makes it a breeze to view your website on multiple devices. Simply click on the arrow at the top of your screen and select which device you would like to view your website on.


Hopefully, this post has provided you with clarity on using the Squarespace platform. It can be overwhelming to switch or start with a new website, but this platform's ease-of-use has me sold!

Remember, it’s a platform you can start with and stay with as your business changes, expands and grows.



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Squarespace

Squarespace 101: Website Block Basics

Jumping into a new website platform can be overwhelming. And although we think Squarespace is one of the most user friendly and intuitive platforms on the market, we know not everything is as obvious as one might hope. Today we are walking you through Squarespace Blocks. You will learn how to quickly build a webpage with multiple columns, images, slideshow and even a proper call to action. 

Jumping into a new website platform can be overwhelming. And although we think Squarespace is one of the most user friendly and intuitive platforms on the market, we know not everything is as obvious as one might hope. Today we are walking you through Squarespace Blocks. You will learn how to quickly build a webpage with multiple columns, images, slideshow and even a proper call to action.  |  Think Creative Collective

Dive into the video now to uncover some of the basics. Not finding what you were hoping for? Check out our comprehensive list of Squarespace blocks below and links to their various uses and tutorials. Enjoy!

Basic Blocks

  • Text Block - Add text to your site, including headings, quotes, pre-formatted text, links, and lists
  • Markdown Block - Add text using the Markdown language
  • Quote Block - Add styled quotes and testimonials
  • Image Block - Add a single image.
  • Video Block - Add an externally hosted video
  • Audio Block - Add a single audio file in a player
  • Embed Block - Add external content to your site by using links to tweets, videos, and more

Gallery Blocks

For an overview of Gallery Blocks, visit Using Gallery Blocks.

Summary Blocks

For an overview of Summary Blocks, visit Using Summary Blocks.

More Blocks

  • Bandsintown Block - Display tour dates from your Bandsintown profile
  • Calendar Block - Display items in your pages, like events, as a calendar sorted by day
  • Code Block - Add custom code (like a third-party widget) or display code
  • Form Block - Add a form to collect information from visitors. This is useful for creating contactpages, surveys, signup forms, or applications.
  • Line Block - Add a horizontal line between blocks. This is a great way to break up text or visually separate content.
  • Map Block - Add a Google Map with a pin in your location.
  • Menu Block - Display your restaurant's menu
  • Newsletter Block - Add a newsletter subscription form. This block requires a connected MailChimp account.
  • OpenTable Block - Add restaurant reservation booking. You'll need your OpenTable Restaurant ID.
  • Spacer Block - Add an adjustable amount of space or padding between blocks.

Filter and List Blocks

Commerce Blocks

  • Amazon Block - Display and link to an item on Amazon. This is useful if you participate in Amazon's Affiliate program.
  • Donation Block - Allow visitors to donate to your cause or organization. This block requires a connected Stripe account.
  • Product Block - Add a product to a page or blog post. This is a great way to promote a product or display products in different combinations than your Product pages.

Chart Blocks

For an overview of Chart Blocks, visit Chart Blocks overview.

Social Blocks

  • 500px Block - Add images from your 500px account
  • Flickr Block - Add a gallery of your Flickr photos.
  • Foursquare Block - Add a feed of your Foursquare check-ins
  • Instagram Block - Add a gallery of your Instagram photos
  • RSS Block - Add a link to the RSS feed of a Blog Page
  • Social Links Block - Add social icons that link to social media profiles. This is an alternative if your template doesn't have default social icons.
  • SoundCloud Block - Embed a SoundCloud player
  • Twitter Block - Display a feed of your most recent tweets and a follow button

Loved this post? Comment below and let us know how it helped. 


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Squarespace, Instagram, Video Tutorial

Squarespace 101: Adding Your Instagram Feed to Your Website [Video]

Instagram is pretty much hands down our favorite social media platform! And because of that we love sending our website visitors and blog readers to interact with us there as well. To make this process more seamless we utilize the Instagram Block inside Squarespace. This allows a endless stream of new content to be automatically posted to our website without us having to update a thing.

Instagram is pretty much hands down our favorite social media platform! And because of that we love sending our website visitors and blog readers to interact with us there as well. To make this process more seamless we utilize the Instagram Block inside Squarespace. This allows a endless stream of new content to be automatically posted to our website without us having to update a thing.  Today I am going to walk you through exactly how to add this block to your blog post footer, blog sidebar and homepage. Click to watch the video for step-by-step instructions.  |  Think Creative Collective

Today I am going to walk you through exactly how to add this block to your blog post footer, blog sidebar and homepage. Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions.


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