Always Choose a Squarespace Template AFTER You've Decided Your Page Goals
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Update August 2019 - Choose your page goals, then pick your Squarespace template.
This blog post is the last in a 4-part series on how to prep your content for your Squarespace website before you start designing it.
Not only that, this blog, plus the other three posts cover just Step 2 of the 10 Step Guide to Setting Up Your Squarespace Website from Scratch. For the full monty, read that linked post!
Before your choose your Squarespace Template…
Decide who your ideal website visitor is (aka potential client or customer)
Decide what the main goal of your website is?
Decide what must-have pages you want on your site.
Create a visual sitemap of your website.
Write down a page goal for each page
Write down a main call to action that visitors can take on each page. You want to guide your readers on a journey through your website - from home page to services to contact. Or from a blog post to contact.
After picking page goals, create a website wishlist
At this stage in your planning, write down 3-5 things you want your website to be able to do.
A wish list could include:
A call to action button in the navigation menu or a different coloured text link
A search bar in the navigation menu
A slide show for your photo gallery
Full width banner images and long scrolling page options.
Some things on your wish list might require code or an advanced knowledge of Squarespace. It never hurts to ask Squarespace customer service what’s possible with Squarespace’s built-in tools.
Next, search for a Squarespace template design that will do the best job of achieving your overall website goal, individual page goals and match most (or all) of your wishlist.
Pro Tip - Keep it simple. Choose one in the Brine template family, especially if you’re a service-based professional.
It’s easy to get stressed choosing a template even if it’s from the same family. But what you’re probably worried about is the design, not the actual template. That’s the confusing part.
Here’s the thing, if you are having a hard time choosing a Squarespace template and you find out that your 3 favourites are in the same template family - then it DOESN’T MATTER (yes, I’m yelling that. ;) which one you choose. If you read no further today, then at the very least read the linked post below and watch the embedded video to understand how Squarespace templates work if they’re in the same family.
Squarespace template designs (whether Brine family or another one) are already set up to promote web visitor behaviour based on assumed goals.
My colleague, Squarespace specialist Sarah Moon and I almost always recommend the Brine family for service-based clients who book a Design in a Day™ with us. If we use a Brine family template, we pick Sofia Rey because it has the fewest number of demo pages to delete. (Yep, it’s all about how many pages we need to delete!)
Why Brine? To be blunt, it’s the most flexible. It can do the most things. And clients who want that one thing that Brine can’t do often end up frustrated by all the many things that other template families can’t do. (And, we probably have a wee code in our library that can help.)
Then there’s the issue of search engine optimization (SEO) for some of the older templates (you’ll want to go ask Sarah about that.)
So, what’s the www.kathomalley.com template?
In the past, I used the Pacific Template. When I chose it, I hadn't done any of the above planning and goal setting steps. That's right. It was trial by error for me - so I consider myself lucky that the Pacific template did indeed help me achieve most of my website goals, until it didn’t. Which is why I switched.
The funny thing is, when folks reach out to me for training and switching their templates, we usually find out they don’t actually need to switch. (Lucky them!) The new design they prefer is much different, but the template family is the same.
Here are the other template families in Squarespace.
Need to launch a website like RIGHT NOW and no time to learn
Try out Design in a Day™, my collaboration with Squarespace specialist and web designer Sarah Moon.
We'll snap together a polished website based on a Squarespace template that you choose or we recommend. This is a quick and efficient process to get you online in time for that big opportunity that demands a solid online presence.
Hi, I’m Kath - author of this blog post (and others like it). I help lawyers, consultants and other service-based professionals get launched with and learn Squarespace.
Team up with me to get your web design project done.