Keep it Simple: Prep for Your Squarespace Website Series
This blog post is the last in a 4-part series on how to prep your Squarespace website before you start building it.
FYI, this whole series covers just Step 2 of the 10 Step Guide to Setting Up Your Squarespace Website from Scratch. For the full monty, read that linked post!
Here’s a chicken and egg question when designing a website.
Should you start with web design or start with copy?
(Copy means all the writing/text on your website. What you say. What you do. How you help your potential clients and customers).
I’ve talked with web designers about this and the opinions are mixed.
For some designers, design should come first because no amount of stellar copy can prevent bad design from scaring away visitors.
For other designers, copy should come first because a designer will then be able to work with your words and lay them out in a visual language that will make sense to your visitors.
Chicken n' egg.
With Squarespace, if you’re customizing a template, you start with design first by default.
Squarespace template designers develop for website functionality and beauty. But for DIYers (like myself and possibly you), it sure is easy to screw up their designs with copy and goals that don’t quite match the template.
If you’ve been following along in this blog series, you have
- an overall goal for your website (based on your ideal audience)
- a visual sitemap that includes the most important 4 or 5 pages of your website
- goals for each specific page
- calls to action for each specific page
The next logical step (for me anyway) - if you want to launch your website quickly - is to start searching for a Squarespace template that will do the best job of achieving your overall website goal and specific page goals.
I use 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 this template does indeed help me achieve most of my website goals.
If you’ve thought about your website goals, created a visual sitemap and planned out the goals and calls to action for each page then you are 3 steps ahead of where I was back then.
Knowing your goals will help you pick a template because that can take a ton of time and energy.
And did I say time?
It’s also a good idea to have a wish list when choosing a template. At this stage in your planning, just add 3 to 5 things. Don’t go crazy here.
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
- Image-friendly layout for portfolios
- Full width banner images and long scrolling page options.
Some things on your wish list might require code or an advanced knowledge of Squarespace, so don’t dwell on them for now.
The most important thing is encouraging your visitors take the action you want them to take once they're on your website. Plan it out so they can do just that. User experience n' all.
Squarespace template designs are already set up to promote various kinds of web visitor behaviour. You don’t need code or any of that fancy stuff. The templates are pure function. The rest is aesthetics.
Here are 5 service-based business-friendly Squarespace templates. What do you think? Which one will work best for your business?
Are you ready to choose your template?
Here are all the steps you should take before you start building your Squarespace website.
- 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'll put in the main navigation (up to 5)
- 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.
- Choose your Template Based on your Website Page Goals.
Keep it simple, peeps.
Need to launch a website like
and no time to learn
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) and copywriter, editor, keyword researcher and website setter upper for Squarespace web designers and service-based entrepreneurs and freelancers. Team up with me to get your web design projects done, like yesterday.