If you’ve listened to any podcast ever(Opens in a new tab), you already know the spiel: Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder that makes it easy to create a professional-looking online presence. Numbers-wise, it’s the second most popular web builder(Opens in a new tab) out there (after Wix) and the third most popular hosting service(Opens in a new tab) (after Wix and Shopify), supporting more than 3 million live websites(Opens in a new tab) across the internet at the time of publication.
One of the primary reasons why Squarespace has seen this(Opens in a new tab) success(Opens in a new tab) — well, aside from all of those Ira Glass-narrated ad slots(Opens in a new tab) — is that you don’t need any web design or coding experience to get a beautiful site up and running on its interface. With intuitive drag-and-drop building elements and a vast selection of ultra-modern templates, it’s easily one of the most beginner-friendly tools of its kind.
Truthfully, the hardest part about designing a Squarespace site is often just choosing one of those templates — there are over 230 of them across Squarespace versions 7.0 and 7.1, the two iterations of the platform that are currently supported. How do you decide which one to use for your oil painting portfolio(Opens in a new tab), your Taiwanese-American food blog(Opens in a new tab), or the online store for your cool-girl jeans(Opens in a new tab)? (Those are all different kinds of websites that have been made with Squarespace(Opens in a new tab), FYI.)
Let’s get into it — but first, a quick primer.
Why should I use Squarespace?
After fast and easy site design, the best thing about Squarespace is its all-in-one approach: Your subscription plan(Opens in a new tab) includes 24/7 customer support, website metrics, SEO tools, SSL security(Opens in a new tab), unlimited bandwidth, and video storage, all for as low as $16 a month. Squarespace also throws in fully managed cloud hosting at no extra cost, along with a year’s worth of a new custom domain if you sign up for an annual membership — no need to set anything else up with another provider or platform. All things considered, its flexibility and convenience make it a stellar pick for first-time website owners.
What is a Squarespace template, exactly?
A Squarespace template (or theme) is a pre-designed, ready-to-use demo website that you can customize with different color schemes, font packs, layouts, pages, and drag-and-drop element blocks(Opens in a new tab) like text, images, galleries, buttons, and forms. Squarespace describes(Opens in a new tab) them as “a starting point to help inspire your site’s design,” noting that “[you] can keep the structure of your original design intact by replacing the demo content with your own, or you can completely change the design of your site and start from scratch.” You can do as much or as little customizing as you’d like; your site will look polished either way.
Each template has been built exclusively for Squarespace, which means you won’t find them on WordPress, Wix, or other site-building platforms.
Are Squarespace templates mobile-friendly?
All Squarespace templates are mobile-optimized from the jump, which is awesome for two reasons: Mobile-friendly sites look great on all devices and get higher priority from Google when it comes to indexing(Opens in a new tab) and SEO rankings.
Templates from Squarespace version 7.0 have separate mobile styles that activate on smaller devices, while their version 7.1 counterparts adapt to mobile view automatically. (More on those in a sec.) Check out Squarespace’s tips for keeping your site mobile-friendly(Opens in a new tab) before you build it out.
Squarespace version 7.0 versus 7.1
Launched in 2014, Squarespace version 7.0 categorizes its 91 templates(Opens in a new tab) into certain template “families,” which are groups of similarly coded templates alike in their basic structure and functionality. Each one has its specific rules and style options(Opens in a new tab), so you may need to swap templates (and risk losing content) to access certain functionality. For example, infinite scroll(Opens in a new tab) is exclusive to the Farro(Opens in a new tab) and Skye(Opens in a new tab) template families, while only Wells(Opens in a new tab) and Five(Opens in a new tab) allow sidebars(Opens in a new tab) on all of their pages, not just blogs.
Squarespace scrapped those hard-and-fast classifications with the release of version 7.1 in early 2020. All of its 140-plus templates(Opens in a new tab) now belong to the same family with the same underlying structure and design options, which makes it easier to change site styles(Opens in a new tab) in seconds.
While neither version of Squarespace is conclusively “better” than the other, version 7.1 is more ideal for people who are new to the platform since it aggressively streamlines the design process, especially since the July 2022 rollout of Fluid Engine(Opens in a new tab). That’s Squarespace’s next-gen content editor for 7.1 sites, which utilizes a grid system and additional block placement options for improved layout flexibility(Opens in a new tab) (particularly on mobile(Opens in a new tab)).
Users who have built a Squarespace site before may still have good reason to stick with version 7.0 since its templates have some advanced style options that haven’t been added to the new ones yet. (See: parallax scrolling(Opens in a new tab), one especially popular feature of the beloved Brine template family(Opens in a new tab) that’s missing from version 7.1; people were pretty salty(Opens in a new tab) about that one.)
One caveat: While it’s possible(Opens in a new tab) to switch between versions 7.0 and 7.1, doing so will usually require a full rebuild(Opens in a new tab) and mess with your site’s search ranking. On the bright side, Squarespace offers a free 14-day trial(Opens in a new tab) so you can noodle around with both before you commit.
What features does Squarespace offer?
Structural and formatting differences aside, all Squarespace templates between both versions of the platform support the same suite of features — including several new tools introduced in the most recent Squarespace Refresh(Opens in a new tab), its annual product update. Highlights include:
Ecommerce tools for physical and digital products(Opens in a new tab) like on-demand Custom Merch(Opens in a new tab), Member Areas(Opens in a new tab), appointment scheduling(Opens in a new tab), Point of Sale(Opens in a new tab), subscriptions(Opens in a new tab), product merchandising(Opens in a new tab), product reviews, inventory management, USPS shipping label purchasing and printing(Opens in a new tab), and local pick-up options(Opens in a new tab)
Marketing tools like email campaign integration(Opens in a new tab), mailing lists(Opens in a new tab), promotional banners(Opens in a new tab), form blocks(Opens in a new tab), and social selling(Opens in a new tab) on FaceBook and Instagram
It’s worth mentioning that Squarespace also maintains three mobile apps that are free with any subscription or trial. They work with both versions of the site, too:
How do you find the right Squarespace template for you?
To get started, head over to the Templates tab(Opens in a new tab) on Squarespace’s website and filter its library by Type and Topic to narrow down your pool of candidates. You can hit “Preview” on any theme that catches your eye to see what it would look like in the wild.
Squarespace recommends(Opens in a new tab) choosing a template based on your favorite colors and layouts rather than the demo content you see there, though you might find it easier to pick one that already looks close-ish to your end vision. For example, a template with a grid of products on its homepage can become your online store in a matter of clicks, whereas a template designed around event RSVPs will take more noodling for ecommerce purposes.
If you’re having trouble settling on one, know this: It’s basically impossible to make an ugly Squarespace site, and with enough time and experimentation, you can tweak almost any template to fit your exact vision and needs. But just in case you need a nudge in a certain direction, keep reading: Below, we’ve rounded up 16 of the best Squarespace templates for all sorts of sites.
Note: Most of our recommendations are from Squarespace version 7.1, but we’ve sprinkled in a few options from version 7.0 that continue to stand out. Templates have been labeled accordingly.