How to Choose the Right Squarespace Template
When choosing a Squarespace template I approach it by its distinct style. Most templates can do 90% of what the others can do, so it’s that 10% that makes the difference in whether or not it’s the right fit for the project I’m working on. This article will focus just on the special features of each site instead of giving an exhaustive review. Squarespace offers three tiers for sites: cover pages, websites, & commerce. This article covers the templates offered in the websites tier.
The 7 Categories:
1. Article Grid – used for websites with a lot of copy, like news sites or magazines
2. Image Grid – used for showcasing portfolios or creative works
3. Big Image – these make a big statement by incorporating big photography
4. Minimal – these keep your message clear with its use of white space & fixed-width
5. Standard – banner images in the header, page-by-page navigation, customizable & user friendly
6. Sectional – these are long, vertically flowing websites which are great at telling stories
7. Shop – for those wanting the best storefronts without paying for the commerce plan
1. Article Grid
Templates: Skye, Foundry, Tudor, Haute, Farro
This is for those who want a grid styled template with a focus on written content. This is great for magazine type websites, blogs, news sites, or websites which are article heavy. The ‘related posts’ feature is great for keeping people on your site & engaged with your articles.
skye: (foundry, tudor)
Skye is the main template from which ‘foundry’ & ‘tudor’ are based.
Foundry: Other than stylistic changes in the header & footer, the main difference you’ll notice in ‘foundry’ is that they have removed the thumbnails for the articles.
Tudor: Other than stylistic changes in the header & footer, the main difference you’ll notice is the grid is in mosaic format.
Farro & Haute are great for those who have large, beautiful photography accompanying your articles. Farro incorporates a more news style theme which incorporates borders and large portrait style images.
Haute is more grid like where the initial template incorporates large banner & square photography without any borders.
2. Image Grid
Templates: Avenue, Flatiron, Wexley
These templates are geared towards those wanting to showcase their portfolio. Like the name suggests, they’re different from article grid in that their focus are images. Perfect for photographers & designers, these templates organize your work in a grid which showcases all your work in one place.
Some key features is having the option of distinct headers & footers per page, along with site-wide headers & footers. The pages which are linked to the grid images are customizable pages & all of the rest of the thumbnails remain below the page you are currently viewing. The blog offers a sidebar.
Incorporates an engaging grid with square or mosaic layout. Optional pop-up footer when you hover over the bottom. Optional fixed header. No sidebar.
The main stylistic difference is that it is mosaic like flatiron but runs on a more horizontal grid (vs. vertical). Has sidebar for blog.
3. Big Image
Templates: Aubrey, Aviator, Encore, Forte, Ishimoto, Momentum
These templates are great for those of you wanting to incorporate large format images on the homepage. For architects, photographers, weddings, design firms & lifestyle brands these templates might be the perfect fit for making your big statement.
aviator: (aubrey, encore)
Incorporates full image backgrounds which turns your info page into a visually stunning home page. Color overlay options on full image backgrounds help tie the artistic style of your website together. There are also options for full width images on the blog.
Aubrey & Encore are pretty similar with the first being set up for weddings and the latter for musical artists.
Having a full bleed index page with navigation brings your projects to life. Just click on the title and it will take you to the index-page. Gallery pages have large image descriptions. Color auto detect feature allows you to post light or dark photos and the title will automatically turn black or white depending on the background.
Different from the full-bleed images shared in this style, Ishimoto is unlike many of the other templates in that it incorporates large horizontal scrolling images in a carousel format. The navigation can be opposite or underneath the title. Sidebar on blogs.
Offers full screen image background in a slideshow format. The title & navigation is below. A grid button on the bottom of gallery pages lets users see all the images with one click.
Templates: Julia, Kent, Lange, Montauk, Native, Om, Shibori, Wells, York
montauk: (julia, kent, om)
This is a fixed width site with optional site wide outlines. With the customizable header you can keep all your business information in front of user’s eyes. Index pages can be viewed in a grid style (but are simpler than other grid style templates).
Julia: is simpler in that it is setup for a wedding with information & dates.
Kent: main difference is that it uses more text instead of images by incorporating large text & columns.
Om: is more complex as it incorporates more horizontal lines to separate information and showcases a summary of its workshops
Is straightforward and simple. It allows you to customize the header by adding places for the site title & description. The most unique thing it offers is round thumbnail images on excerpts from you blog.
It puts everything front and center without getting distracted by anything flashy which can be exactly what certain artists & creatives want. It utilizes a side navigation which is different than most other templates which is customizable. It can be set to be on the left or right side of the page. Gallery page displays images as either thumbnail grid or slideshow. The blog utilizes a sidebar.
york: (lange*, shibori)
These templates are considered traditional in their feel of being simple & straightforward but really push the limits (especially Lange). They do great at showcasing portfolios, visuals, illustrations and the likes thereof. Project pages are their best feature in that they layout images with their captions to one side. Index pages feature clickable banners which can be great for utilizing portfolios. They incorporate special page animations which add a more active element to your site. You can also customize font sizes for mobile.
Shibori: it incorporates a logo behind text in the header
Lange*: features full width images and doesn’t utilize margins as much, which goes against the simplistic style of this category but since it uses the same framework as York it is included here.
Templates: Anya, Bedford, Bryant, Five, Hayden
These templates are what typical users have come to expect: large banner image headers, with relevant information underneath and page-by-page navigation. These are great templates for most websites, are very adaptive & work well with handling mid- to large sized websites. They are user friendly & intuitive for most modern users.
bedford: (anya, bryant, hayden)
This is a template geared towards organizations and business. Incorporates full bleed images or video to your header banner which you can then overlay with text & link. Also has optional slideshow headers on pages & the blog. Call-to-action navigation button. On folders it incorporates sidebar navigation. The index page mimics those websites with a ‘sectional’ theme in that it creates a long scrolling page with full width images highlighting the sections.
*Anya, Bryant & Hayden: are very similar to one another but all three are different from Bedford in that they incorporate the index page which causes it to mimic a sectional theme template.
A very customizable website, five offers one of the most sidebar rich templates. You can actually have up to two sidebars on one page. Banners are full-width with optional text on top of your image or video. You can also choose to have your navigation appear above or below your banner image.
Templates: Adversary, Alex, Bryler, Charlette, Eamon, Horizon, Marquee, Mercer, Mojave, Naomi, Pacific, Rover, Shift
These templates have long vertical scrolling pages. This is great if you’re wanting a site which keeps a lot of content all on one page. These are appropriate for telling your brand story–whether that be personal or business.
pacific: (bryler, charlotte, fulton, horizon, naomi)
Full-width banner images with text overlay. The index page uses a vertically stacked layout. Pacific navigation is linked to its Index homepage which means that when you click on the navigation link you are scrolled down to the part on that page instead of opening up a separate page. There are ways to add pages that are separate from the Index homepage.
marquee: (adversary, alex, eamon, shift)
Parallax scrolling on its full-width banner images with text overlay. The index page uses a vertically stacked layout. Marquee keeps all its navigation links as separate pages, although on the Index homepage it stacks all of the pages tied to the navigation. Most of the templates in this family are very similar to Marquee.
Templates: Adirondack, Hunter, Juke, Mercer, Mojave, Nueva, Rover, Sonora
These templates are heavy hitters when it comes to running an online shop. All the other templates are capable of running a shop but these offer a few extra features which really make these ideal for merchandise.
This template is offered in the commerce plan as well as website plans. It is well suited for running a shop or a site which needs added multiple navigation options (main, folder, product category & footer navigation). The header is packed full of features as well which engages the user: logo & navigation minimizes at you scroll down along with the banner image fading. Interactive button on the header to showcase business information or contact. This is a fixed width site.
(hunter, juke, mercer, mojave, nueva, rover, sonora)
These templates are based off of the Brine template which is only available on commerce plans. These incorporate parallax scrolling but the best features are with the amount of customization you can do in the store. On product pages they offer quick view (which opens up product info in a lightbox) as well as hover options: alternative image, fade & product detail overlay. It also offers customization on sold out/on sale items, shopping cart icon, image zoom, padding, product details styling & the mobile site.
*I am in no way affiliated with Squarespace. All names of templates belong to Squarespace.com