How to Switch Templates on Squarespace 7.1: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Akim Perminov

Founder & Lead Designer

Switching templates on Squarespace 7.1 can feel like navigating a labyrinth, especially for users accustomed to the flexibility of version 7.0. With Squarespace’s advancements, the 7.1 version operates differently, executing a more unified platform approach. This means if you're on version 7.1 and looking to overhaul your site's design, the process isn't as straightforward as it used to be with template switching; instead, it involves a more manual approach to redesign.

To transition your site’s aesthetic, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the design options within version 7.1 and make changes element by element, which includes selecting new styles and layouts from the extensive range that Squarespace offers. This might sound daunting, but with a clear understanding of the tools at your disposal and a step-by-step guide, you can efficiently give your website a fresh look without the need to revert to the older version or start from scratch. The aim is to embrace the flexibility within the design variants of 7.1 to create a site that better aligns with your updated vision or branding.

Key Takeaways

  • Switching templates in Squarespace 7.1 requires a different approach than in previous versions.

  • Familiarize yourself with Squarespace 7.1's design options to effectively update your site's look.

  • A step-by-step methodology allows for a thorough redesign without starting anew.

Understanding Squarespace 7.1 Templates

Squarespace 7.1 offers a streamlined approach to templates compared to its predecessor, Squarespace 7.0. I find it essential to note that Squarespace 7.1 does not use template families. Instead, all sites start with the same base template, which can be customized through section-based editing.

Here are some key points about Squarespace 7.1 templates:

  • Customization: The level of customization in 7.1 is extensive, allowing me to uniquely tailor the look and functionality without switching between template families.

  • Design Flexibility: By adding and arranging sections, I benefit from a flexible design system enabling various layouts and styles.

  • Uniform Features: Since there's a single underlying template, features and style options remain consistent, ensuring I won't lose content or need to reconfigure settings if I decide to change the design.

  • No Template Switching: Unlike 7.0, switching templates in the traditional sense isn't applicable to 7.1. Design changes are done within the same template through the site styles and section configurations.

For detailed steps on changing the look of a 7.1 website, this how-to on Changing Squarespace 7.1 template can be quite helpful. Remember, if you're transitioning from 7.0 to 7.1, it essentially means building a new site, as laid out in Switching templates in version 7.0 - Squarespace Help Center.

When I manage a Squarespace 7.1 site, it’s crucial to grasp these aspects for a smoother design process and to leverage the platform's capabilities to their full extent.

Before You Begin

Switching templates in Squarespace 7.1 involves a few preparatory steps to ensure a smooth transition. My aim here is to guide you through the essential pre-switch steps.

Check Current Template

First, I determine which template I'm currently using to ensure it's compatible with the features I want in the new template. Squarespace 7.1 operates differently from its predecessor, making the version check crucial. To check my current template, I go to the Home Menu, select Design, and then Template.

Review Squarespace 7.1 Features

Next, I review the distinctive features available in Squarespace 7.1. This version offers a more streamlined experience, with all templates sharing the same underlying structure and capabilities. I explore the Squarespace 7.1 features to understand how they will affect the design and functionality of my site post-switch.

Backup Your Content

Before making major changes, backing up my content is essential. Even though Squarespace keeps my content intact when switching templates in 7.1, I take extra precautions. I ensure to save any custom CSS or code injections I've applied, as I'll need to reapply these manually after the switch. Additionally, for any content not stored in Squarespace's databases – like images and files – I make sure they're safely backed up externally.

Accessing The Template Switcher

To switch templates on Squarespace 7.1, I first need to understand that the process differs from the previous version, Squarespace 7.0. In Squarespace 7.1, templates hinge on a singular underlying structure, so the concept of switching templates, like in version 7.0, isn't applicable in the same way. Here's how I would navigate the changes in the newer version.

First, I'll go to the Home Menu and select Design. In this version, rather than switching templates, I can change the look and feel of my site by editing the different sections and choosing new styles. This is facilitated by Squarespace's Section-Based Editor.

Here's a breakdown of the steps I follow:

  1. I navigate to Design within the Home Menu.

  2. I select Site Styles to customize fonts, colors, and other basic styling options.

If I want to apply a more substantial change resembling a template switch:

  • I add a new section to my page by clicking "+" (Add Section).

  • I experiment with different section layouts that offer various design options.

Keep in mind, if I'm using Squarespace 7.0 and looking to switch to a completely new template, I can explore the options available in version 7.0. However, in Squarespace 7.1, my focus is on modifying sections and styles rather than switching between template designs.

Selecting a New Template

When considering a change to your Squarespace site, selecting a new template is the first pivotal step. I'll guide you through the process of previewing available templates and share tips on how to choose the right one that aligns with your needs.

Preview Available Templates

I always recommend starting by exploring the different options Squarespace offers. Squarespace 7.1 has a streamlined approach, providing a single family of templates that can be extensively customized. To preview available templates, navigate to the Squarespace Template Store. You can browse through the designs by category, such as portfolios, blogs, or businesses, to see which templates could potentially match the structure and aesthetic of your site.

Choosing The Right Template for Your Needs

Choosing the right template hinges on understanding your site's goals and functionality requirements. Consider the following:

  • Purpose: Define the primary objective of your site. Whether it's e-commerce, showcasing a portfolio, or publishing a blog, your template should complement this purpose.

  • Features: List the features critical to your site's operation. Squarespace templates offer various built-in capabilities — make sure your choice supports the ones you need.

  • Design: Think about the design elements that resonate with your brand. A well-chosen template will reflect your branding with appropriate fonts, colors, and layout styles.

Take your time during this selection process. Switching templates in Squarespace should be a strategic decision to ensure that your new design elevates your site's presence and functionality.

Making The Switch

In Squarespace 7.1, you can't directly switch templates. Instead, I start fresh and design the site anew, keeping the content and pages from my current site.

Apply The New Template

I begin by creating a new Squarespace site and choose a template from the 7.0 series, which allows multiple template choices within a single site. Once I choose my preferred starting template, I rebuild my site by manually transferring content. Here's a quick rundown:

  • Step 1: Set up a new site.

  • Step 2: Select a 7.0 template.

  • Step 3: Move content page by page.

Confirm The Change

After I've transferred all content and I’m satisfied with the setup, I must finalize the switch. This step ensures that my new template and site are now live. I do this by:

  • Step 1: Navigate to the Site Settings.

  • Step 2: Click on Domains and ensure the primary domain points to the new site.

  • Step 3: Double-check everything before making the site public.

Customizing Your New Template

When I switch templates in Squarespace 7.1, I understand that while I can't switch to a new template like I could in earlier versions, I can thoroughly customize the design and feel of my site to make it my own. This involves tweaking the style settings, editing the site header and footer, and customizing individual pages and content blocks.

Adjust Style Settings

The first thing I do is navigate to Design and then Site Styles from my Squarespace dashboard. Here, I can adjust a range of visual aspects of my site, including fonts, colors, and button styles. Adjustments I make in the site styles will apply globally across my site, ensuring consistency in my design.

Edit Site Header and Footer

Next, I focus on the header and footer as they frame my site content. In the Edit mode, I click on the header or footer area to start customizing. I can add my logo, change navigation links, and modify the layout. If I need to add social media icons or a search bar, this is where I insert them.

Customize Pages and Content Blocks

For page-specific adjustments, I click on the pages I want to edit and then use the Page Settings to add featured images or adjust SEO titles. Adding and arranging content blocks within the pages allows me to insert text, images, galleries, or videos exactly where I need them. Squarespace 7.1 offers a variety of content blocks that I can drag and drop to design the layout of each page to suit my content.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When transitioning templates in Squarespace 7.1, you might encounter a few hiccups such as layout changes, style inconsistencies, and lost content. I'll walk you through resolving these common issues to ensure a smooth template switch.

Fixing Layout Disruptions

Layout disruptions are often the first sign that something's awry after changing your template. Here's my go-to checklist:

  1. Review the new template's structure: Check if the new template supports the same features and sections.

  2. Adjust the sections: Resize and reposition sections via the editor to match the desired layout.

  3. If problems persist, reference Changing Squarespace 7.1 template when they won't let you for additional insight.

Addressing Style Inconsistencies

To handle variances in fonts, colors, and other style elements:

  • Reapply your site’s styles: Navigate to 'Design' and then 'Site Styles' to reselect fonts, colors, and other configurations.

  • For further clarification on adjusting styles in your chosen template, Squarespace Help Center offers detailed guidance.

Restoring Lost Content

Here’s how to recover content that didn't make the transition:

  • Check the 'Not Linked' section: Some pages may be found here.

  • Reapply custom CSS: If custom CSS was used, reapply the code.

For content that is template-specific and might not carry over, visit Why you can't change your Squarespace 7.1 Template for a comprehensive list and solutions.

Finalizing Your Template Switch

Once you've made your selection and customization, the final step is to ensure a smooth transition. Let's walk through how to finalize your template switch on Squarespace 7.1.

Preview and Test Your Site

Before making any changes live, I meticulously preview and test each page of my site. It's crucial to ensure that all elements display correctly and that functionality isn’t compromised in any way. This is the moment to catch any issues with layout, fonts, or images and rectify them. Every link is tested, and I ensure forms and third-party integrations function as expected.

Announce The Update To Your Audience

Effective communication is key. I inform my audience about the upcoming changes to prepare them for the new look. Typically, this is done through an email blast, blog post, or social media update. It’s essential to explain the benefits these updates bring and how it enhances their experience. This openness often builds anticipation and generally yields a positive response.

Monitor For Issues Post-Launch

After my site goes live with the new template, the job isn't finished. I actively monitor my website by checking for user feedback, analyzing website data, and observing site performance. Immediate attention to any reported or observed issues helps maintain the site's integrity and user trust. For a detailed breakdown on resolving specific template-related issues, I refer here.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, I'll address common inquiries regarding template changes in Squarespace 7.1, providing clear and precise answers to enhance your website design experience.

Can I preview multiple templates on my Squarespace 7.1 site before selecting one?

No, in Squarespace 7.1, you cannot preview multiple templates like you could in version 7.0. Squarespace 7.1 uses a single, flexible template with various design options.

What is the process to change the design template on a Squarespace 7.1 website?

To change your site's design in Squarespace 7.1, you don't switch templates; instead, you adjust your site's style settings which can drastically alter the look and feel of your site.

Are templates in Squarespace 7.1 interchangeable post-initial selection?

As Squarespace 7.1 features a single underlying template, there's no need to switch templates. You can alter the design through styling changes anytime.

How can I apply a new style to my current Squarespace 7.1 website?

You can apply new styles to your site by exploring the design options within the site styles menu, choosing fonts, colors, and other design elements to refresh the appearance of your site.

Is it possible to switch to a different template without losing content in Squarespace 7.1?

Since Squarespace 7.1 operates on a single template structure, you don't switch templates in the traditional sense, which means your content remains intact while you modify the design settings.

What steps should I take to update my site's template on Squarespace 7.1?

To update the look of your Squarespace 7.1 site, go to the Design panel, where you can find site styles and other customization options to change your site's design without changing templates.

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Having trouble with making your website work? Upgrade your brand in 7 days with our agency-level Squarespace templates!