Publish Squarespace Website: A Step-by-Step Launch Guide

By Akim Perminov

Founder & Lead Designer

Publishing a Squarespace website marks the transition from the development phase to going live where your content is available to a global audience. The process involves several clear steps, ensuring that your site not only looks professional but also functions seamlessly. Before making your site public, it's essential to have all content in place, choose an appropriate template that matches your brand, and ensure that your domain is correctly connected.

I find it important to carefully review and test a website to guarantee a smooth user experience. This includes checking for broken links, ensuring that all features work as intended, and that the site's appearance is optimized for various devices. After final adjustments, your website can be set to public, making your digital space a live entity on the web.

Key Takeaways

  • Optimal content and template selection streamline the site before publishing.

  • Thorough pre-launch testing ensures a polished and functional website.

  • A strategic approach post-launch can enhance site performance and visitor engagement.

Preparing Content

Before launching a Squarespace website, I ensure that the content is engaging and ready for the public. This process involves meticulous planning and organization of text, images, and other media, as well as the setup and design of the website.

Gathering Text and Media

I start by consolidating all the written content, including articles, descriptions, and blog posts. I make sure it's proofread and edited for clarity. For media, I gather high-resolution images, videos, and audio files relevant to the content. It's important to ensure that I have the rights to use this media or that it is royalty-free.

Setting Up Pages and Categories

Next, I create a structure for the website by setting up pages and categories. I organize this content logically so users can navigate the site with ease.

PageCategoriesHomeIntroductionAboutOur StoryServicesWhat We DoBlogLatest NewsContactGet In Touch

I ensure each page is titled appropriately and includes relevant categories to help visitors find what they're looking for quickly.

Customizing Design Elements

Finally, I tailor the design elements to match the brand identity. This includes selecting a color scheme, adjusting fonts, and placing logos. I utilize the Squarespace design editor to customize layouts and ensure a professional look that's consistent across all pages.

  • Color Scheme: Blue and Gray

  • Fonts: Arial for headings, Times New Roman for body

  • Logo Placement: Top left of every page

Through this systematic approach, I prepare the website’s content for a seamless and professional launch.

Choosing the Right Template

When I set out to publish a Squarespace website, one of my initial steps is to select an appropriate template. Squarespace templates are more than mere aesthetics; they form the structural foundation of my website. Each template comes with its distinct features and design, tailored to different purposes. For example, the Brine template is excellent for businesses with its versatile layout and customization options.

Before making my choice, I consider the primary function of my site. If I'm creating a blog, I look for a template that enhances readability and offers beautiful ways to display images, like the Skye template. For an online store, I focus on templates that support e-commerce functionality, displaying products elegantly and handling transactions securely.

Here are some top points I keep in mind:

  • Purpose: Does the template suit my site's goals?

  • Customizability: Can I tweak the design elements to my liking?

  • Navigation: Will my visitors find it easy to use?

  • Support: Is there good documentation and assistance for the template?

In choosing my template, I also prioritize responsiveness to ensure my website is mobile-friendly. Squarespace templates adapt well to different screen sizes, but some may be better suited for my specific content layout.

Furthermore, it's essential to consider the long-term vision of my website. A template I pick should be flexible and scalable. As my content or services evolve, my website needs to adapt seamlessly without requiring a complete redesign.

Templates like Squarespace's Brine offer a broad range of customization options and are a good all-around choice for a variety of websites.

Setting Up Domain

In my experience, a custom domain is essential for establishing a professional online presence with Squarespace. Here's how I handle domain setup in three main areas.

Registering a Custom Domain

When I start a new Squarespace site, the first thing I do is register a new custom domain directly through Squarespace. This process streamlines domain setup and management. I choose a unique and memorable domain related to my site's content or brand name. Squarespace offers a simple domain search feature that I use to find and secure the right domain.

Connecting an Existing Domain

If I already own a domain from a third-party provider, I follow Squarespace's guidelines to connect it to my Squarespace site. It involves updating my domain settings, specifically the DNS records, to point to the Squarespace servers. The process might vary slightly depending on the registrar, but guidance from Squarespace is available to make this a smooth transition.

Domain Privacy and Security

I always ensure to activate domain privacy to protect my personal information from being publicly accessible in the WHOIS database. Squarespace includes privacy with all domains registered through them at no additional cost. Additionally, I make sure SSL is enabled to secure my site and gain visitor trust. Squarespace provides SSL certificates for all connected domains, which I can activate from the site settings.

Configuring Site Settings

Before delving into specific features, it’s important for me to set up the site settings properly, as they are the backbone of a Squarespace website's functionality and accessibility. Here's how I manage and optimize these settings.

SEO and Marketing

To ensure that my website ranks well on search engines, I go beyond the default settings. I craft unique page titles and descriptions that accurately reflect the content of each page. Using Squarespace's built-in SEO tools, I embed keywords strategically and fill out SEO descriptions for images and other content to augment visibility.

Mobile Optimization

Squarespace templates are inherently responsive, so I check the mobile view of my site to ensure that design elements translate well on smaller screens. I also pay attention to mobile navigation and readability, tweaking fonts and button sizes if necessary, to provide a seamless mobile user experience.

Social Media Integration

I integrate my social media by linking accounts in the Connected Accounts section, which allows for easy sharing of content. Additionally, I customize Social Sharing options to make sure that the images and descriptions shared on platforms like Facebook and Instagram are compelling and representative of my brand.

Analytics and Tracking

To understand visitor behavior, I enable Squarespace Analytics which provides detailed insights. If needed, I also integrate Google Analytics by pasting my tracking ID into the External Services section. This lets me track conversions and glean more information about how visitors interact with my site.

Final Review and Testing

Before launching my Squarespace website, I ensure thorough final review and testing to guarantee a polished and professional online presence.

Cross-Browser Compatibility

I check my website across different web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. I confirm that all features work consistently and the layout remains intact. It's crucial that my site's aesthetics and functions are uniform to provide all visitors with the same quality experience.

Mobile Responsiveness Check

I diligently test the mobile responsiveness of my website. This involves checking on various devices to ensure the site is easily navigable, the text is legible, and images adjust correctly to different screen sizes. I use Squarespace's built-in tools to emulate different devices, ensuring my website is accessible and aesthetically pleasing on smartphones and tablets.

Proofreading Content

I perform meticulous proofreading of all content on my website, which includes checking for typos, grammatical errors, and punctuation mistakes. Ensuring the content is error-free reflects my professionalism and attention to detail, which helps establish trust with my audience.

Launching Your Website

Before a website goes live, it's important to nail down a strategic launch date, ensure the site's visibility to the public, and set up search engine indexing.

Setting Up a Launch Date

I recommend selecting a launch date with care. It should be a time when my target audience is most receptive, and I can commit to monitoring the site closely for any issues. Timelines can be tracked using tools like calendars and project management software to keep things on schedule.

Making Site Public

The step of changing my site's availability to public is crucial. On Squarespace, I can typically navigate to Settings > Site Availability to update this setting. Before I do this, I make sure to review all content and functionality to confirm everything operates as expected.

Search Engine Indexing

Once live, I need my site to be discoverable via search engines. To facilitate this, I submit my site to Google using the Google Search Console. This process includes verifying my site ownership and requesting that Google index my site, ensuring it can start appearing in search results.

Post-Launch Strategies

After launching my Squarespace website, it is essential to engage in post-launch activities to ensure continuous improvement and relevance. Here are strategic approaches I adopt to maintain and enhance my website's performance.

Collecting User Feedback

I actively solicit feedback from users to understand their experiences and identify areas for enhancement. User feedback is invaluable as it offers direct insights into the usability and appeal of my site. I employ methods like:

  • On-site surveys

  • Feedback forms

  • Usability testing sessions

Performance Monitoring

I monitor my website's performance consistently to ensure it runs smoothly and swiftly. Tools like Google Analytics help me track user behavior and site speed. I pay attention to metrics like:

  • Page load times: Ensuring they remain low for a better user experience.

  • Bounce rates: Working on keeping them minimal by providing engaging content.

Content Updates and Management

I keep my website's content fresh and current by regularly updating it, which is critical for SEO and user engagement. I set a schedule for:

  • Adding new blog posts

  • Updating existing articles with the latest information

  • Removing outdated content

By keeping my site updated, I make sure visitors always find value, which encourages them to return.

Frequently Asked Questions

In my experience, knowing the right steps to manage your website's visibility is crucial. Whether you're pausing your site for updates or ready to go live, every Squarespace user should have these key pieces of information for a smooth experience.

How can I disable my Squarespace site temporarily?

To temporarily disable my Squarespace site, I navigate to the "Settings" menu, select "Site Availability," and then choose either "Private" or "Password Protected." This way, visitors need a password to view the site, or it remains completely hidden.

What are the differences between saving and publishing on Squarespace?

Saving changes in Squarespace stores the latest version of my page without making it live. Publishing, on the other hand, updates my website so that any changes I made are visible to all visitors.

How do I create a private page on my Squarespace site?

Creating a private page on my site is straightforward. I add a new page as usual and then set a password for it. Only visitors with this password can view the page, making it private.

What steps are involved in publishing a website with Squarespace?

To publish a website with Squarespace, I typically ensure the design is complete, content is uploaded, and the domain is connected. Then, I follow a final checklist to review SEO, mobile compatibility, and other settings before switching the site availability to "Public."

Is it possible to publish a site on Squarespace at no cost?

Publishing a site on Squarespace without charge is not an option. While I can build the site for free, a subscription is required to go live. Squarespace offers several pricing plans to choose from when I'm ready to publish.

How can I prevent my Squarespace site from appearing in Google search results?

If I want to stop my Squarespace site from showing up in Google searches, I need to use the Search Engine Blockers feature. I go to Settings, click on SEO, and enable the option to prevent search engines from indexing my site.

Gain an advantage

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Gain an advantage

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