Moving to Squarespace just over a month ago has been one of the best things to happen in my blogging journey thus far, it's allowed for more potential ideas and a step up in quality. Transferring the blog over was a completely new experience with many late nights, so if you're thinking of making the plunge here are a few things to take into consideration. What did you learn from making a big move with your blog?
Consider The Expense
First of all Squarespace is not free in comparison to blog hosting sites like Blogger, although it's not that expensive in the grand scheme of things (depending on whether you splurge on a personal or business account and if you're wishing to start your own store the price will differ again). It's something to factor in if your income is incredibly limited however this is weighed against almost full creative freedom, easy implementations, full 24/7 support and also welcomes in a whole variety of potential prospects.
Research The Themes
Squarespace has at its disposal over 20+ pre-made templates ready to go, of course with the addition of your style and flair, one of these will create the basis for your site. Quite a few templates fit into the same 'family', meaning their capabilities will be similar however different families may offer slightly more dedicated features for example some are more garnered to imagery whilst others more e-commerce based. Making sure to read up on any templates that take your fancy can allow you to gain an insight into what you're able to do with it and how it can affect your plans, analysing what you want from your blog can help determine which template you eventually pick. Personally I chose Hayden, it's a great all rounder especially if like me and you're completely new to Squarespace's format - it's modern but simple and allows for a good balance of imagery and text although I was also torn over others templates such as Momentum and Pacific. Templates can be switched at any time if you decide at a later date that you and your choice of template aren't quite gelling but it could influence a change in your current layout.
There are some awesome posts put together by bloggers discussing the Squarespace templates and to help you choose why others would be a better fit that others, research is key when considering something big:
Use The 14 - Day Trial
Before you're let loose on the internet, Squarespace first introduces you to a 14 - day trial after which you can choose to pay to continue (or decide it's not for you) then your site becomes public whether you're ready or not. This is one of the most important stages as you can play with your design ideas, try your hand at creating blog posts and how you want them to look. One thing I found really helpful is to use the time to research all your inspiration and see if you can implement it in a way that works for you. It is important to note that during the trial you will not be able to transfer either your domain or your content over (all be it about 20 posts) and as it's a one off transfer which is worth saving till after you officially join. It's best to make as many plans and preparations as possible to make your launch date as smooth as possible, if you're not ready for the world to see your master piece then you can set a site wide password so you can control who gets a peek. If you're also wanting to set up your own store within Squarespace that will also have to wait till after the trial has ended.
Creating & Reformatting Blog Posts
After the trial has ended and you're all paid up it's the perfect time to move over all your blog posts, the process is really simple and Squarespace has kindly put together an easy walk through to help support any queries you may have on the matter. If you've been blogging for a while you'll have amassed a great deal of content, which can affect the transfer time but for me it was under an hour (with a few years of content) but it takes into account the amount of writing and your images.
When the big transfer is complete the largest section in your site creation is to perfect and sort past blog posts, after the move images and texts can become jumbled and URLs can move meaning you may also have input new redirects so any past links that you've posted anywhere online so you can accurately point people to the right place. Somethings to consider when reformatting your blog posts include:
#01 || Deleting older blog posts that no longer fit with your thinking and aesthetics as it can help save you time in the overall reformatting process
#02 || Images may decrease in size due to the transfer meaning you may have to input the original imagery again
#03 || It gives you the opportunity to input any added extra bits and spellchecking
If you have multiple years to go through and sort, I warn you this needs a lot of patience and something easy to listen to, it can mean hours of the same repetitive task. All in all it took approximately 2 - 3 days to purely concentrate on making sure the past blog posts were in order.
Make Use Of The FAQ & Help Support
An element that really factors into the monthly price tag is the amazing 24/7 support that Squarespace has built, not only are there the extensive guides that break down a lot of features and can help you to understand the capabilities for example some of my favourites include:
There is also an FAQ section where you can research or ask your own questions with the answers provided by fellow Squarespace users, this is an excellent resource for those bits of HTML that you need to perfect your design. To top it all off there is an email system where you can freely contact them for answers and so far they've been accommodating, helpful and happy.
Here are some other amazing links from other bloggers for an in depth look at moving to Squarespace: