Understanding Squarespace Templates (and How to Choose One!)

Perhaps the biggest question everyone has with Squarespace is about templates: Which template should I choose?

There’s a lot of decision making that goes into the web design process. Selecting the right template for your business is the first step to building the online home of your business. It makes perfect sense that this is not just the biggest Squarespace question but, it’s also the first!

After signing up for either a Squarespace trial account or diving in with membership plan, the next decision is the template you’ll use.

Since templates are the foundation of your website, figuring out which one to choose will be a whole lot easier after understanding how they work.

So let’s dig in!

In this guide, you’ll find information to help your template decision making process go a little smoother.

So let’s dig in!


table of contents



what is a squarespace template


A Squarespace template is the foundation of your Squarespace website. Without it, there is no website.

Most Squarespace templates are grouped by families.

Squarespace template families are a collection of two or more templates that may look different, but behind the scenes share the same features and functionality.

The features and functionality are controlled by the Style Editor.

All templates within a template family share the same Style Editor.

This is a neat feature because, templates can vary in appearance but share the same features. How these features appear and function is controlled in part by the shared Style Editor.

This piece of information will change how a Squarespace template is viewed. It is also the beginning to an easier decision about your future template!

Hooray!


Squarespace template tips:

  • It’s totally okay to choose your Squarespace template based on how it looks.

  • You’re not stuck with your template. It is possible to switch to another template, however; changing your Squarespace template is essentially like building a new website.

  • Templates cannot be combined with other templates.

  • All Squarespace templates are mobile responsive so, you’ll want to consider how you would like your site to look on a cell phone or tablet.

  • Many templates may look different but, those that belong to a template family will have the same functionality.

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squarespace template families


Above is a list of all the template families Squarespace offers. As mentioned above, not all templates belong to a family, but most do.

The templates that do not belong to a template family are best used for very specific goals. These templates do not offer the flexibility and all the functionality of the templates listed above.

With the the template families now in play, the decision just got a little easier, right?

Instead of a dizzying number of choices to sort through, you’re basically looking at nine templates.

Your list has already narrowed!

More good news:

As you progress through this post, your options will whittle from nine template families to five. A note on this at the halfway point!


brine template family

Best Squarespace Template


The Brine Template Family is the largest. It is also the most versatile template available from Squarespace.

There are multiple templates within the family that have different appearances and they all share the same features.

Templates within the Brine template family include:

 
 

BRINE TEMPLATE FAMILY Features

  • Background Image

  • Grid

  • Mosaic Gallery

 
  • Border

  • Header Banner Image

  • Parallax Scrolling

 
  • Customizable Navigation

  • Index

  • Slideshow

 

farro template family

Best Squarespace Template for Bloggers


If you want a sharp look to your blog, the Farro template family will not disappoint.

Farro is a good choice for bloggers who want to customize their blog’s header and navigation areas. This template family is a good choice if you want to take your blog up a notch.

With Farro, a clean, modern, polished blog is within reach.

In addition to the customizable navigation, it’s also possible to create visual navigation. You can add a grid to the blog landing page, upload thumbnail image titles, and link each to blog posts giving your site visitors the ability to see multiple posts on one page. This transforms your navigation into a multimedia, interactive experience.

If a sidebar is a must have feature, consider the Skye Template Family or The Brine Template Family. If you’re set

 

Farro

 

Haute

 

Farro Template Family Features

 
  • Advanced commerce features

  • Author profiles

  • Customizable blog landing page layout

  • Customizable navigation

  • Customizable share buttons

  • Grid

  • Navigation is not fixed

  • Related posts

 
 
 

skye template family

Good Squarespace Template Family for Bloggers


The Skye template family is an excellent choice for bloggers who want a simpler look. With CSS knowledge, this template family can handle some advanced styling.

If you’re not looking to fiddle under the hood of your Squarespace website too much, then the Farro template family might be a better home for your blog.

The Skye template family is flexible and delivers on desired features such as author profiles, related posts, and sidebars.

The Skye template family includes:

Skye Template Family Features

  • Blog Sidebar

  • Grid

  • Hamburger Navigation

  • Mosaic Gallery Grid

  • Navigation Double Panel

  • Navigation Fixed

  • Related Posts

  • View More

 

tremont template family

best template family for portfolios

&

york template family

good for professional services + creative entrepreneurs


These two template families are tied for first place. They also have some strong similarities.

Upon first glance, it’s difficult to determine the differences between the Tremont template family and the York template family.

What distinguishes one from the other are a few key features.

To make it easier to see what sets one apart from the other, look at the comparison chart below!

 

With the Tremont template family it’s possible to do some interesting things with text. York gives a few more options to make visual content stand out.

Depending upon your content, say for example there are fewer images and graphics for your site so text will be your strongest visual element, then the Tremont template family would be a good choice.

The Tremont template family offers some unique ways to use text on your site. It can even be used in bold ways and while functioning as your site’s navigation.

What the Tremont template family does with text, the York template family does with visuals. If you have some really strong imagery for your site and text is less of a factor, then a template from the York family will do nicely.

Both template families do a nice job of supporting creative entrepreneurs. Individuals who offer professional services like, copywriting for example, could create a really nice site using a template from Tremont.

The York template family could be great for a Graphic Designer.

Either template family is great for portfolios that showcase the work of creative entrepreneurs or professional services.

With these two families, it comes down to which element is more important, your imagery or your text/copy.

 

Tremont template family includes:

 

York template family includes:

 

Halfway Point


So, we’re just over halfway through the template families.

You’ll notice the added notes that indicate a template family that serves an intended purpose quite well, like Tremont or York Family for professional services, for example.

These notes are merely suggestions.

And here’s one more.

The remaining templates, Aviator, Bedford, Montauk, and Pacific are great. The difference between these templates and the above listed templates is that they have less features. Their styles are more fixed.

The additional template families below are all nice options! The difference is they have fewer options for customization.

That said, if the above template families, Brine, Farro, Skye, Tremont, or York suit your needs, then your future template is within one of those groups.

So just like that, the original list of nine template families is now really down to the above five.

 

aviator template family


The Aviator template family includes:

  • Aubrey

  • Aviator

Must have features:

  • Vertical Navigation

  • Blog Sidebar

  • Fixed Navigation

If vertical navigation is your must have, then look no further than the Aviator template family.

Also, Aviator has that blog sidebar action going on. If blogging is your main intent, then the Skye template family is worth a look.

Otherwise, Brine is your best bet!

Back to Squarespace Template Families


bedford template family


The Bedford template family includes:

  • Anya

  • Bedford

  • Bryant

  • Hayden

Must have features:

  • Horizontal Scroll

  • Blog Sidebar

  • Navigation Not Fixed

Bedford is the most popular Squarespace template.

It has been around for several years and was one of the first sites that could be used for something other than a blog or portfolio site.

Brine can achieve everything the Bedford template family can and more.

Back to Squarespace Template Families


montauk template family


Montauk is a really nice looking template family. It includes:

  • Montauk

  • Julia

  • Kent

  • Om

The features this family includes are achievable in the Brine template family.

If you prefer the grid style index page, something the Montauk template family has that Brine does not, then York will be a better choice.

Back to Squarespace Template Families


pacific template family


This template family includes:

  • Charlotte

  • Fulton

  • Horizon

  • Naomi

  • Pacific

The features in the Pacific template family are achievable in Brine and Skye.

Back to Squarespace Template Families


how to choose a squarespace template


So, now that there’s a little understanding and organization around Squarespace’s template collection selecting one is going to be easier.

Early in the post, a few tips were listed. One of them is that it’s okay to choose a template based on its appearance.

This is helpful since this method will get you towards your goal.

You’ll also want to consider features now that you know how Squarespace templates are grouped together.

So, here are a few steps to take to choose your Squarespace template:

Step 01: Decide what your needs are

Is the main objective to blog?
If so, what blogging features are must haves for you - author profile, sidebar, or next post?

Is your main goal to have an online home for your service-based business?
If so, seek templates that showcase your portfolio and offerings in the best light.

Is it a gorgeous portfolio you’re after to showcase your artwork?
If so, look for templates that present images in unique and powerful ways.

Start a brainstorming list of your needs with either pen and paper or a digital document. Hang on to this!

Step 02: Review the templates

Open up a browser window and head on over to Squarespace to browse templates.

Here’s the link: https://www.squarespace.com/templates

Type in the name of the templates that have caught your eye.

Check out the demos.

Read up on the features.

Add the templates that seem like a good fit to your brainstorming list.

Step 03: Check the templates against your must haves

Now that you have some templates to choose from, compare them against your list of dealbreaker features.

Does the template you’re looking at have what you need?

Will it help you accomplish your goals?

Will it present your business online, beautifully?

Step 04: Your top choice

Perhaps some clear winners are making themselves known at this point.

If not, try and whittle your list down to just 3 choices.

Take this out for a test drive.

Squarespace makes it easy to install different templates.

To do this, make sure you are logged into your Squarespace account. This will work on a trial account, too!

One logged in, navigate over to DESIGN
Next select TEMPLATE
Then INSTALL NEW TEMPLATE

Remember, you can always install a new template and it is best to do this before building your site. Installing a new template after building your site will require a rebuild.

A Squarespace trial is for 21 days - the initial 14 day free trial plus a 7 day extension. Give yourself some time to experiment and play around.

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conclusion


  • Squarespace offers a variety of templates to choose from. All of them are mobile responsive.

  • Templates may all look different, but behind the scenes, many share the same functionality.

  • Templates that share the same functionality are grouped by family.

  • Working with a template family gives the most freedom and flexibility while also narrowing your choices to a few.

  • Utilize your Squarespace trial to test different templates. Once a template is selected and a site is built using that template it is possible to switch but the site will have to be built from scratch.


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