Building a Custom Squarespace Template

Squarespace is a great web management tool that’s easy to use without an intense learning curve.  You should know that you are not limited by the 23 odd templates. Squarespace has some fantastic resources for you to access the code for any template, make changes, and deploy those changes back to Squarespace site. If you’re adventurous, you even code your own SS template from scratch.  Here are three things to consider when planning out your custom Squarespace theme.

1. See how far you can get with one of the default templates

Maybe there’s a template you like, but is simply missing a few design features you want. Take some time to start a “free trial” for the website and test out a few templates. Don’t worry about copy, images, or content, just dump some test content in and play with each template. See this page for a good comparison of templates or this page on picking a template.

2.Consider what’s easy / hard to change

Things that are quick and easier to change…

  • Website Colors
  • Type size / family
  • Hero Banner styles / size
  • Button style

Things that are more difficult to change…

  • Navigation — Don’t want a hamburger menu on desktop, look for another template as your starting point.  
  • Squarespace Blocks. Not all SquareSpace template are created equal. Some have more functionality than others. These blocks can be edited and even created from scratch.

See this page for if you want to dive into customization process yourself.

3. Don’t waste too much time playing with the code

If you are a business owner, marketing manager, or web designer, but don’t have much experience with HTML / CSS / Javascript, GIT commits, or compiling code — don’t waste your time, find help!

Note: If you’re more comfortable designing in Illustrator, XD, InVision Studio, Sketch, or Photoshop, rather invest your time in the website design. I’ve personally wasted many hours.

Hope this helps save you some time on your next SS project!

— Bruce

PS — If you’re looking for help building your Squarespace template, click the “Let’s Chat” button above and we’ll see if we can make your web dreams a reality 😉


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3 Reasons to use Ghost for your next blog

I recently discovered a new blogging platform: Ghost. Ghost was founded in 2013, after a successful Kickstarter campaign to create a new blogging platform focused solely on professional publishing.

1. Plain and Simple - no bells and whistles

This is the easiest publishing tool I’ve come across. Easily add images, videos, instagram posts, etc to your content. Your content is even auto-saved while you write, so you never lose your post!

Ghost also has a Mac and Windows Desktop app.  

2. It’s Ridiculously Fast

Speed is the latest design feature for most modern sites. Ghost is built on the latest Node JS platform to allow pages to load in < 1 second.

PS… I use Ghost for Inovo.io 😉

3. You are in control of your content

I love platforms like Medium and use them for my own content, but I don’t think a platform like this should be your primary platform where host your site. What if Medium starts charging a hosting fee?

With Ghost you can integrate into other platforms and automatically send content to Mailchimp, Medium, etc.

Ghost Resources

A few additional resources if you’re interested in learning more.

My Favorite Ghost Templates:


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Northlands Church

In 2015 we rebranded and developed a new website for Northlands Church in Norcross, GA.

Features

Sermon Library Management

Northlands hosts a live stream service each Sunday morning. Afterwards the content is archived for the congregation to review throughout the week. The Northlands platform automatically posts the sermon to iTunes and sends a video to the Northlands Roku app. When a new live event is created in the CMS an email is automatically sent out 2 hours before the service to notify subscribers.

User Accounts

Users create an account or connect their facebook account before granted access to view sermon library. This feature has generated an additonal 1500+ email subscribers for Northlands. New visitors to the site can be engaged via an automated email campaign after signup.  

Simple, Integrated Blog Writing Platform

The Northlands blog writing team needed a simple way to manage their writing process. Writers can pick from topics, write an article and submit for approval / feedback. Once approved a post is scheduled posting. The post is automatically delivered via Active Campaign to subscribers.


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Fujitsu’s Human Centric Innovation


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Okabashi Web Commercials

30 Second Commercial

Behind the Scenes


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