4 Steps for picking the right Squarespace template for your coaching business
If picking the Squarespace template for your coaching business website seems overwhelming, you are not alone. In fact, as a Squarespace designer, this is one of the topics I talk about a lot to new clients, especially when you’ve already started the DIY process and decided it would be better to hire a Squarespace designer.
The most important thing to remember when picking a Squarespace template is to focus on the functions you want, not the look you want. All Squarespace templates offer the same blocks but each of the templates has a little bit of different functionality and layout.
Before we dig into figure out the right template for you, you need to know a few important words.
Template - All Squarespace websites are built on a template. The templates give the website the basic structure. Each template has slightly different features and functions. This is the key to picking one that will work for your business.
Template family - If you take a look at the list of Squarespace templates you will find like 60 or so templates to choose from. But what you might not know as a first-timer is that there are really only 10 or so core templates and the others are variations of those core templates. They just styled and set up just slightly different to help you see the possibilities. For example, the Rally template is from the Brine family.
Pages - Within a template, you have a couple of different options for pages you can create within the template. Most of the pages are the same in every template, although some templates have special pages like Index pages. And even though they are the same pages, they might display differently. For example, the blog pages on the Pacific template and the blog pages on the Bedford template are vastly different.
Index pages - Index pages are really my favorite things ever. Index pages are pages that stack on top of each other which gives you the ability to style each one different and create a really unique and modern design. This is what gives you those long scrolling websites that work really well on mobile devices. The different templates have different functions within the index too.
Blocks - The blocks are where the content comes into play. Everything you see on a Squarespace website is within a block. There are image blocks, text blocks, video blocks, social media icon blocks, and the list goes on. Blocks are the same across every template.
How to pick the right Squarespace Template for your Website
1- Make a list of the feature you know you want.
Think about the things that are most important for your business. What’s the main purpose of your website and what do you plan to do with your website? Are you going to be blogging? Planning to start a podcast? Adding an online shop in the near future? These are the questions you need to ask yourself.
2- Find inspiration.
Take a peek at other websites that you like, what kind of feature do they have that you want on your own website? Write those down so you can add them to your list of features from step one. Check out my website inspiration board for some idea + be sure to follow me on Pinterest while you are there!
3- Look at the available templates on Squarespace.
Check out the different templates on Squarespace and get an idea for how they look. Remember that you can change everything so you aren’t limited by the designs they are showing you. If you look at Pacific it seems like a site for a restaurant, but it could also make a great site for health coach by using different blocks. Be sure to check out the pages of things that important to your business from step one. If you are going to be blogging or creating a shop be sure to check out the corresponding pages. Write down the names of 2 or 3 of your favorite templates.
4- Compare each template.
To really make sure you are getting all the features you need and want, you need to compare the template you liked. Squarespace made this really easy with their template comparison chart. This helps you compare the navigation, blog features, navigations options, mobile options, and gallery page types.
These are sorted by the template family, so if you aren’t sure what family the template is in you can use this chart.
The biggest mistake people tend to make is to pick their template based on the look of the templates and not comparing the features. So don’t skip this step!
How I chose a template
I’m always getting asked which template I recommend so I thought I’d explain a little bit. First of all, I nearly always choose a Brine family template. I don’t need to look at the examples anymore because I know that Brine does what I want and I’ve really focused my design style to work within Brine. Most all professional Squarespace designers use a Brine family template. I personally always start with Rally templated because it has very few pages for me to delete when I’m starting. When I get started with a new website, I delete everything and start with a blank screen so to speak.
Ready for the best part?
If you don’t like the template you chose, you can change it! It’s actually very easy to change a template, it just takes a bit of time. You can even preview the new site template before you commit to switching. Only you are able to see the preview, readers will see your old template until you confirm the switch.
When you switch templates all of your content blocks will remain on the pages you just might have to do some rearranging to make them look nice and take advantage of the new template features. You’ll also have to update your site styles.
If you are thinking about switching you’ll definitely want to read this switching templates article from Squarespace. It’s really helpful if you haven’t switched templates before.