When Squarespace launched, every creative in the world said, “Ah-ha! The web building platform we’ve all been waiting for!” Then, a few months later, those same creatives said, “Why can’t I make this work for me?”
Customization on Squarespace doesn’t have to be hard, but you do have to learn to think like a designer. That means stepping back, looking at each tool available, and asking, “How many different ways can I use this?” Or, alternatively, looking at a particular problem and asking, “What tools do I have, and how can I make them bend to my will?”
Today I’m sharing 4 secrets from my Designer Playbook for turning a hum-drum Squarespace blog into one that looks totally pro. You don’t need any special skills or coding knowledge to use them yourself, and you’ll make your friends with Squarespace sites wonder, “How did she do that?!”
1 - Create a beautiful blog landing page with an Index layout and Summary Blocks.
The first major obstacle I encountered with Squarespace was how narrow my customization options were for my blog.
I naturally gravitated to the Fulton template for my first site—a template with almost every function you could ever want except an awesome, interactive blog layout. The default blog display was a single column with full-width images and a narrow, centered area for text. No sidebar options, no banner image or customizable width—nada.
The work-around I eventually discovered as I started helping others build Squarespace sites was to use an index to create a landing page for my blog. All the posts still have to be published in a Squarespace “blog” (one of the options that appears when you want to add a new area on your “pages” panel), but where people find your posts doesn’t have to be the default blog landing page; it can be its own page or index entirely.
The way I changed my blog landing page is through the steps in the video below.
2 - Keep visitors on your site using the Line tool and Blog Categories.
Successful blogs create enticing reasons for visitors to stick around and read more than the article they came for. Although some Squarespace templates, like Five, provide simple ways to display recent posts, adding them to the middle or end of blog posts on most templates requires a little manual finesse.
To do this, you’ll want to make use of Categories, Summary Blocks, and the Line tool.
3 - Use the Card Block to highlight quotable and tweetable text.
The intuitive way to post a blog entry is to post simple image-text-image-text format. But all the tools you have available for a regular Squarespace web page are also available for blog posts—so why not make use of them?
In this case, I specifically mean different styles of displaying images that are programmed right into Squarespace, like the Card Block.
If you haven’t already used Card Blocks on your site, I recommend adding one to one of your blog posts when you have an insight or idea you really want to stand out from the overall post. To do this:
Find a strategic spot to add an image content block, and upload the image you want to appear next to your quote or tagline.
In the window that pops up for adding your image, click on the “Display” tab at the top and choose “Card Block.”
Select which side of the image you want to be the “card.” If you chose an image that is wider than it is tall, your card may appear below the image by default.
Add your text directly to the card. I like to use a quotation mark for the Title and use the subtitle for my quote, but you can put the whole idea into the title if that works better for your style.
Stay on your blog post, and go back to your main Squarespace panel. Click “Design” and the “Site Styles” (or “Style Editor”).
Hover over the Card Block in your blog post until a selection line appears around all of it. Click when this line appears. This will automatically show you your Card Block styling options inside the editor.
Check “Dynamic Font Sizing.”
Then choose your colors, sizing, proportions, and fonts.
Using Card Blocks this way will not only make your content stand out, but it will also allow visitors to copy and paste (and credit you, of course) in their own posts, or in Tweets or Instagram graphics.
4 - Create a Sidebar, Even if Your Template Doesn’t Have a Sidebar Option
As I mentioned, I built my site on the Fulton template, which means that my blog didn’t come with a sidebar option.
Normally, if a Squarespace template offers the option to have a sidebar, you’d find it by clicking on Pages > Blog and then the gear icon at the top of the left panel containing all your posts. About halfway down, you’d see a toggle to “Enable Sidebar.” But since Fulton doesn’t have that feature, I had to get creative.
Here’s a video to show you how I created my blog post’s sidebars, without any code:
Was this post helpful? If so, tell me which tip was your favorite by leaving a comment below! And if you don’t want to lose track of these 4 Squarespace blog design tips, pin this article by clicking on the “Share” button beneath your recommended articles below.
NOTE: Some of the tips in this post will not work with all Squarespace design templates.
Hi, my name is Alexis!
Coffee lover, day dreamer, foodie, and creative. Currently working and living in New Hampshire, I’m an eclectic mix of forward-looking and completely old-fashioned.