I use Squarespace as my website platform and hosting service. I've been with them for over seven years and it's been great. Previously, I hand-coded html for my site and had to relearn standards every time the technology changed. Now, I just focus on the content and Squarespace keeps everything tidy. There's no FTPing, no saving multiple versions, and no cross-browser issues. Everything just works. Lately, I've been getting a lot of emails from people new to Squarespace that would like to know how my site it set up. So, here's a little blog post that covers a couple of the more common questions.
To start, the template that I use is Avenue. You can find out all about Avenue on the Squarespace website. I like it because it's sort of minimal and clean. It also seems to be pretty adaptable to customization. I guess that's also true about many of the templates.
"How did you make your landing page? Is it a Cover Page? If so, how did you add all that stuff?"
Cover Pages are built-in landing pages in Squarespace to make your first page striking and simple. However, my landing page isn't a Cover Page. It's just a regular Page with different content blocks stacked on it. You can set any Page as your Homepage by choosing the "Set as Homepage" button at the bottom of the Settings dialog.
The slideshow at the top of my Homepage is a Gallery block set as "Slideshow" in the Settings dialog. You have the option to hide the control buttons but I kind of like them there. Beneath the Gallery block, I have a little bit of text about me that links to the About page and the Contact page. Next to that blurb, there is a Spacer block that keeps the text flush to the right.
Featured Blog Posts and Prints
These sections were created with the Summary Block. In the "Featured Blog Posts" Summary, it's looking for items in my Blog and listing posts that are marked as "Featured". You can set any blog post as "Featured" in the Options tab of the Edit Post dialog. That way, I can choose which posts to showcase on the front page.
Similarly, I spotlight certain prints in my "Featured Prints For Sale" Summary block. The Product Summary block gives you a few different options for displaying the thumbnail and descriptions. The 2:3 layout works great for my prints. It only pulls in products marked as "Featured". You can mark your product as "Featured Product" in the Options tab of the Edit Product dialog
The other blocks on my landing page are my Twitter feed and my Instagram feed. Both are in the Social Blocks section of the Content Blocks dialog and are fairly self-explanitory.
"How did you divide your Art/Illustration gallery page into sections? How do they link to individual pages?
My "Artwork & Illustration" page is separated into "Commercial Work", "Personal Work", and "Drawings/Sketches" sections. It may look like a Gallery page but it's not. Like the landing page, it's just a regular Page with content blocks.
I started with just a basic Page and added a Gallery block. I chose a Grid layout and adjusted the spacing until I was comfortable with the layout. After uploading the images in the Content section of the Gallery dialog, I went in and directed each thumbnail to link to its own page or blog post about the project. I did the same for the the other two sections, separating them with a Text block and a Line block.
In my galleries, the title of the image appears below the thumbnail in the Grid view. At the time I was setting it up, this was not the default behavior for the Avenue template. You would see a preview of the image, but not title. I'm not sure that this is still the case, but if you run into this issue, here's a fix on the Squarespace Answers forum.
So, those are the main questions that tend to come up. I hope this helped clarify things for you. I can't recommend Squarespace enough. I hear they have a no-risk trial and lots of offer codes, and even as I type that I can hear Marc Maron saying it in my head (he plugs them every episode of the WTF podcast). But unlike Marc, I'm not sponsored by Squarespace, so if you liked this post please allow me to direct you to Shop section of my site where you can take Squarespace's integrated Stripe credit card processing for a spin. Go make something!