How to setup your Blog (properly!) on Squarespace
This is an except from the up and coming Course that caters for Creative Entrepreneurs wanting to get their idea on the web and sell their products FAST.
Starting a blog on Squarespace is super simple. If you're wanting to find out how to make the most of the features that Squarespace offers then this tutorial is for you!
Let’s jump straight in.
Squarespace Blogging Template
Blogging is built into Squarespace as a feature and no matter which template you choose, each template has blog functionality. The only difference is the some templates show a sidebar. Let me explain...
Squarespace have recently added a few new templates that are designed specifically for blogging. If you are using Squarespace specifically for blogging then there six templates that make your blog stand out front and centre.
- ***Haute very similar to Farro
* These templates use a magazine style page to display your posts.
** Native uses a more traditional approach with full width images and centred posts.
*** These two template use an image driven magazine style page to show your blog posts. Ideal for Fashion or Foodie bloggers.
If you prefer the more traditional blog layout with a sidebar, here are the templates to look out for. These templates have a sidebar that appears only on the blog page.
And if you want the Ultimate of Squarespace Templates then FIVE wins hands down because you can have a sidebar on any page. Those coming from a Wordpress background will appreciate this as it works the same way.
Decide whether you want a magazine type template, a sidebar driven blog or if you’re not too fussed BEFORE you choose your template. This will make the decision much easier because once you see all the templates. It’s tempting to go for a good looking one and neglect the functionality. I did this and got into a right pickle!
Custom Blog Page Hack
My first Squarespace site was built on Devlin (now discontinued) and while it looked gorgeous for my shop, the blog page didn’t look too hot. See, my pickle! So I put a hack in place to get the blog to look and operate how I wanted it.
Let me give you an example. The Kicksmith Resource page isn’t a “real” blog page, it’s a normal page with a Summary Block. Let me show you what I mean.
- First of all, we have to add a Blog Page to your website is you haven’t already got one. Go to PAGES, scroll down to the NOT LINKED Section and click the + sign. Then click Blog to add a Blog Collection. This is like a blog directory where all your blog post are found. You use this page to add and edit your blog posts.
- Naming this page is a little tricky because you want it to be something useful but not the name of your blog page. Eg. I called mine “Blog” and the page that is shown on the website navigation is called Resources. So if you’re going to call your blog page “Blog” then call it something like Posts or News Articles.
- We then create another regular page by clicking on the + icon in the MAIN NAVIGATION and call this one by the name you want to appear in your site’s navigation. I call my Resources.
- You can then move this page into position on the Side Bar Panel so your Navigation appears correctly. This is the page we will use and refer to as your Blog Page as opposed to your Blog Collection.
Setting up your Blog Page on Squarespace
Here’s where we get creative with how we want to showcase your blog posts.
On the Kicksmith Resources page, I’ve used a Summary Block with a Grid Layout instead of just a list because I wanted my posts to stand out with graphics.
Here's how to set it up.
Add a Summary Block to your new Blog Page and select a Blog Collection to show. (You can have more than one Blog Collection but I'd recommend you don't do this so you can keep things simple.)
Summary Blocks are a versatile way to show your posts in different ways to suit your images using different features -
- Wall - Magazine style display.
- Carousel - One row of blog posts that can be scrolled through horizontally.
- List - A more traditional blog layout.
- Grid - My fave and idea for showing just images of blog posts.
You can choose to show just your blog image or go all in and add the Title, Excerpt, Read More Link, Categories, etc. The choice is yours.
This is now the page that your users can click on to read all your blog posts.
The Squarespace Sidebar Hack
Now the only thing with this approach is that you can’t have a sidebar on your page but you can get around this with a hack and another Summary Block. Instead of just adding a Summary Block to your Blog Page, you can add two Columns to your Blog Page and use one of the columns as a Sidebar and feature the regular stuff that’s in your sidebar like you latest posts, categories, search box, Author Bio etc. All of these are possible with Summary Blocks.
Now the BIG problem with this is that your Sidebar won’t show up on individual blog post pages however, there’s another hack!
The Read More Blogging Hack
At the end of each blog post you write, add another Summary Block to show the next Blog posts you think you audience may be interested in. Say if they are reading this one and it’s about Squarespace or Blogging, add a Summary Block with a link to your latest blog posts on Squarespace and Blogging. That way, you’re inviting your readers to stay on your site and investigate your content further.
You'll see this in action at the bottom of this post :D
Another benefit of using a Custom Blog Page is that you can add your mailing list to the top and bottom of your Blog Page.
So that's the basics of blogging on Squarespace and a few hacks to make your life a little easier. And now it's over to you...
What Blogging Hacks do you use on Squarespace that you'd like to show off? Let me know in the comments and share the knowledge!
Hope you enjoyed learning about how to set up your blog on Squarespace Blog and if you're interested in learning more about Squarespace...
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