If your blog is your bread and butter, you’d better be sure it’s baked into a decent platform. A website builder that lets you categorize posts, lay them out in navigable ways, and break up walls of text with eye-catching imagery will make it easier to keep readers engaged. (Extra points if it can help with search engine optimization, which will ensure you have readers in the first place.)
Squarespace(opens in a new tab) is the go-to website builder for many a blogger because of its modern, mobile-friendly templates with drag-and-drop page design tools (or “blocks”), which make it easy to throw a site together without a crumb of coding knowledge. It also offers access to a massive suite of features for ecommerce and marketing, including integrated tools and settings that take care of SEO(opens in a new tab).
Even better yet, Squarespace’s all-in-one subscription plans come with technical support, SSL security(opens in a new tab), and upgrades — meaning you can focus on your passion project instead of boring back-end chores. It’s not quite as versatile as WordPress, the world’s No. 1 CMS, but it’s a comprehensive solution for users who prioritize convenience and a hands-off approach to site management.
Creating a blog on Squarespace begins with choosing a template (or theme). As of May 2023, users have the option to create their own from scratch using Squarespace Blueprint(opens in a new tab), its new five-step guided design system with professionally curated layout options, font pairings, and color palettes. However, newbies may find it easier to start with a pre-made template from its library, which contains over 240 options to date (with more added every couple of months).
Below, you’ll find a selection of our current favorite Squarespace blog templates and tips on how to choose the perfect one for you.
Note: Most of our recommendations are from Squarespace version 7.1, but we’ve sprinkled in a few options from version 7.0 that continue to stand out. Templates have been labeled accordingly.
Best for fashion/lifestyle blogs
Squarespace version: 7.1 A site built with Squarespace’s stylish Idrah(opens in a new tab) template could make a stellar home for a fashion or lifestyle creator’s content outside of social media. Its homepage varies between banners for trending posts, featured products, and rows of thumbnails for different content categories, making good use of negative space and color blocks throughout to keep things looking cohesive. (All those pastels give off a Very Gen Z Chic vibe, too.) Other highlights include a spot for an Instagram block near the lower navigation and a pre-made online shop for selling merch.
Honorable mention: Haute(opens in a new tab) (7.0) and Lakshi(opens in a new tab) (7.1).
Best for food blogs
Squarespace version: 7.1 Bright and minimalist (but not boring), the demo version of the Stanton(opens in a new tab) template has been pre-configured for a food blog so you can get your site up and running ASAP. A featured photo and a slogan welcome readers at the very top of the homepage, which continues with a grid of recent posts, promo for a featured product in its shop — your cookbook(s), perhaps? — and a handy, dandy newsletter sign-up form. (As with any Squarespace content blocks, these can be deleted/re-added whenever necessary.) Its warm, neutral color palette is also a flattering choice for food photography.
Honorable mention: Hester(opens in a new tab) (7.1), Myhra(opens in a new tab) (7.1), and Rivoli(opens in a new tab) (7.1).
Best for travel blogs
Squarespace version: 7.1 Want to create a digital scrapbook for your adventures? Fillmore(opens in a new tab) is a clean, chic template peppered with tons of photos that could serve you well as a travel blog. Its homepage features two long rolls of thumbnails that link to super scrollable one-column posts, which you’ll be able to categorize by location in the back end. The demo version further adds a gallery page where you can dump any photos that don’t get their own write-ups, plus a standard page with a list block (called “Where to Fish”) that could easily be turned into a handy city/country guide.
Honorable mention: Grove(opens in a new tab) (7.1) and Native(opens in a new tab) (7.0).
Best for art/photography blogs
Squarespace version: 7.1 Another mobile-forward template, Nevins(opens in a new tab) gives artists and photographers a ton of flexibility on the formatting front. Its blog page looks a lot like Fillmore’s, where you get some side-by-side thumbnails that link to one-column posts — good places to muse on your process or inspiration. The demo version also comes with a portfolio page (“Work”) that directs users to standalone projects; each one of those gets a separate post with full-page photos and a short caption/description. Feel free to keep one or both, depending on whether you want to do more writing or just let your work speak for itself.
Honorable mentions: Balboa(opens in a new tab) (7.1), Flatiron(opens in a new tab) (7.0), and Tepito(opens in a new tab) (7.1).
Best for vloggers
Squarespace version: 7.1 Grow your channel beyond YouTube, TikTok, or Twitch with the help of Otroquest(opens in a new tab), a blogging/ecommerce template that’s pre-formatted for users with regularly updated VOD libraries. (It’s one of the very few templates that actually has video in its demo.) Its homepage comes equipped with a featured blog post, a video embed from your main channel, a grid of clip highlights, and a sample of products from a “Merch”https://mashable.com/store page, which is all great. But the real draw is the “Support” page with call-to-action buttons for tipping, subscribing, and purchasing Twitch Bits — it’s an easy way to engage with and monetize your audience.
Honorable mention: Arcade(opens in a new tab) (7.1).
Best magazine-style template
Squarespace version: 7.1 It’s not easy to cram a lot of text and images on a homepage without making it look cluttered, but Mérida(opens in a new tab) manages to pull it off by alternating post thumbnails and full-bleed banner images for featured stories. (Meanwhile, the posts themselves incorporate lots of negative space for an interesting contrast.) Factor in an elegant serif/sans-serif font combination, and you’ve got yourself an extremely professional-looking site. The Dark Mode-y, white-on-black formatting in the demo version is a nice modern touch, too.
Honorable mention: Rally(opens in a new tab) (7.0).
Best grid-style template
Squarespace version: 7.1 Brower(opens in a new tab) has a simple grid-style homepage with relatively small headlines, post blurbs, and menu icons/navigation, a design choice that lets your thumbnail photos do most of the talking. The overall result is a sleek feed of content that isn’t competing with itself or overloading the reader, making this template a very safe bet for almost any kind of blog. (Bonus: Its sans-serif fonts are super easy to read on mobile.)
Honorable mentions: Farro(opens in a new tab) (7.0), Soutu(opens in a new tab) (7.1), Tudor(opens in a new tab) (7.0), and Vester(opens in a new tab) (7.1).
Best text-only template
Squarespace version: 7.1 “Stream of consciousness, but not sloppy” is a good way to describe Harman(opens in a new tab), a grid-style template that’s strictly text-based (aside from a few social icons). All of its visual interest stems from its font and color choices, so it definitely won’t work for everyone; blogs about topics like food, fashion, and travel warrant lots of photos. But if you’re trying to make a blog that’ll serve as your online journal, diary, or personal space for quick-hit thoughts, a site with this template could be a compelling alternative to a Medium or Substack — especially if you sign up for Squarespace’s premium Member Areas(opens in a new tab) feature, which makes it possible to sell access to your content.
Honorable mention: Foundry(opens in a new tab) (7.0) and Pulaski(opens in a new tab) (7.1).
Best template with a blog sidebar
Squarespace version: 7.0 Adding a sidebar(opens in a new tab) to your blog is a great way to plug important content without forcing readers to a separate navigation menu. Alas, sidebars haven’t been added to Squarespace version 7.1 yet, but thankfully version 7.0’s lineup is bountiful. Our favorite is Forte(opens in a new tab), a simple but striking template that definitely doesn’t look like it came out a decade ago(opens in a new tab). Both the blog feed and the posts themselves come equipped with a sidebar, which can be edited to add your bio, headshot, a newsletter signup link, post category tags, and/or a list of featured posts. If your blog involves some sick imagery, don’t sleep on its full-bleed landing page, either.
Honorable mentions: Five(opens in a new tab) (7.0) and Galapagos(opens in a new tab) (7.0).
I sifted through Squarespace’s entire template library (across versions 7.0 and 7.1) and looked for demos with eye-catching layouts, mobile-friendly style options, user-friendly navigation, and a relevant roster of preset features for blogs. I didn’t build a live, full-fledged site with every single template featured here, but I’m confident in my picks based on my personal and professional experience making websites with Squarespace, as well as my background in art and design. I acknowledge that many aspects of design are subjective, so each recommended template is accompanied by at least one “honorable mention” with similar functionality but different aesthetics.
Frequently Asked Questions A Squarespace template/theme is a pre-made demo website that’s meant to serve as a “starting point to help inspire your site’s design,” according to the platform’s Support Center. You’re free to keep it mostly as-is or customize it from top to bottom with different content blocks (like text and galleries) and personalized branding elements (like logos, fonts, and colors). Either way, the fact that there are over 230 templates to choose from means there’s an extremely slim chance your finished site will wind up looking like anyone else’s.
Squarespace versions 7.0 and 7.1 are the two iterations of the platform that are currently in use, and each one treats templates a little differently:
Version 7.0 contains 91 templates that are customized using its classic editor and organized into “families(opens in a new tab)”; every family contains multiple templates with the same underlying structure, rules, and unique style elements (like the Brine family’s parallax scrolling effect, for example). Many Squarespace veterans prefer this version because some of its advanced design capabilities still aren’t available in version 7.1, but it can feel inflexible to new users.
Released in early 2020, Version 7.1 scrapped the family categorization and gave all 140-plus of its templates the same basic formatting and features. They’re a little more cookie-cutter than version 7.0’s templates, but it’s way easier to switch between them and you don’t run the risk of losing any content when doing so. Version 7.1 sites also have the option of being built with Fluid Engine(opens in a new tab), Squarespace’s next-gen content editor, which comes with an intuitive grid system and more flexible mobile layout options. (Note: Creating your own template with Squarespace Blueprint(opens in a new tab), its new guided design system, will automatically put you on version 7.1.)
It’s technically possible to move between both versions of Squarespace, but keep in mind that doing so will require a full rebuild and may affect your site’s search ranking. (Pro tip: Take advantage of Squarespace’s free 14-day trial(opens in a new tab) if you’re not sure which one is right for you.)
Squarespace’s Templates tab(opens in a new tab) lets you sort its library by type, including Online Store, Portfolio, Memberships, Scheduling, One Page, and yes, Blog. (You can narrow down your options even further by sorting by topics like Food, Travel, and Fashion.) But just because a template isn’t officially categorized as a Blog doesn’t mean it won’t work as a blog with a little customization; you can technically add a Blog Page(opens in a new tab) to any template with just a few clicks in the back end.
If you’re having trouble choosing between templates, Squarespace recommends dialing in on the “specific colors and layouts that appeal to you” rather than focusing on the demo content. That being said, “you may find it easier to start with a design that’s already close to how you want your site to appear,” it adds.
We’ll use the Mérida(opens in a new tab) and Maca(opens in a new tab) templates as an example. Mérida has a magazine-style layout that lends itself well to blogging right out of the gate, whereas Maca will need its ecommerce elements shuffled around or removed to bring its blog page front and center. You can get a great-looking site out of both of them, to be sure, but one will require way more tinkering than the other for this specific purpose.
The “Squarespace versus WordPress” debate comes up a lot when you start comparing popular website builders: Both have blogging origins that date back to the early 2000s, and while WordPress is more widely used (likely thanks to its free tier), Squarespace is the trendier pick nowadays. There’s no clear-cut winner here, but answering the following questions can make your decision easier:
Do you want a free website? Pick WordPress.
Do you want a super basic website that you can set up within minutes? Pick WordPress.
Do you want an all-in-one package with lots of built-in features and tech support? Pick Squarespace.
Is your blog heavy on visuals? Pick Squarespace.
Are you planning on switching up your blog’s design from time to time? Pick Squarespace (specifically version 7.1).
Are you an expert programmer (or someone who’s willing to hire one) who wants to build a completely custom blog with powerful plugins and premium themes? Pick WordPress.
Check out our deep dive into the pros and cons of each platform if you’re still on the fence.
Haley is a Mashable shopping reporter based in Chicago. Before joining the team, she covered politics for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, wrote about exotic pet ownership for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and blogged for several Jersey Shore stars. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games and hanging out with her parrot (Melon) and dog (Pierogi). You can follow her on Twitter at @haleyhenschel(opens in a new tab) or reach her via email at [email protected](opens in a new tab).
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