Welcome to Curtain Call!

Curtain Call is the place to find helpful Squarespace tips and bits of information to get your site looking and working the way you want. We build all of our clients’ websites on Squarespace because of how easy it is for them to take over once it’s built. Curtain Call is a place for them, or anyone, to get the most out of their Squarespace website.

We’ve been using Squarespace for about 10 years now and know how to do just about anything you could want to do to get the most functionality out of your site while making it look gorgeous and responsive on any device or screen.

We’ll publish the tricks we’re using, as we use them, so that you can see how they’re actually used when building or updating a website.

Hopefully you find these tips useful and don’t forget to check back often to stay up-to-date and keep your Squarespace skills in the spotlight.

Choosing a Template

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The very first step in building your website is choosing the template. Right now Squarespace has over 60 templates available to get started with, which can seem overwhelming. However, most of these are actually just variations of the same template family.

Template Families

There are currently 9 template families to choose from, each with its own set of features. There are some features that all families share, such as:

  • Regular Pages (just a blank page for starting from scratch)

  • Collection Pages (blogs, galleries, albums, events, etc.), fonts and colors

  • And most importantly, Squarespace’s Content Management System. So once you finally get good at using all the blocks and site management tools for getting your layout just right, you won’t have to relearn that any time you change template families.

So what’s the difference between the families?

The following features may vary significantly between templates (taken from Squarespace’s support page):

  • Style tweaks - Each template’s specific style tweaks allow for customization while retaining the aesthetic vision of a template.

  • Collection page options - Many templates have special features and styles built into their collection pages. For example, the Wells template has a unique feature that allows visitors to switch the Gallery Page between a slideshow and thumbnail images.

  • Index Pages - Only certain templates support Index Pages, and Index Page styles range from stacked banner images to thumbnail navigation grids.

  • Demo content - Demo content demonstrates the template’s strengths and features, and serves as an inspiration for you as you build your site.

  • Headersfooters, and sidebars - The template determines a site’s basic layout. For example, only select templates have per-page footers or headers or sidebars.

  • Banners and background images - You can add banner images or background images to many templates. Some templates support additional features like special banners and parallax scrolling.



What’s it all mean?

Two variations of the Farro family

Two variations of the Farro family

When you look at Squarespace’s Templates Page, what you’re seeing are multiple demos of the 9 families. Because there is so much tweaking you can do to a template, two drastically differently looking pages could actually be built on the same one. So to showcase all the features and give you an idea of what is possible, they have a few variations of each family.

So where should you start?

It’s tempting to look through the demos and pick one based solely on a look that you like. Or maybe none of the demos look like anything you want.

What’s most important is functionality.

Think of what you want to accomplish with your site and how you think you want your viewers to interact with it. How do you want to share the content you have? Choose a Template Family based on it’s underlying structure and main features. Everything else, the easy stuff like photo layout, fonts, colors, etc., that can all be customized regardless of the family you choose.

It’s not permanent!

Don’t sweat if you’ve picked a template and it’s just not working out the way you want. You can easily change to a new one. Keep in mind that certain elements may look funny or disappear outright from view, but all your content is still there! You’ll just have to play around with some of the settings in your new layout to get everything to look how you want.

The short answer.

Well, here’s a couple suggestions. Pick one based on your personality.

  • If you think it would be easier to have a ton of customization options and the ability to change a lot of the elements of your site so that you can really tweak the look and feel of it, then go with something in the Brine family. You can really do a lot with those and a lot of times that’s the one I’ll end up using.

  • If less is more and you’d rather have a fast, easy, and much less confusing experience then go with something from the Forte family. They’re simple, easy to use, and still look really great.

The best thing to do is just spend some time checking out all the features of your template. Use this guide if you want to do a side by side comparison of the features for each template. Once you’ve decided on one, read its in-depth guide to get a good understanding of everything you can do with it.