Our Top 3 Squarespace Templates For Small Businesses
When you're starting your website with Squarespace, the first step you'll be asked to take, is to choose to a template. We've covered this topic before, and why choosing a template doesn't really matter, but choosing it's features does, but we thought we'd go into the details of our favourite templates and help your decision making go a little smoother!
1. RALLY - SUITABLE FOR EVERYONE AND ANYONE
Our go-to template in Squaresapce! We've found that Rally is super flexible, has all the great features most sites need, and is very easily adaptable. All of these things are key when we as designers start a website, because we're essentially looking for a clean slate to work with. With every website we build, we typically delete all the demo pages and start from scratch - which Rally is great for. It has a bunch of features we love, including:
Flexible navigation + branding options: you can move the main and secondary navigation layout to be left, right or centrally aligned, which some templates don't allow. The same can be said for the logo. Plus, you have a bunch of styling options too - for desktop and mobile. Honestly when a template restricts where we can place something like the logo, it bugs the crap out of us and we move on, so we love that we can do (almost) anything we want with the logo and navigation in this template.
Parallax scrolling: those websites that have images that move with you as you scroll? Yup, that's known as parallax scrolling. When you're working with a banner image (available in the index pages) you can choose to have this as a feature within the Rally template. Once it's on though, it's on like Donkey Kong - meaning you can't just have it on one banner, it's gonna be on the all of them.
Pretty much every feature offered by Squarespace: It's not really a feature on it's own, but as I said to begin with, one of the reasons we love this template the most is because it's really flexible. We're yet to find a feature that isn't offered in this template, and that way when we choose it, we know we have unlimited options. Separate border colour to the background, you got it. Multiple footer navigations, it's in there. Pop ups, announcement bars, image styling - you got it all. Give it a go and see for yourself!
2. SKYE - SIDEBAR NAVIGATION, PERFECT FOR BLOGGERS
So coming off the back of Rally, why would you choose any other template? Well, some of them do have some great features that are only available in a select number of templates. If you're a blogger for instance, you'll be able to start with a template that was designed for your purpose and find that it's easier to set up and get going. That's because the template will have been designed with you in mind. Template's like Skye have been created for bloggers, with the homepage designed to display all your posts straight off the bat, and a fun sidebar navigation that pops out and displays a little bit of extra info for your readers - like your bio and a photo of you. If you're not a blogger, take a look at Ready for similar features and a little extra flexibility. (You can also see this in action over at Kyla's site - she joined us at our LAUNCH workshop last year and we knew it would be perfect for her straight away.)
3. CARSON - FULL PAGE NAVIGATION, GREAT FOR DESIGNERS, CREATORS, OR SIMILAR
A lot of the templates created for designers offer a homepage that displays a large number of images (you can look at Avenue, Wells or Flatiron for examples of this) but Carson is slightly different because the navigation is the homepage. The giant text fills the page over an image or video) giving you direct access to a portfolio, or some other sections of the site that you want to highlight. It's pretty fun, super direct, and very visual. Plus, you have the option of semi-transparent colour overlays, so that your captions and info can be displayed in a bold way. If that's not quite your style, Carson is part of the Tremont family, so it comes with other features and does allow text heavy pages too.
A final note...
With these portfolio style sites, you're typically locked into the home page design, and can't turn off all the features. So if you're hunting for a template, focus on the features! It's better to go with something super flexible like Rally and build the design you want, than it is to be locked in with a feature you don't want. Choose the template with the most options, or go for one that has the exact design and features you're looking for.