TopTenREVIEWS - Bronze Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winning Squarespace is still a relative unknown in the blogging community. We think that’s a real shame because this blog service definitely deserves more attention. Squarespace is a hosting option that offers an easy way to set up a blog, or even a full website if you’re so inclined, and manage it remotely. Squarespace easily has one of the best interfaces for designing, customizing and personalizing your blog without needing to know programming language or finding third party templates.

Squarespace prizes design and reliability over cheapness, which is why Squarespace is one of only two services in this review to charge money to host a blog. However, that same value of design and reliability are what make Squarespace worth every penny, and it’s why Squarespace ranks higher than all but one of the free blog services. You really can do more with your blog on Squarespace than with any other service.

The Squarespace interface is completely modular and customizable, both when you set it up and at any time thereafter that you feel you need to make a change. You have more freedom to move widgets, columns and plug-ins around than you find in other services and it’s much easier too.

Squarespace is also one of the few blog services that gives you traffic stats without the need of a third party plug-in, making it especially useful if you are starting a public or business blog.

There are a few reasons why Squarespace didn’t make it to the top spot in this review. The most obvious being that you have to pay for the service when there is a free service that does it just a little better. Squarespace’s tracking tools, while useful, aren’t quite as complete as those found in the top 2 products.

Blog Design Tools
Compare
8.8/10
WordPress
TypePad
Squarespace
Blogger
MySpace
AOL Journals
Windows Live Spaces
Xanga
LiveJournal
8.8
7.5
8.8
8.8
7.5
7.5
7.5
7.5
7.5

No other service offers the level of customization in blog design that Squarespace does. In order to get the same level of control over your blog design in other services, you need to know how to alter the code yourself. While it’s possible to customize your Squarespace blog design by altering the CSS code, that will be unnecessary for all but the pickiest users.

The basic Squarespace template allows you to change just about every aspect of your blog page, from the fonts, headers and backgrounds all the way down to just how wide you want your columns to be and in what order. Each module is movable so you can change the configuration of the widgets and plug-ins that display on your blog as well as add and delete them at will. The number of widgets and plug-ins are your disposal are more than the average user will need and include all the most common ones, like blogrolls, link lists, calendars and polls.

Posting blogs in the Squarespace interface is a pretty standard affair. A text box allows you to format your text with all the basic word processing tools. If you prefer to alter your text and formatting at the HTML level, there is an option to view the code.
It’s possible to post blogs to your Squarespace account even if you aren’t near a computer; as long as you have a cell phone capable of sending and receiving emails, you can submit posts to your blog through your phone.
 

Promotion/ Tracking Tools
Compare
7.5/10
WordPress
TypePad
Squarespace
Blogger
MySpace
AOL Journals
Windows Live Spaces
Xanga
LiveJournal
10
10
7.5
5
7.5
3.8
6.3
2.5
2.5

As we mentioned above, Squarespace is one of the few blog services that comes with traffic stat tracking built-in. Most other services require you to install a third party plug-in. Squarespace’s stat service tracks most of the salient data you might want to know. In fact, if you only want to create a personal blog, the stats will be far more than you need. But if you are creating a public or business blog, they will be quite useful.

Squarespace stats are monitored and displayed in real-time through simple graphs and charts. The service tracks visitors and page views, and it even differentiates between human and bot hits to your pages, a useful bit of data that other services don’t provide. You can also easily view where your posts rank on Google searches. Squarespace even keeps track of where people go once they reach your site, whether visitors see other pages on your blog or go to other sites altogether.

If you plan on having a blog with more than one author, the Squarespace system can track all changes that were made and who made them. This is a particularly useful way to manage content if you have more than one contributor.
 

Ease of Use
Compare
8.8/10
WordPress
TypePad
Squarespace
Blogger
MySpace
AOL Journals
Windows Live Spaces
Xanga
LiveJournal
8.8
7.5
8.8
8.8
5
8.8
7.5
7.5
8.8

The creation process is extremely simple in Squarespace, and the interface for uploading blogs and pictures is simple enough. It’s fairly similar to other services. The most obvious feature that makes Squarespace more useful is the tracking tools mentioned above. It’s very easy to identify which stats you are looking for and the charts are easy to read.

Technical Help/Support
Compare
7.5/10
WordPress
TypePad
Squarespace
Blogger
MySpace
AOL Journals
Windows Live Spaces
Xanga
LiveJournal
10
8.8
7.5
7.5
5
5
2.5
5
2.5

Squarespace has a surprisingly thorough resource for its users in case of problems or questions. Of course, a robust support system is only appropriate if you are using a paid service. The standard methods of customer support, email and FAQ, are there. But Squarespace also provides a very thorough set of documents and Webpages that explain how the product works and answers many basic questions. There are video tutorials to show how the site works and what features are available. And there is a user forum available to all Squarespace users where people can ask and answer common questions and technical issues.

Squarespace Summary:
8.1/10

Squarespace is an excellent option for those that want to create a unique blog with reliable hosting. Even though it costs more than the average blog service, the features and hosting options are well worth the price tag. Squarespace is the full blog service package. Be sure to check out all of our reviews on blog services.

 
 
 

Squarespace

Pros
Squarespace has an easy-to-navigate interface and is a good choice for beginners.

Cons
It is more expensive than other blog options.

The Verdict
: 8.13/10

The blogs provided by Squarespace are easy to use and look nice.