So, you just started your Squarespace trial... now what?
Here are five underrated things you should do before making your new Squarespace site live.
First and foremost, WOO-fricken-HOO 🎉 for taking the first step with Squarespace!
Squarespace is the platform for passionate small business owners who are looking to make a real impact and save some serious cash in the process. Say goodbye to calling your designer every time you want to make a change on your site and hello to an enjoyable website experience – seriously.
Now, before you pay for your plan and make your website live, let’s walk through five underrated (and cringe-worthy) things that you should really complete before sharing your site with the world. Grab your notebook, and let’s get started.
Browser Icon (Favicon)
The most overlooked website element is the browser icon or favicon. It’s usually at the bottom of the web design list and gets forgotten about all 👏 the 👏 time. Have you ever come across a website that has a gray/black cube as its browser icon? Yeah, don’t let that be you. Get your browser icon squared away ASAP.
Want my top tip for whipping up favicons quickly? Take a small square screenshot of the object or mark you want to use as your browser icon. On a Mac, the shortcut for a screenshot is Command + Shift + 4, and on a PC it’s Ctrl + Print Scrn. The browser icon image you upload needs to be relatively small, and this little hack does the trick. Voila!
Also, while you’re in this section of your backend, make sure your site title is squared away as well. Your logo can come at a later date, but our friends over at Google index that title right away.
SEO Site Description
I can’t stress how important this step is! It makes a HUGE difference in the way your site appears on Google. This is a must-do before going live with your site, and it’s surprisingly easy. You just need a short sentence describing what your site/business is all about and who it serves.
Here are a couple of examples for you to use:
Jenna Kutcher | Marketing Entrepreneur & Photographer (Site Title)
I'm an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love. (SEO Site Description)
Amy Porterfield | Online Marketing Expert
Hi, I'm Amy. I teach business owners, educators, and entrepreneurs the profitable action steps for building a highly engaged email list, creating online training … (Notice that Amy’s SEO Site Description is too long! Keep yours to the recommended 400 characters.)
You get the point! This is v important.
Cookies And Visitor Data
Hellooo, GDPR! (If you aren’t familiar with the data regulation, get all the details here.)
Before we dive too deep into this one, let me just back up and say that I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice by any means. I worked closely with the GDPR implementation team at my 9 to 5 (lawyers, VP’s, and our new data protection officer), and I’m confident in my understanding of the regulation. The comments below reflect how I’m approaching the requirement.
Phew! Now, if you know GDPR, then you know that technically your website visitor should have the option to “opt in” to cookies. Squarespace’s current solution is a strong step in that direction but know that it’s not 100% compliant. Regardless, I highly recommend that you implement their solution ASAP.
Two quick tips for you…
If you don’t have a European audience, you do not need to worry about this. Currently, GDPR applies to the EU only.
The Data Protection Commission is not likely to investigate your small business. Just sayin’. They’re going after big fish with deep pockets who store big (read: massive) data. Sorry, Zuck.
*Note: If you don’t have all of your domain DNS records properly synched, this option will not be available to you. You have to get your DNS records taken care of before you can be compliant.
This one is a quickie, but if you have a brick and mortar storefront or your website/business is e-commerce-related, you’ll want to make sure to complete this section to your comfort level.
Check Out Those Demo Pages!
A lot (a LOT) of people delete the demo pages Squarespace gives you without really checking them out first.
Take a look at them, people. There are a lot of design ideas in those pages, AND they’re already laid out to perfection for you. You never know, you may learn something new or want to mix up an idea they already started for you.
Whelp, that’s all folks! Implementing these five tips will get you on the right track with your Squarespace site from the very beginning. If you need help with what I've outlined above, please let me know! I'm more than happy to help.
Your resident Squarespace aficionado,