As a Showit website designer (who formerly designed on Squarespace), I’ve seen my fair share of good, bad, and ugly when it comes to DIY websites. While some people are able to create beautiful websites on Squarespace all on their own, there are still a couple of things that I look for as a designer that are dead giveaways for a DIY website.
In today’s post I’ll share with you the five things that help me spot a DIY Squarespace website in the wild, and what you can do to avoid these mistakes.
Ready for it? Let’s dive in!
Squarespace generic favicon
If you’re a Google Chrome user like myself, chances are you are familiar with favicons (short for favorite icons). These browser icons help you navigate between your tabs with familiar icons, and can help users recognize your brand.
The default favicons for all Squarespace websites is the Squarespace box logo. While this logo is great for Squarespace, it doesn’t help you build brand recognition for your own brand, nor does it help your website come across as polished and professional.
Think about Facebook, Pinterest or even Google Docs for a minute. All these websites utilize favicons or browser icons to stand out on your browser tabs, and I bet you use this visual aid more than the words on the tabs to navigate to the right website.
So how can you set up favicons on Squarespace?
Setting up favicons on your Squarespace website is a super quick and easy process. In your main Squarespace menu, go to Design. From there, head to Logo & Title and scroll down to Browser Icon (Favicon).
Your favicon should be a square image between 100px x 100px and 300px x 300px in png or ico format!
Once uploaded you’re all set for your favicon!
Powered by Squarespace in your footer
Did you know you don’t need to keep the Powered by Squarespace language in your footer?
I’ve seen my fair share of websites proudly supporting this sentence in their footer, and while I’m sure Squarespace appreciates the free advertisement, it’s certainly not necessary.
Your footer is precious real estate, so save it for things that actually matter for your own website – like your contact info or location, and remove the Squarespace ad 😉
How to remove powered by Squarespace from your footer:
This one is so simple. Head on down to your footer area, select edit, and delete the text box that includes the Powered by Squarespace text.
Yep, it truly is that simple!
SSL Certificate not activated
Squarespace provides free SSL certificates for all website plans. Basically, this makes all content on your website secure, and prevents hackers from accessing or stealing info from your site.
Not only is SSL important for maintaining the security of the content on your website, but activating your SSL certificate is one of the easiest ways you can improve your SEO.
Google has previously stated that secure websites will be favored over those who are not. In other words, if your site is in a tiebreaker with another site, the secure site will be ranked higher. While SSL certificates alone are not enough to land you on the first page of Google, this simple step can help you out in the long run!
How to activate your SSL certificate in Squarespace
In your main Squarespace menu, click on Settings. From Settings, scroll all the way down to Advanced, then click SSL. In thee SSL menu, make sure that Secure (Preferred) is selected.
See, that wasn’t so bad!
Too many fonts on the website
While the previous points are simple tweaks you can make to your website settings, this next one is slightly more complex.
A lot of beginner web designer or DIY website designers think that they need to include any and all fonts available. A lot of people seem to be under the impression that it can’t be too simple, because then it looks DIY.
The truth is, some of the most professional looking websites are those that stick to one or two fonts that are easy to read and compliment your brand well.
How to choose the right font settings for your website:
In the Five Squarespace font combinations for wedding photographers post I share some of the secrets to creating an interesting website without using too many fonts.
In your Site Style settings, play around with styling your one or two font choices to create variety without cluttering up your website!
Your pages are missing clear call to actions:
While we definitely want to believe the best in people, the truth is that most peop
le are lazy.
If someone lands on your website or a page on your site, it should be so clear to them what you want their next step or action to be that there is no way they can miss it.
When creating your DIY website, you have to think about how you’d like your website visitors to travel on your site, and design your website accordingly.
If you want your visitors to book with you, tell them.
If you want your visitors to view your prices or investment page, tell them.
Get the picture?
It’s your job as the web designer to guide your visitors to the next logical step in their journey on your site, and not leave them hanging. If you do, they’ll quickly leave your site and never return.
How to audit your CTA’s:
Auditing your own website can be difficult, but is definitely necessary. Each page on your website should have clear CTAs, designed to guide your visitors to the next logical step.
Does your homepage include a CTA above the fold?
Does your about me page leave website visitors wondering where they should go next?
Are you encouraging your website visitors to book with you or schedule a consult?
As you’re walking through your website, try to put yourself in the shoes of a stranger. Pretend like you don’t really want to be there and act as if you’re simply skimming through the site. Is it easy to figure out what the next logical step is?
Alright friends! Those are the five easiest ways I spot a DIY website in the wild. Hopefully you got some tips and tricks you can take back to your own website to make sure you look a little more professional for the next person who lands on your site!
If you’d like to take your website to the next level with a professional Showit website designer, you’re in luck. As a Showit web designer, I’d love to work with you to bring your website dreams to life.
Head on over to the services page to learn more about what I do and how we can work together! I can’t wait to build you the website of your dreams!
* this is an affiliate link, which means I may get some benefit at no extra cost to you!