Updated in Oct 2021
Squarespace has always been a complicated platform for bloggers—that’s just the reality. In fact, my woefully out of date series about building a Squarespace (aff link) blog is still one the most popular pieces of content on this site.
But what does Squarespace’s new 7.1 platform mean for bloggers?
In short, you’re going to need to decide if the tradeoffs are worth it to you. Yes, it’s easy to post, but there are limitations. It’s a personal decision based on your desired outcomes, so there’s no right or wrong!
What do we mean by blogging with Squarespace 7.1?
In this case, I’m speaking less about business bloggers (I’d consider this to be a business blog) and I’m directing this advice to hobby bloggers (think your knitting blog, a food blog) or what I put in the bucket of “publications and media,” (which is basically anything journalistic, such as a travel blog or review site).
The reason I set these types of sites aside as a distinctive category is that the website goals are different than someone who’s blogging for their business, which is a different situation. The infrastructure needs are different. The blog is a critical part of that type of site, but it’s not THE site. It’s a subtle, but important, delineation.
If your primary website purpose is blogging, will Squarespace 7.1 work for you?
In short the answer is, “Maybe.”
Squarespace 7.1 has made some fantastics strides in terms of layout for blogs. I’d say that unless you need a very customized, granular layout (and in that case WordPress is likely a better solution), you’ll be much happier with the out of the box options on 7.1 versus the old Brine template layouts available in 7.0. They just look slicker and more modern. Check out a couple of screenshots from recent 7.1 Design in a Day™ projects’ blog landing pages:
Are you worried about speed and blogging with Squarespace 7.1?
Speed is still an issue in Squarespace 7.1, and this impacts bloggers.
Speed has been a consistent issue with Squarespace, due to the way the system’s infrastructure is set up. One of the few things we can do to speed up our websites on Squarespace is compressing images a much as we can. I use and recommend ShortPixel, which you can drop imagery into and it will magically spit out optimized images. You will likely notice a nice speed improvement (and an SEO boost!).
Remember, speed is not the only ranking factor, so don’t obsess over it, just consider it as part of the overall picture.
How does Squarespace 7.1 work with Schema?
Schema is still dodgy in Squarespace 7.1, which impacts bloggers in particular.
Do you know about schema? This is a crucial concept that’s important to understand if blogging is a tactic in your online marketing arsenal. It’s a lot to explain and I’m always learning about the possibilities, but bloggers would be remiss to not take a hard look at schema and how they can leverage it—it’s one of the reasons SM+Co’s traffic is very robust, to be quite frank.
I consistently see that more TLC is needed on Squarespace sites, including embedding manual schema into posts in order for it to be scanned correctly by Google. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it may frustrate you if you’re less technical. (Which is totally fine!)
If I use Squarespace 7.1 for my blog, what tactics should I use?
I recommend that if you use Squarespace 7.1 for your blog, you consider the following tactics:
- Integrate a tool like Missinglettr (my partner link gives you 50% off for three months/) to make it easier to redistribute your content on social channels.
- If you’re a food blogger, you need proper recipe formatting. My friend Heather discovered the Recipe Format Generator which seems like just the ticket. I’ve not had the chance to test its schema functionality, but will update this post when I do.
- If you’re a travel or photo blogger, be sure to optimize each and every image with a tool like ShortPixel (this link gives you bonus credits). I cannot stress how important this is. Create proper image captions as well to try to have your images shown in Google image search.
- Keep your posts simple in structure and layout but substantial in content. Aim for at least 600 words per post and I’d like to see more.
- Use proper headings and remember that your header 1 is the post title so don’t use that in your text!
- Make sure to de-index your blog categories and tags in Squarespace, as they generate sloppy faux pages you can’t control and will alway be filled with errors.
- Ensure you’ve enabled AMP on your Squarespace blog.