A quick Google search about Squarespace version 7.0 versus Squarespace version 7.1 will net you thousands of results about HOW to move your site from one version to the other. These step-by-step tutorials are helpful and have guided thousands (I assume) on making the transition.
However, they don’t address WHY you should move your website and, more specifically, the benefits to you as a business owner or nonprofit organization. That’s why you have us.
Squarespace released version 7.1 of its all-in-one website builder in early 2020. Some jumped immediately (hello, it’s me), and others waited a while (ahem, Sarah) before eventually making the leap. As with any new software, it’s often wise to let the early adopters work out the kinks.
However, now just shy of three years later, it’s challenging to make a case for sticking with an outdated software version – especially when the replacement offers so many incredible benefits and features.
Why now is an excellent time to move your website from Squarespace 7.0 to Squarespace 7.1
Let’s preface this section by saying that every business is different, and the right time for some may be a terrible time for others. For example, if you make the bulk of your product sales in the fourth quarter of the year, it’s NOT the time to do a major website overhaul. You need everything to run smoothly as it is and to save your sanity for the holiday season. Call us in January!
However, for many, as the end of the year approaches, things start to slow down, and you may find yourself with the time you need to make investments in your business and work ON your business.
Now, let’s make a case for Squarespace 7.1:
It will give your Squarespace website a design refresh
If you were in the DIY website camp when you launched your Squarespace 7.0 website, used a Squarespace designer, or purchased a pre-designed template, but haven’t had any major refresh or SEO boost since launching, it’s a great time to make this a priority.
Moving to Squarespace 7.1 will force you to reevaluate your content, website structure, and design elements, asking yourself if they still accurately represent your business. Part of moving your website will be to audit your existing content, forcing you (gently) to reconsider the message you’re sharing online.
While this task is often on the business owner checklist, it rarely surfaces at the top of the to-do list. Because of how 7.1 is structured, most pages need to be redesigned into clear sections and with calls to action—a significant upgrade if this wasn’t something you addressed in your current site.
And Google (or all search engines, for that matter) loves new content! So while you’re relaunching your site, Google will receive signals that you’ve done major updates, potentially boosting your Squarespace SEO!
Speaking of search engine optimization…
Dumping those Index pages will boost your Squarespace SEO
In Squarespace 7.0, the only way to build a complex, long-scrolling page was to use an Index page, stringing together a series of pages. Unfortunately, this strategy requires heavy lifting regarding SEO since each page requires an SEO Title and Description unique from all other pages. We guess that many skip that step because it’s tiresome and overwhelming.
And to style those pages, you must use CSS to change the background color.
In Squarespace 7.1, the platform uses page sections instead. So, any page can have an unlimited number of page sections, but they are all under one single page and SEO description.
You know those beautiful scrolling pages with different colored sections and designs that seem to flow seamlessly from one section to another? Yep, designers build those with 7.1 and zero CSS code required. Every section has its own editor where you can change the height, color theme, background, content width, etc., with simple sliders—no code required.
Do you need to get an outside perspective on your next idea?
Squarespace 7.1 will provide structure for your current content strategy
Launching a website without a robust, defined content strategy is normal. For some, just getting the basics of a home page, about page, and services online is a major win, and we celebrate you for that!
And, if you’ve since dug a little deeper into your business and now have a defined content strategy and plan to share your thought leadership with your audience, a new Squarespace 7.1 website gives you the structure to do that.
While the blog features have primarily remained the same between versions, the work to move from one version to the other lends itself to assessing your content strategy and ensuring all of your content aligns with your marketing movement. This step may include removing old content that no longer suits you or your audience, articles that are inconsistent with your current values, or tutorials/how-tos that contain outdated advice. (We’re always working on this around here!)
You might also have new lead magnets, a new email marketing platform, or a new approach to how you prefer potential clients reach out to work with you. Moving to Squarespace 7.1 allows you to redefine those priorities and make your site work better for you and your audience.
Squarespace Templates Are Gone in 7.1 and Auto-Layouts Make Design Easier
When using 7.0, you first had to choose a Squarespace template. Oh, the stress! Which one does what thing? Which website template is best for (insert niche audience here)? Wait, I can’t do *that* thing on this template? I need a different template?
In Squarespace 7.1, there are no templates. Every site has the same capabilities. You can choose a layout to start with (which Squarespace calls “templates”) to help you visualize what a home page might look like, but once you’re editing the site, you can delete it all and start over if you want.
Also, in Squarespace 7.1, you have a library of auto-layouts for each section of your website. While 7.0 offered page layouts (you have those in 7.1, too), these section layouts help you get creative with your design while ensuring a good user experience and mobile-friendly design.
Broader style editor features and less need for CSS in Squarespace 7.1
We won’t dive too deep here, but it’s good to know that Squarespace 7.1 offers a broad range of site styles previously unavailable (or hidden deep in the settings) for styling your website.
For example, in Squarespace 7.0, adjusting items like the width of content on the page, the height of a section, or even the background color of a block is complicated and mostly accomplished through custom code. However, in 7.1, each section has its own style settings that are very visually intuitive.
This style editor feature cuts down on the need for CSS coding, which can increase your site speed and, thus, SEO results.
Fluid Engine is not available for Squarespace 7.0 users
At the risk of completely overwhelming our 7.0 friends, let us quickly note that Squarespace’s newest feature—the Fluid Engine editor—is unavailable for Squarespace 7.0 users. Fluid Engine introduced us to an even more contemporary and flexible way to design and edit sites, and while the rollout has been a bit bumpy at times, our team is starting to build new sites with Fluid Engine and loving it.
However, this new Squarespace layout editor is not available at all for 7.0 users. If you see a site you absolutely love that we’ve designed and want to have some of those same features on your own site, you’ll be stuck using custom code to make it happen. Fluid Engine allows you to add unique design features like overlapping images, unique backgrounds, and a variety of other features that set your site apart from others, offering plenty of great new features versus the Classic Editor.
Even if you don’t opt-in to use Fluid Engine on Squarespace 7.1, it’s nice to know it’s an option!
Squarespace 7.1 vs. 7.0: Frequently Asked Questions
You likely have questions about this whole process. As we mentioned, the “how to” of the transition has been addressed online in every format you can think of – blogs, videos, step-by-step instructions, etc. So we’ll leave that part to the others, but we want to address some of the common questions we’ve received about this topic.
How do I get my information to a new Squarespace 7.1 site? Do I have to start from scratch?
1. You do have to buy a new website subscription and start a new website with Squarespace.
2. After that, you have options. Indeed, you can’t push a magic button to move from one version to the next. We wish you could!
3. You can do one of the following:
- Copy and paste your heart out. Keep two tabs open, copy and paste the content from one site to the other and redesign the pages as you go.
- SquareWebsites offers a browser extension that lets you copy content from one Squarespace site to another (provided you have Administrator rights on both). This extension tool is perfect for copying pages, blog posts, etc. They offer a detailed explanation on their website about how the extension works. If you work with a professional designer, they likely have access to these tools as well.
- Or, if professional marketing help is in your budget, we offer a few select packages that include the transition from Squarespace 7.0 to Squarespace 7.1 (get in touch here)
I have hundreds of blog posts in my Squarespace 7.0 website. Do I have to move those each manually?
You have options. We recommend an audit of your blog first before you choose an option. It’s likely that at least a portion of your posts are outdated or no longer relevant to your current offers or services and won’t need to be moved at all. (You will want to redirect those links, so check out that section below).
1. Use WordPress as a go-between to “scrub” your post coding
- Create a free WordPress account
- Export your current posts on the 7.0 site to your new WordPress account.
- Import your new WordPress blog to your new 7.1 Squarespace site. Note that this will only keep your post titles and text. You’ll need to reformat each blog post, add back in photos, redo SEO settings and meta description for each post, etc.
2. As mentioned above, SquareWebsites offers a browser extension that lets you copy blog posts from one Squarespace site to another (provided you have Administrator rights on both).
3. Copy and paste the old-fashioned way, prioritizing your highest-performing posts and work backward.
What about Gallery Blocks? Didn’t they take those away in 7.1?
There might be a joke out there about how to get thousands of Squarespace users angry at one time, and the punch line is all about “removing gallery blocks.”
In Squarespace 7.0, the gallery block is beloved. It’s a handy tool for adding multiple photos to the page without messing with spacers and getting everything lined up when you add or remove an image. We agree – we love it.
However, in Squarespace 7.1, the gallery block is only available to Squarespace Circle Members (those with three or more websites created under one login, so largely professional users), and instead, you use the Gallery Section.
The Gallery Section is virtually the same as a gallery block. It just takes up the entire section.
So, for example, you can’t have a gallery on one side of the page with text on the other. (Actually, you can, but we’ll save that for another time).
Gallery Sections are created the exact same way, can show extended captions in the grid style layout (choose Show Captions in the design menu), and have flexible styling options, too.
How does moving to Squarespace 7.1 impact my other Squarespace product subscriptions?
- Squarespace Member areas
Unfortunately, you cannot migrate your member area from 7.0 to 7.1. Once you create your membership area on your new site, create a 100% discount code and send that code, along with your sign-up page, to your members who signed up via your old site.
If you’re not currently using member areas on your website but want to consider adding them, here’s a great article about how to get started.
- Squarespace Email Campaigns
You won’t be able to carry over email templates or analytics. Copy and paste or save screenshots of your automations, email text, etc., so you can easily recreate those inside the new site. You can export your mailing list(s) and import those into your new site.
- Squarespace Scheduling
Your options may vary depending on how you signed up for scheduling. If you have an original Acuity Scheduling account, that works a bit differently than Squarespace Scheduling which is built directly into your website. We recommend consulting this article from Squarespace support, watching the Squarespace tutorial about this transition, and reaching out to them for questions specific to your account.
- Squarespace Ecommerce
If you’re using Squarespace Commerce, you can export your products to a .csv file and import them to your new site. Your product URL will change slightly in the new version (they’ve added a /p/ to the product URL), so you’ll need to set up URL redirects so that customers with the old URLs can find the new ones. Remember that you’ll lose your order history for any customer accounts, so be sure to export that for your records.
How should I prepare to move my site to Squarespace 7.1?
We recommend breaking up the process into a few different steps.
- Audit your current website. Go through all of your pages and remove any old pages that are no longer needed or relevant.
- Save all of your photos from your website. Those are not going to carry over. Again, it’s a great time to audit what you have, find new photos, optimize the photos you have, etc.
- Take a screenshot of the pages you’re keeping and put those into a folder on your computer for reference later.
- Make a list of all your current pages with the slug (that’s the text that follows the /). When you build your new pages, you’ll want to ensure the slugs match the old site. If you need to update the slug, use the Redirect options to set those up after you disable your old site. You’ll find redirect directions here.
- Define your current website goals and make a plan for the pages you need, the call to action for each page, and make yourself a timeline.
- Create a new Squarespace account and get started!
Final Thoughts on Squarespace 7.1 vs 7.0
Take a deep breath. There’s a lot of information to digest here, and we have just raised more questions for you. Remember, moving your website from 7.0 to 7.1 is a process. No one expects you to do this overnight. In fact, no one else needs to determine the timeline for this move other than you.
And, we’re always available to help you work through your strategy on this kind of project as well. You can book a 1-1 strategy call with us to talk through this migration process, your new content strategy, and anything else that’s holding you back from making progress right now. And if you’re planning to do it on your own, we have a Squarespace discount code for you.
Simply use SMOON10 when you activate your Squarespace plan, and you’ll get a discount courtesy of Team SM&Co!
Or, if you’re ready to give your website a serious boost and have the time and resources to hire a Squarespace professional, we occasionally take on new website design clients—and can make a great recommendation if we’re not available. Reach out to us to learn more if you’re interested!
Key Takeaways About Migrating to Squarespace 7.1
- It’s been three years since Squarespace launched version 7.1, and for many, it’s past time to move your website to the new version.
- Squarespace 7.1 has limitations, and the migration process isn’t easy, but it is also loaded with benefits that will enhance your website and boost your SEO.
- The first step in making the move should be an audit of your current website. It’s not wise to spend time moving outdated content that no longer aligns with your mission.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seek out Squarespace tutorials, hire a Squarespace expert, or book a strategy session to discuss your next best step.
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Excellent information! thanks so much for explaining all this.