Congratulations on your new site!
Thanks for trusting Last Word Designs with your brand and online presence! We’ve loved working on your website, and we’re confident that you’ll love not only what we’ve put together, but how easy it is for you to keep your site feeling fresh and current once we’ve handed it off.
Below is our cheat-sheet on everything you know on keeping your site updated, but if there are any lingering questions or confusion, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time. You get two-hours worth of support on us!
Rather spend your time writing instead of updating? We also offer a Bottomless Updates subscription - yes, We Do All Your Updates.
Ready to get started?!
All of Last Word Designs sites are built on the Squarespace publishing platform. Squarespace is an alternative to Wordpress/Blogger/ShowIt, and we think it’s absolutely the best in the business when it comes to modern design, ease-of-use, and excellent customer support.
You can customize everything from your logo, your color scheme, even your entire site layout without having to install a single plug-in or know a lick of code.
The content is largely of the “drag-and-drop” variety, meaning that when you want to add text, images, social media links, galleries, etc, you insert a “block” and simply drag it with your mouse to where you want it on the page.
The other part you may find yourself using (perhaps less often) is the Style Editor. This is where you can change the way your site looks: fonts, colors, etc.
Sound foreign? Don’t worry. While there is a little bit of a learning curve the first time you log in, we promise it’s intuitive, easy-to-learn, and way easier than anything you’ve ever used before.
First things first
We recommend the Squarespace Getting Started Guide—it includes a bunch of video tutorials that will get you up-to-speed on the Squarespace interface in no time. (Note: There are several videos on the above page. We recommend watching them all, but you can mostly ignore anything about account set up, templates, trial sites, etc, as we’ve done all that for you!)
Accessing your site
You can access your site via squarespace.com/login.
Account and billing
We’ll walk you through setting up the first year of your Squarespace subscription, but for future reference here are how-to guides on billing questions.
Remember how we said that Squarespace was drag-and-drop? Well those “things” that you’re dragging and dropping are called blocks and they're how you add new content to a page. There are a bunch of different kinds of blocks.
The most commonly used are the Text and Image blocks. These are what you’ll insert any time you want to add new text or pictures.
But here are a few other basic ones to get familiar with:
- Gallery :: for adding multiple photos at once, either in a grid format, or a “slide show” format
- Social accounts :: for adding social links anywhere on the page
- Horizontal line :: great for adding some visual interest to the page or separating different elements
- Space :: Exactly as it sounds! If you want to add padding around one of the other blocks
Working with Blocks
Now that you understand what blocks are, here’s how you use them!
Updating a Gallery
One of our most common requests from clients is putting a “slider” on the homepage; a selection of key banner images that the user can scroll through to see featured content. If you have one of these on your site, it’s a Gallery block, with the Slideshow design.
Adding/removing slides is super easy! Just don’t forget to add/update your clickthrough URL so that the image is clickable! Here's a how-to on working with slideshow galleries.
Creating a New Page
Want to add a new page to your site? It’s easy!
To add a brand new page from scratch, follow-this guide.
Duplicating an Existing Page
Want to keep the layout of your pages consistent? Squarespace makes it easy to duplicate an existing page, so that all you have to do is update the text/images without having to build the layout from scratch! How-to here. (Note: this is especially handy if you’re an author looking to create a new book page for a new release. You can do it in minutes, just swap the blurb, buy links and cover image!)
Connecting Social Media Accounts
Much as we wish we could do absolutely everything for you, there are two elements of your site set-up that we need your help on: social media accounts and connecting MailChimp.
Squarespace requires that you be actually logged into the connected social media accounts in order to add it to your site, so unfortunately, we can’t do it for you!
But don’t worry, it’s super easy!
Accounts connected, but not seeing the icons the way you want to? Read this.
Adding a Newsletter Block
We strongly recommend MailChimp as your email marketing service. Not only is it easy to use, but it has seamless integration with Squarespace.
If you want to get started with a newsletter, but don’t yet an email marketing service, we highly recommend MailChimp.
You can start a new MailChimp account here if you don’t already have one.
Once you have a MailChimp account, check out this article to see how it works with Squarespace.
Squarespace makes it awesomely easy to add a newsletter sign-up block.
For those of you who use a service other than MailChip, we unfortunately can’t provide support. But for Constant Contact users, you can inserting a code block and adding the embed code from your Constant Contact list.
The Announcement Bar is that fun colored bar at the top of your site. It’s one of our favorite parts of Squarespace as it gives you a quick-and-easy way to share breaking news. Adding one is easy!
Changing the Appearance of your Site (Minor Changes)
Hopefully we’ve got your site exactly right when we hand it off, but we understand that the day might come when you want a little refresh! To change fonts, colors, etc, you’ll want to get familiar with the Style Editor.
Changing the Appearance of your Site (Major Changes)
Looking for an entire site makeover? You can get a brand new site layout in seconds by changing your Squarespace Template (all are free, all are awesome). However, and this is a big however, this will lose all your current customization! Your page content will all still be there, but the navigation will change, the fonts will change, even the homepage will change (though you can easily reset it to what it was before).
We’re not saying don’t change your template, we’re saying, don’t do it willy-nilly. Make sure you’re totally comfortable with Squarespace interface before trying a new template.
Or of course, you can always hire us to refresh your look for you! Hint, hint.
That should be enough to get you started and keep your site up-to-date, but if there’s anything we didn’t cover here, absolutely check out Squarespace’s awesome support site! There are tons more tutorials we didn’t include here, as well as a great forum for newbies looking for guidance.
And again, don’t hesitate to email us with questions. We’re here to help!