15 things to check before you publish your Squarespace website

 
Photo:  Brooke Cagle

You have designed a beautiful website on Squarespace. Your shop looks great, your services are well-defined, your About page gives prospects a crystal-clear idea of what you do and what your mission is.

But, before you hit publish and launch, let’s review a few steps to make sure you go live with a bang!

1. Review your copy

After putting time and effort into researching and creating original content for your website, don’t let a few grammatical errors confuse visitors. Carefully edit your content before publishing. Review page titles, copy, and blog posts.

2. Test the responsiveness of your site

Look up your URL on several mobile devices or use the Inspect function to see how your site looks on smartphones and tablets.

How to inspect the responsiveness of your site:

  • Open your URL in a browser

  • Right click and drop down to select “Inspect.” Your website’s entire HTML code will show on the right side of the screen

  • At the top left of the HTML code, click on the mobile device icon (a phone and tablet). Now you can use the drop down menu above to select a device. Your screen will shrink to the size of that device.

  • Navigate your website in this format to make sure all pages look as expected.

    If you find that text and images are overlapping, fonts are disproportionate to the screen size, etc, contact us and we’ll help you fix it.


3. set up basic SEO

  • Go to your Squarespace dashboard and select Marketing → SEO

  • Fill in this field: “Site Meta Description.”

  • Read the “Search Results Preview.” This preview shows exactly how the meta description appears on search engine pages. If you need help getting started, read our guide on how to write effective meta descriptions.

4. connect Google Analytics

You need a Gmail account to sign up for Google Analytics. This service provides website traffic data that you can use to improve the design, content and SEO of your site. Once you connect your Google Analytics account to Squarespace, it will appear on your dashboard.

How to find Google Analytics on Squarespace: Go to Settings → Advanced → External Services.

5. Deactivate standard Squarespace cookie notice

Squarespace’s standard cookie notice currently collects user data like location and IP address which is forbidden by European law. This kind of information may only be saved if the user gives his explicit consent by clicking on “OK” or “Continue.”

How to deactivate Squarespace cookie notice: Settings → Cookies and Visitor Data → Disable Squarespace Analytics Cookies

6. Deactivate Squarespace activity log

Collecting users’ activities is also forbidden by European law. Make sure to deselect “Enable Activity Log” before you publish the website.

7. create your own cookie banner

European Union privacy laws require all websites to explicitly communicate the use of cookies to users.

How to add a cookie banner on Squarespace:

Settings → Cookies and Visitor Data

Fill in the text box; this information will appear in the cookie banner that pops up when a user lands on your website. You can customize the size and appearance (color, font) of your cookie banner.

In most cases that text in the cookie banner will read something like this:

“We use cookies to ensure we provide you with the best experience and to analyze how you are using the site to improve it for you in the future. By clicking "I CONSENT", you are agreeing to our use of cookies, accepting our privacy policy and our website terms of service.”

8. optimize images to improve loading speed and seo

One of the most costly mistakes in website development is slow loading speed. Make sure to keep all images below 2500 pixels.

In this article we recommend some free image compression software that you can use to resize your images if they are too large and explain how to how to properly size and tag photos to boost visibility on search engines.

9. test all integrated systems

Go to your Contact page and send yourself an email to make sure clients will be able to reach you. Test other integrated systems like the bookings service and newsletter subscription signup.

10. repair broken links

A broken link is a missed opportunity that may cost you money, lower user engagement and ultimate hurt your website traffic. Yet, dead links are easy to fix. Use Deadlinkchecker.com or this Google Chrome extension, Check My Links, to find and replace broken links.

11. Remove blog post dates

Squarespace automatically includes the publication date in the URL of each blog post. Why remove it?

First, the date makes the post URL longer.

Second, removing the date allows the content to age better. If it is high-quality original content that readers love, you may even be able to reuse it for guest posting or share it several times on social media.

How to remove the date from blog post URLs:

  • Go to Settings → Blog

  • Enter “%t” in Post URL Format. This code “%t” simply stands in for the blog title.

12. Activate AMP settings

Squarespace allows website owners to set up Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) or simplified versions of blog posts that provide a better user experience on mobile devices. AMPs also improve the loading speed of the website on mobile thereby contributing to your SEO.

How to activate AMP on Squarespace:

  • Go to Settings → Blog

  • Scroll to the end of the page and select “Use AMP.”

13. Add a favicon

A favicon helps readers and clients identify your website right away when they see it in their browser or bookmarks. The favicon is a key part of a good branding strategy.

How to add a favicon on Squarespace:

  • Go to Style Editor → Logo and Title

  • Upload the image file of your favicon

14. include social media buttons

Make it easy for visitors to share your content by including social media buttons at the bottom of your product pages and blog posts.

How to activate social media buttons:

  • Go to Marketing → Sharing Buttons

  • Select all the social media networks you use for your business

15. set up a social sharing logo

A social sharing logo is the image that shows on social media when someone shares the link to a page from your website that doesn’t include images. On some platforms like Facebook, the social sharing logo appears as a thumbnail next to the post even if the URL shared includes images.

This simple trick allows you to control your brand image on social media platforms.

 
 
 
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