Common Squarespace blocks (part 1)
'Respect the building blocks, master the fundamentals, and the potential is unlimited'
When I was younger I used to love to play with things like Lego or K'nex. I could spend hours creating the most beautiful houses, beauty salons or animal sanctuaries haha.
Well Squarespace works a bit in the same way. It uses blocks to build the foundation of your dream website. You can add, move and combine blocks to create a custom layout, the layout you envision!
As said before i love Squarespace because it is just so much easier then WordPress. So if you are thinking of building a website with Squarespace one thing you need to know is the basic building blocks.
So in the next couple of blog posts I will share with you the basic building blocks so you can master them and create the website you want!
Text Blocks & Links
When you create a new page a text block automatically comes up. To add a new block you click on the insert point. The insert point looks a bit like a horizontal rain drop! Once you click on that a pop up comes up with all the blocks available! Click on the text icon and the block will insert. Now to edit the text you have about the same options as you would in Microsoft word. So you can bold, italicise and link the text. You can centre the text, left align it or right align it. Change the headings of your text, create a numbered list or a bullet point list. Now if you are like me and you are writing your content in say Word or Evernote, or you are copying your text from somewhere else (be careful with copyright!), when you copy and paste, it can take the formatting with it. So to avoid this from happening would you can do is click on the 'Paste as Plain Text' Icon, this is the icon that looks like a clipboard. You paste the text in here and hit enter.
To change the style of your text you need to go to the 'Site Styles' panel to change the font, colour and sizes. In another blog I will explain more about the Site Styles! If you find that there is to much space between the lines when you hit ENTER, hit Shift & Enter instead and the text moving to the next line won't have that much space between it.
To link the text, you highlight the piece of text you want to be linked. Then you hit the link button in the text editor tool bar. This is the button that comes right after Italicise in the Text editor tool bar. When you hit this button a view options will appear. So you can link externally, which means a website or page that is not your own website like facebook.com for example. When you link to a different website I would suggest to always click the button where it says 'Open in new window' because you want your customers to stay on your website as long as possible. So with this new page opening in a new window the customer will have 2 windows open, yours and for example Facebook's website. Next option is to link to content on your own website. So if in the text you are writing about contacting yourself for whatever service you have to offer you can then say click here to contact me and link that text to your contact page.
The last option is files. If there is a file (.pdf, audio file or image) you want people to download you can click 'Add file', choose the file from your computer and upload it. When the customer clicks on the link the file will download or open in an new window.
To add the button block click on the insert point (the horizontal rain drop) and select the button option. A pop up will show up where you can edit the button. The text automatically says 'Learn more' but you can change this to anything you like. In the pop up you can delete what ever is in the text box and change that to for example 'Sign me up' or 'Details this way' or whatever creative way you come up with to get your customers to click that button. Then you have to link your button to whatever page you want it to go. So you have the same options as I mentioned in the text block explanation. You can link it to an external page, to a file or to a page on your own website. Again you can decide whether you want the linked page to open in a new window or not. I would say if the link is on your own page it is not necessary, however if you are linking to another website make sure it opens in a new window. You can change the size of the button, and left, centre or right align it. Again the styles for these e.g. the button colour and font are set in the 'Site Styles' panel. I will write more about this in the future. After you added your text and choose the button size and alignment hit apply and a button will appear on your website. Now just a tip never assume a button or a link works. We are humans and we make mistakes so I always double check, go to the page and see if the button works like I had intended.
A button is often used for a Call to Action, CTA for short. To find out if your button is working it's charm on your customer you can go to the home menu and click analytics. Then click 'Form & Button Conversions'. This panel helps you see how customers interact with the buttons on your website. It measures the views and how many clicks they receive. The amount of views of your button that lead to people click on the button is your conversion rate. Often we create buttons because we want customers to take action, this tool is a great way to analyse and measure your progress. Now just a little encouragement, as you are starting out there wont be many clicks and probably not a very high conversion rate. This will build up over time as you grow your online presence. Never give up!