Squaremuse Demo Setup service helps you skip the boring, technical part and get straight to personalizing your new website, saving you valuable days (and nerves). This article will cover the 10 steps you need to take after purchasing our Demo Setup service, in order to launch a website you really love and are proud of.
First of all, congrats on choosing to work with our team, you made a good decision :) While you focus on family and business, we will take care of all the heavy-duty work on your website. In the end, all you have to do is add content (beautiful pictures and genuine text) and a little bit of magic to truly make this website your own.
Step 0. Setup by Squaremuse Team
The first thing to do after purchasing our Demo Setup Service is to submit a contributor invitation to our team for your Squarespace site. Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. To do that, go to your dashboard, then Settings → Permissions → Invite Contributor → Admin.
We’ll take it from there and set everything up for you within 2 business days. The Demo Setup includes building your layouts, setting your site’s styles and applying any CSS code needed for your design. Once we’re finished, you’ll get to do a screen sharing call with us and go over any questions you might have regarding content management. It’s best to do this call at the end of step 6 (see below), once you get a better understanding of your site.
Step 1. Preview the new template
Once the setup is finished from our side, you will receive a completion email about the new template for your Squarespace website. In your dashboard, go to Design → Template, and check out the new template our team has been working on. It should be already installed, you only have to click “Preview”.
Step 2. General Check
At this point, you would take a look at all your existing pages, make sure everything is in order and see if you have any questions for the team. If everything is good, continue with the next step.
Step 3. Choose the Design Kit layout
If you have a design kit that offers several layouts for your pages, take a moment to decide which options you want to use for your website. This will come in handy later, as you get to remove the options you don’t need anymore and only stay with the pages you will use later on. All the options should be installed in your account. We’d recommend to simply make a list with the desired layouts as the example below:
Homepage: Home 1
About page: About 4
Contact: Contact 3
Step 4. Handle the pages you won’t use
Once you select the desired layouts, move your pages in the primary/secondary navigation (depending on the design kit you have). The remaining pages will go to the “Not Linked” area. They will still be public to viewers, but will not appear in the main navigation.
Now, go ahead and disable the pages you won’t use (as in the screenshot below), so they can’t be visible to an external viewer. Once done, go to the SEO tab and hide these pages from search engines as well. If at some point in the future you’ll want to use these layouts, make sure to enable this option back, so they’re indexed by search engines.
An alternative option would be to simply delete the unnecessary pages. We recommend you do this only if you know for sure that you won’t use these other layouts in the future.
Step 5. Apply branding to your Squarespace site
If you have any custom fonts or a specific color palette that you want to apply to your website, feel free to start playing around with the Site Styles. In order to change the color/font for a specific element, you simply have to click on that element and the settings will appear on the left side, allowing you to easily tweak it. It’s good to know that the Site Styles for a specific element will appear only when you have this element on the page you’re on. For example: if you want to change the font of the Blog Post Titles while you’re on the homepage, you won’t be able to locate that setting inside your Site Styles. For this to happen, you need to go to the Blog Page and then open your Site Styles. In this case, you will have everything needed on the left side menu.
We’d suggest to take each element at a time and make all necessary adjustments. At the end, check all settings to make sure you didn’t miss anything. If the fonts/colors are modified with CSS code, you will have to change the code in order to make it match your own branding. The documentation is your helper here, as the majority of the design kits have a CSS related tab where we explain how to change specific fonts/colors.
If you need further assistance with the customization or if you’d like to have our team implement your branding for you, you can hire us at any time by purchasing the Medium Support add-on. More details here.
Step 6. Content Management
Let the fun begin! :) This step will take most of your time, but if you follow each bullet point below, it’s going to be as easy as pie.
Get rid of all the dummy content
Take all your selected pages one by one and start replacing dummy content with your own copy and images. We strongly recommend to migrate all the text from your old website into the new one (if this is the case) in order to keep your SEO intact.
At this point, it is very important to optimize all the images that you’re uploading to your website, to ensure a fast page loading speed. As photographers and creatives, we completely understand the desire to showcase sharp, crispy images (even on 5-8k screens), however by doing so, very often you compromise your site’s loading speed. This harms your SEO and the experience your site visitors get while browsing through your pages. No need to panic though, there are tools that allow you to optimize your photos, while maintaining your crystal clear quality. No compromises. You can find more details on this topic here.
Edit your files in Photoshop
If you’re a Miró, Minima, D’Avella, Venice, Black Ónyx, Chalk or Ónyx user, there will be elements that will require basic Photoshop customizations. No worries about that, we got you covered! Inside the folder you receive when you first purchased your design kit, you will find all the editable .psd files you need to customize specific elements. At the same time you will find a PDF “ReadMe” file which is connected to our documentation. It provides you with step by step tutorials on how to work with Photoshop and how to make necessary changes. Nothing too complicated, we promise :)
Consult the documentation, when needed
Again, thedocumentation is a huge helper when it comes to understanding your design kit. If you have some uncertainties, i.e. for a section of your Homepage, go to the documentation, check the left side tab “Homepage” and you will find“how to” videos that explain each step along the way. You can do that for any page or section, as we cover all possible details there.
If you have any graphics or visual assets for your brand (i.e. graphic elements, typography elements), feel free to include them at this point into your website, as well.
Our Design Kits will usually display testimonials through a summary block which is connected to a blog page.
What you can do here is either delete the dummy testimonials blog and add a new one with your own reviews, or you can simply replace the already existing testimonials. The second option may be easier, as it won’t be necessary to go back to your pages and connect the summary block with the new created blog page.
Connect your contact form
When you first receive the demo setup, your contact form will be connected to your email address. We still highly encourage you to go ahead and double check everything. Make a test inquiry and check the functionality of the form. If you use a 3rd party tool like Honeybook, Dubsado etc., you’ll have to delete this form block, replace it with a code block and add your embed code there.
Once you are finished here, contact our team and schedule a screen sharing call, so we can go over any questions you have.
Step 7. Check slugs, sitemap and broken links
At this point you should already have all content replaced and no dummy content left. You’re close to push this beauty live, just a few more SEO and technical aspects left:
Make sure your sitemap for the new website is the same as in your current site, to avoid any broken links. Here’s a video explaining how to replace slugs and make sure you have the correct sitemap.
In case you have any broken links in your current site, you’ll need to setup redirects, to avoid getting 404s. Broken links can really harm your SEO and increase your bounce rate, so better address this. Here is a video that explains how to do it.
Step 8. Double-check the buttons
Since you changed the URL slugs for the majority of your pages, your buttons will not be functional anymore and they need to be updated. Take all existing pages, one by one, and make sure all buttons are properly connected.
Before moving to the next stage, make sure to have your favicon and logo uploaded. In order to update it, simply go to the Squarespace dashboard: Design → Logo & Title. Upload both your logo & your favicon as .png files.
Before you push your site live, you can go over this checklist to make sure everything is in order and you haven’t forgotten any crucial aspects.
Step 9: Set your website live
Now that we’re all set and everything’s functional, you’re ready to set your website live! To do so, simply click on the “Set Live” button at the bottom of your page and it’s time to pop that champagne!
Note that you have 1 week of free support with our team after the first preview was shared. Take this into consideration and reach out for help if you get stuck or have questions. We’d be happy to assist!
Step 10: Collect compliments and watch your business grow!
Share your newly created website with us and with the world, and let’s do a happy dance together 🙃
If you haven’t already, purchase Demo Setup Service here.