How to Choose the Best Squarespace Template for Business or Life Coach Website
When it comes to choosing the right Squarespace template for your coaching website, you might feel a little overwhelmed looking at all the available templates Squarespace has to offer.
If that’s the case, well, babe, you’re in the right place. I’ve played with Squarespace long enough to know which template offers what and how to go about choosing a template. But, before I dive into that, there are a couple of things I want to clarify.
Squarespace Template vs Template Family
Squarespace offers both templates and template families. Template family is simply a collection of templates that share the same structure and functionality. The only difference is how they are styled.
A template, on the other hand, is a single template that may or may not belong to a template family. For example, Brine is both a template and a template family. Five is a single, standalone template that doesn’t belong to a template family.
Functionality vs Looks in Squarespace Templates
Another thing I want to clarify is that there are two things to keep in mind when it comes to Squarespace templates. The functionality of the template includes features such as:
Full-width banner images
Extra navigation menus
Grid or list blog layout
These features are directly controlled by the template you choose. So for example, if you want your website to have a sidebar, opting for a template such as Bedford (or Bedford family) is a good choice.
The look of the template is controlled by Site Styles in the Design tab. Using the Site Styles, you can change the fonts used on your site, set colors for your buttons, control how much space there is between menu items and more.
So with that out of the way, how do you know which is the best template for Business or Life Coaches?
Easy. It’s a three-step process and once you nail it down, choosing a Squarespace template becomes a walk in the park.
Step 1: Know what features you want your coaching site to have
I’ve already kind of hinted at this, but knowing what functionality you want your coaching website to have is the key to this process. SO… before anything else, pour yourself a nice cup of hot, freshly brewed coffee, sit your tush down, and open up a new Google Doc. Or a new note. Or plain ol’ piece of paper. No judgment here. Then, list all the features you want.
Here are a few questions to help you out:
Will you be blogging and do you need a sidebar?
Do you want to have a full-width banner on every page?
Do you like parallax?
How many navigation menus do you need?
Step 2: Find out which Squarespace templates support the desired functionality
Once you know which features you want, it’s time to see which Squarespace templates can make that happen. A good place to start is to use a template comparison chart. If you want a very in-depth comparison, you need to bookmark and use this Squarespace template comparison chart.
You can see which templates have certain features and narrow down your choice. Then, it’s time for the final step.
3. Step 3: Preview the templates and make a choice
Once you’ve narrowed down your choice, visit the Template page and preview each of the templates you’ve noted down. From there, you can see how each of the templates look and you can see how others have used and customized the template. If you’re still having trouble choosing a template, now is the time to pay attention to how the template is styled and how the pages are laid out. Then, start with the one that’s the closest match to what you want your website to look like.
Okay, but what’s the best template for coaching websites Ana?
If you want my answer to that question, here goes. Any template in the Brine or Bedford family would be a great candidate.
Brine is my default, go-to choice in 95% of websites I build. My own website uses a template from the Brine family as well -- the Rally template. Brine is the most flexible template family that not only has the most features out of all templates, it also offers extensive Style Settings and allows you to really fine-tune how your site looks on mobile. My personal favorites include Rally, Moksha, Impact, and Hatch.
If you’re DIY-ing your site and want a straightforward solution for having a sidebar or a navigation button, the Bedford family is a great starting point. (It is possible to get a sidebar on Brine templates and other template families but it requires purchasing a Sidebar plugin).
You can also take a look at this post and see which Squarespace templates are used by other coaching websites.
Why Brine is The Best Squarespace Template for Coaching Websites
As I’ve said earlier, Brine is the most flexible template family out there. It’s also the template family that Squarespace has officially recommended to its Circle members.
“Brine is our newest and most customizable template family with dozens of variants, each configured as a starting point for different types of sites. [...] Since Brine has our newest codebase, you’ll also benefit from the most support from Squarespace. While we fix bugs in all templates, bugs in newer and more popular templates like Brine are usually prioritized over others.“
(If you scroll down to my footer, you’ll see I’m part of Squarespace Circle which means you get a few perks when you hire me to design your website. Just sayin’. *cough* see how you can work with me *cough*. /end shameless self-promo plug).
Ahem... where was I? Oh yes, why Brine template.
Aside from what I’ve already mentioned above, here are my top five personal reasons for choosing Brine.
1. Index pages
I love index pages. They are perfect when you want to make a one-page website or when you need a long-form sales page. In essence, Index pages allow you to stack regular pages, galleries, full-width banners one on top of the other which creates a nicely organized page.
2. Parallax scrolling
If you want to add more pizazz to your site, parallax scrolling is just what the doctor ordered. It creates an interesting visual effect (check out my homepage to see it in action) and it pairs nicely with a call to action button. Perfect for getting the attention right where you want it.
3. Tons of customization options
I’m not even kidding, babe. I mean, just look at this:
And that’s not even all of it…
4. Versatile navigation
Templates in the Brine family allow you to have a navigation in the header (two of ‘em to be exact) and a footer navigation. The navigation can be “sticky” so it stays fixed in place when someone scrolls down any page on your site and you can even choose whether you want the navigation to be in the center, on the left, on the right, at the top of the header or at the bottom.
5. Full-width banner images
Lastly, if you want to be able to have text, call to action, buttons, forms, or any other blog on a full-width banner image, Brine family is the way to go.
What if I want a particular feature but my chosen Squarespace template doesn’t support it?
There are two ways to answer this but because I am a nice person and not an a**hole, I’ll only give you the second answer: add missing features with third-party code/plugins.
There are quite a few Squarespace designers and developers out there who sell Squarespace plugins. They consist of a few lines of code that you paste into your website. Some of the examples include the aforementioned sidebar on templates that don’t support it, hover image effect on galleries or blog thumbnails, and similar.
So, in short, check out the following code shops:
SquareStudio - includes both plugins and templates. You can buy individual plugins of sign up for their membership which gives you access to all of the plugins and templates. A few examples include Animated Vertical Timeline, Back to Top button, and Animated Counter.
Thirty Eight Visuals - plenty of style customizations and fun effects for your gallery and summary blocks. A few examples include Gallery Title + Extra Link Overlay, Summary Wall Content Roll Over, and more.
SQSPThemes - similarly to SquareStudio, SQSPThemes includes Squarespace plugins and templates. A couple of examples include Sidebar plugin, Accordion Tabs plugin, Lightbox Anything, and more.
HiveSocial - HiveSocial offers quite a few plugins for free and without restrictions. They include a countdown timer, Matrix headings, Gradient Scroll progress bars, Twin Slideshow, and more.
POWR - includes a few interesting choices such as countdown timer, social feed, price tables, and more. The plugins can be installed for free but there is a limit on how many you can have installed for free as well as on the number of submissions. They have several pricing plans to choose from so this is a good option to consider if you can’t find your desired feature anywhere else.
If the above doesn’t meet your requirements, you can always search for a particular feature using Squarespace Answers. A lot of the time, you can find the right code snippet for what you’re trying to achieve.
How much are Squarespace templates?
One last thing before I wrap this up, Squarespace templates are completely free and included in your Squarespace plan. That means if you choose a template and then decide to switch to a different one, there is no extra charge for it.
Pin me for later:
Want or need a Squarespace website like yesterday and have zero time to figure out which template you want let alone how to put everything together to make sure your ideal client not only swoons over your website but is also like
Well then, you’re in the right place. Take a look at how we can work together, choose your package, and let’s get’er done girl!