Squarespace offers plenty of functionality out of the box that helps you to create awesome-looking websites for your personal brand or for your business.
But sometimes this is not enough, and you crave for more functionality. And fortunately, there are a couple of ways to offer even better experiences to your audience.
What I’m talking about here are Squarespace integrations and Squarespace plugins that provide functionality that is not built-in into the platform.
- Integrations are built into the platform; there’s no need to install anything extra if you can find an integration that you need.
- You can contact customer support if you run into any issues with the official integrations.
- You can extend the functionality of your site with third-party plugins.
- Finding the integration documentation can be difficult at first.
- There is always a chance that a third-party plugin could break your site ( these plugins fall outside the scope of customer support).
Introducing Squarespace Integrations
Squarespace Integrations enable you to extend the functionality of your website.
All official integrations belong to the scope of customer support. So, if you run into any issues, you can contact Squarespace, and they will help you out.
Currently, the list of integrations is divided into the following categories:
- Social media
- Domains and Email
- Online ordering
To find the list of all the integrations, please enter the official Squarespace Integrations page to see what integrations are available.
The majority of integrations are free of charge, although you do have to pay for some of them.
For instance, Google’s G Suite is an example of a premium-level integration that will cost you money (in other words, you’ll have to pay for the G Suite to use it).
What, No App Store!?
From a user experience standpoint, I found that the Squarespace integrations can be a bit confusing.
With some other site builders like Weebly, the Apps that extend your site are easily accessible by clicking on the menu at the top:
With Squarespace, all I’m left with is the integrations page, which looks like an extended link list.
I hope that someday Squarespace will actually make this list of integrations easier to find, with a better user interface of course (it should look like an app store, not a link list).
Accessing Official Integrations: Case YouTube
In this section, I show you how to use integrations on your site. As an example, I’m using YouTube, which is a video-sharing platform and also one of the biggest search engines on the Web.
Please note that this is just one example of using integrations. The steps that you need to take depend on the integration you are about to use. So refer back to the integrations page to see what integrations are available and how to actually use them on your site.
In this particular example, the idea of the integration is to add a social icon link to your theme that links to your YouTube profile page. You can then also embed YouTube videos to your website.
The integration happens in three phases:
- Connecting your account.
- Displaying the social icon link on your site.
- Embedding YouTube content on your site.
Connecting Your Account
To connect your YouTube account, here are the steps to follow:
1. Log in to your site. Once logged in, pick a site for editing.
2. On the left-side menu, choose Settings:
3. Then, under Website, choose Connected Accounts:
4. The Connected Accounts section opens. Click the Connect Account button:
5. On the window that opens up, scroll down to the video section, and choose YouTube:
6. Log in to YouTube with your credentials.
7. During the logging process, Google asks if you trust Squarespace. Click Allow:
8. Once the account has been successfully connected, you’ll see it displayed on the left side of the page:
Displaying the Social Icon Link on Your Site
Once the integration has been done, you are then ready to display the social icon link on your site. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Click the connected account you just created:
2. A new window called YouTube settings opens up. Make sure that the Show Social Icons is checked:
The profile URL link should be automatically filled.
Once the settings are set, the social icon link is displayed on most of the templates. For instance, I’m using a template called Bedford, so the link is displayed at the top-right of the page:
Now that this configuration is done, it’s time to find out how to actually display the YouTube video on your site.
Displaying the YouTube Video on Your Site
There are a couple of ways to integrate video on your site.
In this example, I’ll show you how to add a video to a page by using a Video Block.
1. Log in to your account and open a site for editing.
2. Choose a page where you want to display your YouTube video by clicking Pages on the left-side menu:
3. Choose a page for editing:
4. Hover over the page to see the Page Content menu pop up. Then choose Edit:
5. Click the Plus icon on the right:
6. On the menu that shows, see the Basic section and choose Video:
7. Enter the URL of your video:
To grab the YouTube video URL, copy the address from your browser’s address bar. Once you have entered the URL, Squarespace (YouTube) automatically fills-in the description section for you (You may want to change the text according to your needs).
You can enter custom video thumbnail as well. This image is displayed before the video starts playing.
Finally, you can set the caption and either display it under the video or not. This setting is turned off by default.
Once you have done all the changes, click the Apply button at the bottom:
8. To save all the settings, click Save on the window that shows up:
Removing an Integration
Please note: Most of the steps here are virtually the same as when connecting your YouTube account to your website. That’s why I’m not showing the images on some of these steps (Take a look at Connecting Your Account for more information).
So, what do you do if you want to remove an existing integration? Just follow these steps:
1. Log in to your site. Once logged in, pick a site for editing.
2. On the left-side menu, choose Settings.
3. Under Website, choose Connected Accounts.
4. You’ll see you connected accounts on the left:
5. Choose the Connected Account (In this case I’m choosing YouTube) to enter its settings.
6. When the YouTube Settings window opens up, click Disconnect:
7. You are asked to confirm this change. Click Confirm on the next window:
What About Squarespace Plugins?
Squarespace Integrations is not the only way to extend the functionality of your site. The other way is by using plugins.
Most of these third-party customizations are not supported by Squarespace.
Also, in order to use the plugins, you should have a business or commerce level subscription to Squarespace. You can also test the plugins during your free trial period, by using Code Blocks or Code Injection.
Finally, it’s worth noting that while some of the plugins are free, there are plenty of premium-level plugins as well. This means that you’ll end up paying a certain amount of money in order to get them.
Although Squarespace doesn’t offer support for these plugins, you might get support through the developer of the plugin.
Adding a plugin to your Squarespace Website
In this section, I’ll demonstrate how to install a Squarespace plugin to your site. I have chosen the Countdown Timer plugin, which is a free download.
To see how to actually install the plugin, check out the video that I created:
The installation experience is very different when compared to installing WordPress plugins. So, if you have any experience in doing those, you’ll notice that there are plenty of manual steps involved.
This is where the developer’s documentation becomes very important. In other words, if the instructions are not well-written, and you are not experienced with installing plugins, you might get stuck.
However, if you need any assistance, I’m happy to help you (just let me know through the comments or through the contact form.
Finding Plugins for Your Site
There are a couple of sites where you can get Squarespace plugins, either for free or by using the premium route.
Please note that I haven’t tested the majority of the plugins (except the Countdown Timer I installed in the previous section).
SquareStudio is a community and marketplace which provides plugins, templates and custom code for your Squarespace website.
This website provides both premium and free plugins.
Naughts & Ones
Noughts & Ones offers free Squarespace plugins for your website. They also provide installation support, which is great!
The Countdown Timer plugin that I installed on a video in the previous section of this blog post was downloaded from this website.
Powr is yet another place where you can download free plugins for your Squarespace website.
SQSP Themes offers premium-level themes and plugins for your Squarespace website.
There are a couple of ways to extend the functionality of your Squarespace website, either by using the integrations provided by the Squarespace, or by using plugins which are developed by third-party entities.
Getting integrations to work requires a bit of familiarity with the Squarespace platform. But at the same time, you’ll be happy to know that these integrations fall under the customer support of Squarespace.
Working with third-party plugins is relatively simple, although some extra steps are needed. If you are familiar with WordPress plugin installations, the steps you’ll have to take with Squarespace plugins may feel a bit too complicated.
Also, Squarespace won’t provide support for these third-party plugins, although you might get the support from the plugin developer.