The Squarespace content management system software (CMS) has a user-friendly interface and includes site hosting. This service charges per month or annually, but handles updates and offers a free custom domain and SSL security.

Squarespace offers the most critical built-in features necessary for website creation and management, including access to website analytics. The content manager offers a rich text, WYSIWYG editor with the basic formatting tools found in word-processing applications such as Microsoft Word. You can also input raw HTML or formatted text.

This content management software allows for some coding in HMTL/CSS and Java. However, these are small modifications or additions only; Squarespace is not an open source software CMS. This makes it a good choice for non-developers who want a basic but powerful site, but it limits developers who need advanced solutions.

Even though add-ons are not available through third-party developers, Squarespace still provides many basic customization options. The templates are versatile, and it offers many that are eCommerce focused. You can add unlimited products with variants, accept and track payments and integrate your email marketing list. The websites are automatically mobile responsive, an important feature since more and more people are shopping using mobile devices.

While there are no options for advanced coding, the system does provide useful layout blocks, including galleries and YouTube, menus and indexes. It also has archive blocks what let you group and display up to 1,000 content items by year, month, author or category to create an index page.

Squarespace ensures your site is safe and secure with the option to SSL-enable your pages. In addition, you can designate certain users as an administrator or provide a login and registration form for site visitors. Site controls include annotations, sitewide passwords to lock the site while it’s under construction, lock screens and page-specific passwords. With multiple access levels you can limit an employee’s ability to change the site to just the areas they need.

Squarespace is a basic but versatile content management system ideal for people who are not hard-core developers but want to create a useful and secure website for personal, business or eCommerce. It’s not open source nor does it have plug-ins, but it offers the most important tools, creating an attractive small business website.

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