If you’re looking to change Squarespace template—either you don’t like it anymore or want to give it a fresher look— but are afraid of breaking your current website, don’t worry. It’s easy.
The Squarespace team put a lot of thought into it. It provided enough room to make the necessary changes or do a complete overhaul. Changing templates used to be easy in 7.0 and was a staple of Squarespace. The newest version, 7.1, retains that feature, and its Squarespace Fluid Engine editor makes changing templates or creating new layouts from the existing template even easier.
However, If you’re unsure how to do it, I have created this guide to help you. This article presumes all the scenarios like:
- Changing the current 7.0 template to a new 7.0 template
- Changing the current template in 7.1 to a new 7.1 template.
- Changing template from 7.0 to 7.1 (upgrading).
- Changing the template from 7.1 to 7.0
Table of Contents
Squarespace is an all-around drag-and-drop website builder mostly known for user-friendly website building and stunning themes. The website builder allows anyone, novice or experienced, to create a website in just a few clicks.
But no matter how easy website building or stunning current themes are, there’s always a need to change. Although, you must choose the template carefully because changing the whole theme or template can be time-consuming.
Note: If you’re running a previous version that is 7.0, remember this version is not exactly compatible with 7.1. Or you can say the Classic editor isn’t directly compatible with the new Squarespace Fluid Engine editor. If you want to read more about it, we have done a detailed review of the Squarespace Fluid Engine.
How To Change Squarespace Template in 7.0
To access different features, you’d have to change Squarespace template in 7.0, because not all the templates have had the same features. It would mean starting over with a new Squarespace template, gaining some new features, and losing others.
Here’s how you can change Squarespace template in 7.0.
Log in to your Squarespace account and go to your dashboard. Click website > Edit (Top left corner)
There are tons of templates in 7.0, all with different features. Some have parallax scrolling and sidebar folder navigation, while others have grid layouts for blogs.
Jot down the features you want from the new template. Chances are your current template may be discontinued, and now you want one with more support. You’ll also be losing some of the features in the process because, as I mentioned above—different templates have different features.
That is why you must make a comparison and choose your next template wisely. Once you have done that, rest is easy. Another important and often overlooked aspect is custom CSS. If you have a custom CSS file, you may want to download or copy and save it.
CSS is always template specific, and if you plan on reconfiguring the new template, the saved CCS file will come in handy.
Locate the Design tab in the left sidebar that opens up and click on Template.
Click Install New Template and then choose your template. Once chosen, you’ll have two options:
1. Go live with the template and make all edits or changes on the live site.
2. Go to Preview mode and make changes there.
The preview mode kind of works like a staging website. None of the changes you make there will reflect on the live site.
If you edit in preview mode, you have to finish editing and click Set as Live Template.
There are a couple of reasons why you would want to edit in preview mode.
1. Anyone visiting your site won’t see an incomplete, broken, or under-progress page.
2. If your website is getting traffic, making changes to the live site might impact your SEO negatively.
The new template won’t migrate everything as is. You’ll need to make the changes because features in your old template don’t exist in the new one. If you plan on adding content from your old template to the new one, make sure you duplicate the pages, or else your live website with the old one will break.
You can go one step further. As duplicating a page may still show the page to the public, it is wise to keep the duplicate page as not linked. Just drag the page down to the Not Linked section. That way, your page stays live, and the duplicate page is not linked.
Another foolproof way is to click Design > Pages and hover over the duplicate page. You’ll see a cog (settings). Click it to open settings. Scroll down to find Enable Page section. Turn it off, and now your visitors can’t see that page. You can also put up a password.
Make all the edits you want to the duplicate page. Add elements, sections, and blocks. Once you’ve completed the edits and want to go live with the page, you must make changes to the URL or slug of the URL. To do that:
Hover over the original page > Settings (the cog icon appears when you hover over the page.) > URL Slug add old or xyz or anything to the existing slug.
For example, if the current slug is /home, make it like /home-xyz, and save it.
Go to your duplicate page’s settings > url slug > /home-1. Here, you’ll change the slug to the original, i.e., /home. Save.
Move the page to the Main Navigation and delete the other page. And voila! You successfully changed your template. If this process looks long, skip the duplicating process. Go to the page settings of the page you want to edit and turn off Enable Page. Make the edits and turn on Enable Page when you’re done.
If your site is brand new or a couple of months old, starting from scratch with a new template is an easier option.
How To Change Squarespace Template in 7.1?
Squarespace released the 7.1 update in 2020 and introduced new editing mechanics, a grid-style Squarespace Fluid Engine. The new editor centralizes everything, including sections, blocks, templates, etc.
What does this mean? It means you can’t switch templates in the 7.1 version. The reason why people had to change templates in 7.0 is that different template families had different features. That is not the case in 7.1. All the elements are the same and available for use regardless of your chosen template.
When you visit the template page on the Squarespace website, you come across various ones with a range of designs and layouts. Guess what? All the customization is done from one single or core template, and you can create a layout or similar design.
Each template uses blocks to look the way it looks. These blocks are highly flexible and customizable; you can move them anywhere within the grid. You can even take your customization a step further with the custom CSS. However, it is still as limited as 7.0.
When Squarespace Fluid Engine was introduced, it put off many since the migration from Squarespace 7.0 to 7.1 was time-consuming. And I agree, but the perks outweigh minor setbacks. Remember, if you want to change the design, you can do so easily. Previously, you’d have to face content and feature losses by changing the template.
How To Upgrade or Change Squarespace Templates From 7.0 to 7.1?
Squarespace 7.1 had many people upset. They didn’t like the centralized structure and the work it took to migrate content from the previous version. In addition, there’s no easy way to upgrade without breaking everything. In a nutshell, you can’t directly upgrade from Squarespace 7.0 to 7.1.
Both versions have different mechanics and fundamentals and aren’t compatible. As a result, you’ll need to rebuild your website from the ground up, make customizations, add content, and more.
You can save your custom CSS and content and export products to your local system to be safe. You can take screenshots of the pages to create a similar design, and it’s easier on Squarespace 7.1. However, it takes some getting used to the new editor and editing style.
Start by creating a new site with Squarespace 7.1 by choosing one from the Squarespace template collection. Fret not, for you can’t go wrong with the template. You can still customize it to the brim. For example, you can change templates, color schemes, or how your Subscribe button appears.
After creating the new website on 7.1, you can export content like a product list. If that doesn’t work, you can always import your saved products file. However, you can’t import Squarespace analytics, customer accounts data, or email campaigns if you are using Squarespace’s email marketing feature.
I’d recommend using Google Analytics, 3rd part email services like MailChimp, and use 3rd party CRM software for customer accounts.
In our tests, we found that some Squarespace 7.0 templates can be upgraded to 7.1 without breaking the layout or anything.
How To Change Squarespace Template From 7.0 to 7.1 Fluid Engine?
Squarespace 7.0 had the classic editor that many came to love. If you have prior experience with the classic editor and don’t like the Fluid engine, you can choose the Squarespace 7.0 template. However, you cannot completely change Squarespace template from 7.1 to 7.0.
To choose a template that still supports the classic editor you have:
Navigate to your website’s side panel > Pages
Main Navigation > Page layouts. Scroll to the bottom where you’ll see a note in small font “The above pages use the new Fluid Engine editor. Looking for designs built with our Classic Editor?”
Click to see the page templates that still use Classic Editor.
And that’s all you need to do change templates in Squarespace or upgrade your editor if you’re using the older one. If you find trouble changing the templates or any element, you can always go to Squarespace’s Help Center or Squarespace Forum to find the solution. If that feels like too much work, you can also hire a Squarespace Designer from the Squarespace website.
The Bottom Line
Change is the name of the game and you need to be constantly adapting. Squarespace makes changing templates easy in 7.1 Fluid Engine if you’re ready to put in the leg work. Of course, it takes time to design a new layout, choose a correct template and then design it manually. However, all the work makes the end result worth it, no matter what version of Squarespace you’re using.
How do I edit a Squarespace template without going live?
To edit a Squarespace template without going live, all you have to do is go to your dashboard, > Website > Pages. Hover over the page you want to edit. Go to its Setting > Enable Page. Turn it off and your page won’t be accessible to visitors until you turn it back on.
Can I edit my Squarespace website after publishing?
How much does it cost to redesign a website on Squarespace?
The cost to redesign a website on Squarespace depends on what approach you take. if you want to redesign yourself, it doesn’t cost anything if you are subscribed to a Squarespace plan. If you want to hire an expert, the cost can range anywhere between $350 – $2000.
How do I change my template in Squarespace 2023?
You cannot change your website template on Squarespace 7.1 in 2023 since all the designs use one core template. In Squarespace 7.1, no element or feature is template exclusive, so you can create new layouts with different color schemes anytime you want.