How to Change Templates in Squarespace

 
Image for How to Change Templates in Squarespace by The Qurious Effect | Squarespace Web Designer
 
 

Has it been a while since you started using Squarespace? Are you itching to change things up a bit but worried about making a mess of your site? Or has the word Brine been all over your radar recently?

If you’ve been using the same Squarespace template for a few years, it might be time to switch templates as the newer templates have more options to customize your website baked right into the templates.

Once you’ve decided you’re ready to look at new template options for your site, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are lots of beautiful template options but they the features each offers can vary quite a bit. So it’s a good idea to keep in mind your must-have features. This way, as you compare the templates, you can disregard any that don’t meet your needs.

Here’s a link to the Squarespace template comparison charts so you can have a look.


What About Brine?


The Brine template family has become Squarespace’s flagship template family, offering the most style tweaks of all the templates. This means you can highly customize your site without having to use code. The family works well for shops, blogs and portfolios. So, if you get overwhelmed by the template choices, Brine is a good place to start. This site uses Mercer, part of the Brine family.

A NOTE ABOUT BRINE: It does not offer a sidebar, so if that’s a must-have for you and like lots of others, you want to use Brine, I recommend this sidebar plug-in. It has raving fans and only 5 star reviews!


How to Add a New Template to Your Squarespace Site


Once you’ve narrowed down your template options, you can add them to your site and preview them without the new template being published to your live site – super helpful. Here’s how to add a new template to your site.

 
Image showing where to install a new Squarespace template for your website. By The Qurious Effect | Squarespace website designer
 
 
  • Navigate to the Home Menu, click Design, then click Template
    (If you don't see Template, click Advanced, then Template)

  • Click Install New Template

  • When you find one you want to install, hover over it and click the Start With button

  • The template now appears in your Template panel, below the live template

  • Hover over the new template and click Preview

 
Image showing where to select a new template for your Squarespace website. By The Qurious Effect | Squarespace specialist
 
Image showing how to preview a new Squarespace template on your website. By The Qurious Effect | Squarespace Website Design
 
 

How to Preview a New Squarespace Template on Your Site


While previewing a new template, you can make changes within the style editor without affecting your live site but don't make any content changes on your pages without duplicating the pages first, as this type of change would be visible on your live site. The template will also automatically load demo content that you will want to move to the Not Linked section.

Have a careful look through your pages and determine if the template is the one you’d like to move forward with. If it’s not, you can stop previewing a template and revert back to your original.

HOW to CANCEL A TEMPLATE PREVIEW / UNINSTALL A TEMPLATE

If after reviewing the new template, you decide you don’t want to use it or you need to switch back to your live template, you can do so very easily.

TO CANCEL A TEMPLATE PREVIEW

  • click Cancel Preview in the bottom bar of the Page Preview area.

 
Image showing where to cancel a Squarespace template preview. By The Qurious Effect | Squarespace website design and specialist.
 
 

TO UNINSTALL A TEMPLATE

  • Navigate to the Home Menu, click Design, then click Template
    (If you don't see Template, click Advanced, then Template)

  • Scroll to the template you want to uninstall, hover over it and click Uninstall


 
Image showing how to uninstall a Squarespace template. By The Qurious Effect, a Squarespace web designer.
 
 

How to Edit Your New Squarespace Template


Now that you’ve compared the templates and have picked the best one for your needs, it’s time to get your site organized and ready to make the switch. Be aware that there will be tweaking to do once you make the switch to a new template. It can be a little nerve wracking and time consuming but by taking the time upfront to get organized, you can streamline the process.

Once you've selected a new template to switch to and are previewing the template, you’re ready to start editing your site in preview mode.

  • Navigate to the Home Menu, then click Pages

  • You will see that your original pages have moved to the Not Linked section and that your Main Navigation has the template's demo content – this is to show the template’s features and isn't visible to visitors.

  • Move the demo content to the Not Linked section (for now),

  • Rename the original pages by adding "-old" to the end

  • Make duplicates of your “old” original pages and move them to the original pages’ locations. Remember visitors can't see these changes until you publish the template.

By making duplicates of your original pages, you still have an original version of the page in case you need to refer to or revert to them.

How to Style Your New Squarespace Template


You can now work on styling your new template, using the style editor. Navigate to Home, click Design and then Style Editor. Because each template is different there may be different settings available to you in the Style Editor. If you’ve switched from an older template to a Brine family template, you will see many more options here.

This is where the bulk of the work in switching templates will take place. Be sure to take your time and review each page of your site to ensure the changes appear as you intended.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have any custom code on your website, there is a chance that it may not work properly with the new template. That's because the templates often use unique element names. So if your code doesn't look like it's working properly on the new template, you'll need to inspect the element (in your browser) to get the new template's correct element name and then swap our the names in your code. This isn't too difficult but can be a little time consuming.

How to Make a New Template Live on Your Squarespace Site


Once you're happy and confident that everything works and looks the way you'd like, you are now ready to publish the new template. Select "Set as a Live Template" from the bottom of any page preview within Squarespace. Then click on Confirm in the pop up window. After publishing the new template, it's now safe to delete the "old" pages and demo pages.

 
 
Image showing where to set a new Squarespace template as your live template. By The Qurious Effect, a Squarespace web designer and specialist.
 
 

Lastly, at this point, have Google reindex your site and you're all set.

You now have a refreshed, beautiful website ready to be shown off.

 

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