The Challenge

I wanted to test how easy it was to build a portfolio on SquareSpace, how much I could get done in an hour, and if there were any frustrations. And answer this question: What’s it like to build a portfolio site on SquareSpace and would I recommend it to others?

I’m a writer and also do graphics, so it’s going to be an interesting challenge to make my portfolio. Still, all sorts of professionals are making portfolio sites these days, so I'm up for the challenge!

Key takeaways:

  • You can make fast progress on SquareSpace building a portfolio
  • There are highly suitable templates and pages to use for portfolios.
  • SquareSpace is a very efficient and user friendly way to build a portfolio site.

Let’s have a look…

Planning My Portfolio Site

A good site starts with a good plan.

Here are the main pages I’d like to create:

  • Blog Posts
  • UX Writing
  • Social Media Graphics
  • Blog Graphics
  • Product Pages

One issue you might be familiar with if you’re also an online content creator is when work you’ve done is gone and you haven’t captured it. I did a few big launches on social media and grew accounts from 0 to thousands . . . more than five years ago. But… this work is outdated, so I’m going to display the company logos with accomplishments.

I have an outline, I have a vision for each page, and I’m ready to start.

Building My Portfolio Site

The process has been fairly easy and within minutes I have my site up and running and am adding new pages. I want to build each page and then upload my portfolio work. If you want to get started now and use this as a guide you can sign up for SquareSpace and save 10% with the coupon code OKDIGITAL10

 

Screenshot of opening screen to SquareSpaces asks "What is your site about?"Screenshot of SquareSpace where they as "What are your goals?"Screenshot from SquareSpace where you choose what type of template you want, the copy say s "Make any template yours with ease."

When I gave SquareSpace some more information about what kind of site I was building, and they recommended 48 templates, but there was only "best" recommended one. At first was disappointing, but I paused and realized that SquareSpace knows what’s best here, let’s go for it! One thing I don’t feel like doing now is going through a million templates that were tagged by their owners for addressing a particular vertical. In the end, I'm happy with my choice.

After that was Onboarding. Onboarding was quick, but mostly addressed to sellers and not portfolio makers. I didn’t quite feel like the content was catering to me as a portfolio maker at this stage.

Check out an onboarding screenshot:

Screenshot of onboarding of SquareSpace that says "Start sellign on SquareSpace"

Once the theme is installed it’s time to get started building. I just deleted the ABOUT page and the other page that was there. I added a page and there it was - a portfolio page. I didn’t have to deal with putting together blocks! The pages looked great as-is and just needed some content updates.

First I chose to add a new page and was very pleasantly surprised that there was a portfolio option! This one was a no-brainer. (Not pictured). Next I chose from a selection of three types of portfolio pages for my theme.

Screenshot of options on portfolio page on SquareSpace

I liked this one the best:

Screenshot of portfolio page on SquareSpace. Text at top, images below.

Everything’s going super smooth, just one negative feedback, which is that there’s no spell check on the pages name part, so for people like myself who tend to get letters mixed up and just plain old spell bad could use a bit of help here. The spell check works fine when I’m editing the copy on top of the different portfolio pages, which makes it super convenient to just write what I want as I go page to page.

After I added the page, I edited the text. To be honest, it took me a while to find the edit button and I selected the text a few times and tried to edit it on the page before I discovered the edit button in the top left. Somehow on one page, the text came out like the example, but on the other one I somehow accidentally made it small. Just going to copy-paste from the page that works. Adding pages, adding text content has been easy. Don't miss the "EDIT" button hiding in the top left...

Screenshot from SquareSpace of regular page with left menu open.

Now it’s time to update the images on the pages and here’s what’s time-consuming and here’s where I’m going to stop for the day. I emailed my work computer my CV, found my old portfolio, and needed to copy some of the stuff over to the website. I need a break to think about what I want to put on the site and how I’ll represent some of the written work that I can’t show either because it’s outdated or because it’s a ghostwritten piece and I can’t say that I wrote it.

Oops, I didn’t even work on my homepage, better late than never. I deleted most of the blocks and left a clean home page with minimal information. While the editing of the home page was a bit awkward at first compared to the pages, I found my grounding in just a few minutes and managed to make the homepage beautiful. 

So that’s all in about an hour. I estimate uploading all my content could take another hour or two, maybe even three, mainly because I don’t have the content ready. I think someone who has content ready is at a huge advantage here. While I didn’t totally finish my site, I did all of the setup within an hour. It’s important to note that when you do a free trial you don’t get a customized URL or a public website. You can publish it privately and give anyone access with a password for free. You can sign up for SquareSpace and save 10% using the coupon code OKDIGITAL10

Conclusion

Within one hour I was able to set up a basic portfolio website on SquareSpace that looked very elegant and well-designed. I was surprised by how easy and intuitive it was and with a few more hours I’m confident that I could have a complete portfolio website. I might want to switch up the colors and image on the homepage, but here's what it looks like:

SquareSpace screenshot of homepage first draft of my portfolio site.

Final words: Building a portfolio-based website on SquareSpace was fast, easy, and overall just a light, enjoyable, frustration-free experience.

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