Squarespace 5 vs Squarespace 7

Squarespace 5 launched in 2008. In 2012, we introduced Squarespace 6, a brand new platform designed to make building and managing your site more modern and intuitive. In 2014, all Squarespace 6 sites upgraded to Squarespace 7, the latest version of our platform.

Squarespace 7 and Squarespace 5 are separate platforms, which means many of their features don't overlap. For example, Squarespace 7 offers mobile-friendly design, video backgrounds, SEO optimization, and ecommerce. These features aren't available on Squarespace 5. However, there are some Squarespace 5 features that don't have a direct equivalent in Squarespace 7, such as the Discussion page.

This guide explains the differences between the two platforms.

Note: It's no longer possible to create new Squarespace 5 sites. Squarespace 5 users can move to Squarespace 7 at any time.

Am I using Squarespace 5 or Squarespace 7?

If you can log into your site with your Squarespace account name, you’re using Squarespace 5. For Squarespace 7, you must log in with your email address.

Once you’re logged in, the Squarespace 5 platform has editing modes in the top-right:

Squarespace 7 uses a side panel for editing:

Should I switch to Squarespace 7?

Squarespace 7 is our newest platform. It features modern, visually engaging templates and a simplified interface.

Benefits of Squarespace 7

Squarespace 5 users can move to Squarespace 7 at any time. Here are some of the reasons we recommend making the switch:

  • Simplified interface - In Squarespace 7, you'll use on-page annotations and the side panel to manage your collection content. The side panel streamlines everything that sets the visual presentation of your site, including the Style Editor, your template, and the CSS editor.
  • Mobile friendly - All Squarespace 7 sites feature responsive design, which optimizes your site for all mobile devices and browser sizes. This is especially important since Google now gives mobile-optimized sites higher priority.
  • Integrated commerce - Squarespace 7 has a built-in shopping cart feature, allowing you to sell directly to customers. With Squarespace Commerce, you can track inventory, set tax rates, assign shipping charges, and more.
  • Sophisticated layouts - Squarespace 7 allows for side-by-side images, image grids, multiple content columns, and more.
  • Flexible content - Squarespace 7’s blocks give you greater flexibility in where your content displays. For example, in Squarespace 5, you can only add a Twitter widget to the sidebar, whereas in Squarespace 7, you can add a Twitter Block anywhere on a page, such as the main content area or the footer.
  • Social sharing - Squarespace 7 improves the process for connecting social accounts and creating social content feeds. It also offers a “push” option for many social networks, and uses special code to help social networks pull the right images and content when you share links from your site.
  • Search engine optimized - We build all known SEO best practices into every Squarespace 7 site. For a list of ways that Squarespace 7 helps with search engine rankings, visit SEO and Squarespace overview on the Squarespace 7 help site
  • Navigate through multiple sites - If you manage multiple sites, click the avatar at the bottom of the Home Menu in Squarespace 7 to switch from one site to another.
  • Blogging - Squarespace 7 improves the way blog posts are displayed and organized by grouping posts by status, and offers many sophisticated new blog templates. 
  • Clean, modern templates - Squarespace 7’s customizable templates can give old or outdated sites a facelift.

Squarespace 5 unique features

If the following options are critical for your site, read the explanations below to decide whether or not it’s the right time for you to make the switch.

  • Sidebars - Sidebars play a more prominent role in Squarespace 5 sites than Squarespace 7. Whereas Squarespace 5 restricts certain content to the sidebar, in Squarespace 7, you can build that content directly into the page. Certain Squarespace 7 templates offer site-wide or page-specific sidebars. However, in Squarespace 7, you can’t specify that sections of a site-wide sidebar display only on certain pages.
  • Custom audiences and member accounts - Squarespace 5 offers different ways to control who views and edits content on your site than Squarespace 7. In Squarespace 7, you can set site-wide or page-specific passwords to restrict audiences, or invite contributors to help edit and manage your site. However, Squarespace 7 doesn’t offer a feature directly equivalent to Squarespace 5's member accounts or audiences. To review the options for setting permissions in Squarespace 7, visit Squarespace permissions explained.
  • File storage - In Squarespace 7, files are uploaded directly to the page, instead of in a central location. You can password-protect any page to restrict who can view and download those files. To learn more about downloading files with Squarespace 7, visit Adding links to your site.
  • Discussion Page - Squarespace 7 doesn’t currently offer a forum feature comparable to the Discussion Page. To learn how Squarespace 7 blogging comments work, visit Comment Settings. You can also add advanced commenting features to your Squarespace 7 site through our integration with Disqus.
  • Individually-styled pages - Although Squarespace 7 templates are customizable, they often feature certain site-wide styles to help your site maintain consistent branding throughout. If your Squarespace 5 site features many per-page styles and style overrides, you may not be able to recreate the same effect in Squarespace 7.
  • Code Injection interface - Squarespace 7 supports both per-page and site-wide Code Injection, but injection points work differently than Squarespace 5. If your site relies heavily on Code Injection, visit the Squarespace 7 guide Using Code Injection.
  • If you never update your site - We’ve done our best to streamline the process of migrating your content, but moving from Squarespace 5 to Squarespace 7 does involve redesigning your site using a Squarespace 7 template, importing your content, and possibly re-creating content that can't import through the import process. If you’re satisfied with how your site looks and don’t plan to make any changes, it might make sense to leave it on the Squarespace 5 platform for now.

Squarespace 7 platform overview

For a tour of the Squarespace 7 platform, watch this video:

Testing out Squarespace 7

We offer a free 14-day trial so you can try Squarespace 7 before moving your site.

Note: You're creating a new account when you start your Squarespace 7 trial, so ensure that you create a new login as well. Your Squarespace 5 login credentials won't work with Squarespace 7.

Switching to Squarespace 7

When you’re ready to switch to Squarespace 7, visit Moving from Squarespace 5 to Squarespace 7 for detailed steps.

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Squarespace 5 vs Squarespace 7