The Sneaky Way on Squarespace: Download Documents in Exchange for Filling Out a Form

In today's world, there is very little that's free. You're already well aware of this marketing trend: to provide site visitors a free download in exchange for their information. (Or as we called in in 2012: Downloading Whitepapers in Exchange for an Email Address) 🥇SEO BONUS POINT 🥇

While not a "feature" in Squarespace, this is definitely possible to do, with just a little creativity. You got this.

1. Create your downloads landing page

Yes, we're going into this thing backwards. It will make the most sense.

The secret sauce here is to provide a place where you can send the visitor for your download(s). If this download is for one file, you could just add the one file to the page. But with enough planning, you could use this technique for other uses. 

Put your downloads page in the "NOT LINKED" section of your site.

Put your downloads page in the "NOT LINKED" section of your site.

Example: if you want all your partners to access your "partners-only" area of your site, you could add all your super-secret partner documents to this particular downloads page. Make sure the page is "hidden"; keeping it outside plain view is the key to keeping things secret, Miss Sneaky-Pants.

I recorded a quick silent film to show you how I would setup the page. Using images in a gallery block is easy-peasy, and all the Squarespace settings are already there for you! (Document Title, Open in New Window, etc)

2. Create your form

What do you want to collect from the visitor? It's all up to you, but keeping in mind that they may just want to grab your document and run, you'll probably want things short and sweet. 

TIP: since they're grabbing, running and giggling with your free document, be sure to add lots of branding to the document on that thing! (my example that's used in this post is found here)

Remember what we said about the secret sauce?
The secret sauce is to provide the link to your downloads page at the end of the form. 

In the form's advanced settings, just add the link to the newly-created downloads page.

You're already a marketing genius!

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The actual form is below. Give it a whirl!

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We invented this very technique SIX years ago on Squarespace V5. Allegedly: 
Squarespace Marketing Tip: Downloading Whitepapers in Exchange for an Email Address 


GDPR Compliance and Squarespace

Squarespace’s Irish entity to service non-US users.

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As General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect, Squarespace announced their initiative to button everything up. 

The company told its users last week that after May 14, EU site managers would be serviced by Squarespace Ireland Limited.

The company said the move is “in recognition of the global nature of our user base.” Non-US users will hold a Terms of Service agreement with Squarespace Ireland and US users with the New York-based Squarespace, Inc.

Site managers were told that Squarespace would be updating its terms of service and privacy policy “to keep pace with our growing international user base and expanded product offerings, and to ensure that we continue to be transparent about our practices.” The changes were also posted on the company’s blog.

Squarespace also said it will restructure its privacy policy to be clearer about how it handles personal information, as well as clarify how to handle the rights of visitors to your site. It will post a Data Processing Addendum (DPA) explaining how the service will handle the data of site owners and visitors. It also said it would update its cookie, copyright and acceptable use policies and developer terms to make sure they are clear and consistent with these changes.

Mostly Free Stock Images

Photography has always been an integral part of design. Unfortunately, we’ve grown accustomed to seeing crappy stock images of people in suits shaking hands. Not only are a lot of these stock photos tacky, but they cost a lot of money! Thankfully, there’s been a growing number of websites with beautiful stock photography popping up all over the web— gifted by the world's most generous community of photographers.

Here's my list of websites for mostly-free stock photos.

Quickfire Squarespace Tip: use Spacer Blocks to break text

There are certain issues when formatting content to look best across all browser widths. You would naturally use line-breaks (pressing SHIFT + ENTER) on desktop widths to format the text— to make it easier to read. But that doesn't work on mobile. It looks awful when the text wants to naturally flow within its parent container. 

In Squarespace, instead of forcing line breaks in your text, just insert SPACER BLOCKS on both sides of your paragraph. They disappear on mobile widths, making them INCREDIBLY AWESOME for tweaks like this. 

In the video, I've added a full-wide Spacer Block to "cut the text apart". Then I drag/drop a few more, and make adjustments to center everything.

Squarespace docs on Spacer Blocks (that totally rhymes)

Ten real questions to ask yourself when starting a new site


1. What am I selling? Who is my audience, and why will they want to buy my stuff?

2. Will what I’m selling generate rave reviews and turn customers into sales and marketing people? If not, how can I improve their experience?

3. What are my business goals? What does a successful business mean to me?

4. How will this make money? How will it continue to make money

5. What makes this idea unique? What problem does it solve and how does it help people? What value does this bring to others?

6. What about this makes me excited? How can I spread that excitement?

7. What professionals do I need to hire to make this happen? What will they be responsible for doing?

8. What is my budget (and if it’s not realistic, can it change)?

9. What is my timeline for launch (and if it’s not realistic, can it change)

10. What do I want my business to be known for?