Self Made

The 9 best Squarespace templates for writers, authors, and journalists

Need a site for your writing portfolio? Trying to attract new freelance clients? These templates are the ones you'll need to check out.
By Haley Henschel and Timothy Beck Werth  on 
All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers. If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Overview

Best for a personal website/CV

Suhama

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Best for a copywriting portfolio

Degraw

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Best for freelance writers

Myhra

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Best for blogging

Mérida

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Best for design lovers

Agaro

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Best for selling a book

Manual

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Best for a book tour

Vandam

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Best for poetry and fanfic

Harman

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Best for visual storytellers

Tepito

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See 4 More

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mashable readers can save 10% on new Squarespace plans with the coupon code MASHABLE10.

In this gig economy day and internet age, no writer is just a writer anymore. A writer must also be an idea collector, a pitcher, a negotiator, an SEO specialist, a proofreader, a self-promoter, and a professional invoice sender. They might even be a full-on brand at this point, depending on whether they buy into the Twitter discourse. They're definitely a seasoned caffeine snob.

That being said, you'd probably struggle to find more than a handful of writers who think of themselves as especially adept developers. English, journalism, and creative writing coursework isn't exactly rife with opportunities to learn how to build websites, and self-led bootcamps are intimidating if you don't have a lick of coding or HTML experience. So, despite plenty of snide warnings, most journalists haven't actually learned to code.

This can feel like a huge hurdle when it comes time to building a personal website, whether you're trying to showcase a portfolio, attract new clients, sell a book, or simply publish a blog.

Enter: Squarespace, a popular website building platform that presents itself as an all-in-one solution for designing and managing a website (with plans starting as low as $16 a month). Squarespace has hundreds of off-the-shelf website templates that make it easy for anyone to design a personal website. Plus, in June 2023, Squarespace announced it was acquiring Google Domains, making Squarespace one of the largest domain name registrars in the world.

For all these reasons, Squarespace has become a popular destination for writers building their own websites. To help you build your website for writing, we've gathered the best Squarespace templates for writers along with everything you need to know to get started.

Why is Squarespace good for writers?

Squarespace has templates for online stores, artists, and small businesses, and that includes some of the best website templates for writers. You can even sign up for a free trial and design your website for free, paying only if you decide to take your website live — a convenient option for cash-strapped freelance writers.

Going live is as easy browsing modern, mobile-optimized templates and customizing it with your branding; technical chores like website metrics, SSL security, video storage, and updates are all handled by the platform itself. Plus, it maintains a full-featured app that lets you edit your site on the go, including updating pages, adding new images, writing blog posts, reviewing site analytics, and managing the inventory of an online store.

Squarespace has a ton of useful features that writer types can take advantage of, including pre-made Portfolio and Blog layout pages, newsletter blocks, social media integration, email campaign integration, tag and category support, multiple author support, Google Analytics support, the ability to schedule posts, and a built-in commenting system that includes content moderation and abuse filters (plus Disqus integration). It also recently added a tool similar to Substack called Members Areas, which lets you monetize content on your site.

In short, Squarespace is very good for writers — again, even if you have no prior coding experience.

What is a Squarespace template?

A Squarespace template (or theme) is a pre-built demo website that's meant to serve as a "starting point to help inspire your site's design," to quote its support site. Each one can be used entirely as-is or fleshed out with different colors, font packs, layout pages, and content blocks.

Templates work differently depending on whether you're running Squarespace version 7.0 or 7.1. Version 7.0 (launched in 2014) contains 91 templates categorized into "families" that share the same underlying structure and style settings. Some features are exclusive to certain families, which makes it harder to switch between templates without doing at least a partial rebuild.

Meanwhile, version 7.1 (launched in early 2020) has 132 templates as of this writing, all merged into a single family. They all share the same features and formatting options, which makes it way easier to change templates on the fly.

Some experienced Squarespace designers still use version 7.0 because a handful of its advanced functionalities haven't yet migrated over, but we'd recommend starting with version 7.1 if you're new to the platform. It's much more flexible and future-proof (especially with the recent launch of Fluid Engine, Squarespace's next-gen, grid-based content editor).

No matter which one you decide to use, keep in mind that moving between versions often requires a complete rebuild and carries the risk of tanking your site's search ranking. Fortunately, Squarespace offers a free 14-day trial so you have the chance to play around with both versions before officially launching your site.

How to choose the best Squarespace templates for writers

Squarespace's Templates library gives you the option of sorting them by type (Online Store, Portfolio, Memberships, Blog, Scheduling, and One Page) and topic (e.g., Media & Podcasts, Professional Services, and Personal & CV). You can click on any template's "Preview" button to check out its demo content, which will give you an idea of how it looks in the wild.

Squarespace recommends focusing mainly on the "specific colors and layouts that appeal to you" rather than the content you see there, but adds that "you may find it easier to start with a design that's already close to how you want your site to appear." We'll use the Suhama and Devoe templates as an example:

a screenshot of the squarespace template suhama
Credit: Squarespace
a screenshot of the squarespace template devoe
Credit: Squarespace

Both are one-page Personal & CV templates, but Suhama (left) is already pre-built as a portfolio site for a writer with sections for clips and work experience; meanwhile, Devoe's demo content features little more than a full-bleed banner image and contact info. That's not to say that Devoe wouldn't or couldn't be good for a writer, too, but it'll take a lot more tinkering to get it to that point.

With a couple hundred Squarespace templates available as of 2023, it can be tough to decide which will best suit your needs as a freelancer, author, journalist, copywriter, and/or poet.

Fortunately for you, Mashable has been testing and reviewing the most popular Squarespace templates for years, and we've curated this list of the best Squarespace templates for writers. Keep scrolling for a comprehensive guide and a list of our current favorites.

Note: Most of our recommendations are from Squarespace version 7.1, but we've sprinkled in a few options from version 7.0 that continue to stand out. Templates have been labeled accordingly.

UPDATE: Aug. 16, 2023, 5:00 a.m. EDT This guide has been updated with new information from Mashable's reporting and hands-on Squarespace reviews.

Our Pick
a screenshot of the squarespace template suhama

Suhama

Best for a personal website/CV

Simple but statement-making, Suhama is a bold, one-page portfolio template that can easily be turned into a digital destination for your résumé and clips — as previously mentioned, everything's already formatted as such. It opens with a professional statement and a brief bio, followed by links to your best writing samples, a rundown of your credentials, and a blurb with your contact info. Links to all relevant socials can be found in the top navigation bar. The only thing it's really missing is an image block for your headshot, but you can add that in just two clicks if you're so inclined.

Honorable mentions: Amal (7.1), Carroll (7.1), Corrigan (7.1), Hart (7.1), Otto (7.1), Pulaski (7.1), Pursuit (7.0), and Sofia (7.0).

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screenshot of degraw template on squarespace

Degraw

Best for a copywriting portfolio

Degraw is a friendly and informative portfolio template that clearly states your value proposition upfront, letting your conversion-optimized copy do the talking right from the get-go. Once visitors start scrolling, they’re treated to a full-width image, a list of your services, a featured testimonial, and a bunch of call-to-action buttons. Prospective clients can easily schedule a consultation using the convenient form on its contact page. There's also a pre-made, grid-style blog available for you to showcase articles or go into more detail about your experience and expertise.

Honorable mentions: Agaro (7.1), Cadere (7.1), Lakshi (7.1), Noll (7.1), and Ready (7.0).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template myhra

Myhra

Best for freelance writers

Myhra is a feature-rich template punctuated by full-bleed banner images. It comes equipped with a Services section, a blog ("Recipes") where you can put testimonials or clips, an About page, a contact page with an inquiry form, and a newsletter sign-up block in the bottom navigation — you've got a lot to work with, here. But the best part is that it's pre-enabled with Squarespace's premium Member Areas feature, which lets you create gated content on your site that's locked behind either an email signup or a subscription fee. It's an incredibly easy way to monetize your writing outside of client-specific freelance projects, and an independent alternative to platforms like Substack and Medium.

Honorable mentions: Almar (7.1), Degraw (7.1), Growwell (7.1), Laurie (7.1), Meriden (7.1), Noll (7.1), and Sofia (7.0).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template merida

Mérida

Best for blogging

Featuring a chic white-on-black demo color scheme, Mérida is a magazine-style template with a strong visual hierarchy. Its well-organized homepage can handle a ton of content without looking cluttered, alternating between grids of thumbnails and "featured story" banners (plus a newsletter sign-up block at the very bottom), while its one-column post pages make great use of negative space for balance. We can see it working really well for anyone who maintains a heavy publishing schedule, whether you're a prolific blogger or someone who runs a larger digital publication.

Honorable mentions: Brower (7.1) Fillmore (7.1), Idrah (7.1), Rally (7.0), Rivoli (7.1), and Stanton (7.1). For even more recommendations, check out Mashable's guide to picking a Squarespace template for blogging.

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screenshot of agaro squarespace template

Agaro

Best for design lovers

For creators that aren't afraid to show a little panache (and for writers who consider panache non-optional), Agaro is a design-forward Squarespace template for writers. Agaro was designed for creative agencies in mind, which makes it a great choice for multi-person teams, agencies, and freelance writers with a variety of services to offer.

We love the creative and colorful accents that appear throughout this template. You can highlight key phrases with animations, select unconventional image frames, and add bold dividers between sections. All of these elements are optional, but when used, they add visual flair to your design. Mashable tested out the Agaro template to create a personal writing website and found that it was easy to customize to our liking, and it was possible to create multiple pages, update the navigation, and publish the website in under a day.

This template does require lots of content and imagery, so if you don't have much to say, you might prefer a one-page portfolio website. For a more straightforward Squarespace template with a similar design-centric approach, consider the Ortiz template instead.

Honorable mentions: Ortiz (7.1), Bailard (7.1), Pulaski (7.1), Noll (7.1), and York (7.0).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template manual

Manual

Best for selling a book

Manual is tailor-made for a site that's selling a singular product — the demo version even stars a fictional author's debut novel — so you'll need to do very little work to get your version live. Its homepage leads with the book's cover art, a short blurb, and a call-to-action button; you can link that to a separate product page on your site, or just direct customers over to Amazon or another bookseller to create a one-pager. Venture down to check out a slot for reviews, an author bio, and a newsletter sign-up block. Some subtle linework that separates each section and a neat rise animation effect on all of the page elements add some interesting visuals to an otherwise basic layout.

Honorable mention: Jotterpress (7.1).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template vandam

Vandam

Best for a book tour

Vandam's demo site was designed with bands in mind, but it'll work just as well for authors who are trying to sell their book(s) and tickets to readings or signings. Its homepage features sections for your headshot, plugging your book, a list of upcoming tour dates, merch, and reviews of that book. (The latter three also get their own separate pages, but you can always scrap those if you prefer a simple one-page site.) Those sections alternate between different colors to break up all that information into digestible chunks, while the sans-serif typefaces make it super easy to read on mobile.

Honorable mentions: Amal (7.1), Cruz (7.1), Kitui (7.1), and Waverly (7.1).

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a screenshot of the squarespace template harman

Harman

Best for poetry and fanfic

Think AllPoetry and Hello Poetry look outdated? Prefer self-publishing over platforms like Tumblr, Wattpad, and Medium? Intimidated by Wattpad? Use Harman to create a simple, scrollable site where your musings can live (ad-free, we might add). Unlike the vast majority of Squarespace themes, which rely heavily on imagery, this bare-bones template keeps the focus solely on your words with a grid of headlines and their corresponding excerpts. The demo site plops some "About" and "Contact" pages in the top navigation bar next to some social icons, and equips each post with a comments section (which you can enable or disable at your leisure).

Honorable mention: Foundry (7.0) and Grove (7.1).

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screenshot of tepito squarespace template

Tepito

Best for visual storytellers

As we mentioned earlier, modern writers have to do so much more than create killer copy. That's why many journalists, freelance writers, and storytellers work in multiple mediums at once, combining traditional wordcraft with photography, videography, and/or audio storytelling. If your work contains a strong visual element, then consider Tepito, a Squarespace 7.1 template for photographers.

There's a lot to love about this new Squarespace template. As a personal portfolio website, we appreciate that the primary headshot appears above the fold, which is ideal for personal branding. We also like the minimalist design and neutral color palette (which can be customized, of course).

Fair warning, you may need to do some customizing to make this photography portfolio website suitable for showcasing written works. However, for visual storytellers with lots of great imagery to show off, this is a great choice.

Honorable mentions: Otto (7.1), Sackett (7.1), Stanton (7.1), Zion (7.1), Reseda (7.1), Carson (7.0), Rally (7.0).

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Topics Squarespace

How we tested

Mashable journalists have tested and reviewed dozens on dozens of Squarespace templates. As writers and journalists, it was then easy for us to select the best Squarespace templates for writers. We chose to include both 7.0 templates as well as newer 7.1 templates. While not every template featured in this guide has been tested and customized by the Mashable team, we've reviewed enough Squarespace templates and features to confidently recommend the top options.

Mashable shopping reporter Haley Henschel contributed the majority of writing and information to this review. Mashable contributor and editor Timothy Beck Werth also tested several Squarespace templates for this guide and created a personal writing website using the Agaro template.

Mashable Image
Haley Henschel

Haley is a Mashable shopping reporter based in Chicago. Before joining the team, she covered politics for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, wrote about exotic pet ownership for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and blogged for several Jersey Shore stars. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games and hanging out with her parrot (Melon) and dog (Pierogi). You can follow her on Twitter at @haleyhenschel or reach her via email at [email protected].


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