Why I Picked The Brine Template Family For My Squarespace Site
So you’ve decided that Squarespace is a good fit for you but now you are faced with one of the hardest decisions of your life… what template to choose. Ok, so it’s probably not the hardest decision you’ve had to make but it sure feels like that at the moment.
I will definitely write a post about how to choose a Squarespace template but I wanted to share the thought process behind why I choose to go with the Brine family template.
The specific template I chose was the Basil template, which is part of the Brine Family template. Right now there are 22 Squarespace families with Brine being the family with the most templates.
What’s a Squarespace family? A family is basically a group of templates that have the same functions and structure but each template may not “look” like on another. The reason why Squarespace does this is to show you how versatile the template can be and give you different layout and pre-set style options.
Before you continue reading this post I wanted to let you know that I've put together a 12-page in-depth checklist that walks you through the process of creating a website that serves its purpose, from picking your template to installing Google Analytics. You can download it below:
For ex the Brine family has 45 active templates including:
- Basil (The one I picked)
- Lincoln (discontinued)
This means that no matter what the demo template looks like I can get each template to do and look the same as long as it’s in the Brine family. So whether you choose the Basil or West template, they share the same underlying structure and functionality therefore you can design the same website with both.
This is how the Basil demo template looked like before I started my design process:
This is how it looked like after:
So I clearly did not choose it based on the original restaurant theme the Basil theme has. That is one of the most common mistakes people make when choosing a template. They limit themselves to what the demo is showing. For ex: The Basil theme is not only for those looking to create a website for a Thai Cuisine restaurant. I mean it can be but not necessarily.
I picked my template based on functionality not based on the theme of the demo.
So why exactly did I go with the Brine family?
- Allows for Index Pages
- Index pages in the Brine template allow you to have a long page with multiple pages stacked on top of each other. Each page within the index page allows you to have a different image or even a gallery! Here is an ex of my home page utilizing the index page feature.
- Ex below: Don’t mind the uneven “learn more” button on the service page, the screenshot feature distorted it but you still get a good idea about what I mean my index pages.
- Has Parallax scrolling options
- Parallax scrolling allows you to have a background image and place text on top so when you scroll the image behind moves slower than the text.
- High Overall flexibility
- The Style editor is what allows you to make changes such as font style, font size, button color, page padding, and more… The Brine family is known for it’s Style Editor capabilities so another plus here.
- High Mobile flexibility
- All Squarespace websites come mobile optimized but some templates allow you to customize the mobile version of your site more than others. The Basil template within the Brine family does just that! I am able to customize my main navigation colors, fixed (or not) navigation, search icon, backdrop color, font colors, and more
- Shows actual logo on mobile sites
- Some mobile sites don’t show your actual logo but just a text version of it but I love how Brine does. This may not be a huge deal for you but I think having the logo I spent so much time and energy designing on my mobile site is a plus
- Includes additional navigation in footer
- Your navigation bar should have no more than five links since we don’t want to overwhelm our visitors with so many options that they get analysis paralysis and take no action. So this is when an additional navigation comes into play. I wanted to include some other links that aren’t necessarily main navigation worthy so having the option for an additional footer navigation is definitely nice.
The only downside I’ve found in going with templates in the Brine family is that it doesn’t have the option for a side bar but other than that I’m loving it so far!
EDIT: The summary block allows you to create a faux side bar so now my side bar dreams came true! I wrote a blog post about how to do this, check it out here.