Our friends over at DOXA alerted us to a new (to me) product at Squarespace: Cover Page, the Canva of landing pages.
It’s very easy to use, requiring absolutely no coding or tech skills beyond an ability to navigate around the website.
You begin by choosing from the layouts offered — and there are quite a few. You can, I suppose, keep the images they use, but you will also be able to change the image, and all the other elements.
It therefore makes sense to choose a layout that has the elements you want and the boxes in the places you want them in.
I chose one more or less at random for my try-out.
You’ll have to register, but the form is simple. Then you can start customizing the page.
There are lots of customization options, and the interface for doing so is much like the WordPress Customizer. When you mouse over elements on the page, edit buttons pop up, giving you another way to navigate.
I uploaded a logo, but it was very fuzzy on the page in spite of being a nice clear image.
Switching to a white version fixed the problem. At this point, I decided to change the image — and Cover Page reminded me that I hadn’t saved my changes. Very nice, since it lessens the chances of throwing away a bunch of work.
I uploaded several new images, and the page rotated the images so I could easily choose among them.
At this point I started working with the text and searched all over for options for color and font. Don’t repeat my mistake. Color and font, as well as other aspects of typography, are found later in the process.
I also decided to try out a different layout.
I selected a new layout, saw the “Selected” button, and was presented with a blank box. After various attempts to make the tool allow me to change the layout without starting over, all of which presented the same white space, I gave up and started over. This brought up all sorts of feelings from my last Squarespace experience, but I ignored them and started over, filling out the registration form and so forth, and I got a new layout.
Unlike WordPress, Cover Page doesn’t keep your content. When you start over, you have to start over completely and upload things again.
I did so and moved on through the customizer, coming to a tool for adding a form. One would think that this would be a matter of editing the form and hitting “Save,” but repeated attempts did not result in a form on the page.
In the process, I discovered that I wouldn’t be able to include all the specific fields I wanted, even if I clicked “Advanced.” This made me feel slightly better about not being able to enter a form.
Realistically, a brand new tool might not work every time you test it, and a super-easy tool won’t do everything you want it to. Moving on, I was able to switch from all caps to title case, but could not get in to change the “f” in “For” to a lowercase. This obviously limits the text you can use; however, you can adjust spacing and line height, so that’s something.
Analytics are included, and you can also connect with Google Analytics.
There is also a button saying “add more pages,” though when I clicked that button I was offered a lure to make Squarespace website.
I stopped at this point. Even with my misadventures and trying different things out, it took just under half an hour.
Once you’ve gotten the page the way you want it, you can make a payment and publish it. At this writing, it’s $60 a year or $7.00 a month for hosting of the page.
If I were going to use this, I would have a designer create an image specifically to work with the layout I chose, and have the same designer settle the typography for me. If it were a landing page for an ad (not paid search) so that SEO didn’t matter, I would just have a designer create the whole landing page as an image file and use the call to action buttons — and the form, assuming I could make it work.
For paid search or some kind of webpage that I wanted to be findable, I would of course add some strong content in a quantity sufficient for a search engine to understand.
In any case, I’d be able to make sure in this way that the landing page matched my website.
This would be a real bargain of a landing page. I think it would be a good solution for the surprisingly common problem of being unable to get a landing page added to your company website, too.