Not all Squarespace templates were created equally, and we would know! We specialize in website design on the platform, so you could say we know the ins and outs of all of the templates pretty darn well at this point. Even though we custom build all of our clients’ websites, each starts with a template that dictates the built-in customization options included in the style guide. This includes colors used throughout, header sizes, mobile logo sizes, alllll of the goods so picking a template that has a lot of flexibility and built-in customization features makes our jobs a little easier to meet all of our clients’ needs, plus it may cut-down on some of the custom coding needed. Not only is this awesome for us as designers, but it’s also really great for you if you’re DIYing so that you can get the look you want without having to worry about trying to learn coding.
So all that being said, do you want to know why we come back to the Brine family of templates project after project? For a lot of reasons! All of which I’ll showcase below. Before we get started though, you may have noticed I mention the “Brine family” so I wanted to explain that a little bit. On Squarespace, you’ll find a number of templates and then each belongs to a “template family” which essentially means they are built with the same underlying structure and features but still offer very different and distinct looks.
For the Brine family, there is actually a template called Brine and then there are also these other templates included in the family including Aria, Basil, Blend, Burke, Cacao, Clay, Ethan, Fairfield, Feed, Foster, Greenwich, Hatch, Heights, Hunter, Hyde, Impact, Jaunt, Juke, Keene, Kin, Lincoln, Maple, Margot, Marta, Mentor, Mercer, Miller, Mojave, Moksha, Motto, Nueva, Pedro, Polaris, Pursuit, Rally, Rover, Royce, Sofia, Sonny, Sonora, Stella, Thorne, Vow, Wav, and West (and that’s just as of now)! Whew, as you can see there are a LOT so you’ll still have a lot of flexibility in options while also getting all of the benefits we’re going to talk about below. So let’s get to some of our fav things about the template family.
Something that is very popular these days and just a really fun feature in general is what we call parallax scrolling. This is a feature that adds a sense of depth by having a background image move when you scroll through a website. We use the feature on our website (as well as lots of client websites) and the option is available throughout the Brine family. This is a big one too because a lot of Squarespace templates do not have this option as a default. if parallax isn’t your thing, you can easily turn it off as well. Below is an example of a website we used parallax scrolling on. Bonus, check it out in real-time to see it in action!
Going beyond the parallax option, the Brine templates also make it easy to create layered graphics which can also add depth to the user-experience. This means you can add a banner image to an index page (more on that later) and then you can add other graphics, photos, text buttons, and more right on top of it. Without this, more complex images would have to be created as images which isn’t usually recommended because of the loss of SEO opportunities but the Brine family makes this easy to do! Below is an example of how you can layer images on top of background images.
Index Page Galleries
Something else we love about this template is the option to have index page galleries. Woh, woh, what does that mean? We’ll start with index pages. So, when you have a scrolling homepage (or full website) which means you scroll from section to section, in the Brine templates it’s actually created with a bunch of pages using an index. Brine templates allow pages within an index to stack right on top of each other which is super helpful for a lot of reasons, one being you can rearrange them easily to change the order without having to actually move all of your elements around and two, it’s also easy to deactivate them or add new sections as needed.
In addition to the index page features, the Brine family allows you to have an index page gallery which can be used for a bunch of fun options. Essentially it allows you to include photos that are full width (like banner images) on a section. You can use these as buttons to direct users around to other pages of your website, just break up the space, or highlight a slideshow type element. It’s another neat feature that isn’t on a lot of other templates and you know how we like options! Below you’ll see how we utilized the feature for different services at a studio and spa we worked with.
Built in Customization Options
Above anything else, the built-in customization options on any templates in the Brine family are just at the top of their game. The family is one of the newer options on the platform and because they are popular, Squarespace has continued to develop out the options and template variations (as you can see with the number of template options within the family). So why does this matter? As I talked about in the intro, the built-in customization features within the style guide are restricted on the template you use. The Brine family offers much more built in options right internally that would have to be custom coded on others which just streamlines the process for everyone involved. There are also much more built-in mobile style options which is also really nice!
Advanced Commerce Features
As we talk about additional options in the style guide, those options also expand into the ecommerce capabilities. Some of the design aspects for ecommerce are limited on other templates so if you have a shop or plan on adding one down the road, even more reason to choose this family.
Flexible Navigation Menus
One more point on the customization features that is so worth mentioning! So on a lot of Squarespace templates you are limited by how your navigation lays out in relation to your logo. A popular design layout that isn’t always possible on others is having a split navigation with the logo in the middle — but on Brine this is (as you might guess) built right in! There are also options to have a double navigations which could be helpful for bloggers and other businesses you might want a second navigation bar on. Another feature that we love is that you can add the social media icons to the header. This may not seem that exciting, but many other templates don’t allow that option and they would have to be custom coded, so to have the option built right in is a perk!
As you can see, the Brine family templates just give you a little something extra that a lot of others don’t which is why we recommend them so much! At the end of the day, whatever template you select, it’s all about thinking of those key features you would like to include and finding one that those are available on. You can do just about everything you want with graphics but that template choice will be key when it comes to things you can easily do structurally. Your template is only one part of the project that’s for sure, but when you’re working with one that has a lot more doors to open you’ll have a lot more flexibility now and for down the road as your business or blog evolves. Have more questions about the template family or just Squarespace in general? You’re always welcome to drop us a comment below, shoot us an email or give us a shout in our Facebook group for some help!