Squarespace Fluid Engine vs Classic Editor

Squarespace Fluid Engine vs Classic Editor

When it comes to building a website on Squarespace, you're faced with a choice: should you use the Fluid Engine or stick with the Classic Editor? This decision might seem minor, but it can significantly impact how you design your site.

The Fluid Engine offers a new approach with more flexibility, while the Classic Editor provides a familiar structure. In this post, let's compare these two options to help you understand which one might be the best fit for your website needs. Let's dive into the details.

Understanding Squarespace's Fluid Engine and Classic Editor

Squarespace's Classic Editor

In the early days of Squarespace, the platform used a content management system known as the Classic Editor. This was a more traditional WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, allowing users to create and edit content in a way that closely resembled the final output. The Classic Editor was introduced around 2004 when Squarespace was founded by Anthony Casalena.

The Classic Editor is Squarespace's original website-building interface, cherished for its simplicity and user-friendliness. It operates on a more structured system, where content blocks are aligned within a fixed grid, ensuring a quick and straightforward design process.

The Classic Editor is ideal for users seeking to create professional, clean websites without the necessity for complex layouts or extensive customization. It has served as a reliable foundation for countless websites, offering a balance between design flexibility and ease of use.

Despite the introduction of Fluid Engine, the Classic Editor remains a popular choice for those who appreciate the clarity and predictability of its layout system.

Squarespace's Fluid Engine

As Squarespace evolved, the team sought to create a more flexible and intuitive content management system. This led to the development of the Fluid Engine, which was a significant departure from the Classic Editor.

The Fluid Engine was designed to allow for more dynamic and responsive designs, which was increasingly important as mobile internet usage grew. The Fluid Engine used a system of content blocks, which could be easily moved around and customized, giving users more control over their site's layout.

Squarespace's Fluid Engine represents the latest evolution in the website builder's design capabilities, introducing a more intuitive and flexible approach to creating web pages. It is a cutting-edge layout system designed to empower users with the ability to craft and customize their websites down to the smallest detail.

Fluid Engine enables the seamless placement of content blocks anywhere on a page, breaking away from the rigidity of traditional grid layouts. This engine is particularly beneficial for those looking to design unique, visually engaging sites that stand out from standard web designs. It embodies a forward-thinking philosophy in web design, emphasizing creative freedom and the importance of mobile responsiveness.


The introduction of the Fluid Engine marked a major transition for Squarespace. While it offered many new features and improvements, it also required users to adapt to a new way of creating and editing content. Squarespace continued to support the Classic Editor for a time, but eventually phased it out in favor of the Fluid Engine.

Present Day

Today, Squarespace continues to use and refine the Fluid Engine, which is now known simply as the Squarespace Editor. It has been updated and improved over the years, with new features and enhancements regularly added. The block-based system introduced with the Fluid Engine continues to be a defining feature of the Squarespace platform.

Squarespace Fluid Engine vs Classic Editor - a web designer contemplating between

Squarespace Fluid Engine vs Classic Editor: A Comparison

Let's compare Squarespace's Fluid Engine and Classic Editor in a table format to highlight their main features, usability, design flexibility, and other aspects.

Feature Fluid Engine Classic Editor
Design Flexibility High. Allows for more complex layouts and dynamic content. Moderate. Limited to predefined layouts and blocks.
Ease of Use Moderate. Offers advanced features that may require a learning curve. High. More straightforward, designed for ease of use.
Layout Control Extensive. Users can precisely control the placement and size of elements. Limited. Elements snap to a grid, with less freedom to adjust.
Customization High. Provides granular control over design and layout. Moderate. Customization is possible but within set parameters.
Content Blocks Dynamic and flexible. Can be resized and positioned anywhere on the page. Static. Must be placed within the confines of the grid.
Mobile Responsiveness Advanced. Offers better tools for optimizing layouts for mobile devices. Good. Automatically adjusts layouts, but with less control.
Learning Curve Steeper. The range of options can overwhelm new users. Gentler. Simpler to pick up and start using.
Suitability Better for complex websites requiring detailed customization and dynamic content. Suited for simpler websites with standard content structures.
Update and Support Continuously updated with new features and improvements. Fewer updates, as the focus shifts towards Fluid Engine.

The Fluid Engine is geared towards users and projects requiring more detailed customization, complex layouts, and dynamic content management, offering greater flexibility at the cost of a steeper learning curve.

In contrast, the Classic Editor is designed for simplicity and ease of use, making it suitable for users who prefer straightforward website building with less customization depth. The choice between the two depends largely on the specific needs of the website project and the user's comfort level with web design tools.

Deciding Between Squarespace's Fluid Engine and Classic Editor: Which is Better?

The choice between Squarespace's Fluid Engine and Classic Editor hinges on the specific needs, technical comfort level, and design aspirations of the website creator. To determine which is better for your project, consider the following aspects:

Project Requirements

For projects demanding unique layouts, intricate designs, or highly customized experiences, the Fluid Engine shines as the superior choice. Its flexibility in design and layout customization allows creators to push the boundaries of traditional web design, offering a canvas that is as unrestricted as your imagination.

Conversely, the Classic Editor is well-suited for projects with a faster timeline, requiring less customization. Its straightforward interface and structured layout system make it easier and quicker for users to build a website that looks professional without needing to delve into complex design elements.

User Expertise

Individuals with a keen interest in web design, or those with a bit of experience, may find the Fluid Engine more rewarding. It offers a richer set of tools for crafting the exact look and feel they envision, albeit with a slight learning curve.

Beginners, or those looking for simplicity and speed in web development, will likely prefer the Classic Editor. Its ease of use and the speed with which one can go from concept to live site make it an attractive option for those who prioritize efficiency and straightforward design processes.

Future-Proofing Your Site

If you're looking to future-proof your website with the latest web technologies and design trends, the Fluid Engine is the way to go. Its advanced capabilities ensure your site can evolve and adapt over time, incorporating new design trends and user expectations.

The Classic Editor, while robust, might not offer the same level of adaptability in the long term, especially as web design trends move towards more dynamic and interactive elements.

There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to which is better between Squarespace's Fluid Engine and Classic Editor. The better choice depends on what you're looking to achieve with your website, your level of expertise, and how much time you're willing to invest in learning the platform.

For cutting-edge design and customization, the Fluid Engine is unmatched. For simplicity, speed, and ease of use, the Classic Editor remains a strong contender.

Ultimately, the decision should align with your project's goals, your design preferences, and how you envision your website growing and evolving over time. Both platforms offer robust foundations for building impressive websites; the choice merely depends on the path you wish to take in your web design journey.

Tailoring Your Squarespace Experience: Choosing the Right Editor

When venturing into Squarespace's toolkit, a pivotal decision every user faces is selecting between the Fluid Engine and the Classic Editor. This choice significantly impacts the website's design capabilities and the user's ability to implement advanced customization and features on Squarespace.

Understanding the nuances of each option helps in crafting a site that not only meets but exceeds expectations.

Learning Curve and User Experience

The learning curve associated with each editor is a critical factor to consider. The Fluid Engine, with its sophisticated layout and dynamic content positioning, offers a more complex environment. This complexity translates to a richer array of possibilities for those willing to explore its depths.

It's ideal for users who seek a hands-on approach to fine-tuning their site, leveraging the advanced customization and features on Squarespace to create unique and engaging online spaces.

On the other hand, the Classic Editor's simplicity is its greatest strength for a different set of users. Its straightforward, grid-based system reduces the time and effort required to build a site.

This editor caters to those who prefer a more guided and less technical website construction process, ensuring that even novices can achieve professional results with minimal learning overhead.

Performance and Site Evolution

Considering how a site will evolve over time is essential. The Fluid Engine's flexibility ensures that your website can grow and change, adapting to new trends and user expectations. This adaptability makes it a forward-thinking choice for users who view their website as a dynamic entity in constant development.

Conversely, the Classic Editor's more static nature means that while updates and content changes are straightforward, overhauling the site's design or incorporating cutting-edge web features might be more challenging. This could influence long-term satisfaction for those whose sites need to frequently pivot or embrace the latest web innovations.

Collaboration and Scalability

For projects involving multiple contributors or larger-scale websites, the choice between editors can influence workflow efficiency. The Fluid Engine's advanced capabilities may require a higher level of coordination and skill among team members, but the payoff in terms of design freedom and site functionality can be substantial.

In contrast, the Classic Editor's more prescriptive design parameters can simplify collaboration. Its ease of use ensures that team members, regardless of their web design expertise, can contribute effectively, making it a practical choice for teams prioritizing swift development cycles and ease of content management.

Making an Informed Decision

The Fluid Engine, with its expansive customization options, offers a canvas for creativity and innovation, suited for those who envision a site that breaks the mold. Meanwhile, the Classic Editor provides a streamlined, user-friendly platform that empowers users to quickly build and launch sites that adhere to established design principles.

Selecting the right editor is more than a technical decision; it's about aligning your toolset with your vision for what a website should be. Whether you lean towards the boundless creativity afforded by the Fluid Engine or the accessible, efficient nature of the Classic Editor, Squarespace provides a robust foundation for bringing your digital presence to life.

Conclusion: Squarespace Fluid Engine vs Classic Editor

The journey of selecting between Squarespace's Fluid Engine and the Classic Editor is a nuanced decision, deeply rooted in individual project requirements, user expertise, and future vision for the website. The Fluid Engine, with its emphasis on customization, complexity, and future adaptability, caters to those looking to push the boundaries of traditional web design.

It's designed for creators who revel in detail and aspire to craft unique digital experiences that evolve over time. Conversely, the Classic Editor offers a straightforward, efficient route to website creation, perfect for beginners or those who prioritize ease and speed over intricate customization.

It suits users aiming for a professional, clean look with minimal fuss. This choice isn't merely about selecting a tool; it's about choosing a path that best fits your vision, skills, and the story you wish to tell through your website.

Whether you opt for the innovative possibilities of the Fluid Engine or the reliable simplicity of the Classic Editor, Squarespace stands ready to turn your vision into reality, ensuring that the power to craft your online identity is firmly in your hands.

Keep Reading

* Read the rest of the post and open up an offer