Why Do Visitors See a Different Squarespace Template Than I See?

Why Do Visitors See a Different Squarespace Template Than I See?

Building a website is a fun and exciting period for most small business owners. Taking your ideas and values and publishing them can be a thrill. When you design a Squarespace website, this is no different so it can be disappointing when you’ve spent hours creating a website and you notice that visitors aren’t seeing the same Squarespace template that you’ve been working on.

What causes this and how can you fix it?

The Template System

Squarespace works on a template system where you have to install a template, and then make basic changes to the website’s look and style within a preview area before you publish the website to the public. If you’ve got a different look or style than your public website, then it is more than likely that you’ve not set the template you’re working on to live.

The difference between live and preview is easy. Live is what the public can see, preview is the development mode of your website.

You can set the template as live by accessing your website and then clicking on the ‘Set as Live Template’. This can be found in the bottom-right corner of any page of your website when you’ve logged in.

How Can I Tell if Squarespace Template is Using Preview

If you’re not sure whether or not your Squarespace website is in Preview mode or live mode. Then there are two options. You can log into your Squarespace website and see if the option exists to make the website live (easy option). However, if you don’t trust that, then you can also access your website from another device without logging into your website.

If you would like customers to see the template that they can currently see and don’t like the new template, then you can always cancel the preview site. This is done by clicking on the ‘Cancel Preview’ that can be found on any page when you’re logged into the website.

What About Other Contributors

If you’re working as part of a team, they will have the same problems as your customers. They will see the live template and not the preview. However, if they log in and click on the Templates section and then the preview button of the template you’re working on, they will be taken to the preview of the template. On this screen, all the changes that you’ve made will be visible too.

Understanding Template Discrepancies in Squarespace

When setting up a website with Squarespace, users may encounter a puzzling situation where visitors see a different template than the one they see on their end. This discrepancy can be confusing and may affect the site's presentation and user experience.

Understanding why this happens is crucial for effective Squarespace troubleshooting and issues management.

Caching Mechanisms

One primary reason for the difference in appearance lies in the caching mechanisms of web browsers and Squarespace itself. Caching is a technique used to speed up website loading times by storing copies of files and site elements on a visitor's device or within Squarespace's servers.

However, if a change is made to the website's template or design, these cached versions may not immediately reflect the update. As a result, some visitors might see an outdated version of the site until their cache refreshes or is manually cleared.

A/B Testing and Experimental Features

Another factor could be the use of A/B testing or experimental features by the site administrator. Squarespace allows users to test different templates or design elements with a segment of their audience.

If this feature is active, visitors could be viewing one version of the site, while the site owner sees another. This method is often used to gauge the effectiveness of design changes before applying them universally.

Browser Compatibility Issues

Browser compatibility issues can also lead to variations in website appearance. Different web browsers interpret and render website code in slightly varied ways. If a template or its elements are not fully compatible with all browsers, visitors using a less compatible browser may see a different layout or design than what the site owner sees in their browser.

Responsive Design and Device Variability

Lastly, Squarespace's responsive design approach ensures that websites look good on any device, from desktop computers to mobile phones. This adaptive design can cause the site to appear differently across devices, based on screen size and orientation.

Why Do Visitors See a Different Squarespace Template Than I See - Graphic of a website viewed on various screens

While not necessarily a problem, it's important for site owners to preview their site in various modes to understand how visitors might experience the site.

Proactive Troubleshooting Approaches

Addressing these differences requires a proactive approach, including regularly clearing the cache, testing the site across different browsers and devices, and staying informed about Squarespace's features and updates. By understanding the underlying causes, users can more effectively manage their site's presentation and ensure a consistent experience for all visitors.

Ensuring Consistent Squarespace Template Visibility

Ensuring Template Changes Are Published

To guarantee visitors see the intended Squarespace template, it's essential to confirm all template changes have been published.

After finalizing design adjustments, users must navigate to the template settings and select the option to publish changes.

This step is crucial as it updates the live site with the recent modifications, ensuring that all visitors view the latest version of the template.

Regularly Review Template Status

Maintaining a habit of regularly checking the template status can prevent discrepancies between the version seen by the creator and that seen by visitors.

By accessing the Squarespace dashboard, users can quickly verify which template is currently set as live. This routine check helps identify any unintentional switches or revertbacks to previous templates that might confuse visitors.

Confirm Changes Across All Pages

Occasionally, template changes may not apply uniformly across all website pages, leading to a disjointed visitor experience. To prevent this, users should navigate through each page to ensure the template's new changes have taken effect site-wide. If discrepancies are found, applying the template adjustments individually to affected pages can resolve the issue.

Understanding Visitor Experience

Previewing the Site as a Visitor

To ensure visitors view the website as intended, creators should preview the site in incognito mode or log out of their Squarespace account. This action allows them to see the site from a visitor's perspective, highlighting any discrepancies between the editing view and the live site. Regularly conducting such previews can catch issues that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Utilizing Feedback for Adjustments

Gathering feedback from real visitors provides valuable insights into their viewing experience. Encouraging users to report any discrepancies or issues they encounter can help identify problems that may not be apparent from the creator's perspective. This direct feedback loop is crucial for making informed adjustments to the template and overall design.

Leveraging Squarespace Support and Resources

Utilizing Squarespace's Knowledge Base

Squarespace offers an extensive knowledge base that includes guides on ensuring template consistency. These resources can provide step-by-step instructions for troubleshooting common issues that lead to template discrepancies. Leveraging these guides can help users efficiently resolve problems and maintain the integrity of their site's design.

Seeking Help from Squarespace Support

When template discrepancies cannot be resolved through standard troubleshooting, reaching out to Squarespace support can provide additional assistance. Their team can offer insights into more complex issues and guide users through specific steps to align the visitor's view with the creator's intention.

Why Do Visitors See a Different Squarespace Template Than I See - graphic of a customer service representative

Participating in Squarespace Community Forums

Engaging with the Squarespace community through forums can offer valuable advice from experienced users who have faced similar challenges. Sharing experiences and solutions within these communities can lead to discovering new troubleshooting methods and preventive measures to ensure template consistency.
Conclusion: Guaranteeing Unified Template Visibility

Ensuring that visitors see the same Squarespace template as the creator involves a mix of proactive measures, regular checks, and leveraging available resources. By following the outlined steps, users can provide a consistent and seamless experience for all visitors, maintaining the site's intended aesthetic and functionality.

Conclusion: Why Do Visitors See a Different Squarespace Template Than I See?

Visitors will see a different Squarespace template than you because you’ve not made the new template live yet. As soon as you make the template live, everyone will see the same website design.

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