JavaScript is complex; however, it can simply be described as a scripting language that allows webpages to interact.

When humans communicate, we use specific languages to speak with each other. This sentiment can translate over to coding: JavaScript is a computer programming language.

Website developers understand this language complexly and can write JavaScript in such a way that will turn a simple HTML code in a complex website.

JavaScript was created in 1995 by a web developer named Brendan Eich. He was a web developer for Netscape which was the first type of browser that we are now familiar with today. 

Interestingly, JavaScript was always known as JavaScript. It was originally called mocha before being changed to LiveScript and eventually renamed to JavaScript. Around the time of JavaScript’s inception, it was just one of many web coining languages, for example, it was in competition with another web code called ‘Java’ (not to be confused or associated with JavaScript) but over the last decade, JavaScript has become the number one web language used.

JavaScript originally gained its popularity when Microsoft implemented it into their internet explorer browser, which at the time had 95% of the market-dominant. Over time JavaScript evolved into a more versatile web language and can now be used with websites and apps.

The way JavaScript works is complicated. However, in layman’s terms, it allows for web developers to insert custom code. When a website is clicked on the website sends a combination of names and numbers to the web browser, and this is known as JavaScript. When the website opens those codes, they will change from paragraphs of technical computer language into graphics and text that internet users see when opening a web page. Basically, JavaScript makes websites run smoothly and respond well. It works in conjunction with CSS code, which controls presentation, formatting, and layout.

JavaScript is encrypted on elements that are interactive on a website. When a browser loads a page, it will have a built-in interpreter that reads the JavaScript code and automatically runs it (or a user may receive a prompt if they have JavaScript disabled).

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What are the benefits of adding custom code to Squarespace?

Squarespace is a website host that has the capability to build very attractive and responsive websites without having to write traditional code. It is a powerful website builder that has been designed to make website building easier and more aesthetically pleasing and to help website builders avoid using any excessive custom code.

While Squarespace comes with a large range of great website features, JavaScript can help elevate your website to a whole new level, increasing both professionalism and individuality.

Creative control

JavaScript allows a web designer to integrate a huge range of additional features so that they can fulfil what a client has in mind. Without JavaScript, a client’s options can be limited and their “flashy” choices, (e.g, a moving design), wouldn’t be possible.

Innovative Add-ons

JavaScript is required to make a website interactive. It allows for features that would otherwise be unavailable, and these features can often come in the form of addons. For example, live chat, search tools, booking and reservations, and social media. 

While some of these features are already integrated into Squarespace through the use of JavaScript, they can be fully customised and website builders will have much more customization control. 

Frequent Updates

While website building options available on Squarespace are great for many websites. There is only a limited range of them. This means that sometimes, two websites may look similar or even the same. Furthermore, your website won’t be entirely unique. 

By using JavaScript in Squarespace, website developers have the capabilities to add interesting features that aren’t released onto the Squarespace platform. This allows for unlimited creativity with a website and countless options.

Themes

When a developer uses JavaScript, or custom code while building your Squarespace website you’ll be able to have completely custom themes. This advantage is critical because it will ensure the website is individual and works quickly. Both of these features not only make your website look great but can help boost SEO.

Financially beneficial

The initial cost of building a website with custom code does tend to be more expensive than using a template. However, the reasoning behind this is just. The client is paying for a one-of-a-kind website that provides a high-end customer experience. While the initial cost may be higher, custom websites have been proven to have a higher ROI, meaning that the website is basically paying for itself – plus more.

What are the pitfalls of adding custom code to Squarespace?

Website build time

The initial build time for a website can be time-consuming when using custom code is used for a website on any platform. 

While this can slow the progression of a new business, and push back a launch date, the benefits associated with a custom website far outweigh the extra time.

If a client would like to launch an interim website while their custom site is finished. Squarespace has a ready to use framework is fairly straightforward. Armed with some basic knowledge most people will be able to design a great looking functional website that can be used for a short time.

Leaning code is very complex

It’s generally recommended that coding should be left to web designers. Understanding how it works can be very technical, and the smallest error can affect an entire site. So, while JavaScript is a great feature to have on a Squarespace website if a client wants to complete build their own site this usually wouldn’t be suggested. 

Everything must be tested and optimised

If you decide to add custom code to your Squarespace it will have to be tested and optimised to make sure it can work with such search engines as Google, as well as on different devices. Fortunately, Squarespace has ironed out any errors and optimized their templates so they can be used without worrying about optimising and testing.

Also, after the coding is thoroughly checked and they continually test to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that there are no bugs when server updates are done. The team at Squarespace has eliminated these steps for you with countless hours of testing done on the ready to use framework this will never be an issue.

However, if custom code is used then web developers will have the additional step of testing and optimising pages – a task that can be complicated and time consuming.

High Initial Cost

Coding is a complex skill, that takes years and years to perfect. So, it’s not surprising that experienced web developers can be costly. 

In most cases, it’s not possible for a regular person to build a fully functional and interactive website from custom code without hiring a professional. However, while a web developer may have a high initial cost, the payoff from a professional and functional website has been proven extensively.

Best ways to add JavaScript code to Squarespace

For a regular person (AKA anyone who is not a web developer or coder!), JavaScript can seem overwhelming. It’s technical, intricate and complicated. However, the process of adding JavaScript to a Squarespace isn’t as complex as one may expect.

Below, we’ve listed the best three ways to integrate JavaScript into your Squarespace website and provided a step-by-step guide on the process.

Code Injection

Put simply, code injection is what some hackers use to attack a computer by adding malicious code. However, this same process can be used in a non-malicious way to add code straight to your website or app.

Please note that this method is a very advanced modification and Squarespace can’t offer customer support for code injection.

Code Injection can be used to add custom scripts or advanced code to all pages on your website. To add these to your website here is a step-by-step guide on the process.

  1. Start on the home menu and click “settings”
  2. Next click “advanced”
  3. Finally, click “code injection” and save

Once this option is engaged, a web developer will be able to add multiple different scripts to each part of the site including (but not limited to) the header, footer and the order confirmation page.

Embed Block

Embed block is a great way to add JavaScript to your website. It’s the most commonly used method and one that we would recommend.

The embed code block can be used to add things like videos, Facebook posts and tweets.  Embedding material through this block allows web developers to take content from other sources and add them to the webpage. For example, when a YouTube video appears on a website, it will often be added through the use of an embed block.

Below are a few simple steps on how to use embed code blocks.

  1. Find the item you want to embed, and its embed code. For many items (for example a YouTube video or tweet) an embed button will appear in the “share” section and usually looks something like this “</>”.
  2. Once you’ve found the embed code, copy the entire code to your clipboard. This can be done by highlighting the text and hitting “control” or “command and “c” at the same time.
  3. Now, go to Squarespace and enter the edit mode of the post or a page where you want to embed the time.
  4. Choose an insertion point and then click “embed”.
  5. Paste the embed code from step one in the text field at the location of your choice.

Squarespace Developer Platform

Squarespace has put in lots of efforts to make an easy-to-use developing platform that can be enabled through using Squarespace. This platform allows for a fully customised website to be built from start to finish without having to use the already made templates that Squarespace offers.

In order to use the Squarespace developer platform please follow the steps listed below.

  1. First, turn on developer mode. This can be done by clicking “settings” and then pressing the “advanced” button.
  2. Next, click “developer mode” and switch the button to the “on” position. Please note by doing this you will not have any bug fixes or updates.
  3. From, a skilled developer can have full control over editing and changing the website.

Troubleshooting JavaScript issues in Squarespace

Often JavaScript problems can be very complex and aren’t easy to fix. Usually, they require the help of a professional coder. However, there are a few easy fixes you can run through first before contacting a web developer.

  • Check that your browser is supported for JavaScript and that it’s updated
  • Open the site in an incognito window to see if the problem still remains
  • Clear your cache
  • Disable browser extensions that may be affected by JavaScript.

However, even a single letter or symbol that’s entered in the wrong place can negatively affect an entire website. As we’ve mentioned extensively, coding is a complex matter and should be left to professionals.

If you’re experiencing problems with your website, and believe it’s connected to custom code, then our web developers can help.

Looking to build a custom website?

If you’re interested in creating an individual custom website that is interactive and provides a high-quality user experience, then we highly recommend Squarespace websites with JavaScript. Our Squarespace web designers are extensive experience in designing exception Squarespace websites, and have the coding knowledge to help turn your dream website into a reality. To find more about other custom web design options, get in touch with our team of web designers in Brisbane.

To your success,
Jackson