How to get a $199 website that looks $10,000+

As a professional copywriter and marketing coach I get asked the same question weekly, “Emily, we’ve got all this great copy written…now where am I supposed to share it? Any website recommendations?

This post shares my secret sauce that it took TEN YEARS to discover (plus it took a breakthrough in Squarespace technology and my own experience shilling out 5K for tricky-to-use websites).

Some people’s answer is just to go the total DIY route… and get stuck in website limbo for months.

Other creators will wait in line to work with great site designers who take 2-4 months to finish, cost $5,000-10,000 and you may end up with a website you can’t edit… no matter how ‘intuitive’ they say it is. That was my experience trying to build new pages inside my custom, gorgeous, yet unfriendly Showit site. 🥴

In 2023, I blissfully returned to my original love affair with Squarespace whom I joined in 2012 with my first-ever creative catalyst business. Today, my happy middle ground is using the super-easy to edit platform Squarespace…but not using their built-in templates.

Yes, your Squarespace and other subscriptions include access to dozens of free templates that look nice at first glance.

So you may be wondering why you would want to pay extra to buy a premium template from a design shop.

Here’s the truth about those free, included website templates.

They’re actually going to cost you bucket loads in lost income and missed connections.


All those free templates are not strategic… at all. So if you’re aiming to use your website to convert visitors into paying clients and customers, you’re gonna need something that’s designed to do just that.

Also, most of the templates are pretty but generic, and they share a major flaw. They focus on design aesthetic rather than readability – that’s bad news for sales. Key website issues I work on with my clients are questions like, can people read the font easily? Even if your headlines are magnetic and filled with personality, it’s a waste of good copy if nobody can read them.

On top of that, and just as importantly, free templates are not designed specifically for people in your industry or niche. That can make it tough to figure out exactly how YOUR message and copy can be translated over into a free template. Where do you and your valuable offers fit?

    I feel you!

    Often times, it’s hard to insert the complexity of you and the richness of your work in a generic template.

    By contrast, a designer template for people in your niche will have a good understanding of the kinds of pages you need and special layouts that will support your connection and conversion process. 

    Bottom line: if you wish to make money and express the true essence of your work online, avoid the free templates.

    And I’m not suggesting you dish out $5,500-$10,000 for a custom website built either.


    Like I said, I recommend you invest in a premium, customizable template created by a designer that’s actually going to help you grow your business and connect effortlessly with soul-matched clients.

    In essence, buying a designer template from a site I recommend below, and inserting it into Squarespace (actually your designer does all that tech stuff for you 😉 is the miraculous way I get $10,000 pro-looking websites for $129-300 these days.

    Going this route makes you look super professional, appear more established and trustworthy too…without the cost!

    👇👇🏾In a minute, I’ll cover exactly what a designer template means, my top 10 shops where I recommend you buy them, and how it works.

    Quickly, here’s a taste of the treats you can expect when you do go this route.

    For one thing, you could be one Squarespace designer template away from tidal waves of dream clients. I’m talking, the clients who:

    1. show up on your virtual doorstop (gasp, they say…its stunning and has so much personality!)
    2. then they feel seen, heard and understood…(yay for a frequency match! I’ve found them at last!)
    3. and get excited to work with you, they press ‘buy’ on your products or services.

    This is exactly how I work behind the scenes here in Tulum, Mexico my own copywriting and ethical fashion businesses. Before, I used to have great design that wasn’t that legible. Before this route, I paid thousands for custom website builds I alter couldn’t figure out how to expand or build sales pages on.

    Now, thanks to the marriage of my great copywriting, offer value and Squarespace designer templates, my browsers become buyers without even having a conversation with me!

    And I truly wish the same for you…even if you love sales calls and chats with potential clients over Zoom.

    You deserve a website that speaks for you in your own voice and style while you sleep.


    That’s why I put together this how-to post and below I list 10 Premium Squarespace design shops I hand picked for you.

    Ultimately this stuff really matters to your bottom line, your brand, and the self esteem you feel about your soul mission. Your website and its sales pages close the gap between ‘Yes, I want to work with you” and “Cha-ching, credit card processed!”

    Here are my top 10 Premium Squarespace Template Shops

    It’s time to connect with your audience, grow your brand and make sales… while you’re off eating burritos with extra guac. Happy template shopping, love!

    1. Big Cat Creative

    If you’re looking for a website that is magnetic, stylish, and built to convert then Big Cat Creative is the place to look. Go no further. Their beautiful no-code templates are easy to use and come with video tutorials and other resources to help you launch on Squarespace fast. Perfect for the beginner on a budget, these templates will have you up and running in no time! Matching social media templates are also available, which makes life so easy breezy.

    I personally invite my private copywriting clients to use their stand-alone sales page templates, since they pair perfectly with my Sales Page Wizard copywriting system.

    World class copy + dreamy site design = plug ‘n play dream duo.

    Best For: personal brands, creative entrepreneurs, service-based businesses, photographers, course creators


    1. You build the template from the ground up with the help of the included video tutorials. This is known as a template design kit. This is the default installation option.
    2. For an additional fee, you can elect to have the template delivered to you as a new website in your Squarespace dashboard. You will be sent a Contributor Invitation via email and once you accept, a copy of the template will be yours! Installation fees start at $89.

    Investment: Website templates are $197 USD / Sales page templates are $149 USD Or… buy one of each and combine them to save 25%!

    2. Studio Mesa

    For those who want a clean, minimalist design, Studio Mesa is the place to go. Studio Mesa templates come with an unlimited personal use license, so you can use them on as many websites as you want!

    Best For: service providers, course creators, small shops, architects, bloggers


    You’ll receive access to your own copy of the template immediately upon purchase. All you need to start is a Squarespace account. The designer will send you an invitation to collaborate via email and voila; your gorgeous new website is ready for you to insert your own copy and photos!

    Investment: Templates start at $95.

    3. Go Live

    GoLive offers a gorgeous collection of easy-to-use no-code templates. Each template comes with video tutorials and Canva graphic elements to help you customize everything, along with exclusive access to the Launch Together Facebook group. GoLive also offers an extended 6-month period of email support, so you’ll feel supported from purchase to launch and beyond! Oh yeaaah, that’s the vibe.

    GoLive also has a membership program that gives designers unlimited access to all templates for $299/mo. You can apply here.

    Best For: service providers, small online stores, bloggers, and digital marketers


    You have two installation options:

    1. Within 24 hours of purchase, the template will be delivered as a new trial website. This is the standard installation method and comes included in the price of the template.
    2. For an additional $200 fee, you can have the template installed on your current Squarespace website. The version of your Squarespace website (7.0 or 7.1) must match the version of the template.

    GoLive also offers a variety of add-on services that my non-tech savvy copywriting clients love. If you need help customizing your website, you can book a screen share call for $99 or you can purchase the site setup package for $895. Blog transfer is available for a flat $250 fee and domain transfer is available for $100.

    Investment: All templates cost $299 USD.

    4. Station Seven

    Station Seven offers a cute collection of no-code Squarespace templates designed for flexibility and quick setup. Each template comes with video tutorials to help you master Squarespace and friendly email support if you have any questions. They feel like the earthy chic of Gwyneth Paltrow meets artsy vibe from Netflix’s Emily in Paris. What’s not to love?

    Best For: creative business owners, coaches, new era entrepreneurs


    Each template is installed as a new trial site in your Squarespace account within 24 hours of purchase. Just click the Contributor Invite when it arrives in your inbox!

    Investment: All templates are $199 USD.

    5. Candor

    Candor is home to some seriously chic Squarespace templates that won’t break the bank. We’re talking Vera Wang meets Sarah Jessica Parker in London and they go for high tea. Each template comes with access to the Launch Lounge, a resource library with video tutorials, an SEO guide, and checklists to help you launch with ease. You’ll also receive 20% off your first year of Squarespace (annual subscriptions only) and 30 days of free email support!

    Best For: service providers, personal brands and influencers


    You have two installation options, easy peasy:

    1. The template will be transferred to your Squarespace account as a new trial site.
    2. You can choose to have the template installed on your existing Squarespace 7.1 website for an additional fee of $39.99.

    Investment: Pricing starts at $147 USD. This is the perfect example of a budget website that looks haute-couture. Is it Zara or Fendi? Nobody needs to know but us! 😉

    6. 23&9 Creative

    Not so into the minimal, nude tone vibe? Check the fun templates from 23&9 Creative. They offer a colorful collection of Squarespace templates that will always stand out in a crowd, like JLO in her green Versace dress. Each template comes with step-by-step video tutorials plus the Elements of a Knockout Website workbook. You also get a 6-month trial period and 20% off your first year of any annual Squarespace plan. 

    Best For: service providers, creative entrepreneurs, fitness professionals


    You have two installation options:

    1. The template will be delivered to your Squarespace account as a new trial website.
    2. The template can be installed on your existing website as long as the version of your website (Squarespace 7.0 vs. 7.1) matches the version of the template.

    23&9 Creative also offers the Template Remix, a done-for-you template customization service, for $2,400. This is subject to availability.

    Investment: Pricing starts at just $129 USD. 😲 

    7. Applet Studio

    Applet Studio offers a range of bold and modern Squarespace templates that will make your website absolutely pop like Britney Spears in the 2000’s. Along with the template, you’ll get access to Applet Sudio’s signature Squarespace Mastery course, a great resource to help you learn the platform if you’re a beginner. If you need help customizing your website, Applet offers a $500 Template Rebrand package that will do just the trick. 

    Best For: digital marketers, creative entrepreneurs, small e-commerce shops, fans of Rosé all day


    You have two installation options:

    1. The template can be delivered to you as a new trial site in your Squarespace dashboard. All you have to do is accept the Contributor Invite.
    2. The template can be installed on your existing website. The advantage of this method is that you won’t have to transfer any of your blog content or domain name to a new site.

    Investment: Pricing starts at $149 USD.

    8. Blooming Design co.

    Blooming Design Co.’s easy-to-use templates are here to help you launch a beautiful, professional website within a day not months of back and forth. Get a head start on your dream website. Simply pick your template, open your purchase, swap out your content and images, then launch. They’ve each been designed with a storytelling, brand-focused framework in mind, to not only look good, but also be your best marketing tool.

    Best For: service providers, course creators, authors, interior designers


    Blooming Design Co’s templates come with immediate installation and will be delivered to your Squarespace account as a new trial site. No experience with Squarespace templates is required to get rolling the same-day.

    Investment: Templates start at $197 USD for Squarespace 7.1✨

    Or… snag a sales page template for just $97.

    9. Britta Made

    Britta Made offers strategic Squarespace templates for savvy people who need a proper sales funnel. Each template comes with access to the Private Template Resource Portal, a copywriting guide, bonus checklists, exclusive countdown timer plugin, and Canva device mockups. Not to mention delicious style for goal-driven creatives.

    Best For: course creators, coaches, creative business owners


    Within 24 hours of purchase, you’ll receive a direct link to access your template. Click to accept and start customizing!

    Investment: Templates with a sales funnel are $444 USD or split it into 4 payments of $122. Templates without a sales funnel are $333 USD (or 3 payments of $122).

    10. The Coast Kit

    No tech skills? No problem! The Coast Kit offers a collection of stunning Squarespace templates inspired by popular travel destinations around the world…and they’re so easy to customize. Are you a match for Cape Town, Tulum or Byron Bay style? Find out! Each template comes with step-by-step video tutorials to make the customization process easier. Matching social media and e-book templates are also available!

    Best For: service-based businesses, lifestyle brands, coaches, marketing agencies


    Within 24 hours of purchase, you’ll receive a direct link to access your template along with training videos to make it a no-brainer. Click to accept and start standing out from the crowd in your signature style!

    Investment: Templates range from $200-$250. Soooo worth it!

    Bonus: Get 15% off your entire purchase! Just enter this code at checkout: EMILYBAUMAN15

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