Opinion, Social Media

Pros and Cons of Unfold, Squarespace’s Bio Site Tool

Earlier this week, a promo email from Squarespace (which hosts my portfolio/business site) shared their approach to a link in bio site. Creating one has been on my to-do list for a few months, so I decided there was no time like the present to try it out.

Please note: This is my honest opinion based on my user experience. I received no compensation for writing this, nor was I asked by any entity to share my experience with this.

What is a link in bio site?

A link in bio site is a mini mobile-friendly landing page where you can share multiple relevant links to key destinations for your brand. It’s handy on social media platforms like Instagram, which doesn’t allow clickable links in post captions and only allows one link in your bio.

This can feel very limiting if you’re trying to make it easy for your followers to get to certain key URLs as you build your audience. When you have multiple pages you want to direct people to–a website, blog, new product page, Patreon, other social media accounts, affiliates, etc.–how do you pick which one to use?

A link in bio site gives you a single URL to put in your bio and give your followers access to a centralized list to navigate from.

Link in bio tools

There are a lot out there. Sprout Social has SproutLink available for those with a paid plan. Feedlink, Lnk.Bio, and Linktree are a few others with free versions with additional features available behind a paywall.

An example of a Linktree bio site pulled from someone I follow: @saralubrattwrites on Instagram

Squarespace has Unfold. In addition to creating a bio site, you can also create different feed and story posts with their templates. There’s also a tool for planning and organizing your Instagram feed. Unfortunately, I couldn’t test this feature yet due to account connection errors. For now, I’m just going to focus on the bio site feature.

What I like about Unfold’s Bio Site tool

The free version gives you four templates to work with, all of which have clean designs with customizable elements, including a profile or logo image, cover image, and background color.

You can add sections like a text box (which allows more characters than the bio section), social icon links, website links, a payment processor for tips, and an NFT gallery. What’s really cool is the option to add an embed from another platform.

Sections and embeds you can add to a bio site on Unfold.

The embeds allow you to add a full piece of content, like a tweet, Instagram post, Pinterest pin, or video. I’m not sure what I’d put there, but the possibilities are exciting and worth playing around. It would be easy to go overboard and put in too much which would make the bio site more complicated than it should be. It’s also nice that you can change the order everything appears in.

You can also create a custom color palette with your brand colors, but that feature is only available on a paid plan.

You do also get access to some activity analytics with the free version: views, clicks, and clickthrough rate (CTR). These can be filtered to view all-time, one month, one week, and one day. More detailed analytics are available with paid plans.

What I don’t like about Unfold

The customization options feel extremely limited, even for a free version. There are 35 options for background colors, seven of which are bright gradients. However, choosing a specific color with an eyedropper tool or by entering the hexadecimal value are only available with a paid plan. There’s no rule that says you have to match the background to one of your brand colors–you could always stick with something neutral like black or white and use your branding in the image spaces–but the number of available values is disappointing.

The font you get depends on which template you use (unless you upgrade to the Plus or Pro plans), and you can’t even choose whether you want a serif or sans-serif font. You also can’t change the text color. Depending on the background color you select, it automatically chooses either black or white text for maximum contrast. That is a nice feature to prevent users from creating something unreadable, but there is one big drawback.

One of the templates puts your name or brand name over the cover image. Say you wanted the background to be black. All of the text would automatically be white. That means your cover image HAS to be dark enough to contrast against the white text. You can see what I mean in action in the video below.

That might not cause problems for some, and you can always choose a different template. But remember, there are only 4 available on the free version.

The main source of my frustration with Unfold has to be the cover image feature. Each template displays the cover image in different dimensions. One of them uses a portrait crop rather than landscape. But when you select a cover photo, it only shows you a landscape crop. In my video, you can see me moving the image around as I try unsuccessfully to change the crop dimensions.

The random stock photo of flowers I chose for this video happens to work well with all the templates because it doesn’t really matter exactly what’s in the frame. I had previously tried to use a graphic I created in Canva for a more branded look with my color palette, but it quickly became tedious. Without having the exact image dimensions that will display, my best bet was to create a square graphic and try to force anything important into the upper third of the image.

Or just, you know, find a pretty photo of some leaves that I took last summer and call it a day.

Final Thoughts on Unfold’s Bio Site

It’s a neat tool and I’m looking forward to playing around with it. I might even eventually do the three-day trial of the Plus plan or the seven-day trial of the Pro plan to see if all the extra bells and whistles are worth it. But at an annual cost of $19.99 and $99.99 respectively, it’s incredibly unlikely I’d be able to justify a paid plan unless I received a significant amount of traffic that made customization a worthwhile investment. For now, it gets the job done. In another month or so, I might give one of the other bio site tools a try to see how it compares.

Do you use a link in bio site tool? Which do you use and what do you like about it?

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