Using Squarespace

Full disclosure: Squarespace is a sponsor of Home Work, a podcast I co-host.

I’ve been fiddling with Squarespace and am very impressed. Its tools are extremely powerful and thoughtful. There is a learning curve, but I suspect the result will be worth the effort. I’d consider moving this site over, but I worry about the following:

  • I’m not a designer. The thought of even changing a single color on a template terrifies me. So I’d stick with a default template and be unhappy about it.
  • Domain transfer is dark magic to me.

Maybe I can get these things figured out in the meantime. Any thoughts or experiences you’d like to share are welcome. Comments are open.

7 Comments

  1. Hi Dave, I’m @kevinfarner on twitter, live in Minneapolis, have done a project with Randy and know Patrick too. I’m a user experience guy, not a visual designer or programmer.

    I took a template in Squarespace 5, and, just in the last 2 weeks, Squarespace 6, and tweaked it. I played with margins, colors, even bought the Elena Font from Typekit and created some CSS for blockquotes.

    It’s kevinfarner.com , I write it more for myself as a commonplace book (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonplace_book) than for others so a lot of it is collecting quotes I want to keep, and also as a way to learn about css.

    Happy to answer any questions, I’m totally not an expert but could let you know where I found stuff.

    cheers,

    kevin

  2. Squarespace support told me they have a domain transfer tool in the works but they couldn’t give me a date when it would be available.

    Probably not soon, then, but maybe keep an eye on things.

  3. I paid for a year a week or two ago and I haven’t been that impressed. I get the impression that Squarespace 6 is rapidly evolving but little things like adding sidebars to themes didn’t work yet and the templates are still a bit sparse.

    I’m well versed in WordPress but Squarespace sponsors so many of my favorite podcasts that I felt compelled to try it for a year. I know folks who loved v5 but v6 just doesn’t feel … finished yet. That being said I could just be an odd outside use case.

    I will give it time but, out of the box, it hasn’t quite met my expectations yet. I plan on watching Merlin Mann rebuild his domain and see if I’m just inept :-)

  4. Hi Dave,

    I’ve been using squarespace for a little while now, just after they introduced version 6 and introduced link-list post types. I’ve been using tumblr before but thout that squarespace and their services would be a better fit, now with all the new stuff they offer. And so far, i’ve really been happy with them and the experience I had.
    The website is super super powerful, changing templates and customizing them is super super easy. If you have a look at my website you’ll see that I like it very minimal, so the themes found and customized is just the type of design I wanted for my blog.
    The customer service and support is first class. I’ve had a few little questions and problems when first migrating over, so I dropped the guys and girls some emails, tweets and chat messages and always got an immediate, very helpful, answer. Very impressed with that.
    The only negative thing I can say about them so far are their iOS apps. You can’t really post much but simple text posts from within the apps, and when you want to edit previous posts form within those apps, they just refuse to do so and say that these types of posts are too complex to be edited. You also can’t do link-list posts from the apps which is a real bummer for me, since those are one of the main components of my blog. Which means I can’t really blog from my iPad. And squarespace 6 does not (yet) allow posting from third party apps. Another negative about the apps is that they are not retina, which makes them, especially on the iPad, look very bad and outdated. It’s like they updated the service but forgot about the apps. And after asking them on twitter if there is any updates planned for the foreseeable future, they said no, not for now. I tried posting form safari on the iPad and iPhone, but after typing a few lines or inserting a links, safari just crashes.

    So that’s my experience and opinion about squarespace so far. Hope this helps you make your decision. If you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer you as good as possible.

    René

  5. I’ve found Squarespace easier and quicker than fiddling with WordPress templates but I”d agree that it doesn’t quite feel finished yet. That said, tweaking themes and getting the site looking almost right was pretty easy. I just need to learn more CSS to deal with annoying niggles (Like the comments link still sitting under posts even though I’ve disabled comments).

    On the domain transfer thing, I didn’t bother – I just redirected the domain I bought with Hover. They do have pretty good instructions for the major registrars.

    The site I built is for a client – http://www.choppinandlodge.com.

  6. Squarespace 5 is awesome. I’ve used it for many years for 2 personal sites and it’s been great. I tend to change the look often and Squarespace makes it extremely easy and fun to do.

    The new version 6 looks good and I’m sure it’ll be even better in time, although right now it does have some hiccups and it’s missing a few features. A main one for me is XMLPRC API support to connect it to MarsEdit. It works with v5, but not with v6.

    As far as moving away from Squarespace, v5 lets you export in an MT compatible format or as XML, so it’s relatively easy to move. I’m not sure about v6 though.

  7. HI Dave –
    I have been running SS5 for over a year and love it. So simple and rock solid. I recently converted to SS6. Very easy to convert. There is a lot of control to it as well but it is very different from 5. I like it a lot but it is SS6 is not compatible with MarsEdit yet if you use that. The markdown support and image handing is very good as well. Customer support is incredible. If you need any more information I would be happy to share it with you

    Austin

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