Squarespace 6

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Chris Coyier on (Updated on )

You all know I don’t do very many sponsored blog posts here on CSS-Tricks. But when Squarespace reached out about doing some advertising for their new version 6 I was bummed to tell them there is nothing open (I had just removed an ad zone from the sidebar to clean things up a smidge). So I thought heck, let’s do a blog post about it which will give me a chance to say what I want to say about it and also introduce the new Squarespace in a more detailed way. So yes: this is a sponsored post but they are my words (they wouldn’t even give me talking points) and it’s my choice.

What is Squarespace?

It is a web app for building websites. You don’t write any code. You use their super slick interface for designing the site and managing the content.

They have just released “Squarespace 6”, a kind of reboot to the app. I think it’s much nicer than the previous iterations. In this latest version, the things that it makes sense to do while looking at a live preview of your site, you do while looking at a live preview of your site. The things that make more sense to do while looking at an admin screen of sorts, you do in an admin screen. I feel like previous iterations forced more into the live preview area.

Lovely, simple backend.

I’m a web designer. Why would I use this?

You’re a web designer. That means your family asks you to build websites for them. Your friends. Your friends of friends. Your hairdresser wants you to build a site for their cat. You don’t have time for that, and honestly, even if you could fit them in and they had the money to pay you what you are worth, what they actually need is a simple, nice looking template where they can post pictures and text and arrange little modules of content. You can set them up in just a few minutes on Squarespace. Then not only do they have a site that works for them, they can manage it themselves instead of bugging you.

This template will work great for your cousin’s wife’s friend who is like this really great actress and just needs a simple site for herself.

I have a friend, Scott McCormick, who actually is a really great photographer. I built him a simple custom site on WordPress. It turned out nice I think, but in retrospect I really wish we would have set him up on Squarespace. I think it would be a better fit for him. It would give him more control and allow the most important activity, posting new photos, to be easier and more intuitive than it is on his current site.

Plus, he’d get built in statistics which I’m sure he’d be very interested in. I could set up Google Analytics on it but honestly I don’t want to be in charge (and the go-to guy) for analytics for every site I have a hand in.

Analytics included.

It’s not just for your castoffs, though.

I don’t want to sell Squarespace short though. It’s not just for people you’re too busy to build a site for directly or who you don’t have time to deal with. Look at these templates. They are super nice. They might be perfect for yourself or for a paying client of yours. And of course you can alter them to match your style.

I hesitate a bit to mention “coming soon” features, but the Squarespace folks assure me that “Developer Mode” is coming soon to Squarespace 6 and it’s going to be some super next-level powerful tools for crafting your Squarespace sites. I haven’t seen it, but this is paramount for us web designers. I believe Squarespace 5 had some good developer tools, so if they are re-inventing that for version 6 and do as good a job as the site builder stuff, it’s gonna be great.

The Future

I recently hosted a discussion about CSS reusability. The genesis of the post was me looking at a website template and thinking about how many (millions) of times a website almost exactly like that has been hand coded by a web designer. Are we going to do that forever? I hope not. I hope simple content based sites become more of a self-service, commodity kind of thing. I know that’s a bit controversial. We’ll have to chat about that more specifically some time. I’m definitely not anti-designer, I’m about having designers solve more important problems. Squarespace (and the rise of sites like it) is the start of this revolution.


If you are interested in going for it, you can sign up for Squarespace and save 10% using the code CSSTRICKS. It’s 10% off whatever purchase you make. So if you go monthly, it’s just the first month. If you go yearly or bi-yearly, it’s like you saved that 10% on each of the 12 or 24 months so the savings are higher.

I thought I’d drop their video in here too: