I’ve used Squarespace 5 for a few months now. If you don’t know what Squarespace is, it’s an excellent alternative to WordPress for blog sites and the like. Well, Squarespace 5 is a great alternative, but Squarespace 6, which was released last week, might not be ready for the big leagues.
I accepted Ss’s generous offer to open a free Ss 6 site with my other account on Ss 5. If you were a member of Ss before 6 was released you are entitled to start a new Ss 6 site for free. I appreciate Squarespace giving this to their loyal user base. And I’m glad I didn’t pay for my Ss 6 site. It’s nowhere near as good as my Ss 5 site is to me.
If you thought Ss 5 was limiting, like many web developers have, think again. 6 makes 5 look nerdy and advanced. 6 is so straight-forward and minimal that there isn’t one widget you can add to a site out-of-the-box without knowing some code. And it’s not just widgets that are missing.
The template themes are new and aesthetically appealing. You can customize them to a good extent. The editor offers a new and relaxing writing experience. Even so, most of the tools with Ss 5 by way of the admin structure and style modes are gone. In Ss 6, you have less than half the customizable parameters; even the WYSIWYG editor is missing various formatting controls. Honestly, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of little ways Ss 6 disappoints.
The most noticeable of the missing features for Ss 6 is support. Ss 5 has some of the best articles, video tutorials, and forums I’ve come by. Ss 6 is so new, however, that the developers haven’t managed much in the way of a support section. When I turned to the support for Ss 6 I found it helpful, but not able to solve most of my issues.
Though I have no official word from the developers, I suspect Ss 6 is stifling because it’s very new and a complete re-do of the Ss tools. In due time, hopefully the developers of Squarespace 6 will manage to include a great number of the Ss 5 features that are sorely missed. I have good faith in them because Ss 5 has been so rewarding and exemplary. If they don’t intend to make Ss 6 as capable as Ss 5 then they have lost their minds, which I highly doubt.
And even though I had higher hopes for Ss 6 out of the box, I think I will use this free site for a new project I have in the works that doesn’t require much in the way of site features.