Exploring Squarespace Version 6 and the Future of Squarespace

Squarespace version 6Squarespace has been growing since its founding in 2003. Over the years there have been five major versions with a series of core updates. Squarespace version 5 was released in the summer of 2008 and while it has served the Squarespace customer base well over the least several years, the calls for an upgrade to Squarespace v6 are growing. This week we take a look at what is known about Squarespace version 6 and why it may be a game changer for the small, yet growing web publishing company.

Why Squarespace Version 6 Will Be Huge

As a follower of Squarespace news, it's clear to me that the next version of Squarespace will be an amazing upgrade to the already excellent web publishing platform. A number of factors are working in favor of Squarespace v6 include:

  • Suprising the Users. Squarespace founder and CEO Anthony Casalena said in January on This Week in Startups that they look to create loyal fans by "surprising the user" with a great web publishing experience. Version 6 won't just be a slight upgrade. Expect to be surprised.
  • Serious Funds for a Great Product. Squarespace received $38.5 Million in July of 2010 in venture capital from Accel Partners and Index Ventures. These are the giants that helped launch the likes of Facebook and Skype. You can bet they know a good product when they see it and will do what it takes to help take it to the next level.
  • The Luxury of Time. Although calls for version six are growing in number within the Squarespace community, Squarespace has been able to depend on version 5 of its software since releasing it coming up on three years ago. In that time it has been able to grow in a number of different ways and take the time to focus on making a quality product in the upgrade to Squarsepace version 6.

What We Know So Far About Squarespace Version 6

While there hasn't been an official list of features announced for Squarespace's v6, there have been a number of statements made by Squarespace officials over time that illustrate what has been going on behind the scenes of the well-funded New York City start-up:

  • Infrastructure. Casalena cited a large infrastructure update as a major part of the v6 intitiative in a March 2010 Squarespace Roadmap blog post. These changes will likely help Squarespace scale as it takes off in popularity, as well as enable them to make more updates in the future with less effort.
  • Template Flexibility and Portability. Squarespace V6 will allow developers to create and port templates from website to website, according to the 2010 Roadmap. It's easy to imagine an entire market of Squarespace templates cropping up with a change this big.
  • Deeper Developer Control. In November of 2010, Casalena provided another update on V6. This time he  also mentioned entirely new datatypes and editing interfaces. Squarespace users should anticipate much more control of the page templates of V6.
  • Major Media Improvements. Casalena also mentioned a new way of controlling and managing photo galleries. Although he said this feature is a mid-term project, I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a centerpiece of the v6 update. 
  • Mobile. Casalena's This Week in Startups appearance in January saw him revealing several features of Squarespace v6, such as the fact that Squarspace websites will have a native mobile format with the upgrade to version 6.
  • Six Major Initiatives. In a statement released to my friends over at OkayGeek, Casalena hinted that version six includes six major initiatives.

The Squarespace V6 Timeline: 

  • July, 2008 - Squarespace V5 is released.
  • February, 2009 - Squarespace V6 prototype built.
  • October, 2009 - Squarespace V6 storyboards nears completion. Engineering set to begin.
  • March, 2010 - Founder Anthony Casalena publishes the Squarespace 2010 Roadmap. 
  • July, 2010 - Squarespace receives $38.5 Million from Accel Partners and Index Ventures
  • November 2010 - Major engineering underway at the core of Squarespace during the Fall 2010 update.
  • February, 2011 - Anthony Casalena appears on This Week in Startups and mentions accelerated progress on v6. 
  • March 2011 - Anthony Casalena alludes v6 is nearing completion during Stated Magazine interview.
  • March, 2011 - Squarespace feeds thousands at SXSW Interactive marketing conference.
  • ??? - Squarespace releases Version 6.

What's Next for Squarespace Version 6?

We now have a decent idea of what to expect with Squarspace's v6. The only question remaining is when will Squarespace release version 6? It's clear that Casalena has never liked making timelines public. In the This Week in Startups interview he mentions liking flexiblity in the release schedule in case something more important comes up.

But in the same interview he also stated having a renewed focus and improvements in progress on finishing version 6. In the Stated Magazine interview he says "I feel like Squarespace v6 is the best thing we've ever produced." Produced is past tense. Does this mean that Squarespace v6 is right around the corner? Only time will tell.

What do you think will be in Squarespace v6 and when do you think it will be released? Have you heard about specific features included in v6 that I haven't included in this post? Leave your updates and opinions in the comments below.