Squarespace 6 has only been out for a few weeks, and curious Squarespace v5 users and potential new Squarespace converts alike are wondering if the next-generation web publishing platform is worth the hype.
Recently three friends/Squarespace users and I sat down to review Squarespace 6, its 50+ new and planned features, migration strategies, and more via a Google+ Hangout on Air I like to call Hanging Out and Talking Squarespace. Read the details or watch the entire episode to judge for yourself whether Squarespace 6 is right for you.
Hanging Out and Talking Squarespace: Squarespace 6 Reviewed
Squarespace 6 First Impressions
Hanging Out and Talking Squarespace is a Google+ Hangout series organized by Big Picture Web and hosted by yours truly. Guests of mine on July 31 included Alan Houser of Squareflair, photographer Nathan Smith, and Peter Slapnicher from Local Pigeon.
In the first part of the discussion, the group reviewed Squarespace 6 and gave their first impressions. As someone who uses Squarespace mostly as a consumer, Nathan and I voiced our strong approval for LayoutEngine and the 50+ other amazing new features. Peter designs Squarespace websites that typically leverage existing templates, and he tended to agree. The increased smoothness and sophistication of Squarespace 6 provide the ability to publish with greater ease than ever before.
Squarespace 6 and Developers
While Nathan, Peter, and I have been pleased with Squarespace 6 so far, Alan has had a slightly different experience as a developer of Squarespace websites. Alan creates completely custom Squarespace websites, and Squarespace is still in the beta testing stages of its developer platform. That said, Alan shared that he had yet to form an opinion on Squarespace 6 because the developer tools are still coming together.
Migrating from Squarespace v5 to Squarespace 6
For the most part, migration from Squarespace v5 to Squarespace 6 has been painless for those who have moved, but there is a big caveat in place. It seems like sites with the most amount of customization on v5 have the most difficulty importing to Squarespace 6.
Developers fall into this category as well. Alan shared that he'll be slowly migrating as developer tools become available.
Note: be sure to check out this handy guide if you're planning on moving from v5 to Squarespace 6.
The Future of Squarespace 6
So what does the future of Squarespace 6 involve? Our panel thinks two things: increased customization and rapid feature additions.
For customization, Alan theorized that developers will be able to customize every aspect of the Squarespace websites they build for their customers, including content types (e.g., photo gallery entries) and the types of add-ons you can use (e.g., ecommerce).
Squarespace 6 also promises to launch new features at a pace much faster than anything its customers have seen before. Squarespace founder Anthony Casalena has pointed to the platform's amazing new infrastructure as a major contributing factor to Squarespace 6's two-plus year development cycle and a source of great leverage going into the future.
Just how popular is Squarespace 6 so far? The search term has seen a 400%+ increase in popularity in Google in the few weeks since its release. Those numbers no doubt bode well for a company that has already been profitable since its first day in business.
What's your review of Squarespace 6? Have you had a chance to move to the new web publishing platform? Be sure to share your thoughts about Squarespace 6 with me in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Also, contact me to be a part of the next Hanging Out and Talking Squarespace.