A helpful way to understand if a content management system (CMS) will work for you is to learn more about the folks who currently use and love it. I recently administered a survey to the fine Squarespace users that read this blog, and have put together a few insights to help the world learn more about our community, how we use the Squarespace CMS, and how we approach web design and content management.
What Goals do Squarespace Users Have?
The Squarespace community consists largely of artists (e.g., web designers, writers, photographers, etc), small business owners, and entrepreneurs looking for an intuitive, yet powerful set of web design templates and features in a CMS. Our most common goals include publishing a blog, showcasing portfolios and services, and connecting and engaging with people online.
One thing all Squarespace users have in common is that they do have a goal for their website. Perhaps it's because there is no free version of Squarespace?
What Squarespace Features are Used Most?
Squarespace's newest version of their CMS (Squarespace 6) saw 50 new features and improvements on a product that already boasted hundreds of useful tools. The most useful features of the Squarespace CMS include its powerful blogging platform, dynamic page building options (powered by the new LayoutEngine), and countless image gallery features.
Most Squarespace users also use advanced goodies and plug-ins such as a two minute Google Analytics integration, no-hassle contact forms, and seamless social media integration.
Do People Tend to Stick with Squarespace?
There are dozens of fly-by-night content management systems out there. You want to be sure that the up-and-coming content management system you choose will be one you won't want to leave any time soon.
Most Squarespace users tend to stick with the CMS long-term once they've vetted its ability to meet their web publishing goals. The majority of our survey respondents have been using Squarespace as a CMS for over two years, and some have even been happy Squarespace customers for over four years.
More About Squarespace CMS Users
Our survey was administered to subscribers of the Big Picture Web newsletter, and most answers were submitted between September 17 and October 17, 2012. About 1 in 5 of our respondents were both Squarespace users and also designed Squarespace websites professionally.
Lastly, while these numbers are expected to continue to shift dramatically as Squarespace 6 gains steam, a little over one quarter of Squarespace users have already migrated to the new version of the Squarespace CMS within the first quarter of its launch.
All of the Squarespace websites I run have been moved to Squarespace 6, and I'm incredibly happy with managing websites on the new Squarespace CMS.
What are the most important considerations for you as you vet content management systems? What features about Squarespace stand out to you, and where, if any, are your areas of concern?