Squarespace 6 Aims to Take on Tumblr & WordPress
Anthony Casalena started Squarespace in 2003 with just $20,000 funding, enough for some web servers to help him get started with his web publishing start up. Seven years later, Squarespace raises $38.5 million for development of its latest platform, set to take on the likes of Tumblr, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and even Blogger.
Squarespace operates in a similar fashion to many online CMS hosts. Small businesses can log in, change their content, upload photos, and basically just manage their website for a nominal fee, ranging from $8 a month to $50 a month, depending on the service level. This is nothing new, and this model has been around for years. What makes this service unique however, is Squarespace’s specialized in house system, which allows for full social networking integration and more dynamic structuring and design. There are many competitors out there, the main ones at the moment being both Tumblr and WordPress (both free), but where Squarespace has the edge is design.
Whether its a blog, portfolio or a small business website, there area wide range of resources to choose from. The latest addition to the list being Squarespace version 6, which was released last Thursday. The new CMS has heaps of new features, and although it’s still in closed Beta at the moment its looking really promising for the veteran start up. Squarespace had to go back to the drawing board with this new version, analyzing what it was that users wanted, both from a web design and development point of view, as well as from a surfer and customer point of view. It was found that their original base wasn’t good enough to meet the standards of semantic modern web, so they did the best thing they could, start from scratch in an attempt to woo the CMS market.
Squarespace, similarly to Tumblr, is built around templates. Users can select a base template to construct their website around. This template gives the site a consistent layout and a fantastic look and feel factor, saving in hundreds if not thousands being paid to web designers. This has always been the case for Squarespace, but Squarespace 6 really nails it in the head. Currently, version 6 is only planning on offering portfolio themed templates (I’m guessing this is because of Squarespace’s market audience), but the fact that users can change the font, color, column count, widgets, imagery etc. will mean that no two websites will look too similar.
Squarespace are also planning the release of developer API, allowing web developers to create their own compatible templates to use. This feature is an absolute must for any CMS, and its nice to see that they haven’t forgot it. And of course, it’s nothing without some screenshots: