Squarespace – my new blogging platform

This weekend I switched blogging platforms from Blogger to Squarespace.

Unfortunately I was using Haloscan for comments, so all comments have been lost. You should notice no other difference aside from some small design changes.

If you notice any problems with the feed, broken links, etc., please let me know! (esmartbear at gmail dot com)  I know the feed got slammed with duplicates of the last 15 posts; unfortunately that was unavoidable.

For those of you interested in blogging, you might be interested in why I chose the relatively unknown Squarespace platform.

First, why leave Blogger? Blogger sucks, and not in a good way. Rant rant rant:

  • Blog pages are slow to load. Slow == back button == fewer readers.
  • Post editor is finicky. Has an odd choice of <div> placements which add vertical space in unexpected places. Have to switch to HTML mode constantly to get what I want, especially with images.
  • “Publish post automatically on this date” feature has been broken for months. Instead of posting on the given date, it turns the post back into a draft. This feature is vital for me because I always write posts ahead of time, allowing me to write in spurts but publish regularly.
  • Captcha required every time you save a post, even in draft, and letters were so hard to read it often took me three tries to get it.
  • Doesn’t have some simple sidebar widgets I wanted, e.g. “Search site” and “Recent posts.”

But the obvious alternatives are WordPress and Typepad, maybe Movable Type. Wherefore Squarespace?

  • It’s easy to inject arbitrary HTML and override CSS without hacking the system. They don’t block Javascript and they’ve made their CSS extremely easy to modify.
  • When a post is in draft I can view it inside the blog as it will really look, not just in a so-called WYSIWYG editor which doesn’t use my fonts or my column width.
  • All blogging systems change the permalink URLs to existing blog posts, thereby breaking external links. But with Squarespace you can redirect one URL to another, so with a little busywork, problem solved.
  • Squarespace permalink URLs use the entire post title, maximizing Google karma for those words. Typepad for example takes only the first 15 characters.
  • Squarespace is designed to be a whole website, not just a blog. Although WordPress and Typepad have the concept of “pages” separate from posts, Squarespace goes further with a “main menubar,” file storage, and real web statistics and logs. Today I only need the blog, but it’s nice to have the trappings of a full web server.
  • Squarespace’s tech support has been responsive; Typepad’s hasn’t.
  • Ian Clarke chose it, so it must be good.
  • What if Squarespace goes out of business? I can export everything in Movable Type format, so this means I could move my blog to any major blogging platform.  In fact all barriers like this have a good answer.

It’s only been a few days, but so far so good.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

  • http://sarabrumfield.blogspot.com Sara Brumfield

    So I don’t disagree with most of your points, but as a regular blogger user I’ve never had problems with either of these issues:

    # "Publish post automatically on this date" feature has been broken for months. Instead of posting on the given date, it turns the post back into a draft. This feature is vital for me because I always write posts ahead of time, allowing me to write in spurts but publish regularly.
    # Captcha required every time you save a post, even in draft, and letters were so hard to read it often took me three tries to get it.

    Weird. Makes me suspect there’s something different in your setup.

  • Jason

    Could be. But if I can’t figure it out it’s as good as broken. :-(

  • http://www.betnose.com betnose

    squarespace does really rock. a great site builder. I used it for me site http://www.betnose.com and have to admit – its geard up for SEO and google searches. My friend also reworded some easy CSS so i have a well designed website. YOu can also inject hard html code into headers etc – so is perfect for beginers or webmasters