A daunting, beautiful array of Squarespace 6 templates from which to choose.It's time. In fact, it's past time. Having worked on the Squarespace platform since '05, the fact that they launched the latest version of their already-incredible offerings just over a year ago could be a clue about how seriously I take such a transition. Although, in truth, it's also a clue about a few other things. I'll get to that.
Having spent that year working, behind-the-scenes, to get to know "V6" I've come to the conclusion that there are more pros than cons to what was much more than a simple upgrade. It's a new platform altogether. Based on the lessons learned over the years since Squarespace was born, they combined this wealth of knowledge with newer technologies and came up with a product that blew my mind, and continues to do so. So why haven't I moved my own site there?
- Some fear, probably. That I wasn't ready. That there was so much to learn and my site has so many parts that may or may not render correctly (behind-the-scenes, especially, I have a lot of content that isn't all available to the public,) it makes me (still, sometimes) nervous to make such a wholesale switch.
- Frustration. That a couple of things I love about this former incarnation aren't available on the new version.
- Time. Learning a whole new version of the software that has been the basis of all your website development work for many years is a daunting prospect.
- Distraction. Much of the time I just forgot to think about it. I've never had trouble keeping my plate full, and when I worked on websites, it just seemed best to create sites for other people than migrate my own over.
- Overwhelm. With the mind-boggling array of choices, I fell in love with several of the templates and not only struggl(ed) to know for certain which one will work best for me, but while pondering the question and testing my options in context, fresh ideas would come. Ideas related to other kinds of content I have often thought of sharing on my site but never have before. Now that the tools are here, it felt exciting and daunting at once. It remains true that with Squarespace sites, we start with a template that presents content the way we want, and then I work with my clients (in this case, my client being me,) to customize it to whatever degree is desired. With the newer options, that customization potential just went through the roof.
The more sites I create using this tool, the more I know I should have my own site there. The benefits far outweigh the challenges. It became clear to me that I needed to finally prioritize this task when I started "thinking in V6." Whereas before, I defaulted to thinking about sites from a V5 perspective - I'd used that version for years, after all, and created countless sites using the tool I so loved - and had to make a conscious effort to consider a solution from a version 6 mindset, somewhere along the line, my thinking flipped. I switched over to automatically considering what can be done in V6 and since the possibilities are so much more robust, my particular site, at least, clearly needs to be on the new version.
I have many clients who love what they have and aren't anxious to consider changing. The cost alone is prohibitive for some, since although hosting fees are identical between the two platforms, I work with people who aren't typically "do it yourselfers" - the reason many of them called me in the first place - and they aren't looking to pay for more design and development fees when they're already more than happy with what they have. To those people I say, "Carry on and enjoy your site" just as they have been. Because, as I've said, it's an incredible platform. And sites built on Squarespace 5 continue to thrill me much more than working with other processes I've used before. There's no reason for those folks to change anything.
However to those who are constantly considering more, better, different, expansion... these are the people I think of as good candidates for Version 6. And since I'm one of those people who's always in the middle of one change or another, whether professionally or personally, it's clear that I, too, am a candidate. More than a candidate. I'm way behind.
Of course the numbers of templates has merely grown since I struggled to narrow it down to just one. Yay me. The up-side to waiting is that I now have greater possibilities. And I know the platform much better, too. Does that mean there isn't more to learn? Are we alive? There will always be more to learn. Just look at this post celebrating the one year birthday of Squarespace 6 by founder Anthony Casalena, and notice the numbers of additions they've added during this year alone. It would be a paltry compliment to call it impressive.
I'm not ready to launch yet. In fact, I have quite a list of tasks to work through before I'll be ready to relaunch this site on Squarespace 6. Still, it's ON the list and I'm telling you publicly that I'm working on it. Between this and the fun I'm having on the other V6 sites I'm working on, there's less time than ever to be bored. Which is perfect... and just the way I like it!