Pausing my blog hiatus with a hat tip for the first wave of public beta invites to Squarespace 6

Screenshot from the Squarespace V6 blog post video trailer
Screenshot from the Squarespace V6 blog post video trailer

Screenshot from the Squarespace V6 blog post video trailerIf tomorrow had arrived before I posted this, it would have been one full month since I'd written a blog post. Unheard of. Except we all know it's about priorities and choices and juggling... and stuff. Blogging took a rare back seat for a while. Until...

What a thrilling reason to come out of blog hiding: learning that the newest upgrade to Squarespace is closer-than-ever to landing in my anxious little fingertips.

Squarespace, for those new to this space, is the platform on which I help people create websites more complicated than they can manage on their own. My designs are neither bleeding edge nor even cutting edge. Long ago I discovered that this is more than okay. Turns out a lot of people requier less "edge" of their sites. What I do do is take a very hands-on, collaborative, "you can do it" coach-like approach to helping people who want simple, cost-effective, customized sites they can learn to manage on their own... but which they either have little time or inclination or confidence to set up without someone to guide them through the process. The platform is very DIY-oriented, and you can do it on your own. When you have reasons not to, lots of people like me are here to help you. Discovering Squarespace was the reason I didn't change direction and go into another line of work altogether. Seriously. And? Today Squarespace posted the first wave of public invites to version 6 of their product. Friends of Squarespace have been holding our collective breath for this update for a long, looong time.

Of course, as a self-taught designer who also frequently spends time studying the coding end of things when I need to accomplish something less standard, my mind is also reeling with questions. After six and a half years working on this platform, I still learn something new daily. What will it take, then, to learn enough to become proficient on Squarespace V6? What exactly will the transition look like on a practical level, in the context of my day-to-day workflow? I recall details from 3+ years ago when V5 was released: specifically taking the time, off the clock, to learn what was needed to recreate an identical version of the site I'd been days from launching on the newer version.

Everything I've seen about version 6 tells me that this is going to be far, far different than the transition from V4 to V5. These are different times. The web has evolved. Standards have changed. Web users have become more sophisticated and demanding. From what I can see, Squarespace is on the cusp of being able to deliver some stunning, impressive online solutions. Now my task, should I choose to accept it1, is to do everything I can to get myself up to speed so I can continue to deliver what my clients are looking for. Then make the time to finish separating this personal site from the long-in-process new one that focuses on Squarespace work and other little tidbits of geekery written with the non-techie audience in mind.

This announcement comes on the heels of my having needed to seek the help of the Squarespace Support Team not once but twice lately. While I've certainly opened my share of support tickets over the years, when warranted, truly it isn't a service I've had to utilize very often in recent years. These fresh experiences have continued to be professionally and promptly handled by gracious, knowledgable, articulate folks. And I've appreciated their candor and willingness, when the situation warranted it, to just say, "You know what? I don't know how to answer that. But I'll escalate it to someone who can help uncover the answer, and I'll get back to you soon." And they did. This last part wasn't really necessary to the "yay to the new V6 announcement!" blog post, but today, I guess it kinda' was, too. Because it illustrates one of the many reasons for my loyalty to this company, and my happiness for what must be a very exciting time for them as well.

Congratulations to the Squarespace team. I hope you're as elated as many of your users are. Now. Let's talk about letting me get my hands on this shiny new toy of yours. I've decided I'm okay to trade in some more hours of sleep to see what I can do with it...

1. As if.