First off, an apology. The past 6 months here at Squarespace have been absolutely incredible for us, but we really haven’t done a great job of communicating that excitement to our user base and letting you all know what we’re doing. We’ve signed a lease on our new office, expanded our team, and have made excellent headway on both scaling our system and other projects. I hope we can fix the communication gap, and I wanted to take a minute to update everyone on a number of fronts regarding our business and our plans.

First, our business:

  • We have grown. A lot. Squarespace has more than doubled in size in the past year in terms of customers, and tripled in terms of employee count. We remain the bootstrapped, profitable company we’ve been for the past 7 years and welcome the new members of our team that will help propel us forward. Our new hires have been spread across engineering, design, support, and infrastructure. While we have great capacity, we’re also supremely focused on making sure our robust site fabric and support scale up as we grow, to ensure we can provide our new customers with the same level of service we’ve provided our old ones for most of this decade. Our business now allows us to work on multiple projects in parallel, whereas before our team was mostly working on a single major release at any given time.
  • Hiring. We continue to be hiring experienced Java developers and talented designers here in New York City. Squarespace is an exciting and different place to work. If you’re reading this and want to learn more about what we can offer, or just want to drop in and say hello, please let us know.
  • Infrastructure. We have upgraded our infrastructure massively and continue to invest in our site serving fabric that powers our entire infrastructure. For those unacquainted, Squarespace is not shared hosting. All sites on our system use shared resources that scale with demand. Your $8/month site can serve millions if you need it to. We believe this fundamental infrastructure represents a massive step forward for publishers large and small on the web as infrastructure worries become a thing of the past.

Squarespace currently has a number of short term initiatives under way, and one very major long term initiative. Our focus is currently on the following:

  • Social Widgets (Very Soon). We are currently prepping the release of our social widgets features, which will allow you to integrate Flickr, Twitter, and more into Squarespace. Consistent with our approach, these widgets are being integrated with the core system, which means you won’t need to hack Javascript code and suffer long load times in order to get your social data on your site.  We’re importing your data over to Squarespace to ensure your site loads incredibly quickly under high traffic, or if an external service goes down. We want your Squarespace site to be the go-to point for your identity, so no matter what social network may emerge tomorrow, you’ll always be able to plug it in and keep your profiles across the web in a central space. This release was announced some time ago, but development was only able to commence more recently due to a few high-priority back-end items.
  • Media Management (Medium Term). We are midway though a redesign of our media management system which will create a much better way of managing the insertion of multimedia assets into your Squarespace site.
  • The Big Secret Project (Long Term). We do have one major item that we’ve been working on for months. We can’t release a lot of details on this, but let’s just say we’re personally bothered by how V5 handles:
    • Very complicated site structures, selective display, and page-level style sheets.
    • Template flexibility and portability.  It should be easier to create out-of-the-box page layouts, include widgets in various locations, and port templates from one site to another
    • The needs of developers.  It should be easier to exert fine-grained control to make changes in natural ways instead of applying CSS hacks.
    In the tradition of Squarespace V5, I can attest to the fact that this project will set a new bar for the interfaces you’ve seen from us, and on the web in general.

In addition to these more definitive items, a slew of updates to the commenting system, membership system, developer features, and more are planned that address items such as OpenID/Twitter/Facebook authentication, selective backend access for member accounts, and more.

We “eat our own dog food” constantly.  The site you’re looking at, as well as our front site and all of our other sites, are developed using the same tools you use on our system.  We’ve learned an immense amount since putting out V5 and redesigning our own sites using our own tools.

Anyone who has been with us over the years knows that while it always takes us a bit longer to make our releases, we’re insistent on experience and getting things right.  We will stick to this philosophy, but we now have the luxury of developing many things in parallel, so you’ll see more short term releases while the big things are in development.  As always, we can not cite specific dates for these releases.

We remain committed to solving the hard problems in layout, infrastructure, design, and UI.  These are the problems that drive us, and I trust our execution on the above items will be reflective of that commitment.

Thank you all for your continued support through this exciting time.