As we set out to design Squarespace 6, we knew that building the right structural foundation for your content was paramount. Squarespace is much more than a tool for making pretty web sites — it's a full-fledged content management system. A content storage locker central to your online identity. As such, it does two things really well: content storage and content retrieval.
Anyone with something to say wants an audience, and social networks can be a powerful means to publicizing your content. Squarespace is not a social network itself, it’s a publishing platform. However, we've made it incredibly easy to publicize and push your content across any number of networks existing today, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, and more.
There are many advantages to integrating with existing social networks rather than building our own, and they benefit our users as well as our company.
- You need a strong home base. Networks come and go. Not so long ago, networks like MySpace were everywhere; now, they're nowhere as prominent as they once were. Years ago, Google rankings meant everything to a publisher; now, depending on your audience, Twitter may be more important. These things shift seismically as new trends grab hold. Because Squarespace always aims to integrate with as many of these networks as possible, rather than favoring our own, we are incentivized to integrate with popular new services as they emerge.
- You are our customer, not our product. You'll never have to wonder what our business model is or how it affects you. Our product is a simple, beautiful content management system — end of story. You own your content and the way it's displayed. Run ads if you want, or don't. You're in control. This story can change dramatically depending on the service you select. Free services often sell your data, or sell their own advertising against your content to make their businesses work. It's up to you to decide whether that's acceptable.
Data Portability - Your Website as an API
As previously noted, Squarespace isn't simply a website builder, it's a content management system. It manages your content; what you do with that content is entirely up to you. While the web is one medium where Squarespace shines, there's no reason the same content couldn't be used in a mobile app, for instance.
That's why every single bit of data you put into Squarespace 6 is freely and easily accessible in JSON format at a public URL.
No other CMS on the planet offers this, but because of our underlying data structure, it's very simple for us to do so. Simply append any Squarespace URL with ‘?format=json-pretty’, like the URL for the blog you're reading right now, to try it out.
JSON is the de facto standard for data on the web, and your entire site on Squarespace becomes an API endpoint with it. Not only do you have external programmatic access to every piece of data, be it a collection, page, or permalink, it serves double duty for developers as that selfsame structure is used to style pages in our development platform.
Further, should you ever choose to move off our platform, we've made sure our WordPress export was ready from day one on all Squarespace 6 sites. This, combined with the ability to host your site on your own domain, means that if you ever need to move to self-hosting, you can do so without losing content or breaking permalinks.
As a platform, we're fully committed to both data extraction and portability, so you can move as you wish and get your data to where you need it. We hope it proves as useful to you as it has to us.