Introducing Squarespace 6

Today, after years of effort, it is with great pleasure that we announce the public release of Squarespace 6.

At its core, Squarespace is about your online identity. Your web presence is a direct extension of your personality. It is critically important all businesses and individuals not only have an online presence they are proud of, but one that they are in control of.

The driving purpose behind Squarespace 6 is to give our customers immediate access to the best in modern web design, unrivaled tools to create dynamic pages, blogs, and galleries, and social integrations that always keep you connected – all in an elegant interface that makes managing your website a joy.

There are many exciting things to talk about in this release, but first some perspective.

The first version of Squarespace was launched in January 2004. The architecture devised back then still powers the Squarespace service today. While our service has remained exceptionally competitive, web technologies have evolved dramatically in the past 8 years. In 2004, JavaScript in the browser was unreliable, Google Chrome would not be released for another 4 years, Internet Explorer was the predominant web browser, and services such as Facebook had not yet launched. The web was a very different place.

Today, technologies such as JavaScript and CSS3, along with support from all major browsers, are redefining the types of applications and websites that can be delivered within the browser. We can finally create rich, beautiful interactive applications and websites, and we are, in many ways, totally free to use the canvas of the browser to build anything we might want to make. Squarespace 6 has been reengineered from the ground up to not only use these technologies to create a fast and visually beautiful backend for managing your website, but also to power the sorts of templates and websites that we’ve always dreamed of.

Squarespace 6 comes loaded with over 50 new features. Every aspect of our platform has been touched in some way, from the core blogging system, media management, commenting system, and more.

Features

I’d like to highlight a few areas where the new system really shines.

  1. Templates - Our launch templates are of unparalleled quality – ranging from visually robust portfolio templates to minimalist blogs. These are not ordinary templates. Squarespace 6 templates are visually rich, created by an all-star design team and powered by the latest web technologies. All of our templates come with unique built-in mobile experiences, so your website will look great on any device.
  2. LayoutEngine - At the heart of Squarespace 6 is LayoutEngine, a revolutionary new page building technology that allows anyone to create graphically rich, magazine-quality page layouts within the browser that can scale to any screen size, from mobile devices to desktops. Traditionally, the designs that LayoutEngine can produce required not only a high level of design expertise, but a high level of programming experience. Now these designs can be built in minutes by anyone who can drag and drop content blocks on to a page.
  3. Social Integration - Squarespace 6 makes it exceptionally easy to automatically push your posts to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, enable social sharing buttons for your visitors, stream content onto your page from Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and publish pages and galleries directly to your Facebook page.
  4. Improved Importing - Squarespace 6 contains importers for Wordpress, Tumblr, Posterous, Blogger and Squarespace 5. Imported blogs will perfectly retain their original URL structures, and we will download and re-host your media on our platform to ensure a seamless move.
  5. Media Management - Never resize an image again. All media on Squarespace 6 is resized into multiple forms upon upload, and our system intelligently selects the appropriate image size to display to your visitors. Also, we allow focal point selection for galleries, so if you’ve selected a template that needs to crop your images, we will be able to ensure an appropriate crop every time.
  6. Developer Platform - While our release today is centered around the consumer features of Squarespace 6, there is a star underneath it all. The developer platform we’ve used to create every website on our platform, ranging from our homepage to every one of our templates, will be available shortly and will enable developers to control every single line of HTML on a Squarespace site.

Existing Customers & Upgrading

We are committed to making sure we answer all of your questions about the new platform and how it will impact our current customers. Here are some key points:

  1. You do not have to move your website to Squarespace 6, nor will your site automatically convert. It is an absolute priority to us that the introduction of our new platform does not disrupt your site or the way you work. The Squarespace 5 platform will be supported indefinitely.
  2. We are giving all Squarespace 5 customers a free Squarespace 6 website. Feel free to explore the system and its new features side-by-side with your current website. You can import blogs, pages, and galleries from your existing website into Squarespace 6 without affecting your live website and run both websites in parallel.
  3. Switching to Squarespace 6 requires you to select a new template and website design. However, all of your blogs, comments, and galleries from Squarespace 5 can be imported to a new Squarespace 6 site.

Help can be found in our KnowledgeBase, but please do not hesitate to contact support with any specific questions you might have.

Pricing

The all-new Squarespace 6 is available today starting at $8 per month with 24/7 support and a free custom domain (with annual subscription). Squarespace’s prices remain unchanged, and all new templates are included at all plan levels.

Thank You

Squarespace has always been built for the long term, and this long-term thinking is deeply woven into the fabric of the Squarespace 6 platform. Squarespace 6 provides a solid foundation for us to build interaction-rich, beautiful websites, and put those sites in the hands of millions.

Since our inception, design has been a primary driver of our company. Design shapes the experience of the technology we interact with, and, when done well, can create the sort of experiences that infuse technology with a bit of humanity. You see the importance of design throughout the Squarespace 6 platform, from our front site, to the templates we have created, all the way through to our management interface. It is this design, along with the engineering to bring it to life, which sets Squarespace apart.

We see Squarespace as not just a technology company, but, in many ways, a fashion brand as well. The website you put online is a reflection of your personality, which people will see and form opinions upon. It’s critically important that this reflection conveys the right representation of you. As such, it’s important we continue to get the balance between technology and style just right.

What started in a dorm room 8 years ago has grown to a team of 90 incredible individuals here in downtown New York. It is due to your ongoing support that we have been able to assemble such a first-rate team. We are excited to discover what we – and you – can accomplish with such a great platform.

Thank you for helping us achieve today’s goal and for your continued support.

Continue the conversation with us on Twitter. Use hashtag #squarespace6.