A few years ago through Build and Analyze, Marco Arment’s coffee and development podcast, I discovered a new web service called Squarespace. It’s a great platform allowed me to create this website and host it on a fast, reliable server platform.
I’ve been using the service for a while now, and made a couple of websites for friends, family and clients on their platform. But, although I love the webeditor, and the way my website looks, their offsite posting or third party integration leaves a lot to be desired for.
The platform allows capturing your Instagram, Twitter, Flickr content automatically via widgets, and allows for posting new items via RSS, or to various social networks, although you have to trigger the latter manually each time. (1)
But adding content to the website is almost barbaric when compared to nicer solutions for e.g. WordPress. They basically have three ways to add content:
The website is the main platform, and the backend is a great editor. It allows for rich layouts, a lot of integration option, you can create linkposts, embed YouTube movies and share to Twitter or Facebook. It’s the most direct way of interacting with the website, but it only really lives up to it’s promise on a Mac in Safari. It’s clunky to use on an iPad, and impossible on an iPhone.
The apps on iPad or iPhone allow you to write text, add an image, tag the post and post it online. It works, but lacks the functionality of Writing Kit or ByWord. No Markdown keys
You can upload images and embed them in the article, but they’re added at the end. No way of embedding them middle of the text like Writing Kit does.
Linkposts? Sources? Sharing to Twitter? These options simply don’t exist. It’s a bare bones text editor without many extra’s.
I currently write most of my articles in Byword, but the only way to get the content into the Squarespace app is by manually copy-pasting the content. No clever open-in url schemes to be found.
Did I mention the apps are slow?
The last way to add an article is via email.
Write an article in e.g. Byword in Markdown syntax and forward it to a specific emailaddress.
And that’s the only option. No images, no source urls, no tags and no ways to trigger sharing on social media.
I’d kinda want the same integration you get with the newest Byword app, or Poster to the WordPress platform. Perfect integration that duplicated the browser experience in an app.
Friends online adviced me to switch to WordPress as a better alternative, but I love the Squarespace platform and never had any real problems with stability or server overloads when someone big links to me. So switching is not an option.
What I want from them is a rich third party API that allows any app to:
- Post an article in markdown
- Embed images in between text (wrap around text is a luxury and not really needed)
- Set the article as Featured or not
- Add a source, and optionally enable Direct linking as a linkpost
- Add tags
- Allow for sharing the article to social platforms
That, and a way to expand on the email option with email subject additions like @url for a linkpost, or #tag to add tags.
So.. Squarespace. pretty please?
(1) I use IFTTT to automatically share articles to ADN and Twitter based on my RSS feed as a solution for this.