A Running List of Squarespace Annoyances and Feature Requests

I’ve written about this before here and here, and although I love Squarespace as a platform, I still have a few features I’d like to have, annoyances to mention and requests to make…

Don’t get me wrong, Squarespace is still my preferred platform due to its stability, ease of use and dedicated team running it.

Most of my issues rise from the fact that Squarespace is a platform that’s first and foremost focused on the desktop and the desktop experience. Its backend is not responsive and requires a lot of horsepower just to render the pages. Which is (currently) still lacking on my iPad mini.
You design your pages with drag and drop, something that doesn’t translate easily to a tablet or smartphone. And you design your website with its desktop layout visible, and there’s no visible mobile layout editor.

Although I have a Mac (or a couple of them) at home, my Mac is my work machine and I rarely use it when I’m not working.
All my surfing, reading, tweeting and occasional writing happens on my iPad or iPhone. And since I discover the content I’d like to write about on Pint of Code while using these devices, I prefer creating the website’s content and the accompanying words on those devices also.
Squarespace provides users with two alternatives for creating content when not using the website’s backend. One way users can upload content is via their mobile-apps, but feature wise these are as barebones as apps come, and they’re oh-so slow.
The other upload method is by sending some markdown text as an email to a specific address. The content gets converted to html and the post appears online. But there’s no way to embed images without a prior upload, no tags, no linked items…

It’s a pity that I can’t use my iPad, which is the way to visit websites, to just as easily upload content to said websites. At least not via the Squarespace platform.
What I’ve listed below is an overview of all the issues, request and remarks I have on Squarespaces current platform. It’s certainly not feature complete, and it’s written as positive feedback and not as a critique per sé for Squarespace’s otherwise great work.

Posting

  • Sending text via mail is nice, I can basically use any text editor on the iPad and use the Sharing panel to send the text as an email to Squarespace.
  • But I lack full control to embed or upload inline images, footnotes,… within that email. And why can’t I set an email as a linked article instead of a regular article? And why can’t I tag my post?
  • The Squarespace apps are text-editors without features and o-so basic… You can’t embed more than one image, syncing is slow, I can’t create linked articles, no TextExpander support, no blocks to embed…
  • The website is nice, but isn’t so stable on an iPad and not at all useable on an iPhone.
  • So what I’d like is an API for apps like Poster, Drafts or Editorial to use so we can write an article or linked post, upload it, add tags, optionally make the articles a linked article, and embed media directly from within those apps.
  • Or at least add an URL-scheme to the Squarespace apps so I can use the apps solely as an endpoint when writing without needing to resort to copy/paste to get the text into the app.

Mobile theme CSS controls

  • I shouldn’t need to resort to CSS overrides to tweak the mobile theme.
  • I love the online theme editor to design the website, but sometimes I want some style changes which only apply to the mobile version of the site, and that’s not currently possible.
  • I now resort to @media{} CSS entries to manually override each annoyance, it works, but it’s clumsy.

File bucket

  • Shopify has a Files-page in its setting that allows a user to upload files to the website, and refer to them from within your website.
  • It’s handy if you want to use one icon on multiple pages, and easily want to change it afterwards. Or if you want to link to a PDF with info on more than one page. Or upload and link to a webclip or other custom files, fonts or images, or upload an identifier for Google Apps or other DNSbased verification service..
  • With Squarespace you can use inline links to refer to and upload a file, but it’s a hidden feature an d you have no overview of all your files.
  • So a one-page overview of all uploaded documents in the setting page would be handy.

Styling

  • Please let me allow the span-width of blocks when adding blocks side by side.
  • An easy way to upload a Webclip icon for iOS devices.
  • Markdown footnotes would be great.
  • Some themes allow for blockquote{} editing, others don’t. Some allow to define text-style:, line-height:, and others don’t. Why don’t they allow us to change every item in every theme, instead of a random selection?

Sharing

  • Bit.ly support for social media posts, or a way to define a custom url-shortener.
  • Easily and automatically share new articles when posting via another platform than the website without needing to resort to IFTTT for this. A new article should automatically generate a tweet, Facebook post or app.net message.
    *At the moment, when you create an article via email or the apps, nothing happens except for an update in the RSS-feed.