Squarespace Offers Bloggers Ease, Simple Design
Low price allows food photographer, art director to create a House of Brinson blog with little risk.
Squarespace has become an alternative for small businesses and bloggers who want an even simpler way to construct a website than offered by WordPress or Doopla Designers Collective.
The company's platform offers a Lego-brick approach that lets the less than Web-savvy drag and drop applications as they build. That makes adding any feature, from a traffic tracker to a photo gallery, straightforward and intuitive.
A hosted Web service, Squarespace sells monthly subscriptions of $12 to $36, depending on the package. Launched in 2003, the Manhattan-based company has 46 employees and powers tens of thousands of websites for business bloggers and professionals worldwide.
Husband-and-wife team William and Susan Brinson, a food photographer and an art director, respectively, saw Squarespace as an opportunity to start up their site with very little investment. Their blog, at www.houseofbrinson.com, features photos of events, restaurants, and food, and recipes for items ranging from sweet tea to pickled vegetables.
Crain's contributor Kerry Murtha recently spoke with Ms. Brinson about her Squarespace site.
Q: Why did you decide to create a blog?
A: My husband is in the midst of publishing a cookbook, and I'm an art director. It was a way to garner interest in his book and gave me a platform to display my design capabilities. It seemed like a way to get our names out there.
Q: Why didn't you create your own website?
A: In the beginning, you really don't know if anyone besides your mom is even going to look at your site. To have a website the way I wanted it to look would have cost at least $1,000. We wanted to keep our initial investment low. Squarespace costs us $12 a month.
Q: How difficult was it to get started?
A: The setup was so easy. It was a simple interface that I was able to do. I could see the changes happening before my eyes as I was designing the blog. I was able to make it look the way I wanted to without having any technical expertise.
Q: How long does it take you to post?
A: About 15 minutes. If I'm out and about I can post from my iPad or iPhone.
Q: What has the blog done for you?
A: This was definitely a good way to promote ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to know our users on a more intimate level. You can carry on a dialogue and get feedback on what they like, what they would like to see more of, etc.
Q: What could be better?
If Typekit [which lets users purchase rights to custom fonts] were integrated. You can use it now but can't see it in the design mode, while you're adjusting the settings. Seeing things before the styling goes live would be great.
Q: What are the best features?
A: The staff support is invaluable. The quantitative analysis they provide us in terms of the number of hits we get (we recently received 8,000 in one day), the number of referrals we get and where they are coming from helps us target our audience so we can build on what we've created and hopefully ensure our success.