Squarespace 38

Squarespace has raised $38.5 million dollars to compete with WordPress and Six Apart. I used to chat with Anthony on AIM forever ago, and they’ve come after our VIP program before when they made a screencast showing how they could recreate Scoble’s blog in 15 minutes using their design tool. That’s quite a chunk of change, so it will be interesting to see what they apply it to.

25 thoughts on “Squarespace 38

  1. Interesting. I imagine that they can cater to people who want to craft entire website experiences, but at the rate which WordPress is adding features, I imagine they’d always be behind you in the blog races.

    1. They’ve got fantastic design, and some really smart people working on it. I don’t think it’s good to count them out, better for the community to keep an eye on it and see if there is any killer functionality we should try and create ourselves.

      1. Very true – they do have some of the best ui and design ppl under the sun, and (as a squarespace site owner) they do have some things down at a level of completeness that no other company in the industry has come even close to. But, having recently becoming a WordPress lover, I can see that they are a service better inclined to designers’ clients and/or non-coders/basic users due to the lack of built in extensibility and absolutely no access to the admin ui. In this industry whichever services/tools the designers/developers prefer (like WP) usually have a firmer hand-hold in the market and when paired with the preference of a web-savvy user-base (like WP) said services/tools can grow to be a giant. So, uh, point is: Go WordPress.

  2. It’s a cool service and I especially like their quick design tools but the extreme flexibility of WordPress through themes and plugins still makes it supreme website platform.

  3. Hey Matt: wondering what your thoughts on Squarespace are overall. I use Thesis with WP and am extremely happy with its flexibility and ease of use. I have a vested professional interest in your (or any commentor’s) thoughts since a client is all gung ho on using SS for all of their web needs and so far I ‘m not very impressed with it. Much appreciate any feedback! Sarah

    p.s. HUGE Lichtenstein fan — love your artwork!

  4. Ah competition. Keep doing what you are doing with WordPress, Matt. I’ve had a few non-techie friends choose Squarespace, but as a developer I prefer WordPress because I can pretty much do whatever I want with it. And it keeps getting better all the time (I’ve already used the new menus feature in WP3 on every site I’ve built since it came out).

  5. Matt, if I’d take a guess, I’d say that Anthony and some of the employees took money out of the table. It looks like an awful lot of money for expansion of a web company. Particularly one that was profitable.

  6. People need to realise that money is not success.

    They may have raised a lot of money, but have they raised an outstanding community? Probably not. WordPress has and it will continue to expand for all eternity!

  7. That would be interesting to follow, yes. But IMHO, WordPress is way ahead in its move towards becoming a mature CMS, and is not really just a blog platform anymore. However, this development does point to the fact that the content management game is getting much more exciting now!

    What’s also interesting to follow is what direction the development of WordPress will take towards more content management functionality.

  8. They are competing with WordPress? Well, good luck to them!
    I have had a client who was unhappy with their “blog platform” and has migrated.
    I don’t think they can make it. Yes, $38 million is big! But it can’t compete with WordPress top feature: Community.
    They can’t make 8000+(correct me if number of plugins has increase as I checked this number som 1 month back!) plugins with this amount. And for people looking for freedom, WP will always remain the choice!

  9. I think they probably had more of chance competing before they accepted that much money. That sure is a lot of pennies.

    I thought SquareSpace was charging all along for their product… why did they need that much cash?

    Did Automattic consider a $50mm investment to build VaultPress?

  10. A bit off topic, but wanted to say WOW regarding the new design. Been a while since I clicked through (from my RSS or Twitter feed reader) to your site for a while and must admit that it certainly woke me up, especially with all this nonsense regarding Thesis recently, it was great to see such vividness and joy. Thanks again for all of your hard work.

  11. As I see, Are they only focusing on their Premium clients?

    No open source, no dev comunnity to bring innovation, no place for individual bloggers who wants to share content to the World.

    It looks like they are focusing on what makes money and write code in the traditional fordist way. Am I rigth or the just invented a new business model?

    1. We’ll see — that’s why it’ll be interesting to watch. At the very least they could pour a lot into marketing with that sort of war chest.

  12. Can I get a ‘Squarespace 39’ in the title if we’re rounding it off : )

    … i.e. they don’t have our legions to make them better. They are tens of thousands of users and now tens of millions of dollars. We are tens of millions of users. Which would you rather be?

  13. I use both Squarespace and WordPress. I think the killer feature for Squarespace is the hosting. It is hard to get decent hosting for a WordPress blog. WordPress has the problem of the user having to constantly patch to keep everything up to date, Squarespace does that for you. Both are great platforms!

    1. I’d like to add to what Francis said.

      I think they are both great options. Slightly different feature sets, development costs and hosting models. More options to offer clients is a good thing.

  14. The folks at Squarespace built their “tour” video almost entirely around their flexible style management features. It’s impressive functionality for sure, but the question is to what end? The line in the voiceover that jumped out at me was “we empower everyone to be their own web designer”. For clients who want to be their own web designer, that’s great. But who is that, and more importantly, who isn’t that? IMO, one of the central elements – maybe THE central element – in the massive success of WordPress is in the details baked into the framework around the needs of professional designers. Out of that decision grew real uptake in the design world, and out of that grew the plain fact to end users that WP blogs look great.

  15. Interesting Stuff. Allow me to comment please.

    I detest computers. But that is not the point, that is the segway.

    Naturally then in my search to create a website, a CMS was the way to go. And I thought I had arrived at my destination in Joomla! Drupal was an idea at first yet the very high learning curve relegated it it a hurry, so Joomla! was kinda the right fit. WordPress was out due to my perception of its weakness as a CMS but as time goes on I have a better understanding of the sophistication of WP.

    As I learn more and more about WP, Joomla! looks like a DOG. MVC framework? who cares. Drupal taxonomy? Except for the largest of sites, big deal.

    WP’s strength is not in it’s community thats a joke. Joomla! has a big community and it’s a DOG (arf arf! grr)

    DOWN BOY! ..

    .. where was I ..

    The strength of WP is in it’s ease of use, or it’s return on investment. I invest my time and money, I get a site to my specification. With themes, I can buy studiopress and be off to the races in no time. I can go outside and do things that bring me joy, instead of editing a CMS all day which brings me depression.

    It’s amazing reading the Joomla! forums. I just noticed the same thing in this post right here!! >> It doesnt matter cause our community is bigger/better/we have a head start/WP forever!! They talk the same way over at Joomla!.

    The thing is is that the pride of what we use ensnares us. I felt the tug too. “I’m not dropping Joomla! for WP. screw WP! and screw MM (j/k)”..

    But then you start to get depressed cause you are sitting in-front of a computer all day and it turns slowly to Joomla? instead of Joomla! So you dare even to look at WP and the premium themes and at that point you can honestly evaluate WP.

    WP is awsome!

    Well I never heard of Squarespace 38 till I just read this post.


    Squarespace is REALLY AWSOME!

    This is my point………………………………………….If Squarespace wanted to assimilate a vast chunk of the WP community almost overnight, all they would have to do is give it away free for the first while. The price is holding it back from its own coronation as CMS king. Especially for users who do not like to code at all.

    If y’all think that WP is impregnable then I personally know that WP is on its decline even now. WP is just a tool mainly for people who are not in love with WP but for people who love its return on investment.

    The spirit of ease/functionality/adaptability can make WP last in the years to come.

    But there is a reason that the squeal is never as good as the original. The king usually is not on the throne for too long.. and this is because of PRIDE.