It's only been out for a couple of weeks now, but Squarespace version 5.0 is generating a buzz that looks to threaten the blogging platforms we have all come to know and love. What's so special about this latest version?
Based in New York, Squarespace started back in 2003 and considers itself a web publishing platform -- not just a blogging platform. We covered version 4 of the service back in May of last year. We called it "gorgeous" then. And this latest version appears to be no slacker either - especially if you listen to what they are saying in the blogosphere.
The latest version of Squarespace is said to potentially set the blogging platform market on it's ear. It's a hosted solution that you pay for -- it's not free and it's not open source -- but the pricing model seems very reasonable.
Squarespace Version 5
According to their service blog, the Squarespace team has completely rebuilt the core platform from the ground up. They also refer to the new interface as "groundbreaking".
The list of what's new is way to long to mention here, but here's a sampling:
* All new Squarespace layouts support 1, 2 and 3 column configurations, as well as top navigation variants
* 58 new styles
* A Completely new WYSIWYG editor
* Four new editing modes: Content, Structure, Style and Preview
* Re-designed style editor
* Re-designed website manager
* Ability to customize the appearance of a journal post
Squarespace has over 20 core modules and over 300 fully-integrated features. One of these is the built-in anti-spam capabilities so a third-party plug-in isn't required.
Raising the Bar for Blogging Platforms
Squarespace is said to be in a similar market as WordPress, Movable Type, TypePad and potentially mid-sized CMS's such as Drupal and Joomla.
The new version impressed InformationWeek's Peter Hagopian, who said, "It's not yet as advanced or flexible and a full-blown content management system like Drupal.com or Joomla, but with its rapid pace of adding new features, it's nipping at their heels."
This is one blogging platform that is definitely looking and acting more like a WCM service than a pure blogging service. But then, most of the blogging platforms are all striving to make that differentiation today. The question is, will Squarespace lead the way to the new world, or will the bigger providers rush to the finish line first?