It's one thing to like a blog, but is it possible to be attracted to a blogging platform? Friction-free Squarespace, a subscription based solution for managing websites and blogs all at once, just released v4.0 of its blogging software into a progressively more crowded arena. And, well, it's kind of gorgeous.Squarespace, the "perfectionist's" solution that considers itself the first "true" WYSIWYG interface in the Web publishing world, takes a breadth of functionalities and puts them into a clean but attractive interface that would make minimalist new competitor Weebly feel underdressed.
The software architecture comes revamped with enhancements to bandwidth and storage. Five additional features stand out:
* Full site search.
* Integrated form building - this means users can create complex online forms without programming knowledge. This harks back to the 11 steps noted by James Robertson, who said the ideal CMS enables users without programming knowledge to sufficiently complete their Web tasks.
* Forums that ease clean into your site or blog.
* A Google Maps component, for highlighting office locations, meet-ups or events.
“Every addition, tweak and new feature we add is always in answer to the question, 'What software would we want to use?' Ultimately, we hope to stay two steps ahead of need and one step ahead of desire," says CEO and founder Anthony Casalena.
"By adding these new building blocks in version 4.0, Squarespace members will have the flexibility to easily build the kind of robust, full-featured sites that were previously only available in more complex content management systems.”
At present Squarespace serves over 85 million page views a month, so it's pretty sound in terms of scalability.
Hosting packages start at US$ 7 and can go up to US$ 65 per month. Enterprise users can obtain customized support and special bandwidth options for US$ 175 per month. Considering the aesthetics rock and it's layman-friendly, the figures aren't all that bad. Take a look at www.squarespace.com.