State Of The Squarespace

September 18th, 2012

MarsEdit has supported Squarespace for years, and a number of our mutual customers have come to rely upon the app as a convenient means of managing content for Squarespace sites from the Mac desktop.

It came as a surprise when Squarespace 6 was released earlier this year, that support for 3rd party editors such as MarsEdit was dropped from the service. I had some cordial correspondence with staff at Squarespace, who explained that because of the laudable flexibility of the new version, it’s difficult to provide access to the content with one of the standard blogging APIs that MarsEdit uses to connect to Squarespace 5 and dozens of other services. Of course, as a developer with customers who depend on this support, I was disappointed to learn this.

I have been holding out hope that Squarespace will eventually address the shortcoming. The two possible solutions that leap to my mind are:

  1. Somehow get support for one of the standard APIs working with their new engine.
  2. Implement an entirely new API, unique to Squarespace, that I could consider implementing support for.

I lean strongly in the direction of #1. Obviously it would be a lot less work for me, and I’m generally cautious about taking on the burden of developing support for yet another all-new, custom API with all of its own nuanced behaviors.

But option #1 would also be better for Squarespace, in that support would be instantly restored to MarsEdit and any other 3rd party clients using the Squarespace 5 API. These XMLRPC APIs, based on the venerable MetaWeblog, are not great. But they are ubiquitous, and implementing support for one of these standards opens the doors to dozens if not hundreds of clients on every conceivable platform.

So I’ve been waiting, and when disappointed customers ask me what can be done to help, I encourage them to drop a line to Squarespace requesting restored support for their XMLRPC-based API. I don’t know if this has had any real impact, but in any case it doesn’t appear to have shifted the status quo. On Twitter today, customer Rob Wells asked Squarespace about the status of such support, starting a conversation that culminated in Squarespace underscoring that they don’t have any near-term plans:

To Squarespace’s credit they have been polite and receptive to feedback about this. In a follow-up tweet, they gave some cause to remain optimistic about future developments:

Whatever the future holds for Squarespace, it’s safe to assume that 3rd party editors will not be supported by Squarespace 6 in the near future. In the mean time, users who already have Squarespace 5 sites should keep their site as it is if they want to continue using MarsEdit. New customers who are intrigued by Squarespace but want MarsEdit support can still start a new Squarespace 5 site by signing up at the classic site.

And although Squarespace has given a pretty definitive answer for the time being, if you ask me it’s always worth letting them know how you feel. If Squarespace 6 support for 3rd party editors is something you’re dreaming of, let them know how important it is to you.

2 Responses to “State Of The Squarespace”

  1. Clark Says:

    This is pretty stupid. I was seriously thinking of moving both my blogs over to Squarespace. Not supporting MarsEdit was why I was holding off. Now I’m not going to do it. I’m getting a static IP at work instead and am going to host my own server probably.

  2. Gabe Says:

    I wish they’d add it. I have 2 sites in v5 and the main reason I haven’t switched is that I can’t use MarsEdit. Otherwise I would’ve done it a while ago. Version 6 looks very good and the responsive templates are nice, but blogging via a browser just seems silly.

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