I’ve been a huge fan of Squarespace for a long time, since I started using the service in May of 2009. Coming from a self-managed WordPress install, it was like a breath of fresh air, in which things were well-designed and easy to understand. You could add complexity piece by piece in sensible ways (if you wanted to) but mostly it was great for writing and posting quickly and attractively. The mobile apps were a nice encapsulation of the experience and allowed you to do the basic things you’d want to on the go.
I eagerly awaited the release of v6 this year after hearing so much about the beta as people used it and said how amazingly new it all was. How could the service possibly top itself? What wizardry awaited in this new release? The launch came, and I immediately migrated my entire site to the new service.
That was my first mistake. I soon realized that none of the categories I’d created over the past few years appeared in my composition windows when I was posting. Which meant that I needed to either re-create each manually, or I had a much bigger service issue that I couldn’t possibly fix. I contacted support and spoke to a variety of different, eager-to-help representatives, but the issue went unfixed for several weeks, during which I was afraid to add content to the site, not knowing how it might affect things. It finally did get resolved, though, so I can say thanks for that.
In that same span of time, I realized that the iOS apps upon which I relied for quick posts from my iPhone and iPad were slowly becoming hobbled. I could not edit posts I’d created in the new system on iOS because of the limitations of the way the apps handled them. I wasn’t doing anything nutty; I post entirely text, with the very occasional image (almost never). Over a few weeks, I wasn’t able to even post new entries to the site at all. Two days ago, I noticed that all the buttons in the iPad app compose window do exactly nothing now. Which left me with a post in the app that I couldn’t save as a draft or publish.
I stuck with a service that I’ve used for years, because I loved the flexibility. Which recently was whittled away to literally nothing. The iOS apps are now broken beyond belief. One would assume the company would be hard at work on restoring compatibility. But instead, it released a new branded note-taking app… because that’s what its users need more. I know notes are so hot right now, but it would really be better to have the entire service work as advertised. Even on the web, I’ve experienced slowdown, hangs, and complete failure as I try to do even the most basic things.
I finally tired of waiting for something to happen, so yesterday I migrated the site to a hosted WordPress install. I paid for ad removal and a custom URL. At least WP’s iOS apps do something (namely, work properly). The theme I chose is simple and pleasant, and I’m able to continue writing when I want to (infrequently) but when I post, it goes somewhere. I’m getting serious about dropping things from my life that don’t work for me or make things more difficult than they need to be. Sadly, one of my favorite web tools became one of those weights that needed to be dropped. I’m not beyond sweeping the leg when I need to.