Breaking From The Ranks – SquareSpace

The Social Media Marketing Institute (SMMI) has decided to break ranks from the WordPress crowd for our website and blog. Instead, we have built it on the Squarespace platform. So we thought we’d use our first post here to explain why.


What we wanted to create, right out of the box, was a community platform where our SMMI members could gather to learn from our advisors, from each other, and share their experiences in Social Media. It’s possible to create this kind of coummunity on a WordPress platform, but we wanted to create a unique user experience and have all of the tools necessary to grow our community ready on day one. Squarespace provided that for us.

It’s more than blogging software, it’s like Typepad and WordPress on crack.”
Kevin Rose & Alex Albrecht

Most significant was the Core module: Forums. Squarespace’s forum module contains everything we needed to host beautiful, interactive forums at every membership level on our site. With no user limits.

Blog Features

  • SEO optimized. Squarespace sites include clean article links, proper tagging, and valid XHTML code. All which makes the SMMI site loved by search engines.
  • Completely custom WYSIWG editing interface. We don’t use an out of the box WYSIWYG system for our editor. Ours is designed from the ground up to flawlessly integrate with our environment and give us the control we need.
  • Integrated distributed anti-spam system blocks over 99.5% of incoming spam. Our system blocks millions of spam comments a day, and leverages activity across the Squarespace network to defend our site.
  • Built for Podcasting. Code insertion and video insertion directly from the WYSIWYG interface. Full iTunes tag support.

Site Membership and Permissions Features

  • Powerful membership and permissions system. All parts of the SMMI site can be marked as private, public, or editable.
  • Audiences system. We can segment out parts of the SMMI site to display differently for various site member audiences.
  • Multiple editors. The SMMI site supports multiple editors.
  • Content Subscription. Members can subscribe to content on any page of the SMMI site, allowing them to receive email updates when things change.

Outstanding Performance and Quality

  • Grid computing — accessible by everyone. Squarespace websites are hosted on a grid, which means that if SMMI gets on CNN — we stay up, no matter the traffic. The systems serving our website are already serving millions of hits per day.
  • 99.98% Uptime. Battle hardened architecture. Squarespace has been in business for over 5 years. They’ve ensured our system is robust through real world use, not lab testing.
  • Pre-optimized for traffic. Caching? Partial rendering? Load balancing? Scaling up? It’s all handled. Squarespace sites are on a grid. This is NOT shared hosting.
  • Only premium customers. The Squarespace architecture is populated with only serious users. There are no free accounts consuming 99% of the resources for the servers we’re on.
  • Outstanding vendors. Squarespace is built with Oracle Coherence, Microsoft SQL Server, Dell hardware, and is in a world class data center in New York City.
  • Outstanding datacenter. Squarespace is hosted at Peer1 Network in New York City, which guarantees 100% uptime to its clients.
  • Relentless monitoring. Squarespace has over 300 functional checks, monitored at 20 second intervals, with engineers on call should there be an issue with our system.

We hope you will find the SMMI site a unique user experience. We know that it will feel different as you navigate around, and that’s good. It will allow you to expand your understanding of what’s possible and give you a fresh look at what Web 2.0 means.

Enjoy and let us know your thoughts.