Update - Rant over. The TDK has been released!
The wait is over… or not.
Yesterday V6 was officially released, great news (truly). I’ve been waiting to get my teeth into it for a long time now. However, this is a bittersweet moment for me.
V6 was released with a small variety of themes, granted they are all fantastic, but they are specifically targeted at blogs and portfolios. As a developer, the majority of my work comes from transferring custom designs or whole websites to Squarespace.
The problem is that the V6 template system is worlds apart from V5. In V5, all the templates were based on a standard HTML layout. Technically, you could get from any V5 template to any other V5 template just by making changes to the Styles panel (and maybe some small tweaks to Custom CSS). You could make almost any website you wanted and there was a very methodical way of getting there.
Conversely, in V6, the underlying code is completely editable by the developer through the Template Development Kit (TDK). This is fantastic. It gives you so much control and means all the ‘hacks’ I do to fit designs into V5 are no longer needed.
This sounds great right? What’s the problem?
The TDK has not yet been released and won’t be out for some time.
It’s diabolical. None of the templates are ‘standard’ looking ones, meaning bar some horrendous CSS hacking (which ruins the point of V6 for me), it’s a real pain to code a given template into V6.
Granted, there are some great examples of V6 sites, but they are all new designs - built upon the given V6 templates.
I would have thought that a template with a similar structure to V5 would have been launched with the platform - this would give a considerably easier upgrade path to V6 for their existing sites, alas they have not.
So, for the moment, I’m holding off upgrading many of my clients to V6 because it’s impractical and advising new clients with complex designs to do so as well.
I still loving working on Squarespace and have by no means given up on it, but it looks like I’ll need to wait longer than I’d hoped.