Squarespace Ramps Up Its Tools to Compete With WordPress
Squarespace, the all-in-one publishing/commerce platform, announced Squarespace 7 on Tuesday.
To celebrate the new release, which touts integration with Getty Images and Google, the New York-based company held its first press conference to show off the new product.
Squarespace allows individuals and businesses to easily setup their own websites and online shops and it does it with an easy-to-use drag and drop interface.
Squarespace was founded by Anthony Casalena in early 2004 from his University of Maryland dorm room. Using a $30,000 loan from his father, Casalena has grown the business from a one-man entity into a staff of more than 350. The company doesn't disclose its number of customers, but says more than 2.4 million websites have been built on its platform to date.
Squarespace raised a $38.5 million Series A in 2010, which was followed by a $40 million Series B round in April.
In January, the company launched its first Super Bowl ad, aggressively targeting new customers.
Squarespace 7 adds a number of new features and integrations, including a new image picker powered by Getty Images. This lets customers bring high-quality photographs to their sites; more than 50 million images are available, and Squarespace has negotiated a licensing rate of just $10 an image.
For Casalena, solving these "basic problems," as he refers to them, is what really excites him. "We've found people really struggle with tasks such as building a website, designing a logo and finding good looking imagery," he said at the New York City launch event. "We want to solve those problems and make it seamless and fluid."
Squarespace 7 also integrates with Google Apps for Work, which makes it easy for businesses to setup email accounts, schedule events and access file storage via Google Drive.
Squarespace 7 also features a new cover page builder with 10 new templates, as well as category-specific templates focusing on areas such as weddings and restaurants.
Squarespace's developer platform is also out of beta and is designed to allow advanced developers integrate a more customized experience within Squarespace's existing platform. Plans begin at $8 a month.
Competition in the website-builder market is fierce, however. In addition to Squarespace, a number of other companies and entities are angling to dominate the all-in-one publishing space.
One of Squarespace's biggest competitors is Automattic, the company behind WordPress. Automattic now has a valuation of more than $1 billion and boasts millions of free users, in addition to users who pay for WordPress.com and WordPress.com VIP.
Israeli startup Wix went public last year with its offering. GoDaddy, which has filed for itssecond IPO in 8 years, also offers web-building services in addition to hosting.
To set itself apart, Squarespace is focused on being an all-in-one entity with a particular focus on design. The company boasts clients such as Michael Kors, HBO and Foursquare.