GDPR Compliance and Squarespace

Squarespace’s Irish entity to service non-US users.

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As General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect, Squarespace announced their initiative to button everything up. 

The company told its users last week that after May 14, EU site managers would be serviced by Squarespace Ireland Limited.

The company said the move is “in recognition of the global nature of our user base.” Non-US users will hold a Terms of Service agreement with Squarespace Ireland and US users with the New York-based Squarespace, Inc.

Site managers were told that Squarespace would be updating its terms of service and privacy policy “to keep pace with our growing international user base and expanded product offerings, and to ensure that we continue to be transparent about our practices.” The changes were also posted on the company’s blog.

Squarespace also said it will restructure its privacy policy to be clearer about how it handles personal information, as well as clarify how to handle the rights of visitors to your site. It will post a Data Processing Addendum (DPA) explaining how the service will handle the data of site owners and visitors. It also said it would update its cookie, copyright and acceptable use policies and developer terms to make sure they are clear and consistent with these changes.

Mostly Free Stock Images

Photography has always been an integral part of design. Unfortunately, we’ve grown accustomed to seeing crappy stock images of people in suits shaking hands. Not only are a lot of these stock photos tacky, but they cost a lot of money! Thankfully, there’s been a growing number of websites with beautiful stock photography popping up all over the web— gifted by the world's most generous community of photographers.

Here's my list of websites for mostly-free stock photos.

Supporting the Unsupported: Backing up your Squarespace site

When kicking the tires on CMS platforms, one of the first things you realize about Squarespace: Squarespace doesn't have backups (that we can benefit from). I won't go into the Nerd Forest to explain why the complexity of the rendered Squarespace viewport makes it really really tricky to backup, but I totally agree— backing up site content is imperative. 

Before you NEED it, consider backing up your content now.

It's like being at the drive-through window and being asked: "do you need napkins?" If you say NO, you'll almost certainly need them later. Always 👏 get 👏 extra 👏 napkins.

So no— Squarespace doesn't do it, but I can recommend a third-party tool like Evernote (or Pocket / Instapaper) to grab your content. Each platform is great for collecting things on your trips around the web to read later, and they all have browser plugins to make it super-simple. 

Evernote is my favorite; it's my peripheral brain. So I'll show you how easy it is to backup a web page/post to Evernote while browsing.


Three simple steps:

1. Install the Evernote Web Clipper browser plugin

2. Browse to each page of your site, and engage the Web Clipper

3. Save each page as a "SIMPLIFIED ARTICLE"

  • This view will strip out the structure of each page, and leave you with the text and image content.
  • You cannot convert this back to a Squarespace page, but at least you can grab the text content and store it safely.
  • As a site owner, when knowing the old site is going away, you can grab full-page screenshots and simplified page/post content to always have a record of your old stuff.

Quickfire Squarespace Tip: use Spacer Blocks to break text

There are certain issues when formatting content to look best across all browser widths. You would naturally use line-breaks (pressing SHIFT + ENTER) on desktop widths to format the text— to make it easier to read. But that doesn't work on mobile. It looks awful when the text wants to naturally flow within its parent container. 

In Squarespace, instead of forcing line breaks in your text, just insert SPACER BLOCKS on both sides of your paragraph. They disappear on mobile widths, making them INCREDIBLY AWESOME for tweaks like this. 

In the video, I've added a full-wide Spacer Block to "cut the text apart". Then I drag/drop a few more, and make adjustments to center everything.

Squarespace docs on Spacer Blocks (that totally rhymes)

Ten real questions to ask yourself when starting a new site


1. What am I selling? Who is my audience, and why will they want to buy my stuff?

2. Will what I’m selling generate rave reviews and turn customers into sales and marketing people? If not, how can I improve their experience?

3. What are my business goals? What does a successful business mean to me?

4. How will this make money? How will it continue to make money

5. What makes this idea unique? What problem does it solve and how does it help people? What value does this bring to others?

6. What about this makes me excited? How can I spread that excitement?

7. What professionals do I need to hire to make this happen? What will they be responsible for doing?

8. What is my budget (and if it’s not realistic, can it change)?

9. What is my timeline for launch (and if it’s not realistic, can it change)

10. What do I want my business to be known for?