10 Years of Working in Squarespace: One Web Designer’s Experience

10 Years of Working in Squarespace: One Web Designer’s Experience

An Interview with Fix8 Media Creative Director and Squarespace Expert, Josh Neimark

Josh Neimark, owner of Fix8 Media—a Squarespace-only boutique web design agency in Boulder, Colorado—embraced the Squarespace platform 10 years ago and has been working in it ever since. Having built hundreds of websites in Squarespace, Neimark and Fix8 Media have garnered a reputation for their knowledge, customer service, and ability to push the platform to achieve their clients’ goals.

In the Q&A below, Neimark reflects on a decade of working in Squarespace, how he got to where he is today, and what the future has in store.

What led you to choose to work in the Squarespace platform 10 years ago?

Having spent the prior decade helping to build a digital agency of 30 employees, I decided to go out on my own when the company was sold. That’s when I discovered Squarespace, and it resonated with me in a unique way. I had always had an antithetical approach to the web design and development model. I had a goal of empowering clients through the use of content management tools that would give them ROI. We know they need to make updates to their websites frequently, and oftentimes can’t wait on an agency to make those updates for them. Squarespace puts that power in the user’s hands.

I began building a few sites in Squarespace. Before I knew it, I was working with some of my old agency clients, building sites for their businesses, often in a white label capacity. Three years went by quickly, and I found myself personally more fulfilled than I had been in a number of years with the work I was doing every day. For the first time in my career, instead of working with multi-million dollar corporations, I was working with small and medium-sized businesses, which allowed me to be much more hands-on. It enabled me to leverage years of experience in web design, SEO, marketing, and more to deliver a website that fully met my client’s needs—having a direct impact on their businesses and their lives. And that’s when I decided to draw a line in the sand.

So that’s when you began working exclusively in Squarespace?

Yes, in 2010, I made the conscious and very enthusiastic decision to define Fix8 Media as an agency that worked exclusively in the Squarespace platform. While some of my clients and colleagues have questioned this decision over the years, I wanted to build an agency that could be as proficient, fast, and knowledgeable as possible in this amazing tool—as well as offer additional branding, content development, and SEO services to provide a full-service experience.

While we fully support our own clientele, Squarespace offers an incredible backbone and support structure—from technology to a 24/7 support team. Because Squarespace is fully supported, it’s an incredibly powerful platform, and we feel totally comfortable putting our clients in that system.

It’s obvious you love Squarespace. Why do you think they’ve grown to where they are today?

Beyond the obvious value proposition that Squarespace offers to consumers and agencies alike, they have not only remained cutting edge, but always ahead of the curve. From platform enhancements and updates to new template releases to new blocks and integrations, Squarespace continues to improve and enhance its offerings. It has also continued to be a leader in the field, developing partnerships across industries and continents. The evolution of Squarespace consistently provides more value to every subscriber around the world.

But moreover—and I say this after spending 21 years in the tech space—software is only as good as the people behind it. In over 10 years of working in Squarespace, I can cite countless examples of their exemplary service, but there is one experience that I recall distinctly: During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Fix8 Media was located on the East Coast of Florida. We were tracking Sandy as it crept up the coast toward New York, and watched for every update Squarespace was making as we needed to potentially prepare our clients. Sandy severely impacted Squarespace’s data center in Downtown Manhattan. I remember seeing images of Squarespace employees carrying fuel in 5 gallon buckets up 17 flights of stairs to power the back up generators for their servers. (Read a story about it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/31/sandy-data-center_n_2051659.html) Now that’s teamwork.

As Squarespace has grown over the past 10 years, how has it supported the Squarespace community?

Support is a critical component of overall value to a client, and Squarespace has never stopped growing, expanding, and improving its support team and technologies. Beyond what it offers the consumer, Squarespace has also built programs such as the Squarespace Circle to further facilitate community—bringing Squarespace designers and developers together while offering the latest updates and news so we can stay on the cutting edge. Squarespace has steadfastly provided support to small and large agencies alike, enabling us to provide even better solutions to our clients.

Squarespace certainly has its game on. What does Fix8 Media do to stand out from the crowd?

We have a mantra here at Fix8 Media: To help people not settle with Squarespace. That could be from answering questions on a phone call to helping with a few tasks to completing entire scope-based projects. While Squarespace is our passion, Fix8 Media was born of an idea to be a collaborative agency. We are an agency that involves the client every step of the way. We want to work with people who will push us and work collaboratively with us to make decisions together. We don’t make decisions for our clients—we make them with our clients.

What is your client base like?

It’s quite diverse. We work in most industries and our clients run the gamut—from artists and photographers to doctors and lawyers. We also really enjoy working with and supporting nonprofits, which has been a growing segment of our client base over the past few years, particularly with the great number of advantages the Squarespace toolset provides to nonprofit organizations. Not to mention, it makes us feel really good, too!

In addition to working with clients directly, we work with a number of agencies as their web design and development partners. At times, we communicate directly with our agency partner’s clients, whereas in other arrangements we are a silent partner.

What are some favorite projects you’ve done?

Oh, there’s just so many, it’s hard to choose! Some of my personal favorite projects include:

  • lindajsalinas.com. A longtime Fix8 Media client, Linda has grown her business with the website we designed initially, then recently redesigned to enhance her commerce capabilities and include an online education component. An animal communicator and horse trainer, Linda is just an amazing person, and now so many more people around the world can take advantage of her knowledge and techniques because of her Squarespace website.  
     
  • lacatatequila.com. I’ll admit it: I love tequila. So when this inquiry came into our shop, I couldn’t be more excited. La Cata is the first ever independent tequila tasting room in Tequila, Mexico, so we had to build a standout website to showcase this awesome new venture. The end result is a gorgeous site with full brand integration. I can’t wait to visit!
     
  • hollywoodpost43.org. Let’s face it: It’s not every day you get the challenge of making an American Legion website look cool. Working with the team at Hollywood Post 43 was so great—and we built them a website that showcases all this amazing establishment has to offer, including a classic movie theater on the premises.
     
  • outsidego.com. Perhaps one of the, if not the, most robust Squarespace websites we’ve built here at Fix8, outsidego.com is a wonderful example of incredible aesthetic, brand integration, and functionality provided by the Squarespace platform.

There are so many more. We’re lucky to have an awesome mix of clients.

You began as a solo Squarespace designer back in 2007. Where is Fix8 today?

Today we’ve grown to an agency of 6 employees. It’s been an amazing ride so far. It’s humbling to see how many hundreds of clients we’ve served in the past 10 years—from locations spanning Doha Qatar to Hong Kong to nearly every one of the 50 states in the US! To this day, every one of the experiences we take a client through is unique and fulfilling in its own way.

The fact that in this period of time Fix8 has been able to grow to a place that supports our employees and their families is a true testament to the unique combination of the Squarespace platform and my vision for a hands on, collaborative agency. I think that’s the coolest thing personally to realize after these past 10 years: The marriage between Squarespace and my vision has proven successful.

Where is Fix8 headed?

Today, beyond website design and development services, we do a significant amount of traditional graphic design work, customization, editorial, and SEO work. We’ve tried to become a one-stop shop for all your needs in and around Squarespace. We’re focused now on finding partners who can fulfill some of our other client needs, such as social media marketing, CRM, and more. That said, as we continue to grow as an agency, one thing won’t change: Our dedication to helping people not settle with Squarespace. We’ll keep on working in collaboration with our clients to meet and exceed their Squarespace goals—all the while giving them an experience they won’t forget.

Josh NeimarkComment