Remembering the Everyday Developer with Rachel Andrew | The Web Ahead

I think it’s natural if you want to be successful to look around at the people who have been successful, and try to emulate them. I just think we should realize the copying their tool stack isn’t necessarily part of the thing you need to emulate. Maybe you need to emulate the business choices they made. And use a different set of tools. Who knows.

I should jump in here with our other sponsor, Squarespace. Who we’ve talked about quite a bit. [Laughs]

I still frequently recommend Squarespace. Like I said, I used to do all of these small projects. Now I can’t afford to do them. But I still have people come along and they want to know, "How can I build a website?" Sometimes their budget is $200. Or $20. I want artists and restaurants and nonprofits to have affordable websites. I think one option is to use Squarespace. If I were to recreate that kind of business that I used to have, I might seriously think about being a Squarespace shop. I would help people think through their content strategy and business and take all of that content and put it on Squarespace.

You can use their tools. They’ve got this hole WYSIWYG, clickity-click, push buttons and bam, you’ve got a website. And it’s a website that’s not just a blog. They really are oriented towards small sites where you can build a portfolio or a restaurant website or a musician website or a filmmaker website very quickly by starting with a website they’ve already built for that purpose. Melding and morphing it into what you want. You can very easily change the fonts and colors. If you have some skills, you can change the CSS. They let you do that. You can change the code behind the scenes to even further customize it to your desires.

It starts at $8 a month. That’s the killer part of this. If you sign up for a year, it ends up being $8 a month and you get a free domain name for the whole year. They’ve got eCommerce. You can build a store very quickly by clicking some buttons and bam! There’s the store.

You can also try out a free trial. A real free trial, where you don’t have to give them a credit card. You can try it for a week or so. That’s not what this piece of paper says, but if my memory serves me right, it’s for a period of time. You can check it out, start building a site for a client, show it to them, see what they think. If you feel like it’s going in the right direction, you can sign up and pay. If you do sign up for Squarespace, if you use the offer code JENSENTME, you can get 10% off that first purchase. If you pay for the year, you get 10% off that full year. If you pay for a month, you get 10% off for that month. You can go to Using that URL will let them know that you went there because of me talking about them. It will hook you up with this discount.

I have been always pretty impressed with what they’re doing over there at Squarespace. Thank you to Squarespace for supporting 5by5 and The Web Ahead.

The other thing I was thinking about when we were on this call together and trying to articulate the fact that there’s all kinds of different people who make websites. You said something about, people are still using tables for layout. I was shaking my head down in the little video corner. [Laughs] When I was in China, five years ago, I learned so much, of course, by traveling to the other side of the globe. Not just being there visiting, but working with this team of Chinese front-end developers for three months by the time we got done. They were doing the craziest things that I would not have ever imagined were possible. [Rachel laughs]

They were using CSS3 and they knew a lot of the brand new stuff. But they were also using star hacks. They didn’t know that you use conditional stylesheets in IE. They didn’t know you could have a separate stylesheet or all of the bug fixes and different code for old versions of IE. They were using the techniques we used before conditional stylesheets were invented. It was so funny. And, yeah, tables for layout. It was like, "What year is it?" It was all the years at the same time. It was 2002, 1996 and 2010 all at the same time.