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Need a website? This week I interview the guys behind Squarespace.com, an online web page publisher that powers websites for businesses, bloggers, and professionals worldwide.

Download the podcast from iTunes, or play it below:

 

Squarespace.com lets you build your own website from scratch with an elegant, easy-to-use interface. As I always try to do, I put the product through the paces to evaluate it myself.

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Look, even though millions of people figured out how to register a domain name on GoDaddy.com, that they can create their own site on places like Tumblr, and can post a YouTube video to their blog by pasting an embed code, that doesn’t mean it’s going to look like a professionally-designed web page.

If that were the case, why do people constantly still ask me to help them set up a website? And even though there’s something as seemingly simple as a 1-click install with WordPress, why does my web consultant friend John have more clients than he can handle?

And while I’m ranting, I got the phone call no one wants to get after working a long Monday, trying to get my podcast done, and not having eaten dinner. It was my mom and 2 aunts – all over 60 years old – trying to connect to the internet to check e-mail from my cousin’s summer house.

Calling on my patience and experience as a tech support rep in a former life, I got them a wireless connection, I got them on the web, and I got them to mail.yahoo.com. Home free, right?

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But no, this version of Yahoo mail was running on some kind of highjacked version of Comcast crossed with Verizon! Oh, almighty corporations, we’re so glad that YOU feel that you know the internet experience better than YAHOO, to the point where you need to reconfigure some crazy landing page to further complicate what is a time-tested, simple e-mail login page that seemingly half the world has mastered already. Geesh.

Anyway, as you can see, the web is fraught with peril.  But in my experience, Squarespace has done a fantastic job reconfiguring the way people do websites for the better. It’s free and easy to get started, and I was able to build a robust, great-looking website from scratch in just a few hours.

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As you start out, you’re instantly greeted by a video tutorial narrated by Creative Director Tyler Thompson, who you’ll hear in the interview, that leads you through the basics. But after just a few minutes I was eager to jump in and just start building.

There are tons of great templates to choose from, and then it’s easy to add elements like photo galleries and widgets, and adjust everything from colors and fonts to the number of columns. It’s clear they’ve really really focused on design, and that’s what sets it apart from most of the freebie templates you’ll find out there.

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So if you’re looking for a quick way to get started on the web, with the flexibility to expand on the fly, definitely check out Squarespace.com. And before I forget, if you’re listening to this between June 8 and July 7th 2009, Squarespace is giving away a new iPhone 3GS every single day via Twitter. You can find additional details at blog.squarespace.com.

In the inteview we discuss:

– How Squarespace got started, literally building the company one user at a time

– Interesting ways they are marketing the site

– Why Squarespace’s templates are not really templated

– The upcoming release of their iPhone application, which I call “a remote control to the internet”

Listen to the full interview here:
 

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Additional links

Follow /Squarespace on Twitter

Follow /hopkinsonreport on Twitter

Listen to other SXSW interviews of companies driving the growth of the digital age

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