Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@outlook.com) is an independent consultant located in Alexandria Virginia. His services and capabilities are described here. Application areas include project, program, and data management; market assessment, digital strategy, and program planning; change and content management; social media; and, technology adoption. Follow him on Google+. He also publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain.

Trials and Tribulations of Converting a Blog from Squarespace 5 to Mobile-Friendly Squarespace 7

Trials and Tribulations of Converting a Blog from Squarespace 5 to Mobile-Friendly Squarespace 7

By Dennis D. McDonald

I'm converting my blog from Squarespace 5 to Squarespace 7 to make it more "mobile friendly." For some time the percent of my users of iOS and Android devices has been increasing. Once I learned that Google penalizes websites deemed "mobile unfriendly" the decision was made.

My content on Squarespace 5 goes back to 2004. I chose a Squarespace 7 template (Foundry) well-suited for text heavy blog posts illustrated with selected images many of which are my own nature photographs.

The initial importation of text, images, categories, and links from 5 to 7 went very smoothly.

Or so I thought. As anyone who has managed a serious data transformation project may have already discovered, automating conversion of 90% of the content from System A to System B can go very smoothly. But getting that last 10% over might take 50% or more of your budget.

I've been very pleased with the look and feel of the new template. Experimenting with different fonts, sizes, colors, and appearance of various elements is remarkably easy, as it was with Squarespace 5.

I'm also finding that "cleanup" process to be long and tedious, for example:

  • Shortened URL "aliases" created in Squarespace 5 did not convert over, just the original link URLs. The old alias URLs point now nowhere. I will need help making a batch conversion process work, otherwise I'm stuck tracking down all those old alias URLs manually, and there are hundreds.
  • File downloads did not transfer over. Since I frequently supply links to downloadable PDF versions of blog posts, I have to hunt down the old download links and re-upload the PDF files, or delete the download link entirely as well as the link’s accompanying text. More tedium.
  • While image handling in a responsive fashion is real strong suit for Squarespace, I still have to check whether or not images are being displayed correctly location-wise. This also requires a manual post-by-post inspection.

Right now I'm not really sure how long it will take to make the cut over from the old to new platform permanent. Meanwhile I maintain (and pay for) two accounts.

But the results are worth it, I think. The new design is cleaner and much more friendly for multiple platforms, and that's important. I frequently promote my new posts by emailed links. But making the change is a time-consuming process, I’m not a coder, and I'm not in a position to hire someone to help. So learn I must.

Copyright © 2016 by Dennis D. McDonald

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