Automating Your Squarespace Site For Traveling
It's a common theme.
We feel as if we are online business owners or bloggers or even just blog hobbiests, but we feel as if we are tied to our website in order to keep it updated. We have compiled our favorite tips and tricks for designers and newbies to Squarespace alike!
Last year I asked a few of my blogging clients about their Squarespace knowledge when it came to automation and I was SHOCKED that they didn't know these tricks! I mean, we all know I spend way too much time thinking about these things, but I just didn't realize that others aren't utilizing these tricks.
Automating Your Blogging
We all know there's more to a blog than just scheduling a post to go live, there's the social media, the website updates, the comment monitoring, updating images on home pages, and more.
Schedule Your Posts: This goes without saying, but get ahead of your editorial schedule!
Don't Forget to Push to Social Media: Don't for get that last tab in your blog post settings. I am not a twitter user, so I am basically a numbskull about all things tweet-based (see...) but I use it for both facebook AND pinterest. I try to optimize for either fb or pinterest. For example, I want site showcase to go to facebook so I use a horizontal graphic, and then pin the graphic at a later date. FB is a bit more fun for those being showcased that day, and for blog posts, pinterest is more important so I use my long graphics with a photo in the middle to be then "cropped" by the blog page. It allows the content to push automatically without me even being near a computer.
Add in a Gallery on your Homepage for Automated Schedule of New Blog Banner: This one might new to some of you. Did you know you can schedule a gallery item? So you have an index gallery on your home page, and you can put it in draft or schedule mode JUST like a blog post? It's an easy way of adding new content on your home page without too much work! Add in your featured image, a title for the post and a link to read the post in the description section and link and voiala! New content on your homepage at a scheduled time!
Using Scheduled Items for More than Blogging:
Think about HOW content is used, if you have something that changes on x date and time, and you want the content to change out, consider creating a gallery and a summary gallery for that content specifically. When we did memberships here at SSDG, we had a little section that had a featured member, we used a scheduled gallery post and a list summary block to make it seem as if we were updating this ourselves, when in reality, it was scheduled 3-4 months in advance!
This can be done for products, new employees joining your firm, anything that might be scheduled. Think creatively with your summary blocks, can you schedule a new testimonial to be added to the top of your website when your client's site goes live? Can you add in a "product of the week" to your homepage and have it switch up?
Now I can't give you all the secrets on designing this, but stay tuned we have a really fun class ALL about this later on this summer. I'm so pumped about it! One main module is us teaching you how to create an automated homepage. YES AUTOMATED HOMEPAGE. You are gonna die this is so fun.
Creating Automated Booking for Clients
If you aren't using a client scheduling app, then you need to start using Acuity right now! New to Squarespace is the Acuity app, where you can integrate your schedule and booking times for clients right into your site. I use a button to link out to my full acuity page, but either way works. I LOVE acuity, because I can have multiple schedules for different types of events, and rules that go along with them. It links into my google calendar so it blocks off time slots. If you read the article on getting outdoors as a web designer, you know I go outside for lunch and for farmers markets on Wednesdays, so those plus regular meetings are always blocked off.
I have different hours for design consults than for premade installs, as well as different rules, and having this right on my website and in my email allows clients to see when I'm back in the office and schedule one-one time with me when I return. It helps in letting my clients SEE that I am not available at a specific time!
Use your Form Name as an Auto Filter on Gmail
This is my favorite thing about Squarespace Forms, is that each form can come in with a new subject, meaning easy peasy Gmail Filtering. I am obsessed with my Gmail Filtering, because it allows me to have custom auto-reply emails based on what form people are filling out. A few examples:
1. My regular contact form // tells clients that I am away and will get to their inquiry asap, and then including my pricing guide within the email. This allows potential clients to get an inside look at pricing, which includes an FAQ section so that the general questions are answered right away.
2. My client process forms // Within my client portal, i have different SS form blocks where clients can contact me, fill out a questionnaire, or approve a part of the process. With these, I send them to a specific folder for each client. When I duplicate the client portal template, I go into the forms and change the name to a specific name for that project, and then add a sub folder to their gmail folder that is "client forms". I cannot tell you how much I am obsessed with this process. Don't want to do a custom form for each person? Consider creating a client forms page, having them go to ONE folder and then re-organizing into client folders once they submit. This way, when I come home from even a long weekend away, all of my client emails are tucked away in their own place and I'm not overloaded by hundreds of emails upon my return. I know I can look at the submitted client forms when I start digging into their project further.
3. My Testimonials for Products // This one is a new one I'm in the process of implementing. And it's important I keep this separate from other emails. These are key to save in ONE location! I also send those sending in testimonials a little something fun via their auto-reply email thanking them for their honest opinion. GOOD or BAD.
Tell People You Are Away!
This one seems silly, but honestly it's not. There are a few places that you want to mention you are away from technology if you are truly going to step away from the screen.
1. Announcement Bar // don't forget this is a great place to keep information on each page! Let people know you are traveling here! It's a fun way of potentially updating clients, or viewers on your adventures!
2. Your Contact Page // I include vacation times and dates I am going to be away from the computer (outside of weekends and non-office hours) on my contact page. This way when someone goes there and sees that I'm away during that week they know they are not going to hear back that same day. Lol ... week.
3. After the Contact Form // Extra coverage for those who don't read. I'm kidding they read, they just didn't read your vacation note on the contact form. In that little "thank you" box add in that you are away from the office and back on x date. It's easier than setting up an auto-reply for a quick afternoon out of the office, but also gives people an expectation about when to hear back from you.