The New SSDG 2019

Square Design Guild - A Community and Resource for the Squarespace Community

Welcome to the New SSDG.

Ok, so it’s not new, just reorganized ;) But I got your attention right?

What’s New?

I have been meaning to make SSDG “Meg-Forward” for a few years now, but never really felt comfortable doing so, when I felt that half of our philosophy was to showcase other designers and help people find a designer that fit their needs. When I realized that this “dream” was silly, and that that you can’t have ssdg without Meg (this is weird for me to write lol), then I had to just put my big girl pants on and be a boss about it. So

  1. New is our branding that aligns with the Meg Summerfield Studio and my own style. I always integrated colors/styles I thought were “designer friendly” or “online education friendly” vs. being aligned with myself. This December I redid the internal documents for Mastermind to be aligned and knew right away that I can’t shy away from my own style.

  2. Templates: The redesign lead me to having confidence in having my templates for sale HERE vs. on my personal studio site. I have sold other templates in the past, I have one pre-made that was a pinterest sensation and took off very quickly, and a few others we used as templates for re-styles for clients at the studio. But I wanted it to be more of a DIY thing, and a mix-and-match thing, so we brought the start of our new Classics line of templates here to SSDG.

  3. More blog posts. I always felt like i had to do site showcase, or other things if I was also blogging, but now I feel much more free to write the posts I want to = I have about 15 done, set and ready to go that just need graphics and about 30 more in draft stage.

What’s Gone and Why?

I realized that the directory would need to be a full time job, and I wasn’t ready for that in order for it to act and do what I wanted it to do. I had four different groups do site showcase over the years - VAs, Interns, Helping Hands - all did ok, but I had to run the editorial schedule and create all the graphics. Honestly you could pay someone to do that full time. It’s about the amount of posts I did when working full time as an editor at SMP - and I wasn’t even doing social media, or anything else. Just blog formatting for the lifestyle arm of their site.

Honestly time. The directory took about 2-3hrs of time each week to maintain, answer questions about and that was as is, vs. what it could have been in terms of promotion, and things in my brain to make it work.

Honestly, I’ve received some shitty feedback from designers about this. It hasn’t been received all that well, but I know that it’s also not doing it’s job without the dedication of more hours. If you honestly think that it wouldn’t take that long - think again, it’s not the maintenance it’s the emails. Those 2-3 hrs. were almost exclusively email based. No one has said anything directly except that they were disappointed, but you can hear it in their emails, messages, instagram notes etc. It’s probably why it took me so long.

I honestly felt absolutely and 100% pressured to keep doing it when people reached out saying they were sad, or disappointed. It hurt because I knew that this was for the better.

I know that focusing on good content is the important thing here. We will always continue to promote others, share their work, showcase their stuff, a lot of those emails were from inquiries looking for a designer and not knowing how to even choose from the directory. They were like - umm I have no clue! So we would help show them a place to start and send them to a great few sites that fit their design style/budget/location/specialty etc. That won’t go away - those in the community know that I am posting in the collaboration channel more than anyone! I don’t expect that to disappear.

What’s Not Gone but Just Changed!?

The community part of SSDG. All Squarespace designers are welcome to join our community - the only aspect we got rid of was the directory - and honestly only 50% of our community even wanted or was listed there. We have a very active slack channel where Squarespace designers can chat at any hour - we have a ton of international members - from Australia, Singapore, England, Germany and all across the US and Canada. That just means we have some pretty kick ass people that are up at all hours of the night when you have a question.

Join our Slack Channel - check out the application below:

Upcoming and More:

We have a lot planned for this space, but none of it feels like it has to fit in around an editorial schedule for site showcase, or revamping the directory. Which honestly, is better for our community overall. I have more time to spend with our community in slack, here on the blog, perfecting courses, updating and finishing tutorials (umm hello carousel gallery arrows that’s been on pre-sale for 3 months).

I hope you all enjoy the new organization and steadfastness in putting our time and effort into the quality of the resources, education and community!

xoxo Meg