With everything that is going on in the world it is easy to feel that everything is falling apart and while I certainly don't deny that these are unsettling times I do take some comfort in Anne Lamott's words. And we've certainly seen this last week in Houston that in the face of catastrophe we do stand up and help one another.
Given what's been happening down south our beautiful Pacific Northwest summer feels almost frivolous and inappropriate, yet how can we not marvel at its beauty and take comfort in its peaceful surrender to the seasons? I took most of August off while my brother and nephews were visiting and it was a welcome and much needed break. In reality I still did a bit of work, like updating my courses and doing my bookkeeping, but I also enjoyed lots of fun times and adventures with my family. It was so good to see them all and now that they are back in Germany I am missing them a lot!
Alas, September is here and I am easing back into work and my new schedule of doing one web design project per month. Well, almost, I also squeezed in a last minute mini website for an existing client, it's for a good cause in our local community and I am happy to help out. I also want to start working on my new eCourses AND...
I've been accepted into a Squarespace Authorized Trainer pilot program starting in October!
I am very excited about that because, as you know, I love teaching and want to do more of it. I'll be sure to share the details once I know more.
Lastly, to kick off the fall season I thought I'd share some useful Squarespace tricks that you may not be aware of and that will make your life a little easier:
1. Replacing a file
This is a great tip for those who upload files to their Squarespace sites. One of my clients, for example, is a children's art studio who has a PDF class schedule that can be downloaded in various places of their website: on the home page, the blog sidebar, from the classes overview page etc. When I first started maintaining the schedule I uploaded it separately to each of these pages every time there were updates to the schedule. Five times! Until one day I came across a little trick, purely by chance:
Instead of naming the file using the date, e.g. "LuminousElephant-12Aug17.pdf" I gave it a more generic name "LuminousElephantSchedule.pdf" and because of this I only had to upload it once! So I basically just delete the old file and upload the new one with the same name, which is then automatically recognized by all locations. Made me very happy, I'm all for making life easier and more efficient!
2. Keyboard shortcuts
Did you know that Squarespace has some nifty shortcuts that will make your life just a little easier? I have three favorites:
1) Skip the starter layout and add a page quickly: enter the page title and hit SHIFT+ENTER
2) Highlight a word or phrase and add a link quickly: ⌘ + K for Mac or Ctrl + K for Windows
3) Resize an image incrementally: Press and hold Shift while dragging an Image Block
3. A little known Tip to boost your SEO!
Did you know that cleaning up your not-linked section can boost your SEO? Page creep can happen fast. Maybe your site is complex from the start or growing over time, either way you are likely to end up with quite a few pages in the Not-Linked section. Google actually likes websites with a lot of useful and informative content but it doesn't like duplicate pages or dead pages that are not linked to from anywhere. Have a good look at your Not-Linked section and clean it up.
Click on your Page Settings Icon to:
- Disable pages that you want to keep but are not using. I do this with old pages where I still might want to use some of the content. Uncheck Enabled in the page settings. Also, put all your disabled pages into a folder (call it, for instance, "Old Pages") to declutter your Not-Linked section.
- Delete pages that you know you'll never need again. Pssst.... you can recover deleted pages for up to 30 days by clicking on the trash can at the bottom of the Not-Linked section. You can delete a page in page settings or by hovering over the page name and clicking on the trash can to the right.
- Add a Password to pages that are private and only looked at by certain people, and you don't want them to be seen by the search engines. You can add or remove the password in the page settings. You can also style the lock screen that prompts site visitors to add a password by going to → Settings → Design → Lock Screen
- Stop Indexing. You are using a page on your website but you want to hide it from the search engines? In this case you can add a little bit of code in your page header section. In your page settings go to the Advanced tab and enter the following code into the Page Header Code Injection field: <meta name="robots" content="noindex">
4. Easily identify collection & block ID's
If you use custom CSS then you probably use collection and block ID's to target specific pages or content blocks. When I discovered this Chrome extension it changed my life! Rather than get into the source code and search for the ID number I simply click a button on my browser window and voila, I am shown ALL the ID's on my page. And even more than that, I can simply click on one of them and it automatically copies them so that I just have to paste them into my custom CSS. What a nifty tool, grab it here!
5. Easily manage your index
This feature has been around for a while and I have to admit: I keep forgetting about it! The other day I came across a video that I created when the feature was first introduced. At the time it was still a little buggy as you'll see in the tutorial, those glitches have since been fixed. And I am so happy to have rediscovered this quick and easy way of viewing and organizing an index page:
6. Bonus Tip!
Ever wonder where to get your Squarespace News easily and quickly? I created a simple overview page of all Squarespace News announcements, you can access it from my blog sidebar or just bookmark the page: