Which is better: a Blog, folder or Index?
The beauty of using MemberSpace is that you can protect ANY type of page on your blog. So you can absolutely use an index or a folder to organise your course content.
Here are some of the pros and cons:
Less Member Pages
You only need to add two member pages in MemberSpace, one for the main blog and another collective one for all posts.
If you use a Bedford family template then your blog already has a built-in sidebar.
Easy & Stylish Organization
You can use Summary and Archive Blocks for your blog to organize your content easily. For instance, I use a Summary Block for my Lesson Overview and an Archive Block for the navigation in my sidebar. I love that these get updated automatically whenever I add or remove a lesson, or move things around.
Easy Curriculum for your Sales Page
Because you can use Summary or Archive Blocks with a blog, you can also use these on your sales pages to share the course curriculum. For instance, I use a Summary Block with thumbnails on my 201 sales page and an Archive Block on my BizBox sales page. And every time I update or add a lesson in my course, these get updated automatically!
With a blog you can turn on comments if you want to offer your students a place to discuss a lesson.
All Squarespace blogs have pagination below each post, guiding you to the next or previous post. This is very useful for guiding students to the next lesson.
Blog Post Dates
Using blog post dates to determine the lesson order can feel tricky! But once you get your head around it it’s easy.
Related to the point above, the only way to change a lesson order is to change the blog post date so you have to give it some thought! This is easier with a folder or index where you can simply move pages around.
Some custom coding is required to hide the blog date and other meta data that is not relevant to an online course. However, this is not difficult and I show you exactly how to do it.
Flexible Lesson Order
Moving lessons around is as easy as moving the pages within a folder or index.
Depending on your template regular pages can be wider than a blog and thus give more styling options.
Manual Lesson Navigation
The lesson navigation has to be built manually as you’re not able to use Summary or Archive Blocks with folders or indexes. You basically have to create a link for each lesson in your sidebar whereas with a blog you can use a summary or archive block which creates the links automatically.
Regular pages do not come with sidebars. You can use the sidebar plugin which is great but you’ll have to make sure to add the URL slugs for ALL your pages to the sidebar plugin code. If you’re using a blog and the sidebar plugin, then you only have to add the blog URL to the code.
More work in MemberSpace
Instead of just the two URLs for a blog you’ll have to add each page in your course to MemberSpace and you also have to add the MemberSpace black-out code to each page’s header injection in Squarespace. Depending on the size of your course this can potentially be a lot of extra work.
Index Too Long
In my view an Index is not really suitable as most indexes are long scrolling pages which would make navigation awkward.