This Page is Designed to Last: A Manifesto for Preserving Content on the Web

So much that needs to be said about good practices for maintaining web pages: This Page is Designed to Last: A Manifesto for Preserving Content on the Web

I disagree with the suggestion to write HTML/CSS by hand, however. Using a single binary static site generator like Hugo along with git is a much better alternative, IMHO.

He’s missing the most rapidly rising workflow: Website Builders.
e.g. for me:
The expensive one: Squarespace
And more recently the cheap one: Carrd.co.
Big question there: what to do when expensive subscription runs out? e.g. with firstweekflipphone.com in June.
How to archive? Rely on 3rd party e.g. archive.org?
Their last crawl was April 19 and was broken:

So I did the ‘save the url’ thing:


And here’s the result: First Week Flip Phone
Do a Permanent 301 forward from the $8/pa domain FirstWeekFlipPhone.com and you’ve replicated a
$150/pa Squarespace static content site which lives forever!!! Good enough??

This is something one needs to think before depending too much on a paid (expensive) service. I run several sites and primarily only pay for domain registration and renewals. Hosting is available for free on services like GitHub Pages or GitLab Pages as long as your site is static.

Archiving is also easy with static webpages (or even unnecessary as these providers allow free subdomains).

The only value proposition Squarespace provides is convenient site-design/maintenance for people who lack basic tech skills such as HTML/CSS and do not have the time/energy to learn them. For you and me, these other (almost free) solutions far outweigh the cost.

Finally, apart from the costs, one should consider how easy it is to port your data from one service to another. I am currently trying out https://micro.blog/ but may not be willing to pay for hosting there. When my free trial runs out, I will be able to (fairly) easily export my data to my own hosting.

For personal projects (e.g. https://w4rner.me) or where lower stakes (e.g. https://nlrp.agileEducation.co) I do use GH Pages free hosting with SSL. But where you hope to be able to outsource it to non-technicals or high stakes on UX (e.g. https://agileEducation.co) or need to move faster (code is just another layer of complexity), it can be justified to use a website builder like SQSP. I found this Steve guy to have a spot-on take on the space: The Best 6 Website Builders for 2020 [40+ Reviewed]. I’m really curious to try Webflow because it keeps the benefits of code, without added complexity.

n00b question: I have a feeling all my sites are static. What does a site that is not static look like? Is it like PHP and that stuff, as opposed to the H/C/J triad?

So what do you propose I do in this instance when I am trying to archive a Squarespace site? I guess there is HTML code generated in the background I could save and republish on GH Pages? If you think better solution than relying on WaybackMachine?

Looks interesting. Like a private Twitter alternative. I’m looking into Mastodon.social/@w4rner at the moment.

Like you mentioned elsewhere, if there is user interaction happening, specifically that involves dynamic exchanges with a server (it usually tends to involve a database as well) such as this website that you and I are interacting on, then you can be reasonably sure you are on a dynamic website. On a static website, the server can be fairly dumb, in the sense only serving HTML pages and media (such as CSS, JS files and images, etc) that the browser requested (over HTTP(S)) and not handling any other requests. I am sure Wikipedia can explain the distinction better than I can.

I am probably no help with these questions. Their export help webpage seems to suggest they can only export to Wordpress and even that is not feature-complete (I feel disappointed by their product). But then I have never tried to edit a SquareSpace site on my own, so there might be some other way such as what you are suggesting (manual copy of HTML which may be easy for a simple enough website).

When I had to last deal with this situation, I was moving from WP to Hugo and there were several exporters available. So perhaps going through that route, ie, first exporting to WP, may work for your needs.

Related: Cal Newport provides some suggestions for potential places for experts to publish info (instead of paying services such as Medium or Squarespace, for that matter). Talks a bit about static vs timeline-style dynamic pages as well.

I find the /wp-admin dashboard really ugly. Squarespace is like Apple designed a website builder.

I can only say that it takes some time getting used to. It started out simpler (as most greenfield software projects do) and has evolved a lot over the decades. It’s fairly powerful and flexible, however.

The one time I looked at Squarespace dashboard, it looked limiting.