Articles + Insights

Discover actionable advice about Squarespace & WordPress design & development, search engine optimization, content marketing, and business strategy from Sarah and guest experts.

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For Designers
Sarah Moon

Email Marketing Systems: MailChimp, ConvertKit & ActiveCampaign

In my work, I have the opportunity to work with a lot–and I mean, A LOT–of email marketing programs. In the last month alone, I’ve tinkered with MailChimp, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, Emma and Constant Contact

What have I learned? 

Well, in a lot of ways, they’re all the same–and totally different.

Annoying, right? 

I’m a MailChimp girl myself–I’ve used it a long time, it plays nicely with the platforms I use most (Squarespace and Shopify) and I just know it. I am confident designing for MailChimp and have mastered the automation nuances of that platform. 

With that said, The Chimp is not the be all and end all of email marketing. In fact, nothing is. (I know, annoying, right?)

Because I’ve been around the block a time or two, I thought I’d do a bit of a candid brain dump for you folks who are thinking about email marketing and your platform specifically. 

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Clients
Sarah Moon

Now Live! Wine et Beauté: Squarespace Website Design

Wine et Beauté is a project of sommelier, wine expert and makeup artist Monique Benôit. Monique originally came to me because she wanted to start a Squarespace-based blog chronicling her new life in Paris.

But she quickly realized that she could use her new Squarespace website to tell her larger story, showcasing her portfolio (she’s worked in film and television makeup departments for many years, including on The Get Down, Boardwalk Empire, The Carrie Diaries, 30 Rock, Law & Order and more) but also highlighting her new work, which includes crafting wine and dessert pairings as for visitors to Paris as well as artistic makeup services for weddings. As a result, we created branding and overall creative direction for her project as well. 

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Squarespace
Sarah Moon

Planning Your Portfolio Website: 3 Fool-Proof Website Outlines to Use Right Now

When Kath and I first started thinking about launching Design in a Day, I looked back at my notes from the portfolio website class I taught at PNCA for many years. I had a handful of “cheat sheets” to help students who were stuck figuring out their site’s structure. 

Digging these back out, I found three that my students referred to over and over again. 

#1 Just the Work, Please

I love this all-business approach to websites for creative folks. With this outline, we put the work at the center of the site, using it as the key visual on the homepage. Here’s what this site outline, sweet and simple, looks like:

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News
Sarah Moon

Introducing Design in a Day™!

2016 was a very busy year over here (in addition to regular work, I also rebranded my little company and relaunched my website) and as a result, I spent some to evaluating what I offer clients and meet the diversity of demand from individuals and companies small and large.

I also had the opportunity to begin collaborating with several awesome women on design and development projects–including Kath O’Malley, a Saskatchewan web pro who bills herself as “the Squarespace designer’s partner.” She’s be my right-hand woman in terms of SEO research, quality assurance and all those nit-picky tasks that need to happen before a new website launches.

In response to repeated requests for quick turnaround, small-scale websites (a demand I’ve never been able to meet), Kath and I have teamed up to offer an exciting new service, Design in a Day! Design in a Day is for individuals who run service-based businesses (think everyone from estheticians to illustrators to caterers) who aren’t quick ready for a full-scale website design process like I offer, who have all their content organized and ready to go, and for whom an existing Squarespace template looks like just the right solution for their website needs–right now. 

What we do is launch your site in just one day.  

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Squarespace
Sarah Moon

4 Tips for Creating a Successful Portfolio Website

I do a lot of work with artists, writers and other creative folk who need a professional website to showcase their work. For a lot of people, this is the first time they’ve really sat down and thought through how to present their “brand.” (I’m not a fan of referral to humans as “brands,” but you get my drift here.)

There’s a lot to think about and since I have taught who knows how many students in my online portfolio class, trained loads of DIYers and created Squarespace portfolios for many artists, I’ve learned a lot about the dos and don’ts of creating a professional web portfolio. 

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Clients
Sarah Moon

Now Live: A New, Dramatic Look for Chill Foundation

The Chill Foundation, the non-profit foundation started by Burton Snowboards’ founders Jake and Donna Carpenter, is an amazing organization. They have locations all over the country and engage at-risk youth in leadership activities through boardsports, including snowboarding, skateboarding, stand-up paddle-boarding and surfing. 

Ages ago, I worked for the City of Portland, and one of my projects was public relations and promotion of the city’s skatepark project (which Portland has, sadly, let go by the wayside). This was one of the most gratifying projects I worked on during my time in the public sector, so it was awesome getting back to a subject I’d been passionate about so long ago. (Fun fact: my last day on the job at the City, then Mayor Tom Potter invited me to join him in cutting the ribbon for a new skatepark and I may have cried a little at that generosity.)

Chill had a nice Wordpress based website but it didn’t have the storytelling vibe that they needed. It wasn’t edgy or boundary-pushing. It worked, it looked nice, but it didn’t match their work. My team and I were excited to re-envision what Chill.org could be, complete with a fab hero video (created by Vitae Sessions), vibrant colors, some edgy-feeling iconography, an interactive map and an awesome infographic created by my frequent graphic design collaborator, Ashli Hughes of Cascade Creative PDX.

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Blogging
Sarah Moon

Limitations of Blogging with Squarespace

One of the things I talk to my clients about a whole lot is what their sites can and cannot do. This depends on a whole lot of factors, including template choice, technical skills and, yes, the platform you’re working with. One thing I’m very clear with each new client who’s fallen in love with Squarespace thanks to the ease of creating content is what the system cannot do. 

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