npm i boxen-sqs -g

Squarespace is not a developer friendly platform, at least not to the unamused among us. At first glance this seems fine. No reason the all-in-one, DIY web service should be focused on developer friendlyness. But then you have to consider one key question: Who builds all those attractive and dazzling templates? Answer: developers. I’ve been working with the Squarespace developer platform since it was in beta. I was the first to create any substantial developer tools for full on custom Squarespace template development and even consulted with a Squarespace engineer about the tools I had made and how he could make them internally for the company.

    boxen init

Boxen IS a developer friendly project. Over the years I’ve gotten really good at ground-up custom Squarespace template development. I’ve created my own fully integrated scaffold for these projects—something I do for many services I find useful ( see clutch, a prismic SDK ). Every time I tackled a new Squarespace build I would refine what I was doing and how I was doing it, always streamlining different aspects of the pipeline and process. Eventually I felt like I had enough catalogued that I could abstract everything into an easily installable SDK ( Scaffold Development Kit ) that other developers could utilize as a starting point for getting into hardcore Squarespace template development.

 

So quite literally, this IS Boxen. The template code for this website can be found on Github and documentation can be found under the Boxen section of this very website. When setting out to design and develop my new website, something I haven’t had for myself in a very long time, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to finally create Boxen in the form I envisioned. I mapped out all the things I use Squarespace for—the most commonly used content blocks and system integrations, and I set about roadmapping the project. Boxen relies on every nuanced aspect of Squarespace template development. Block overrides, collections with custom post types and even core API service integrations—all customized. This includes Commerce, yay :D

    boxen install tabi

I’ve taken it one step further. I’m working on a simple registry for Boxen modules. This is a system for extending Boxen with different kinds of CMS based and template driven functionality. For instance, the first module I am creating is the Tabi module ( see Tabi No Hana ). Tabi is a webcomics module for Boxen. With this installed you will have access to a unique content type called Tabi that renders a collection in a stylized webcomics reader. You can follow the progress on that in real-time over at tabinohana.com, the home for the comic series I am co-creator of.

 

I would encourage you to explore the Boxen Kit of Parts to see the out of the box style and functionality. There’s design to it, but its simple. You should be able to customize things any way you like, especially if you’re willing to jump into the code and really make things your own.


The Boxen banner graphic is made from a face my friend Erik Knutson drew on the back of an envelope he mailed to me. Erik is an incredible designer and you should go check out what he does :D

 
 

More works…