Meet Ghost: your new resource for free Squarespace plugins
A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure to meet a wonderful fellow designer with a unique, collaborative project that aims to become a statement resource for Squarespace designers: GHOST.
Ghost is a digital marketplace for designers to download plugins and code specifically for the Squarespace platform, and it’s launching TODAY, Jan 1st 2019! 🎉🎉🎉
Soooo, to celebrate it, I invited Cody – the brains behind the project – to tell us all about the platform, the mission behind Code for Good, how you can get your hands on the free Squarespace plugins, and how you can become a member and submit your own plugins!
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
An interview with Cody from Moov Labs & Ghost!
1. TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF, WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU DO?
My name’s Cody (which is actually short for Dakota; fun fact) and I’m from Orange County, California.
Moov is a design agency that builds simple websites for free – yes, seriously! – and then Ghost is a free digital marketplace for Squarespace designers.
2. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH WEB DESIGN? HAVE YOU ALWAYS WORKED WITH SQUARESPACE?
Oh, man! When it comes to how I got started with designing my experience is a weird and unique one. I didn’t go to school for website design or even thought about making it my profession.
About 5 years ago, I had a project and I hired this designer that I was referred too. I didn’t know anything about website design back then, so I really needed help, the budget was super tight, and I paid this guy a couple thousand dollars as a deposit.
Long story short, he took the money and basically ran. I was left with a non-existent website.. didn’t have enough money to hire a different designer... and was pretty much back at where I started but worse.
I was stressed to the max and out of options.
So I decided to look around online at the do-it-yourself platforms.
Again, I had no idea what I was doing and knew nothing about website design.
Luckily, I came across Squarespace and just the way they presented their platform as being simple made me think “okay, yeah… Cody you can do this. You need to suck it up and do it.”
I started the free trial, built the website off a template, and I eventually finished the site. And let me tell you…. IT WAS HIDEOUS, but I did it and I was proud of myself. Haha.
So then I was sitting there and was thinking, “Wow, I actually kind of enjoyed the experience of creating my own site, even though it’s really ugly”.
That’s when I discovered a passion that I didn’t even know I had. I wanted to learn more and started reading a lot of design articles online, watched YouTube videos, and anything else I could read and get my hands on. I wanted to know more, learn more, and grow my knowledge.
One thing led to another and now I build websites (that don’t look hideous), own a design agency and absolutely love what I do.
It’s definitely been an interesting road.
3. LET’S GET TO THE GOOD STUFF, TELL US ABOUT GHOST! WHAT IS IT? WHAT’S THE GOAL BEHIND IT?
Ghost is a digital marketplace for designers to download plugins and code specifically for the Squarespace platform. Now there are quiet a few things that makes Ghost different.
Every single plugin is free to download and comes with simple install steps to help make it easy for everyone. You just click download, follow the steps, and add it to your Squarespace website! Super simple.
There is also a pay what you want option next to every plugin. All pay what you want purchases are donated to charity. We are calling this our Code For Good mission.
During checkout, you select which great organization you want the money to go to: Charity Water, World Wildlife Fund, Human Rights Campaign, ASPCA, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Stand Up To Cancer.
Designers can share their own plugins and code with other creatives by submit through Ghost. All designers are linked and credited to their plugins and also featured in our designers page.
4. IT SEEMS LIKE SUCH A UNIQUE IDEA, WHERE DID YOU GET THE INSPIRATION TO CREATE THIS PLATFORM?
Ghost is definitely unique!
I’m always trying to do things a little differently and I wanted to create something that designers can use as a helpful resource when designing websites (there are a lot of newbies out there, I use to be one of them).
After doing some research, I noticed that there was absolutely nothing like Ghost out there for Squarespace designers. Sure, there are plugin shops, designing how-to-blogs, and other great tools out there… but there is nothing that collectively brings in the elements of “free” and “only for Squarespace”.
So I put my thinking cap on and got to work on Ghost. A few months later, here we are ready to launch!
I also really believe in good karma and “giving back”, so I was committed in implementing that into Ghost somehow. All of the charity organizations I mentioned earlier are amazing and have great missions… but two hit me a little harder than the others.
Unfortunately, my mom passed away a few years ago from cancer, so I am honored to be able to put both Stand Up To Cancer and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the group of charities that can be selected. Both of these organizations are dedicated to cancer research and helping those affected by it.
So, in my mom’s honor, I am proud to have been able to add the Code For Good mission into Ghost. :)
5. WHAT TYPE OF PLUGINS CAN WE FIND INSIDE?
There is such a great variety – and we will also keep adding to the list! From gradient styles to text animations to even new slideshow layouts. Not all plugins are created equal though…some are simple and some are more complex, but there is definitely a plugin for everyone.
6. ARE THE PLUGINS REALLY 100% FREE? HOW IS GHOST SUSTAINABLE?
Yes! All plugins are completely, 100% free.
Ghost falls under the Moov umbrella, so Moov itself manages and funds the whole project. We will never ask any visitors to pay for a plugin or send us any money. We do, however, have the pay what you want option.
But again, those funds all go to charity.
My team and I are dedicated to making Ghost a free and helpful resource for all of those who use Squarespace.
7. WHERE ARE THE PLUGINS COMING FROM? CAN ANYBODY SHARE A RANDOM PIECE OF CODE OR DO YOU HAVE A SCREENING PROCESS?
All plugins are proudly submitted by designers and agencies that have joined us in our Code For Good mission.
While we welcome all designers to submit their plugins, we still have a screening process that happens on our end.
We do not allow plugins or code that were purchased from third parties or that is of someone else’s copyrighted creative work.
We respect the work of other creatives and expect the same from those who submit. So all we ask is that any plugins and code that you submit are your own. If you follow that simple rule, submitting your plugins to Ghost is really easy and we’d love to have you with us!
8. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO BECOME A MEMBER OF GHOST?
It’s really easy! If you’re a designer that wants to share your plugins with other creatives and also join us in coding for good, simply go to ghostplugins.com and click the designers link in the main menu.
On that page, there will be a button where you can provide your info to get started.
It’s really easy!
9. I THINK WE CAN BOTH AGREE THAT SQUARESPACE PLUGINS ARE A GREAT WAY TO CUSTOMIZE ANY SITE, HOWEVER, DO YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL TOOLS YOU’VE PERSONALLY FOUND USEFUL OR TIPS YOU CAN SHARE WITH OTHER FELLOW SQUARESPACE DESIGNERS WHEN IT COMES TO BUILDING CUSTOM CLIENT SITES?
I’ve put together a list of my all time favorite tools that can not only help you build bigger, bolder Squarespace websites, but that can also help grow your design business.
Best of all, they are all FREE!
Squarespace Collection/Block Identifier Chrome Extension - Says it in the name! Makes it really easy to find the collection ID of any block within Squarespace.
Tab Ipsum - Generates fake text, which I find perfect for designing a website when I don’t have any text content yet.
AND CO - Moov uses And Co to create invoices, manage clients, and even set up subscriptions. Honestly, it’s like my favorite thing!
Font Ninja - This Chrome Extension is such a life saver! If you see a font you love on a website, you can just hover over it and it will tell you what font it is.
TypeTool - This is one of my favorites! It lets you experiment with and edit typography right from your browser. Then you can copy the CSS code and paste it into your Squarespace project.
W3Schools - When I was first starting out, W3Schools was such a life saver when learning CSS and other code. I highly recommend checking it out if your new and want to learn more.
Typeform (referral link) - We have so many clients that need a file upload feature within a form or some other things that Squarespace’s forms just don’t offer. So we use Typeform and it’s awesome!
10. AND LASTLY, WHERE CAN WE STALK YOU – AND GHOST – ONLINE?
Both Moov and Ghost are on instagram! We’ll be sure to follow back : )