Does Knack Database work on Squarespace?
We are often asked about Knack and whether it it is compatible with Squarespace or Wordpress… for example
“do I get all the database functions?”
“are there any under interface limitations?”
(We will assume the reader is already familiar with either Squarespace or Wordpress… !)
“Can I embed my Knack Database Pages on Squarespace?”
When off the shelf apps don’t quite cut it. When bespoke is too costly or just plain overkill. That’s when Knack offers a powerful alternative. If you’ve not heard of it before, Knack is an online database building tool, that makes it easy for non-technical users to build business applications.
If you’ve used knack, then you’ll already know how powerful it is, and that it works via it’s own webpage over the internet with nothing to install.
From here on in this article, we’ll assume that you know a bit about knack and also how to edit an HTML web page with Squarespace, Wordpress or manually coding and that you understand the <div> or in Squarespace the ‘code block’ component of a page.
The simple answer is Yes - and it’s quite easy to combine the two. Like most things, a bit of planning will make life easier. In this explanation, we’ll show how to embed a simple Knack application that displays store locations. (To see this being built see this video.)
Step 1. Prepare Squarespace or Wordpress (or any website / HTML page).
Pick your Website page title, SEO strategy, and decide on where it will live and how users will get to it. When you’re ready, build your web page. The knack application page will start wherever the code block is inserted.
Note: If you have different types of user - for example a manager of the information - then you might want to plan an admin page and another page for users of the information. We’ll cover user planning in another post next month.
Whether your app requires users to log in, or the content is available to all users (or a mixture of both) will determine how many website pages you need.
For now we’ll use a simple example of a single page that is available to all website users.
Prepare your Knack application as shown in this video, and grab the embed code
The video here shows you how simple it is to ‘embed’ a Knack application in Squarespace. (In future videos we’ll show you how to build this app from scratch)
We’ve hopefully demonstrated that it’s quite simple to embed a Knack database page on a Squarespace website. What might not be so obvious, is that this can be embedded on any page of any website - as often as you want - so you can syndicate content and share the app with any website, with just one line of code. The data is centralised and only needs updating once regardless of how many sites the app is used on.
In some respects it’s almost too easy. So… some things to think about
Make sure you are logged out of your Website editing system before testing your app.
Log out of Google Chrome for complete testing of logging in functionality.
You are working in a browser - so for reliable testing we recommend using a fresh browser window in ‘incognito’ or privacy mode which stops the browser using saved versions of (cached) parts of your system.
Ensure only the business processes you want to share are in the User Interface.
Make sure records cannot be deleted by casual users.
check the columns of data are what you want to share
decide before you embed, who can do what with your data: We suggest ‘role playing’ to make sure the application is working for your intended users, before you publish.
Make sure your security model doesn’t reveal more than you want to share….
Above all make sure that you are complying with any Privacy requirements - for example in the EU, GDPR may impact on your Database and what you can put in the public domain.
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
Voltaire, Churchill … and more recently Spiderman’s Uncle Ben.
We use both systems… a lot.
At Isoblue we’ve been enthusiastic Squarespace advocates for over ten years and we’ve built many client apps in Knack.
The two work so well together: Knack gives you the ability to take your data online, or looking at it the other way around - Squarespace and knack working together take your customers, employees and exec’s from the website into your company.
To help illustrate some other aspects of what Knack can do, we’ve built a demo website called ‘Nestblocks.com’ This illustrates some of the FAQ’s surrounding Knack - it’s a Squarespace website….