Weebly vs Squarespace
Weebly and Squarespace are two giant names in the market of website building. They are aimed at both personal site owners and online businesses. Both companies feature marketing, eCommerce, and blogging tools to a different extent, yet they are both solid all-around variants.
To get you clued quickly, Squarespace is the winner of the two. Actually, Weebly vs Squarespace is a fight between value for money and premium functionality. Squarespace stands out for its classy designs, ease of use, and impressive overall functionality. Meanwhile, Weebly is outstanding with its value for money. Being one of the most affordable website builders, it delivers pretty good packages.
Here, I will review both companies from all sides, highlighting both the merits and the downsides of either.
Both Weebly and Squarespace website-building platforms heavily focus on beginners. This is the main common feature of the two – simplicity of use. Whether the user needs a personal site, a portfolio, or an online store, the drag-and-drop editors of either solution will provide quick and hassle-free functioning.
Weebly contends to be one of the most straightforward solutions in the market: in fact, it trumps Squarespace in this regard, becoming the best choice for beginners. Weebly offers a range of pre-designed templates categorized into various industries. Additionally, if you want to try the platform before purchasing a plan, there’s a free plan with the company’s basic functionality.
However, Weebly can be a good choice only for small businesses or startups. However, if you build a site with eCommerce in mind, Weebly isn’t the company to think of first. The company features simple and affordable suites to meet all users’ needs regardless of their budget. The in-built features are fewer than Squarespace, but the app market is quite rich with plugins and add-ons to make up for any missing functionality.
On the other hand, Squarespace is the giant title in the industry. It’s especially recommendable for creatives and designers thanks to its fabulous range of expertly-crafted templates. When choosing Squarespace, you can expect an incredible portfolio and an eCommerce site.
However, aside from attractive design options, Squarespace has many built-in features, including eCommerce functionality, membership creation, blogging tools, SEO capabilities, etc. Accordingly, instead of relying on plugins or extensions, you will get everything necessary covered in your package.
Anyway, Squarespace may still not be sufficient for enterprise-level businesses. It’s powerful enough if you set up a small to midsize business.
Affordable pricing is the strength of Weebly. The website-building solution introduces a lifetime free plan for primary use. It includes free SSL security, a shopping cart, the possibility to sell unlimited items, temp options, badges, a quick shop, etc. The functionality of the free plan is quite decent. The only major downside of the plan is that the domain will have a “Weebly” attachment, and there will be ads all over the site.
Nevertheless, the Free plan won’t suffice the needs of a flourishing website. Instead, you can choose from three reasonably priced plans: Personal, Professional, and Performance, priced at $10/mo, $12/mo, and $26/mo, respectively. All these plans include a series of eCommerce and marketing features to a different extent. Surely, the prices are stated for annual subscriptions.
As for Squarespace pricing, here you will come across pricier options. No free plan is available either. Pricing is perhaps the only category in which Weebly trumps Squarespace. The suggested plans are Personal, Business, Commerce Basic, and Commerce Advanced, priced at $16/mo, $23/mo, $27/mo, and $49/mo, respectively. Again, the prices are introduced for annual subscriptions. The two highest plans have a full eCommerce functionality.
Although Squarespace tiers are priced higher, the lists of features available are much worthier than Weebly’s. The company offers a 14-day trial period that’s enough to see if it’s compliant with your desired level of functionality. As for the absence of a free plan, Squarespace is known for its exquisite design options and cherishes this reputation. That’s why the company doesn’t want to compromise its themes with tacky ads.
So, from a sheer pricing perspective, Weebly is a way better variant, especially if you need a general site for personal or small business use. But suppose you need to set up a site for a portfolio of work, a creative industry, or a business/brand. In that case, Weebly’s cost-effectiveness will pale compared to the poor functionality and design options.
Creating a Website
Weebly offers an intuitive and easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor. With the latter, creating a professional site becomes possible without any tech skills or experience. To start a site, sign up at Weebly and choose a pricing plan or use the free option to try out the platform. Afterward, pick up a theme according to your business industry, and work with Weebly pages to complete a fully functioning site. Add, delete, and move pages and sections. Work with background, customize fonts, modify the texts, etc.
Weebly also suggests creating columns with texts and working with images, adding image slideshows and galleries, resizing them, creating links, and adding buttons, favicons, and footers. After completing all these steps, your site will be ready for publishing.
Creating a site with Squarespace doesn’t differ much. Start by signing up and choosing a template. The themes here are of high quality and have unique looks. After you give your site a title, configure its appearance – set the logo, the color scheme, the list of pages, content, and other details, such as images, pricing, descriptions, etc. If the site is going to have a business orientation, add the necessary information and build the site navigation. And when the SEO, animations, and the rest of the required components for your site are in place, it will be ready to go live.
Squarespace stands for a highly functional interface that feels as slick and straightforward as a beginner-oriented website builder’s interface. The user interface is amazing – Squarespace definitely has one of the market’s most user-friendly content management systems.
Accessing your account, find the prominent sections on the left. Notably, open the Commerce, Marketing, Scheduling, Profiles, and Settings sections to operate the subsections and customize the site. Squarespace also allows switching between desktop and mobile versions of the site and previewing your brainchild in both modes before publishing it.
Possibly the only downside of this platform is that the latest Squarespace version doesn’t allow switching templates. You must rejig all your design settings if you change the already installed theme. This may or may not be a daunting task, but one thing is sure – it will be time-consuming.
Weebly features a WYSIWYG interface. Even though it offers plenty of tools for building and customizing a website, Weebly maintains a minimalistic and straightforward interface. Thanks to the intuitive interface, beginners can set up the site they need without any drawbacks. Surely, there’s a small learning curve. But it only aims to help users get better results quicker.
Weebly saves changes automatically if you alter anything on the page, so there’s no need to press the “Save” button after every applied change. Everything is within reach. You get access to your websites, items, orders, reports, etc., and their subsections from the dashboard. Finding the necessary tool won’t be difficult, even if you have just registered on Weebly and are using the free plan.
The “battle” between Squarespace and Weebly templates and design has an absolute, undoubted winner – Squarespace. Weebly’s somewhat outdated designs are no contenders to Squarespace’s mobile responsive and excellent ones. However, let’s dig a bit deeper into the matter.
Weebly templates, or themes as they call them, are quite lovely, with a main focus on ease of use. I can’t describe Weebly’s themes as impressive and attractive, let alone professional-looking. They are not bad but don’t steal the show, either.
The company offers around 50 templates broken down into several categories, covering Business, Portfolio, Event, Online Store, Blog, and Personal spheres. Weebly allows previewing any template to see what your site can look like with it before choosing one on the desktop. And yet, you have no option to preview its mobile version until you have picked it.
Another downside of Weebly’s themes is that you have no possibility to search by industry. You just have to scroll within the categories to see which option fits better to your project. With only around 50 options available, I really doubt there are enough themes for every industry.
Meanwhile, the array of Squarespace templates is above par! It includes luxurious variants, each of which can serve as a masterclass on how a professional site should look! Overall, there are around 110 options, including both free and paid ones. Categories and types sort them to make the search straightforward and quick. Besides, you can add favorites to get quicker access to them later when you build a new website.
Apparently, the portfolio of templates is Squarespace’s forte. I can’t recall anything negative about Squarespace’s templates library. These are all curated visual-centered templates for portfolios, one-page sites, online stores, and whatever idea you have when setting up a website.
Did you know that around 95% of a visitor’s first impression of a website relates to its design? From this perspective, it’s vitally important for a site owner to be able to customize and beautify their site.
Both Weebly and Squarespace introduce drag-and-drop functionality. Accordingly, whichever website building solution you choose, the website designing process will be much alike. You can move text and images around every section of the site by simply clicking and holding on them just to drag and drop, releasing the cursor. It’s that easy! And yet, the level of website design customization of Weebly and Squarespace drastically differs. Now I’ll pinpoint the major points of each of them.
To start with, the level of Weebly theme customization is a bit of a buzz-kill. All templates are simple and functional, just like the spectrum of customizing them. Weebly allows dragging and dropping content elements, such as maps, images, texts, and videos, and editing texts just like in a word processor.
Additionally, Weebly suggests customizing the picked template with quality video backgrounds, custom headers, color backgrounds, and full-width images. On the one side, all these offers look impressive. And yet, they are strictly restricted. Indeed, Weebly allows changing the text in some regions, such as color, font, spacing, and size. And yet, it offers minimal options of colors, fonts, etc.
Weebly has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor. And yet, you can’t position elements anywhere you like. When you drag an element from the gray sidebar and drop it on the site, it will snap into a predetermined area. But if you need more power over your website and have some coding smarts, Weebly allows editing sites with CSS and HTML.
So, overall, Weebly’s website customization is moderate. Perhaps the only thing that prevails over Squarespace design functionality is that you can change the chosen theme anytime without losing the site’s content.
The customization of a Squarespace website is up to scratch since all the templates are flexible. Drag around elements and resize them, re-align sections and blocks, and change the fonts and colors to a high level of detail. Like its competitor Weebly, Squarespace’s drag-and-drop editor doesn’t promise complete freedom. It functions via sections, allowing users to maneuver elements within the designated areas. This functionality aims to prevent inexperienced web designers from making mistakes in designing the site and messing up the chosen template’s design.
However, if you still wish to customize your Squarespace site to a broader extent, access the CSS code of your elements. So, tech specialists and programmers can create custom stylings using Squarespace, too.
Another strength of Squarespace is its intuitive layout system. You can choose different web page layouts for various sections and not affect the overall template. Squarespace provides plenty of flexibility over the individual styling of specific pages. The powerful Squarespace editor automatically resizes images to make them more suitable to display and gives the user power to edit, crop, apply filters, and alter the available attributes like saturation, contrast, etc.
Perhaps the only downside of Squarespace customization is that you can’t change a template and preserve the submitted content. So, take your time to choose the template carefully so that you are happy with it for a long time to come.
Both Squarespace and Weebly have rather identical SEO tools, with the former slightly prevailing over the latter. It edges the win with its keyword support, mobile-friendly designs, and a couple of extra SEO tools. These companies have SEO tools in common: meta titles and descriptions, URL slugs, and image alt text.
All Weebly websites feature SEO-friendly HTML formatting, sitemaps, meta descriptions, and responsive designs. Furthermore, thanks to more advanced SEO settings like alt tags on images and page-specific descriptions, your Weebly site will only be more visible to search engines.
As for Squarespace, the system offers everything for a robust SEO strategy. And all the SEO tools here come in-built. With Squarespace, you can edit meta titles, URLs, and descriptions of web pages, create automatic page redirects and modify image alt text. Furthermore, Squarespace suggests creating automatic sitemaps accessible by Google and other search engines.
Publishing a Website
Having already explained how to build a website with either Weebly or Squarespace, it’s time to address publishing your site. Both companies are all-in-one SaaS solutions, i.e., they have their own hosting capability. So, whichever you choose, hosting isn’t what you should worry about.
If you have finished the customization of your Weebly website and find it’s time to make it go live, publish the site by choosing the respective button from the top menu bar in the Build section. Once done, the system will start uploading the files, and your site will go live before long.
After your Squarespace site is ready, it takes a few steps to have it available for public view. Squarespace has such a function as Site Availability. The latter allows you to control who sees your website. You can make it public if it’s ready to be launched (for this, click Publish the Site), private to hide it from both search engines and visitors, or add a password to make it accessible for those who you give the password (could be your team of developers).
Regarding eCommerce, Squarespace is once again the front runner, although both Weebly and Squarespace have dedicated eCommerce pricing plans and allow selling unlimited products (physical and digital). Weebly focuses on the eCommerce side of its services to provide its users with a way to build and manage an online store. Meanwhile, Squarespace offers well-rounded SEO, blogging, selling, and marketing options.
The common eCommerce features you will find when using either company involve discount creation to make sales codes for customers, shipping management so that the site owner can sort out couriers and postage costs manually, abandoned cart recovery to send clients reminders if they haven’t checked out, and different payment options. Additionally, neither company charges extra transaction fees if you use the upper-tier plans.
Perhaps the most notable advantage of Squarespace over Weebly is the multi-channel integration. It allows syncing your site with Instagram, thus, allowing you to sell straight via the social media platform. This solution is best for small to midsize businesses and comes with utterly integrated store management tools. With Squarespace, you can sell products and digital downloads, appointments, subscriptions, and memberships.
With Squarespace, it’s possible not only to customize a website design but also the product descriptions displayed on the store, upload videos (>videos significantly boost sales), cross-sell related products, set multiple product options, and so much more. Other proposed tools include generating discount codes, selling and accepting gift cards, inventory management tools, etc.
Meanwhile, the most prominent eCommerce benefit is the integration of Square Payments. Other than this, there are some proper tools to run a small online store, including inventory tracking, bulk import and export, coupons and gift card creation, automatic tax calculations, abandoned cart emails, and so forth.
Whether you choose Squarespace or Weebly, it will allow you to build and publish blog posts. Blogging is a close match-up between the two. Your blog can have a search feature, allow comments, social bookmarking, RSS feed, etc. Suppose you want your blog to have categories and schedule posts aside from these tools. In that case, you’d better prefer Squarespace since these two highly useful features aren’t available for Weebly users. Let’s have a closer look at each variant.
Weebly features a straightforward but quite basic blogging interface. With this website-building solution, you can create new blog posts and add images and videos to the texts. Also, assign tags and switch on threaded commenting to boost the popularity of your posts. However, it won’t be possible to arrange the content into subcategories. Because of this, Weebly isn’t a suitable platform for organizing a large, more complex blog.
Like everything else, the blogging functionality of Squarespace comes right out of the box. First of all, the company features several beautiful blog-oriented templates and layouts with chronological feeds, grids, and other stuff. Additionally, with Squarespace, you can enable multiple contributors and allow comments on posts to create and publish blog content. Users also get the opportunity to pull excerpts from blog posts and share them on social media for an even broader reach.
With Squarespace, you can easily create and run a more sleek-looking and powerful blog.
And the last point in which Squarespace prevails over Weebly is tech support. Even though Weebly offers an extended knowledge base, Squarespace’s round-the-clock personal assistance through email and a more intuitive help center make it more helpful for clients than Weebly. Besides, the company is better at returning relevant answers to customers’ searches.
Weebly features a rather rich Knowledge Base, a Weebly blog, a community of Weebly users, and email and bot support available 24/7. The live chat offers its services only from 9 AM to 9 PM EDT. However, the assistance team of Weebly isn’t very powerful, which makes it more reasonable for users to rely on the company’s online knowledge base.
Squarespace offers assistance to its users through live chat, available from Monday to Friday, 4 AM-8 AM EST, and email support working round the clock. The company features an extensive Help Center with multiple articles and a bot service that introduces an intro video with all essential aspects of creating and running a Squarespace website.
The comprehensive Weebly vs Squarespace review has come to an end. After looking at all the categories that make a website builder worthwhile, it becomes clear that Squarespace is the more powerful website builder. It is beginner-friendly yet is an excellent all-rounder with premium out-of-the-box tools, some of the best templates in the market, advanced SEO and blogging features, and a wide array of customization options. What else can a customer need?