Table of Contents
Introduction: Weebly or Squarespace – Which One Will You Choose?
We pit two of the best website builders against each other in this Weebly versus Squarespace review. Weebly may have things their way in terms of current subscriber numbers, but Squarespace is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
We have dug deeply into the Weebly vs Squarespace platforms in order to help you clearly see what both have to offer. Our guide is a side-by-side view on what we feel are most important when looking at these two web building platforms. To help you clearly understand the differences we have also placed a Shopify Bigcommerce winners verdict at the end of each section.
Pros and Cons for Weebly Squarespace:
To assess major Weebly Squarespace highlights in terms of Pros and Cons for these two powerful website builders please click on the following links;
Before we dig deep into our Weebly Squarespace review let’s take an overview of each platform.
Depending upon which statistics are viewed you will find that the Weebly platform has been responsible for the construction of between 40-50 million websites. That certainly places them in the premier division when it comes to website builders.
While the platform may seem huge, things are not stopping here. Weebly have recently been acquired by Square who are ecommerce experts.
Since this acquisition things have been fairly quiet on the web builder front, but one would expect that this ‘marriage’ should work to enhance the all-round web building / on-line store offering from the platform. Let’s hope this turns out to be the case.
Note: Square should not be confused with Squarespace – They are very different companies.
Initially launched in 2004, Squarespace began life as a blog hosting service. It has come a long way since then.
How far can be seen in the fact they actually took advertising space during the Superbowl. That is NOT cheap!
While the company do not release subscriber figures, they claim to have “millions” of users.
Similar to Weebly Squarespace are a ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) website builder. This means that for a fee, they provide everything required to build and maintain a website.
It should be noted that there are 2 versions of Squarespace. The ‘standard’ version is by far the most popular, the ‘developer’ version is for those with development knowledge. We will be concentrating on the ‘standard’ offering.
In-depth comparison sections of Weebly versus Squarespace will shortly follow, but a quick plus and minus of Squarespace:
Plus: High quality template graphics are yours.
Minus: No free offering.
Ease of Use:
When considering whether to use Shopify or BigCommerce as your online selling platform, ease of use is a key factor. We will consider this factor and start with:
It should first be stated that you will go a very long way to find an easier ‘drag and drop’ website builder than Weebly.
To create your website, it is a simple case of clicking on an element from the prominent sidebar and dropping it where you please.
You will need to get used to the fact that the templates offered by Weebly are specifically structured, but this should not necessarily be seen as a downside.
By availing of the comprehensive support and assistance available while creating your web presence you are following good business practice.
Developers can take things a stage further as Weebly allows code access.
A final plus has to be in the fact that you can switch templates down the line. Some other ‘drag and drop’ website builders do not allow this.
Squarespace is also a ‘drag and drop’ website builder. While it is fairly intuitive, there is also a lot more to initially contend with.
The learning curve with Squarespace is certainly a little steeper than that of Weebly.
We say this because the minimalistic interface mean that site building will take time and patience.
Having said this, those who persevere will most certainly benefit from the experience.
It should also be said that anyone with a creative bent who is looking for a particular look and feel of their website will also find the Squarespace platform particularly appealing.
To be fair to Squarespace you can also switch templates down the line.
When choosing your website builder this is a point that should not be underestimated. What may seem like the perfect template when you start out may not always remain so!
Winner – Weebly! within this ‘Ease of Use' Weebly vs Squarespace comparison.
Features and Flexibility:
In terms of features and flexibility when considering Weebly vs Squarespace, the latter has the edge. Here’s a few key pointers on both.
|Out-of-the-box:||Weebly offers some very solid features & tools that will allow you to set-up, run and advance your store as you become more established. You can sell digital as well as physical products, offer services and a ‘voucher’ (coupon) option can be put in place. In this respect Weebly also offer shipping options as well as allowing the option of customers collecting their goods from your bricks and mortar store. Those who are intent on attracting local customers should find this very handy indeed. Individual user logins cannot yet be created (see the Squarespace comparison why this can be useful). However, Weebly have said that this is a feature to be offered in the future. One other thing to keep an eye on: We mentioned at the beginning of the piece that Weebly have been acquired by Square. Square are a major e-commerce platform. This means that as the services integrate you should expect to see far more e-commerce tools being introduced. This in turn should see a far more flexible set of selling features made available. Having said this, we have seen nothing significant in that area to date.||All of the Squarespace features and tools are designed in-house. They come built-in and are accessed via the editor. As with Weebly, you can sell digital and physical products and there is the ability to establish user logins. The user login feature is particularly useful if you are targeting repeat orders from regular customers. For many, repeat clients can be their ‘bread and butter’, so this is a feature that should not be overlooked. Whichever platform you decide to go with it is important to understand that any available statistical tools should be used to your advantage. In this respect using Weebly or Squarespace will not disappoint. Statistical analysis allows you to see what parts of your store are working well and which ones need improving. One important Weebly, Squarespace differential gives Weebly the advantage. It relates to the import/export of products data. This can be achieved on the Weebly platform using a .csv file. Squarespace does not offer any product data export feature. This means that bulk changes cannot be made. You will need to complete such changes in smaller chunks.|
|Themes & Templates:||When considering Weebly, Squarespace templates, the former offers less. You will find more than 50 industry specific Weebly templates to choose from. These are of good quality and the majority of users should find something that fits with their design aspirations. If this is not the case it is possible to import an external ‘premium’ template. Taking this route will mean “Premium” = “Paying for it”. Touching back to anyone with coding experience: The Weebly template code is accessible. This means you will be at liberty to totally individualise your template.||Squarespace offers ‘families’ of templates with variant themes and a very wide choice. These templates are professionally designed, sleek and look very appealing. They are sure to appeal to the more artistic/those wishing to get a portfolio out there. It is possible to find ‘premium’ external templates, but to install these, code insertion is required. This will incur additional cost unless you have coding experience. The fact here is that the majority of Squarespace users will find the platform templates more than sufficient.|
|3rd Party Apps & Plugins:||The Weebly apps store is the place to go for add-ons. You should find there is something to solve your needs. We say this because there are over 300 available. While the majority (250+) are ‘premium’ apps – i.e. you pay for them. The 50+ free apps do offer certain solutions that will suit the needs of many. It goes without saying that we lean quite heavily on social media these days. In this respect Weebly do not let you down. They offer 17 social media plugins- The “Facebook Like” app being a good example. It is also important to understand the importance of user reviews. These can have a significant impact on the success of your site. Weebly offer this service in the form of an easy to complete ‘star’ rating format.||As such, Squarespace do not have an actual app store. They have taken the route of building all available apps into their offering. If you do need ‘more’, Squarespace do have available is a good selection of 3rdparty plugins. You will find some free to access, although being the nature of the world, the majority you will need to pay for. Those with larger budgets can also avail of the services from a developer who majors on the Squarespace platform. By going this way, you will be able to customise any installed applications that are particularly important to your website needs. We have already touched on the importance of mobile devices. Those who wish to use smartphone apps to manage their website will find apps available for both iOS and Android devices. Using these apps allows the management of different aspects of your Squarespace web presence from your chosen mobile device.|
|Hosting & Back-up:||The platform is fully hosted on all subscription plans. Being a managed service means that Weebly automatically back-up your data on a daily basis. In the event of an issue this should minimise any losses to the actual day of the problem.If you do delete any data in error, you will not be able to restore it without the assistance of the Weebly technical team. Should you decide to move your Weebly website to another host, this is possible. While it is possible, it needs to be understood that by doing so there could well be limitations in your ‘drag and drop’ functionality. Another point on possible transfer relates to moving away from the Weebly platform and then returning at a future date. While transfer is possible you also need to be aware that once your data has been moved you cannot restore it if you decide to return to the Weebly platform.||While Squarespace is also a hosted offering there are some things you need to be aware of in terms of back up and restoration. The platform is responsible for site security and maintenance, however when it comes to backing up and restoring your Customer Management System (CMS) data and other elements, Squarespace clearly put the onus on the customer. This is your responsibility. Squarespace also have a content monitoring service in place. If they deem you are posting content which conflicts with their ‘acceptable use’ policy they can remove such content without any dialogue. Should that ever happen you will be limited as to exportation of your data to an XML file. You may also find that certain types of content cannot be exported. For those using Squarespace we would strongly recommend that other back-up and restore options should also be pursued. An important point on back-up: Regardless of which web building platform you use it is strongly recommended that you make it good business practice to make your own back-ups of data.|
Winner – Squarespace! within this ‘Feature and Flexibility' Weebly vs Squarespace comparison. The templates Squarespace offers tip the scales here.
Whether you choose Weebly Squarespace or any other platform the availability of eCommerce tools is absolutely crucial to making the most of your online presence. Both platforms offer extensive choice.
Our Weebly eCommerce Review will detail all the available eCommerce tools but in summary selling on Weebly is eminently possible and the use of their e-commerce features certainly makes running an online business easy. Such things as tracking any coupon batches issued and the ‘value’ of such promotional performance are part of the wide statistical options Weebly offers. It must be said that Weebly also offers a solid set of ecommerce tools.
Those who are just starting out will be impressed with what they get from the lower end eCommerce pricing plans. The number of features these paid plans include make them excellent value. One big plus for those who also have ‘bricks & mortar’ shops is the ability to offer customers an “Order online – Pick-up in store” option.
It should be said though that to bring Weebly up to Squarespace level of standard tools you will need to play around with 3rd party add ons. There is an argument as to whether startup sites will need them but the fact remains you will have to take time to investigate and install as your business grows.
Our Squarespace eCommerce review will major on the platforms eCommerce capabilities but in summary those looking at presenting an eye-catching online presence without requiring too many external add-ons will appreciate what the Squarespace eCommerce platform has to offer.
Small and simple online store requirements can be seen as a good fit for a Squarespace store and by opting for their premium subscription plans you are on the way to getting your products out there.
The level of “out the box” eCommerce tools is of a higher level than Weebly and includes some of our favourites; Abandoned Cart Recovery, Subscriptions and Products on Instagram as standard.
Winner – Squarespace! within our ‘eCommerce Tools' Weebly Squarespace comparison. Simply includes more tools as standard.
SEO and Mobility:
In the Weebly vs Squarespace decision stakes the SEO & Mobility features cannot be ignored. The good news is that both offer advantages for your online presence. Here are highlights of the Weebly versus Squarespace SEO and Mobile functionality.
Any website intending to be recognised (and, after all, isn’t that the point?) needs to make the most of SEO. The good news is that using Weebly or Squarespace offers good, basic SEO features. They both offer flexibility when it comes to such things as Title, Descriptions and URL editing. Due to the challenges of SEO you can take advantage of the Weebly ‘ultimate SEO’ guide. This will certainly help in your SEO efforts.
Something that is missing with Weebly SEO is the ability to utilize Headlines (think H2-H4 etc.). There is a workaround – You need to install an additional plugin.
It goes without saying that any web building platform you go for should be fully mobile responsive. Weebly templates major on this factor. That means a good customer experience should be had for visitors to your site. A good customer experience will greatly increase the chances of that visitor coming back time and again.
It should not need saying, but a poor customer experience will have the opposite effect with visitors quickly exiting and looking elsewhere. You can also take advantage of the Weebly mobile editor. This allows for website changes to be made while you are on the go or from your chosen mobile terminal.
When it comes to Squarespace SEO features there is a reasonably comprehensive ‘SEO Checklist’ to follow and they do offer some neat videos on the topic.
Title, Descriptions and URL editing can be achieved similar to Weebly and there are a few Squarespace SEO features that Google definitely like.
These include its mobile-friendly approach, sitemap.xml file generation and clean HTML markup.
Something that may initially confuse Squarespace users is the fact that the important ‘Alt-text’ feature is known as ’file name’ on this platform.
It should also be noted that dependent upon the template and context you are using, such things as captions, extracts and descriptions may be visible on page – Not what you want.
Squarespace templates are also designed with mobile responsiveness in mind. This has to be seen as a positive. It means that your chosen template will adjust size automatically to the visitor’s viewing device.
More people than ever before are using mobile devices to view websites. Make sure that whichever website builder you choose that their templates and services are fully mobile responsive. We touch on the Squarespace mobile editor in the Apps Availability section.
Winner – Draw! within our ‘SEO and Mobility' Weebly vs Squarespace comparison.
Support and Resources:
The importance of help & support cannot be underestimated. This is particularly the case if you are new to the web building world.
Weebly do well in this area. Email support is a given. They also have social media support channels and a very convenient live chat option.
We will get into ‘costs’ shortly, but for Weebly users on higher price plans, telephone support is also available.
The available online tutorials are good and the ‘Weebly Community’ is an excellent free resource made up of other users who will help resolve any issues you encounter.
Do not expect any telephone support from Squarespace. They have taken the decision not to go down this route.
What they do offer is a very helpful and proactive live chat function.
In terms of email response. Their policy is to respond to all emails received within 1 hour of receipt.
Tutorial wise, there are extensive online resources available from their ‘Knowledge Center’ and the user forum is worthy of participating in.
Real -life issues are dealt with and examples of how resolution is achieved can be obtained from here.
Winner – Weebly! within our ‘Support and Resources' Weebly vs Squarespace comparison. Both very good but Weebly simply has telephone support when Squarespace doesn't.
One of the first things many will look at when considering Weebly versus Squarespace is the pricing structure. Quite understandable, there is no doubt that pricing is a crucial factor when deciding which platform is for you. We will explain the basics of the Weebly Squarespace plans here;
We do encourage you to look at further in-depth analysis by clicking here for Weebly Review.
Weebly does have a free, (without time limit) plan . As would be expected, there are limitations. A major one is that this comes ‘with ads’ but also take note the domain will also be with Weebly branding. This also does not allow for Shopping Cart Functionality.
Their starter (Connect) plan (for websites) is cheap at $4 per month BUT is still with ads. Therefore only from the Pro Plan are you really good for small websites.
For those in search of ecommerce solutions the following two plans are most appropriate:
- Weebly Business; good for smaller eCommerce operations.
- Weebly Business Plus plan; best for larger online stores with a more full suite of services.
For a comprehensive breakdown of Squarespace pricing and what you get for your money please click through to the Squarespace review.
There is no free plan with Squarespace at all but there is a free 14 day trial with Squarespace. Then you have 4 monthly price plans to consider. If you decide to pay the annual fee up front then there are decent reductions as shown below;
For those in search of eCommerce solutions the following two plans are most appropriate:
- Squarespace Basic Commerce; good for a startup of operations with some advanced features like customer accounts
- Squarespace Advanced Commerce; best for larger online stores with a more full suite of services. including abandoned cart recovery.
Take note Squarespace Business does offer e-commerce but does not provide on domain checkout. This inconsistent shopping experience should be avoided as will surely bring negative user experience and loss of sales.
Winner – Draw! within our ‘Pricing' category for Weebly Squarespace comparison. The pricing for non ad plans is very similar for what is offered. This should not be a deciding factor for your choice.
|Builder||Battle Score||Full Review||Visit Official Website|
|Weebly||4 / 6||Weebly review||www.weebly.com|
|Squarespace||4 / 6||Squarespace review||www.squarespace.com|
Whilst both platforms are excellent choices for your online presence, we have used and studied both platforms thoroughly and find draw within this Weebly or Squarespace comparison platform test.
Remember; everyone's needs are different so what we have found the better of the two, may not be the best option for you. So please do your own research based on your businesses needs.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
Weebly or Squarespace? The decision will be based on your specific needs.
We feel that Weebly is an easier platform to get to grips with if you are a beginner.
Squarespace is perhaps a better fit for those with artistic/portfolio intentions. It is also a better fit for bloggers and a better choice if you have plans to also sell online.
We do hope our Weebly versus Squarespace comparison has helped clarify what both platforms have to offer and made your decision that little bit easier.
Remember; everyone's needs are different so what we have found the better between Weebly or Squarespace, may not be the best option for you. So please do your own research based on your businesses needs.
For those who are still undecided, a final important note when considering Weebly or Squarespace. Both platforms offer a 14-day free trial period. It would do no harm whatsoever to take advantage of such an offer and test-drive each to see which fits your business model most appropriately. Two weeks should be ample time for you to test-drive each platform in order to decide as to which suits your needs best.
That’s all for now:
Thanks for reading our Weebly vs Squarespace comparison and don’t forget to keep an eye out for our ever-growing blog of review and comparison articles. You may be interested in our related website builder, eCommerce platform review and comparison articles below;
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