If you’ve been researching ‘best website builders’ on Google, you probably would have seen Squarespace topping a few of those lists.
If you’ve come to this page, though, you’re probably not 100% convinced.
Honestly, I don’t blame you. Squarespace is a lot of things – sleek, modern, and design-savvy, with loads of cash to splash on cool (if not slightly out there) ad campaigns.
But the best website builder out there? Probably not.
Let’s put it this way – for each thing that Squarespace does well, there’s another website builder that does it better. (And for cheaper, usually.)
Whether you’re a blogger, business owner, creative or ecommerce, I genuinely believe there are other tools that will give you more bang for your buck.
So let’s take a look past Squarespace’s shiny exterior and examine the good, the bad, and the (metaphorical) ugly.
And while we’re at it, check out the best alternatives for Squarespace too.
First things first – let’s quickly review Squarespace’s pros and cons.
Table of Contents
Squarespace’s pros and cons
|Squarespace Pros||Squarespace Cons|
|Template designs – This is definitely Squarespace’s strong point. Very few website builders can compete with Squarespace’s range of sleek, cutting-edge templates – which are especially great for portfolios – although Wix does give them a good run for their money.
Ecommerce – It’s possible to create a decent online store with Squarespace, with some pretty advanced features too (customer logins, abandoned checkout recovery, real-time shipping in the US). It’s not exactly in the same league as Shopify, but not bad for small store owners.
Live chat support – A standout feature is their fast and responsive live chat support. If having support is important to you, some might say it’s worth paying the premium for this extra level of service.
Blogging – Blogs are a staple of website builders these days, but Squarespace’s is more powerful than most, allowing for commenting, trackbacks, scheduling, podcasts, RSS, and even importing content from an existing blog. Too bad its SEO capabilities don’t quite live up to this standard.
Developer platform – You could argue that Squarespace offers more design flexibility than other website builders, with the ability to edit HTML and CSS files. But this isn’t universally available to all templates, and is only offered on certain plans. You also miss out on any template updates and support, so it’s a bit restrictive.
|Editor usability – OK, so Squarespace’s editor isn’t terrible. But its minimalistic appearance makes you feel like it should be easier to use than it really is. Wix and Weebly are definitely more straightforward to use – more on that below.
Pricing – You do pay something of a premium for using Squarespace – plans range from $12–$40 a month. The real sore point, though, is that there’s no free plan. There’s just a 14-day trial, which isn’t really very much at all.
SEO and page speed – Squarespace doesn’t give you the level of SEO customization that you get with other builders – for example, you can’t edit page titles or descriptions for blog posts or product pages. Template loading speeds are also pretty low, which could hurt Google rankings.
Relies on high-quality images – Squarespace’s templates look fantastic, but that’s partly because they’re pre-populated with professional photos and images. That polished look starts to fall apart when you replace those images with photos that aren’t high-resolution.
No backup or restore function – You read that right. If for any reason your site content disappears, it’s gone forever – the responsibility is on you to keep a copy of it saved elsewhere.
You can also read our full Squarespace review to learn more.
Now, let’s take a look at some of Squarespace’s competitors, and how they stack up against Squarespace.
Squarespace alternatives for regular websites
There’s a reason why Wix is the world’s biggest website builder. Plenty, in fact.
It’s incredibly easy to use.
It offers hundreds of templates (more than any other provider).
Their templates look amazing. Put them side by side with Squarespace’s, and you’d be hard-pressed to tell them apart.
Plus, a whole bunch of other reasons – all of which are best explained in the video below.
- Free: $0 a month. Lots of features included. Ads displayed.
- Connect Domain: $5 a month. Use your own domain, but ads are displayed. (Not available in all countries.)
- Combo: $11 a month. No ads.
- Unlimited: $14 a month. No bandwidth or storage limits.
- Business Basic: $20 a month. Online store and payment features (e.g. Wix Bookings) included.
- VIP: $29 a month. Online store, email campaigns and professional site review.
|Wix Pros||Wix Cons|
|Design flexibility: With Wix, you have a lot of control over the design of your website – templates can be tweaked pretty much any way you’d like. Visual elements like galleries and animations can also be added.
App market: Wix’s range of apps and integrations is extensive. Not only do they have their own fully-functional apps (like Wix Bookings and Wix Hotels), but also hundreds of third-party apps to let you add features like forums, forms and media to your site.
Automatic site backup: Sorry Squarespace, but in my opinion, this puts Wix miles ahead of you. I sleep much better at night knowing that if things go south, my Wix site can be fully restored at any time.
SEO: Despite having a bit of a rocky reputation in the past, Wix has massively improved their SEO in recent years, providing an impressive amount of options for optimizing your site.
Ecommerce: Similar to Squarespace, it’s also possible to add an online store to a Wix site with comparable features.
|Blogging: Wix’s blog is OK, and SEO-friendly too. But it’s not the most flexible – you’re restricted to a pretty basic layout – and the blog editor isn’t very well-integrated into the main editor.
Depth of navigation: Like Squarespace, Wix only allows for one level of sub-navigation on menus – not ideal for larger sites.
Not (completely) mobile-friendly: Wix’s templates aren’t 100% mobile responsive (unlike Squarespace’s). To get your site to display properly on mobile, you’ll need to switch to the mobile editor and make a few changes first.
Why choose Wix over Squarespace? Because, for a much lower price, you’ll get the same fabulous-looking website that you’d get with Squarespace – and you’ll have more options for SEO, customization, and adding new features, too.
Want to know more? Take a look at our detailed Wix vs Squarespace comparison.
It might not be as glamorous as Squarespace in branding, but this humble-looking website builder packs a surprisingly powerful punch.
Feature-wise, you could call it a less flashy version of Wix. The ease of use is there. In fact, I’d say it’s even more beginner-friendly than Wix.
You have some nice templates to choose from, and an app center too.
So, all the foundations you need to build a fully-featured website.
Take a look at Weebly in action in our video review:
- Free: $0 a month. Displays Weebly ads.
- Starter: $8 a month. Unlimited storage and online store included.
- Pro: $12 a month. Includes video player, password-protected pages, and phone support.
- Business: $25 a month. Comes with advanced ecommerce and website membership features.
- Performance: $38 a month. Full ecommerce features including real-time shipping rates and abandoned cart emails.
|Weebly Pros||Weebly Cons|
|Easy to use: Weebly is great for beginners, with a very gentle learning curve. Its drag-and-drop editor gets top marks for intuitiveness and simplicity.
Mobile-responsive templates: Similar to Squarespace, all of Weebly’s themes display perfectly on mobile, without you having to touch a thing.
Ideal for bigger websites: Weebly allows for multiple levels of sub-navigation and submenus – great news if you have plenty of pages on your site.
Ecommerce: Yup, Weebly do online stores too, complete with the ability to sell all kinds of products (physical, digital and services), and a shipping and tax calculator.
Blogging: This is something Weebly does really well. Weebly’s blog editor allows you to edit your blog the same way as you’d edit a regular page, so you can add any elements you’d like (images, video, buttons etc). The SEO options are great, too.
|Range of templates: Although Weebly have some nicely-designed templates (‘themes’ as they call them), there’s just not enough of them!
Design flexibility: The templates are structured quite rigidly, and you don’t have complete control over where you can place elements.
Why choose Weebly over Squarespace? They’re pretty even when it comes to features like ecommerce and blogs, but Weebly has the advantage when it comes to building bigger sites, and for SEO.
Feel free to check out our in-depth comparison of Weebly and Squarespace to learn more.
Duda were one of the first website builders to recognize the importance of mobile, offering mobile-responsive website templates way before anyone else did.
Of course, nowadays, that’s not nearly enough to get you noticed.
That’s why they raised the stakes with Really Cool Feature #1: multilingual websites, which, incredibly, none of the big website builders offer (only workarounds).
If that wasn’t enough, they also brought in Really Cool Feature #2: Personalization tools, which allow you to serve up personalized content to visitors based on their browsing behaviour.
There’s no duda ‘bout it – unlike this joke, Duda is impressive. See how it all works in our video below.
- Basic: $14.25. Multilingual site, personalization and up to 10 products included.
- Team: $22.50 a month. Team and client roles & permissions included.
- Site For Life: $299. You get the website and editor features forever if you pay this one-off fee.
|Duda Pros||Duda Cons|
|Editor: Duda’s drag-and-drop editor is among the easiest and most intuitive to use.
Languages: If you need your website to display multiple languages, Duda is one of the few website builders that can accommodate this.
Personalization Tools: Think of it as marketing automation for websites. You can display unique and personalized content (e.g. offers and discounts) to visitors based on their specific behaviour.
|No app market: Unfortunately, Duda’s options for adding third-party apps and integrations are very limited.
Price: Duda’s advanced features come at a premium, and it’s expensive compared to Wix and Weebly.
Why choose Duda over Squarespace? With in-built smarts like multiple languages and dynamic content, Duda allows you to offer a more personalized experience to users – something Squarespace simply can’t do.
It’s not quite as well-known as some of the other alternatives. But 30 million users means it can’t be doing too badly.
Like Duda, its strong point is multilingual sites. And it comes with some pretty nice and modern templates, too.
But, it’s missing some pretty important features, as you’ll see in our video below.
- Free: $0 a month. Displays ads, and has 100MB of storage.
- Limited: $3.95 a month. Allows you to use your own domain (although footer ad still displays).
- Mini: $5.95 a month. Free domain for 1 year + an email account. Not ad-free, unfortunately.
- Standard: $11.95 a month. No ads, 2 languages, and a whopping 20 email accounts.
- Profi: $24.95 a month. 5GB of storage and 100 email accounts (wow!).
|Webnode Pros||Webnode Cons|
|Multiple languages: You can display your site in different languages from the Standard plan and upwards.
Template designs: Their own website might not be the most exciting, but Webnode’s templates look professional and modern.
Email: Unlike many other website builders, Webnode offers email accounts on most plans.
|Blog: Webnode’s blogging features are pretty basic – there’s no way to add comments or tags, for example.
Lacks key features: The lack of any social media widgets, search bar or app market means that your site will miss out on some pretty important functionality.
Why choose Webnode over Squarespace? If you need a multilingual site without a lot of extra features, Webnode is the way to go. It’s also a big plus that email is included on the Mini, Standard and Profi plans.
It’s not as big a name as Squarespace or Wix. But what Jimdo is known for is its ease of use.
In fact, it’s probably one of the quickest website builders to get up and running with. The system is simple, and the drag-and-drop editor works nicely.
A few extra features, such as a mobile app for editing on the go, and advanced SEO options, also give it a big advantage over Squarespace.
- Free: $0 a month. With ads. Site is on a Jimdo subdomain.
- Jimdo Pro: $7.50 a month. No ads, and free domain for the first year.
- Jimdo Business: $20 a month. All online store features included, plus unlimited storage and bandwidth.
|Jimdo Pros||Jimdo Cons|
|Easy to use: It’s a great option for beginners, with an editor that’s user-friendly.
SEO: A good amount of options for optimization available. It’s definitely up there with Wix and Weebly.
Editing on mobile: Thanks to Jimdo’s mobile app, you don’t need a desktop to create and update your site.
|Template flexibility: A trade-off for being mobile responsive, I guess – you don’t get a lot of control over where you can place elements within the templates.
Basic online store: Lacking features like product import and export via spreadsheets, you probably wouldn’t use Jimdo to build an online store if that was your site’s main purpose.
Why choose Jimdo over Squarespace? Jimdo is ideal for small business owners, who perhaps don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to building their site. Its easy-to-use editor, ready-made templates and SEO features make a it a good, low-maintenance solution.
Webflow was designed for developers and designers, making it a little less beginner-friendly than most tools.
It does give you a ton of options for design customization though, including interactions – so, if having complete control is your thing (and you’re used to working out of complex tools like Photoshop), you might actually really like it.
- Basic: $12 a month. Use your own domain. Limited to 25,000 monthly visitors.
- CMS: $16 a month. For up to 100,000 monthly visitors. Includes 2,000 CMS items.
- Business: $36 a month. 1 million visits per month. Includes pro features.
|Webflow Pros||Webflow Cons|
Export code: Website designs can be exported as code, allowing it to be integrated into other applications.
|Learning curve: The interface is complicated, and requires some advanced technical knowledge.
Template choices: There aren’t very many to choose from, although they can be customized pretty extensively.
No online store: This isn’t included in Webflow’s feature set yet.
Why choose Webflow over Squarespace? Squarespace sites look slick, but Webflow takes them to the next level, giving you greater control over how your site looks.
Strikingly’s value proposition is simple, but surprisingly compelling: single-page websites that look superb.
Sure, a one-page site isn’t for everyone. But if you want to build a portfolio, event page, landing page or small online store, you might find that a single page is all you need.
Still not sure? Check out our Strikingly video below for some real-life examples.
- Free: $0 a month. Free forever but just allows you to create a basic site.
- Limited: $8 a month. Displays ads. For up to 5 products in your store. Yearly plans come with domain included.
- Pro: $16 a month. Up to 3 sites, and advanced features like password protection and site search.
|Strikingly Pros||Strikingly Cons|
|Easy editing: You can edit the entire layout of your site using drag-and-drop, and have plenty of control over the appearance of headlines, buttons etc.
Domain included: Domain is free on the yearly and 2-year plans.
Mobile-friendly: The templates are responsive, but a single-page layout also lends itself well to mobile viewing, as navigation is mainly driven by scrolling rather than clicking.
|SEO: Basic options for optimization are there, but one-page sites generally aren’t SEO-friendly – it’s tricky to get a single page to rank well.
Limitations of free version: It’s just enough to let you get a feel for the tool. You can’t do things like adding your own code; other builders let you do that on their free plans.
Price: If you want an ad-free site, you’d need the Pro plan, which doesn’t give you as much as other similarly-priced plans do.
Why choose Strikingly over Squarespace? If you think a single-page site could work for you, Strikingly is definitely better built for it.
They’re probably better known for website hosting and domains, but One.com also offer a website builder in their solution set.
How does it rate? Well, its most basic offering is cheap. And for a small and simple site, it’s awesome value for money.
But it’s not really built for anything more complex than that, as you’ll see in our video.
- Starter: $2.45 a month. For sites with less than 5 pages.
- Premium: $7.44 a month. Maximum of 200 pages. Includes backup.
- Webshop: $12.45 a month.
|One.com Pros||One.com Cons|
|Price: If your site is small and basic, One.com is an extremely affordable option.
Responsive templates: All are mobile-responsive, and they don’t look half-bad, either. Templates are also easy to edit and customize.
Email: This comes included in all plans.
|Limited number of pages: Each plan comes with a maximum amount of pages – you’ll need to upgrade your plan to increase this.
Blog: While it’s possible to add a blog, this needs to be set up separately – it won’t be integrated with your site, and won’t look the same.
Extra features: These are very limited – you can’t, for example, add Google maps to your site.
Why choose One.com over Squarespace: If your site requirements are simple and you don’t want to spend a lot, One.com might be more than adequate.
You’ve probably never heard of it. But if you need a multilingual site, Mozello is worth looking into.
That’s because they let you build one for free. Not bad, right?
Well, there are a few drawbacks. The tool isn’t quite as slick as some of the others on this list, and the editor isn’t as flexible, either.
But, it is free – so it can’t hurt to try it out.
- Free: $0 a month. Displays an ad. Limited online store.
- Premium: $7 a month. Use your own domain name. 50GB storage, and an online store with up to 30 products.
- Premium Plus: $14 a month. Unlimited products in your store.
|Mozello Pros||Mozello Cons|
|Multilingual sites: It’s the only website builder in this list that lets you set up multiple language versions of your site for free.
Price: If you do need to upgrade to a paid plan, you’ll find their prices to be super competitive.
Online store: Available to try out on the free plan. The paid plans offer a more fully-featured version of the store.
|Extra features: These are definitely lacking – you’ll find little to help you customize or promote your site.
Editor: Doesn’t quite offer the free-flowing experience you’d like when building your website.
Why choose Mozello over Squarespace? It offers multilingual sites, which Squarespace doesn’t, and lets you run your site (including an online store) completely for free.
Claiming to be the top-rated free website builder (although with a relatively modest 4 million users, this is a little dubious), WebStarts actually don’t do too badly feature-wise.
The editor, like Wix, gives you almost free rein, and you have some nice inclusions (such as ecommerce and emails) on the higher-level plans.
- Free: $0 a month. Displays an ad. 1GB of storage.
- Pro: $9.78 a month. Ad-free with 5GB of storage, however no SEO or custom domain.
- Pro Plus: $14.32 a month. Comes with custom domain, SEO tools, mobile-optimized site and 10GB of storage.
- Business: $39.98. Online store, membership features and 5 email addresses.
|WebStarts Pros||WebStarts Cons|
|SEO: The optimization features are solid, similar to what you’d get with Wix.
Editor: You get plenty of freedom with WebStarts’ drag-and-drop editor, allowing you to customize your site easily.
Live support: This is included an all plans – even the free one.
|Backend: It’s a little old-school, and in need of an update to get it up-to-speed with the other more modern-looking tools.
Pricing: It’s pricier than other tools, and you don’t necessarily get more.
Why choose WebStarts over Squarespace: The fact they even have a free-plan is a one-up on Squarespace, and you get more flexibility with the editor, too.
If you’d prefer to create and edit your website offline, you might like to know about Mobirise. It allows you to install its website builder software on your Mac or PC (although you’ll need a good understanding of FTP).
The standard free version comes with a few templates and basic features. However, any extra features come at an additional cost (and they don’t actually publish these prices on their website).
|Mobirise Pros||Mobirise Cons|
|Edit offline: You don’t need an internet connection to work on your site (unless, of course, if you need to publish it or make changes live).
Freemium model: It’s entirely possible to make a basic site for free with Mobirise, although you’ll need to pay for any extras (and hosting).
|Slower to make changes: Not working out of a web-based tool also has its downside – it takes a bit of extra work to publish any changes to your site.
Requires FTP connection: You need some technical knowledge in order to set your site up and get it hosted. In short, not ideal for beginners.
Why choose Mobirise over Squarespace? If being able to work on your site offline is important to you, Mobirise lets you do this a bit easier than Squarespace’s Developer Platform (which is also editable offline) does.
Sometimes having too many options for website designs can be overwhelming. Bookmark solves this problem by taking the decision-making out of the process.
Its ADI feature uses artificial intelligence to build you a site, based on how you respond to a few questions. You get a personalized site with its own theme and colors, ready to go.
- Free: $0 a month. Displays ads. Comes with 500MB of storage.
- Connect Domain: $4.99 a month. 1 GB of bandwidth.
- Professional: $11.99 a month. Ad-free. Unlimited bandwidth and pages.
- Business: $24.99 a month. Includes online store.
|Bookmark Pros||Bookmark Cons|
|Simplicity: Answer a few simple questions, and get a ready-to-edit website in seconds. It can’t get any easier than that.
Responsive websites: Designs will automatically adapt to any screen size.
|Luck of the draw: In theory, Bookmark is supposed to suggest the perfect design for you, but you might love your website design, or you might hate it. Not that you’re completely stuck with it – you’ll have options to adapt your designs.
Price: It is a more expensive option than other website builders.
Why choose Bookmark over Squarespace? Prefer to sit back and let all the work of building a website get taken care of for you? Bookmark is definitely the better choice for this.
I couldn’t compile a complete Squarespace alternatives list without mentioning WordPress.
It’s the most powerful solution for building a website, without a doubt. There’s very little that isn’t possible with a WordPress site, thanks to its endless plugins and integrations.
But it’s not the easiest solution (not that it was ever designed to be). And the costs of a WordPress site can quickly add up, as templates and plugins are priced separately.
- Hosting: around $6 a month. While the tool is free, it needs to be hosted online.
- Template: around $50 (one-time fee), although some templates are free. For examples, check out Themeforest.
- Plugins: can cost between $0-200 per year.
- Developer: at least $30 an hour. You’ll need a WordPress developer for more complex sites, and for personalized support.
|WordPress Pros||WordPress Cons|
|Unlimited options for customization: The sky’s the limit here. There are WordPress plugins for virtually every website requirement – ecommerce, multilingual sites, membership pages, booking engines etc.
Flexibility: You get complete control over your site, and it can easily scale to any growing requirements.
Pricing based on usage: The tool itself is free to use, so you’re paying only for the extras you really need.
|Technical knowledge required: This CMS (Content Management System) needs a lot of hands-on work, right from the get-go. This means you’ll need to have some technical knowledge – or be able to hire someone who does.
Maintenance is your responsibility: Unlike the website builders above, security updates and ongoing maintenance aren’t taken care of for you. You’ll need to keep on top of any updates yourself.
Support: WordPress don’t provide direct support, which often means you’ll need to spend time looking for answers on forums and online.
Why choose WordPress over Squarespace? If your site requirements are complex and you’ll need lots of extra features, there’s no solution quite like WordPress. Check out our Squarespace and WordPress comparison for more information.
Squarespace Alternatives: Which one is right for my site?
As it turns out, there are plenty of great alternatives to Squarespace to help you build any kind of website.
I hope I’ve given you a few ideas as to which one could work best for you. Here’s a quick round-up of the different options:
- For a small to medium-sized online stores: Wix, Weebly
- For blogs: Weebly, WordPress
- For large sites: Weebly
- For multilingual sites: Duda, Webnode, Mozello
- For ease of use: Weebly, Jimdo
- For sites you can work on offline: Mobirise
- For one-page layouts: Strikingly
- For ADI-created sites: Bookmark, Wix, Jimdo
- For sites with personalized content: Duda
- For cheap, small and basic sites: Webnode, One.com
- For designers: Wix, Webflow
- For full control: WordPress
Best of luck with building your website! If you have any questions about Squarespace, or any of the alternatives above, let us know in the comments below.