If Squarespace and Weebly were salespeople, they’d have very different personalities. Weebly would be humble, understated, maybe quietly confident. Squarespace would be the flashy, stylish guy who repeatedly namedrops Keanu Reeves. The guy who regularly splashes millions of dollars on SuperBowl adverts.
But marketing is one thing, and using a platform is another. So today we’ll separate the wheat from the chaff to see exactly how the two platforms compare.
Table of Contents
Weebly vs Squarespace: What’s the main difference?
Weebly is extremely easy to use and features around 40 pre-built themes. Squarespace is not quite as intuitive for beginners but offers better support and around 90 designer templates. Weebly has more additional apps and offers a free plan (which Squarespace doesn’t).
Overview of Squarespace and Weebly
Weebly vs Squarespace in Google Trends
|Headquarters||San Francisco||New York|
|User interest||Weebly has a much higher search volume. Even after Squarespace’s Super Bowl commercial in February, there wasn’t a notable increase.
Perhaps (spoiler alert) having a free version makes Weebly more popular?
|Platform||Both offer a company-hosted builder with optional ecommerce and blog.|
|Who is it for||Small and Medium Businesses. Portfolios for Freelancer and Photographers, Small Online Stores, Company Websites, bloggers and even wedding websites.|
Quick note: this article is part of our series where we test pairs of the most popular website builders. We highly recommend to check them out if you want to learn more about other Weebly and Squarespace alternatives:
And now that the preamble is out of the way, let’s begin.
Which one is Easier to Use?
Both platforms are designed for beginners without coding background. Hosting is included so you can link your custom domain and it’s easy to add a professional email address with G Suite or other solutions. And both let you build professional-looking websites. In short, the end results are pretty much the same. But how you get there is quite different.
|General ease of use||That’s an easy one. Weebly is by far the easiest website builder we’ve ever tested.||Squarespace feels like a mix of WordPress and Drag ‘n Drop. It’s simple, but a bit overwhelming at first.|
|Learning curve||Creating a website is super intuitive: you just click on the element from the left sidebar and drop it where you want.||Steeper. In the beginning you’ll have to double-click or click a specific button to see more options. The minimalistic looks give you the impression of a sophisticated platform, but it can hinder beginners.|
|Editor||The editor is well organized. No need to struggle with little hidden buttons or weird icons.||Some weird text in there. For example: “URL slug: The unique location slug for this page.”; “Page Layout: Page [sic] the overall layout for this page.”|
Winner: Weebly, because it’s much more intuitive. Squarespace’s minimalistic design actually makes users work harder to learn the basics.
Designs & Flexibility: Making it Look Good
Choosing a template isn’t irreversible. With both Weebly and Squarespace, you can later change designs without losing information. The templates are all responsive to automatically fit different screen sizes. Just remember: try to keep a simple layout in order to avoid any issues with the mobile view since you don’t have 100% control here.
|Number of templates available||~ 40||~ 90|
|Quality of the templates||Good quality, but not as impressive as the Squarespace Themes.||Very sleek, modern and stylish.|
|Editing templates||It’s fairly rigid, which means you’re not likely to mess things up too bad.||Very flexible. Every single element can be edited (header font, navigation spacing, social icon color etc.)
On the one hand it’s great for customization. On the other, the further away you stray from the original designs (which come with great professional images), the more likely your site will look less flashy.
|Custom code||Yes. Pros can edit the HTML/CSS||You can add your own CSS (Business plan or higher).|
|Extras||We’ve actually got a dedicated article on Weebly Designs here.||Direct access to Free Typekit and Google Fonts without extra costs. Those are fantastic online font sets. More information.|
Winner: Don’t judge a book by its design. Squarespace websites might look better a first, but Weebly’s are more consistent. Let’s call it a draw.
Ecommerce: Selling Wares Online
Integrating an online store in Weebly or Squarespace is easy and seamless. It’s an integral part of the system. Of course, the features depend on the plan you pick. The more you pay, the more get.
|Items to sale||Digital and physical products, services and vouchers available.||Same.|
|User login||Weebly doesn’t have customer accounts yet. Apparently they are working on the feature.||Available. Advantageous if you expect regular orders from returning customers.|
|Tax calculator||Yes, automatic calculator for US stores.||Unavailable, not even with the highest plan.|
|Item management||Import or export lists via .csv file||No product data export. This makes bulk changes impossible.|
|Payment gateways||Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net and Square. Square allows credit card payments online or in person.||Only Stripe (credit cards and Apple Pay) and PayPal payments available.|
|Online Store Review||Read Weebly Online Store review||Read Squarespace Online Store review|
Winner: Another draw. Maintaining and setting up the store is easier with Weebly since it’s better structured and has great tax options. Squarespace gets points for the customer logins. However, we reckon it’s only a matter of time before Weebly releases this feature.
SEO: Let’s Get to The Top of Google Results
Search Engine Optimization is no picnic for beginners. It’s actually a lot of effort you have to put into your website, as we explain in this detailed article.
However, the good news is that both platforms give you the boilerplate basics, as you’ll see below.
|SEO flexibility||Good. Title, Description, URL are all easy to edit.||Same as Weebly.|
|Extra help||Weebly provides an ultimate Guide for understanding SEO.||Squarespace has a nice video series about the topic.|
|What’s missing||Strange that you need an extra plugin to use Headlines like H2, H3, H4 etc. Not a SEO-killer, but still.||It’s confusing, but the Alt-text is called file name. This is an important information to describe your pictures with words.|
Winner: No one, both website builders offer decent SEO-functionality.
Blog: Post About Everything All Of the Time
Included by default in both platforms. A cool feature is that they also offer an app for iOS and Android so you can post and reply to comments on-the-go.
|Blog editing||Piece of cake. You can use the same elements (pictures, videos etc.) as with for normal pages, so no learning curve there.||The blog editor is quite similar to the standard editor, which isn’t ideal. Easy enough to add posts with media. And, there is even AMP support for faster loading on mobile. A cool extra is you can insert podcasts.|
|SEO||Really good SEO.||Same, really good SEO.|
|User management||One author only.||You can run your blog with multiple authors.|
In case you want more information on how to start a blog, check our in-depth guide.
Winner: Squarespace, because there you really have some cool pro features.
Support: What if I Need Help?
Squarespace Video Series
Squarespace and Weebly include free support in all their plans. This is good. Sooner or later you’ll have a question. Basic answers such as: “How can I connect my domain?” or “Is Email included?” are covered in their resource pages, but you can also contact support directly.
|Support channels||FAQ, email, chat and telephone.||Same but no telephone support|
|Resources||Open community forum available||Same.|
|Training||There is a beginner guide in the help center, but not much else.||Regular workshops for groups in New York. Topics: “Getting started with Squarespace”, “Launching your online store”. They also provide Webinars.|
Winner: Squarespace, because they offer more ways to learn the tool. However, you need less help with Weebly since the editor is easier to handle.
Apps & Plugins: Expanding the Site
Weebly App Center
Apps and plugins are a great way to enhance your website with specific features. They’re usually one-click installs, so you don’t need to touch any code. Not dissimilar to the Play or App Store for Android and iOS.
|Available||Weebly features a great app center with 250+ (Free and Premium) apps. Includes: Live Chat, Quick Polls, Countdowns etc.||Some third-party tools included in their editor, which let you add widgets via Code injection. However, that’s by far more limited – and complicated.|
|Marketing features||Weebly Promote is an integrated Newsletter service that makes it easy to run a campaign. You send subscribers news, product infos, special deals etc. Adding products from your store is super easy.||There’s an integration with Mailchimp and recently, they also released a beta version of their own email marketing solution Squarespace Email Campaigns.|
Winner: Clearly Weebly! It’s strange that Squarespace doesn’t have an app store yet. Their upgrades are limited since they add extra features themselves when they deem them important enough. A little side-note: if apps are important to you, you should also check out Wix and their App Market. Wix seems to put a lot more effort into it than Weebly.
You can test Squarespace and Weebly without entering your payment information. A free domain is included the first year when you pick a 1-year plan. E-mail is always optional. Monthly plans are more flexible, but also more expensive compared to 1-year subscriptions. Weebly even provides a two-year plan subscription to save even more (only recommended when you absolutely certain you will stick with them).
|Free plan||Weebly has a real free plan without time limit, but with ads.||14-day free trial only.|
|For websites||Starter ($8/month) is a good ad-free entry plan for smaller websites, it lacks a search function or member areas for 100 people and more, but that’s not usually something you need. If you do, you must upgrade to the Pro plan.||Squarespace has 2 dedicated plans for websites that don’t need eCommerce: Personal ($12/month) and Business ($18/month). The later one has some basic eCommerce options, but comes with a 3% transaction fee.|
|For ecommerce||You need Business ($25/month) or higher for a Shipping & Tax Calculator. Pro and Starter don’t have it, plus you need to pay a 3% transaction fee.||The Online Stores Basic Plan ($26/month) is the equivalent to Weebly’s Business plan since it doesn’t have a transaction fee either.|
|Pricing Overview||Weebly Plan Comparison||Squarespace Plan Comparison|
Winner: Probably Weebly, because of their true free plan, and the paid ones are generally cheaper than Squarespace.
Now, let’s do a direct comparison of Squarespace and Weebly:
TL; DR – And the winner is…
We’ve covered eight different website builder aspects. Of course, if you look even closer, you’ll find more differences and pros and cons, but we think that those are the most relevant ones for beginners who want to start creating a website.
|Ease of Use||Weebly|
|Designs & Flexibility||Equal|
|Apps & Plugins||Weebly|
Squarespace vs. Weebly: Our Final Thoughts
As you can see in the table above, we believe Weebly is generally a more beginner-friendly website builder than Squarespace. Of course, there is no magic bullet. Both have strengths and weaknesses. However, we have a few concrete pointers:
- If you are a complete beginner: you’ll have a much easier time with Weebly.
- Want an “artsy” website or portfolio: Squarespace will fit your aesthetic right out of the box. You can get to similar results with Weebly, but it might take you longer.
- You are a blogger: then you’ll probably have more fun using Squarespace. They are putting much more thought into their blog.
- Want the most affordable option: Weebly wins again.
There is one thing, however, that bugs us about Weebly. There hasn’t really been a ton of updates since they got acquired by Square (not to be confused with Squarespace) in the spring of 2018. So we are a bit worried that Weebly could be losing it, maybe fully shifting their focus on ecommerce as that’s Square’s background. It would be a pity since we really like the Weebly website builder. Right now, Squarespace seems like the more future-proof option if you ask me.
And that’s it for us! Hopefully this article will give you a much better idea of who to pick. If you still think that Weebly isn’t the best alternative for Squarespace, you’ll find more here. Questions, feedback, comments? Let us know below as we reply to everything. Alternatively, please let us know your thoughts by answering this simple question:
05 Sep 2019: Squarespace SEO improvements
12 Jul 2019: Added some comments on Weebly and updates on Squarespace’s blogging tools.
24 Apr 2019: Smaller updates and corrections.
22 Nov 2018: Side by side comparison added.
09 Jul 2018: Addition of Squarespace Email Campaigns