Advantages in visuals, SEO and Analytics
When you are ready to get that killer website out of your head and onto the web, your search for the right website builder will likely lead you to a handful of industry leaders.
Weebly, Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, and GoDaddy are a few of the most popular platforms.
These companies serve an important need - giving people with great business ideas a chance to build their own websites and launch online stores without learning how to write code. They all promise intuitive drag-and-drop editing, a variety of pre-made templates and themes, and eye-catching design.
They also all offer free, or at least reasonably priced, services and ongoing technical support.
It’s hard to go wrong, and once you learn the functionality of your chosen platform you’ll be on your way to relatively pain-free web publishing. Still, it’s a big decision, and we have some thoughts to steer you in the optimal direction.
Our focus today will be on Squarespace website design and how it compares to Wix and Weebly. It may jump out at you that Wix and Weebly have completely free versions with options to upgrade to premium services - a business model known as “freemium” - while Squarespace runs a two-week free trial, but requires payment if you stick with it.
Free is good, yes. But, I urge you not to base your decision on price alone.
At $12 per month for a basic plan, Squarespace’s platform is still reasonably priced. And it has become one of our preferred platforms.
Here are three reasons why to choose Squarespace over Wix and Weebly for creating stunning (and stunningly effective) websites:
Take a look at some examples of websites designed on Squarespace. The platform makes this type of visually impactful, polished presence accessible because of its wealth of templates designed for businesses with great existing visual assets - such as artists, photographers, event-based businesses, restaurants, and Realtors.
By contrast, Wix and Weebly both place a higher value on ease of use over visual impact. Their templates are less customizable and more straightforward. Also, websites created on Wix and Weebly’s free plans include ads that you don’t control.
2) Scrolling website design
Squarespace is set up with scrolling web page design templates that capitalize on a growing trend in site design. With these templates, you can load your entire content arsenal onto one long page that site visitors intuitively understand how to navigate. No new page loads are required; the content is revealed vertically by scrolling down.
Elegant, responsive, fast, reliable: We build your Squarespace web site the right way
This design works particularly well when viewed on mobile devices.
The template options on Wix and Weebly follow a more traditional menu navigation style.
3) SEO and Analytics
Building a site from scratch gives you your first, best shot at optimizing your content to be indexed by search engines. All drag-and-drop website builders give you opportunities to keyword your content, from image alt-text, to page titles, to meta descriptions.
But Squarespace takes it up a notch by automatically creating descriptive URLs from your page titles. This is a convenience that gives you easy-to-read and keyworded URLs. The URLs can aslo be overwritten if you would like to customize them.
Squarespace also offers top-of-the-line analytics data that identify how your site visitors found your page, what your most popular content is, and when your website’s busiest times are.
Wix and Weebly also offer statistical dashboards, but the native data will need to be paired with a third-party add-on like Google Analytics to match the effectiveness that is built into Squarespace analytics.
Determining how you will build your new website is a weighty decision with long-lasting effects. While there are several viable options, Squarespace has won us over with its impactful templates, valuable search engine optimization, and actionable visitor analytics.
JeffBreezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design and marketing company. We provide web design and social media marketing to clients in Vermont and throughout the United States. We love to develop custom, expert digital marketing strategies for our clients.