Since this post was written, both Weebly and Squarespace have evolved substantially. Additionally, we have a lot more experience working with various website building platforms now than we did at the time of writing. As such, we don't feel that this post accurately reflects our opinions of the current versions of the two platforms. For up-to-date information, check out Weebly vs Squarespace - 2015 Edition!
Weebly vs. Squarespace for easy web site creation
Are you starting your own business and interested in getting a web site up and running? Happily, you can build your own web site because there are many services out there that make it really easy for non-technical people to create pleasing web sites, which share good information. Two of the vendors offering easy to use web site building tools are Weebly and Squarespace. We have had the opportunity to build two web sites in each of these tools and we have some thoughts about the benefits of each of these easy to use web site builders.
We evaluated Squarespace and Weebly on the following areas: ease of use, fees associated, and technical support.
Ease of Use
With our first web site in Weebly, we found it easy to quickly create an account, select a template and begin uploading images and text to the site. As a get out the door and get a site up effort, Weebly delivered hands down. However, Weebly loses some steam when you are looking to make your site anything beyond the simple cookie cutter structure that it delivers in all of the templates. Your screen size is the same across all templates, the header look is very similar across most designs although your ability to customize through font selection and color is very good. WY´SEYES DESIGNS is a site that we launched very quickly for a small local business wanting a web site presence.
In contrast we used Squarespace to create two additional sites. Squarespace is a slightly more difficult tool to use for the non-technical but offers some additional flexibility. Sites within Squarespace do not have the cookie cutter feel to them and you are able to create interesting designs once you get the hang of using the tool. You also have the ability to make more visible mistakes in Squarespace because you do have added flexibility. The Squarespace learning curve is sharper than that of Weebly but once you have a handle on how to use the tool, it is pretty easy to add content and maintain your site. Breezy Hill Marketing is based on Squarespace and the following blogger, Melody Watson, has an amazing array of Squarespace sites: http://www.melodywatson.com/squarespace-samples/
Weebly and Squarespace are now priced competitively. They both include an entry price of about $8/per month and an unlimited option that is $20 per month for Squarespace and 24.95/per month for Weebly. Weebly has an additional mid range offering for $14.95 per month, which Squarespace does not provide. Squarespace offers an additional 20% discount if you purchase a full year license. Weebly provides a small additional benefit which I appreciate, they do not charge you for your site UNTIL you bring that site live. So if you are working on your site for a while, you are not paying any monthly fees. Kinda nice.
Here´s the downside of low cost web site building platforms, support. There is no phone support and it appears the online support is coming from somewhere far, far away. We had an issue that needed resolution and the Weebly support team could not grasp our question via the email communications and with phone out of the question, we had to figure out our own workaround. This was not a technical downside of the software but a reality of reduced support available.
Squarespace does not offer phone support either but they do offer a robust online help database, which has answered most of my questions. In addition, Squarespace is creating a secondary tier of technical resources who are using it as their platform to build widgets and plugins. These resources have been invaluable in providing frank answers to questions that Squarespace either cant or won´t answer. Big Picture Web has a comprehensive list of Squarespace tools: http://www.bigpictureweb.com/squarespace-resources/
Both low cost web site building programs have advantages and are priced competitively. The question becomes what are you looking for? Are you look for something super quick and easy, Weebly, or are you looking for something that allows a little more creativity and individuality and is reasonably easy and quick.
We have helped many small business get started down the path of building their digital presence building them a Weebly site along with basic SEO and setup with Webmaster tools, if you are interested please do not hesitate to contact Breezy Hill Marketing.
Seeking more information on Weebly? Check out this review by Web Site Tool Tester.
Seeking more information on Squarespace? Check out this review by Web Site Tool Tester.
Thanks for visiting!