Weebly vs. Squarespace
Are you interested in creating a low-cost website for your business or organization? Does the prospect of writing complex HTML and CSS code intimidate you?
Perhaps learning to code isn’t your priority, but in 2018, having an online presence is necessary to attract new customers, drive sales, and spread your message.
Thanks to the many powerful tools available today, you no longer need to code or spend tens of thousands of dollars to create a functional and impactful website.
Numerous website builders give you a wealth of tools to design beautiful websites and customize them to your liking.
Here are our thoughts on the pros and cons of Weebly vs Squarespace websites:
Ease of Use
Weebly aims to make website building an easy and (potentially) fun process.
Setup begins with selecting one of a collection of aesthetically appealing themes. Your theme determines the layout of your website, and also prescribes certain font and color choices.
The UI (User Interface) is laid out very clearly and logically, and Weebly is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) tool, so you don’t have to use a separate preview window to see how your edits look. This can end up saving a lot of time, and is potentially very valuable to a novice web designer.
With Weebly, you can be editing competently in minutes. The whole Weebly website creation process is extremely intuitive and painless.
Getting started in Squarespace is more of an affair than it is in Weebly, but only slightly.
Creating a website begins (just as in Weebly) with selecting a theme. Squarespace offers a collection of modern, polished themes, each with prescribed font, color, sizing, and layout suggestions.
The Squarespace interface is a little bit less straightforward than Weebly’s, and takes a few minutes to figure out. Squarespace is also a WYSIWYG tool, however, so editing is still relatively intuitive, and Squarespace is very approachable.
All things considered, Squarespace has a steeper learning curve than Weebly, and can be a bit more of a challenge initially, but both website builders offer thoughtful, intuitive tools that make them approachable, even for beginners without web design experience.
Flexibility and Customization
Weebly is easy to get started in, but we’ve found that it offers, in the long run, less flexibility.
The themes are all very similar, and beyond font and coloring choices, customization is limited. In our experience, Weebly offers one website mold. It’s very easy to design a website that fits into that mold, but difficult or impossible to work outside of that mold.
As a result, Weebly websites look uniformly good, but arguably less polished, and can feel like cookie-cutter websites.
Squarespace takes a little bit more time and energy to learn, but offers much more flexibility. Different objects on a page are treated very differently in the interface, and the functionality of the website is more malleable.
In addition to font and color suggestions, themes don’t just preset object and text placement; they actually prescribe page functionality, and different pages look and function differently based on the theme. Overall functionality of each page, as well as the way pages interact and link to each other, is much more customizable.
While Weebly does offer some level of customization, many of the themes work very similarly, and don’t give you as much control over the way your website looks and works. With Squarespace, you have more control over what your website does and how it looks.
Weebly and Squarespace are priced very similarly.
Weebly currently offers the following packages (subject to change, prices billed annually):
- Free: This package is completely free, includes free website hosting, 500 MB of storage and SSL security. Websites created with this package display Weebly ads and require a weebly.com subdomain.
- Pro: This package costs $12 per month allows you to connect your own domain, removes Weebly branding, and includes Weebly’s premium support. Pro and business packages also include marketing tools for lead capture.
- Business: This package costs $25 per month, includes integrated multimedia functionality, enables site search, and allows sitewide or page password protection.
Squarespace currently offers the following packages (subject to change, prices billed annually):
- Personal: This package costs $12 per month, includes unlimited bandwidth and storage, a custom domain, a mobile optimized website and 24/7 support.
- Business: This package costs $18 per month, includes unlimited pages and allows for fully integrated e-commerce. It also includes email and promotional pop-ups.
In summary, the two services offer very similar pricing structures, with the exception that Squarespace offers no free version. Instead, they have a free trial period.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of what is available depending on price and plan. Both platforms have blogs with up-to-date information about new offerings and applications. We recommend a visit to both before making a decision to get a greater understanding of what is available and what users are saying.
Weebly offers email and live chat support as well as a support ticket system. Additionally, they offer a support phone line. The Weebly knowledge base is full of great articles, offering clear details on how to accomplish tasks.
Squarespace offers a 24/7 ticket system, and live chat support. Tutorial videos are also available, and the Squarespace knowledge base is full of helpful, comprehensive articles and answers, including lots of how-to articles featuring clear images and explanations.
Both services have a comprehensive customer support game, and offer several avenues towards helpful information.
Weebly and Squarespace both offer robust, intuitive tools to build your own website. Each service uses a theme-based structure that allows users to dive right into creating and publishing.
Each service offers blogging, e-commerce, and SEO functionality, to varying extents based on specific packages. Additionally, they’re both very reasonably priced.
The biggest distinction between Weebly and Squarespace is the trade-off between ease and functionality.
Weebly makes it very easy to begin creating a website in minutes. The user interface is simple, straightforward, and logical, and even beginners will find it easy to use. We’ve found, however, that Weebly gives less control over the structure and functionality of the websites.
Squarespace has a steeper learning curve, and you’ll most likely need more time before your site is up and running, but Squarespace gives you a lot more control over your site. In our opinion, Squarespace sites look more polished and professional, but take a little bit more expertise.
Ultimately, the choice is yours, and the best way to decide is to experiment with each service before committing to one or the other.
Editor's note: This blog, originally published in 2015, has been edited and updated in December 2018.