There used to be a time when getting an online presence used to be hard as hell. Apart from going through the process of buying your domain, hosting it, and connecting it with a website builder, you still needed to have a working knowledge of website development if you wanted a decent looking website. Today, things have become simpler, as there are a lot of website builders out there which let you build your website with zero knowledge of coding. Squarespace is one such website builder and it is pretty good at what it does. However, it has its own shortcomings. The service has been discovered to provide a slower page load time, the e-commerce section is pretty basic, and the inbuilt website builder tool is not that intuitive. Also, considering it is one of the costliest platforms out there, there is a need to search for its alternatives. And frankly, there are a few good ones which you can use. So, if you are in a mood to start your own website, here are the top 10 Squarespace alternatives you can use to build your website:
Wix is one great Squarespace alternative and one of the most popular website builders out there and for a good reason. They have over 510 professionally designed templates and an intuitive and easy to use website builder. The templates are categorised into different categories allowing you to easily choose the one which best fits your requirements. Their drag and drop tools are one of the easiest to get the hang of. All the websites that you build using Wix are responsive, meaning they will look good on any device including mobile. What I like most about Wix is the fact that it is really easy to get the hang of. I got familiar with its website builder tools within an hour and was able to publish the website in a day. Of course, the website was just bare bones and you will need more time to get your perfect website, but, the fact that I was able to publish a website within a day shows you how easy it is to build a website using Wix.
But quite clearly the best part about Wix is their development team. They constantly add new features and tools allowing you to remain on top of your website. Any feature you think is missing is sure to be implemented in the next couple of months. For example, they recently launched Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) which pretty much builds the whole website for you. All you have to do is answer some questions, so that the system understands your requirements, and then it builds the website for you. You will just have to replace the website content with your own and you are good to go. This is a phenomenal feature, as no matter how novice you are, you can get your own website in no time. They also have an excellent customer service, helping you along the way of your website building journey. Lastly, Wix’s pricing is also quite reasonable and starts only at $5/month.
The only major problem with Wix is that you are stuck with the template you chose. If you want to change the template, you will have to rebuild your website from scratch. But, I don’t think anyone changes their template after building a website, doesn’t matter which builder they are using. Still, it is best to decide on the template in the testing phase before your website is live. Other than that, Wix has no over the top flaws. If you are looking to build your website and don’t know where to start, in my opinion, Wix is the place to go.
Visit (Free, $5 to $25/month)
At the second place on our list comes Weebly which is also a very good website builder. In fact, Weebly’s drag and drop tools are the easiest to learn and get accustomed to. Although Weebly does not have as big a template collection as Wix, its templates are very modern and minimalistic. Apart from themes or templates Weebly also has over 40 pre generated and customisable pages. While themes define the overall looks of your websites, your viewer actually land on and interact with different pages. For example, there’s an “About” page on every website and using Weebly you can choose between different styles of “About” pages. You will not have to create an about page from scratch if you don’t want to. This also allows you to change a single page of a theme you love. The ease of selecting pages and not creating them from scratch makes it very easy to use.
Just like Squarespace, Weebly also allows you to change your template at a click of the button. All your content will be transferred to the new template without a hiccup, a feature which is missing in Wix. Its pricing is also reasonable and lies between Wix and Squarespace. Weebly also allows gives you access to a template’s HTML and CSS code, allowing you to change things if you know a little bit of code. This gives you an option to personalise your website in ways not possible using a website builder tool only. Thus, you are getting the best of both the worlds. It also offers apps for both iOS and Android, allowing you to control your website on the go. Although, I would recommend not making any big changes to your website on mobile devices.
But like other website builders on the list, Weebly also has certain drawbacks. Firstly, to make the drag and drop tool easy to use, the service cuts down on the amount of customisation a user can perform. You can use the code to customise the website but that defeats the purpose of using a website builder. Services like Squarespace and Wix provide your far more control on the customisability of a website without the need of code. Also, though Weebly has improved over the years, it still lags behind Squarespace when it comes to updates and addition of new features. I think Weebly is best for someone who doesn’t want to spend much time investing in his/her website but still needs something which looks beautiful. And there’s always an option to customise the website using the code when you get serious.
Visit (Free, $8 to $25/month)
Everybody has different needs when it comes to publishing a website. Some use it for personal blogging, some for giving their business an online presence and yet some for selling their products online. The above website builder including Squarespace do have some kind of e-commerce support, but if you are serious about your online store you should look at a service which specialises in this and currently Shopify is the best option out there. Shopify is a website builder which focuses solely on e-commerce websites. There are over 400,000 online stores running using the Shopify software. Shopify makes it is really easy to build and publish your e-commerce website allowing your store to go online in just a couple of days.
It has over 100 beautiful themes (templates), designed specifically for e-commerce. This allows you to differentiate your online store from others. The drag and drop tools are easy enough to get the hang of and the best of all you don’t have to handle the backend of your store. Everything from online payment to order placement to bill generation is handled seamlessly by the software. But by far the biggest feature which gives Shopify an edge over the others is its own App Store. Shopify’s App Store has over 14000+ apps with native integration. The apps let you integrate different functionality inside your online shop. For example, you can add a virtual bot, and digital products, import your listings from other e-commerce websites (eBay, Amazon, etc) and so on.
You can make your store do anything you want. you will never miss any functionality here. The only thing which you can consider as a drawback is its pricing. Other than charging a monthly subscription fee, the service also takes 0.5-2% of your sales value if you do not use their proprietary payment gateway. The fact that the payment gateway only exists for users based in US and Canada makes it even more painful. However, I would like to argue that, for the kind of services Shopify is providing, their pricing plans are reasonable. If the cost is holding you back, you can build an e-commerce websites using services like Squarespace and Wix at cheaper rates but those cannot compete with a store built using Shopify. If you are okay with it pricing, this is the platform you should use to launch your online store.
Visit (Free, $29 to $299/month)
If you want to build a simple website which does not have a lot of pages and content, Strikingly can be a good option for you. Like Squarespace, you can build any kind of website here, but, Strikingly is best at creating one-page websites. If you just want to give your business an online presence with a beautiful landing page, Strikingly will help you do just that. Its drag and drop tools are really easy to learn and implement. All the websites you build using this service are responsive and looks good everywhere. Strikingly mainly focuses on one-page landing pages and has excellent templates which are modern and utilise the parallax scrolling effects. The service also has a robust SEO integration and an excellent 24/7 customer support team which is always ready to help.
But all the above features which make Strikingly good at developing a simple website also make it bad for other purposes. You get very little control over editing and it’s not well suited for websites with a lot of pages and content. Also, the e-commerce integration is just for the namesake. Don’t use this service if you are looking to build a complex and highly customisable website. This is only for people or businesses who want to have an online presence with a beautiful website without doing much work.
Visit (Free, $8 to $16/month)
Voog is a very simple website builder with a focus on multi-lingual support allowing you to create websites in multiple languages. That is the biggest strength of this website. Right now the website supports around 10 languages including Finnish, Deutsch and other European languages. If you want to build a website in your own language or may be want to have a better overseas presence, this might be the website builder for you. You can switch between the languages with just one click. Apart from its headlining feature, it is also a decent website builder platform. The drag and drop tools are easy to understand and use. If you ever get stuck, there’s also a 24/7 customer support to help you out.
The platform also boasts of inbuilt SEO optimisation tools but I cannot comment on that as that can only be deduced over a long usage period. The template selection is lesser than what I expected but at least all of them are modern and look good. There’s a separate template section for bloggers which might come in handy for people looking to start a blog. All the websites are mobile responsive which is expected. It also has e-commerce support but again there are only 4 different templates to utilise it. It is not cheap by any standard as the price is comparable to other builders on the list. You should go for it only if having a multilingual website is an important criterion.
Visit (Free, $7 to $44/month approx.)
Format boasts itself as a website building platform designed for creative people. Whether you are an artist, a designer, or a photographer, Format will help you create your online portfolio with ease. Due to the nature of clients it serves, it is understandable that Format specialises in image heavy website creation. If you are a professional who belongs to any of the above-mentioned fields, Format will help you create a website which shows your portfolio in all its glory. All the templates are designed to show pictures overs text. Recently, the service has also added e-commerce capabilities to your platform, allowing you to sell your products right from your website.
It also has inbuilt blog support which can come in handy if you support your work with written articles. It also supports direct publishing from Adobe Lightroom. You can also attach watermark to your work directly from your website. There are a lot of features specific to creative professionals like proofing and managing your work, share private photo galleries and much more. Quite frankly, I don’t know much about these things so you should check the website out for yourself. All I can tell you is that website creation is an easy process and all the websites are responsive. Also, the pricing plan is pretty genuine and not over the top. In fact, it is one of the cheaper options on this list. So, if you fit the user criteria this service is aiming for, go check it out.
Visit (Free, $6 to $44/month)
This is one of those platforms which focuses more on small business users which require a simple landing page for their company to get an online presence. The included tools are easy to understand and the drag and drop feature seems pretty intuitive. All the websites are responsive and will look good anywhere in spite of the device being used. One unique feature is the easy integration with different social media channels and other services and that’s not just for sharing but for importing content also. For example, you can host a song on SoundCloud and allow users to stream it from your own website using SoundCloud’s widget.
There are also many templates to choose from. I was really surprised by their template choices as I didn’t expect them to include as many they have. The main drawback while using this tool is that you won’t be able to customise your website as much as you can do with services like Squarespace. Also, the website focuses on business only so it’s not suitable for individual users looking to create blogs or other kinds of websites other than landing pages. If you own a small business, this can help you give your business an online presence. The pricing is also quite affordable and quite cheap when compared to other players on this list.
Visit (Free, $4 to $12/month)
There’s a reason WordPress is being used to power 28% of the websites on the internet. It is customisable, reliable, cheap, and the most versatile website builder platform on the market. You have literally thousands of templates to choose from (paid and free) and again you can customise those templates to your heart’s desire. If you want, you can start from scratch and not use any template at all. The pricing is also very reasonable when comparing to other services on the list. Also, the WordPress community is huge and any problem you encounter in your website building process can be solved by a simple google search. It also has the biggest plugins support allowing you to add features to your websites which otherwise would not have been possible.
If it is so good, why it is at the 8th place on our list you might ask. Well, that’s because it is not the kind of website builder tool you are thinking of when you are searching for Squarespace alternative. WordPress neither provides drag and drop tools to edit your website nor it is easy to learn. You need to have a good knowledge of website development if you are even thinking of using WordPress. WordPress gives you infinite power but only if you know how to tame it. I included WordPress on this list just for the few of you who are looking to build a website where they have a 100% control over everything. If you want something like that, WordPress is your only option. But for using it either you have to have a knowledge of web development or you will have to outsource your work.
Visit (Free, $2.99 to $24.92/month)
Think of Pixpa more as an alternative to Format than Squarespace, meaning this service also focuses specifically on creative professionals such as designers, photographers, and artists. Similar to Format, all its templates are image heavy and will show your creations in all its glory. Their website builder tool is easy enough and all the websites are responsive. Pixpa also has inbuilt e-commerce support allowing you to sell your products right from your website. Just like Format, this one also allows social media channel integration allowing to import content from them. For example, you can have a block dedicated to show your Instagram feed on your website. The pricing is also decent. You can check it out as an alternative to Format before deciding on committing on the either.
Visit (Free, $6 to $16/month)
If you just need a single page website and you are on a very tight budget, check our Carrd. There are a lot of templates to choose from and they all look nice. The website build using this service will be pretty bare bones. Do not go expecting a full fledged website. You don’t get a lot of customisation here, what you see in the demo is most likely what your end website will look like. On the flip side, the service is way cheaper than all of the other services mentioned on the list. Carrd will cost you for a whole year what other will cost you for a month or two. If you want the cheapest website builder, this is it.
Visit (Free, $19/year)
SEE ALSO: Mobirise Website Builder Review: Create Mobile-Friendly Websites
Use These Squarespace Alternatives To Publish Your Own Website
Squarespace is a great website builder platform and if you are already using it and happy with it, you don’t need to switch. But if you are someone who is just getting started, there are a lot of other options which are cheaper and easy to learn than Squarespace. Also, don’t just choose one over the others just based on features and pricing, also keep your own requirements in mind. Squarespace is good but there’s no harm in looking around before you decide on a service. Lets us know in the comment section below, which of the above choices you are going to go for.
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