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Squarespace vs Weebly: How these top website builders compare for users in the UK

Squarespace vs Weebly: How these top website builders compare for users in the UK

Setting up a website for your business, blog, or personal portfolio can open up a lot of doors, both professionally and personally. When done properly, it can get your skills, talents, and goods in front of the eyes of those who need to see them most. That’s awesome, but it’s also a lot of pressure to hang on your website, and that can make things a little stressful (to say the least) when it comes to picking the perfect website builder for your needs.

While it can be tough to pick from the wide array of site builders out there, you’re already off to a great start by landing here, since Squarespace and Weebly are two of the best website builders to ever do it. However, where Squarespace is a bit more stylish and — dare we say — flashy, Weebly is a bit more understated, despite what its somewhat cutesy name might suggest. They’re quite similar overall, but they do differ in key ways that may make one more suited to your style or your particular website needs, whether it’s for drumming up interest in your small business, showcasing a portfolio or other creative freelance skill, or getting your thoughts and blogs out to a wider audience.

But before we dig into how they differ, let’s take a look at how much Squarespace and Weebly actually have in common:

  • Both provide their own easy-to-use website builder to make site customisation seamless and easy, even for beginners with zero background in coding.

  • Both allow users to create websites that look great on mobile devices without any additional tweaking, and both provide incredible design flexibility, allowing users to change their templates at any time without losing information or having to rebuild from scratch.

  • Both also offer great blogging tools by default, as well as great ecommerce features to cater to all types of websites.

  • Squarespace and Weebly are on par with each other in terms of similar search engine optimisation (SEO) tools to help land your site higher in search results, including easy editing of page title, description, and URL, as well as easy-to-understand guides to walk you through all the SEO stuff you need to know.

  • Both website builders allow you to easily link a custom domain from a third-party provider to your site. Otherwise, you can purchase your domain directly from Squarespace or Weebly, and both will give you your first year for free.

Point is, either one will get you set up with an attractive, professional-looking, and well-functioning website. However, each site builder differs in some key ways, so let’s dig into the race of Squarespace versus Weebly to see where one or the other pulls ahead depending on your individual needs or preferences.

Where Squarespace wins: Stunning visuals, better blogs, and stellar support

This should come as no surprise, as the website builder is probably most known for its aesthetic appeal, but at the visual level, Squarespace certainly takes the cake. There are more than a hundred designer Squarespace templates from which you can choose, each one sleeker and more stylish than the last. (But if you’re overwhelmed by the choice, you can use filters to narrow your search, or just look to our selection of the best Squarespace templates for some guidance.) This wealth of options makes the builder a really great choice for a stunning site with a modern, impressive design that feels really professional, but not in a stuffy way. If you’re seeking a certain aesthetic for your creative photography or video portfolio or eye-catching blog, Squarespace is the one for you.

An example of a blog template by Squarespace.

Speaking of blogs, Squarespace also comes out slightly on top in this realm as they offer more abundant and thoughtful blogging features, and a lot of great blog templates. Their AMP support helps sites load quickly on mobile devices, so your visitors can enjoy your content wherever they view it. You can also set up your blog to allow posts from multiple authors, which makes for great collaborative opportunities that you won’t find with Weebly. You also have the ability to insert podcasts into blog posts for even greater multimedia integration for your visitors to enjoy.

When it comes to helping their customers out, Squarespace boasts some pretty fantastic (and free) customer support via both email and chat. They also have a great FAQ section and community forum, as well as workshops and webinars. Basically, they provide loads of different ways to learn how to make Squarespace work best for you. The only thing they don’t have is phone support, but we wouldn’t necessarily consider that a huge loss given all the other options.

Where Squarespace falls short: Potentially overwhelming interface and no free plan

Though it brings about some truly stylish results, Squarespace’s drag-and-drop interface isn’t super intuitive, so beginners may find themselves navigating a bit of a learning curve. This isn’t to say that it’s difficult to use or learn; it’s just that its minimalist design seems deceptively simple at first glance. Then you’ll come to find that just about every click presents you with a wealth of additional options, which can feel a little overwhelming straight out of the gate. However, as mentioned above, there are lots of tutorials out there, both from Squarespace and other users. It’s just a little unfortunate that the builder isn’t instantly intuitive in the way that Weebly is.

On the flip side, all of these customiaation options — from font styles and colours to visual spacing — are great for those users who want that type of flexibility. That said, it’s also incredibly easy to get carried away and tweak yourself into oblivion, resulting in a less visually appealing site, or one that no longer looks nice on mobile devices. Because of all these options, it’s important to strike the right balance when building your Squarespace site.

Along the same lines as customisation, Squarespace does allow users to dig into CSS coding, but you’ll have to pay for a more expensive ecommerce plan to do so. And, speaking of price, there’s no free plan option here and monthly rates ranging from £9 to £29 are about twice the price of Weebly.

Squarespace has a good selection of third-party extensions, but they’re mostly for ecommerce.

Squarespace has a good selection of third-party extensions, but they’re mostly for ecommerce.

Another downside to Squarespace is that they have a very limited app selection overall, and it’s kind of disappointing that they’re all from third-party developers. The Squarespace Extensions marketplace offers a few add-ons that are built in-house, but they’re mainly centred around ecommerce features.

And, lastly, a small, but common complaint in the SEO department is that Squarespace’s Alt-text is confusingly called “file name.” This is the space where you’ll want to describe your pictures in words, so it’s not really the file name, but alas, that’s what Squarespace calls it.

Where Weebly wins: Ease of use, coding control, and a free plan

When it comes to ease of use, Weebly is the clear winner thanks to its incredibly intuitive interface that is quite possibly the easiest website builder in the game. Not that Squarespace is necessarily difficult, but it certainly has more nuances when placed in direct comparison with Weebly. All you need to do to make your site is select elements from the builder’s sidebar and drop them where you want. Done and done. It’s a very straightforward process that ensures you can’t really go overboard with tweaks and edits, which makes it the perfect choice for beginners. However, all Weebly templates also feature an Advanced Theme Editor, so you do have the option to dig into the coding if you have some knowledge and desire to do so. Weebly offers full HTML and CSS control, unlike Squarespace, but you’ll want to be equally aware of making too many changes so as not to mess with the site’s mobile responsiveness. And, if you want your site to also have a blog, Weebly makes it super easy to edit it in the same style as your regular site pages for a cohesive and stylish visitor experience.

Weebly’s optional code editor allows users to customise themes.

Weebly’s optional code editor allows users to customise themes.

Another win for Weebly is its offering of hundreds of high-quality apps that can be installed easily with just one click. Plus, many of them are built in-house so you can trust that they will always integrate seamlessly. These include, but are not limited to apps that’ll make your site more social, like live chat and polls; additions to boost your sales, like email campaigns and customer reviews; and other options to drive more traffic to your site. A good amount of the apps are free to use with your site, but some are premium and require an additional fee.

If you’re running an ecommerce site with Weebly, you’ll also be pleased to find that they have an automatic tax calculator for online shops. This is something you won’t find with any Squarespace plan, not even the top-tier Advanced Commerce option. Weebly also integrates a few more payment options, like Authorize.net and Square, in addition to Stripe and PayPal (which are the only two options on Squarespace). For these benefits, Weebly is a great choice for those who’ll be using their website to set up shop with a small- to medium-sized ecommerce business.

Best of all, Weebly offers a free plan so you can get your site up and running without any worries, and their paid plans are quite affordable, ranging from as low as £4 to £19 per month.

Where Weebly falls short: Fewer templates and less helpful user guides

With roughly half the number of templates — or themes — as Squarespace, you may feel a little limited by Weebly’s out-of-the-box designs. They are attractive and high-quality, for sure, though they may not be quite as visually impressive as Squarespace’s offerings. However, they are organised into easy-to-browse categories based on use, like those best-suited for an online store, portfolio, event, or blog.

Weebly’s templates are as attractive as Squarespace’s, but there just aren’t as many of them.

Weebly’s templates are as attractive as Squarespace’s, but there just aren’t as many of them.

Speaking of blogs, that brings us to what may be another pain point for some. You can only have one author for your blog, so Weebly is not ideal for collaborative efforts in that regard.

Some may also consider Weebly’s customer service to be the “loser” in this direct Squarespace comparison. However, don’t get us wrong: Weebly’s customer support offerings are great. You can get in touch with them for free via email, chat, and, unlike Squarespace, phone support. They also have a great FAQ section and community forum. However, their Help Centre guides do leave a bit to be desired, at least in comparison to Squarespace’s abundance of support offerings. (Then again, using Weebly is a lot more straightforward, so it doesn’t necessarily require such detailed guides.)

And finally, we may be nitpicking just a little bit here, but Weebly requires an extra plugin to use headers, like H2, H3, etc. Utilising these properly can help out your SEO efforts, so not having them readily available for use is a little annoying, though not the end of the world.

The final word on Squarespace vs. Weebly

So who wins? Well, it’s kind of a toss-up. Both Squarespace and Weebly excel in helping users create incredibly attractive, yet still very functional sites in relatively easy ways, though Weebly is more suitable for true beginners. Though users do not need any coding knowledge to tweak their sites when website building, both offer tools to help dig into customisation and really make the site feel more personal. Weebly gets the slight edge in this sense, as well, due to its code editor being accessible to all, but not required for site customisation. And while Squarespace has the better blogging tools, Weebly gets the win for ecommerce sites.

On the one hand, Squarespace is particularly excellent for those in creative fields who are seeking a certain visual aesthetic that will really impress their visitors. It’s also the better choice for bloggers. On the other hand, Weebly is a fantastic choice for those who need something simple and free, as well as those who are setting up an online shop. So when it comes to a winner, it really depends on what you need, who you want your website to cater to, and what you’re willing to spend. Either way, you’ll make a great choice with either Squarespace or Weebly as your website builder.

Check out Squarespace

Check out Weebly

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