Webflow vs. Squarespace: Choosing the right tool for you
Squarespace is an all-in-one solution, that can help you build your online presence in a matter of hours. A wide library of templates and business features are making this tool perfect for individual and small business owners. You can set up your portfolio or an eCommerce even with no prior web design experience. A short learning curve and a library of professional templates are making Squarespace one of the most used tools on the internet today.
So, what to choose when stacking Webflow vs. Squarespace against each other? Dive in and read through our blog. We will help you answer this question once and for all.
Pros of using Squarespace
Beautiful and responsive templates
If there is something Squarespace is famous for, it is easily their library of high-quality templates. Beautiful, responsive, and clean - templates are a big part of Squarespace's success. You can choose between 110 different templates sorted into 15 categories. All templates are free and you can switch between them all the time. All templates are created to work on every single device. From mobile phones and tablets to computers, and big screens. Your website will adapt to every screen when using Squarespace.
All in all, Squarespace does most of the design for you, so all you need to do are a few tweaks to add a personal touch to your website.
All in one solution for every Website
Squarespace is an all-in-one solution helping you launch and manage every type of site you need. All the essential tools you need are already integrated so you don't have to worry about anything.
For example, Squarespace already has email and marketing tools integrated. This, plus features like embedding products into blog posts can make driving new leads effective. Squarespace also enables you to integrate social media, domain connecting, free SSL certificates, backups, and restoration of deleted pages or blogs.
Want to add even more capabilities to your site? Go check out Squarespace Extensions and find a third-party extension to boost your site performance. You can choose between 4 main categories:
- marketing and sales,
- shipping and fulfilment
- inventory and products
Launch your website in no time
Why Squarespace appeals to so many users is its simplicity. With all the templates freely available, most work is already done when launching your website. Squarespace goes out of its way to make the whole process as simple as it gets.
Step by step, this is how launching a website will Squarespace will look like:
- Sign up and make your account
- Choose a template and follow a simple setup guide
- Secure your custom domain name
- fill in your site with content
- Spice your sections with different blocks. Add code, text, media, and several other different things.
Need an extra hand? Squarespace is offering 24/7 customer support, so you can tackle obstacles instantly.
Cons of using Squarespace
Bad for large and complex websites
While Squarespace is the go-to tool for making simple and beautiful websites, it is not the best choice for more complex sites. Are you building a global eCommerce site in many languages, or do you need a deep menu hierarchy? Well, Squarespace offers only one navigation system, making this pretty difficult to do.
The second thing worth mentioning here is the page loading speed. High-resolution template photos and cluttered backend code cause the website to load slowly. This is even more true in more complex and larger sites.
It can get pricey fast
Squarespace doesn't offer a free plan, so after a 14-day free trial, you will have to commit to one of their 4 pricing plans. You can choose between:
- The personal plan costs $12.00 per month. It includes a custom domain, unlimited bandwidth and storage, and SSL security.
- A business plan that costs $18.00 per month. It includes also advanced analytics and eCommerce with a 3% transaction fee
- The Commerce basics plan costs $27.00 per month, cut a 3% fee, and adds more features.
- Commerce advanced plan costs $39.00 per month. This plan enables selling subscriptions and advanced shipping.
If you are looking to create just a simple site for blogging, Squarespace's personal plan gives you the most bang for your buck. But if you want more than this, it can get pretty expensive fast. Indeed, you can already set up an eCommerce on a business plan, but every product you sell costs you a 3% commission to Squarespace. Pull out your calculator and do the math, you will be surprised how fast this can add up to the costs. To avoid this fee and to get most of the premium eCommerce features you have to go with the 3rd tier plan. This will cost you $27.00 per month alone.
Good thing is that Squarespace allows you to switch between plans, so you can always choose the one best suitable for you.
The website editor is a hassle
While everything in Squarespace is very user-friendly, the website editor is not. The most important thing to remember is to save each and single change you make! Squarespace doesn't support autosave so you have to make sure you remember this throughout your workflow. Every change you make will also be published immediately after saving, so keep this in mind as well.
Besides this get ready to do a lot of mouse clicking when editing your page. It can be quite frustrating to navigate through different menus, just to tweak a thing here and there.
Pros of using Webflow
Increase your online presence organically
Have you ever heard about search engine crawlers Google uses to index sites on the Internet? Search engine crawlers parse your page to index the content so you can appear in search engine results. Here is where the SEO score comes into play. The better the SEO, the better you will rank on Google. Webflow's clean and semantic code can play a big role here. It enables web crawlers to parse your page effortlessly and boost your ranking high.
Besides this, Webflow also offers features that help boost your SEO score. You can add alt tags to images, create responsive designs, and link to your social media accounts. You can also embed social posts on the site and even automatically generate sitemaps.
Wondering why SEO is so important? 93% of all online experiences start in a search engine.
Customize every single element
Like artists start their every work on a blank canvas, so do you when building a new site in Webflow. With the help of a visual designer, you can build websites completely from scratch. What makes Webflow different is also the flexibility of its templates. Even if you are designing with the help of templates, you can change and tweak every single element on them.
Webflow translates your designs into semantic code making your page run on high performance. All sites you create are responsive and instantly ready to be displayed on every screen size.
Build beautiful animations
In the year 2022, static pages just won't do the magic anymore. The Internet is an interactive and dynamic experience and not just a source for gathering bland information.
Cons of using Webflow
Intimidating user interface
Webflow is a no-code tool made by designers with simplicity in their minds. While this is true it can still be pretty overwhelming for someone that has never done web design before. To get the full power of Webflow you should at least be familiar with some CSS, and HTML. You should understand what CSS cascading means, what the box model is, and how sections and containers work.
Lack of eCommerce features
Webflow is working hard to improve its eCommerce functionality, but so far is not there yet. Setting up an eCommerce in Webflow can be pricey, especially since the basic plan supports only 500 items. Items don't only include products, but also product variants, categories, and CMS items. There is also a 2% commission that you can avoid only by upgrading your plan to the standard plan that costs $74/mo (billed yearly).
When selling online you will want to track the performance of your site. Webflow has no internal tracking tools integrated, so you will have to set up a Google Analytics account. Creating user accounts is also not supported, so you again have to use a third-party integration. Let us add that you will have to manually calculate the shipping rates when you sell your products.
It can be pricey
Webflow allows every user to build 2 sites for free before launching the website. When you finally decide to go live, you can choose between Site plans and Workspace plans. Site plans are then divided further into the eCommerce plans. When you host your websites on Webflow and use the Webflow CMS, you'll need a site plan for every website you want to host. If you want to set up an eCommerce, then you will need an eCommerce plan which is a bit more pricey. If you use Webflow solely as a tool and plan to host your website elsewhere, you need an account plan.
Running the simplest version of the Webflow page will cost you about $144 per year. For a bit more dynamic functionality and a premium template, this cost can quickly bump up to $450. Running the basic eCommerce plan will cost you about $324 without taking premium templates in the account.
When comparing Webflow vs. Squarespace, both are powerful tools that will help you launch a new site. However, it is important to mention that they were built for two very different audiences.
Webflow is a designer's tool made by designers, to help with professional design. Its target audiences are professional designers, web agencies, and freelancers. Squarespace targets individuals and small business owners looking for the easiest way to launch their site. Its large library of beautiful templates and various business features offers a simple way to build an online presence.
While Webflow focuses on full creative freedom, Squarespace is making build sites simple as cake. With Webflow, you can build sites from scratch and customize every single element on it. So if you are looking for a tool to enhance your design work or need completely custom solutions, this is the tool for you. But if you want a simple tool, that can help you build a site effortlessly, Squarespace is the way to go. There is no steep learning curve so you will learn how to use it too fast. On the other hand, Webflow is much more complex, so the learning curve is steep. But if you have time to spend days and months learning, it is a good option.
Exactly this simplicity is making Squarespace one of the most widely adopted website builder tools on the internet. According to Built with Trends report, there are almost 5 million live sites built with it right now. The same report shows, that there are under 400k live sites built in Webflow. Yet, when we inspect Google trends data we can see that the demand for these two tools is shifting towards the Webflow advantage.
We hope we helped you solve the question of how Webflow vs. Squarespace stack against each other. If you are still unsure about what platform is the best for you, check how Webflow stacks against WordPress on this link here.
Can Squarespace host my own domain?
Squarespace unfortunately does not allow for self-hosting. You will have to use their servers.
Are Squarespace templates free to use?
Templates are included with your Squarespace website. You can choose between dozens of beautifully designed templates.
Are Squarespace websites secure?
Yes, they are secure. Every domain added to your Squarespace site is automatically protected with free SSL certificates.