Recently, Weebly launched its fourth version and Squarespace established the ‘Squarespace Circle’ – a community for developers and designers. Both site builders progress very fast leaving the competition behind, meanwhile making the web a better place.
Today we put Weebly and Squarespace head to head to re-appraise their benefits and disadvantages taking into consideration their most recent updates. We’re going to dive into the five areas that can impact your decision.
#1 Ease of Use
Weebly. Weebly has one of the most user-friendly interfaces. Whether you’re connecting a domain name, changing your account access data or add another blog post, everything can be done with just a few clicks, no complex terminology or sophisticated interfaces. No coding required.
Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder. To add a new feature/widget/design element to your site, simply select it and place it anywhere on the canvas. Once you have positioned the selected site element, double-click it to configure its settings.
When you add a new page to your Weebly site, you don’t necessarily have to build its layout from scratch. You can choose one of the predefined Page Layouts to save your time and effort.
There are various ready-to-use page frameworks: homepage, contacts, portfolio, and more. These layouts are fully customizable – you can alter, delete and add new elements as you wish.
Weebly has a family of mobile applications: an Android and two iOS apps (for the iPhone and iPad). With the latter app you can literally build a site with your hands – its interface is specifically developed for tactile site building.
There’s also an app for Apple Watch that lets you monitor website activity, receive new notifications when a new order is received and manage comments, among other features.
Squarespace. Ease of use had always been one of the major pain points of Squarespace. The good news is that this problem has been addressed, and the current version of the platform now provides a more intuitive editing environment. It supports WYSIWYG editing and has a less cluttered navigation. See what the new Squarespace looks like:
Squarespace has an impressive suite of iOS apps and three Android applications. The iOS apps let you write and edit blog posts, manage comments, view statistics, make notes and also upload your portfolio to your mobile device.
Squarespace has an Apple Watch app, too. It lets users view expanded visualization of every website metric.
Weebly vs Squarespace. With both site builders, you start by creating an account and picking a template. Each template comes preloaded with demo content to highlight the design’s strengths and unique features. But Weebly seems to be more customizable: it has more opportunities to pre-edit your Page with ‘Page Layouts’ tool.
When building your site, you’ll use intuitive tools built into the site builders’ platforms to replace the demo content with your own unique text, photos and graphics.
Though Squarespace 7 is easier than its predecessor, it is still more complicated than Weebly. It takes some time to get used to the Squarespace editor, while with Weebly each feature seems to be in reach.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
Weebly. Weebly is versatile. It lets you easily create different website types including blogs, portfolios, business sites, webstores and more. Let’s take a look at some of the core Weebly features:
- Membership. You can add users and manage them in groups to control which pages they have access to.
- eCommerce. Weebly offers a feature-rich eCommerce platform that offers such features as digital and physical goods, coupon codes, filtered product search and flexible shipping options, among others.
- Blogging. Weebly provides a highly customizable blogging engine with full control over layout and post structure, advanced comment management tools, scheduled posting and other features.
- IFTTT integration. Weebly partners with IFTTT to give users the ability to connect their favorite apps and products. Specifically, you can create so-called recipes. For example, if you post a video to your YouTube account, Weebly will automatically create a post on your blog. You can choose a ready recipe, or create your own by combining various actions and triggers.
- SimpleChat integration. This add-on lets users chat with their customers in real-time via text messages. Once enabled, SimpleChat allows site visitors ask questions through a live chat window on your site.
Squarespace. Similar to Weebly, Squarespace also has its own powerful blogging platform that supports scheduled posting and advanced comment management. Squarespace users can also give contributors selective access to the site’s control panel.
Squarespace has its own eCommerce solution, but unfortunately, at the moment the complete integration of Squarespace Commerce is only available in 10 countries: the US, UK, Canada some other countries.
Here are some Squarespace eCommerce features: digital and physical goods, post-checkout code injection (marketers will love it), Xero integration, coupon codes, import from Shopify and Big Cartel, order confirmation emails and more.
In fact, Weebly and Squarespace have a lot in common, so let’s focus on the differences instead.
Squarespace vs Weebly. Below we’ve gathered the most unique features of each site builder:
- Weebly for education. Weebly has a separate platform for teachers and their students, and also Weebly Campus Edition that allows to digitize the entire campus.
- Weebly Site Planner. The planner will help you identify your goals and organize key website elements. It will give you a better understanding of such advanced topics as content promotion and audience engagement.
- Squarespace import and export. Squarespace allows you to import blog content from Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress, Posterous and some other blogging services. Squarespace sites can be exported to WordPress.
- Squarespace Developer platform. The platform allows developers to create custom websites with a totally unique design using native development tools.
- Squarespace Cover Pages. Users can create single-page websites or landing pages to promote a new product. If needed, these pages can be added to any existing Squarespace website.
Both website builders offer decent blogging tools with flexible commenting systems, native eCommerce platforms and reliable hosting. Both let you add multiple contributors with different access levels.
Weebly lets users customize their themes using a built-in HTML/CSS editor, and Squarespace lets you change everything from the opening doctype tag to the footer. However Weebly has more features that make the process of website editing and customizing easy and flexible.
Weebly. Weebly offers over one hundred templates for all tastes: from ultra-modern minimalist to classic and bold. Every template features an Advanced Theme editor that offers full HTML and CSS control for deeper customization, so nothing is out of your reach.
All types of Weebly templates are responsive. Weebly has a built-in mobile editor where users can enable and fine-tune the mobile view of the site.
If you want to go beyond what’s offered in the official Weebly library, you can hire a developer to create a custom theme for your site, or you can purchase a ready template designed specifically for Weebly – thankfully, there are many providers creating Weebly themes out there.
Squarespace. Squarespace templates are also pretty enough. There are 32 industry-specific templates, some created ‘in collaboration with the world’s most inspiring people’. The key feature of all their themes is high-quality imagery, fullscreen backgrounds and lots of white space.
Every Squarespace design is optimized for mobile viewing. If desired, the mobile view can be disabled. You can’t change the mobile view of your site, but you can enable and modify the Mobile Information Bar.
Weebly vs Squarespace. Both collections are great, but Weebly themes appear more diverse. Squarespace’s design look elegant and stylish, but they’re somewhat monotonous.
#4 Customer Support
Weebly. Weebly is very simple, so I think you won’t face any problems there. But if you face any, you can find help in the Weebly Help Center. You can also submit a request via email and take advantage of free live chat.
During our latest test we noticed that Weebly started offering free phone support.
Squarespace. Squarespace offers 24/7 email support and live chat support during weekdays. The company also provides an extensive knowledge base comprised of detailed guides, videos and workshops. There’s also a community-driven Q&A where you can easily find answers to hundreds of questions and take part in discussions.
This year Squarespace team continued to hold free one-on-one workshops that take place in their Customer Care offices in New York.
Squarespace vs Weebly. Both site builders care about their customers and provide various types of support, but Weebly knowledge base looks more informative and intuitive.
#5 Pricing Policy
Weebly. Weebly has a free lifetime plan, and three paid packages ranging from $8/mo to $49/mo. If you’re looking to create a portfolio or a blog, then you may be quite satisfied with their Starter offering. But if you want to set up an eCommerce website, be ready to pay $25 a month for the full-featured plan.
Squarespace. Unlike most of its competition, Squarespace doesn’t follow the freemium model. It has no free packages. There are four paid plans divided into two groups (yearly subscription): Websites (form $12/mo to $18/mo), and Commerce (from $26/mo to $40/mo) which differentiate based on the amount of products you’re going to sell (1; 20; unlimited, respectively) and eCommerce add-ons.
Weebly vs Squarespace. The obvious benefit of Weebly is that it has a free plan that never expires and that it lets you publish a simple ad-free site under your own domain name at just $8/mo, while the cheapest version of the full-blown Squarespace website starts from $12/mo.
Weebly vs Squarespace: Conclusion
As we see it, Weebly is easier to use and a bit cheaper, while Squarespace appears to be more website builder with a numbers of limitations to each package. In this case mean Weebly looks more favorable than Squarespace to those who want to create website easy and in a short time.
So which one is better – Weebly or Squarespace? We think it would be better to take a note on Weebly, as it gives much more opportunities for your future website.