Squarespace alternatives – best of the rest
Squarespace is one of the most well-known and trusted website builders – but that doesn’t mean it is the best option for you though. So, for this post, I decided to test the best of the rest in order to let you know which provider you should hand over your hard-earned money to.
Squarespace is renowned for its ease of use and its extensive library of beautiful templates. This drag-and-drop editor is a great choice for beginners or anyone who wants a visual-focused website. And I have to admit, just as it was said in our Squarespace review, working with Squarespace is a breeze because everything you could possibly need is presented to you on a silver platter
However, just because it has plenty of pros, doesn’t mean that Squarespace doesn’t have any flaws. I can see why people might not like Squarespace:
- It has limited site editing flexibility
- The business tools leave a lot to be desired
- SEO tools are not as fleshed out as they could be
Since there are so many other great website builders on the market, it would make no sense to accept Squarespace’s flaws if they seriously bother you. There are plenty of Squarespace alternatives on the market and all offer something slightly different.
In this list, I’ve found 5 builders that can seriously compete with Squarespace, each with a different focus, so at the end, you can decide which fits you better than the others.
You can navigate through this article by clicking on the builder names in this list or you can just skip to the conclusion and read my final thoughts and recommendations.
Best Squarespace alternatives: overview
- SITE123 – extremely easy to use Squarespace alternative
- Zyro – Squarespace alternative with experimental features and low prices
- Wix – Squarespace alternative with great business features
- GoDaddy Website Builder – incredible Squarespace alternative with advanced eCommerce tools
- Gator Website Builder – simple and cheap Squarespace alternative
Now, let’s have a look at these builders in detail.
1. SITE123 – easy as ABC
|Features||Simple block builder|
|Best for||Small business sites|
SITE123, despite the in-your-face name, is actually a provider centered around relaxing and easy website building. Its main point when being considered as a Squarespace alternative is, indeed, the ease of use. It is really easy as ABC and 123.
SITE123 is incredibly easy to use – way easier than Squarespace. This website builder also has pretty great intuitive business features, which are explained in more detail here, that make SITE123 a solid option for anyone looking to build their site.
While most website builders these days tend to focus on customizability, templates, and eCommerce – SITE123 focuses on the customer. With that focus, there are incredible advantages for some with great downsides for others. Let me explain.
SITE123 doesn’t really use templates in the way other website builders do. Sure, in the editor there is a ‘templates’ tab, but it really is a layout selector more than anything. That’s actually quite a nice thing, though, as for people unfamiliar with this whole website building thing, it can sometimes be overwhelming seeing all the options a provider like Squarespace or Wix has.
In addition to the templates, there is another tab called ‘Website Structure’ which is much more useful. It allowed me to quickly change my entire page layout at once.
The percentage of the page that can be edited is low – just basic tools like fonts, colors, and toggles for what you’d like in the header/footer. But that’s about it – it seems like a negative, and for some people, it definitely is one. However, for those looking to get started in website building, or those who simply want to set up their site quickly and never bother with it again, it’s probably perfect.
For more experienced users this focus on ease-of-use leads to an experience that is a little too simplistic. For example, if you want to change your header fonts (for your menu items, etc.) you can do that through the ‘Font’ tab, naturally. However, when you select a font, it changes the entire website. Not just the text or area you’ve selected, not just the page, but the entire website.
It does change the font-weight and size automatically to fit your selected layout, but otherwise, you get what you’re given. This theme is the same for many options on SITE123, like choosing your color palette.
One thing that SITE123 does well is pages.
There are so many options for users to check out here, with many categories and interesting layouts for the pages themselves. SITE123 actually does something cool here with how they present the page options.
I was given two options – a single page or multiple pages. If you own a small business that just wants to get its name and information out there, just keep all your pages on one homepage. If you have a blog, a portfolio, a menu, etc, then you can easily switch to multiple pages.
Simple, right? It is so simple that it just makes sense, and is something Squarespace should implement, too.
SITE123 has one free plan and four paid ones, putting its price range from free to $25.80 a month.
- Free – the best option for testing the platform
- Basic ($12.80/month) – good basic (haha) business plan
- Advanced ($19.80/month) – multilanguage sites and email capabilities for a more efficient business
- Professional ($28.80/month) – allows to accept credit cards and offers more multilanguage and email options
- Gold ($34.80/month) – all eCommerce and marketing tools available, as well as more storage
- Incredible ease of use
- Plenty of content blocks to make a solid website
- Limited editing options
2. Zyro – Squarespace, is that you?
|Features||AI tools, intuitive grid building system|
|Best for||Personal projects|
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d landed on Squarespace’s homepage the first time you visit Zyro. There are many striking similarities between the two, most notably the templates offered – they’re gorgeous. But good templates do not automatically equal a good website builder – there is more to unwrap here.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Squarespace, Zyro should be right at the top of your list. It doesn’t have all the features and apps that Wix possesses, but in terms of sheer ingenuity and beauty, Zyro is the place to be – you can find out about all Zyro’s quirks here.
Zyro has not been around for very long, it’s a relative newbie to the website building scene – don’t let that put you off, as it has features most website builders haven’t implemented yet. Two of those I’ll really focus on here are both AI (Artificial Intelligence) driven – AI Writer and AI Heatmap.
But first, a look at the templates offered to me when I first signed up.
Seriously, these templates look like Squarespace’s – that’s probably the biggest compliment I can give to a website builder.
Zyro doesn’t have as many templates available as Squarespace, but they are truly great.
In terms of pricing, I believe this is probably the best value for money you can find in a website builder right now. Zyro’s ‘Unleashed’ plan at $3.09 offers unlimited storage and bandwidth, two things you won’t find until at least triple that price with Squarespace.
Onto the main advanced feature of this website builder, the AI software.
AI Writer is really a quite fascinating thing – you choose a topic, a category, and a paragraph type (usually ‘About’ or ‘Bio’), then you let the AI do its thing. I chose a random set of options – ‘Personal bio/History text for Electronic music’, sat back for a few seconds, and then checked the options provided.
The AI Writer provided around 6 options, this being my favorite – ‘My music is very personal and feels like a dream to play. I love to build up a mood to create a specific atmosphere. I love to keep my own world alive via the use of space, music, and technology’.
How cool is that? If you’re a musician creating your website to show off your music, you want to let the music do the talking for you, but having interesting and engaging text is essential. That can be hard to come up with when you’re not a writer, so having an AI engine do it for you is just one less thing to worry about.
The other AI invention from Zyro is the AI Heatmap. Now, this one is so cool I was blown away.
It scans your website and finds the area of the page most likely to attract a user’s attention, then highlights it using a color scale. This is an incredibly useful feature, especially if you sell through your website. You can find out which areas are most likely to capture attention and place your most profitable products there.
The website builder itself is slightly less impressive. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really nice features like a grid for dragging and dropping items into the correct place, and a neat mobile editing option. But, there’s always a but, you are a little limited with what you can place on the page – you have only 9 options, including text boxes, images, and contact forms.
Zyro is incredibly cheap – its prices range from $1.89 to $14.99 a month. And while this builder does not offer a free plan, the options, as you can see, make it a very affordable option. Zyro is on the top of our cheapest website builders list – and it’s for a reason.
- Basic ($2.90/month) – offers great tools for a basic website
- Unleashed ($3.90/month) – good for growing businesses, with features like no storage and bandwidth restrictions.
- eCommerce ($9.90/month) – offers eCommerce features.
- eCommerce+ ($14.90/month) – provides more advanced eCommerce features, like abandoned cart recovery, Amazon integration, and more.
- Very affordable
- Easy to use
- AI tools for automatically generating your site
- Limited overall customization
3. Wix – old school cool
|Features||Two website editors, excellent customizability|
|Best for||Design and editing freedom|
Wix has been around for a while and is one of the best website builders on the market. Not only does Wix offer 2 methods of building your website, but it also offers a free forever plan for those just looking to give it a try.
If you’re looking for a Squarespace alternative, you’ve found one. Wix, as mentioned in our review, is a fantastic option for pretty much anyone looking to build a website – it offers great business features for online stores as well as different editors for different types of users.
One of the complaints I hear now and again from people using Squarespace is regarding the lack of options. Sure, you can build a stunning website using it, but making it your own requires some coding knowledge, which not everyone has.
Wix takes that worry, rolls it up, and throws it out. It offers you 2 different ways to build your website. These are the Classic Editor and Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence).
Each option gives you something different. The Classic Editor is Wix’s tried and true website building format with tons of templates, lots of customization options, and plenty of marketplace add-ons. It’s a great place to build a website, as long as you’re already a little familiar with aspects of web design.
It offers hundreds of templates, 400 to be exact, with categories ranging from Photography to Construction, Wedding cakes to Architecture, etc.
Wix ADI, on the other hand, takes things at a slower pace. Instead of making you immediately choose a template and get into editing, Wix ADI asks a set of questions, which help Wix to create a site that reflects each user’s wants and needs – both in terms of friendly design and functionality.
After answering all the questions I had the opportunity to upload a logo that Wix can use to create a color palette for my website – a nice touch, but only after this step was I able to choose your homepage design. ADI provides a list of 3 options that it feels best reflects the choices made – it’s then down to me to make the last choice!
Earlier on I mentioned Squarespace’s lack of options – but that doesn’t only ring true for its website builder. Any good Squarespace alternative needs to offer something Squarespace doesn’t. In Wix’s case, that something is apps.
Wix has a massive App Market – it offers third-party apps in many useful categories to narrow down your exact needs. Want more detailed analytics? There’s an app for that. Dropshipping is your thing? There’s an app for that, too.
Squarespace offers some app integrations – some nice ones too, but if you’re not interested in selling online, none of Squarespace’s offerings will be of much use to you as they are all tailored for this market – Wix goes down the ‘offer everything we can’ road.
You can get Wix anywhere from free to $35 a month. That’s quite a range, isn’t it? Wix offers a total of 7 premium plans – 3 are there for eCommerce sites and 5 of them are focused on regular websites.
Here’s how the plans differ:
- Free – mostly suited for testing.
- Combo ($14/month) – excellent pick for portfolios and personal sites.
- Unlimited ($18/month) – provides more storage, advanced analytics, SEO apps.
- Pro ($23/month) – additional features added, such as professional logo and Event Calendar.
- VIP ($39/month) – added priority customer care.
- Business Basic ($23/month) – main eCommerce features.
- Business Unlimited ($27/month) – additional eCommerce features – subscription sales, dropshipping, and product review.
- Business VIP ($49/month) – loyalty program, sales tax calculation, and priority support features added
- Two excellent site editors
- Plenty of great templates
- Classic editor is trickier for beginners at first
4. GoDaddy Website Builder – simple, fast, streamlined
|Features||Excellent marketing features|
|Best for||Businesses looking to find new audiences|
If you want an easy-to-use website builder, you should take a look at GoDaddy. GoDaddy’s website builder is clearly aimed at the beginner market and it hits that target audience perfectly. Editing options aren’t particularly extensive or in-depth, but what is there is very well-made.
GoDaddy offers an excellent business feature suite – the InSight tool is something I’ve never seen applied anywhere else before. All the features of InSight are further explained here if you’re curious. It’s extremely beginner-friendly and also offers good value for its eCommerce and business features.
Using GoDaddy website builder
Getting the website builder up and running was super simple – I just chose a category of pre-selected options, chose my site’s name, and pressed the finish button. That’s it – I was able to start to use the builder and edit my website from there.
In reality, it totally depends on how you like your workflow to be. I would have preferred some more options in the early stages of website setup; things like choosing a theme would have been a nice addition.
These options do exist, but they are simply further along the line. Overall the setup experience itself is somewhat short and sweet, with some guides and tutorials – you’re mostly left to your own devices to do as you please.
There is no drag and drop functionality with GoDaddy – everything is kind of baked into the site already. Additional features are external, such as store pages and live messaging buttons.
The experience of building a website is really simple, with options for fonts, colors, and themes all available from one menu on the right. Think of GoDaddy as a slightly more polished version of SITE123 – they’re strikingly similar, but in a different way to how Squarespace and Zyro are.
The thing that is going to make GoDaddy a great Squarespace alternative isn’t the website builder itself, but the marketing options it provides.
It offers plenty of third-party extensions, ranging from simple things like connecting your site to a Facebook or Twitter page – but also allows you to connect to less-used services that might be essential in a particular field, like Yelp or Nextdoor.
It turns out that connecting to things like Yelp and Nextdoor is actually a good idea. It’s a nice and quick way to tell the world: ‘Hey, my business is here, this is what we do, and did we mention our awesome website?’.
In addition, there aren’t only third-party integrations offered by GoDaddy – it actually has plenty of its own built-in features to help make your website better.
Getting started in business is never easy, and creating a brand-new online presence is even harder. GoDaddy created InSight with the goal of helping users with this big step. The premise is simple: choose your goal and tick off the boxes to achieve it. This tool is where GoDaddy triumphs over Squarespace – it's integrated in the builder and honestly incredible for beginners at eCommerce.
The steps are fairly simple, things like connecting to Google’s ‘My Business’, changing your theme, publishing your site, creating a Facebook post through the Social page, etc.
Under the selected goals, you’ll see your InSight score. It’s marked on three things: Presence, Reputation, and Engagement.
In essence, InSight is a place where you are able to see how you did in terms of page impressions, comments, sign-ups, etc. But unlike usual analytics tool, it’ll actually use that data to create further personalized recommendations of your next steps. I think it's clear that this tool could be useful for many bidding business owners.
There is one big asterisk to be discussed though – server performance. GoDaddy has been in the website hosting game for a long time, and as such is one of the fastest and most reliable hosts out there. So, if website performance is really important to you, GoDaddy certainly won’t be a letdown.
GoDaddy’s prices range from $9.99 to $24.99 a month. There’s no free plan in the GoDaddy website builder, however, you do get a 30-day free trial.
- Basic ($6.99/month) – perfect for personal websites
- Standard ($10.49/month) – pretty amazing for small businesses, with SEO tools and extra features for marketing
- Premium ($13.99/month) – allows to send up to 25,000 monthly emails and post on social media
- Ecommerce ($17.49/month) – gives all features above and unlimited eCommerce tools
- Easy to use
- Excellent marketing tools
- Limited site customization
5. Gator Website Builder – in a while, crocodile
|Features||Quick, automatically-generated websites|
|Best for||Small businesses|
Gator website builder is a pretty new concoction, designed and maintained by HostGator, a longstanding name in web hosting. Much like GoDaddy, HostGator sensed the opportunity to use their experience with web hosting and make their own website builder, and just like GoDaddy, this comes with plenty of pros and cons.
This website builder, when compared to Squarespace, offers an extremely easy experience when building your website (our Gator review goes more in-depth about its effortless building experience). This says a lot since Squarespace already is famous for being very simple. It is also way cheaper than Squarespace, making Gator a pretty good alternative.
Using Gator website builder
Gator website builder is a two-pronged approach, much like Wix, offering a simple ‘Express’ editing experience, or a ‘Traditional’ one. Naturally, I tried both, and my findings were not as I expected them to be.
Both versions allow you to choose a theme and template, and with both versions, you are prompted to input your site’s name, information, etc.
The difference comes inside the editor itself. While the Traditional editor is just that, a traditional drag and drop website builder, the Express builder is incredibly simplistic, even more so than Wix’s ADI offering.
You’re able to set up a theme and color scheme, change fonts, and change the layout. And that’s pretty much it. It sounds limiting, and well, it is – but for beginners or those looking to simply learn the ropes, that is actually fantastic.
In the normal builder, there are more options. There are currently 15 templates available from Gator.
Inside the editor, there are tons more elements you can add to your site, making it up for the lack of templates available to use.
I counted over 50, and I am sure more are being added all the time. Compared to Zyro’s measly 8, this feels like I’m being spoiled for choice. Everything, from buttons to HTML embeds, is available, and even options that aren’t supported anymore, like Flash (in case you want to build a website with outdated technology).
There’s a downside for Gator – the absolute lack of eCommerce options. Now when a website builder is so cheap, I don’t expect more than basic features, but if you’re serious about eCommerce, Gator website builder is not really suitable as a Squarespace alternative.
Gator’s website building tool’s prices range from $3.84 to $9.22 a month, making it a pretty good bargain. However, it does not offer a free plan and it doesn’t offer a free trial. Yet, its 3 pricing plans look something like this:
- Starter ($3.84/month) – gives you basic eCommerce and business features
- Premium ($5.99/month) – a nice plan for small businesses, accompanied by bookings, appointments, priority support
- eCommerce ($9.22/month) – offers full eCommerce features for selling online
- Very affordable
- Simple and functional business features
- Easy setup
- Limited customization
The best Squarespace alternative is the one that matches your needs best. Whether you need a different price, a different experience, or a different performance, this list should have you covered. Now, let’s refresh your memory.
- SITE123 – a super simple experience when building with great prices
- Wix – incredible integrations and apps
- Zyro – dirt-cheap builder with experimental features that could benefit selling
- GoDaddy website builder – great performance and easy building experience
- Gator – the easiest website building out of the bunch
While Squarespace is a great website builder, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any better than it. All of the options prior prove that you can definitely find a builder that’s more tailored to your needs.
Squarespace alternatives – FAQ
What's better than Squarespace?
There are plenty of website builders similar to Squarespace that offer more features for sometimes a lesser price. It all depends on your needs – if you’re craving more integrations and apps, your choice should be Wix. Then again, Gator, SITE123, and GoDaddy provide a super simple building experience. Experimental new features and designs can be found on Zyro.
Is there a free alternative to Squarespace?
There are two Squarespace alternatives that have free plans – Wix and SITE123. While the free plans offered are mostly suited for testing, they are both great options if you need to make a website for a school project. Free plan websites have the builder’s ads on them, so I wouldn’t recommend them for serious projects.
Why Squarespace is bad?
Squarespace has a few cons – limited customization, deeper edits can only be done through HTML and CSS, the prices aren’t exactly the most affordable as well as the business tools leave a lot to be desired.
Can I move my website from Squarespace?
It is possible to move your website from Squarespace. Gallery and blog pages will be exported along with the content in your text and image blocks will appear on your new website automatically. You’ll have to manually export your style changes, custom CSS, along with your audio, video, and product blocks.