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Webflow vs Squarespace – designer's tool, or a simple builder?


Webflow and Squarespace are two tools made for rather different audiences. Webflow is a designer's tool, meant for serious website design and editing. Meanwhile, Squarespace is a super simple website builder and business solution, merged all in one.

Looking from the outside, both of these platforms look seriously different. Webflow aims to be a serious, professional tool, aimed at design professionals, freelancers, and agencies. Meanwhile, Squarespace acts as a simple, beginner-friendly business option. With plenty of great templates, and various business features baked right in, it offers a simple way for anyone to build an online presence.

The decision between the two platforms will depend entirely on your goals and preferences, so for this Webflow vs Squarespace comparison, I set up two test sites, one for each platform. In this post, I'll show you my experiences doing so – describing pricing, ease of use, templates, business features, and overall performance as I go along.

You can read it all, or just click here to go straight to the conclusion. Alternatively, follow the links on the table below to read only about the parts you care about the most.

SquarespaceWebflow
Rating
4.2
4.0
Pricing14-day trial, plans start at $16.00/monthNo free plan, website plans start at $14.00/month
Ease of UseInterface focused heavily on ease of useSteep learning curve for advanced features made as simple as possible
TemplatesOver 110 free, modern templates400+ templates, only 40 free ones
Business FeaturesSolid features for both marketing and eCommerceGood eCommerce suite
PerformanceSimilarly solid real life performanceSolid real life performance
WebsiteSquarespace.comWebflow.com

Webflow vs Squarespace for different sites

Webflow and Squarespace both focus on different target audiences – one is perfect for designers, the other is more suitable for personal use. But how do these builders compare when it comes to building different kinds of websites?

Website typeWebflowSquarespace
eCommerce websiteA simple but powerful built-in eCommerce suite. However, getting additional integrations for your site is quite difficult, plus the plans with eCommerce functionality are quite pricy.Very beginner-friendly eCommerce features. Plenty of guides to help out people that are just starting out with eCommerce. Also offers a well-curated app store.
Business websiteOffers basic in-house marketing features, it’s possible to integrate various other tools, such as Google Analytics and MailChimp.A full business suite with eCommerce and marketing tools. Great selection of in-house features, as well as there’s the availability of adding additional marketing integrations.
Portfolio websiteFully customizable design for both visual and text-based portfolios. While the customization options are great, some of the templates are quite expensive.A very visually-focused website builder, all the templates are heavily focused on images. Great for visual art portfolios, not so good for other types of art portfolios.
Blogging websiteOffers a highly customizable blogging tool but the website itself won't allow posting many blog posts.A very simplistic blogging tool with great SEO tools.

Pricing – two different worlds

The comparison of the pricing here is a little bit complicated: the platforms are quite different, and so are the prices. Squarespace offers 4 premium plans, ranging from $16.00 to $49.00 a month.

Meanwhile, Webflow offers website plans from $14.00 to $212 a month, and also additional Account plans for building websites for others – they additionally cost from $16 to $35 a month.

Let's have a look at them in detail, shall we?

Webflow plans

Webflow separates its plans into two different types – Site plans and Account plans.

While that sounds confusing, there's actually a pretty good reason for it: they are meant for two different types of work.

Site plans are made for people who want to make, host, and manage their own websites. Account plans are meant for design professionals and agencies who want to use Webflow as their work tool.

Regular Site plans

PlanFeatures
Basic ($14.00/month)Supports 25k monthly visits and 100 contact form submissions for small websites. It does not include Editor capabilities.
CMS ($23.00/month)Designed for 100k monthly visits and 1,000 contact form submissions per month. Adds site search functionality.
Business ($39.00/month)Can handle 500k monthly visitors and receive 2,000 contact form submissions monthly. You can add up to 10 editors to the site.

These plans are the best for blogs, portfolios, or landing pages. I’d say that for sites like that, the Webflow CMS plan is my favorite in terms of value for money.

eCommerce Site plans

PlanFeatures
Standard ($29/month)CMS plan + 500 products, $50k sales volume supported, and 2% transaction fee.
Plus ($74/month)Business plan + 1,000 products, $200k sales volume supported, and 0% transaction fee.
Advanced ($212/month)Business plan + 3,000 products, unlimited sales volume, and 0% transaction fee.

If you're planning on selling online, the Plus plan is best – it’s the cheapest plan with a 0% transaction fee.

Account plans

These plans focus on letting you build several custom websites and you can choose if you’re going to do that for yourself or for your clients. They're incredible for freelancers who build websites for a living but don't necessarily look to actively host them.

PlanFeatures
Starter (free)2 projects, client billing, and free staging tool
Lite ($16/month)10 projects, client billing, enhanced staging, code export, and product transfers.
Pro ($35/month)Unlimited projects, client billing, enhanced staging, code export, product transfers, white labeling, and password protection for sites.
Team ($35/month per person)Pro plan for each member of the team.
Enterprise (custom)Customly designed solution for large businesses.

The best plans from the Account plan category would be Pro and Teams. Pro is the best option for designers and freelancers, while the Team plan basically covers the Pro features, but allows to connect multiple team members.

Overall, Webflow lets to pick whatever website building experience you want. Just need to make a simple website for yourself? Grab one of the cheaper Website plans. Looking for a platform to build websites for clients? There are great upgrading options.

Squarespace plans

Compared to Webflow, Squarespace is so, so simple. Just four plans – and four different sets of features.

PlanFeatures
Personal ($16.00/month)Free custom domain, unlimited bandwidth and storage, and SSL security
Business ($23.00/month)Everything above, plus advanced analytics, and eCommerce (w/ 3% transaction fee)
Commerce Basic ($27.00/month)Removes the 3% transaction fee in the Business plan and adds more eCommerce features like professional email and complete CSS & Javascript customization
Commerce Advanced ($49.00/month)Containing all the features from previous plans, Commerce Advanced gives you some extra options like selling subscriptions and advanced shipping

Similarly to Webflow, the prices are for a website. Meaning, that you can't make several premium websites under one premium plan. There's no free plan, too – luckily, there's a 14-day free trial, that should be enough for testing out the platform's capabilities.

If you don't want to read our in-depth Squarespace pricing comparison article, I'll try to explain each plan to you in a couple of sentences.

Personal is the best pricing plan to choose if you’re looking for a simple place for blogging or showing off your creations. While this plan is pretty limited (it has no eCommerce capabilities or advanced analytics and marketing tools), it is a great place to start. Especially if you’re just looking to create a landing page or a portfolio.

You might think that the Business plan is the best plan for business (it’s in the name, isn’t it?), but I wouldn’t recommend this plan to anyone. While this plan allows to sell unlimited products and accept donations, for each transaction coming into your site, Squarespace will take a 3% transaction fee. This plan’s monthly price can increase pretty quickly.

The Basic Commerce plan is the plan to start with if you want an eCommerce website. This plan removes the transaction fee and offers powerful eCommerce analytics. It also offers some other interesting features, such as customer accounts. Advanced Commerce is the next natural option after your online store grows out of the Basic Commerce plan. It offers additional advanced eCommerce features, such as the option to sell subscriptions and add advanced shipping options, as well as abandoned cart recovery and advanced discounts.

When you peel back the layers, you can see that the pricing for Webflow and Squarespace is quite similar – $12 a month for a regular site, and under $30 a month for a store. But Webflow also includes a transaction fee, as well as a lot of features for designers, freelancers, and agencies. That can easily inflate the price. By a lot.

Webflow vs. Squarespace – a case study

Now, let's put Webflow and Squarespace to a serious real-life test. For this comparison, I made websites with both platforms. This way, I could get a proper, informed look at how these platforms behave.

So, this is the Webflow site:

webflow site preview

And here is the Squarespace site:

squarespace site preview

This is how everything went down:

Ease of use – different levels of customization

  • Webflow offers a highly customizable interface, that will be a problem for beginner users.
  • However, Webflow does a pretty good job simplifying everything as much as possible.
  • Squarespace tries to appeal to beginner users, offering a simple experience throughout the entire website-building process.
  • Overall, Webflow is suited for professional users, while Squarespace is meant for everyone else.

Best website builders are usually defined by their ease of use – the easier it is to do a task, the better! And so, this is what this part is going to be all about.

Let's see how easy it was to set up a website with each of the platforms.

Using Webflow

Webflow's setup experience is a simple one. No downloads, no special setup – just a good old button to "Get Started", which directed me straight to the questionnaire. It takes note of your business goals and overall experience levels.

Then, as the interrogation came to a close, I found myself in a Webflow Editor – which included a quick setup tutorial.

I heavily recommend not to skip the tutorial. It's not long, and pretty helpful, showing off a few of the core website editing techniques.

webflow tutorial in action

Once that was done, I could roam freely. And there was much to roam.

The section of the right includes all the things to edit on a selected element, while the section on the left lets me decide what specific action do I wish to do.

webflow designer screen

There are also options to add both separate elements and pre-made layouts, which can heavily reduce the time spent on designing the website.

webflow adding new elements and layouts

If you have a plan that enables Webflow Editor, you can move to it at any time. The interface is much less technical, and not focused on changing the site's design. It's meant to be for the content editors, not website designers.

For the Editor, you can change the copy of the site, as well as manage pages, blogs, forms, and other dynamic content.

Now, was all of this easy?

If you're an avid website creator or know your way around Adobe products, you'll feel right at home. But this isn't exactly the "intuitive interface for beginners", although...it never claimed to be one?

Webflow is as simple as a complicated product can be. It's incredibly powerful and the fact that I needed only a few hours to be confident in using Webflow is actually excellent. I'd be hard-pressed to find a platform that can make doing so much any easier.

Using Squarespace

After signing up to Squarespace, all I had to do was pick out my template and follow a simple setup guide. Similar to Webflow, I recommend you pay good attention. While Squarespace is nowhere near as complicated as Webflow, there are still some decent page management things to learn.

Afterwards, I moved right into the website editor. It was much easier to use than Webflow's, naturally.

editing a squarespace site

Squarespace editor is separate into sections and blocks. Sections are pre-made parts of the site, including text, interactive elements, and media all combined. Squarespace offers a solid library of them – I especially loved that they adapted to my preferred design preferences.

squarespace section picks
Nice and light and green!

If all that isn't enough, you can spice the sections up with blocks, adding text, media, code, and several other little things.

block options on squarespace

Both Webflow and Squarespace are easy to use, in their own special way. Webflow tries to make professional site editing as easy as possible, meanwhile Squarespace will be a simple option, suited to everybody.

Templates – great free options vs. premium excellence

  • Webflow has over 500 templates. From them, 40 are free – the rest are premium.
  • Free Webflow themes are fairly basic but still do a good job. The premium ones are excellent – but they'll cost anywhere from $30 to $150.
  • Squarespace offers over 110 templates. They're all free and all gorgeous.

Webflow separates its themes into 16 different categories.

You'll come to find that whoever said "best things are free", was a liar. Webflow has a lot of premium themes, made by an extensive community. They're great – and they cost money.

When you look at the theme library, you’ll notice these small grey icons: these icons indicate whether the theme is CMS Editor friendly, or, for instance, eCommerce friendly.

webflow template options are paid

There's an interesting thing about Webflow’s themes: many of these themes come with additional sections, layout, and even demo landing pages. By picking a theme, you'll also get a selection of elements that fit within its style.

There is a good deal of nice free themes, too. However, objectively speaking, they're simply not as extensive or as beautifully-designed as the premium options.

Overall, you get a wide variety of nice-looking and responsive themes, not to mention, most of them are reasonably priced. The only issue with them is that I wish that more of the themes were free.

Squarespace has no premium themes – all the options on it are free of charge.

Squarespace’s templates are split into 15 categories, you can choose from Photography to Events & Weddings and everything in between.

squarespace template picks

Unlike Webflow, you won't be given a massive array of custom pre-made layouts for each. Plus, most Squarespace themes will rely on beautiful high-quality images. So, if you want to make the best of the themes, better get some images ready.

Squarespace offers a cheaper option, with all templates available free of charge. However, Webflow has a bigger library, that includes not only the templates, but the additional layout options as well – you'll just need to pay for it!

Business features – DIY or simple tools?

  • Webflow offers a built-in eCommerce suite, that is actually quite simple to manage.
  • Other business features on Webflow are set up through integrations – which are often just tutorials on how to use the third-party tools.
  • Squarespace offers a more complete business suite: with eCommerce, marketing, and third-party integrations.

Now, let's have a look at how both platforms deal with their business features – who are they suited for, and which one should you pick for your new project?

Webflow business and eCommerce features

Webflow is not just a website design platform. In fact, I was rather impressed with its eCommerce suite. It lets to easily manage all the items and orders. And while it's a rather expensive option ($29 a month with a 2% transaction fee, $74/month with no fee), I still really enjoyed it.

You can set up variables for each item: such as price, description, category, and so on. It's up to you how you'll set everything up.

From the product management area, it’s easy to do these changes:

  • Add new items with multiple variants
  • Sell both physical items and digital products or services
  • Enable inventory tracking
  • Set shipping options for each product

And then, from the Editor, any of the editors can easily see orders, set discounts, manage the products, and do other eCommercey things.

editing webflow ecommerce

To get more traffic to your website, you might have to start writing a blog. There’s one big shortcoming for Webflow – this builder has a limit of ten thousand “items”, where one “item” in a blog is a blog post, or a tag, or a category. You might run out of space pretty quickly if you’re looking to post multiple articles per day.

Additionally, if you’re looking into making a blog, you have to know what kind of SEO changes you can for your website without any additional tools. For that case, these are the general SEO features you get:

  • Enable auto-generated sitemap
  • Set global canonical URL
  • Set custom SEO settings for each product, page, and category
  • Create and manage forms and mailing lists for email campaigns

For everything else, there are the third-party integrations. There are loads of them, covering topics such as email marketing, membership tools, CRM, and so on.

But there's something rather unusual about them. You see, most of these integrations aren't exactly integrations. They're just tutorials on how to get specific functionality on your Webflow website. For instance, Privado tool just redirected my right to their landing page, and suggested to schedule a demo with them.

So, you'll get eCommerce – but for other functionality, you'll need to roll your sleeves up and go to work. It won't be as easy as pressing a button and enjoying the results.

Squarespace business and eCommerce features

Squarespace holds your hand throughout the whole business-building process. For instance, while setting up an online shop, I had to go through a questionnaire. It included some of the general questions, such as "what do you want to sell?".

Once this was done, it filled up my would-be vinyl shop with plenty of pre-made products: completed with stock images and auto-generated descriptions!

All the editing options for eCommerce were available straight from the dashboard: this is where I could set pretty much everything up.

squarespace ecommerce options

If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at Squarespace’s product management, we have an entire article about Squarespace eCommerce.

When it comes to blogging between Webflow and Squarespace, Squarespace is the better option. On its built-in blog page, you can create blog posts and excerpts. It’s also possible to tag and categorize posts, enable comments, and more.

Squarespace’s SEO editing is quite simple and functional. After writing your blog post, access the post’s settings to add all of the important post-related data.

And if you're looking to make some global SEO changes, on the side menu of the Squarespace web hosting editor, there is a section dedicated only to SEO.

One of the links there leads to Squarespace's own SEO checklist. It has some useful basic information about the required SEO practices: adding site titles, SEO page descriptions, etc.

For marketing, Squarespace focuses heavily on email and social media. For instance, its Unfold tool lets to easily make custom posts directly from the dashboard, and use the templates made by Squarespace design professionals. The tool is free, but the Premium version with all the design options is $2.99 a month.

For emails, Squarespace lets you connect to your subscribers straight from the dashboard.

There will also be plenty of pre-made templates, so you can discover and use the one that suits your style the most.

Sadly, there's no free plan here: depending on how many emails you want to do, email marketing will cost anywhere from $5 to $48 a month.

Also, there's a third-party application store: which is different from Webflow, in a sense that those are actual integrations you can download to your site. Mostly, they focus on expanding on Squarespace's eCommerce.

Webflow has a good eCommerce suite, but for everything else, you're on your own. Squarespace offers some great marketing options on top of eCommerce – just prepare that in order to use them, you will need to open your wallet.

Performance – as similar as it gets

  • Both platforms have very similar performance results.
  • Both Squarespace and Webflow are within the industry's performance standards.

For the final test of this Webflow vs Squarespace comparison, we are going to see at the performance of these platforms.

To do that, I put both of my test sites to GTMetrix. This platform measures both the overall platform optimization and site performance.

Here are the results for Webflow:

performance of webflow

And here's Squarespace:

performance of squarespace site

"It's the same picture."

Both platforms do pretty well when it comes to optimizing their websites. Google's recommended load time for optimal browsing is 3 seconds.
Webflow loads in 2.4s, while Squarespace takes 2.8s – both seriously good results! Plus, it takes under 1.5 seconds for them to load the top portion of the site, making the real-life loading speeds even better.

Overall, I'm quite impressed. The only winner in this performance comparison is us.

Webflow vs. Squarespace – conclusion

Honestly, for me, this is like picking a favorite child. Despite the fact these platforms have their flaws – I love them both.

SquarespaceWebflow
Rating
4.2
4.0
Pricing14-day trial, plans start at $16.00/monthNo free plan, website plans start at $14.00/month
Ease of UseInterface focused heavily on ease of useSteep learning curve for advanced features made as simple as possible
TemplatesOver 110 free, modern templates400+ templates, only 40 free ones
Business FeaturesSolid features for both marketing and eCommerceGood eCommerce suite
PerformanceSimilarly solid real life performanceSolid real life performance
WebsiteSquarespace.comWebflow.com

Webflow might just turn me into a website designer. I am not a professional, I'm only a hobbyist – but the few days I spent using this platform have been genuinely inspirational. I was impressed by the platform's capabilities to create just about anything I desired.

I did a much more expansive look at it on the Webflow review, but in nutshell – it manages to take very difficult, very complicated things, and turn them into something much less menacing. If you're willing to spend days learning, and months mastering your craft, Webflow is a very good option.

If not, there's an alternative option that I fully endorse.

Squarespace made everything as simple as it gets. I loved its templates: they looked like I hired someone to design a website for me, not purchased a $12 builder plan. Plus, there are plenty of business tools, third-party integrations, and more – all of which I covered in my Squarespace review.

You won't get to do as much, as you would on Webflow. But if you need a platform to make a website, not learn how to make websites, take Squarespace – and don't look back.

And this, in a nutshell, is what I think about these two platforms.

Webflow is a great option if you're looking to become (or already are!) a professional website designer. Squarespace is excellent, if you just want to make a website, and carry on with your day.

Webflow vs Squarespace FAQs

Comments

Sanzee
Sanzee
prefix 2 months ago
Amazing Blog man. All my doubts have been cleared through this entire read.
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