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 – making websites either for themselves, or their clients.
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.
But if you're a talented, design-savvy person, looking for a way to build a pretty website – both of these options are excellent. The themes look great, the editing is intuitive, and the end products can look absolutely dazzling.
The decision between the two platforms will depend entirely on your goals and preferences: and while I can't read your mind and see your intentions, I can do something else.
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.
|Pricing||14-day trial, plans start at $12/month||No free plan, website plans start at $12/month|
|Ease of Use||Interface focused heavily on ease of use||Steep learning curve for advanced features made as simple as possible|
|Templates||Over 110 free, modern templates||400+ templates, only 40 free ones|
|Business Features||Solid features for both marketing and eCommerce||Good eCommerce suite|
|Performance||Similarly solid real life performance||Solid real life performance|
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 $12 to $40 a month.
Meanwhile, Webflow offers website plans from $12 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 separates its plans into two different types.
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.
Here are the Site Plans for regular websites.
- The Basic plan – at $12 a month, this is certainly a basic plan.
It only includes Webflow Designer for easy website building, but no Webflow Editor for easy content management on the finished website. It allows for 25,000 visits a month, 100 form submissions, as well as 50GB of bandwidth via a CDN.
- The CMS plan – this one costs $16 a month.
It adds Webflow Editor capabilities, and increases the monthly visitor limit to 100,000. Also, you get to add up to 2,000 CMS collection items (think blog posts, team members, or any other dynamic content that would be added to the site).
- The Business plan –at $36 a month, this plan is quite a step up.
It allows for 500,000 monthly visits. Form submission limit is raised to 2,000, CDN – to 400 GB, and CMS collection items – to 10,000.
Now, there are also 3 plans that include eCommerce capabilities. Here they are:
- Standard plan – this mirrors the features of the CMS plan, giving access to both the Designer and the Editor.
The sales volume is capped to $50,000, you can add up to 500 items, and there will be an additional 2% transaction fee.
- Plus plan – it costs $74/month, and it mirrors the features of the Business plan. But there are also some improved eCommerce features.
The transaction fee is removed. Also, the sales volume is increased to $200,000, same as the item limit – with this plan, you can add up to 1,000.
- The Advanced plan – at $212 a month, this one's by far the most expensive one here. But there are reasons for it.
There is no cap on items, and the transaction volume. Plus, you can add up to 15 staff accounts to manage everything around the business.
The account plans are separated into Individual and Team options. Here are the Individual picks:
- Starter – this is the plan most Webflow users will have. It's added automatically to each account using a Website plan.
If you don't plan to use Webflow to sell websites to other people, or host them on a different platform, this plan is perfectly enough.
It allows to use one account for 2 separate projects. Also, if you end up selling one of the website that you do, you can bill the client separately for hosting it.
- Lite – at $16 a month, this plan adds a few extra features.
With it, you can export clean CSS and HTML code of your website to host it wherever you want. Plus, there's also an opportunity to transfer a whole site to a separate Webflow account.
- Pro – at $35 a month, this plan gives unlimited projects.
Plus, it offers white-label functionality, entirely removing Webflow's branding from dashboards, bills, and staging sites. It's an excellent options for professional freelancers.
Now, here are the Team plans:
Or plan, that is. This is essentially a Pro plan – allowing to add several editors, and for them to work collectively in one dashboard. It's pretty costly, at $35 a month.
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 and knock yourself out. Looking for a platform to build websites for clients? There are big upgrading options, just around the corner.
Compared to Webflow, Squarespace is so, so simple. Just four plans – and four different sets of features.
|Personal ($12/month)||Free custom domain, unlimited bandwidth and storage, and SSL security|
|Business ($18/month)||Everything above, plus advanced analytics, and eCommerce (w/ 3% transaction fee)|
|Commerce Advanced ($40/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.
Now, those plans...What are they like?
You're not gonna believe this – the Personal plan is suited for personal websites. It costs $12 a month, and includes features such as:
- Unlimited website bandwidth and storage
- Full website editing features
- Free custom domain for a year
There is no eCommerce, nor there are any advanced HTML/CSS customization features. Just simple, reliable website editing.
This plan (at $18/month) aims to suit business users, offering some business features, such as:
- Advanced analytics
- eCommerce (with 3% transaction fee)
Despite the "Business" tag, no self-respecting business owner would give away 3% of their hard-earned money for nothing, right? Skip this one – I know I have.
Now we're talking: this plan costs $26 a month, but it infinitely better suited for selling online and running a business. Here's why:
- The transaction fee is removed
- Professional email capabilities are added
I like this plan much better. It's a good option for eCommerce, solely because it got rid of the transaction fees. Plus, the custom email capabilities and full code editing can help you build an online presence that's entirely unique to you.
The highest-tier Squarespace plan costs $40 a month, but it includes extra business features, such as:
- Ability to sell subscriptions
- Advanced shipping options at checkout
If you're a bigger business, looking to offer their clients the best buying experience, or if you simply look to sell subscriptions, this one's a no-brainer. You don't get much for the extra money – but if you need either of these two things...here's a plan for you!
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:
And here is the Squarespace site:
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.
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.
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.
There are also options to add both separate elements...
And pre-made layouts, which can heavily reduce the time spent on designing the website.
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.
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.
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.
If all that isn't enough, you can spice the sections up with blocks, adding text, media, code, and several other little things.
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.
Several of these templates will also include layouts options and elements, designed specifically for them, so you can have a constant design language throughout.
Here are some of my favorites:
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.
Squarespace has no premium themes – all the options on it are free of charge.
But it looks like someone forgot to tell them to stop trying, because they're genuinely excellent.
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.
Here are some of my top picks:
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?
Making a business with Webflow
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.
And then, from the Editor, any of the editors can easily see orders, set discounts, manage the products, and do other eCommercey things.
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.
Making a business with Squarespace
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 images and descriptions!
All the editing options for eCommerce were available straight from the dashboard: this is where I could set pretty much everything up.
Also, there's a third-party application store: which is different to Webflow's, in a sense that those are actual integrations you can download to your site. Mostly, they focus on expanding on Squarespace's eCommerce.
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 to 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.
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:
And here's Squarespace:
"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.
|Pricing||No free plan, website plans start at $12 month||14-day trial, plans start at $12/month|
|Ease of Use||Steep learning curve for advanced features made as simple as possible||Interface focused heavily on ease of use|
|Templates||400+ templates, only 40 free ones||Over 110 free, modern templates|
|Business Features||Good eCommerce suite||Solid features for both marketing and eCommerce|
|Performance||Solid real life performance||Similarly solid real life performance|
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
Is Webflow or Squarespace better?
Webflow is better for professional website designers, while Squarespace is better for beginner users, looking to build an online presence.
Is Webflow or Squarespace better for bloggers?
Squarespace offers a better blogging platform. It has a better editor – so writing and editing content on Squarespace is a lot easier.
Which has better pricing – Webflow or Squarespace?
Both platforms offer very similar pricing. The recommended website plans start at $12 a month, while the eCommerce plans cost either $25 or $26 a month.