Weebly vs Squarespace – take your pick!
Weebly and Squarespace are both website builders, aiming to help build not only websites – but online businesses as well. With eCommerce, marketing, and blogging features added right to the platforms, they’re both solid all-around options.
Weebly is a platform aiming specifically at online stores, with a bunch of website builder pedigree on the side. Squarespace is a springy all-rounder – it can do a lot to please as many potential users as possible. But can you remain versatile, and still do a good job?
I guess we’ll see about that.
For this Weebly vs Squarespace comparison, I made test sites with both of the platforms. In this post, I’ll show you everything I learned about the platforms and their pricing, ease of use, templates, various business features, and overall performance.
And if you don't feel like reading the whole thing, just click here to magically teleport straight to the conclusion. Or follow the links on the table below to read up on the parts that you care about the most.
|Pricing||No free plan, plans start at $12/month||Free plan available, eCommerce plans start at $12 a month|
|Ease of Use||A business-centered interface, focused on ease of use||Pretty easy to use drag-and-drop editor|
|Templates||Over 110 modern-looking templates||60+ free templates, covering 7 main niches|
|Business Features||Solid eCommerce and marketing features||Pretty good eCommerce features|
|Performance||Similarly solid, real life performance||Solid real life performance|
Weebly vs. Squarespace for different websites
While website builders might be perfect for one type of site, they can be useless when building others. So, let’s take a look at how Weebly and Squarespace tackle some of the main challenges.
|Blog||An unintuitive editor, which doesn’t allow you to add headings to your texts – bad for SEO.||Very easy to set up and start blogging, however, the blog editor could be more content-forward|
|Portfolio site||A limited number of themes suited for portfolios, editor suited mostly for beginners.||Curated visual-centered templates for portfolios, intuitive editor.|
|Business site||Has most core elements needed for business.||Great marketing tools as well as solid in-house analytics.|
|eCommerce site||Best for an eCommerce site, because of the add-ons and tools offered.||Simple to set up an eCommerce site, very beginner-focused.|
Weebly vs. Squarespace – a case study
How do you compare the two website builders? Well, there is a pretty clear answer: build websites on both and find out the differences. So that’s exactly what I did!
I set up test sites with both of the platforms, and had a look at how easy they were to use, as well as looked around at the editing, business features, as well as templates.
This is the Weebly site that I put together:
And this is the Squarespace website:
And this is how my adventures have gone:
Ease of use – different approaches, one winner
- Both platforms focus heavily on beginner users, offering simple solutions for setting up websites and online stores.
- Squarespace offers a wider variety of website design tools.
- Weebly has a drag-and-drop builder, letting you freely move all the elements around – but it's let down by a lackluster choice of elements.
One of the key methods of finding the best website builder is seeing how easy it is to use. After all, isn't that the main goal – to make difficult things, like designing a website, and setting up an online business easy?
Well then, let's see how these platforms do:
Straight from the bat, Weebly asks a pretty important question:
If you wish to use Weebly, pick the second, "Weebly Websites" option. The other one sends you to Square Online – an entirely different platform, ran by Weebly's parent company. Don't get discouraged by the description about the Weebly platform: despite what it says, you can sell online with Weebly.
Once I avoided this booby trap, I got to the second choice of the day – picking my starting theme.
Once that was done, I got sent straight to the editor to design and shift my theme as I please.
I could mix and match the element options on the left to add texts, buttons, links, and media of my own. Thanks to the drag-and-drop functionality, I was able to, uhhhhh, drag and drop each element on a virtually any part of the website.
That being said, I still had to comply to a certain grid.
Or, if you don't feel like combining little elements to make a website, you can pick from one of the few completed "sections". They're already pre-made, eliminating a lot of work you'd have to do.
Sadly, I'm not overly impressed with Weebly's editor. While the freedom to drag and drop elements on a pre-made theme is certainly fun, I'm missing a lot of functionality. The sections don't comply to the site's color scheme, and there aren't all that many elements to add.
Sure, it's absolutely easy to use. For instance, the dashboard will include a simple setup guide to get started.
And the overall look of it is minimal and very simple to understand.
But there isn't all that much you can do – especially where website editing is involved. Dare I say, I'm...disappointed?
Squarespace follows a similar startup pattern to Weebly (except that there are no lures of a different platform). Once you sign up to the builder, you get to choose a theme.
Then, you get to answer a few questions about your business, such as: "how do you call your site?", and some guides on how to edit pages.
This can all be changed in the settings later, but it’s nice to see it front and center.
With all that out of the way, I was nice and primed to start working with the editor.
Unlike Weebly, Squarespace is not a drag-and-drop builder. Instead, it lets you interact with your site's layout, by clicking to add or edit sections.
And unlike on Weebly, there are plenty of them:
The sections automatically match your selected website style, with colors and fonts tailored to the preferences. Plus, there are several layouts of each option.
And in case the sections don't include all that is needed, there's also a feature to add additional elements to them.
The dashboard is pretty simple, too – including pretty much everything required to run a successful online business. Also, everything was available literally at all times: meaning that I could go from editing my website to maintaining my online shop, in just one click.
Overall, I enjoyed it. Using Squarespace was quite simple. Furthermore, I didn't feel limited by its design capabilities. Everything was very nicely balanced.
Both Weebly and Squarespace are easy to use – but Squarespace gives you more to do. Weebly, meanwhile, has fewer website design options, which is a pretty massive sacrifice.
Templates – modern looks vs. a classic approach
- Weebly offers 60 templates, divided into 7 different sections. They're fairly basic and minimalist.
- Squarespace offers over 110 options, divided into 14 niches. They're much more modern-looking than the Weebly counterparts.
- Both platforms offer responsive templates, perfect for viewing on all types of devices.
Squarespace offers over 110 templates – and for the most part, they look excellent.
These templates are split into 15 categories; ranging from Photography to Events & Weddings and everything in between. There is also a section for ‘My Favorites’ - allowing the user to find a template they’ve used before very quickly.
I honestly can’t think of any real negatives to say about Squarespace’s template library. It does a really good job of categorizing the templates for easy access, and the ability to add favorites is something more website builders should look to.
The customization of Squarespace templates is pretty good, too – these are some pretty flexible templates. You can drag around and re-arrange elements as you like, re-size and re-align blocks and sections, and change colors and fonts to a very high level of detail.
Here are some of my top Squarespace templates:
Moving on to Weebly – I wasn't as big a fan of its templates. There are around 60 options, separated into 7 categories ranging from Business to Events and Blog pages.
Overall, there isn’t a lot to say about Weebly’s templates. They’re fine, they look fairly modern and have some interesting elements, but the lack of customization is a bit of a buzz-kill. There aren't any daring designs – everything's simple and functional.
Here are some examples of Weebly’s template options.
Overall, Squarespace templates are more modern, more customizable, and there are more of them. It's a good option for design flexibility. Weebly lags behind on all counts.
Business features – selling isn't enough!
- Weebly focuses its efforts on an eCommerce platform: it offers a simple way to build and manage your online store.
- Squarespace offers well-rounded options for selling, marketing, SEO, and blogging.
- Both options are good when it comes to selling. For everything else – Squarespace has the edge.
Both Weebly and Squarespace tailor their products towards small businesses – so this part is pretty important. Especially if you're an aspiring entrepreneur looking for the next business platform to use. So, let's see how both Weebly vs Squarespace deal with their business features.
Sometimes, website builders try to jump on the bandwagon, rushing to add features that have suddenly become popular. This, ultimately, can lead to unpolished and half-baked products. Squarespace is not an eCommerce solution – it's a website builder that only got eCommerce features a few ago.
And yet, Squarespace absolutely nailed it.
The setup process is heavily tailored towards beginner users.
To set everything up, you're asked a few questions regarding the products you wish to sell, and your general eCommerce goals.
And then – voila! For the online shop, I chose that I was selling vinyls (something not available on the preselected list).
Once the setup was done, I had an entire test shop made: that included a bunch of preset items. They were vinyls!
You can use the built-in eCommerce section to do some of the basic tasks like setting up shipping, discounts, and see your orders.
Or, if you wish to do something more: like make customer surveys, or set up print-on-demand services, there is an integrations library, offering several third-party tools to pick from.
Overall, Squarespace eCommerce is not a minimalist, dumbed-down version as some might expect. Despite not promoting itself as an eCommerce platform, Squarespace can certainly act as one.
Meanwhile, Weebly does market itself as an eCommerce solution. Having one look at the main dashboard would tell you as much: there are options for all the main eCommerce features.
Similarly to Squarespace, Weebly also has a third-party integration store. This is where you can do dropshopping, print-on-demand, and other features, not offered by Weebly's stock suite.
For adding items on the site, Weebly slightly forgets its "drag-and-drop design freedom" ethos, and offers a few basic layout options.
Funnily enough, both platform offer virtually identical payment gateways. You can use Stripe, Square, and PayPall on both of them, with a standard rate of 2.9%+30c for each transaction.
Weebly's marketing features are focused mostly on email marketing. Personally, I quite enjoyed the platform's Promote product, that offers me what emails to send to my subscribers...
As well as offers an intuitive email builder tool, very similar to its website builder.
Hilariously, I actually found Weebly's email editor more extensive than the website builder.
And while this sounds really fun (and it is!), sadly, it's going to cost extra. The free plan only lets to set up 2 marketing campaigns, and send out 500 emails a month. To do more, a premium plan is required – and it costs anywhere from $8 to $75 a month.
Squarespace focuses on both social media and email marketing. Namely, through its Unfold tool, which helps create visual stories for your business.
You can use the designer-crafted templates, fonts, and effects to build the visual presence of your dreams. Then, the newly-created content can be shared all across social media automatically from Squarespace. It's available for free, with a premium version available for $2.99 a month.
The Squarespace email marketing follows a very similar design pattern.
There are plenty of excellent templates available: so you can find one, that suits you the most.
Same as Weebly – you'll need to pay for the good stuff. There is no free plan, and the premium ones range from $5 to $48 a month.
SEO and blogging
If you wish to use your website to rank on search engines, you need two things.
First, a platform with solid search engine optimization.
Second, some good content that could get optimized.
Squarespace, for instance, does a decent job with both. Starting a blog on the platform is virtually effortless. Just choose to add a page, select "Blog" and you're as good as done.
The interface of writing and editing a blog isn't some award-winning stuff, but it's more than passable. Everything's simple, clear, and works pretty fast even on a Chrome window with millions of tabs clinging to life on it. Squarespace has a pretty good blogging platform.
SEO optimization related to a specific post can be edited on post settings...
Meanwhile, the SEO section on the Marketing menu deals with the site-wide matters – and also includes some helpful tools to get everything going.
Weebly, on the other hand, is a bit less refined.
The blog editor is about as subtle as a train crash. You'll have to use the system, eerily similar to the website editor, to drag and drop elements on the page.
There is some redemption on SEO though: you can edit a fair amount of stuff for each page...
And the site as a whole.
It's not bad, especially for advanced users. But a regular, doesn't-do-SEO-for-a-living Joe, Squarespace's approach will be friendlier and eventually, more powerful.
Both Weebly and Squarespace do rather well when it comes to eCommerce. But on marketing, SEO, and blogging, Squarespace is lightyears head.
Performance – both good, one better
- Both Weebly and Squarespace return decent performance results, loading sites in under 3 seconds.
- Squarespace does better in loading website's key content – but the overall differences are fairly marginal.
Now, it's time for the final chapter of this Weebly vs Squarespace comparison: I'm going to see the performance of both these platforms.
To do that, I put both of the test sites to GTMetrix – a platform that measures the platform's optimization, and the site's overall speed.
Here are the results for Weebly:
And here are the results for Squarespace:
Honestly, both platforms are virtually indistinguishable. That's a good thing! Both Weebly and Squarespace will load their websites in less than 3 seconds, which is within Google's recommended norms for modern website performance.
However, Squarespace gets a point over Weebly in user experience. It takes only 1.3 seconds to loads the biggest visible portion of the website, your visitors can then proceed to read. Weebly takes around 2 seconds to do that.
To be fair though, I'm splitting hairs here. Half a second there or there doesn't change the fact that both of these platforms do their job really quite well: they're fast, and they're capable. Squarespace wins – but not by crazy much.
Pricing – two very similar options
Weebly offers a free plan, and also 4 premium options – they range from $5 to $38 a month.
Meanwhile, Squarespace has no free plan – but there are 4 premium options as well, which range from $12 to $40 a month.
Let's take a deeper look at both of these pricing plan sets:
This is the breakdown of all available Weebly plans:
|Free||Website on Weebly's subdomain, Weebly ads displayed, 500MB storage|
|Connect ($5/month)||Can connect your own domain, free SSL security, basic marketing features|
|Pro ($12/month)||Weebly ads removed, unlimited storage, advanced site-building features, eCommerce (25 items, 3% transaction fee)|
|Business ($25/month)||All eCommerce features (unlimited items, no transaction fee), advanced eCommerce insights|
|Business Plus ($38/month)||All features above, plus real-time shipping calculator, and abandoned cart emails|
There's also one more thing worth considering:
These Weebly prices are valid if you pay for 12 months in advance. If you wish to pay monthly, they will increase. The $5, $12, $25, and $38 plans will then cost $8, $18, $35, and $46 a month.
Actually, here's one more thing I'd like you to know:
Don't go for the free and Connect plans. Not only they include a pretty measly 500MB of storage, but also, this – a massive watermark at the bottom of your site.
Usually, this is a badge of shame reserved only for the free options. But Weebly Connect lets you connect (a-ha, smart naming!) your own domain, and still keeps the badge for everyone visiting your website to see.
For serious websites, and serious businesses...this is not a serious look.
So now, let's take a look at the other plans.
For $12 a month, the Pro plan includes some of the core features for personal websites:
- Unlimited storage
- No Weebly ads
- Extra site-building features, such as memberships, site search, HD video
- eCommerce – with up to 25 items, and a 3% transaction fee
This is a pretty good option: but despite it offering eCommerce, I strongly suggest not using it for online stores. The reason is simple – the additional 3% transaction fee, that will take a big chunk of your proceedings, despite the platform doing absolutely...nothing. Selling a mere $1,000 worth of products every month means an additional $30 given away to Weebly.
However, if you don't wish to sell online, this is still a fairly-priced, interesting plan to use. Just, you know...beware?
The Business plan costs $25 a month, and it much better suited for online stores. The features include things such as:
- No eCommerce transaction fees
- Extra eCommerce features, such as coupon codes, item options, review, gift cards
- Additional eCommerce stats
Despite the previous plan also having eCommerce functionality, this is absolutely a better option for that. Namely, because of the transaction fee being removed.
Business Plus plan
The most expensive one here ($38 a month), the Business Plus plan includes additional advanced eCommerce features. Such as:
- Real-time shipping calculator
- Abandoned cart restore/email functionality
Yep, that's it – only two extra features. That being said, those are pretty useful. The real-time shipping calculator allows your buyers to choose from several custom-priced shipping options. Meanwhile, the abandoned cart emails let you reach out to the clients who have oh so nearly left your shop without buying.
Is this worth the extra $13? Well – depends. Personally, I think that you can very easily make back the $13 from just using these features on your existing shop. Certainly something to think over.
Squarespace also offers 4 premium plans. Here are they:
|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|
Despite the fact there's no free plan on Squarespace, there's still a way to test the platform – without spending any money or giving away credit card details.
There is a free 14-day trial, that you can use to give Squarespace a test ride. But once that's done, you'll have to pick a plan to ride with. So, let's look at each of the premium plans in detail:
Fitting, the Personal plan is suited for personal websites. It costs $12/month (same as Weebly Pro!) and includes some of the core features, such as:
- No Squarespace ads anywhere on the site
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Full website editing features
This plan in incredibly comparable with Weebly Pro. It costs the same, and has the same core features. Sure, it doesn't have eCommerce – but not like you should use Weebly Pro to sell online anyway, right?
This is the Squarespace plan seemingly focused on businesses, including the features such as:
- Advanced analytics
- eCommerce features (with a 3% transaction fee)
Yep, our good friend "3% transaction fee" makes an appearance here as well. Same way as Weebly Pro, I can't rightly recommend this plan to anyone.
Why would you willingly give away the money that you make? This is one of the first 5 things they teach in business school!
This plan actually tries to be good for businesses. It has some advanced features, such as:
- No transanction fee for eCommerce
- Professional email capabilities
This is a solid plan. It automatically becomes a viable option for eCommerce – just by removing the transaction fees. Plus, the email capabilities will let you have a more respectable-looking email address, and full code customization is excellent for making your online presence uniquely yours.
Sounds pretty good for bigger businesses for me.
Finally, at $40 a month, the Commerce Advanced plan goes a few steps further. There are some additional eCommerce features, such as:
- Advanced shipping options
- Selling subscriptions
This plan doesn't offers a lot extra for your money, but same as with Weebly's Business Plus plan – it's all about whether you can make back the money that you spend. It's obviously the plan to pick if you sell subscriptions: and also a pretty decent options to get better, customized deals on shipping.
Overall, both Weebly and Squarespace are priced very similarly. It'll be $12 for a regular website plan and $25-26/month for a regular eCommerce plan. Barely a difference between the two!
Weebly vs. Squarespace – conclusion
So, we've reached the end of this Weebly vs Squarespace conclusion – and overall, it appears that my initial impressions were actually...right?
|Pricing||Free plan available, eCommerce plans start at $12 a month||No free plan, plans start at $12/month|
|Ease of Use||Pretty easy to use drag-and-drop editor||A business-centered interface, focused on ease of use|
|Templates||60+ free templates, covering 7 main niches||Over 110 modern-looking templates|
|Business Features||Pretty good eCommerce features||Solid eCommerce and marketing features|
|Performance||Solid real life performance||Similarly solid real life performance|
Weebly goes all-in on eCommerce. It has a pretty solid suite that can help both the beginners and more experienced users. Everything is pretty nice and simple...Perhaps, too simple? Especially when it comes to the website editor – despite it being drag-and-drop, the limited selection of available elements is rather disheartening. Same goes for blogging features: they are so rudimentary, it's not a great look.
That being said, if you're looking to make a simple website and sell items from it: Weebly is more than capable for that.
Meanwhile, Squarespace is an excellent all-rounder. Its eCommerce features just about match what Weebly can offer. And with everything else, Squarespace has the edge.
The website editing process is much more fun, and intuitive. The templates are better. The blogging and SEO features are much more user-friendly, and the marketing features offer everything Weebly does – and then go a step beyond.
Considering that both Weebly and Squarespace cost virtually the same, I have a pretty good idea of who's the winner here.
Weebly is a good option for eCommerce. Squarespace is a good option for eCommerce and everything else. Overall, Squarespace is a much better-rounded option for most users.
More Weebly comparisons you might want to read
More Squarespace comparisons for you to check out
Weebly vs Squarespace FAQs
Is Weebly or Squarespace better?
Both are good options for online stores, but Squarespace is better for everything else. It has better marketing, SEO, and website design features, compared to Weebly.
Weebly or Squarespace for eCommerce - which to choose?
Weebly and Squarespace are equal in terms of eCommerce tools. They both have great in-house and additional features, the only difference between the builders is the price. Weebly is cheaper than Squarespace.
Can you transfer a Weebly site to Squarespace?
You can transfer your domain and online store contents. However, you can't transfer your website design.
Is Weebly 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 – Weebly 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.