Table of Contents
- Summary: The 2 Best Alternatives To Squarespace For Blogging & Ecommerce
- Squarespace: An Introduction
- Squarespace Alternatives: SiteGround, Shopify, and Weebly
- The Bottom Line
Summary: The 2 Best Alternatives To Squarespace For Blogging & Ecommerce
- Siteground – the best alternative to Squarespace for bloggers. WordPress is installed automatically, and it’s a way better blogging platform that Squarespace in my opinion. It’s what I use here on my blog you;’re reading right now.
- Shopify – Shopify is the best alternative to Squarepsace for ecommerce stores. It’s CMS is the best in the industry, and the third party apps you can install cover just about every feature anyone would need, all without having to hire a coder to customize it.
The importance of websites, especially in today’s world, cannot be underlined enough. Therefore, it makes sense to find a website builder that lets you create an attractive site that is easy to navigate, fast, and optimized for different viewing devices. Whether you’re an individual or run a business, your site is going to be responsible for a lot of consequences (good and bad) depending on its construction and the way it looks. After all, given the number of websites out there, no person is going to invest too much effort in viewing a website, such as waiting more than 10 seconds for it to load (and even that’s pushing it!).
To build a good website in the first place, you’ll obviously need a good website-builder. Given the wide range of options, features, and pricing, website-builders need to be chosen with care and research. An inefficient website-builder will result in a substandard site which will definitely affect your brand and reputation. Also, your website needs may differ from the needs of the next company, which is why it’s important to realize that there is no objective choice for the best company; it only depends on which one is the best fit based on your needs!
Thanks to website-building software, where earlier website-building used to be a task for the specialists, it is now a task where anyone can create a professional-looking website without the required technical skills. Website-building solutions that are available online, such as web hosts and specific software, let you create websites with half the effort and time that were required earlier. Squarespace is one such website-building solution that users have long endorsed for its quality and efficiency. However, humankind is yet to discover the solution to perfection, which means that even a service such as Squarespace is bound to have some flaws in it, which is why we discuss the need to consider alternatives to it as well as give you 3 great options that you could explore instead of Squarespace!
But first, what is Squarespace?
One of the best-known website-building brands in the market, Squarespace is essentially an all-in-one package, which means that it is a content management system that also functions as an e-commerce platform, website builder, blogging platform, hosting service and domain name registrar. The cloud-hosted software offers users style editors, pre-made templates and drag-and-drop management for great website customization at great prices that take into consideration individual buyers as well as companies.
Due to its all-inclusive nature (it comes with website-builders such as Weebly, Wix and WordPress), Squarespace is the ideal solution for starters as it gives you every feature you may potentially need to set up your website, as opposed to buying different types of software that perform and manage different functions on your website. Using Squarespace is like fitting in all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, as opposed to having a huge and mixed pile of many jigsaw-puzzle pieces and trying to make sense of all of them!
- Squarespace offers pre-made templates that are highly diverse and attractive.
- All templates are optimized for viewing on different screens.
- Wide range of styling options and customization features.
- The integration of marketing tools with SEO tools makes it easy for the company to reach users on all social media channels, whether potential or existing.
- The stock Getty Images are discounted and Typekit fonts are offered free-of-cost.
- Cloud-hosting that is unlimited and free-of-cost.
- Level 1 PCI-compliant cloud-hosting that is safeguarded with 128-bit SSL encryption.
- Great premade template designs as well as the option of uploading your own template.
- All-inclusive platform with custom-built features.
- Provides great speed, backups, security and data exporting.
- Commendable customer support.
- Relatively expensive (starts at $12 for the Personal plan, $18 for the Business plan, $26 for the Basic online store plan, and $40 for the Advanced online store plan) when compared to direct competitors such as Weebly and Wix, as well as setting up your own WordPress site.
- Not many advanced marketing tools.
- Lack of support for third-party applications and extensions.
- Harder to use and navigate than advertised.
- Not great for e-commerce functionality.
Overall, Squarespace remains a well-known brand and its cons don’t take away too much from its efficiency. It’s still one of the best website-builders with clean, beautiful templates and features. However, you may not be looking for an all-inclusive website-builder, in which case Squarespace may not be the best option.
Like we said, you may want to switch from Squarespace due to any of the reasons mentioned earlier. In such a case, we recommend three great services that each caters to the different aspects that Squarespace catered to, such as SiteGround for web-hosting, Shopify for e-commerce and Weebly for website-building.
One of the best web-hosting options available today, SiteGround is a Bulgarian web-host that was founded in 2004. Despite being the new kid on the block, the web host has serviced more than 800,000 domains since its inception, providing different types of hosting such as shared, cloud and dedicated server hosting.
What makes SiteGround a great alternative is that it offers all the web-hosting features that Squarespace offers, but at half the price, starting at a really inexpensive rate that works out to $3.95 (when paid annually as a lump sum), especially when compared to Squarespace’s pricing. This makes for some pretty awesome value-for-money without any compromise on web-hosting efficiency. Additionally, SiteGround offers great uptime (99.98%), high speed (500 microseconds or less) and excellent customer support, as well as features such as free WordPress migrations, one-click WordPress installation, and a free-of-cost custom-built caching tool.
- StartUp Plan at $3.95 per month
- GrowBig Plan at $5.95 per month
- GoGeek Plan at $11.95 per month
It should be noted that these plans are the initial sign-up prices that can be availed only through a lump sum annual payment. The plans revert to their normal pricing once the initial period is done.
- Uptime guarantee of 99.98%.
- 500 microseconds or less of page load time.
- The customer support staff is well-trained, knowledgeable, and available 24/7 through phone, chat, email and ticketing system.
- Single-click WordPress install.
- Security add-ons included free of cost.
- Free-of-cost site migration.
- 30-day money back guarantee.
- Highly affordable.
- Though advertised to be unlimited, storage space is limited.
- Additional “setup fee” is charged for billing on a monthly basis.
SiteGround features high performance, excellent user-friendly features and most importantly, competitive pricing, winning it fans all over the world, whether individuals or businesses.
Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce platform that’s great for online businesses. Part of a group of hosted e-commerce solutions, Shopify gives users everything needed to set up their e-commerce site, from beginning to end. Shopify also has a “Buy” button functionality that lets you use the platform as a point of sale or inventory option, letting customers buy your products from any site online.
Shopify works using the following process:
- Pick a plan that suits your needs as well as your budget.
- You can also direct your domain that you purchased from a domain registrar or buy one from Shopify itself.
- Choose a template or design which you can edit free-of-cost.
- Add different features like payment options, products and page content.
If you don’t use Shopify’s in-house payment system (Shopify Payments), additional charges apply for every sale you make, as well as extra charges for credit card payments.
- Built-in speed and security for hosting as Shopify has facilities to handle speed and security at a global level with 100% SSL, integration with payment providers, as well as payment to third parties to make their systems hack-proof.
- Has all the necessary features to kickstart your e-commerce site, such as payment integration and customization of features.
- Amazing customer support with a huge database of FAQs, email, live chat and phone support.
- Great marketing features such as product content editor and SEO features.
- Facility to integrate add-ons through the Shopify App Store (some free and some at additional costs) as well as “Buy” button.
- Shopify can turn out to be expensive, especially for beginners. The transaction fees charged are pretty high, which can act as a barrier to entry. Additionally, Shopify’s basic plan starts at $14 per month and along with credit card fees and add-on fees, it can turn out to be a pretty pricey affair!
- Shopify doesn’t use the standard PHP, which makes customization harder.
- Average content marketing.
- A higher learning curve when compared to other competitors due to Shopify’s technical jargon and “Liquid” theme setup.
- Lengthy and slightly complicated initial setup process.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one e-commerce solution, Shopify is your best bet! Of course, this is provided you invest in gaining a little technical knowledge beforehand and don’t mind the pricing and costs.
Weebly is one of the fastest-growing and highly-reputed website-building brands available online. Similar to Shopify, Weebly focuses on website-building in general, whereas Shopify is oriented towards e-commerce. Also like Shopify, Weebly is all-inclusive with a drag-and-drop builder, layout and content.
Weebly is one of the easiest website-building tools available and is suitable for users whether they wish to get their website up and running to showcase hobbies or run a full-fledged business. Though Weebly isn’t specifically meant for e-commerce, it still does a pretty decent job supporting e-commerce sites. Additionally, the company is continuously innovating to add more advanced features and designs to cater to a wider audience.
Another great thing about Weebly is that it’s extremely user-friendly and the company has ensured that they retain this characteristic despite any innovations or advancements. Users don’t require prior technical knowledge to be able to use Weebly. And if you do happen to know a bit of coding, it only serves to increase the benefits you get from the platform, as Weebly lets you access and edit your website’s HTML and CSS, which means more customization.
Weebly offers the following plans:
- Free package (if you don’t mind that your website is hosted on a subdomain)
- Starter pack (for individuals) at $8 per month
- Pro pack (for groups and organizations) at $12 per month
- Business pack (for small businesses and stores) at $25 per month
- Performance pack (for bigger businesses and power sellers) at $49 per month
- Unlimited data, bandwidth, and storage at pretty great prices.
- Easy site-building process and onboarding.
- Strong features and the facility to integrate third-party applications.
- Email support and Knowledge Base for free accounts, whereas paid accounts have email, chat and phone support.
- The content management system is not as efficient as competitors’ systems.
- Lack of advanced marketing tools (such as A/B testing, custom social shares, and EV SSL), even to add later to the platform.
- Migration away from Weebly to a new platform is difficult as it involves manual exporting of data.
- E-commerce functionality is not as great as competitors such as Shopify or BigCommerce.
Weebly is an all-inclusive website builder with great pricing, functionality, and user experience. It’s ideal for most users, though it does offer lesser templates than Squarespace.
Squarespace is a great, all-inclusive platform that’s ideal for you if you’re looking for a platform that facilitates easy publication of blogs, lets you create a stylish website, and offers pretty great customer support. Of course, all of this can burn a tiny little hole in your pocket, given how expensive Squarespace is. Additionally, you’ll need to remember that Squarespace doesn’t offer great page-loading speed, nor is it as user-friendly as other platforms. You’ll definitely need to invest in gaining technical knowledge beforehand.
However, if the cons of Squarespace throw you off, we’ve just given you three great alternatives that you could always explore. SiteGround, Shopify and Weebly altogether cover all the features that Squarespace covers. Though you’ll have to use these in isolation (as opposed to Squarespace that is all-inclusive), these platforms are easy-to-use and well-worth the individual investment. Therefore, if you’re looking for a great alternative to Squarespace, try one of these platforms; they’re definitely not going to let you down!