No matter why you decide to look at them, this article is going to show you the best Squarespace alternatives to build your next website.
Trying to figure out which website builder works best for you is a daunting task. Some site builders are similar while some are completely different. Ultimately, they all do the same thing and that’s building websites.
So how do I choose the best website builder?
The most logical approach is researching with trial and error. At the end of the day, you’re going to want to go with the site builder that covers most of what you are looking for.
Here’s a list of the top site builders you might want to look at before starting your next website project:
If you’re planning on creating an ecommerce storefront, Shopify is definitely the favorite, yet most logical platform. Their platform features a wide range of ecommerce themes, third-party apps, and integrations.
Of course, this comes at a price. Their plans range from $9/month to $179/month (cheapest plan doesn’t support an online store, only a point of sale system).
It wouldn’t make sense to use Shopify (see Shopify review) to build anything other than an online store. If you’re planning on building a non-ecommerce website, I wouldn’t recommend using this platform.
Things Shopify does well:
- They offer an all-in-one ecommerce platform with the necessary features to build and run an online business.
- The store builder is as easy as it gets. You can launch an online store within minutes of signing up. And best of all, you don’t have to be tech savvy to do this.
- Their platform offers built-in security and speed required for any online store.
- Advanced SEO tools that can help you achieve better search engine rankings.
- Customer support is always there to assist you run into a problem. You also have access to their community forum.
Things Shopify doesn’t do well:
- The platform is heavily skewed towards merchants in North America and UK. You would have to hack and workaround the code to change store languages.
- When you combine transaction fees (exist if you don’t use their in-house payment gateway) and app costs, the actual monthly cost can rise dramatically, making the platform expensive.
If you’re looking for a true website builder that is easy to use, Wix is something you might want to take a look at. Their drag and drop editor is what initially attracted me to give their platform a test drive.
Wix offers a basic version of their platform for free. Unfortunately, you quickly realize that their basic version is not enough and limits a lot of the features you need.
Luckily for you, they offer five premium plans that offer a lot of the features you’ll find yourself using. Their plans range from $6.90/month to $29.90/month.
While it’s definitely possible, I still wouldn’t recommend using Wix for ecommerce. There are easier, more powerful platforms for building online stores.
What Wix premium does well:
- Four out of their five plans give you a free domain name for the entire year and up to $300 in free marketing credits.
- You can create unlimited pages with both their free and premium plans.
- Their website builder utilizes a drag and drop editor that enables you to build a professional website with ease. You also get access to over 100 website templates.
- Features a 24/7 support structure in case things don’t go as planned. Tutorials and other helpful walkthroughs are available as well.
- When you find yourself looking for more, Wix has an app store where you’ll most likely find what you need to take your website to the next level.
What Wix doesn’t do well:
- Their free version and cheapest premium plan serves various ads on your website. This is going to be annoying, especially to your visitors.
- Ecommerce is where Wix struggles. For one, they’re limited to only a handful of payment gateways and their ecommerce tools are almost non-existent.
Weebly is another alternative to Squarespace and shares many similarities with Wix such as their drag and drop editor, multitude of website templates, and the ability to build both a website and an ecommerce store.
Sort of like Wix, Weebly offers a basic version of their website builder for free. As I mentioned above, you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that it’s just not enough to be successful.
They offer three premium plans, ranging from $8/month to $25/month. A lot of the features that are limited with the free plan are included with their premium plans.
If you don’t find Shopify suitable for your ecommerce store, I would recommend giving Weebly a shot.
What Weebly does well:
- Since their platform utilizes a drag and drop editor, you can expect a lot of simplicity here. In other words, you don’t need to be tech savvy to build a website.
- Weebly takes care of the hosting, speed, and security. While this can be both good and bad, it’s a pro in Weebly’s case. All websites built on their platform are optimized for their own hosting.
- They understand that learning new software can be overwhelming at first. That’s why they give you access to hundreds of guides, tutorials, and other educational resources.
- Weebly is flexible and can be used for both general websites and ecommerce stores.
What Weebly doesn’t do well:
- You are pretty much locked to the platform. Migrating your website or store to a new platform is going to be a huge hassle and not worth the headaches.
- While they offer a decent amount of built-in features, you’ll find that they don’t have everything. Other platforms offset this by allowing you to integrate with third-party apps – Weebly doesn’t.
- If you’re running an ecommerce store, transaction fees may or may not apply to you. Two of their premium plans charge transaction fees of 3%.
WordPress is my platform of choice when I’m in the process of creating a blog or a simple website that pushes content. To get started, all you need is a domain name, web hosting, and a solid template.
As mentioned above, WordPress is a free platform and from the looks of it, it always will. However, you’ll need to buy a custom domain name and reliable web hosting. You might even have to spend some money on a quality template.
WordPress is excellent for blogs and information websites, not so much for ecommerce. If you want to set up an online store on WordPress, you’d have to mess around with various ecommerce plugins that typically impact the performance of your site.
What WordPress does well:
- WordPress is easy to use and configure. A majority of the web hosts out there will actually install WordPress for you. So, you really don’t have to deal with the whole installation aspect of it.
- You can find a plugin for almost anything you’re looking for (SEO, marketing, editing, etc.).
- WordPress is probably the best platform for publishing, editing, and accessing content.
- WordPress has the largest developer community that constantly releases plugins that improve the software.
What WordPress doesn’t do well:
- Their software is constantly updated to improve the software and patch any vulnerability. Some plugins may not work properly after new software updates and patches are released.
- If you’re not tech savvy, you’ll have to install a different plugin for every little thing.
- You’ll need reliable web hosting that is optimized for WordPress. This type of web hosting is usually pricey.
THE VERDICT – WHICH WEBSITE BUILDER IS BEST?
I think that the word “best” is overrated and there’s no such thing as the “best.” We all have different needs so what’s best for me may not be best for you.
The good thing about all of this is that each alternative above does a good job of allowing you to test out their platform before having to commit. If you’re still unsure of which website builder to choose, give them all a try and see which one works best for you.