Squarespace Alternatives 2017

While Squarespace does a lot of things exceptionally well, it is not a perfect platform and you may need to explore Squarespace alternatives. What makes them so popular is the ability to create a content website or an online store.

Squarespace offers a reasonable pricing model as well – website plans start at $16 a month, and online store plans start at $30 a month.

Problems with Squarespace

Because you are already here, I am going to assume that you already ran into one of the Squarespace problems below.

  • Lack of support for third party apps and extensions. New features have to be released by Squarespace, which can take a while.
  • You have to sign up for the $46 a month plan to get access to advanced features such as the abandoned checkout auto-recovery and real-time shipping rates.
  • The marketing features are basic and sometimes buried and hard to find.
  • The ecommerce platform is only integrated with one payment processor (Stripe).
  • When viewing your store on a mobile device, the design of the store may look slightly different from the original design.
  • The extensive styling options may be overwhelming to the average Joe.

Best Squarespace alternatives

With the exception of Shopify, the Squarespace alternatives below can build both regular websites and online stores.

1. Shopify

Shopify

If you need a complete, all-in-one ecommerce platform to build an online store alone, look no further than Shopify. The platform is easy to use, offers an excellent support system, and hosts over 377,500 online stores. Shopify is one of the best online store builders on the market right now. You can also read my detailed Shopify review.

Price: $29 to $299 a month
Transaction Fees: None (0.5% to 2.0% when using an external payment processor)
Bandwidth: Unlimited
Products: Unlimited

Top three pros

  1. Shopify has a large ecommerce app store and lets you extend the functionality of your store with external apps.
  2. Shopify lets you use a lot of different payment processors such as PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, etc.
  3. Shopify’s main focus is ecommerce, so everything is optimized for ecommerce.

Top three cons

  1. Transaction fees are applied when you use an external payment processor (e.g. PayPal). The transaction fees are waived when using their in-house payment processor.
  2. The platform is heavily skewed towards merchants in North America and United Kingdom.
  3. They utilize a template markup language called Liquid.

Businesses using Shopify: Tesla, Google, and Wikipedia.

Sign Up: Start a 14-day free trial with Shopify.

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2. Wix

wix

The Wix slogan “It all starts with your stunning website,” says it all. Wix is an incredible website and online store builder that is reasonably priced and fairly easy to use via drag-and-drop editor. What makes Wix stand out from other website builders is the $300 in ad vouchers that you get to kick-start your marketing campaigns.

Price: Free to $25 a month
Transaction Fees: None
Bandwidth: 1 GB to unlimited
Pages: Unlimited
Products: Unlimited

Top three pros

  1. Wix offers a free account with a free subdomain, hosting, 500 MB of storage, and 1 GB of bandwidth.
  2. Wix offers the best collection of professional caliber templates for photographers, small businesses, designers, restaurants, hospitality, and musicians.
  3. The platform uses the most innovative drag-and-drop website builder that is constantly updated with new features.

Top three cons

  1. The process of changing to a different template is difficult. The content will not transfer to the new template and you will need to insert the content manually (e.g. copy and paste).
  2. The free account has visible advertisements on the left and right sidebars and the footer area once you publish the website.
  3. You need to upgrade to the $17 or $25 a month plan for ecommerce capabilities.

Businesses using Wix: Beard Tamer, Little Paper Warriors, and Michael Burk Studio.

Sign Up: Open a free Wix account.

[maxbutton name=”Visit WIX”]

3. Weebly

weebly

Weebly is a complete drag-and-drop editor that lets you build websites and online stores on a single platform. What makes Weebly excellent is because it is a universal platform that is used worldwide. The platform is used by over 40 million people across the globe.

Price: Free to $38 a month
Transaction Fees: None to 3.0%
Bandwidth: Unlimited
Pages: Unlimited
Products: 10 to unlimited

Top three pros

  1. Weebly offers a free account that is yours forever.
  2. Weebly offers a large app center where you can install third-party apps and extensions.
  3. There is a good selection of templates that you can use to build a professional website, online store, or personal blog.

Top three cons

  • The free account is hosted on a Weebly subdomain.
  • While Weebly has a blog tool, it is far less customizable than using a blogging platform such as WordPress.
  • The Starter and Pro plan charge transaction fees of 3.0%.

Businesses using Weebly: Montainer Homes, Alibi Interiors, and Dharma Yoga Wheel.

Sign Up: Open a free Weebly account.

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So which Squarespace alternative is best?

I do not think there is a “best” tool out there, just one that is best suited for your business or website needs. Aside from that, I do think that any one of the Squarespace alternatives listed above is good for ecommerce. If you are in need of a actual website builder rather than an online store builder, then Wix or Weebly are the clear favorites (Shopify works for ecommerce only).

Here are my final picks and recommendations:

For Ecommerce: I would try to use Shopify first and if it does not work well, I would go with Wix.

For Websites (blogs, forums, business websites, etc.): I would try Wix first and only switch to Weebly if things do not work out.

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