Comparing Squarespace vs. Weebly

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These days a dated, cluttered or confusing website with old information and unprofessional layouts can make or break your business "cred."

SOO much of business, sales & marketing is done online now, so staying up-to-date is a must! But how? Hiring a designer to build a website can be very expensive!

There are cheaper DIY options now, but with all the different platforms out there, how do you know which one really fits your needs as a business owner? Which one will be easiest to use if you're not a designer or maybe not even very tech savvy?

Good news, my friend! I've used both of these platforms myself, and I've created a list below of Pros & Cons for each, that may help you nail down the one that's right for you.

The absolute best thing about each of these platforms is that they allow for a designer to come in, set up all the "technical stuff" (connecting domains, links, setting up good Search Engine Optimization, etc.), design it, and then hand over the reigns & site ownership to you for long term maintenance!!

Just in case you missed that part, I'll say it one more time. 
You don't need to have a designer on retainer to keep it updated!

Want to change a photo? Add a button? Update your gallery photos, or your about page content?

You can update content and photos whenever you need to, and you don't need to depend on your designer every time you need to make a change!

It's really the perfect system for small business owners!

Like with most things though, of course not everyone has a (designer's) professional eye, and some things are just better left to the professionals. So, I still recommend that you hire a designer for the initial set up, but after that, IT'S ALL YOU!

 

A little about how I started.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve probably seen some of my old KDD branding (Katelyn Dekle Designs) at the bottom of my gallery or Photo Album. It was simple, clean, and not truly representative of me at all, except for the name (though I do love the color teal!). I wasn't really happy with my own branding, because I hadn't yet given it the time or attention it deserved.

A few months later, my husband & I moved into a remodeled log cabin, the original part of which was built in 1862. Since our new (to us) home and my home office was now in this same really neat place, I decided to rebrand and this time make it more representative of myself.

I decided not only to move my website for various reasons, from Weebly to Squarespace, but also to rebrand my business and rebuild my website all at once. Whew!

 

Why did I want to switch platforms?

First of all, I'm not a web developer and I don't really ever intend to learn that skillset, –not on that level of expertise. I know some coding basics, and I do intend to learn more HTML & CSS coding for fun along the way (I know; I'm a nerd!).

I really just wanted a website that would look good, without having to spend years learning how to design it (from the bottom up) myself, and didn't want to spend thousands paying someone to design it from scratch just for me.

That meant my options were DIY, build-it-yourself, drag-and-drop type platforms like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Shopify, etc.. I did a lot of research before I decided on Weebly in the beginning, but since then I've switched over to Squarespace (& I'm a big fan!).

Because I've used both platforms and know them both pretty well, I've come up with a list of Pros & Cons for Squarespace & Weebly that can help some of you decide what will work best for you.

Aaaaaaand I'll be covering more information on this topic in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! Or better yet, sign up for my newsletter & new blogs will come right to you! :)


Weebly

PROS:

Pricing

  • variety of well-priced monthly plans offered
  • a (very limited) free plan is available
  • month-to-month payments (?)
    • I'm not sure about this one, since I never paid monthly, but their pricing does say things like $8/mo, "when paid annually." That leads me to believe that you could pay monthly, but it'd cost a little more to use their services that way.
  • annual payments
  • Domain purchase is less than $20/year

Freebies included

  • $100 Google AdWords credit (Starter plan + up)
  • 1 Custom Domain is free during the first year

Using Weebly

  • super Easy to use (drag & drop interface)
  • pre-designed page layouts available
  • templates to choose from
  • basic customizations
  • duplicate sections (like a form) & move copy to another page

Mobile Apps Available

  • all-in-one site editor/analytics/blog mobile app 

Customer Service

  • excellent customer service (happy, easy-to-talk-to staff)

Marketing/Social

  • Weebly Promote (its own, paid, marketing/email/popup service)

eCommerce

  • ecommerce, physical goods
  • ecommerce, digital goods available on higher plans
  • accept payments via Stripe (all plans)

Blogging

  • available
  • allowed comments on blogs via Facebook when viewer is logged into their account

 

CONS: 

Pricing

  • some basic eCommerce features only available on higher plans
    • like digital downloads
    • how many products can be in your store:
      • up to 10 products (Starter)
      • up to 25 products (Pro)
      • Unlimited products (Business)

Mobile App

  • site editor mobile app had pretty irritating glitches & didn’t give you full editing control

Marketing/Social

  • social icons not consistently linked
    • every time you add them to a page you type in your links again, a major pain as my template didn't include the links in an obvious place & I wanted them in several locations
  • no Weebly Promote editing on the go (not built into the mobile app)
  • Weebly Promote was new, and doesn’t have all the features yet that professionals really need

eCommerce

  • e-commerce with digital download sales only available on higher plans
    • (Squarespace has the features I needed, mainly digital downloads, at a much lower price point)
  • accept payments via PayPal (Business plan & above)
  • accept payments via Square (Business plan & above)
  • accept payments via Authorize.net (Business plan & above)

Blogging

  • blog features need updating

Integrations

  • not integrated well with Pinterest
    • enabling Rich Pins was a little confusing
  • not integrated with Mail Chimp
  • not integrated with Google Docs

Trends

  • slower to release trending features on platform
    • (such as parallax scrolling, index pages, etc.)

 

+ For a full list of Weebly features, click here.

+ For Weebly's pricing, click here.

Squarespace

PROS:

Pricing

  • variety of well-priced monthly plans offered
  • month-to-month payments
    • (Squarespace is more clear on this, than Weebly)
  • annual payments
  • Domain purchase is about $20/year

Freebies included

  • 1 Custom Domain is free during the 1st year (annual payment plan only)
  • $100 Google AdWords credit (Business plan + up)
  • 1 year free professional G Suite email (Business plan + up)

Using Squarespace

  • super Easy to use (drag & drop interface)
  • pre-designed page layouts available
  • great templates to choose from (modern)
  • deeper customization
  • more design control with custom CSS sections, Code Injections + more

Designing for Clients

  • Squarespace Circle
    • What is SC: once you’ve been added as an admin on 3+ accounts, aside from your own, you can become part of the SC, which gives you a 6 month free trial period to use for building client websites through SS (instead of the 2 week free trial that is the normal period offered)
    • Why do this? It's an excellent way to build a simple, modern, tastefully designed website that can also be handed off to the client after the design is done. That way the client isn't forced to ask the designer to edit copy, upload new photos, or write a blog every time it's necessary to do update their site, etc.

Mobile Apps available

  • analytics mobile app 
  • blog mobile app
  • portfolio/gallery mobile app
  • notes mobile app

Customer Service

  • excellent customer service (happy, easy-to-talk-to staff)

Marketing/Social

  • social icons are linked in settings
    • (not required to type in links every time you add social icons to a page)
  • deeply integrated with Pinterest
    • (rich pins + more)
  • simply add auto-update feeds from Instagram, Twitter + more

eCommerce

  • take payments via PayPal
  • take payments via Stripe
  • e-commerce
    • (with digital download sales available on lower plans)
  • sell physical or digital goods

Blogging

  • available
  • allows comments on blogs via Squarespace
    • (no log in required to comment)
  • allows comments on blogs via Disqus
    • (viewer log in required to comment)

Integrations

  • integrated with Pinterest
  • integrated with Mail Chimp
  • integrated with Google Docs
  • integrated with professional G Suite email, matching your domain

 

CONS:

Pricing

  • no free plan available

Using Squarespace

  • can’t duplicate sections (like a form) & move the copy to another page {or if you can, I haven't figured out how to do that yet}
  • no customer file submission on forms (my customers can’t upload a file to my site, like a photo for a testimonial when they fill out the test. form, etc.)

Blogging

  • blog editor mobile app only allows most basic editing, or blog creation

Marketing/Social

  • no promotion capabilities within Squarespace (like Weebly's Promote); must rely on connecting MailChimp, or using Zapier to connect something like ConvertKit, etc.

 

+ For a full list of Squarespace features, click here.

+ For Squarespace's pricing, click here.


That's all I have for today, folks. My lists are not all inclusive, but I did spend many hours & months on each platform.

Weebly and Squarespace are both very user-friendly, but both have a bit of a learning curve. Especially if you are switching from one to the other. Even though they are both the same type of platform, it took a few days to learn Squarespace's back-end layout, after being used to Weebly's.

Both platforms have their own strengths & weaknesses, though I'd recommend Squarespace, because I personally prefer it over Weebly.

Please note, that any information I provided above was from my own experience and a quick look at the features & price lists to check for updates. I am not an affiliate of any kind for either company.  :)

 

Have you been thinking about re-doing your website, but scared it'd be an impossible task to tackle?

Have no fear, my friend!! Leave a comment below, or send me an email with any questions or concerns you may have about the process. I'll reply with my professional opinion (for free, of course!), and if after that you're interested in starting a project together, I can send you a quote for the initial setup.

Stay tuned, there will be more on this topic in the coming weeks!

Get excited! Change CAN BE a good thing! ;)


HAVE OTHER COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE OR SUGGESTIONS FOR A NEW BLOG? COMMENT BELOW! I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Katelyn Dekle

Studio 1862, P.O. Box 244, Calvary, Ga, 39828

I'm a freelance graphic designer. I've been designing for 10 years, and still love it! My passion is helping small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs become successful by providing professional branding and website design services.

What do you need help with right now? Visit my website for advice from my blog, sign up for my newsletter + access to freebies, or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest to stay connected! =) 

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