These days, website builders make it easy for anyone to create beautiful websites. It doesn’t matter how green you are; there are tons of intuitive solutions out there.
On the flip side, many web design pros find these options too limiting. Most website building solutions don’t come close to providing the design freedom you get with coding a website from scratch.
If you’re trying to find a website builder that overcomes these limitations, these two companies are well worth considering. Both gear themselves towards web designers and promise advanced customization for elaborate designs.
They combine design freedom with CSS editing and the application of color filters while offering an intuitive editor for users with no coding knowledge.
In short, both Webflow and Squarespace offer the best of two worlds.
But, which better suits your needs? Continue reading as we make a direct comparison between the two.
What Is Webflow
Founded in 2013, Webflow is a unique and exciting addition to the web builder market.
At the time, the majority of website builders provided simple albeit similar themes users could customize. Although they were great for newbies, they left pros wanting more.
This is where Webflow comes into its own.
By combining content management and Adobe-like software functionality, Webflow provides the perfect platform for professional web designers.
Despite all of Webflow’s advanced features, if you don’t have any coding skills, never fear. You can still use this platform to create and launch your website and grow your awareness of web design best practices. It has also recently added eCommerce functionality, making it a much more rounded web building service.
What Is Squarespace
Founded in 2003, Squarespace, in comparison, falls more in line with traditional website builders. However, it too has a twist. Squarespace markets itself towards creatives and designers, making it a go-to for portfolio websites where visuals need to stand out.
Like Webflow, Squarespace also offers more design customizability than many of its competitors via its powerful in-built image editor.
On top of that, Squarespace provides robust blogging features, making it a great website builder for entrepreneurs wanting to focus on content marketing. It’s also a popular pick for small to mid-sized eCommerce businesses.
Webflow vs Squarespace: Ease of Use
As two of the more design-heavy website builders on the market, we’re curious as to how long it takes to master these toolsets. In other words, how easy are Webflow and Squarespace to use?
Webflow isn’t the most easy-to-use website builder. However, this isn’t surprising when you consider the platform is oriented to the needs of professional designers. It comes with a colossal range of features that can be complex to learn. The editor also uses a lot of web design jargon, making you aware of margins, padding, borders, and other terms you might only be aware of if you have previously coded websites in HTML and CSS.
All in all, if you’re looking to harness the full power of Webflow, it isn’t best-suited to beginners. But, if you’re up for a learning curve, Webflow could eventually open endless possibilities for you.
On the other hand, if you already have web design experience, Webflow makes it easy to hit the ground running. In short, how easy Webflow is to use all comes down to your web design and coding experience. For instance, designers that heavily rely on Adobe software such as InDesign and Photoshop will find some of Webflow’s features refreshingly familiar.
Compared to Webflow, Squarespace is much simpler to use. You don’t have to be a professional to get to grips with this software. Still, first-time users might find Squarespace more complicated to use than other website builders on the market.
For one, Squarespace doesn’t provide a drag-and-drop editor like many of its simpler competitors. Instead, you can edit individual sections.
Also, Squarespace’s editor comes with a wealth of nuances you need to learn, especially if you’re used to working with drag-and-drop editors. However, once you’ve spent some time familiarizing yourself with the platform, it isn’t overly complicated, even for beginners.
Ease of Use – Winner: Squarespace
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use tool, Webflow isn’t for you. That said, neither tools are the simplest on the market, but ultimately Webflow is much more complicated thanks to the greater number of features and capabilities available. As such, advanced users who are willing to learn will eventually be able to take advantage of some of the industry’s most in-depth web design features.
Webflow vs Squarespace: Their Core Features Compared
Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what Webflow and Squarespace have to offer.
Design and Customizability
As both Webflow and Squarespace are best known for their design capabilities, it makes sense to kick things off by examining their design and customizability features.
Webflow boasts a stunning collection of professionally designed and responsive templates with almost 500 to choose from. Both free and paid-for options are available. Premium themes range from $19 to $149. You can filter through Webflow’s templates by industry, so you’re bound to find a good fit for your niche.
Pro Tip: Take your time picking a template. Once you have selected a theme and begun editing it, you can’t switch templates at a later stage without losing all your content. You’ll have to start from scratch again!
Once you’ve picked your template, you can simply choose and arrange blocks of content and set their design. Webflow provides an incomparable wealth of design options through its Adobe-like setup. This is especially true of your fonts; you can control the line height, spacing, and much more besides. Or, you can really amp things up a notch by adding effects such as parallax and animations to your web pages.
You can also set background images with gradients and utilize popular blend modes to make the colors interact. In light of that, if you’re familiar with photo editing and/or graphic design software, you’ll find Webflow grants much more design freedom than its competitors.
If you would rather start with a blank slate and work from the ground upwards to bring your vision to life, that’s possible too.
- Hand it over to other developers to further optimize
- Migrate it to another web building platform
- Transfer it over to an independent domain
This kind of flexibility is rarely seen in website builders!
Squarespace is well-renowned for its beautiful, high-quality templates. There are over 100 standard website templates to choose from and more than a dozen for online stores (all of which are free). All templates are responsive and categorized into industries such as blogs, portfolios, non-profits, and more.
You can also purchase premium Squarespace themes from third-parties. Typically, these go for anywhere between $150 to $500, with some available as monthly subscriptions and others as one-off purchases.
When it comes to editing, you can access your website’s code, so rest assured you have complete design freedom over your theme. On top of that, Squarespace’s best design feature is its powerful image editor. Here, you can adjust the contrast, saturation, and other image metrics within Squarespace itself.
Unlike Webflow, Squarespace enables you to chop and change between templates during the design process, so there isn’t the same pressure to make the right choice the first time around.
However, Squarespace doesn’t allow you to design your website from scratch — you’re always bound to a theme. For pro web designers with a specific vision in mind, this can be frustrating!
Design and Customizability – Winner: Webflow
Both Squarespace and Webflow are excellent choices for web designers looking to create visually-stunning websites.
That said, Webflow has a slight edge here. Its vast array of advanced image editing and graphic design functionalities is incredibly impressive. Webflow truly provides everything you need to customize any detail of your website to your heart’s content.
If you want to sell physical or digital products on your website, listen up.
Webflow is still relatively new to eCommerce. Despite this, Webflow provides everything small to mid-sized businesses need to set up an excellent online store.
You can sell both physical and digital goods and add your own custom product fields to display more information. Webflow also makes it easy to set up unique product variants in just a few clicks and tailor the checkout process to suit different product types.
You can choose from various shipping options, too, such as flat-rate, per-weight, and location-based. There’s also a decent selection of payment gateways available, including credit and debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. In fact, you can take customer payments from over 200 countries!
When it comes to marketing, Webflow enables you to create promotions and special offers. However, its email marketing features are somewhat limited. For instance, Webflow doesn’t boast native abandoned cart functionality.
That said, Webflow comes with basic customer management features. For example, you can track orders, manage customer accounts, and review each customer’s order history to get at your consumers.
Best of all, sales tax and VAT are automatically calculated for users from the US, Canada, EU, and Australia. Plus, you benefit from Webflow’s integrated statistics. With this info to hand, you’re better positioned to measure your store’s performance.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, Webflow doesn’t offer users a mobile app. So, you may struggle to manage your online store while you’re on the run.
Like Webflow, Squarespace also empowers you to sell unlimited physical and digital products.
In addition, if you’re a service provider (or selling products that require consultation), Squarespace makes it easy to schedule appointments via its online booking and calendar features. Or, if you’re considering selling subscriptions, Squarespace supports this billing model too.
You can also start collecting customer data to build your email list and integrate your site with your socials. When used to the fullest, email and social media marketing are potent methods for driving traffic and boosting sales. Speaking of email marketing, Squarespace offers abandoned cart recovery on its more expensive plans.
Squarespace makes it easy for you to adjust your shipment and payment settings. You can create variants for new and existing products. Each product variant has its own SKU, and you can list up to 100 variants per individual product.
You can take payments through Apple Pay, Square, Stripe, and PayPal, as well as all major credit and debit cards. Also, like Webflow, you can customize the checkout experience to suit the type of product purchased and collect whatever customer data you want at the point of checkout.
There are also built-in tax tools that make compliance a breeze, and you can generate discount codes and gift cards to help promote your items. Squarespace connects with several shipping suppliers such as FedEx and USPS and enables you to offer customers different shipping options, including flat rates and weight-based shipping costs.
Lastly, if you’re always on the run, never fear. You can manage your online store on the go with Squarespace’s mobile app.
At this point, it’s also worth noting that if you already have a brick-and-mortar store or you’re planning to sell in person, you can do so with Squarespace’s POS (point of sale system). This enables you to take in-person payments and sync both your online and offline inventory to help you stay on track.
eCommerce – Winner: Squarespace (Just!)
Neither Webflow nor Squarespace focuses on eCommerce. Still, both platforms enable you to build functional online stores suitable for small to mid-sized businesses.
However, if you’re counting on a POS system that integrates your e-store with an existing brick-and-mortar shop, Squarespace has the edge. This isn’t something Webflow offers. The same goes for a mobile app. Again, this is a perk Squarespace users benefit from that Webflow customers don’t.
To build a thriving online community surrounding your website, content marketing is vital, so you’re probably curious to see how Webflow and Squarespace compare in this arena.
Webflow’s blogging engine is powerful. It works similarly to WordPress in that it’s completely customizable. You can either use pre-designed templates to lay the foundations of your blog or start from scratch — the choice is yours.
Webflow lets you take full control of your SEO. For one, all its templates are cleanly coded and fully responsive. But it also allows you to define the URL structures of your CMS collection pages, auto-generate meta titles and descriptions, and add alt tags to your images. Plus, you can create categories and collections to better organize your content.
However, blogging with Webflow isn’t beginner-friendly. Instead of working within a content management system, you have to update a template with dummy content and create your own content structure. We won’t get into it here, but check out Webflow’s post on how to get started with blogging for an idea of how it works. In summary, it’s more complex than what you might be used to, but the design possibilities are, once again, endless.
Another benefit is that you can permit other content editors to modify your site in real-time, through one simple and centralized editor. This makes executing complex content marketing strategies with your team a breeze.
Like Webflow, Squarespace’s blogging engine is also pretty impressive. You can design a feature-rich blog using templates explicitly designed for blog pages.
Squarespace makes it simple to upload and manage blog posts from other platforms such as WordPress and Tumblr. Plus, you can enable geolocation tags and user comments, and visitors can reblog your content, which is a super simple way of extending your reach. These are both features you won’t find with Webflow’s blogging engine.
You can also use your blog drafts as part of your email campaigns. This makes sending your content incredibly quick and easy. You can opt to share your latest posts to your socials automatically.
Speaking of social media, you can even add an alternative social sharing image when your post is published, giving you control over how your content appears on different social networks.
Blogging – Winner: Squarespace
Even though Webflow’s blogging functionality is excellent, starting a blog with this platform comes with a steep learning curve. While the functionality is there, it’s difficult to compare Webflow’s blogging engine with the ready-to-go solution Squarespace provides.
In contrast, Squarespace’s blogging functionality is more holistic and approachable. Not to mention, allowing users to comment on blog posts is great for building community. What’s more, Squarespace lets you import existing blogs from platforms such as WordPress or Tumblr, so you don’t have to start from scratch if this isn’t your first rodeo!
A tool’s ability to integrate with other apps often speaks to its scalability. Website builders rarely function in a vacuum for thriving businesses. They have to work alongside existing tech stacks that facilitate email marketing, analytics, accounting, and more.
With that in mind, this is what Webflow and Squarespace have to offer where native integrations are concerned.
Webflow doesn’t boast too many native integrations. However, the ones on offer are pretty popular — most notably, MailChimp, QuickBooks, and Ship Station.
Also, thanks to its Zapier integration, you can connect with hundreds of third parties.
Interestingly for designers, Webflow integrates with Adobe After Effects. This allows you to create impressive galleries and grids with custom animations. You can view a full list of Webflow’s integrations here.
In comparison, Squarespace offers a broader range of widgets and add-ons. Widgets include image galleries and integrated eCommerce tools for restaurants and cafes. You can also add social media buttons and integrate them with popular analytics tools.
All in all, Squarespace’s integrations are more in-depth and flexible than Webflow’s. Amongst its native integrations, you’ll find household names such as Dropbox, Mailchimp, Google Ads and Analytics, ChowNow, Vimeo, and tons of others.
Also, like Webflow, Squarespace integrates with Zapier, which unlocks a whole new realm of possible integrations. You can see Squarespace’s full list of integrations here.
Integrations – Winner: Squarespace
Squarespace provides a broader range of native integrations than Webflow. These come in particularly handy for extending the functionality of your site, especially if you don’t have the time or know-how to code your own integrations.
Webflow vs Squarespace: Pricing
When purchasing any website builder, pricing isn’t something that can be ignored.
Both Webflow and Squarespace are SaaS (Software as a Service) apps that charge a monthly subscription, so costs can quickly add up. This raises the question: which provides better value for money?
When it comes to pricing, Webflow offers loads of packages — each catering to the needs and budgets of different users. Besides its standard site plans, there are also programs dedicated to eCommerce and account plans for professional designers and agencies.
On each plan, you save 15% if you opt for annual billing, so that’s what I’ve quoted below.
You can also try Webflow for free by signing up for an individual account plan, which allows you to experiment with building up to two websites consisting of two web pages using Webflow’s editor.
This is a freemium package, so if you want to benefit from Webflow’s customization tools, you can take your time and learn how to use it properly until you’re ready to launch a site. However, this plan is quite limited. To build a full website, you’ll have to upgrade.
That’s enough preamble, let’s look at the specifics of what each plan offers.
All website plans include advanced SEO, such as automatic sitemaps and customizable 301 redirects. They also come with password protection for your whole site or individual pages so that you can control who can access your content.
All plans come with built-in SSL and 24/7 hosting monitoring to ensure uptime and security against attacks, super-fast page loads, and automated backups.
Basic ($12 a month): Webflow’s Basic plan is intended for simple sites that don’t require a content management system. The program comes with a custom domain and enables you to create up to 100 pages.
Monthly visits are limited to 25,000, you get 50 GB CDN (content delivery network) bandwidth, and you can handle up to 500 form submissions. With this plan, you don’t get any automatic API requests, site search functionality, nor collaboration features.
CMS ($16 a month): It’s recommended that content-driven sites such as blogs opt for this plan. This allows for up to 100,000 monthly visits, and 1,000 form submissions. You also get 2,000 collection items, which is the max number of records you can have in your CMS database (for example, one collection item might be one project in your portfolio).
Your bandwidth is extended to 200 GB a month, and your site can handle 60 API requests per minute. You can also invite three content editors to collaborate with you and activate site search for your users.
Business ($36): This plan increases your monthly traffic allowance to 1,000,000 visits. You can also handle up to 10,000 collection items and accept unlimited form submissions.
You also gain 500 GB worth of bandwidth and your site can handle 120 API requests a minute. You can work with up to 10 content editors. Furthermore, the Business plan unlocks a global CDN for faster page speeds no matter your visitor’s location.
Enterprise: This is a custom-quoted plan that raises limits according to your needs. Enterprise also unlocks training and onboarding, enterprise-level support, and custom billing & MSA (Master Service Agreement). To get a quote, you’ll need to contact Webflow directly.
Webflow’s eCommerce plans expand on the programs listed above and include the same base features. So if you’re presently on a site plan, you can easily upgrade to the eCommerce variant of that package and benefit from the extra features for the higher premium.
Standard ($29 a month): This plan suits businesses just getting off the ground. You can list up to 500 items and modify your online checkout, shopping cart, and product fields.
You can also send customized emails and access Webflow’s CMS. You pay a 2% transaction fee on customer payments and register up to three staff accounts. However, your yearly sales volume is limited to $50k.
Plus ($74 a month): This package is best for higher-volume businesses. You can upload up to 1,000 items (products, variants, categories, and CMS items) and it includes everything in the Business plan.
Plus, you can send unbranded emails and the 2% transaction fee is waived. Also, the annual sales volume is lifted to $200k and you can register up to 10 staff accounts.
Advanced ($212 a month): The Advanced plan includes everything in the Plus package and empowers you to list 3,000 items. You can also register up to 15 staff accounts and your yearly sales volume is unlimited.
Webflow’s account plans were made with those providing web design services in mind (as either a solopreneur or part of a team). We won’t go into too much detail, but here are the basics. The Starter plan for individuals is free and allows you to work on two projects with free staging and client billing features.
Upgrading from the Starter plan enables you to work on more projects, enhances your staging features, and unlocks unlimited project transfers. On the Pro plan ($35 a month), white labeling is also available.
For a team package, you’ll have to pay $35 per person to receive all features included in the Pro plan and unlimited projects. You’ll also be able to export code and use white labels and site password protection to control access to individual web pages. You’ll gain access to a team dashboard too.
Squarespace keeps its pricing a little more straightforward. It comes with four plans to choose from, which can be as much as 30% cheaper if you pay annually. You can also try Squarespace for free for 14 days. The prices below are based on annual billing.
All plans come with a free custom domain, SSL security, and unlimited bandwidth and storage. You’ll also benefit from 24/7 customer support.
Personal ($12 per month): This plan enables you to make use of Squarespace’s core set of features, including mobile-optimized templates and basic website metrics.
It also comes with an SEO wiz that suggests ways to improve your website visibility on search engines. You can install Squarespace extensions and register two active contributors on your website.
Business ($18 per month): The Business plan allows you to work with unlimited contributors and unlocks a range of new features, including:
- Premium integrations and blocks, such as reservation bookings and order-now through ChowNow, the Zapier integration, and a code injection block
- Advanced website analytics
- Promotional pop-ups and banners
On this plan, you also gain access to eCommerce features. However, you’re charged a 3% transaction fee whenever you make a sale. But, you can sell unlimited products, accept donations, and even create and use gift cards to promote your products.
Basic Commerce ($26 per month): With the Basic Commerce plan, transaction fees are waived.
You can enable customers to create accounts, access POS features, use advanced eCommerce analytics, sell products on Instagram, and unlock more merchandising tools. For example, you can show customers related products and let them enter waitlists.
It’s also easier to manage your inventory with bulk spreadsheet editing.
Advanced Commerce ($40 per month): This unlocks even more eCommerce features such as abandoned cart recovery emails and the ability to sell subscriptions.
You’ll also access more advanced shipping options and discounts as well as Squarespace’s Commerce APIs.
Pricing – Winner: That Depends!
It isn’t as easy to pick a single winner for this category, so let’s split it up.
Overall Pricing Winner: Webflow
When it comes to overall pricing, Webflow takes the medal. Its advanced customization features mirror industry-standard graphic design software, giving you unparalleled design freedom. Considering this unique offer and everything you get for the cost of it, Webflow’s price offering is pretty reasonable.
eCommerce Pricing Winner: Squarespace
But when you throw eCommerce into the mix, you can create an online store for cheaper with Squarespace. It doesn’t limit your items or visitors, so you can scale your business quicker, for less money. You can also work with more contributors and access other in-built eCommerce features that Webflow doesn’t currently provide.
Webflow vs Squarespace: Customer Support
As you embark on your website-building journey, you’re bound to run into one or two issues at some point. So, when the inevitable happens, which provides better customer support?
Webflow offers users an active forum, a useful blog, and extensive documentation. The Webflow ‘University’ also covers a wide range of topics, from setting up your website to using individual features.
On top of that, you can contact Webflow’s support team via live chat or email. Webflow always aims to respond within 24 hours. The intercom chat commonly has a waiting time of 30 minutes during peak hours, and Webflow’s business hours are between 6 am and 6 pm PT.
Squarespace also offers plenty of documentation on its website. These materials consist of easy-to-understand self-help guides and tutorials. Like Webflow, Squarespace also has a thriving community forum where users can ask peers for help.
On top of that, Squarespace provides live chat on all its premium plans. Their hours of operation for live chat are 4 am to 8 pm Eastern time, but they’re closed over the weekend.
Alternatively, you can contact their support team 24/7 via email or their ticketing system. Currently, Squarespace has a fantastic average response time of 45 minutes over email.
Customer Support – Winner: It’s A Tie!
Both Webflow and Squarespace offer similar customer support channels and self-help resources.
Webflow vs Squarespace: Pros and Cons
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the vast amount of information we’ve just covered, don’t worry. This simple pro-con comparison should shed some light on the biggest differences between Webflow and Squarespace.
- Webflow boasts unmatched design customizability with an editor inspired by professional web design practices.
- Its pricing plans are incredibly versatile, so you’re bound to find a package that suits your needs.
- There’s a free plan where you can work on up to two projects — this is great for getting a feel for whether Webflow is the right platform for you (with zero financial risk).
- Webflow’s eCommerce features enable small to mid-sized businesses to start selling online.
- You benefit from reliable customer support and an active community of Webflow users.
- Your visitors will enjoy fast website speeds.
- There’s a steep learning curve associated with all its design features.
- Overall, Webflow is more expensive, especially if you want to list a large number of products.
- Its eCommerce functionality is still relatively new and not the most feature-rich. However, Webflow is evolving all the time, so watch this space!
- Webflow’s site plans limit your monthly traffic.
- You get access to an editor that’s much simpler to use.
- Squarespace presents way less of a learning curve.
- Squarespace’s in-built image editing tools are powerful.
- You can flexibly change templates whenever you want to try something new.
- You can import blogs from WordPress.
- Squarespace’s pricing plans are more affordable.
- You get access to a robust eCommerce engine for small to mid-sized businesses.
- Squarespace isn’t as intuitive as other drag-and-drop website builders.
- There isn’t a free plan.
- It isn’t suitable for larger websites as you can only create one sub-navigation menu.
- Squarespace’s page speeds aren’t as impressive as Webflow’s.
Webflow vs Squarespace: Final Verdict
Both Squarespace and Webflow enjoy sterling reputations for a good reason. They provide astonishing customization freedom and equip visual-minded users with more options than many of their competitors.
If web design is a heavy focus for you, either platform is a great choice.
However, you may lean towards Webflow if you’re designing websites on a professional level (or have done so in the past). It’s fantastic for active web designers working with clients. Likewise, it’s ideal if you’re looking for near-on limitless customization freedom.
In contrast, Squarespace is a good compromise between design-heavy Webflow and simplified site builders such as Wix or Weebly.
You benefit from beautiful website templates you can chop and change between, without losing your content. Plus, you can import existing blogs, so if you’re looking to switch things up from your current provider, you may be attracted to Squarespace.
Whatever you opt for, we’d love to hear what you think! In the comments below, let us know what your experience with these website builders is or whether you’re looking at other tools. Speak soon!
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