10 Squarespace Alternatives
Website builders haven’t traditionally been among the glitziest or most visible denizens of the tech diaspora. Seen as mundane, proletarian entities serving mainly to help people create vanity sites, website builders have been mostly overlooked, while glamour and glory has been sapped up by Apple and the social media behemoths. Recently, Squarespace (see our review) has been working to change this, building their public profile by producing Super Bowl ads with Key and Peele and inviting the media to tour their swank new offices in New York. Squarespace has cultivated a reputation for producing the most visually appealing websites of any do-it-yourself website builder, boasting templates widely agreed to be the class of the industry.
However, there are reasons why Squarespace may not be for you. For one thing, they don’t offer a free plan; the cheapest subscription is $12 per month – more than the introductory plan of most website builders. For another thing, a check of Squarespace’s Trustpilot page reveals a good deal of discontent among their own customer base. Poor customer service, a non-intuitive editor, and backend technical deficiencies have all been alleged at one point or another. While Squarespace has plenty of satisfied customers as well, there are definite reasons to consider alternatives.
Here are 10 other website builders of merit, along with their primary selling points. Please, no need to thank me.
With 90 million users in 190 countries around the world, Wix is the 800-pound gorilla of the website building industry. Unlike Squarespace, Wix (see our review) is a publicly traded company. Wix also boasts a considerably better average customer rating on Trustpilot, though it is certainly not without its vocal detractors.
Wix offers a free subscription that carries with it the limitations of all free website builder plans – limited bandwidth and storage plus company advertising – and offers paid plans ranging from $5 to $25 per month.
Wix’s main draw is the fact that with such a wide variety of customers around the globe and such a rich feature haul (the Wix App Market is the biggest third-party repository of widgets for any website builder), Wix truly offers something for everyone. From a simple free website to a full-featured online store, there’s little you can’t do with Wix, and unlike Squarespace, Wix doesn’t take a transaction fee out of your sales. Their eye-popping user statistics speak to their broad worldwide appeal. The only drawback is that sites created with Wix are not fully mobile responsive. With mobile traffic becoming ever more predominant by the day, this is definitely something to consider.
Read my Wix review to learn more.
San Francisco-based Weebly (see our review) boasts 40 million users, so while it can’t rival Wix in popularity, it’s one of the few even in the same league. Weebly offers free websites, but for entrepreneurs and hobbyists looking for more, four paid plans are offered, ranging from $8 to $49 per month.
The best thing about Weebly is its supreme ease of use. This company’s intuitive approach to responsive web design (all sites are mobile responsive) means that you really couldn’t ask for an easier website builder. Weebly’s customer service receives particular plaudits as well, so if you’re looking for painless website building with prompt and helpful support, you could do a lot worse. And just like Wix, Weebly offers a third-party widget library (the Weebly App Center) to fill any feature gaps left by the software’s in-house solutions.
Check out my Weebly review for more juicy info.
Subscriptions start at the free level. For those looking for more, there is a JimdoPro subscription ($7.50/month) and a Jimdo Business subscription ($20/month).
Jimdo’s best feature is, well, the strength of its features. From a simple yet robust Jimdo Store to a surprisingly functional blogging system to mobile editing apps for both iOS and Android, Jimdo gives you impressive tools to create the website of your dreams, or at least a nifty blog to monetize. And while Jimdo has no app market like Wix and Weebly, they do provide a list of 20 compatible add-ons that can be added manually.
Because of its reliable customer support and full mobile responsiveness – the latter being a recent development – Jimdo is an excellent choice for both individuals and small businesses. Read my Jimdo review if I’ve piqued your curiosity.
In 2010, Itai Sadan and Amir Glatt launched their website building company, naming it Duda (see our review) as an homage to The Dude from The Big Lebowski. I’ve been a fan ever since learning this, though as it turns out, DudaOne is cool for other reasons as well.
DudaOne offers a free subscription that generously includes limited eCommerce. Most website builders only introduce eCommerce in their paid plans, so this is a plus. DudaOne offers two other plans, Business + and Business + eCommerce, which go for $14.25/month and $22.50/month respectively.
Besides being headed by people whose cultural fandoms I endorse, DudaOne is fun and innovative, and is worth checking out for that reason. Their photography templates are particularly attractive, making DudaOne ideal for photography websites. What’s more, DudaOne’s flexible and ingenious inSite feature allows you to create content that is individualized to fit the site visitor’s circumstances, meaning the day of the week, time of day, device type, and location of the visitor determines what they see. Make your business display a “click-to-call” button during business hours and a contact form during non-business hours. Make your bowling alley’s website display a banner on Saturday reading “Closed For Shabbos”. It’s brilliant.
For more info and more Lebowski references, read my DudaOne review.
Strikingly (see our review) is a fresh mobile-focused website builder that has garnered significant attention lately for its unique focus on easy single page website creation. Forbes even published a story about their formative years.
Strikingly offers a free subscription, along with two paid plans, Limited ($8/month) and Pro ($16/month).
Strikingly’s claim to fame is easily-created single page websites. Certain types of businesses may find this sort of site appealing, as mobile web surfers often have the habit of scrolling down through the home page of a website and ignoring everything else. Strikingly has grown to fill this niche. You won’t get full eCommerce without a Pro subscription, but all users have access to Strikingly’s third-party app store. Add to that excellent blogging and solid customer support, and you’ve got an impressive, though specialized, website builder. Read my Strikingly review if you care to learn more.
uKit doesn’t offer a free plan, instead offering two paid plans, the second of which (Pro, $12/month) only becomes available after you’ve subscribed to the first (Premium, $4/month).
What distinguishes uKit from the pack is their outstanding and vast template selection (251 mobile responsive templates!) and their deep yet intuitive editor. The editor lets you choose whether to build your site component by component, or by mixing and matching pre-designed groups of content. Most website builders choose one approach or the other for you. uKit is to be commended for their design flexibility.
Add this to a strong blogging tool, integration with Ecwid’s capable online store, a nifty form builder, and a wealth of other features, and you’ve got a website builder with the potential to compete with the big boys. With some luck and a bit more attention paid to customer support, uKit could well get there. Delve into my uKit review for the lowdown.
Sadly, Pixpa has no free plan. They offer three subscription tiers at $8, $12 and $16/month apiece.
What separates Pixpa from its legions of competitors is not only the quality and beauty of their portfolio websites but the way it allows you to monetize your images. After you create your portfolio website showcasing your photos or artwork, you can take advantage of Pixpa’s integration with Fotomoto, an eCommerce site that lets you sell your digital images as prints or downloads. With a decent eye for photography, Pixpa lets you turn those images collecting dust on your SIM card into cold, hard cash. Pretty sweet, no?
Pixpa is a four-star website builder. Don’t believe me? Read my Pixpa review and count the stars yourself, you cynic.
Zoho Sites (see our review) is the creation of the Zoho Corporation (originally AdventNet), a California-based tech outfit specializing in SaaS business packages. Zoho’s business pedigree means that Zoho Sites has some distinct advantages over the competition.
Zoho Sites is a free product, but if you want such advanced features as Zoho CRM webforms and password-protected sites, you’ll need to get the Business add-on for $4/month. If you want eCommerce, you’ll have to pay an additional $1 to $8 a month, depending on how many products you want to sell.
Zoho Sites’ main selling point is easy integration of advanced business features. Their form builder is like nothing I’ve ever seen; it could easily stand alone as its own piece of software. Your forms will be customizable to the Nth degree. Another feature immensely helpful to businesses dealing with a large amount of data is Dynamic Content. This feature lets you link to a Zoho Creator database where you can freely edit your content, which will then automatically update on your Zoho Sites website, along with any other Zoho SaaS product you’ve got that links to the database. It’s a great feature that showcases Zoho’s business software chops.
If you want to take care of business, read my Zoho Sites review.
Webydo (see our review) is a different breed of website builder. Based in Tel Aviv, it’s a tool that allows web designers to create code-free responsive websites for their clients, who can then manage their new websites with Webydo’s CMS features. If you’re not a web designer, skip to the next builder on the list.
Due to the CMS features, Webydo’s paid subscriptions (yes, they are all paid) run from $75 to $400 a month. I told you this was serious business!
Like I mentioned above, Webydo’s selling point – one that is unique in the industry – is the fact that it enables web designers to create responsive websites for clients who are then given the tools to manage them. Webydo’s editor is more akin to such Adobe-verse products as Photoshop and InDesign than to any other website builder. It allows for the sort of precision only a web designer could truly exploit. As such, Webydo occupies a genuinely unique place in the website builder world.
As it happens, I actually wrote a review of Webydo. Read it here.
Impress.ly (see our review) is new to the website building game, and it has a funny name. Impress.ly seeks to establish itself in the field with a whole new approach to website building: The automatic creation of mobile-oriented business websites, with content culled from your existing website or Facebook page.
Initially, you can use Impress.ly for free. When you go to publish your website, you’ll be made to choose one of Impress.ly’s subscription packages, Starter ($9/month) or Business ($14/month).
Impress.ly’s specialty, as I stated, is automatic website creation. For businesses looking to generate a website with as little effort as possible, Impress.ly is worthy of attention. Choose from one of five basic business categories and point Impress.ly towards your existing content. Wait a short time, and poof, you get an attractive and functional mobile website. If you don’t have existing content, you can still build your site the old-fashioned way.
Read my Impress.ly review if you haven’t read enough website builder reviews yet.
There is no single website builder that stands out as being the best for everybody. Certainly, there are good ones and bad ones, but you should choose your website builder based on what you want to do with it. Each website builder has its strengths and weaknesses; its specialties and its neglected aspects. This list of Squarespace alternatives should give you an idea of the breadth and depth of website builder options out there. With the right tool, anyone can achieve their digital vision.
Now go build a website already!