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Choosing a web host for your business — whether it’s Squarespace or a Squarespace alternative — should be a decision that's specially tailored to your unique enterprise, rather than just going with the service offering the most features for the lowest price. This detailed guide covers eight of the top Squarespace alternatives, so you'll have all the information you need make your your best choice.
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In order to choose the best alternative to Squarespace, it helps to be familiar with what Squarespace itself has to offer.
Great templates: There’s a huge library of beautifully designed templates to choose from, so you’re almost guaranteed to find something you love that looks great.
Custom changes: If you have a little knowledge of HTML and CSS, some templates will allow you to make a more custom look.
E-commerce integration: Though not quite as powerful as a platform like Shopify, you can access e-commerce tools right out of the box.
Content support: If you’re a content-heavy business, there are a lot of great templates for you to showcase a blog and content marketing skills.
Finicky editor: Although Squarespace does have a drag-and-drop editor, it isn’t always the simplest to use.
Pricing: Squarespace does come with a two-week free trial, but you might ultimately end up spending more with Squarespace than some other website builders on the market. Pricing for Squarespace’s plans ranges from $12 to $40 per month when paid annually.
Slow page-load times: Due to its templates, Squarespace pages sometimes don’t load quite as fast as other editors — which is important to make sure customers don’t bounce.
A very popular website host for small businesses is Wix. One of its most substantial benefits is a dynamic free tier, but it also has several paid plans to choose from — both for website and e-commerce stores. Paid plans start at $13 per month and reach $500 per month for an enterprise e-commerce solution.
Wix can support a host of options for several industries and offer a wealth of templates to choose from. It is built to support blogs, online stores, services, communities, creative portfolios and more. Its templates are automatically mobile-optimized and can be customized via a drag-and-drop editor.
Wix has some special features, too. It offers an artificial intelligence-based service that can help match you with the website that’s best for your type of business. It also can assist with logo design and SEO. You can set up your domain with Wix as well.
Wix is a strong contender for businesses that are just establishing themselves for the first time as well as considering upgrading their website to look more modern.
You probably know Shopify for its plug-and-play e-commerce platform, which is a popular option for setting up online stores. Shopify has evolved to offer a comprehensive website service to small businesses. As you might expect, it should be a strong contender for businesses that want to set up online stores. By choosing Shopify, you also get its point-of-sale tools integrated right off the bat.
If you want to integrate Shopify with your existing website or a social media platform, you can choose the Shopify Starter plan for $5 per month. For a full-service Shopify plan, pricing starts at $29 per month and reaches $299. Of course, there’s also Shopify Plus if you have enterprise-level needs, pricing for which starts at $2,000 per month.
Compared to Squarespace, Shopify doesn’t support content creation very well, and you might find the editor a little more difficult when you want to make changes.
Less well known than both Squarespace and many of its competitors, Duda is a powerful website builder with a drag-and-drop editor that’s among the easiest to use on the market.
The most interesting — and potentially most powerful — part of Duda is the platform’s support for multiple languages. This is huge if you’re trying to reach international customers. Additionally, Duda supports dynamic features for different types of customers, meaning certain customers could see tailored offers or coupons while exploring your site.
Duda’s pricing is lower than Squarespace’s, but in order to unlock its most powerful features, you’ll generally have to upgrade to a higher tier. Its plans range from $14 to $44 per month when billed annually.
If you want to focus on content creation or build a truly customized website, WordPress is an industry leader. Some of the largest sites on the internet are built on WordPress. The sky is quite literally the limit when it comes to WordPress websites; you can build anything you want. However, you or someone on your team will need developer knowledge to be able to use this platform properly and all routine site upkeep and maintenance will fall to you. In comparison, fully hosted platforms like Squarespace take care of these elements for you.
WordPress is free to download, which makes it a unique option. However, before you get too excited thinking you’ve found a free Squarespace alternative, there are still several costs to consider when building a WordPress website, from web hosting to paid add-ons and plugins, not to mention developer resources (if you don’t already have this in-house).
If ease of use is top of mind for you, then Weebly should be a strong contender. Out of all of the website builders for small businesses, Weebly is the simplest, which means you can quickly get up and running with your site. It also has a free tier, which could be appealing.
There are lots of Weebly templates available, and they’re geared toward e-commerce and online stores. There’s also nice automatic SEO integration. If you know a little CSS and HTML, you may be able to customize your site as you’d like. However, if you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated and custom, you might want to look elsewhere.
Overall, Weebly is pretty similar to Squarespace. However, it is cheaper, with paid plans ranging from $6 to $26 per month when billed annually.
One of the reasons Zyro is loved as a website builder is because of its pricing: Along with its free version, the top tier is only a few dollars a month. It’s important to note that these plans do not offer e-commerce functionality. However, two e-commerce plans are in the works.
Even as an emerging platform, Zyro has a lot to offer. Most notably, it has a suite of tools that are driven by artificial intelligence, which can put your business on the cutting edge. If you’re in the game for the first time, Zyro is also fairly easy and intuitive to use — the AI interface helps move you through the process at a pro-level.
It’s simple to make changes with Zyro, and it’s mobile-optimized out of the box. Its templates are sleek, and you’ll even get access to a free library of royalty-free images.
Though newer than some Squarespace alternatives, Pagecloud is quickly becoming a fan favorite for its powerful design and editing functionality. Of the Squarespace alternatives, Pagecloud is among the most different — the platform is very flexible to design and quite a bit simpler.
Pagecloud seamlessly integrates with apps including Shopify, MailChimp, Open Table and more. Consider the services that your business uses most and check if Pagecloud has an automatic integration — it could be a big reason you choose Pagecloud over Squarespace.
While Pagecloud is not created specifically for e-commerce, you can add this functionality through integrations. However, this will also add to the cost of creating and maintaining your website. Pagecloud plans are either $20 or $50 per month when billed annually.
As you’re doing your research into website builders for your small business, you might find that you don’t even need as much as many of these platforms offer. If you’re just making sure that your site has an online presence and you don’t want to spend too much, a one-page website could do the trick. That’s where a platform like Strikingly comes in.
Editing is easy, and you get a domain name in the process. It’s also mobile-optimized, which can be great for those looking to make an impression across multiple devices. There’s one important caveat to consider: Your Strikingly website will have ads unless you upgrade to a higher-tiered plan. It has a forever-free plan to consider, and its paid plans range from $8 to $49 per month when billed annually.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.