Squarespace is one of the best website builders for creating and customizing a site without knowing how to code.
It offers everything you’ll need to start a website. In addition to the core offerings you expect from a hosted website builder, including domain registration, hosting, responsive themes and templates, and expert support, Squarespace offers more advanced features. With built-in ecommerce, blogging, SEO, and analytics tools, you can create and optimize your site to attract more visitors and grow your business.
However, Squarespace is not the right solution for everyone. It offers a rich selection of out-of-the-box features, but it doesn’t offer plugins or additional modules for extending the functionality of your site. That means if you’d like to add a missing feature on your site, like an auto-save button or module for a table, you’re out of luck.
Whether you’re looking for more flexibility or a cheaper monthly plan, there are plenty of alternatives to Squarespace. Let’s look at some of the best options below.
We’ll divide the list into premium and free alternatives so you can find the right fit for your budget.
Premium Alternatives to Squarespace
If budget isn’t the main reason you’re looking for a Squarespace alternative, check out some of the options below. These content management systems and website builders offer unique experiences for building and managing a site. To help you decide which one is right for you, we’ll specify an ideal use case for each platform.
Why use CMS Hub over Squarespace: As a fully integrated content management system that offers features specifically designed for marketers, developers, and IT professionals, CMS Hub enables you to build more complex sites than Squarespace.
There’s a drag-and-drop editor, built-in SEO tools, and contact attribution reporting for marketers to create and optimize content. There’s also serverless functions, flexible theme options, and command line tools for developers looking to make changes and custom web assets faster.
For improved security and performance, CMS Hub has a global CDN, Web Application Firewall, SSL encryption, and a dedicated security team to support IT professionals in keeping their site safe. Such an all-in-one connected platform is ideal for all types of businesses, from small to enterprise.
CMS Hub website example: Below is a sophisticated portal site created on CMS Hub. On CrediAuto, users can search different car brands sold in Guatemala, see their financing options, and even pre-qualify for a loan.
Why use Webflow over Squarespace: Squarespace is a drag-and-drop, template-based tool that appeals to users at different skill levels. Combining a CMS with a visual web design tool, Webflow is a much more flexible tool that appeals to advanced users with coding skills.
Webflow has front-end customization options that require not coding, but experienced developers can dive into the back-end for more customization if they prefer.
Webflow website example: Check out web designer Jomor’s site below. It’s a perfect example of the custom branding and complex web design that’s possible using Webflow.
Why use Duda over Squarespace: Squarespace and Duda both offer a robust website editor and pre-designed templates for quickly creating sites. What differentiates Duda from Squarespace is its team collaboration and client management tools.
With Duda, you can import content from existing websites, reuse widgets across different projects, create dynamic versions of a single page, and share feedback with your team and clients directly on a website as it's being built. All of these features make it easier for agencies to scale.
Duda website example: Take a look at the Duda site built for the Emerald Hotel below. Simple and easy to navigate, this site contains information about the hotel’s history, food options, and events.
Ideal for: Creatives looking to create unique portfolios
Price: $99 - $165 / year
Why use Cargo over Squarespace: Since Squarespace is a general website builder, it has a little bit of everything: features for photographers, bloggers, shop owners, and more. That’s great if you need a multi-purpose tool. But if you need a website builder for one specific need — like building a portfolio site — then you’ll be better off using a specialized builder like Cargo.
Cargo comes with over 70 templates that can be used as-is or fully customized, an extensive selection of premium typography, and a built-in CSS editor to create a portfolio with the exact look and feel you want.
Why use Shopify over Squarespace: With Squarespace and Shopify, you’ll get customizable templates, inventory management tools, secure payment options, and more. But as a dedicated ecommerce builder, Shopify has more features and extensions to help your ecommerce business scale.
You can use Shopify Payments to process credit card payments on your site and avoid transaction fees, Multi-Currency to allow customers to pay with their local currency, and Shopify Pay to let customers save their payment details for a faster checkout. With Shopify Channels, you can sell your products on additional marketplaces like Amazon and Instagram and continue to manage your inventory and orders in one place.
Shopify website example: Check out the website of shoe company GREATS below. Powered by Shopify, this site features a growing selection of luxury sneakers and customers who create an account.
Why use GoDaddy over Squarespace: Remember when I mentioned Squarespace doesn’t offer add-on features with its platform? GoDaddy does. With its [whatever godaddy calls its add-on features], you’re not limited to the core functionality of a GoDaddy website. Plus, GoDaddy is well-known for its awesome customer support, so anytime you need help, they’re ready and waiting for your call.
GoDaddy isn’t just for buying domains for your website. The GoDaddy Website Builder tool is perfect for portfolios, ecommerce, or blogs. As opposed to traditional website builders, this all-in-one tool integrates website and marketing functionalities to help your business scale at any size.
Striking website example:Ellevest uses a beautiful, animated template to tell the stories of how women make money. This website supports membership options, too.
Why use BigCommerce over Squarespace: The main difference between these two website builders is BigCommerce’s open and headless SaaS and ecommerce platforms. This means that the front-end and the back-end of your website can be updated at the same time rather than separately, making small tweaks and iterations faster and less complicated to complete.
BigCommerce works exceptionally well for businesses that are in the sweet spot of a growing start-up where they need a stable platform that can grow with them at any pace.
BigCommerce website example: Even though most of what makes BigCommerce unique is hidden from the front end of the website, Burrow is a great example of how you don’t have to sacrifice quality for ease-of-use. A site built on this platform can still be beautiful while maintaining high-level manageability on the backend.
Why use Webnode over Squarespace: Webnode is an online editor and a free Squarespace alternative offers up to 100 unique mailboxes you can use to receive mail through Outlook, Gmail, or other email clients.
Customers love Webnode because of its variety of predesigned pages that can take your site live in just minutes. If you have a domain name, you can port it over to Webnode, but if you need one, they provide a free one-year voucher when you purchase a premium plan. Affordability is the name of the game with Webnode.
Webnode website example:Lunigiana has a stunning interactive photo slideshow at the top of its homepage that is reminiscent of the sliders you might find in a Squarespace site.
Why use WordPress.org over Squarespace: WordPress was first launched as a blogging platform, so it’s ideal for creating feature-rich blogs and online magazines. It offers the standard features that Squarespace offers, including a drag-and-drop block editor, built-in commenting system, and taxonomies, and much more.
In addition to the 3,000+ blogging themes, native content visibility settings, user roles and permissions, and other advanced content and user management features, WordPress also allows you to install a plugin, a theme, or edit the source code to create a blog that looks and does exactly what you want.
Why use Wix over Squarespace: While Squarespace offers a free 14-day trial, Wix offers a free plan for individuals and small businesses to build a site. This plan comes with hosting, a drag-and-drop editor, and over 500 templates. It also allows you to create unlimited pages for your site.
The free plan will require you to use an assigned Wix subdomain and display ads on the front-end of your site. There are several paid plans available so you can start on the free version and then upgrade later on.
Wix website example: Below is a site for the catering service Hanai Poké. Built on Wix, this site features the catering menu and contact information among interactive animations.
Why use Weebly over Squarespace: Weebly is a great Squarespace alternative for shop owners on a budget. Its free plan comes with unlimited bandwidth and basic ecommerce features, including a shopping cart, inventory management, coupons, and an automatic tax calculator.
Like Wix, Weebly’s free plan is ad-supported and does require you to use a Weebly subdomain, but there are upgrade options. That means you can start free and later upgrade to a premium plan to register a custom domain name, deliver an ad-free experience to your customers, and unlock more advanced ecommerce features.
Weebly website example: Taking a look at the online store Douk Snowboards built on Weebly, you can see that a coupon in the banner draws prospects in to learn more about the UK-based company.
Why use Strikingly over Squarespace: Squarespace offers an intuitive dashboard, but it can seem clunky to site owners who are looking to create one-page sites. Since these users need only the most basic features, they’ll be better off using a one-page site builder like Strikingly.
Strikingly offers a drag-and-drop editor, mobile-optimized templates, and basic image editing features to create an unlimited number of sites. However, its free plan is ad-supported, requires a Strikingly subdomain, and does not include an SSL certificate. There are two premium plans available for those looking for an upgrade.
Why use Site 123 over WordPress: It would be difficult to build a Squarespace site in three steps under one hour, but Site 123 can do just that pretty easily.
Site 123 only has three steps: First, you’ll choose the type of website you want, whether it’s ecommerce, a blog site, or another type of website. Then, you’ll upload your content. Finally, you’ll publish your website and share your business with the web. Your Site 123 property comes with its own website editor so you won’t need to learn how to code to get going with your site. Another cool perk is free hosting, which means that you’ll have one less expense on your ledger each month.
Striking website example:Dwayne Johnson Jr.’s website showcases how well Site 123 can share the story of your brand.
Creating Your Website With a Squarespace Alternative
Advertisements for Squarespace everywhere, but rest assured there are alternatives if you need a tool that’s more affordable or customizable. Using any of the tools above, you can create a website that meets your unique needs and budgets. Ideally, you’ll select a tool that can not only help you get started but can also help you grow over time.
Originally published Mar 8, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated March 08 2021