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Squarespace Alternatives— Cheaper, Self-Hosted and Easier To Use

What's the best alternative to Squarespace? It depends on what you want to be different. While I highly recommend Squarespace, I acknowledge it can't be everything to everyone. In 2019 I see 7 possible alternatives:

Nov 8 2018 · Steve Benjamins By Steve Benjamins


A Squarespace Alternative For Photographers

The best photography website builder is Format. In fact, I surveyed 1,630 photographers and Format had the highest customer satisfaction— at a whopping 95%.

Squarespace is a general website builder. It does a variety of websites: ecommerce, blogging, photography, wedding and more. Format differs in that they only do photography websites. This means Format offers features and themes that are purpose built specifically for photographers.

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Try Format


A Self-Hosted Alternative

If you build your website on Squarespace (or any website builder for that reason), you will need to use their hosting for the lifespan of the website. You can't simply export your website and put it on a new web-host. If this bothers you, I'd suggest looking at Wordpress as an alternative.

Wordpress isn't a website builder— it's an open-source content management system (or CMS). CMS's have a steeper learning curve than website builders like Squarespace— but are much more flexible. You will need to learn how to setup a MySQL database and install Wordpress but there are lots of great tutorials online that can explain how to do that.

Try Wordpress


Ease of Use

In my review of Squarespace, I explain that Squarespace is best described as intuitive rather than easy to use— in fact Squarespace is the only website builder I've seen that doesn't mention 'easy to use' on their homepage.

So if you feeel intimidated by Squarespace, I'd suggest checking out Weebly. Weebly is what I recommend to my people who aren't tech savvy— everything feels obvious and within arm's reach.

Weebly's editor.

Try Weebly


More Flexible, More Customizable

I have not spent much time trying Webflow but I have been hearing great things.

Webflow is a website design tool that is more sophisticated than your average website builder— it gives you way more control over the details of your design. You could easily design your own themes from scratch with it.

It's not as easy to use as Squarespace (with more customization comes more sophisticated interfaces)— the interface feels similiar to Photoshop. It's not quite coding but the interface is code-like.

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Try Webflow


Free Plan Alternative to Squarespace

Though they offer a 14-day free trial, there is no free version of Squarespace.

The best free website builder is Weebly (for more info see my in-depth look at free website builders). But be aware: there is really no good free website builder plans. They are all built on compromises.

Weebly is the best free website builder but it still places an advertisement on your website and does not let you add a custom domain name.

This ad scrolls along your free Weebly websites.

Try Weebly


A Different Style of Themes

Squarespace definitely has a specific style of theme. I think their themes are stunning— but I understand they might not be for everyone.

If you're looking for a different style of themes, I'd suggest checking out Wix. While Squarespace focusses on the quality of themes— they only offer about 70 choices. Wix on the other hand focusses on quantity— they offer 288 themes.

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Choosing a Wix theme.

Try Wix


Ecommerce Alternative

Even though Squarespace isn't just an ecommerce website builder, they still have some of the best ecommerce among website builders focussed exclusively on ecommerce. Which is seriously impressive.

But if you're looking for an ecommerce website builder that's a little more heavy-weight you'll want to look at Shopify. Shopify has the highest customer satisfaction rating I've ever measured (97%) and are the industry leader in ecommerce.

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Try Shopify