Squarespace does not have the most features of all website builders. Nor is it the most flexible. It also doesn’t quite top as the “easiest to use.”
Yet, Squarespace is often our top-recommended website builder.
Why? Because Squarespace’s value-to-effort ratio is the highest.
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What Is Value-To-Effort Ratio?
The meaning of “value-to-effort ratio” depends on the context. For example, product managers measure the value-to-effort ratio to determine what features and improvements to work on next—the higher the ratio, the higher the task’s priority.
We use the concept to compare and rank website builders. In our case, the “value-to-effort ratio” represents the value of the website created with the given website builder divided by the effort required to build that website. Of course, the website part comes first: If the value of the website doesn’t meet the needs and expectations, then the effort is irrelevant.
Squarespace’s Value-To-Effort Ratio (Compared To Others)
Squarespace’s high value-to-effort ratio isn’t derived from one single component. Every important element of the website builder is well-thought-out.
Let’s look at all and compare them to the closest competitors (in the department) to understand better:
Selecting the right template is crucial to a website’s success.
Squarespace has 151 templates across different categories and website types. It’s plenty — you just need one template, after all. But Squarespace’s competitors offer many more templates: Wix has 800+ templates, and WordPress has 1500+ themes, for example.
If we just look at numbers, Squarespace doesn’t have as many templates as the nearest competitors.
However, Squarespace has the best templates of any website builder. This is subjective to a degree, but there’s no other website builder that matches Squarespace’s clean, modern templates.
If we look at it from the value-to-effort ratio angle, Squarespace is superior because:
- You can’t go wrong with any of Squarespace’s templates as they all are good. In contrast, the competitors have many outdated templates. I.e., choosing a good Squarespace template is a low effort.
- Picking from comparatively fewer templates is easy.
- Squarespace has a large enough collection of templates to fit most people’s needs — i.e., it’s high on the “templates value” front as well. In contrast, a competitor like Square Online, with just a few templates, won’t have templates for everyone.
The Editor / Customizability
The Squarespace page editor offers more customizability than most people need. However, it’s less customizable than the most flexible DIY builder, i.e., Wix.
Wix’s editor is unstructured and lets you move any element anywhere on your page, even by one pixel if you want. In comparison, the Squarespace editor is structured — it only allows you to drag elements (called Content Blocks) into rows and columns of a section.
In short, Wix offers higher value on the customizability front. [Squarespace ranks #2 on the customizable DIY builders list! Others like Jimdo and GoDaddy offer comparatively lower customization]
Yet, Squarespace wins on the value-to-effort ratio front because it’s a lot easier to use — in fact, Squarespace is the easiest website builder.
Let’s take a typical scenario to see how easier Squarespace is than Wix.
We added three sections, removed the middle one, and switched the position of the first and third. Notice the difficulties and inconsistencies in both the desktop version and the mobile version on Wix compared to Squarespace:
The website builder’s UI/UX (user interface/user experience) affects the ease-of-use/effort factor. The better the platform design, the easier it is to use the platform, and the higher the platform’s value-to-effort ratio.
Squarespace is perhaps the most well-designed platform for the complexity it offers. The design details Squarespace had a few years ago, the competitors don’t have even now.
Here are some of the examples of Squarespace getting design right (compared to its biggest alternative, Wix):
- When cropping photos for a photo gallery, Squarespace includes a handy tool that lets users adjust the focal point of the crop. Wix doesn’t have this option.
- Squarespace editor is divided into Sections and Blocks, making for a better interface. Wix just has Strips, scrolling through which can be overwhelming.
- Squarespace elevates the page by placing the toolbar below it. Wix does the opposite.
Website builders, by design, have a lot of unnecessary code that affects the website speed. Naturally, Squarespace does too. But…
More than 50% of Squarespace websites pass the Core Web Vitals test (a web page and user experience quality test that considers speed, among other things). This means it is definitely possible to have a reasonably fast website with Squarespace.
And making a website with Squarespace is a lot less effort than custom coding, making Squarespace’s overall value-to-effort ratio high.
Squarespace is competitively priced. And since it offers the best value-to-effort ratio in other departments, it also is the best value-for-money website-building platform.