Do you need a website for your SaaS company, freelancer portfolio, or print magazine?
Whether you’re brand new to web design, or you’re a pro considering a switch from Squarespace to Webflow, or from Webflow to Squarespace, we’re here to help.
We’ve worked with hundreds of clients around the world and created beautiful SaaS websites using Webflow.
We’ve also spent many hours analysing other website platforms.
What follows is the most detailed review of Webflow vs Squarespace you’ll find on the web.
We’ve compared their nine core attributes to see how they fare up against each other. By reading this post you’ll get a sense of the strengths and weaknesses of Squarespace vs Webflow so your decision can be as informed as possible.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Webflow is an advanced web design platform that, despite its formidable capabilities, allows designers of all experience levels to build remarkable websites without ever needing to code. That’s because Webflow acts as the backend developer while you operate the content management system (CMS).
Squarespace is also a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for website building and hosting that, unlike Webflow, caters mostly to newbies and amateurs. Squarespace lets you build visually beautiful web pages quickly, using templates to fulfill online portfolio, blog, or small business needs.
Although they share some similarities, there are many key distinctions you should definitely know before you start your project.
If you’re stuck and looking for web design help, contact us.
Okay, let’s get to know each online website builder.
Webflow is a SaaS application that provides designers with a platform to visually build and customize websites. The software allows users to design the website via an editor that looks similar to Photoshop.
Designers have total control. Webflow produces the code - which can be altered, copied, or moved - so Webflow is an intriguing mix of website builder and content management system.
Based in San Francisco and founded in 2013, Webflow has gained popularity because of its relative ease of use, hosting capabilities, and website design freedom. Using Webflow’s editing tools, you can create original, high-quality websites without the help of a developer. This is especially great for web design agencies who would normally need more time and manpower to build a website from the ground up.
While Webflow tends to largely benefit agencies and industry professionals, it can be useful to small business owners or self-employed artists if they are willing to spend some time at the Webflow University.
Based in New York City, Squarespace is one of the oldest content management systems in the web design industry. Its website building software caters to creatives with limited website design experience - anyone with little to no coding knowledge that wants a good looking, responsive website.
The Squarespace designer is a framework of templates and simple editing tools. Not much can be altered beyond this, so it is more restrictive than Webflow.
But Squarespace is visually appealing. And easy to use. It might not be as powerful as Webflow, but it needn’t be. Its focus is offering a one stop, drag and drop canvas shop for photographers, videographers, watchmakers, and all sorts of other creative freelancers.
Since its inception in a dorm room way back in 2003, Squarespace has grown to an impressive 2.6 million active websites. It has become a trusted design platform that allows users to put together a stylish website as quickly as possible, and with minimal effort.
Now that the basics are covered - let’s dive right into our review of Webflow vs Squarespace.
This is hugely important to us as an agency. We want to realize our clients' innovative visions. We aspire to be on top of the latest trends, and having total creative freedom allows us to do that. (See our awesome work here)
But this flexibility comes at a price.
Design freedom is one of the biggest differences between both content management platforms: Webflow’s site builder allows for unprecedented amounts of creative liberties. You’re totally in charge (if you’d like to be).
You start with three options - blank slate, template selection, or an entire preset layout - and go from there. Each element is entirely customizable.
Granted, the interface is slightly more complex than Squarespace, so it attracts users with some level of web design experience who want to learn and explore each theme’s wide range of design possibilities. (See the trendsetting Webflow course offered for free here).
Squarespace, on the other hand, limits creative control for ease of use. Choose from a vast number of esthetically pleasing templates and get at it. There are some style and layout options to choose from for some level of individualism, but it’s nothing to write home about.
Each section on the builder software can be altered within Squarespace’s parameters, but overriding any more than that is not easy or ideal, and necessitates a Business plan or higher. If you can’t find a theme that suits your idea, you can’t design one from the ground up like in Webflow.
This is often problematic for professionals who cannot meet a client’s unique layout demands because Squarespace’s pre-built templates won’t allow it.
The silver lining here is that Squarespace allows you to switch templates at any point during the design phase without losing your content. You can preview the different templates as much as you like to see if there are more suitable options while building.
This isn’t possible with Webflow. But it’s not necessary. Instead, you can alter any template any way you want.
Which takes more know-how.
Webflow and Squarespace are similar in that they are both setup for ease of use, although one is a bit easier to navigate than the other.
Your introduction to either web design platform should go fairly smoothly. You answer a few questions and get basic guidance to get you going.
But Webflow’s website builder software is much more intricate.
Webflow has a steeper learning curve than Squarespace. The starting tutorial explains through text and imaging that Webflow works on superimposed boxes with dynamic data in a high-end content management system (if you understood that you’ll be fine).
The editor has a dashboard with many toolbars reminiscent of Photoshop like I mentioned earlier. Here you create boxes with text, buttons, and images, and stack them to form the design of the web page. You can alter this further by manipulating the code.
The sheer amount of possibilities will bring joy to a professional. But if you’re new to web builders, you’ll need to take the time to learn the tools before you jump in or you may feel overwhelmed.
So how does the Squarespace designer differ?
Squarespace’s onboarding, in keeping with the simplicity of the entire interface, is done in layman's terms. No intimidating language here. Once you’ve completed the tutorial that shows you how all the editing elements work, you are free to start web building.
The whole process revolves around imagery and visuals. Squarespace is not a technical platform, it was built so the average user could create a fully functioning website in hours.
You browse the many templates, choose, then edit. No coding or plug-in knowledge required.
But despite the clean, simplistic editor, Squarespace isn’t as smooth as you’d want it to be. The drag-and-drop function needs a little getting used to - the edits take extra clicks and need to be manually saved, which dings its overall usability.
Okay, now let's talk about the most user friendly element on web design software.
Templates make your life a lot easier. That’s why the best website builders have ‘em.
A website template is a pre-built web page in code that lets you add your text and media so you don’t have to design something from scratch.
They are used by beginners and pros alike to save time.
Webflow has a decent selection of templates. With 40 free and 60+ paid templates, there's ample choice.
But the good ones will cost a bit more.
Like most site builders, all of Webflow’s templates are responsive and organized by industry and functionality. You can preview each one and see whether it features or supports dynamic content.
Webflow scores points with its clear template descriptions and total customizability. Hover your mouse over each one to read the text. Don’t see anything that makes your eye twinkle? Create it.
At the end of the day, Webflow templates are a little under matched against Squarespace templates. If you’re creating awesome SaaS websites like us, you value uniqueness over convenience, so that’s totally fine.
But if you’re new to web building, you might want to start with templates.
Squarespace hits it out of the park with its templates. Modern and sleek, they are considered some of the best among website design templates.
Visually, they can’t be beaten. And you best believe they’re all responsive.
Oh, and they’re all free.
That’s right, Squarespace has 110 free templates spanning 15 categories. The online website builder guides you in your template choice with questions and suggestions that help narrow down options. You’re almost guaranteed to find the right theme for your portfolio, blog, or ecommerce store.
If you can’t find exactly what you're looking for, you can tweak the code. But only a little. And only if you’re on a Business plan.
Every template has the same basic features. Add the ones you like, adjust some things, add your content and tada, all done - you’ve got a simple, aesthetic website.
What about all the bells and whistles?
In this section we encompassed everything offered in-house (integrated directly into each website builder software), and all the third party applications made available at your disposal.
Not sure what the difference is between an app and widget? Read this.
Webflow falls a tad short on in-house features.
The site builder does not have as many as Squarespace (or most other web design platforms for that matter). All the integrations come from third party apps and need to be input manually.
But there are alot, more than 200. Find them all listed at Webflow University.
Webflow allows you to build a site that is semi-futuristic. You get the blueprints for the trendsetting applications that will help you beat the competition and make more money. (We should know, that’s what we help our SaaS clients do).
Ultimately, Webflow’s in-house features, despite not being numerous, totally hold their own - like parallax scrolling, multi-step animations, automatic backups, and advanced security.
The important thing to remember is, whatever you are looking to do, no matter how advanced, you can do.
And one of Webflow’s biggest selling points is that it allows you to export the code you’ve produced while editing the website layout. This means you can decide to switch to another web hosting service to scale up or hand it to a superstar web developer for his design input.
Squarespace, on the other hand, has mostly built-in features.
You can develop a fully functioning Squarespace website without needing any add-ons - which makes total sense. Squarespace was designed with the web building newcomer in mind. It will allow you to build a remarkable website, fast.
Linking to social media is easy. And using marketing tools like Mailchimp and Squarespace analytics is, you guessed it, easy.
A Business plan will unlock the premium in-house integrations: like gift cards, promotional tools, and more customization options.
The Squarespace extension store debuted in late 2019. It offers a limited selection of third-party apps and widgets. Here you’ll find add-ons for shipping, inventory, sales and marketing, and finance - so you can give your ecommerce project a jolt.
But what if blogging is your thing?
You’d be happy with either Webflow or Squarespace to design and host your blog.
The choice really comes down to design freedom and price.
The blogging platform grants access to blog templates and, as you’d expect, allows you complete free-reign of the design if you so choose.
The integrated features such as dynamic content are also quite nice.
You’ll need a CMS plan which is one step up from the Basic (more on this later).
But as you may have guessed, additional applications take extra time and effort to implement using code: like social media sharing and RSS feeds.
Because Squarespace is tailored to creatives, you’d assume the blogging is on point.
And you’d be right.
Especially if you want your blog to have lots of images. (Images are a good idea in posts for good user experience and search engine optimization (SEO)).
The website building software has great blogging features, including: blog-specific templates, social media syncing, email campaigns, user commenting, and an app so you can post from your phone.
Okay, but what if you’re running an online business? Let’s review how Webflow vs Squarespace compare.
Both top website builders offer respectable solutions to online commerce. Each has a wide array of design options with built-in SEO, and automated tax calculations with ample payment options.
But Webflow stays true to its brand by offering much more layout flexibility along with the extension possibilities for a storefront that can be as unique and spectacular as imaginable.
Webflow’s ecommerce capabilities are focused on uniqueness and total design control of your online storefront.
Choose a template or create custom galleries of physical or digital products with customized delivery.
With Webflow eCommerce you can add all the cool things your heart desires - like animations, interactions, and effects - to construct a mind-blowing, fully responsive website for your visitors.
So Webflow gets top points for customer experience.
Overall, Webflow’s best eCommerce attributes are its powerful in-house shopping cart and checkout, shipping customization, and hundreds of third-party integrations.
You can develop your online business however you like and optimize everything for conversions to get an engine that truly drives sales.
Unfortunately, Webflow does not have built-in digital marketing. But you can find integrations for everything, like digital marketing and analytics tools, so you can track your social media campaigns directly on your site.
The plans - standard, plus, and advanced - are limited to 500, 1,000, and 3,000 items respectively. So if you want to scale above that threshold, you’d have to export the store’s code somewhere else (which is relatively easy to do).
Do you have a big business and want to scale up? Turn around.
Looking for a builder website for a small to medium ecommerce project? Carry on.
Design a grand storefront and sell an unlimited amount of products with unlimited storage and bandwidth with Squarespace.
Not too shabby.
But if your store grows to the point where you need to support thousands of visitors every month from multiple countries and you want the pages to load quickly, don’t hold your breath.
You will (of course) have stunning, fully responsive eCommerce templates to work with.
Create customer accounts and sell digital products, subscriptions, or even services with online bookings. Make sure to embed maps so your clientele can easily find you.
Social media integrations let you sell on Instagram, or make big announcements on Facebook and Twitter.
There are built-in analytics in the sales panel for A/B testing, and all the other standard eCommerce tools, like email campaigns, inventory management, and abandoned cart.
Squarespace ecommerce is highly mobile, so you get on-the-go control with their app.
Don’t, however, expect to find many third party integrations other than what Squarespace offers in-house.
You can slightly alter the design of the product display or checkout page, but again, you won’t see anywhere near the degree of customization that Webflow offers.
Traffic - you want as much of it as possible to your store. Let’s take a look at how Webflow and Squarespace can help.
SEO is unquestionably the most important way to get organic traffic to your site.
This is why both Webflow and Squarespace offer great SEO tools.
Take full control over site responsiveness, and get generated sitemaps, SSL certificates, and automated meta tags, among other things.
Webflow’s website platform gives you unrestricted control over your site responsiveness. A little savviness goes a long way here. Preview your site on a variety of devices and adjust ‘till perfection.
You get the standard level of control you’d expect over redirects, indexing, and schema markup.
If you’re not sure what those terms mean, you might be better off working with an experienced web design agency like us.
Webflow assists by generating the descriptions and the absolute cleanest code you’ve ever seen (which makes Google very happy).
As one of the top website builders, you’d better believe Webflow’s hosting is robust enough to sustain high amounts of traffic.
On top of that, Webflow has something called Flexbox which solves layout issues designers often come across. This is hugely important for user experience, which is hugely important for Google rankings.
To give your Squarespace online store a good chance at ranking - especially for those of you who aren’t familiar with SEO - the redirects, structured data, tags, and markups are all automated.
Squarespace wants you to be Google’s best friend with accelerated mobile pages and integrations like analytics. You can also preview your website on three device types and adjust where needed for optimal responsiveness.
Squarespace has built-in search keyword analytics so you can regularly refine your keywords.
The Squarespace designer also generates clean URLs and rich search results for your products.
You can easily edit the search engine and page descriptions. If you’ve never done this, you can watch a tutorial in the Squarespace workshop (which we cover next).
And finally, rest easy knowing your site will have decent speed and upload time, within reason.
Unfortunately, there are no third party SEO apps to amplify your efforts. All that’s available for SEO is already built-in.
Do you see the trend?
Let’s move on.
Webflow vs Squarespace - the website platforms approach support a little differently.
Webflow is a gold mine for do it yourselfers.
You know who you are, the ones with the creative drive and problem-solving finesse.
In that respect, the support is completely on brand.
When you run into a problem, there’s no phone support or live chat.
Your only option is to email for help and wait for an answer, which shouldn’t take more than 48 hours.
Not what you expected?
It’s because the information is already at your fingertips.
The Webflow University is astoundingly resourceful. The library has loads of free courses and lessons with videos for beginner to advanced learning.
There’s also a forum and blog for answers to interesting topics that may not be covered at the Webflow University.
And there’s a chatbot to help you find whatever it is you’re looking for - from help with simple page elements to third party integration tutorials.
Squarespace has a slightly more traditional support system. The team can be reached through email or live chat, 24/7.
No phone either, though.
They have a workshop with information that covers a lot of ground. The guides are organized by topic for easy reference, which is great for readers.
For those that aren’t, there are visual walkthroughs. These bite sized video tutorials cover a wide array of topics, from logging in to finding your RSS feed URL.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try typing your question in the search bar.
You can also check the forum and blog, and even sign up for (free) webinars.
Oh, and there’s a virtual assistant that helps you navigate important tasks while you feel your way around.
Great, now what’s this all cost?
Webflow is one of the many free website builders in the web design space. You can take advantage of Webflow’s powerful design tools and work on up to 2 projects without paying a single cent.
You only pay once you decide to publish. And the value is unbeatable.
The plans are divided into 2 types:
- Site plans (left), which revolve around hosting capabilities of each website you want published.
- Account plans (right), which encompass the tools to design the layout of one or multiple projects.
The big difference is that Webflow offers account plans (right). These are specifically for web design professionals that are building and operating multiple sites.
With the starter plan (right) you can work on 2 projects. Lite lets you export the code of up to 10 projects and host somewhere else. Pro gives you unlimited projects and white labelling.
The basic site plan (left) gets you 100 pages, up to 25k visitors, and 50GB of CDN bandwidth, but no access to a CMS. It is compounded from here until enterprise, which has all the bells and whistles, including unlimited form submissions and guaranteed uptime.
The other main difference in both web builders is their ecommerce plans. Squarespace offers unlimited items with both its plans whereas Webflow, not so much.
Choose a limit of 500 items, 1000 items, or 3000 items for your store.
By the way, 3000 items is a lot.
Yes and no. Squarespace’s pricing is simpler.
Unlike Webflow, Squarespace does not offer any free plans.
But you can trial it for 14 days with no credit card.
There are 4 plans.
The more you pay, the more core features you unlock:
For a personal project (a portfolio or amateur blog for example) you’d pay $12 a month. You wouldn’t, however, have access to some of the core features or any of the marketing or commerce tools.
These are super handy, but you don’t necessarily need them at first.
A small business owner would find the business plan quite alright. At $18 a month it’s a third of the price of Webflow’s cheapest ecommerce plan and has no limit on how many products you can sell.
Pick either of the other two plans as you scale up to unlock even more commerce features.
Clearly, Squarespace is better priced for anyone that’s not a pro.
But that’s because Webflow is a website builder powerhouse that lets you expand your reach and sharpen your tactics and increase sales. So it’s totally worth it.
- State-of-the-art in web design with powerful tools
- Get total control over your design
- Optimize your ecommerce store for better conversions
- Produce complex sequences without any code
- Lower overall costs when building from scratch
- Save time when building from scratch
- Choose from a decent selection of templates. Not great, but good.
- Once you’ve learned them, the editor and menus are more intuitive
- Webflow autosaves your work during the design phase
- Customize your SEO so you can beat the competition
- Have the option to export your project’s code
- You will have to pay slightly more for certain plans, like ecommerce
- The add-ons require more effort
- The support is minimal. You’ll need to figure things out on your own.
- Build your website fast
- Squarespace is straightforward to use
- Work with gorgeous templates (that are all free)
- Get access to a hundreds of fonts
- Make changes on the go using the app
- Produce clean looking web pages for good user experience
- Have many in-house features at your disposal, including marketing for commerce
- Get great value for your money, like unlimited items with commerce plans
- Switch templates mid-progress
- Get most of the SEO automated
- You won’t have much creative freedom
- Squarespace hosting isn’t quite as robust
- There are not nearly as many third party apps
- There are no pricing packages for professionals
So there you have it. The most comprehensive Webflow vs Squarespace guide on the internet.
Before making your decision, take into consideration the level of experience you have and how much you are willing to learn. You may not know a whole lot, but if you’d like to grow, or even establish yourself as a professional, Webflow is the way to go.
If you’re an aspiring business professional who wants to open a storefront, Squarespace eCommerce is an attractive option to get you off the ground quickly.