In today's competitive landscape, having a solid online presence is essential for businesses and organizations competing for consumers' limited attention. In order to establish an online presence for your business, you need a website.
Since plenty of website builders are available, each with its strengths and weaknesses, it can be tough to decide which is the best fit for you and your business. Squarespace is a great option, but to be sure, it's essential to do your research. That is why we wrote this piece: to assess Squarespace's pros and cons, as well as to suggest who Squarespace would be the best fit.
What are the pros and cons of Squarespace?
To understand what people really think about the pros and cons of Squarespace, we analyzed 200 user reviews on the software directory site G2. Based on real user reviews, we summarized Squarespace's main advantages and disadvantages.
It seems that Squarespace stands out for its ease of use, ready-made templates, and aesthetics. On the other hand, limited customizability was considered the most significant disadvantage.
It's clear that Squarespace isn't trying to compete with the most advanced set of features but with simplicity and ease of use. Some see it as a good thing, while others consider it restrictive.
Generally, positive things got mentioned almost two times more often than negative. This could indicate that, in general, users are more satisfied than dissatisfied. In addition, the positive things were much more focused than the negative comments. This again could indicate that Squarespace's strengths appear more clearly than its weaknesses and that the issues are often individual-specific.
Number of Squarespace reviews on G2: 1001
Number of reviews used in the analysis: 200
Overall Rating on G2: 4.4/5
Advantages found: 19
Disadvantages found: 30
Advantage mentions: 458
Disadvantage mentions: 236
What are the benefits of Squarespace?
Squarespace website builder has several advantages over its competitors. According to the analysis of 200 user reviews, the most important advantages are simplicity and ease of use, ready-made templates, no-code editing capabilities, and aesthetics. Squarespace also stands out for its customizability and all-in-one features for hosting and building websites and selling online.
Data source: G2
Simplicity and ease of use
Squarespace really stands out for its simplicity and ease of use. Of 200 reviews, 58.5% (117) cited ease of use as one of the best things about Squarespace. Its no-code editing capabilities and ready-made templates make it easy for anyone to create a website without prior experience or design knowledge. And because Squarespace is an all-in-one platform, users don't need to worry about hosting and domain fees.
No-code editing capabilities
One of Squarespace's best aspects is the no-code website editing capabilities making it easy for beginners to build beautiful websites. Out of 200 reviews, 53 (26.5%) mentioned the no-code drag-and-drop editor as one of their favorite features.
Squarespace's no-code website builder features are unparalleled and strongly linked to people's perception of ease of use.
A significant factor influencing people to choose Squarespace is its library of premade website templates. There are over 100 templates to choose from, covering a range of industries and styles. In 25.5% (51) of the reviews, people mentioned that templates helped to get their website published faster and made the overall process more efficient.
Squarespace's template options are one of the main reasons many users have chosen Squarespace for their websites. For example, one reviewer writes: "I love that you don't have to be a web designer to use their templates and make a good-looking website."
If you're unsure which template to choose, Squarespace helps you narrow down your options based on the type and topic of your website. Remember, even though the templates are great and help build websites effectively, it does not remove the importance of a basic understanding of website architecture or good UX practices.
Squarespace's success is due in part to its great aesthetics. Reviewers mentioned the aesthetics in 24.5% (49) of the responses as one of the best aspects of Squarespace. Squarespace templates are sleek and professional and can be customized to fit any brand or business.
"Among the major plug-and-play website builders (Wix, Weebly, WordPress, etc.) I firmly believe Squarespace is the most aesthetically pleasing."
Moreover, Squarespace integrates with Unsplash, allowing users to add high-quality photos to their website easily. The well-designed templates enable users to focus on producing quality content instead of developing everything from scratch.
While many users love the aesthetics of their Squarespace site, some users would like to have more control over the design of their websites. Fortunately, Squarespace websites are highly customizable. You can change the colors, fonts, and layouts and add your photos and videos. 22% (44) of reviews mentioned that customizability is one of their favorite features.
"Beautiful pre-designed templates that are ready to use. I also love how easy it is to customize the designs and make them your own."
All-in-one: from the website hosting to selling online
Squarespace offers a wide range of features from website hosting, design, and development to selling products and services. Even in the cheapest plan, you get a free custom domain, free SSL certificates, and unlimited bandwidth. 13.5% of reviewers find it easy to have everything related to their website controlled in one platform.
There are many helpful features with Squarespace, such as domain hosting, business email, email marketing tools, website analytics, and built-in ecommerce tools. Squarespace users seem to value having all the features that help them run their businesses in one place.
What are the disadvantages of Squarespace?
Even though Squarespace has many advantages, it also has some disadvantages. Perhaps the most significant ones are related to its customization capabilities of the templates, confusing user experience, and lack of plugins and extensions compared to other website builders.
Data source: G2
Limitations to customizing templates
While Squarespace's ready-made templates are great and can get you up to speed fast, some users may want more control over their website design. Over 35% (70) of reviews mention that the most significant disadvantage of Squarespace is the limitations to customizing the templates.
They find that the customization is sometimes confusing and limited. For example, one reviewer writes: "Templates could be more customizable. I'm very happy with the look of my site, but I'd like to be able to tweak some UI aspects a bit more." The reviewers were mostly confused because different templates have varying features and sections they can customize. This was mentioned as a disadvantage in six reviews.
In some cases, to achieve precisely what you want, you need to custom-develop it. At the same time, more technical users (5% of the reviewers) find the advanced development features somewhat limited compared to other website builders such as WordPress. Not particularly the best combo if you want complete control over your website's looks.
While the lack of customizability may be a disadvantage for some users who want more control over the look and feel of their website, it is probably a conscious decision not to compromise the simplicity and ease of use—an essential advantage of the platform.
Confusing user experience in some places
While Squarespace is praised for its outstanding usability, some users don't agree or need more time to get familiar with all the features than others. It's worth pointing out that the perceptions of usability are subjective—where one might dislike something, it might be someone's favorite feature.
The evaluations did not reveal any specific feature that would cause more confusion than others. But overall, one in ten (21) reviews gave a usability-related suggestion for improvement. For example, one user thought changing a font takes too many clicks. Another mentioned that sometimes it's hard to find the right tools.
"There is definitely a little bit of a learning curve to the program, and it can be hard to figure out where something is or how to do something."
Pricing divides opinions
While pricing was mentioned as a pro in nine reviews, 19 users considered it a con. Further, eight users were annoyed that some features stand behind payment walls.
Squarespace plans offer four options starting from $16/month. While Squarespace isn't the cheapest website builder, it's not particularly expensive either. Eventually, it is up to the buyer to decide what she is willing to pay for and what she is not.
Squarespace lets users try out the software in a 14-day free trial to make the decision easier.
General limitations in features
There will always be as many opinions on what software should do as it has users. It's a universal law of software development that no software is ever ready. And Squarespace is no exception, as 10% of reviewers flagged at least one feature they were missing.
The feature suggestions contain a lot of variance. However, reviewers mentioned limitations in SEO features, email marketing tools, and many ecommerce features more than once. Many users especially miss the more advanced SEO tools from WordPress.
While Squarespace is packed with many great features, you should try it yourself to find out whether or not it has everything you need.
Shortage of plugins and extensions compared to other website builders
Compared to other popular website builders, Squarespace lacks the number of extensions and plugins available. While this may not be an issue for some users, others may find this inconvenient as they need to find workarounds to get the necessary features.
Occasional slowness and functional issues
13 (6.5%) reviewers reported that the drag-and-drop editor is sometimes laggy, and some had experienced occasional software crashes. Overall, these problems were not common, but they occurred often enough to be a noticeable issue for some users.
Several factors can affect online software to be slow sometimes, including the speed of your internet connection, how powerful a computer you have, and the complexity of the website you are building.
Who is Squarespace best for
Squarespace is an excellent platform for users who want a simple and easy-to-use website builder. The platform is praised for its superb usability, making it perfect for people with little or no technical experience.
Additionally, Squarespace's templates are quite customizable in the drag-and-drop editor without coding, which appeals to designers and non-technical users alike. Thus, we can recommend Squarespace for the following user groups:
Small business owners who want a simple and easy-to-use website builder and basic e-commerce functionalities
Designers who value aesthetics over advanced development features
Conclusion: When should you select or reject Squarespace?
Squarespace sites are not more challenging to build than a Powerpoint presentation. Thus anyone, even without prior technical knowledge, can create a good-looking site without help. It's also beneficial you don't need to worry about domains, hosting, business email, and other necessary things as you get all that with your Squarespace website.
While Squarespace offers a sufficient number of features for small businesses, the commerce functionalities can be limiting for companies already in a growth phase. With Squarespace extensions, you can achieve what you want, but those looking for more advanced commerce features should look elsewhere.
Furthermore, if you are looking for more customizability and advanced development features, you might want to look at some of the Squarespace alternatives. The same goes for users who need a lot of plugins and extensions, as Squarespace has a limited selection compared to other website builders.
Finally, even though Squarespace is not particularly expensive, if you are looking for a platform with the lowest possible price, Squarespace is probably not the right choice.