The dawn of COVID-19 changed our lives in unforeseen ways. The omnipresent threat of the pandemic forced us to stay confined to our homes. We had no other option but to resort to the world of the web for several day-to-day requirements, starting from grocery shopping, education, work to health care needs, and more.
These changing consumer demands triggered by the pandemic, among other factors, made it imperative that businesses start thinking beyond the norm. Marketers realized that merely having a website for the sake of business might drive traffic but persuading users to make a purchase or request a service would take more than that.
Websites play a major role in futureproofing a business and preparing for the uncertain in dark times like these. Such a transition required web designers and developers to think out of the box and come up with innovative solutions that would drive traffic but also urge users to return for more.
Remember, decades back, when we’d fewer choices to build websites. Those were the days of struggle for designers, who had little or no experience at coding. Then came the templates that made it easier for anyone, with no coding knowledge, to build websites. But incorporating future updates always seemed to be a challenge when working with free templates available for download on the web.
As experts around the world started developing tools and solutions to make website design and development easier, a number of website builders came and went. Some never made it, while some of these tools stayed to become the designer’s recommended tool of choice. In this article, we have zeroed in on two such tools that designers across the globe are loving for multiple reasons.
Both these website builders that we are going to discuss are visual-website building tools and do not require any coding experience to work with: Webflow and Squarespace. However, depending on the business requirements, customer demographics, and a lot of other factors, both these tools might be the best fit for different reasons.
In this article, we will examine all these factors, and based upon your requirements, you can decide which would be apt for your website.
Launched in the year 2003, today, Squarespace is the designers’ top pick to set up a simple website instantly.
Squarespace offers you everything that you need to create a website and take your business to your potential targets. The best part of using Squarespace would be its aesthetic-looking templates. If your requirements are on the creative lines, Squarespace should be a great choice. A number of creative websites, in particular, the ones specializing in photography, art, design, and others, have been built using Squarespace. However, in addition to artists and artisans, now, e-commerce, business, and other personal websites are showing a growing inclination toward adopting Squarespace as their website-building tool of choice. Thanks to the amazing choice of templates and typography that Squarespace offers, it is gaining popularity among all.
A no-code visual-website building tool, Webflow is a content management system (CMS) and a web hosting platform. The highlight of Webflow is its visual editor, offering web designers the luxury of building professional, custom websites from the scratch. Ran Segall calls it a design and development tool.
From our personal experience of working with a number of clients at Seattle New Media, we know that each client has varying requirements and would suggest a website-building platform of their choice. We have experience using both these website building tools and based on our experience, we wouldn’t recommend the same platform for everybody as what works for one business might fail for another.
We can’t exactly be sure if Webflow or Squarespace is the best choice for your website. Taking into account what the clients’ needs are and what they intend to do, our designers recommend these tools to our clients.
We will help you make a fair choice when it comes to choosing a website builder for your website.
Unlike its competitors, Squarespace offers a multitude of templates to choose from. For example, if you need a beautiful but simple website, choose Squarespace. You can update the content on one of its beautiful templates. All you have to do is install it and you are good to go.
Since there are a variety of template options, you can choose the one that best fits your needs. You can add a blog or store to these templates.
Besides, when you signup, you are granted access to a 14-day trial – during which you can get your website up and running, absolutely free of cost. Squarespace also offers the option to extend this trial.
Today, over two-thirds of the traffic comes from mobile devices. This makes it imperative to have websites that work across all devices. The templates are responsive, so they will work with any device – which means the website design will adapt to the device format, with no extra effort. The templates are designed in such a way that you can toggle between each breaking point to preview your site’s appearance in real time.
As we discussed, if you want to set up a website instantly, Squarespace is the best option. Spend a few extra hours and you will have your website up and running quickly. Anyone with no prior knowledge in designing or coding can use Squarespace to build a website quickly. If you have any confusion when updating your site, you can take help from the several resources available online. Squarespace also has a dedicated team, offering 24/7 customer support.
Uploading or exporting website content is easy with Squarespace. Anyone can upload an .XML file, exported from WordPress with ease, to Squarespace and transfer blogs, categories, comments, images, and others. Also, if at any point in time, you wish to switch to another platform, you can export your content from Squarespace and upload it to the new platform easily.
Squarespace makes it easier to create URL redirects when you are exporting and uploading your content from any platform to Squarespace. You can easily have URL redirects in place to redirect users to active pages. Go to the advanced features, and copy-paste a line of code for the new redirect.
Regardless of whether you choose a monthly or yearly subscription for creating and maintaining your website, the costs would be higher. Based on your requirements, such as advanced shipping or discounts, the costs could go up from $18 to as high as $40. If you are creating a portfolio website, think twice before subscribing to a business or commerce plan.
Unless you have abundant experience and knowledge in coding, it would be challenging to build a customized website from the scratch using Squarespace. Besides, if you are looking to make upgrades later, it would get challenging to add custom design features. In such cases, website design tools, such as Webflow, could give you more control over the design.
Squarespace doesn’t have the autosave feature, which requires that you click the “Save” button every time you make a change. Otherwise, all your effort goes in vain.
Squarespace should not be a choice for large websites with complex structures as it offers only one navigation system.
Squarespace creates load on the backend, causing your website to load slowly. And, we no the website rule, where no visitor waits over 2 seconds for the site to load.
Enjoy a seamless experience when designing using Webflow as there is a continuous flow between visual design and coding. Most other tools have the visual process separate from the site-building process. However, when you are using Webflow, everything happens without a disconnect. This one tool allows you to design and build a website using a single tool.
While using Squarespace, the website takes too long to load, Webflow doesn’t bloat your website, so it increases site load speed.
Just like Squarespace, Webflow allows you to preview and adjust layouts for several devices. All you have to do is click on the breakpoints to understand how your design will transition from desktop to another device or vice-versa.
Webflow’s on-page editing interface that comes with a minimal dashboard UI displays only those features that you are looking for.
You have quick and easy access to the on-page SEO settings when you are using Webflow. Meta titles and descriptions get created automatically based on the fields that you create. Free SSL is provided for all Webflow websites.
Webflow offers 24/7 customer assistance.
If you want a good-looking website, for example, a portfolio website, and have no prior experience in designing or controlling the web, Squarespace is a great choice. You can change the content to incorporate your business requirements. Squarespace (this tool offers a no-brainer solution and does not require you to learn anything new) is a great choice for those of you who do not want to make any structural or design changes to their website. If you are not a designer but want to create a super beautiful website, with less effort, go with Squarespace.
For those of you, who are looking to build your vision from the scratch, and are not really looking to have your design realized through a template, then Webflow is for you. Using a template, as in Squarespace, would require a lot of effort as you would have to make a lot of amends to adjust it to fit the design you had in your mind. This would require custom code, which would make the website building process, further, tedious. Though Webflow offers templates, making amends or editing the template would be easier when using Webflow over Squarespace.
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