Best website builder in the UK

Dee Yonker

Three of the biggest names in the website building game are Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. Even if you’ve barely scratched the surface of creating your own website, you’ve still probably heard of them (and with good reason). All three of these site builders are truly worthy of your attention, whether […]

Three of the biggest names in the website building game are Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. Even if you’ve barely scratched the surface of creating your own website, you’ve still probably heard of them (and with good reason). All three of these site builders are truly worthy of your attention, whether you need a website to show off your creative skills, sell some goods for your budding online business, or host an informative blog. But with each one being so massively popular, how can you figure out which of the trio is the best site builder for your needs? 

No worries, we’ve got your back. 

We broke down each of these site builders to its core to compare how they stack up against each other. Trying to figure out who wins the battle of Squarespace versus Weebly, or Squarespace versus Wix? Or what about Wix versus Weebly? It could make your head spin. That is, if we weren’t about to make the choice super simple for you.

Where Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly match up

Before we jump into what sets Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly apart from each other, we just want to highlight a few key things that they all do well:

Drag-and-Drop Builders — Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly are all easy-to-use website builders that allow you to get set up with a really attractive and functional website without having to know the first thing about HTML (or possess any sort of coding knowledge for that matter). They each utilise drag-and-drop functionality, but with some varying flexibility that we’ll delve into below.

Social media integration — All three of these website builders offer really great social media integration, including adding “Share” buttons to your website pages to help get the word out and organically drive new visitors to your site.

Customer support — Sometimes you just need a helping hand, and all three of these website builders offer fantastic support, albeit in slightly different ways. There are no winners or losers here, but you may prefer one type of support over another, so we’ll break it down:

  • Wix offers support via phone, email, and social media. They also have an extensive base of knowledge in online guides, and on-page tips that you can reference while building your site.

  • Weebly offers support for all users via email, live chat, and social media, though you can only get in touch with them by phone if you have a more expensive plan. They also have a help centre with lots of guides and articles that can help you out if you prefer not to reach out directly.

  • Squarespace offers email support around the clock, as well as live chat support, but does not offer phone support for any users. Instead, they have a really extensive online help centre with guides, videos, interactive webinars, and community forums that can answer any questions you have, and can thoroughly guide you through just about any task on your own. 

SEO — A highly attractive, high-functioning website means nothing if it doesn’t properly utilise search engine optimisation (SEO) to help get it in front of the people who are most likely to enjoy your content or purchase what you’re selling. Just as you wouldn’t throw a party without sending invites, you shouldn’t work with a website builder that doesn’t know what it’s doing when it comes to SEO. Fortunately, that’s not an issue with this trio.

  • Wix’s SEO Wiz is a complete suite of tools that creates a personalised plan to help your site secure a high ranking in search results. They also offer apps geared toward SEO and an SEO guide to help you find answers to any questions you might have about the topic, whether you’re an SEO newbie or an advanced optimiser.

  • Weebly also has a beginner-friendly SEO guide to get you started, SEO-focused apps, and plenty of built-in SEO tools to help you boost your site’s searchability. It’s not interactive like Wix’s SEO Wiz, but it’s still great.

  • Squarespace’s SEO tools are all baked into its main functionality, so you don’t have to go digging for any apps or extensions. Their SEO support pages are thorough (just like the rest of the support they provide) and they even include an SEO checklist to walk you through the process step-by-step.

Now that you know what they all do well, let’s take a deeper dive to figure out a true winner.

Where Squarespace wins: Stunning templates and design flexibility

If you’ve ever come across a website made with Squarespace (and odds are high that you have), you’d know it by its absolutely show-stopping design. This website builder is well known for its gorgeous, high-quality results, so if you’re in a creative field or aim to have an audience that appreciates a truly phenomenal aesthetic, Squarespace is where you want to be. In fact, the end results are so impressive that most people will assume you hired an expensive web developer to create it, but you’ll be able to take pride in the fact that you got the job done all by yourself. If you do have some coding knowledge, however, Squarespace does give you the opportunity to put that to use, but it is not at all required to do so.

Of the three website builders we’re comparing here — and possibly of all the best website builders out there today — Squarespace undoubtedly has the best selection of sleek and professional templates. There are a little over 100 stunning, mobile-responsive Squarespace templates from which you can choose. They’re divided into categories for easy browsing, but you can also use the built-in search bar to find templates based on your site’s purpose, using phrases like “to share my photo portfolio” or “to sell my handmade crafts.” So, whether you need a template for a stylish blog, or a template for your eye-catching videography portfolio, Squarespace makes it easy to find the best fit for your site. 

Squarespace’s photo-centric templates are perfect for showing off creative portfolios.

Squarespace’s photo-centric templates are perfect for showing off creative portfolios.

Once you’ve selected the perfect template, you’ll find that Squarespace’s drag-and-drop builder is pretty easy to use, though it is admittedly more advanced than its main competitors, Wix and Weebly. Its editing style is considerably more technical, which can be a plus as it gives you lots of control of your design. If you’re seeking a little more creative freedom to get your site looking the way you want it, and you’re not afraid of a little learning curve, Squarespace provides a sweet balance of creative control and ease of use.

Squarespace also offers great design flexibility in that you can switch your chosen template at any time. No need to worry about not being able to refresh your brand down the road.

Finally, Squarespace has some really great built-in blogging tools, including social media sharing, geo-tagging, scheduling features, and user likes. The platform also allows for multiple authors to contribute to a blog, which is not a feature you’ll find with Wix or Weebly.

Where Squarespace falls short: Less beginner-friendly and no app store

Though we mentioned it as more of a pro than a con, the advanced capabilities of Squarespace’s drag-and-drop builder are just not ideal for true beginners. It’s great if you have the time and patience to learn, but in direct comparison to Wix and Weebly, Squarespace is most definitely the most difficult to use. That said, it is still fairly easy to learn in the grand scheme of website building, especially for those with more technological experience under their belt.

Another downside of Squarespace is that they don’t have an app store. They sort of make up for it with their Squarespace Extensions, a moderately sized collection of third-party plug-ins to boost your site’s functions. Most of them cater to ecommerce sites, however, so they’re not much help if that’s not what your site is about. Some might argue that Squarespace’s built-in features are robust enough, while others might miss the opportunity to include additional features.

And, when it comes to cost, Squarespace is on the pricier end of the website builder spectrum, at least in the matchup of Squarespace vs. Weebly. With plans ranging from £9 to £29 per month, it might be a little more than a beginner might want to pay for a site builder that’s not the absolute easiest to use.

Where Wix wins: Ease of use and app selection

Speaking of ease of use, Wix is most definitely the winner in this match-up. It boasts the most flexible drag-and-drop builder of the bunch, making it a truly great choice for beginners. They have more than 500 mobile-responsive templates to choose from — far more than Squarespace, though just as aesthetically pleasing — and they’re categorised by industry or purpose to make it super-easy to find the best one for your site’s function. Once you’ve chosen your template, you’ll just drag and drop elements (such as images, video, and text) anywhere on the page, without any restrictions. This allows Wix to sit at the sweet spot of being the easiest to use while also granting fantastic customisation options without needing to touch any HTML or CSS code.

If you want an even easier option than the drag-and-drop builder, however, you could use Wix ADI — that’s Artificial Design Intelligence, of course — to essentially let Wix create your website for you. You just let it know the colour scheme you’d like, what theme looks good to you, and the general purpose of your site, and Wix ADI will instantly whip up a great-looking and fully functional site for you. If you’d like, you can still edit it further by moving it into the main Wix Editor, but it’s an awesome jumping-off point for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time getting their site set up.

When it comes to ecommerce, Wix offers several business-focused plans with built-in features like extra storage, Google Analytics to track your site’s progress and, of course, the ability to accept payments. And, if you’re intending to include a blog on your website, Wix also has some great built-in tools to help make it a success, including email campaigns and attractive, navigable galleries to enrich your posts with images and videos. You can add even more robust blogging features, however, by adding the free Wix Blog app.

You can manage your blog easily from your site when you integrate Wix Blog.

You can manage your blog easily from your site when you integrate Wix Blog.

While we’re on the topic of apps, we also need to shout out that Wix has a large, searchable app market with hundreds of in-house and third-party options. Some of these apps are free, while some are premium, but they all have star ratings and user reviews so you can get an idea of whether or not they’re worth your money. While Wix may not have the most app options (that honour goes to Weebly), you can rest assured that they’re all very high-quality and it’s easy to find what you need.

Where Wix falls short: Poor design flexibility and price

By far, the biggest let-down with this website builder is the fact that you can’t switch Wix templates once your site is up and running. This makes picking a template a bit more stressful, knowing that you can’t shake things up with a big rebrand down the line. You can, of course, switch up your colour scheme and your content at any time. But it can be a little frustrating that you’re not offered the same type of design flexibility as Squarespace in this arena.

Also, at the base level, Wix doesn’t offer a lot of storage space. However, you can upgrade to a plan with more features as needed, as long as you’re ready to fork over the cash. Wix’s standard plans range from £10 to £28 per month, while their business and ecommerce plans range from £17 to £36 per month. That said, it’s important to note that while these prices are comparable to Squarespace (if not a little pricier), Wix’s value is quite high, especially considering how much easier Wix is to use and how comparatively attractive your resulting website can be.

Where Weebly wins: Better blogging and lower prices

Weebly is very beginner friendly, albeit in a more structured way, which we’ll discuss further in a bit. It’s a good choice for those who feel they might get a little overwhelmed by having too many customisation options. That said, while coding knowledge is not necessary to make a great site with Weebly, you do have the choice to utilise the Weebly Code Editor to dig in and personalise your site further if you do have some HTML and CSS experience.

Weebly also grants the ability to switch your template whenever you’d like to give your site a little facelift, offering greater design flexibility than Wix in that regard. 

In another direct comparison of Wix vs. Weebly, you’ll find that Weebly has more robust blogging tools baked in, including features for easy social media sharing, media integration, and comment sharing. Their own Weebly App Centre also allows for the simple integration of additional capabilities and features that go beyond blogging as well. They have over 300 apps (far more than Wix) but the only slight gripe against Weebly would be that Wix does make it a little easier to find what you need.

The Weebly App Centre offers hundreds of apps divided into searchable categories.

The Weebly App Centre offers hundreds of apps divided into searchable categories.

Weebly is also the only one of the three that offers a free option with no monthly fee. It will have ads on it, of course, and your site’s address will have to include the Weebly subdomain (e.g. www.yourwebsite.weebly.com), but you can’t beat free if you’re on a tight budget. Beyond that, however, they also have the cheapest plans overall, with three different paid plans ranging from around £4 to £19 per month. All four plans include ecommerce features, like a shopping cart, inventory management, automatic tax calculator, and a quick-shop capability for customers. The availability of advanced ecommerce features progresses with the plan you choose, making Weebly a great choice for small- to medium-sized businesses. That potential for easy scalability is also really nice, especially if you expect (or hope for) your business to grow over time.

Where Weebly falls short: Fewer themes and a less flexible interface

Unfortunately, there are only a few dozen Weebly templates from which you can choose to kickstart your website’s design. They’re simpler options than you’ll find with Squarespace or Wix, but they’re still attractive and they’re all mobile responsive as well.

Weebly is also less flexible when it comes to its drag-and-drop builder, as it’s a bit less intuitive, especially when compared to Wix. It’s certainly not difficult to use or learn, by any means, but you don’t have the freedom to place your elements anywhere you please. Instead, there are guides that keep you fixed to a more rigid structure, which could get frustrating if you have a particular vision of your website’s design in your mind. Granted, this is actually a big plus for those who feel they don’t have a great eye for design, or aren’t too confident in their ability to lay out a functioning website. Weebly won’t steer you wrong here, which is what makes it really beginner-friendly.

Overall, Weebly is kind of middle-of-the-road when compared to the flashiness of Squarespace and the functionality of Wix. You’re not going to get particularly beautiful results from Weebly, but you can still have an attractive site that is, albeit, a bit simpler. In the end, Weebly can lend itself well to a more professional feel if that is better suited to your style, but it’s not necessarily ideal for those in more creative fields who need an ultra-attractive photography portfolio or a particularly visual blog.

The final word on Squarespace vs. Wix vs. Weebly

Where Squarespace wins for design, Wix wins for ease of use and creative control. However, Weebly easily keeps up with the pack thanks to its affordable prices. So who’s the ultimate winner in the showdown of Squarespace versus Wix versus Weebly? Well, let’s break it down based on the most common website needs:

  • If you’re a beginner, but you still want to have the option of creative control, Wix is an awesome choice.

  • If you’re setting up shop with a small online business, Weebly is great for keeping your site structured in a professional and appealing way.

  • If you want a truly breathtaking website with a lot of aesthetic appeal for your creative portfolio or photo-centric blog, Squarespace is definitely the winner for you.

We’ve got to go with Wix as the overall winner in this race for the best website builder. But, we also can’t deny that it was a bit of a photo finish as both Weebly and Squarespace are really solid options as well. In the end, it just comes down to what you want your website to be, how you want it to look, how it needs to function, and how much time and patience you want to put into setting it up. Fortunately, these three options are sure to give you stellar results no matter which one of them you choose.

Check out Squarespace

Check out Wix

Check out Weebly

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