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Netlify vs Squarespace: What are the differences?

What is Netlify? Build, deploy and host your static site or app with a drag and drop interface and automatic delpoys from GitHub or Bitbucket. Netlify is smart enough to process your site and make sure all assets gets optimized and served with perfect caching-headers from a cookie-less domain. We make sure your HTML is served straight from our CDN edge nodes without any round-trip to our backend servers and are the only ones to give you instant cache invalidation when you push a new deploy. Netlify is also the only static hosting service with integrated continuous deployment.

What is Squarespace? Everything You Need To Create An Exceptional Website. Whether you need simple pages, sophisticated galleries, a professional blog, or want to sell online, it all comes standard with your Squarespace website. Squarespace starts you with beautiful designs right out of the box — each handcrafted by our award-winning design team to make your content stand out.

Netlify and Squarespace are primarily classified as "Static Web Hosting" and "Website Builder" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Netlify are:

  • Global Network
  • Global Network
  • Instant Cache Validation

On the other hand, Squarespace provides the following key features:

  • SELL ANYTHING- Easily add a store to any Squarespace website and start selling physical and digital goods immediately.
  • PAINLESS STORE MANAGEMENT- Manage your inventory, process customer orders, print packing slips, and customize emails all in one intuitive interface.
  • BUILD BETTER PAGES WITH LAYOUTENGINE- LayoutEngine technology gives you the freedom to create visually rich pages with any configuration of text, images, products, and content blocks. Simply drag and drop your content exactly where you want and we'll automatically align them in a perfect grid.

"Fastest static hosting and continuous deployments" is the primary reason why developers consider Netlify over the competitors, whereas "Easy setup" was stated as the key factor in picking Squarespace.

Accenture, Avocode, and Runscope are some of the popular companies that use Squarespace, whereas Netlify is used by Startae, Ratio, and Flat. Squarespace has a broader approval, being mentioned in 419 company stacks & 23 developers stacks; compared to Netlify, which is listed in 85 company stacks and 104 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -
- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Netlify?

Netlify is smart enough to process your site and make sure all assets gets optimized and served with perfect caching-headers from a cookie-less domain. We make sure your HTML is served straight from our CDN edge nodes without any round-trip to our backend servers and are the only ones to give you instant cache invalidation when you push a new deploy. Netlify is also the only static hosting service with integrated continuous deployment.

What is Squarespace?

Whether you need simple pages, sophisticated galleries, a professional blog, or want to sell online, it all comes standard with your Squarespace website. Squarespace starts you with beautiful designs right out of the box — each handcrafted by our award-winning design team to make your content stand out.
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Why do developers choose Netlify?
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Jobs that mention Netlify and Squarespace as a desired skillset
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What are some alternatives to Netlify and Squarespace?
Surge
Surge makes it easy for developers to deploy projects to a production-quality CDN through Grunt, Gulp, npm.
Heroku
Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.
GitHub Pages
Public webpages hosted directly from your GitHub repository. Just edit, push, and your changes are live.
CloudFlare
Cloudflare speeds up and protects millions of websites, APIs, SaaS services, and other properties connected to the Internet.
Firebase
Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
See all alternatives
Decisions about Netlify and Squarespace
Justin Dorfman
Justin Dorfman
Developer Evangelist at StackShare · | 4 upvotes · 20.5K views
Fastly
Fastly
Grunt
Grunt
jQuery
jQuery
Bootstrap
Bootstrap
Jekyll
Jekyll
Let's Encrypt
Let's Encrypt
Netlify
Netlify
GitHub Pages
GitHub Pages
MaxCDN
MaxCDN
#Webperf
#StaticSiteGenerators
#GoogleFonts
#CDN

When my SSL cert MaxCDN was expiring on my personal site I decided it was a good time to revamp some things. Since GitHub Services is depreciated I can no longer have #CDN cache purges automated among other things. So I decided on the following: GitHub Pages, Netlify, Let's Encrypt and Jekyll. Staying the same was Bootstrap, jQuery, Grunt & #GoogleFonts.

What's awesome about GitHub Pages is that it has a #CDN (Fastly) built-in and anytime you push to master, it purges the cache instantaneously without you have to do anything special. Netlify is magic, I highly recommend it to anyone using #StaticSiteGenerators.

For the most part, everything went smoothly. The only things I had issues with were the following:

  • If you want to point www to GitHub Pages you need to rename the repo to www
  • If you edit something in the _config.yml you need to restart bundle exec jekyll s or changes won't show
  • I had to disable the Grunt htmlmin module. I replaced it with Jekyll layout that compresses HTML for #webperf

Last but certainly not least, I made a donation to Let's Encrypt. If you use their service consider doing it too: https://letsencrypt.org/donate/

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Osamah Aldoaiss
Osamah Aldoaiss
UI Engineer | Maker at Triad Apparel Inc. · | 12 upvotes · 7.1K views
atTriad Apparel Inc.Triad Apparel Inc.
GitHub
GitHub
Netlify
Netlify

I use Netlify for all of my projects for the ease of setup and the huge Developer Experience they offer. From Netlify CLI, to the newly announced Netlify Analytics, we have no issues with Netlify and scaling is possible to a certain degree. We connect Netlify with our GitHub Repos and let all branches build to get a Preview. Also we connected our Domain with ease to it and were able to have the page be shown on our domain.

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Interest over time
Reviews of Netlify and Squarespace
Review ofNetlifyNetlify

To start off, check this out: https://perfwars.com/netlify.com/vs/godaddy.com/

If you are new to Netlify, it will take you less than 5 minutes to get your site up and running, 3 minutes if you are fast. To get started simply go here: https://app.netlify.com/

Choose one of the following options to sign up: GitHub, BitBucket, GitLab, or you can use your email address.

If you sign up with your email address, it will ask you to enter a 4 digit verification code that they sent to your email address.

Once signed in, you will be shown a quick intro:

  1. SIMPLY PUSH TO DEPLOY
  2. FREE ONE-CLICK HTTPS
  3. NEVER HAVE TO LEAVE TERMINAL

These are three huge benefits of Netlify over most other hosting platforms.

OK, now that you have signed up and gone through the highlights, you need just select new site. From there you can either link a Git repository or just drag and drop your site folder into the browser window. Your site will be uploaded and available for browsing within a minute or so.

Once your site is on Netlify, you can setup a custom domain by selected the settings tab, if you are not already there, then click edit next to domain. Simply put your domain in, save and then follow instructions on Netlify's documentation page on how to set up your DNS: https://www.netlify.com/docs/custom-domains

So easy! You are done setting up your site! Now for making changes and adding features. You no longer have to do crazy manual set ups to get SSL installed on your site, with Netlify even my grandma could do it! You can still use your own certificate if you prefer, but if you wanted it even easier, all you have to do is select "Lets Encrypt Certificate" from the SSL tab on your site in Netlify.

When you select "Lets Encrypt Certificate", Netlify shows a dialog entitled "Automatic TLS Setup" and asks you to ensure that your DNS is set up properly before you provision the certificate. This is important, and it will be fine so long as you set up your DNS properly according to their custom domains documentation that I shared earlier. All you need to do here is click save. The SSL will start to work shortly and all http URLs will automatically be redirected to https! And the best part is, it is free!

Recap of the setup process: 1. Sign up and verify your account 2. Link repository or drag and drop site folder 3. Change domain and setup DNS 4. True One-click SSL 5. Upgrade your site for more awesome features (Optional)

That's it! You are done! Takes less than 5 minutes!

Before I came across Netlify, I would often use drag and drop web builders because the complication of managing servers and setting up configurations to handle forms and SSL were too complicated. With Netlify however, all you need to do for form handling is to put in a little call out to Netlify to say, hey, this is a form I want you to handle. It is so easy! You already know how easy it is to set up SSL now too. I now have no fears in launching a site, setting up form handling and SSL.

If you are interested in setting up the form handling, you can go here: https://www.netlify.com/docs/form-handling

Netlify also has amazing and simple documentation. I have never had a problem figuring something out. If ever I have had a question, I have found a resolution with in 1-2 minutes in their documentation. They have thought of everything!

My favorite tools in Netlify are the notifications! You can set up your form handling to automatically notify you via email or even Slack. I love Slack too by the way, and being able to get updates about my deployments or form handling via Slack is a huge plus.

The notification integrations are my favorite, however, I still cannot get over how easy it is to set up SSL and form handling. They are by far the most useful features for me. Another very useful feature is being able to see a history of your builds and having the ability to restore to a previous build or download it. I have been unable to find any of these features in their simplicity anywhere else. Netlify is literally the easiest to use, most reliable and overall best hosting platform out there.

One more mention, the founder of Netlify is involved in the JAMStack Revolution. Here is a quick blurb from their site (Looks Awesome!):

JAM stands for JavaScript, APIs and Markup. It's the fastest growing stack for building websites and apps: no more servers, host all your front-end on a CDN and use APIs for any moving parts.

Learn more about JAMStack here: https://jamstack.org https://github.com/jamstack/jamstack.org

Avatar of lsharkey
Information Technology Directory at Off the Mat, Into the World
Review ofSquarespaceSquarespace

I inherited the SquareSpace site I support. SquareSpace may be great if all you want is a really pretty site; it's great for that. But if you use commerce and need anything more than the simplest transactions, SquareSpace will be the bain of your existence. I have it in my stack because it's my job to use and maintain it, not because I like it. The documentation is rudimentary at best, there is no published API, and tech support won't help you if you use "developer mode" - which is a must if you want to do anything more than the simplest modifications. Speaking of which, I've found the tech support to be consistently lackluster; opening a ticket is most often nothing more than an exercise in frustration. Most problems I've reported are treated as if they are a feature request rather than something broken - "we're considering adding that feature in the future" is the common response.

The quality of available data (especially for commerce) and ease of integration with other services is also deplorable. I spend the majority of my time developing workarounds for the lack of features, customization and integration that are the hallmark of this platform.

I will move my workplace off of this platform as soon as if feasible.

How developers use Netlify and Squarespace
Avatar of ioi0
ioi0 uses NetlifyNetlify

Serves the main site through CDN. Provides super easy password protection and third-level domain for staging. Uses web hooks from Contentful and Github to know when to trigger new build and update the site. Perfect.

Avatar of MassTimes
MassTimes uses NetlifyNetlify

Netlify makes it super-easy for various team members to deploy whenever there's a push to our Git master branch. Automatic build, deployment, and setup on CDN.

Avatar of GitDocs
GitDocs uses NetlifyNetlify

It's free and has so many features - just perfect for open-source projects like GitDocs.

Avatar of Analytical Informatics
Analytical Informatics uses SquarespaceSquarespace

Squarespace hosts our website for ease of management and with beautiful design.

Avatar of Loog
Loog uses NetlifyNetlify

We use Netlify to host all of our Hugo sites with continuous deployment.

Avatar of doodledudes
doodledudes uses NetlifyNetlify

Super easy to setup to have your prototypes deployed with CI.

Avatar of Navarik
Navarik uses SquarespaceSquarespace

Squarespace powers our public website

How much does Netlify cost?
How much does Squarespace cost?