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The Pros and Cons of Shopify vs. Squarespace
Last Updated:  
November 3, 2022

The Pros and Cons of Shopify vs. Squarespace

Selecting the right website builder can be very challenging for a store owner. Those who want powerful ecommerce tools will find Shopify as the best platform. However, it may not be for everyone. This ecommerce platform may be the best overall, but it may not fit your products, budget, or style.

Another option is Squarespace. It is a website builder with some e-commerce features to sell online. Compared to Shopify, its tools are less sophisticated but more affordable. Moreover, Squarespace excels at design. This builder might be excellent if all you’re looking to do is sell a few items online with some matching templates.

But, how do you decide between Squarespace and Shopify? Hopefully, we have made things easier for you. This article will provide you with the differences between these two giants in multiple aspects. We’ll highlight the pros and cons of Shopify and Squarespace to help you decide on your preferred website builder.

Who Do We Recommend and Why?

Shopify is the best choice if you are looking for an ecommerce website builder rather than a general one. It is a case where we believe specialization wins out. 

Despite Squarespace’s popularity as a general website platform, Shopify is investing heavily in its ecommerce platform. Over the years, Shopify has grown exponentially, followed by the stock market’s rise. We expect Shopify to dominate for quite some time. 

The Shopify website builder offers a wide range of advanced features for building ecommerce websites. Because of its inventory management tools, Squarespace can keep up with Shopify, but Shopify still wins — it provides more payment gateways and powerful shipping capabilities.

Overview of Shopify

Shopify is a web-based eCommerce platform that is both powerful and intuitive. It is a heavily used ecommerce platform, powering 20% of all online stores, second only to WooCommerce in terms of popularity. It has roughly about 500,000 active Shopify stores. 

The Shopify platform provides you with a firm foundation for your ecommerce business. A thriving online business requires you to set up a storefront, feature products, reach out to customers, accept payments, and more. With Shopify, you can do all of those things. The Shopify platform works as a facilitator to help you sell products online. 

There are currently about 4,039,506 active (live) Shopify websites around the globe, and you can create yours today. Beginners with no programming, coding, or web development skills can quickly start and run their online store with Shopify. 

Shopify features

You can do much more with Shopify than simply creating an online store. It contains both front- and back-end features. Here are some of its best features:

  • Storefront: With over 70 templates to choose from, you can create your own branded website, which you can edit and customize completely. Both desktop and mobile users will have no trouble navigating your site.
  • Web hosting: Shopify hosts your online store, ensuring that it stays active 24/7, providing unlimited bandwidth and personalized email addresses for your online store (if you purchase a domain from Shopify), and automatically updating your account to reflect the latest Shopify features.
  • Shopping cart: Shopify’s shopping cart has various handy features that enable you to streamline and customize your customers’ checkout process. It also provides tax calculations, shipping rate customization, and abandoned shopping cart emails.
  • Store management: The Shopify platform offers a wide range of features that simplify, optimize, and automate the running of your online store and customer information once you set up your website. You can also add third-party apps like Triple Pixel to provide a more accurate ROAS and nCAC

Shopify pricing

Shopify offers five pricing options. These include:

  • $9 per month for Shopify Lite.
  • $29 per month for Basic Shopify.
  • $79 per month for Shopify.
  • $299 per month for Advanced Shopify.

Large businesses can benefit from Shopify Plus, which starts at $2000 a month. With Shopify, you can also get a discounted price for paying upfront over a longer timeframe.

Pros and Cons of Shopify

Shopify is an excellent platform, but you should consider its pros and cons to determine if it is best suited to the online shop you wish to build. 

Therefore, here are some pros and cons of Shopify:

Pros of Shopify

  • You can use it easily.
  • You can save abandoned carts across all plans, even the $9.95 ‘Lite’ plan - you will not find this feature on any competing platform with a similar price point.
  • Using the built-in ‘Shopify Shipping’ service, you can get quite generous shipping discounts based on your location.
  • You can use Shopify’s free email marketing tool to send emails to up to 2,500 subscribers.
  • The Shopify platform supports a variety of external payment gateways.
  • Shopify offers a free trial without requiring you to submit any credit card information.

Cons of Shopify

  • You may expect a lot of stores functionality to be included out of the box, but many are not. It may make store setup slightly more complex or slow your site down.
  • A product can have up to 100 variations, but each variant can only have three product options. To increase these limits, you must purchase a third-party app.
  • With Shopify Payments, you can only sell from some countries.
  • Third-party payment gateways don’t allow you to avoid transaction fees.

Overview of Squarespace

The Squarespace platform lets you build beautiful and exciting websites quickly and easily with no technical skill requirement. It is a hosted CMS for over 3.79 million subscribers to create and manage websites, blogs, portfolios, and online stores. 

Drag-and-drop functionality allows businesses of all types to create professional websites. Small companies and individuals can easily manage their online presence using a user-friendly interface and a marketing ecosystem.

Squarespace has built millions of websites, and the number is increasing by the day. As of today, there are 2,914,526 live Squarespace websites worldwide. A significant advantage of Squarespace is its flexibility and ability to offer a wide range of customization options. A user without coding skills can design a well-designed website with built-in tools. 

Squarespace Features

Here are Squarespace features to help you decide on your preferred website builder:

  • Website Design: There are hundreds of templates you can pick from, which you can browse by industry. It has a drag-and-drop feature to customize your layout and text and color options. 
  • Mobile Optimization: Squarespace websites are entirely mobile-friendly, so you and your customers can easily navigate your website no matter what device is in use.
  • Online Stores: Squarespace allows you to build an online store just as quickly as a website. Your customers can see the complete picture of your products by organizing and tagging them according to their needs, using multiple variants, adding images, videos, and related products.
  • Marketing Tools: You can collect customer data with Squarespace’s easy-to-use online marketing tools, making it easy to encourage customer engagement and determining ROAS to figure out some burning questions. It has preloaded SEO features that synchronize with your social media accounts, so everything gets updated in one go. 

Squarespace Pricing

There are four pricing options for Squarespace. Two items fall under the “online store” category, while the rest are for “websites.”

You can choose from the following options under “online store”:

  • $26 per month for the Basic option billed yearly, or $30 if you request billing on a month-to-month basis.
  • $40 per month for the Advanced option billed yearly, or $46 if you request billing on a month-to-month basis.

Over to the other side, you have the following options under “websites”:

  • $12 per month for the Personal option billed annually, or $16 if you request monthly billing.
  • $18 per month for the Business option billed annually, or $26 if you prefer the monthly billing.

Pros and Cons of Squarespace

Before you get started with Squarespace, consider the following pros and cons:

Pros of Squarespace

  • Offers excellent support: They can almost always answer your question using the live chat feature. Support team members will sometimes record a screencast to show you the specific steps to follow.
  • A superb blogging feature: The Squarespace blog platform is an attractive choice if your website includes a blog. You can schedule posts, comment with multiple authors, use AMP. They even let you create your podcast on Squarespace.
  • Availability of publication-ready templates: Its primary appeal lies in its vast selection of templates that can transform your site into a professional-looking one in no time at all.
  • It’s an all-in-one platform: The builder does not require plugins, widgets, or applications. It comes with everything you need. 

Cons of Squarespace

  • Slow page Speed: Google’s Page Speed Tool gives their templates poor ratings, negatively affecting your SEO rankings and a poor user encounter on smartphones.
  • A single sub-navigation: Squarespace is not ideal for e-commerce sites with complex menu structures. 

Conclusion

From our deep comparison of Shopify vs. Squarespace, we can say this depends on various factors. If you want to create a beautiful image-rich website to showcase your creativity, Squarespace would be the ideal option. Squarespace is probably your best option if you wish to build a website or blog that simultaneously sells some products.

As for Shopify, the platform is the ideal choice for merchants looking to run an eCommerce store with advanced features, professional reporting, and a large inventory.

Sources:

US e-commerce platforms market share 2021 | Statista 

Shopify Usage Statistics | Builtwith

Squarespace Usage Statistics | Builtwith

About the Author

Rabah Rahil

Live in Austin. Ride a @BoostedBoards. CMO at @TryTripleWhale. Marketing, Tech, Outdoors, Photography, Webdev and Stoicism.

Rabah Rahil

Live in Austin. Ride a @BoostedBoards. CMO at @TryTripleWhale. Marketing, Tech, Outdoors, Photography, Webdev and Stoicism.

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