Squarespace vs. Shopify: Which one is best for your Business?

If you are going to start your business but confused which platform to use between Squarespace and Shopify, then by the end of this article you will definitely get to know. There are many different terms on which both can be compared. Let’s have a look on those –

Price– Whenever someone starts something, the first thing that is considered is “price”. Definitely, it is necessary to know the price so that you can decide which product to use as per your budget. Let’s see the plans offered by Squarespace and Shopify –

Squarespace – Squarespace offers a free trial of 14 days. 14 days are more than enough to know its functionality and thus you can decide whether you want to continue with it or not. If you would like to continue then here are the different plans offered by Squarespace.

Personal Website - $12/month

Business Website - $18/month

Basic e-commerce - $26/month

Advanced e-commerce - $40/month

Aren’t the plans according to your budget? No need to worry then because Squarespace offers discounts to its customers too. For students, Squarespace gives 50% off in the first year and for developers, it is free until their website launches. It also gives discounts in e-commerce packages such as 10% saving on the annual e-commerce advanced plan.

Shopify – As like Squarespace, Shopify too has 14 days trial period. It is also having 4 plans –

Shopify Lite - $9/month

Basic Shopify - $29/month

Shopify - $79/month

Advanced Shopify - $299/month

You can also avail discounts with Shopify if you will pay in advance. For example, if you will buy 1-year plan then you will get 10% discount but if you will buy for 2 years then you will get 20% discount right away.

But all Shopify payments are done through their own credit card. If you would like to add your own card then you will be charged a transaction fee which will range from 0.5% to 2% on every sale.

Now, as it can be clearly seen that Squarespace plans are much cheaper as compared to Shopify, therefore, in terms of pricing, you can go with the Squarespace.

Templates and Visuals – Both Squarespace and Shopify offer a wide range of templates for all categories but Squarespace has around 90 free templates and you get even more options with different plans. Squarespace templates are often liked by people much as compared to Shopify because they are really beautiful and professionally designed. Squarespace has templates for business, blogging, websites etc. that means a different template for a different category. Along with the professional looking templates, Squarespace also provides visual effects in various templates. There are many other options to enhance the Squarespace templates such as by using Getty images, video backgrounds etc.

On the other hand, Shopify also has 10 free templates and you can get 53 paid themes and they also offer different variations in the templates.

Now the question is what kind of website are you making? Is it a blog or business website or an online store? If you are making a website or blog then Squarespace templates would be best for you but if you are making an online store then the features provided by the Shopify templates are much better than the Squarespace. Therefore, choosing the right platform in terms of look all depends on your business needs.

Ease of Use – Squarespace and Shopify’s templates are pretty much same in terms of overall functionality. In both the platforms, in the left hand side, you will find the menu for navigation purpose and on the right, you can edit or view content, add products etc.

If we consider the overall functionality of both the platforms, then no doubt Squarespace is a lot easier to use as compared to Shopify because with its simple drag and drop functionality one can set up the whole website quite easily whereas, setting up Shopify store will take quite longer than Squarespace.

SEO – Another important area to consider is Search Engine Optimization. Both the platforms give options for search engine optimization but in Shopify, it is quite easier to spot the fields for site optimization as compared to Squarespace. This means Shopify has labeled the SEO fields very clearly whereas in Squarespace those fields are labeled as ‘caption, ‘excerpts’ and ‘descriptions’. Therefore, for a new bee, it might be bit difficult to recognize what these fields are for.

There are another two advantages offered by Shopify over Squarespace in terms of SEO, URL mapping can be handled in a much better way in it and it also creates 301 redirect pages automatically which can be easily forgotten by many to create.

On the whole, Shopify is much better than Squarespace in SEO approach.

Domains – Whenever you buy a Squarespace’s plan and pay annually then you get one free domain along with it, which is a really nice feature. On the other hand, if you will register for a custom domain in Shopify then it will cost you $13 or more per year. If you would buy a domain from Squarespace then you will get a wide range of domain extensions such as .co.uk, .com, etc. Therefore, for a complete and affordable package, Squarespace is again a better option.

Third Party Integration – Squarespace has some official apps that can be integrated such as Dropbox, Twitter, Xero, OpenTable etc. But if you want any other third party integration then you need to embed the code of that application into your Squarespace website. For this, you will need to have some technical programming knowledge.

If we talk about Shopify, it has its own app store that can be used for purchasing integration. With this, you can integrate thousands of other applications into your site. So, if you want to use many third-party applications on your site then you should go for Shopify.

Mobile Apps – Every website should have a mobile application these days because you can’t be on the laptop all the time. Therefore, an app is must to manage everything on the go. Shopify and Squarespace do have the apps. If you want to manage everything in Squarespace then you will need to download its 5 applications – Blog, Commerce, Analytics, Note, and Portfolio.

In case of Shopify, there are just two main applications that you will need to manage your site. The first one is the main Shopify app and the second one is related to point of sale functionality. So, if you want a single app for all functions then Shopify would be good but if you want to focus mainly on few categories and want a great user interface then Squarespace is the best.

Conclusion – If we have to wrap up the whole content and have to decide the best platform for your site then firstly you need to decide what you actually want to develop i.e. if you want a website, blog or an e-commerce store. Both Shopify and Squarespace have their own pros and cons but if you want to create a blog or website then there is no better option than Squarespace but if you want a fully fledged e-commerce store then go for Shopify. This is because Squarespace was mainly created for blogs and websites and they have recently launched their e-commerce plans so the features offered by them in e-commerce store will lack behind somewhere from Shopify. Therefore, look for your requirements and then choose the right platform for your business accordingly.